Xanthe Zhou is a new character debuting as part of DC’s Lazarus Planet event. In their introductory story titled The Envoy Xanthe meets Cassandra Cain and John Constantine, two disparate characters though appropriate for the night time cemetery setting in which Xanthe is visiting the grave of their grandmother who is Mrs Lo, the matriarch of beloved Lo’s Famous Foods. The circumstances of Mrs Lo’s death are not mentioned nor are any other relatives Xanthe may have.
Magic and the occult are Xanthe’s elements. Talismans, joss paper, and a large magical jian type sword are among their resources and weapons used in a fight against some jiangshi, or “hopping vampires” that attack during this visit. With the help of Cain and Constantine the intense fight is brief.
Xanthe appears to have a higher level of physical prowess though this may be from magical enhancements rather than physical training. They’re self assured, quick witted, and fearless which are all good qualities for someone who is able to travel to and from the spirit world to have. One important and mysterious fact that writer/ creator reveals about Xanthe isn’t mentioned in this profile to avoid spoiling the surprise. The sword is adorned with a floral crest, possibly peony or chrysanthemum. Both flowers have different symbolic meanings in Chinese traditions so it will be interesting to learn how or if the crest has any meaning for the character. Traditionally burning joss paper, also known as “ghost money,” is a way of paying tribute to one’s deceased family members. However, Xanthe has the ability to transform the items made from folded joss paper into real objects.
Xanthe is non binary based on the following tweet by editor Jessica Chen: “Meet new character Xanthe soon, as they fight Chinese vampires with some help from Constantine and Cass Cain Batgirl in Lazarus Planet: Dark Fate”.
Lazarus Planet: Dark Fate marks Xanthe’s first appearance. Xanthe’s next appearance will be in the new Spirit World series beginning in May, 2023.
Xanthe created by Alyssa Wong and Haining. Art by Haining and Sebastian Cheng.
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