asian superhero

Marvel: we can’t make one of our film or show leads Asian. That would be…. against the original source material. That’s also why we can’t make them LGBTQ+.

Power Rangers (2017): hey what’s up. 4/5 of our leads are POC. One is autistic and one is confirmed LGBTQ+. We have the first Asian superhero in a big-budget film, the first autistic superhero in a big/budget film, and the first LGBTQ+ superhero in a big-budget film. None of this was really in the original source material, but representation matters and we specifically casted them with the intention of making a diverse film.

Suggestion: Instead of seeing Gh*st in the Sh*ll, watch the anime or animated films! Or even better! Go watch Power Rangers because it stars two up and coming Asian actors Naomi Scott and Ludi Lin who get way more screen time than any other Asian superheroes I’ve seen in any X-Men movie! And it’s super fun and nostalgic and a good time!

Growing up as a Filipino kid in America who loved reading comic books, I didn’t see original, leading Asian (especially Filipino) superheroes in the mainstream. When you don’t see yourself or your experiences reflected in heroes in pop culture, it’s damaging. Now that I’m older and see that not much has changed, I realize how important it is to create narratives for the underrepresented, especially the next generation of kids who don’t feel like they belong. In honor of Asian-American & Pacific Islander Heritage month, here is what I imagine a mainstream Filipino superhero in America might look like.

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read in 2017 →  not your sidekick by c.b. lee

“you love me,“ abby says, smiling.
jess leans forward. "yeah, i really do. this isn’t our romeo and juliet moment. you’re going to be okay. no one is dying.”

In the superhero film slate from 2017 into 2018 we have already had:

The first LGBTQ+, Latinx, Asian American, and Austistic superheroes on film, directed by an immigrant in Power Rangers

The first big budget female lead superhero film directed by the third woman in history to helm a movie with a budget of over 100 million which was the first written by a gay man in Wonder Woman

The first big budget superhero film to star an almost completely black cast written and directed by a black man in Black Panther

Not to mention what has happened for the genre on television and what else is to come and has come in things not mentioned here. We have to support and push harder for projects like these. Make Hollywood listen.

Real talk for a second. 

Now, I’ve never been an avid Tumblr user until this blog and my God have I never been so invested in a fandom (both with the actual content and its people), however I have been an observer, so let’s just put that out there. But Power Rangers, yes, Power Rangers, has changed that drastically. I’ve found a home in this fandom and I’d go as far as to say I’ve made a little family along the way.

I’ve always had a habit of joining a fandom too late and not feeling brave enough to approach people and to make friends and share content without abandon, but I somehow managed to join this one at just the right time. However, I doubt there even is a wrong time to join this fandom. Everyone is so inclusive and welcoming and understanding and just lovely

And I firmly believe that is down to the Power Rangers film itself and what it represents. Unity. Inclusivity. Individuality. 

“Different colors! Different kids! Different-colored kids!”

This film was more than just a ‘nostalgia flick’ or another run of the mill action film. It had clear cut story-lines, diverse characters and showed their development (both individually and as a team), it had depth, but most of all, it had representation. You know, that thing that the internet is always complaining that films and TV shows never have? Well, the Power Rangers had it. 

Four out of five of the Rangers were POC, they had a canon autistic character and a canon queer character (both POC; Black and Latina respectively). They had a male Asian superhero lead, the first Indian superhero, the first autistic superhero, the first queer superhero to hit mainstream media, and for the latter two to be POC as well? Do you not know how important that is? 

Let me just repeat that: Do you not know how important that is? And do you know what the internet did when they were finally presented with the representation they are always, always asking for?

They slept on it.

Y'all know what I hate???

