BDC also writes for JACKEDUPTALES.COM
With all of the hubub growing over the supposed 'whitewashing' of Daniel Rand aka Iron Fist (Show coming on Netflix), I feel the need to enlighten the uninitiated to characters that have been out there in comics, some since the later sixties, that would be awesome on the small or big screen AND brings us diversity at its best!
10) BRONZE TIGER
First appearing in the novel, DRAGON'S FIST in 1974, the character known as the Bronze Tiger would first be 'seen' in the comic, RICHARD DRAGON, KUNG FU in May of 1975. Ben Turner has since become a favorite 'antihero' for DC comics. Created by comic great Dennis O'Neil and Jim Berry, he fought side by side with Richard Dragon, but wouldn't become a big hit till he became part of the Suicide Squad. (Unfortunately, he won't be in the movie this year) although he has made an appearance in Arkham Origins!
She debued in Avengers #112 in June of 1973 as the half-Vietnamese, half-German daughter of Gustaz Brandt aka Libra (part of the Zodiac; long time nemesis of the Avengers). She studied under the Temple of the Priests of Pama, a sect of the alien Kree. She became the 'Celestial Madonna' and was thus one of the most important intergalactic characters in Marvel. She has been cast for the second Guardians of the Galaxy coming in 2017 (Pom Klementieff) .
8) Coleen Wing
Now, although she's seems very white, Coleen Wing, who brings us a look at a strong female character, is half-Japanese and we may just see her in the Iron Fist Netflix series. Debuting in Marvel Premiere #19 in 1974, Coleen has been a staple to the HEROES FOR HIRE and a regular cast for POWERMAN AND IRON FIST comics for years.
The Inhumans have been a popular subject of late with all the craziness about them replacing the Mutants (didn't happen) and their upcoming movie in 2018. Karnak is one of the royal family from WAY back. He first appeared in the original run of Fantastic Four #45 in 1965. Created by none other than Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, his ability to find the weak point in ANYTHING made his martial artist prowess extra powerful. On top of that, King's designs for the character made him look VERY Asian.
6) Lady Bullseye
Real name Maki Matsumoto, she was of Japanese birth and didn't debut until Daredevil Vol. 2 #111 in 2008. A victim of sex slavery of the Yakuza, she was inspired by the original Bullseye when he came and killed her captors.
5) Misty Knight
In the legend of Iron Fist, you don't get far from Coleen Wing without mentioning Misty Knight or visa versa. First appearing in Marvel Team-Up #1 1972, she soon became a fan favorite among Marvel fans. A graduated New York policeman with top honors, she took to the streets with her smarts and her martial arts!
4) Junzo Muto
An obscure character from the Marvel universe, Junzo Muto debuted in New Warriors #4 in 2000. He was a martial arts progeny that coveted Danny Rand's Iron Fist power. He grew to become an able assassin and took over the world renown underground group, THE HAND (as seen on Daredevil).
3) White Tiger
The first White Tiger (Hector Ayala) was created by writer Bill Mantlo and artist George Pérez for the black and white Marvel magazine, Deadly Hands of Kung Fu in the early 1970s. Hector Ayala was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. With the ability to transform into a 'superhuman white tiger', the mantle was able to be passed to others through the Jade Tiger Amulets. In the years to come, the name of White Tiger was held by an actual white Bengal tigress evolved into a woman of East Indian descent, a Jewish/African-American policeman and the original's youngest sister.
She first appeared in THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #200 in 1983. She was of Japanese descent. She spent a while as a part of Batman's OUTSIDERS before she ended up associated with the Suicide Squad. Katana has been cast for the movie later this years.
One of the earliest martial arts masters to ever grace a Marvel comic (or any comic for that matter) and, especially, to have his own title was Shang-Chi. I mean, the title MASTER OF KUNG FU was plastered on the front cover! Created by writer Steve Englehart and artist Jim Starlin, Shang-Chi , although having no special superpowers, was a master of several unarmed combat skills. Born in China , he had to deal with the classic heritage of being the son of an evil mastermind, Fu Manchu. And here you thought Luke Skywalker was the first!
I'm crossing my fingers that he will show up in the Iron Fist Netflix series as he had several run-ins with Daniel Rand and the Heroes for Hire franchise.
Well, there you go. And there's more where that came from. Comic history is full of multi-ethnic characters with or without superpowers or martial arts capabilities. And, surprise, surprise!! Most it began way back in the seventies!