Dawn of DC, the publisher’s initiative to expand its line with new and relaunched titles, is growing in May with three new titles, the first of which is titled Spirit World. Spinning out of February 14’s Lazarus Planet: Dark Fate #1, Spirit World by writer Alyssa Wong and artist Haining stars new DC hero Xanthe, a nonbinary Chinese hero with a connection to the Spirit World – the “realm of the dead” – and powers connected to the afterlife.
Xanthe’s powers allow them to summon objects from the Spirit World by crafting them out of joss paper, a traditional East Asian incense paper that is often burned in remembrance of dead loved ones. By burning objects made of joss paper, Xanthe can summon the actual corresponding object to the physical world – including the massive sword that is their signature weapon.
Alongside Xanthe, who is described as a “master of the dark arts,” the six-issue Spirit World limited series also brings in John Constantine and Cassandra Cain/Batgirl for an adventure that delves into the eponymous Spirit World itself.
“When Constantine shows up saying Xanthe scammed him into buying something, he finds them and Batgirl Cass Cain fighting an abnormal influx of jianshi (Chinese hopping vampires) and joins in to help,” reads DC’s official description of Spirit World #1.
“But when a portal opens up that drags Batgirl into the Spirit World, it’s up to Xanthe and Constantine to travel to the land of the spirits to rescue her!” the announcement continues. “Who knows what other spirits we’ll find in the Spirit World – like that skateboarding boy wearing hanfu with some headphones and a gaping hole in his chest?!”
Spirit World #1 features a main cover by series artist Haining, who also provides a variant cover for the issue, and features additional variant covers by Dustin Nguyen, and Trung Le Nguyen, as well as a special AAPI Heritage Month variant cover by Zu Orzu.
Here’s a gallery of the covers as well as an early look at some interior art for Spirit World #1:
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Spirit World joins two other newly announced titles, The Vigil and City Boy, as part of DC’s plans to celebrate Asian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May, with all three new limited series featuring characters of Asian descent in leading roles. Spirit World #1 goes on sale May 9.
Stay tuned for DC’s full May 2023 solicitations, coming later this month on Newsarama.
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