AAPI Heritage: Marvel spotlights their heroes

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(Marvel celebrates AAPI Heritage Month)

Marvel Comics is celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month with what they are calling, “Mighty Marvel moments!” They are Spider-Heroes, Avengers, mutants, mages, and Hulks—incredible fighters and superhumans with a cause.

And they are all of Asian heritage, which doesn’t get celebrated enough in comic book movies. Here are some Marvelous moments below:

NICO MINORU EMBRACES DESTINY

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Nico wields her Staff of One in RUNAWAYS (2003) #5.

What would you do if you discovered that your parents were Super-Villains? For sorceress Nico Minoru and her friends the answer was simple: run away. In her debut series, RUNAWAYS (2003), Minoru did just that alongside six Los Angeles teens who would go on to form their own super-team as the Runaways.

Armed with her Staff of One, an ancient relic imbued with mystic power, Minoru cast spells to stay alive. Although her magic operates with two interesting caveats—blood must be spilled to activate the Staff, and she can never replicate the same spell twice.

The Staff of One is also a key part of her familial legacy—both of Minoru’s parents were sorcerers empowered by the Gibborim, an ancient race of giants.

COLLEEN WING FOR KNIGHTWING RESTORATIONS INC.

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DAUGHTERS OF THE DRAGON: MARVEL DIGITAL ORIGINAL (2018) #2

Master martial artist Colleen Wing has spent most of her life fighting for the defenseless, often beside her best friend Misty Knight and longtime allies Luke Cage and Iron Fist. But regardless of whether she’s teamed up or solo, this Hero for Hire always comes out ahead!

Since her earliest appearance, Colleen’s friendship with Knight evolved into a professional crimefighting partnership, a collaboration that gave rise to their own Hero for Hire business in Knightwing Restorations Inc.

Today, the Daughters of the Dragon tackle their own missions, but that doesn’t mean they don’t come together as one of Marvel’s premiere team-up duos.

JUBILEE VERSUS M-PLATE

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GENERATION X (2017) #87

The X-teen-turned-teacher held her ground against the mutant vampire menace in the pages of 2017’s GENERATION X, a full circle callback to her time as a student in the series’ first volume.

After regaining her ability to discharge fireworks in issue #86, Jubilee returned to form against this amalgamation of the St. Croix siblings, duking it out with an explosive light show to save her students and the school.

SHANG-CHI JOINS THE A-TEAM

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AVENGERS (2012) #11

After becoming a newly minted member of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes (2013’s AVENGERS #11), Marvel’s greatest fighter traveled with the Avengers to a Macanese casino that served as a front for illicit A.I.M. dealings. 

Shang-Chi slipped into his James Bond best to crack the secrets behind this evil agency’s growing arsenal, a concerted effort in the war to come.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will punch its way into theaters, and not Disney+, on September 3rd, 2021. 

SILK BECOMES A SPIDER-HERO

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A Spider-Gwen team-up in the pages of THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (2014) #13.

Bitten by the same radioactive spider that gave Peter Parker his abilities, young Cindy Moon, AKA Silk, was at first terrified by her newfound spider-powers, and was sequestered away for a considerable amount of time by magnate Ezekiel Sims. Over the course of her imprisonment, Cindy was denied of family, friends, and any shot at a normal life, although she did extensively train to become the hero she is today.

Silk’s first battles were against Morlun and his family, the Inheritors, beings who specifically hunted heroes with connections to animal totems.

As the Multiverse was combed over for every spider-man, woman, child, and pig, Silk entered the SPIDER-VERSE event to stake her own spider-claim.

RAZ MALHOTRA: THE ALL-NEW GIANT MAN

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ULTIMATES (2015) #9

The A.I. technician and biochemist became a super-sized hero all his own in the pages of ULTIMATES (2015)! While serving with Captain Marvel’s crew of interdimensional defenders, Malhotra used his advanced knowledge of Pym Particles to create a serum that touched on all three axes of size change: size, strength, and density.

Using this enhanced formula against the Infinaut, a cross-reality being of mysterious origin, Malhotra shrunk down the tyrant before they could plant its giant feet on Earth.

AMADEUS CHO: CHAMPION

CHAMPIONS (2016) #3

Greg PakFrank Cho, and Mike Choi introduced readers to the Gamma-green version of Amadeus Cho in his debut solo series as the “Totally Awesome Hulk”! In order to save Bruce Banner from becoming the center of a radioactive meltdown, teen whiz Amadeus absorbed the original Hulk’s powers… without losing his mind.

And, in CHAMPIONS (2016) #1, the newly-minted Hulk became a team member of Ms. Marvel’s Champions, a collective of teen heroes that address global issues too messy for the grown-ups. Revisit Amadeus’ full heroic history here!

JIMMY WOO AND THE NEW AGENTS OF ATLAS

Variant cover to WAR OF THE REALMS: AGENTS OF ATLAS (2019) #1 by artist Patrick Zircher.

During the events of WAR OF THE REALMS, super-agent Jimmy Woo pooled together his resources to assemble an all-new Agents of Atlas. Under his foundation, this globe-spanning team was comprised of the newest heroes in the Marvel Universe. Their goal was simple: to defend and protect the Pacific Rim from Sindr, Immortal Queen of Muspelheim.

But the Agents didn’t stop there. Once Earth had been successfully defended from Malekith’s hordes, the gang got back together in AGENTS OF ATLAS (2019).

This time, the roster had expanded, and Amadeus Cho officially became field leader. The team’s imperative mission was to defend the cross-Asian portal city of Pan, a technological dreamworld that was as dangerous as it was visionary. Jimmy’s agents paired science with magic (plus the forces of nature), to take down Pan’s more monstrous residents.

And, this fan-favorite super-team enters entirely new waters in ATLANTIS ATTACKS, a titanic tale of gods and the underdogs who worship them. This series is now complete on Marvel Unlimited, so catch up today. King Namor: friend or frenemy?

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