It’s time for the next part of “Chinese Characters in Marvel Comics”! Let’s see who is on our today’s agenda!
The immortal teacher of the legacy of Iron Fist.
Real name: Lei-Kung
First Appearance: Marvel Premiere #16 (July, 1974)
Lei-Kung was the immortal martial arts master of K’un-Lun. K’un-Lun’s most valued and feared warrior, Lei Kung has spent millennia training young men to defeat the dragon Shou Loa and achieve the powers of Iron Fist. Despite this very few actually managed to achieve the power and even his own son Davos failed in his attempt and became the super-villain known as Steel Serpent. Among his students were the current Iron Fist, Daniel Rand, and all of Daniel’s immediate predecessors.
It is possible that Lei-Kung trained every man and woman for the title Iron Fist. After the death of Lord Tuan, the ruler of K’un-Lun, Lei-Kung watched as Tuan’s son, Nu-An, became the new ruler. Seeing Nu-An’s corruption and subjugation of his people, Lei-Kung began a secret rebellion. Believing that the men of K’un-Lun would be loyal to Nu-An, Lei-Kung instead trained the women of the city to serve as the warriors for his rebellion, the Army of Thunder.
Lei Kung also appears in the Netflix web series Iron Fist, portrayed by Hoon Lee.
Powers and abilities
The weapons master of K’un-Lun, Lei Kung is a martial arts expert, one of the finest in the Marvel universe. Lei Kung is in top physical shape. He has shown through the years that he isn’t any ordinary Fighter. He even went toe to toe with Prince Namor and Chiantang the Black Dragon showing abnormal strength and speed.
Black Widow (Monica Chang)
The chief of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Artificial Intelligence Division and one of the people to take on the Black Widow codename (there are plenty of Black Widows, actually).
Real name: Monica Chang
First Appearance: Avengers A.I. #1 (September, 2013)
Monica Chang is the chief of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Artificial Intelligence Division. She was tasked with interrogating Hank Pym after a virus he created to destroyed Ultron, evolved into a highly volatile artificial intelligence known as Dimitrios. Along with Pym, she gathered a team to hunt down Dimitrios after he committed several cyber-attacks across the world. She ordered Hank Pym to help her destroy this new threat, for which Pym created a new team of Avengers: the Avengers A.I..
Powers and abilities
Monica is a S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent. She has also shown that she is a capable leader and strategist as the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Monica is also an excellent spy, with skills in stealth, interrogation, and pattern recognition.
An experimental drug eventually allowed him control of some type of black electrical energy resembling a photographic negative.
Real name: Unknown
First Appearance: Free Comic Book Day Vol 2007 #Spider-Man (July, 2007)
The man who would later become known as both Mr. Negative and Martin Li began as a snakehead, a cruel smuggler of Chinese into the United States. While conducting a human trafficking run aboard a ship named the Golden Dragon, he panicked and forced the the captain to run into dangerous waters, hitting a sandbar. He was afraid that the police would catch his, because had criminal records in both the United States and China. So, when the ship nearly crashed onto the New York shores, he stole the identity of one of the deceased Fujian slaves, Martin Li, who was heading to America to join his wife. He was the only one able to survive the frantic swim to shore.
After that “Martin Li” came to his Snakehead gang in Flushing only to discover them dead, and was himself eventually captured by the Maggia crime family member, Silvermane, who forcibly delivered “Martin Li” to the criminal chemist Simon Marshall. He was taken alive and used for human experimentation of a new drug. In fact, he escaped along with the two runaways but went his own way after the initial escape. Like them, he had developed powers of his own. Powers he intended to use to get vengeance upon the Maggia organization. He became both Mr. Negative and Martin Li, putting his life into a balance of darkness and light. As Mr. Negative, he took over the Chinatown gangs and forged his own criminal empire. As Martin Li, he became a billionaire philanthropist and founded the F.E.A.S.T. organization to help the homeless.
Powers and abilities
Mister Negative can generate and control the Darkforce & Lightforce, manifesting it as the photographic negative of black or white electrical energy.
Limited Shapeshifting: He uses this energy to change from Martin Li into Mister Negative. Mr. Negative displayed superhuman strength, sending Spider-Man flying through two buildings with a single blow. Mr. Negative also demonstrated superhuman reflexes during his battle with the Hood.