I hate how people particularly on this site scream and demand representation in action films and everything but when the movie comes out they don’t support it, in 2017 alone we have about 8 POC playing leads in superhero films and no one is trying to acknowledge it! Gal Gadot an Israeli-Jewish woman is playing Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa a biracial Hawaiian man is playing Aquaman, Ray Fisher a black man is playing Cyborg, RJ Cyler a black man played the first autistic superhero in the Power Rangers film that just came out this past Friday, Becky G a Latina woman played the first LGBTQ hero in the Power Rangers film, Ludi Lin played the first Asian superhero to ever hit the big screen, Naomi Scott played the first Indian superhero, Maisie Richardson-Sellers plays a live action Vixen, and there a plenty of others that can be added to this list ,but all those people yelling about wanting representation here are examples of a few and all of these people are leads in their respective films.. Y'all want POC leads here they are watch their films and support them! Show Hollywood that POC as leads can make money in the action and superhero genres as well! I don’t want to see another post complaining about representation until y'all have seen these movies first. Support these actors they have worked hard and deserve support!

Originally posted by blvkvholic

SUPREME GENERATION X

4/12

Hisako Ichiki as “Armor”

Hisako was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. As a child, she excelled in school and was considered by many a prodigy. When not studying, Hisako would be reading and watching any superhero related media. She had big dreams to become a superhero one day and had convinced her parents to allow her to take martial arts lessons. One day she witnessed a mugging and decided to step in to help. She was able to successfully take down most of the muggers using her training but was held at gun point by the remaining thief. The thief fired at Hisako but the stress of the situation triggered her X-Gene granting her a psionic exoskeleton she could contort and manifest at will. She was able to overpower the mugger with her newfound powers.

Soon after this incident, Hisako and her family were approached by Scott Summers to allow Hisako come to the Jean Grey Institute for Higher Learning to begin her high school career, which she gladly accepted. While training under the X-Men she has been able to gain more control of her powers, allowing her to adopt different “suits of armor” with varying colors and uses. For example, her “tank” armor, which she uses the most, is magenta,while her “reaper” armor, is significantly less bulky and has bladed claws, allowing for swift and precise strikes and is cyan.

At the school the students are divided into 3-person squads to train with. Hisako, codename “Armor" is currently in the student squad called the Paragons which is composed of the brightest and strategic of the students. The team is mentored by Instructor Kuan-Yin Xorn and consists of Armor, Billy Maximoff aka Wiccan, and Jeanne-Marie Beaubier aka Aurora. Armor has developed a close friendship with Wiccan and Anole, the three often nerd out and play Dungeons and Dragons with a few of the other students.

Design Notes: I love Armor a lot. I decided, however, that I was really tired of all of the Asian tropes that permeate a lot of Asian characters so I stopped with the whole “ancestors” stuff and the “memory” stuff. Which I realize people may not like, but I dunno, it didn’t sit right with me. I just drew a modified Shadowcat X-Man uniform and I hope thats okay! Haha

Movie Idea

So you have heard of “10 minutes into superhero film, marketed male hero dies off and love interest takes his place?”

Welcome to: marketed white male superhero who is the chosen one in Asian martial arts prophecy is actually just a mediocre student in film about a bisexual Asian female who has been practicing martial arts since she was little and is actually the one chosen to save the world.

And the fact that she is bisexual is never blown out of proportion by idiots who go: “Wait you like GIRLS???” It’s just kind of briefly touched on because it’s 2017 and heteronormativity is stupid.

Idea from a straight white female who just generalized an entire region by using the term “Asian” instead of “Chinese” or “Japanese” because Asia is a diverse region with many different people and cultures.

So while I sort of gave my impression of the Wonder Woman movie last night, let me elaborate by saying that it was fantastic, and it was wonderful to see such an iconic female superhero represented well, and from a female perspective.

But let me tell you the cherry that topped off the evening: Rach and I were hanging out after the movie, waiting to see if there was a post-credits scene, and we noticed this little girl in the front row with her dad. People had mostly all left, so he was letting her play in the empty area at the front of the theater. And the whole time the credits were going, she was dancing and play-fighting and just generally PUMPED about the movie she just saw.

And I thought to myself, YES. That’s exactly why this movie is so important. I want my daughter, I want EVERYONE’S daughters, to be able to go see a movie where someone like them is the star, someone like them is the hero. Someone like them does the rescuing and saves the day.

