A few weeks back, we posted about Greg Pak teasing the cover of Totally Awesome Hulk #15, in which Amadeus Cho — aka The Hulk — was joined by Ms. Marvel, Shang Chi, and Silk. Never before had so many Asian American superheroes been gathered on the cover of a mainstream comic book. I recently had a chance to preview the issue — which hits stands this Wednesday, January 25 — and I was actually moved to tears at how resonant it was to see these characters embody being unapologetically Asian American.
Ms. Marvel! Shang Chi! Silk! Amadeus Cho! Has there ever been such an awesome assemblage of Asian American superheroes under the banner of Marvel Comics? Possibly probably not… until now.
Writer Greg Pak recently teased the upcoming cover of Totally Awesome Hulk #15, suggesting that this is the most significant grouping of Asian American superheroes that has ever starred in a mainstream comic book.
In Totally Awesome Hulk #15, kid genius Amadeus Cho — aka The Hulk — is slowly learning how to become a team player, but has to learn fast when Ms. Marvel, Shang Chi, Silk and a host of other heroes come to town.
Originally published at NBC Asian America
I am an avid toy collector, and every few years I like to take stock of the number of action figures that feature Asian American and Pacific Islander characters. When I started doing this in 2009, it was difficult coming up with enough figures to fill out a Top Five list. Fortunately, it has become much easier to populate these lists since AAPI visibility in pop culture has dramatically increased in the intervening years. In fact, I actually had a difficult time winnowing down this year’s list since there are so many AAPI action figures from which to choose! Moreover, nearly every slot on the list is populated by female characters, which hopefully puts to rest the fallacy that girls don’t buy action figures.
Today is Election Day in the United States. And the choice couldn’t be clearer for the millions of voters heading out to the polls. We’re either going to wake up tomorrow playing R.E.M. or Beyoncé. Later this month, Marvel Comics will be releasing Ms. Marvel #13 in which the book’s titular hero will be urging the citizens of the Marvel Universe to similarly exercise their inalienable rights to vote.
Originally published at NBC News Asian America
In a New York Times op-ed over the weekend, Malaysian talk radio host Umapagan Ampikaipakan called into question the entire concept of an “Asian superhero.” As an Asian person who has invested quite a lot in the idea of Asian superheroes, you can imagine seeing such a piece in the paper of record left me a bit bewildered — especially because this was the year that comics featuring Asian and Asian-American heroes had finally broken through.
It’s been quite a while since I’ve contributed anything, but with the news that Iron Fist has a showrunner and also with Donald Trump wasting our time and being overtly bigoted, I thought it was an opportunity to look at the importance of introducing more POC characters in our fiction, and the importance of identity, on a wide range of levels.
Comic books, throughout their long history, have often existed as a playground for subversive and counter-cultural concepts. Famously, “Judgement Day” — the last story published by EC Comics — featured a socially stratified world of blue and orange robots set in the far future vying for entry into the “Great Galactic Republic.” Their inspector, an astronaut from Earth, tells them that their planet isn’t ready but that one day it might be. In the last panel he’s revealed to be a black man, something scandalous enough that the Comics Code Authority demanded he be changed to white or the comic couldn’t go to print. This was 1953.
Since then comics, specifically superhero comics, have continued to make attempts to grapple with social issues.
Remember comic books? Those flimsy sheets of paper emblazoned with colorful superheroes battling diabolical supervillains in space, in an underground lair, in a bunker, under the sea, or in parallel dimensions? Those passports to wonder that are the progenitors of the DC and Marvel Cinematic Universes and their respective television properties? Yeah, they’ve been completely overshadowed by their on-screen interpretations. Most people enjoying super heroics on the big and small screens aren’t comic fans. This isn’t a bad thing. I know tons of people who loved the Harry Potter films, but have yet to read word one of J.K. Rowling’s epic texts. There are still some of us who are huge comic book fans, and have been feeling a little cheated by the Big Two.
So that happened.
Originally posted at Black Nerd Problems
When you read the guest list of a comic convention, what do you see? Usually I notice the big names first, maybe a few iconic, and then a spatter of new faces whose work drew my attention in the past year. I skim the headshots and begin to add unrecognizable faces to their recognizable names, and as I browse through the photos and my eyes begin to blur, something strange happens: it begins to look like a Magic Eye puzzle we used to play with in 3rd grade. The pictures merge to show a single representation. That’s when I look away, shake it off, and start looking for my favorite women.
And lately, that’s becoming easier to find.