In Marvel Comics and DC Comics, dans can see characters from different backgrounds. With that, it's normal for some fans to wonder if there are any good Asian characters in comic books.
Well, they'd be delighted to know that both DC and Marvel consist of some legendary Asian characters. And interestingly, some of these characters have already appeared in a movie or TV show adaptation.
Top 5 Asian comic book characters from Marvel and DC
Tatsu Yamashiro or Katana made her debut in DC Comics back in 1983, and she is definitely one of the best-written Asian comic book characters.
The Japanese character became insanely popular because of her skills with a sword. Katana has been inclined towards Martial Arts since her childhood and later getting trained by Samurai Tadashi, she became even more proficient in swordsmanship. Katana became a superhero after the death of her husband, whose soul got trapped in Katana's sword.
Katana fought alongside Justice League, Birds of Prey, and The Outsiders in DC Comics. What makes Katana one of the best Asian characters is how she was written.
Whether it’s movies or comic books, Katana was always written as someone who keeps her emotions hidden. She doesn’t talk much compared to other characters, but she completely takes over the situation when she gets into a fight.
4) Lady Shiva
Lady Shiva is one of the most spectacular Martial artists ever introduced in DC Comics. While the character was introduced as an Asian character, her country of origin was never revealed in the comics.
Lady Shiva is closely associated with Batman, who himself is one of the incredible martial artists. The Caped Crusader himself has stated that Lady Shiva is the best fighter alive. She doesn't have any superpowers, but that doesn’t make her any less powerful.
The Asian comic book character is a skilled assassin who can easily knock down her targets single-handedly. What makes Lady Shiva truly interesting is that she appears as both a villain and a hero in comics.
She is considered the best trained Assassin in DC, who also trained the third Robin, Tim Drake. And unlike other characters on the list, Lady Shiva’s legacy continues for several years as her daughter, Cassandra Cain, later becomes Batgirl.
3) Kamala Khan
First appeared in Captain Marvel #14, Kamala Khan is the first Muslim girl introduced in Marvel comic books. So, it’s no wonder that the character is special for every Marvel fan in South Asia.
In the comics, Kamala discovers her shapeshifting abilities and takes on the title 'Ms. Marvel.' She can also enlarge the size of her fist to give a powerful punch to her enemies and her shapeshifting ability definitely gives her an edge over enemies. Kamala always looked up to Captain Marvel and her Inhuman genes gave her the opportunity to work with her idol.
Mandarin is one of the best supervillains in Marvel comics. The character comes from a Chinese origin, and he possesses immense power because of the Ten Rings. Besides that, Mandarin also flexes incredible martial arts skills.
Due to his ambitions of taking over the world, Mandarin comes into direct conflict with Thor, Shang-Chi, Hulk, and Iron Man. Of course, there are several Asian superheroes in comic books, but that’s not the case with supervillains, and that’s what makes Mandarin really unique. You could say that Mandarin is one of the few, if not the only Asian supervillain in Marvel Comics.
Shang-Chi is considered the Master of Kung-Fu. The Marvel Comics character debuted in the Special Marvel Edition #15, published in 1979.
Although Shang-Chi does not have any superhuman powers, no one can say how powerful he is. All that is known is that he has knocked down opponents with superhuman abilities several times. He is also proficient in Martial Arts and has devoted half of his life to this art.
Interestingly, Shang-Chi is one of the few Asian characters who gets recognized all over the world. What makes this character truly special is that Shang-Chi is the first Asian Marvel character to get a standalone movie adaptation in the MCU.
Shang-Chi was introduced in the MCU’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which was released in 2021, with actor Simu Liu in the titular role.