Friday, May 19, 2006

Maximum Audience Participation Requested

Jenn at Reappropriate has been blogging her head off about Asian-American Heritage Month, and I've been following along silently (though, sadly, the comment threads are too intense for me in this subject). I meant to link more often, even join in a bit even on the comics side. But unfortunately, I got angry at Erik Larsen (Third-largest comics publisher in the country, he's a bigwig there, and he says that crap?!) and sidetracked for a few weeks. For that, I'm really sorry, Jenn, and would like to give you an apology present before the month is over with.

Now, for that present, I need everybody's help. Feel free to comment anonymously if you're shy.

Off the tops of your heads, how many Asian characters in American comics can you name?

Don't worry if there's just one or two, or they happen to be obscure (or just supporting characters), I'd like to hear them if they haven't already been listed. I'm trying for a long list (links to lists will be appreciated, but along with who's prominent in your mind). No Manga-affiliated characters, though, I'm looking at the American companies here.


  1. Off the top of my head

    Ultimate Wasp
    Psyclocke [sort of]
    Mariko Yashida
    Takashi from the Invisibles
    Billy Chang from the Invisbles
    Silver Samurai
    Dr. Light
    Jimmy Woo from SHIELD
    Anna Hark
    Kirigi and the entire Hand
    Kabuki and the entire cast of Kabuki
    Knives Chau
    Fu Manchu
    this also brings up the question if you want to include Indians on this list, then it'd would be slightly longer.

  2. Wing
    Chop Chop

    What? Non-racist characters?

    Dr. Light II
    The All New Atom
    Cassie Cain
    Lady Shiva
    Conner Hawke (half? quarter?)
    Thunder and Lightning
    Mick Wong

    How are we defining Asian? East Asian, or do Arabic and Russian characters count?

  3. Marvel:
    Jubilee (Jubilation Lee),
    Lady Mariko (Wolverine's sometime wife),
    the ronin woman whose name I can never remember who befriended Storm (Ororo Munroe) in Japan,
    the cyborg woman whose name I can never remember who keeps trying to kill Wolverine,
    ?? Psylocke (Betsy Braddock) possibly by some definitions ??

    Also Kabuki.

  4. The new Atom
    Wing (Crimson Avenger's sidekick)
    Dr. Light (the female version)
    Silver Samurai
    Big Hero 6 (Japanese superhero team)
    Lady Deathstrike
    Karma (from New Mutants)
    Batgirl (Cassandra Cain)
    Puck (the female version)

  5. "the ronin woman whose name I can never remember who befriended Storm (Ororo Munroe) in Japan...
    the cyborg woman whose name I can never remember who keeps trying to kill Wolverine"

    Actually the same person, Yuriko Oyama (AKA Lady Deathstrike).

  6. Lady Deathstrike
    Whiz Kid
    Tom Kalmaku (??? Hal Jordan's friend - I'm not sure if I got the right last name)
    Rising Sun
    Doctor Mirage (Valiant)

  7. Actually the same person, Yuriko Oyama (AKA Lady Deathstrike).

    Not in the comics I read! :-)

    Thanks for naming Lady Deathstrike for me though.

    Also list here:

  8. Clancy, Nightwing's ex-landlady/love interest who was born in China but raised by her adopted family in Ireland.

    Dr. Mann from Y -- The Last Man

    Colleen Wing, of Heroes for Hire fame

    Naiad, the water elemental from Johnny O's run on Firestorm.

    The main character from Green Lantern: Dragon Lord, whose name escapes me.

    The Gorgon (from Wolverine: Enemy of the State)

    Stone, Shaft, and Star from the Chaste (and maybe Stick?)

    Karate Kid from the LOSH.

    Angela Chen, Metropolis newscaster

    Shado, from Grell's Green Arrow.

    Sarah, Barry Ween's girlfriend.

    And of course, Egg Fu (yeah, I said it)

  9. Oh, that one girl from the Claremont run on Gen 13 who has the eye-rolling power of "controlling a psychic dragon."


  10. Oops! Wow. My face is red. it shows how spotty my X-Men memories are...I think I must have conflated the names and histories--I have this entirely spurious subplot about Yukio's quest for revenge against Wolverine that I now realize only exists in my head, cobbled together to fill the gaps in my reading.


