Overview: In Spirit World #5, Cassandra Cain, John Constantine, and Xanthe continue their journey to the Jade Court. Are they being used to open the door to the Jade Tower?
Title: Spirit World #5
Writer: Alyssa Wong
Colorist: Sebastian Cheng
Letterer: Steve Wands
Cover: Haining and Sebastian Cheng
Variant Cover: Yoshi Yoshitani and Andrea Shea
Release Date: September 26, 2023
This comic book review contains spoilers
We pick up where Spirit World #4 ended. Xanthe Zhou is being attacked by the possessed Cassandra Cain and John Constantine. They are struggling mightily against the greatest sorcerer and martial artists alive. Xanthe does have an idea. They convince Constantine and Cass to grab the hilt of her sword. They form a circle, and Xanthe convinces the other two to enter the circle. Xanthe casts a spell which weakens the one controlling the two other heroes. The pull is still there, but it is weaker. Unfortunately this means that the spell has to be completely broken before Cass and Constantine can return to the living world.
The creature from Spirit World #3 is seen again, and she is starting to attack the residents of the Spirit World. These poor people call for help from the Jade Court, a group that we learn is just as corrupt as the creatures here. The Jade Court hears the calls for help, but the members stay the hand of their enforcer.
Xanthe, Cass, and Constantine discuss their current predicament. Xanthe suggests that Cass and Constantine’s minds were not affected by the magic that controlled their bodies because they still have strong connections to the living world. They also come across the door to the Jade Tower. Xanthe realizes that Po Po may have been part of the Jade Court herself.
The Gilded General is finally released to attack the rampaging spirit monster. The two engage in compact.
At the door, the three heroes join to open the seal and arrive at the site of the battle. Xanthe recognizes this place, and the Gilded General engages Xanthe. The spirit monster has other ideas; she needs the heroes to open the door.
This is the penultimate issue of this story. It however does not hold up in writing. After reading this, so much is happening at once that it is hard to understand what exactly is going on. We see the Jade Court for the first time, and we see how corrupt they are. We pick up with the spirit monster from Spirit World #3 that was absent last issue. Now we are encountered with yet another door to open.
I was disappointed with how much confusion I had when reading this issue. That said, there are some highlights, particularly with character depictions. Constantine, for one, is actually likable in this story. He does not have his usual selfish tendencies and is actually acting like he is a part of the team. Cass still has her positive qualities, so that is consistent.
It appears that there is going to be a reveal about Xanthe. I hope that this means that the character will resurface elsewhere after this next issue. As for Spirit World #5‘s developments, the big reveal is that Po Po, who coincidentally does not appear in this issue, may have been a member of the Jade Court in the past but nothing else seems to follow that.
The art continues its magical feel, which is evident in that this issue is nothing but magic. This time, however, not much of that magic is in the characters. Rather, it’s in the world around them. Speaking of magical things, I could not find a name for the big bad spirit monster that is attacking. She just seems to attack, and the Jade Court does not care. So why should we?
Editor’s Note: DC Comics provided TBU with an advanced copy of this comic for review purposes. You can find this comic and help support TBU in the process by pre-ordering this issue digitally on Comixology through Amazon or a physical copy of the title through Things From Another World.