Spirit World #4 Review

Writer: Alyssa Wong
Artist: Haining
Colors: Sebastian Cheng
Letters:  Janice Chiang
Publisher:  DC Comics
Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 8th, 2023

Xanthe, now without her trusty sword, and John Constantine have made it to Spirit World and reunited with Cassandra Cain in Spirit World #4.   They went there to rescue Cassandra Cain and bring her home, but what if she doesn’t want to be rescued?  It’s an issue filled with monsters and demonic possessions, and wait until you see The Soul Devourer!

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The Story

Xanthe Zhou continues being a fun character.  With her origami-style magic and her massive sword, she wields power that not even John Constantine fully understands.  The realm of the Spirit World is equally fun and fascinating. In Spirit World #4, we’re immediately thrown into the action, as Xanthe, Constantine and Cassandra Cain are attacked by a Spirit Collective (basically a huge blob of trapped spirits desperate to be released from the collective).  They’re like quicksand as they grab at the three with grotesque hands and slimy limbs, desperate for Xanthe to use her magic to free them from their liquid prison.

Yet again, the book does a good job of combining superhero tropes with horror, as Xanthe and the others (with the help of the powerful Verdant Sorceress (AKA the grandmotherly Po Po) and her light magic against the ever-growing and shifting blob of misshapen spirits. We learn a bit more about the power structure in the Spirit World also, as Xanthe’s friend Bowen becomes possessed and Xanthe suggests she asks The Jade Court to help him, setting off an argument between Xanthe and Po Po as Constantine and Cassandra watch on with total confusion.

It’s hilarious seeing Constantine, who’s usually so confident and knowledgeable on anything magic, scratching his head, totally unfamiliar with the Spirit World and the many facets of it.  It’s rare to see him in the passenger side and not taking the wheel, but as always, it’s nothing a few cigarettes can’t fix. Cassandra, on the other hand, seems to be acclimating to everything quickly, despite all of it being totally strange and new to her.  She feels connected to The Spirit World somehow and that mystery is being solved slowly as the series progresses. The issue ends on a great cliffhanger and Xanthe in a huge dilemma. Overall, it’s another enjoyable issue and a welcome respite from the monolithic Knight Terrors storyline.

The Art

Haining and Sebastian Chang’s art on Spirit World #4 is vibrant and is a great combination of manga-style art with traditional Kirby influences. The Spirit Collective is beyond horrifying and the art puts in the middle of it as Xanthe and the others desperately fight it off. The colors pop, especially when Constantine is casting spells, glowing circles flaming to life around his hands and lighting up the surroundings as he fires off another bolt of magic energy.

Final Thoughts

Spirit World #4 continues Xanthe’s adventures in The Spirit World, which is a great new unexplored area of the DC Universe. Each issue presents new aspects of the realm and the book is a great combination of comedy, superhero action and horror.


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