Wonder Woman was fantastic. Now, more please. Give us more female superhero movies. Give us black female superheroes, and Asian female superheroes, and Muslim female superheroes, and LGBTQ female superheroes. Every little girl deserves to feel like that little girl I saw last night; to watch a hero like them on screen for two hours and walk out feeling invincible.

Productive, Fun Marvel Things You Can Do Instead of Being Mad About White Iron Fist

I know a lot of you are pissed and/or disappointed about Marvel casting a white Iron Fist. Instead of being mad, I am going to recommend Marvel stuff that does truly represent Asian heroes, and they exist in the amazing and diverse world of comics.

The Totally Awesome Hulk

Amadeus Cho is Korean American and he is now the Hulk. After a mysterious accident putting Bruce Banner out of commision, Amadeus, one of the smartest people in the world, took it upon himself to be good old jolly green, except this time, he has his anger under control. This kid brings a sense of fun to being a huge, green monster and his series subverts all Asian stereotypes to give a legacy hero his own unique identity.

You can buy his series here

Silk

Cindy Moon was once bitten by a radioactive spider and after years in solitude, she became her own spider-hero, naming herself Silk. Her story is all about becoming accustomed to a world that has outgrown her and changed to an astonishing degree. She also looks for the family she was estranged from due to her powers. Any person with anxiety and just plain awkwardness can immediately relate to her.

You can buy her series here and here

The Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu/Master of Kung-Fu

Do you want to see a true Asian martial arts master? Well then Shang-Chi is the man for you. The guy is a bit of a drunk and a loser but his resolve and skill are top of the line, and he will need all of his wisdom and strength to overthrow the evil government run by his father. This is the true Marvel kung-fu epic Netflix should be adapting. When he is not fighting his father’s authority, he works as a detective, taking on the most unusual cases and fighting the biggest of enemies.

You can buy his series here, here, and here

Iron Spider in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon 

In the animated world, Amadeus Cho is still the lovable genius we know from the comics, except this time he is a Spider-Man. Using an Iron Spider suit he improved upon from a useless Tony Stark design, Cho becomes a master of flight and a genius engineer. He is a true hero and protector of New York City.

You can see him on Ultimate Spiderman vs. The Sinister Six and Ultimate Spiderman: Web Warriors on Disney XD 

Blindspot in Daredevil

Samuel Chung is an illegal Chinese immigrant that hides a fierce intellect and need for justice. Using what little money he has from an dingy apartment he shares with his sister, he builds himself a suit and a code of honor to protect his home and family in Chinatown as the vigilante Blindspot, eventually becoming the apprentice of the legendary hero Daredevil.

He can also turn invisible how cool is that?

You can read his origin here

And you can read his exploits with Daredevil here

Nico Minoru in A-Force

Nico Minoru is a magic user. Once a member of the Runaways, she is now a full-fledged Avenger working in the all-female A-Force team. She fights alongside great heroines like Captain Marvel, She-Hulk, Medusa, and her good friend Singularity. She is hero not to be messed with and she deserves everyone’s respect.

You can buy Runaways here

You can buy A-Force here and here

I understand why you want to be mad, but instead of being mad about movie and TV studios, we NEED to find places where change and representation is happening and there is no better place for that than in comics. Nothing is hopeless, we just need to look beyond our comfort zones.

All of these series are amazing and they need to be read.

Please read about these heroes, buy their series, and support them. 

If you already know about them, spread this post like wildfire and introduce these characters to people who need or want to see heroes that represent them.

Show Marvel that THIS is what we want both in their comics, TV shows, and movies.

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“As a first-generation Japanese American, I’ve always wanted to play a samurai warrior like my Suicide Squad character, Katana. Samurai are almost always male, so growing up in America I had a hard time figuring out role models. Katana and I may not have the same personality, but coming from the same cultural upbringing, we share core values.

In Japanese culture there’s this idea of putting others before yourself, but I’ve also never wanted to let myself down. Someone recently told me how refreshing it is to see an Asian woman as a superhero. That stuck with me. Stand up for yourself and what you love.” - Karen Fukuhara, Suicide Squad (2016)