  11. Actually, Tom Kalamaku is a Native American.

    Lesse, how about
    Lynx and her gang.
    Paul the Samurai, Sagin, Shing, and District Manager from The Tick.
    Linda Park-West. (and her parents, natch)

  12. Does Usagi Yojimbo count? Or Splinter from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?

  13. Mr. Sims' LOSH reference reminds me, did anyone mention Xao Jin (AKA Dragonmage) from the Bierbaum's Legionnaires book?

  14. ALSO--More Marvel:

    The quintuplet Tao-Yu Brothers, AKA the Collective Man

    From the pages of Alpha Flight, China Force

  15. No need for embarrassment Chawunky... I forget names... you forget plots... but teamwork saves the day.

    Also Marvel:
    Karma (Xi'an Coy Manh).

  16. PHILIP CHANG (Peter Parker's postgrad pal who went to Chinatown and got all up in the White Dragon's face and kicked him in the nuts (may not have happened))
    DRAGONFLY 1&2 (stereotypical Asian martial artists from Tom DeFalco's second Amazing Spider-Man run with Steve Skroce)
    MEANSTREAK (Henri Huang, X-Men 2099, whose superspeed powers were mediated from really rapid exfoliation)
    Sha Shan (Flash Thompson's Vietnamese girlfriend)
    TIANA/HELA 2099 (Ravage's girlfriend)


  17. Danke, spiralsheep. Though apparently I don't forget plots so much as create my own!

    From another list whose overall accuracy I can't vouch for, but reminded me of Tokyo Rose and Kabuki Commando from Kingdom Come.

  18. Grunge from the Campbell/Choi initial run of Gen 13.

  19. Ooh, Toyman II is a Japanese kid.

  20. From the top of my head without reading other people's answers first..

    - Batgirl (Cassie Kane)
    - Lady Shiva

    Err.. do they have to be Asian American or just Asian? Also, I assume that by Asian you mean Chinese, Korean, Japanese and other countries around that area and not Irak, Iran, India and the like.


    - Ishido Maad from Young Justice
    - Chop Chop from BlackHawks... but you really really don't want him as an example.
    - Ultimate Wasp.
    - Shang Chi.
    - Mitsubishi (the japanese Ambush Bug)
    - Japanese Green Arrow (as far as I know he is just called Green Arrow, but lives in Japan. The Judo arrow kicks butt.)
    - Egg-Fu (I think he was a Wonder Woman villain)

  21. And DC's Thunder and Lightning had a Vietnamese mother and American father.

  22. Nico is the only one I know of - but wikipedia's got a page for Asian Superheroes, if that helps.

  23. Warriors had Joey, who I think was a mathematician but liked quoting Bruce Lee and John Woo movies for the hell of it.

  24. pssst-I'm also able and willing to scan in some pics of Nico if you need/want some for the present.

  25. Speaking of Runaways, isn't Turbo from the New Warriors/Excelsior Asian-American? Mickey somethingorother?

  26. Just about everybody in David Mack's Kabuki, no? (Set (mostly) in Japan, but Mack is American.)

  27. And I think you're all forgetting that in the Howard Chaykin Blackhawk, Chop-Chop (the "bad example" character you all keep bringing up) is revealed to be an in-story fictionalized version of the in-story "real world" Blackhawk, Wu Cheng, who is not amused by his portrayal in the comics.

    Along the same lines, we have Chinky, from the Misty Magic Land stories in Promethea, who's revealed in, I think, the Tomorrow Stories Special, to be Ching Qi, whose racist caricature is a manifestation of Little Margie's childishness.

  28. From Iron Man:

    The Mandarin

    Rumiko Fujikawa (Stark's love interest/daughter of rival Japanese CEO)

    Dr. Su Yin (neurosurgeon who had affair with Stark then broke it off because she was married)

    Prof. Ho Yinsen, brilliant physicist who was kidnapped with Tony in IM's origin and who helped Tony build the Iron Man armor