Object Empowerment: Mr. Negative’s touch can imbue objects (most often his dagger and other blades) with Darkforce, making them stronger and more durable.
Person Empowerment/Healing Touch: Martin Li’s touch has healing properties. It is possible that healing touch is Martin Li’s opposite of Mr. Negative’s corrupting touch.
Person Empowerment/Corrupting Touch: Mr. Negative’s touch has brainwashing and corrupting properties: his touch can change people’s personalities and temperaments and make them serve his interests.
Inner Demons: Mr. Negative is often accompanied by several henchmen, known as his Inner Demons, wearing normal black-and-white business suits with Demon-style masks. They use high-tech electrified versions of swords, knuckles and various other oriental weaponry such as the gun staffs and Nunchaku.
Suwan is a grand-niece of Yellow Claw and former lover of Jimmy Woo.
Real name: Suwan
First Appearance: Yellow Claw #1 (October, 1956)
Suwan is the grand-niece of Plan Chu (the international terrorist Yellow Claw). Chu was the head of the Atlas Foundation an organization that was formed out of the remains of the Mongolian Empire formed by Genghis Khan, Suwan’s ancestor. Yellow Claw raised Suwan and she formed a near total loyalty to him. After Atlas Foundation lost track of Jimmy Woo (Atlas Foundation chose him as their new heir) after the 50’s, Suwan became an adept of her father’s teachings and eventually sought ways of becoming khan herself instead of Jimmy. That caused a rift in Atlas, allowing her to take over the mantle of de facto ruler the Eastern portion of the Empire. She’s been keeping her young appearance by drinking the same elixirs that gave her father longevity.
Powers and abilities
She has no superhuman abilities except for the elixirs which helps her to keep her young appearance for years. She also possesses high intellect and leader abilities.
Xorn is a mutant with a tiny star inside his head. After joining the X-Men, he became addicted to the drug Kick and began to believe himself to be Magneto.
Real name: Kuan-Yin Xorn and Shen Xorn
First Appearance: New X-Men Annual#2001 (September, 2001)
Kuan-Yin Xorn’s mutant power manifested causing his normal head to be burned away by a tiny star. His twin brother Shen Xorn manifested similar powers. He was able to use these abilities in many ways, but was kept isolated given the dangerous nature of his powers. Even his twin brother had little contact with him, as he was kept in a similar prison as Kuan-Yin. Both of them wore masks of iron that safeguarded others from the effects of their powers. Kuan-Yin’s warden sold him to John Sublime who wanted to harvest his mutant brain. In an effort to escape such fate, Kuan-Yin attempted suicide by reversing the power of his star. But Cyclops convinced him to escape that fate and join the staff at the Xavier Institute.
In the storyline ” Planet X”, Xorn removes his mask, revealing himself to be the X-Men’s arch-nemesis Magneto, who has been believed dead since the destruction of Genosha. During this storyline the X-Men found a mutant similar to Kuan-Yin Xorn. Emma Frost examined him. He explained that he was Kuan-Yin’s twin and his brain formed a black hole rather than a star. He claimed his brother had been affected by an outside influence, later revealed to be Sublime, that caused his madness and posing as Magneto.
In Ultimate Comics the twin brothers are known as Xorn of the Celestials (Kuan-Yin Xorn of Earth-616), and Zorn of the Eternals (Shen Xorn).
Powers and abilities
Both of the Xorn Brothers have a star that functions as their heads, though in different states. Kuan-Yin Xorn’s star is in an active state, a miniature sun, while Shen Xorn’s star is in a state of collapse, a miniature black hole. As such unique beings, they have unique powers. They both have influence/control over the four fundamental forces (Strong and weak nuclear force, electromagnetism, and gravity) and they also do not need to breathe, nor do they require food or water.
They use their powers for a variety of effects. Kuan-Yin used his star to generally control electromagnetism; he to emitted blinding light that can incinerate anything, released EMPs, and mimicked Magneto’s powers. Shen Xorn has used his black hole to generally control gravity, pulling anything inside, even light. They both can manipulate the form of their stars, where Kuan-Yin can collapse his star into a black whole and Shen can cause his black hole to flare into a sun. Kuan-Yin displayed minor healing abilities and Shen displayed minor telepathic abilities.
What’s your favourite Marvel character of Chinese origin?
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