DC Festival of Heroes The Asian Superhero Celebration #1
Written by Mariko Tamaki, Minh Le, Greg Pak, Aniz Adam Ansari, Ram V, Dustin Nguyen, Alyssa Wong, Sarah Kuhn, Amy Chu, Pornsak Pichetshote and Gene Luen Yang
Art by Marcus To, Trung Le Nguyen, Sumit Kumar, Sami Basri, Audrey Mok, Dustin Nguyen, Sean Chen, Victoria Ying, Marcio Takara, Alexandre Tefenkgi and Bernard Chang
Inks by Norm Rapmund
Colors by Sebastian Cheng, Romulo Fajardo Jr, Sunny Gho, Jordie Bellaire, Rain Beredo
Letters by Janice Chiang, Aditya Bidikar, Steve Wands, Gabriela Downie, Tom Napolitano, Ariana Maher
The Rundown: A series of stories showcases the Asian heroes of the DC Universe.
Cassandra Cain was raised to not use her words and become a living weapon. As Batgirl, she fights to help people and finds herself struggling to find a reason to need words at all. That is, until she meets someone on her latest case that makes her want to use them. Someone that will inspire her to conquer language as she’s conquered the art of combat.
I love the pace and vibe of this story. Tamaki uses the character brilliantly and gives her an arc that is inspiring. I really loved the art style and its beautiful details throughout.
Green Lantern Tai Pham takes on a member of the Yellow Lantern Corps who has some choice words for how the boy, specifically about his uniform. Tai recalls some wise words from his grandmother that inspire him to show his enemy just how powerful he is.
A really good short story with a great message that I wish was a little longer. The story works with the length, but I was really getting into it before it came to an end. The art style was engaging in its minimalism.
Hawke & Kong
Connor Hawke races through the streets of Metropolis on a mission before he is interrupted by a surprise appearance of Kenan Kong, the New Super-Man. As Kong takes on a giant robot rampaging through the streets, Connor is not impressed with the hero. Especially the collateral damage he’s leaving in his wake. In the aftermath, Connor returns to his family and Kenan shows up. Over dinner, the two begin to develop a friendship.
This was a fun story that showcases two heroes who are different in many ways, but can still find common ground. I loved the pace and tone of the story as well as the art.
Damian Wayne is looking for some action and a series of murdered delivery drivers gets his attention as Batman is distracted by League business. As he conducts his own investigation, Damian discovers another League at work in Gotham, the League of Assassins.
A fun short story that is a departure from most Damian related stories. Enjoyable and really fun in its tone. Basri’s art brings everything together both in tone and mood.
Shoes has no memory of her life, but she does remember the mask of the woman who brought her to safety. A mask she mimics when she goes out into the night as Cheshire Cat. When she attempts to take down a group of theives, things go smoothly at first, but she finds herself in over her head and only Catwoman can rescue her.
A great story that gives context to the character and also allows Selina to take on the role of mentor.
What’s In the Box?
Cassandra and Clayface share a sweet moment. One that doesn’t require words to express friendship.
Short, sweet and beautifully illustrated.
As powerful as both Grace Choi is, even she can get intimated by having dinner with her girlfriend’s father. Especially when that father is Black Lightning. As tense as the dinner conversation gets, its nothing compared to having Mammoth smash through the restaurant with his sights set on Grace. When Shimmer arrives, its an all out brawl the culminating is a mutual understanding between Jefferson and Grace.
A great short story that has elements of realism in the relationships despite the extraordinary aspects of the plot.
Red Arrow finds herself in a nightmare world filled with cuteness that she cannot escape. To make matters worse, the inhabitants of this world are taking on forms that she rejects because, as a Japanese woman, she’s been told she must like.
A really interesting and well done story that has deep layers despite the fun, colorful art and theme.
Festival of Heroes
Cyborg and Blue Beetle accompany Katana to New York for a mission during the Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Festival. The festival director tells the heroes a series of recent threats that require their attention. Threats from a group of xenophobic bigots who have targeted the festival and its patrons. As the heroes patrol and enjoy the celebration of cultures, the Knights of the Brotherhood decide to make their presence known. As the heroes battle it out, Katana senses a familiar presence.
A beautiful story that brilliantly showcases what the power of unity can do in the face of hatred. The story delivers a powerful and timely message that is well told.
Ryan Choi is on a special mission to remove a deadly parasite from the body of a patient. A patient whose bloodline plays an important role in the future. In the aftermath, Ryan decides to show a friend and ally what it means to be part of a community.
A good story that has an awesome message and a great art style.
The Monkey Prince Hates Superheroes
Sivana has finally managed to capture Shazam, but when he tells the hero what his plan is, Billy has to convince him that he is under the influence of an even more powerful force. Unfortunatley, Sivana is going to learn the hard way that things are not always what they seem when Shazam transforms into another hero, the Monkey Prince. When the demon possessing Sivana is released, the Monkey Prince must take it down, but he gets an unwanted assist from the real Sahazam.
A good introduction into the world, personality and conflicts of the character. I like the art style, the tone of the story and look forward to more adventures.