  29. Really? Wu Cheng was not amused to be portrayed as "Chop Chop," but Chuck was okay with "the Listener"?

  30. Of the top of my head:

    Dr. Light (DC, the heroic one)
    The Atom (DC, Dr. Ray Palmer’s replacement, coming soon)
    Psylocke (Marvel, you can decide if this one’s true or not)
    Mariko (Marvel)
    Jubilee (Marvel)
    Lady Death Strike (Marvel)
    Katana (DC)
    Dr. Mann (DC, Vertigo, I got trade number 7 today!)
    The Mandarin (Marvel)
    Silver Samurai (Marvel)
    Sister Grimm and her parents (Marvel)
    Dupli-Kate (Image)
    Multi-Paul (Image)
    Green Arrow (DC, original Green Arrow’s son, half Japanese, I think he’s still operating under the same code name)
    Cheshire (DC, might be dead)
    Cheshire’s child by Arsenal (DC)
    Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu (Marvel, I think they’ve stopped using the kung fu bit)
    Wasp (Ultimate Marvel only)
    Sunfire, and his old team Big Hero Six (Marvel)
    Lady Shiva (DC)
    Clancy (DC, Nightwing supporting character)
    Sensei Ping (Viper Comics, Middleman)
    Angela (PS 238, an independent title)
    Batgirl (DC)

    I had to wrack my brains for 20 minutes to get that list.

  31. Akiko from Mark Crilley's series of the same name. (Sirius)

    Sabra (Marvel's Israeli superhero, if you're not talking strictly east Asian characters)

    All the others I could think of have already been mentioned.

  32. Steven said...
    Really? Wu Cheng was not amused to be portrayed as "Chop Chop," but Chuck was okay with "the Listener"?

    No, no, no. That actually happened. Chop Chop's codename in that story was "Dr. Hands" anyway.

  33. In the bad example catagory: Marvel's Yellow Claw, his fellow Fu Manchu carbon copy, Chin Lung, from Detective Comics 1. Apart from the aforementioned Shang Chi and Fu Manchu, Master of Kung Fu gives us the Leiko Wu and Fah Lo Suee, off the top of my head, and Cho Lin (Shang's instructor), Shen Kuei ("Cat") and Moving Shadow, according to this page.

  34. If you're counting extradimensional Asians from the city of K'un Lun, there's The August Personage in Jade and Lei Kung the Thunderer, who trained Iron Fist.

  35. And of course we have Wong and the Ancient One from Doctor Strange. More obscurely, how about Chop Suzi from the Seven Soldiers back story, and Daffy Matsumoto from Love And Rockets? But I suppose Xorn from New X-Men would just be Magneto impersonating an Asian.

  36. The Bengal (Marvel)
    Amiko(?) Marvel - Orphaned girl adopted by Wolverine and Mariko, later taken care of by Yukio
    Jimmy Yama (Marvel - Spider-Girl)
    Nancy Lu (Marvel - telekinetic in Spider-Girl)

  37. - Girl One from *Top Ten*
    - Third Rail from *Blood Syndicate*
    - David Kim from *Xombi*

    Are we counting comic strips? If so:
    - Sparrow from *Dykes to Watch Out For*
    - Kim from *Doonesbury*

  38. Striker-Z from The Power Company, a former Hong Kong stuntman, and his friend who makes all of his equipment, whose name--again--escapes me.

  39. I don't know if Splinter counts, since he's not really a human being. I don't remember whether his ratty life began in Japan or America.

    However, Oroku Saki, AKA The Shredder, definately counts. Splinter's master, Hamato Yoshi, also counts.

    I think that a lot of asian characters probably come from the Ninja craze of the 80s. I'd like to second the mention of Sagin, Shing, The District Manager, and Paul the Samurai, as they were all meant to parody that trend.

  40. There was a Korean girl superhero towards the end of Justice League Task Force... I don't remember her name but she disguised herself as a male superhero using body armour, and was killed off in a ridiculously gratuitous way.

  41. The Cat (Marvel): he might have been listed under his given name already, but I don't remember what it is. Actually, I'm only somewhat sure that that's his codename, too. He's the dude Deadpool fights in Cable & Deadpool.

  42. The Second Life of Dr. Mirage, from Valiant Comics, which was a romantic comedy about a chinese american paranormal doc married to his lovely brazilian engineer wife. This came out in 1993, and lemme tell ya, it brought tears to my teenage, prepubescent eyes. Finally! positive representation, and a good story to boot.

    Too bad no one else knows about it.