A Look At Last Week: Monkey Prince #1


The concept: a high schooler trying to adjust to a new city and navigate the obstacles that every teenager faces learns that he’s the son of the Monkey King. Sounds like a hokey, young adult comic. However, Gene Luen Yang brings a charming and compelling story that has the ability to draw in fans of any age. It brings Gotham city into a new light while introducing this new superhero into a well-established world, all while being just good fun.

Image via DC Comics

The seeds of Marcus Sun’s introduction were planted in DC Festival of Heroes: The Asian Superhero Celebration #1. The anthology featured a story titled “The Monkey Prince Hates Superheroes,” where he attended Fawcett High School with Billy Batson. Now, he’s moved to Gotham thanks to his parents’ freelance work as henchmen. While his surroundings have changed, Marcus still holds ill-will for those who take on hero work, and the early pages of this first issue reveal why. When he was younger, Batman cracked down on Marcus’ criminal parents.

Artwork by Bernard Chang

Readers follow Marcus as he navigates the difficulties that come with attending a new school. He faces bullies, a crush, his fear of water, and the janitor that burps lingering clouds and wants him to walk through a water curtain. You know, like any other normal teenage experience. Things get a little more complicated for Marcus when he finds out his real father is the Monkey King and that he can transform into a lithe monkey form that increases his strength and agility. Marcus does what any teenager would do with newfound superpowers: seek revenge on his bullies. But, revenge doesn’t always pay, Marcus’ actions have consequences that no one could see coming.  

Artwork by Bernard Chang

If the title of Monkey King sounds familiar to you, you’ve probably seen any of the numerous adaptations of the Chinese legend in media. The Monkey King’s origin can be found in Journey to the West, and inspired characters can be found in popular anime, like Dragon Ball, and video games, like League of Legends. Marcus Sun in DC’s story is the offspring of this legendary character and has inherited all of the powers of his father.

The first issue leaves on a HUGE cliffhanger that will leave the readers wanting to keep flipping the page. If you’re looking for something different and new then be sure to check out Monkey King #1 and add the title to your subscription to keep up to date.