Like any other medium, comics are keen to promote diversity, whether it’s through writers, artists or characters. There’s been a long history of Asian superheroes, and while some might have been inspired by stereotypes, there’s generally a better grasp of culture by modern writers. Marvel and DC feature a great mix of Asian superheroines, and here are six characters who aren’t defined by their heritage.
A member of the X-Men, Chinese-born Jubilee is one of the most enduring Asian superheroines. Her original powers allowed her to generate pyrotechnic energy from her hands, but during M-Day, she was one of the mutants who lost her abilities. Jubilee was placed at the centre of the Curse of The Mutants arc and she turned into a vampire.
As a vampire, Jubilee struggled with her bloodlust, but was still accepted by her friends in the X-Men. She recently adopted a baby called Shogo, and as a young mother, she’s continually displayed her courage and inner strength.
Rose Wilson is the daughter of Deathstroke and Lillian Worth, a Cambodian refugee. She was found by Slade at a young age and groomed to follow in his footsteps. At one point, she tore out her eye as a tribute to her father. Rose was able to break away from Deathstroke’s influence and found her purpose with the Teen Titans.
Ravager’s Cambodian heritage remained unexplored until very recently. During DC’s Rebirth event, Rose showed an interest in learning about her mother’s family. She travelled to Cambodia to get away from Deathstroke, but he continued to plague her.
Born in the mountains of Honshu, Japan, Colleen Wing came from a family of samurais. Her grandfather, Kenji Ozawa, taught her the ways of Bushido and she later befriended Iron Fist. Colleen went to New York to visit her father, but got caught up in a gun battle between the police and local thugs. She was rescued by Misty Knight and the two of them became best friends.
Colleen and Misty founded their own private investigator agency called Nightwing Restorations. She’s a gifted swordswoman and wields a 1000-year-old katana given to her by her grandfather.
Cassandra came from a family of killers, being the daughter of Lady Shiva and David Cain. Her father trained her brutally, making sure she focused all of her energy into becoming the perfect assassin. As a result, Cassandra grew up mute and learned to read body language. After being traumatised by her first kill, she ran away from her father and eventually joined up with Batman.
As the second Batgirl, Cassandra used her skills to fight for justice. She overcame her disability and became one of Batman’s most dedicated allies.
Silk is a fairly new character created by Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos. An ally of Spider-Man, Cindy Moon was bitten by the same radioactive spider that gave Peter his powers. She was locked away in a facility to protect her and other ‘spiders’ from the villainous Morlun, who planned to wipe out people with spider-related powers across the multiverse.
When Silk was released, she found out how much of her life she’d missed and tried to adjust. Her powers are similar to Spider-Man’s, although her ‘Silk Sense’ is far more powerful than his ‘Spider-Sense’ and she’s a lot faster.
Kimiyo Hoshi/Doctor Light
There have been several characters to use the Doctor Light name, with the most well-known one being a villain. However, Kimiyo Hoshi used her powers to help people. A brilliant scientist, Kimiyo worked as an astronomer in a Japanese observatory. She studied the unnatural effects of the Crisis on Infinite Earths. She became obsessed with the phenomenon and was given her powers by the Monitor.
Doctor Light’s powers grant her the ability of photokinesis. She can absorb all forms of illumination and use it for a variety of effects. This includes creating holograms, firing energy blasts and refracting light waves to make herself invisible.
Do you have any favourite Asian superheroines?