Chinese Characters in Marvel Comics

Feb 14, 2019 | East meets West

Are you a fan of the Marvel Universe? In this article, we’ll look at the first few Chinese characters in Marvel comics.


Chinese Characters in Marvel Comics

Nowadays, Marvel attracts more and more fans – not without the help of their cinematographic achievements. But some marvel fans started to love these stories long before they have been changed into movies. We’re talking about about comic books, of course! Marvel is a comic books publisher in the fist place, and only then, a successful movie producer.

And what’s one distinctive feature you might trace across all their comics? Apart from countless universes, dimensions and parallel realities? The heroes or villains come from all over the globe! There are superheroes (or supervillains) from every country you can find on the map! A member of the Avengers team – Black Widow – is a Russian spy. Kamala Khan (also known as Ms. Marvel) is Pakistani-American. Wolverine’s foe Lady Deathstrike is Japanese. Nightcrawler is German.

But how many Chinese characters appeared on marvel comic’s pages do you remember? There are so many of them, to be honest.

So today, we are going to look at the first 5 most popular and recognized Chinese Characters in Marvel Comics. Let’s go!


A genius in earthly and alien technology, his main powers gathered in ten rings, endowing him with great powers. Mandarin is mostly remembered as one of the main Iron Man’s foe’s.

Chinese Characters in Marvel Comics

Marvel’s Mandarin

Real name: Khan

Gender: Male

First Appearance: Tales of Suspense #50 (February, 1964)


After his parents both died quickly after his death, the Mandarin was raised by his aunt. She was angry at the world, and raised him to possess the same attitude. Every bit of the wealth he had inherited he spent training in science and combat. Unable to pay the taxes, he and his aunt were evicted and rendered homeless. His aunt died almost immediately. He traveled to the Valley of Spirits and found the remains of a Makluan starship. The Mandarin spent many years mastering the Makluan technology and the ten power rings he found within the ship. The Mandarin then found the remains of Ultimo, a robot of alien origin, and decided to revive it. His next goal was to conquer the world and rule with “wisdom and harmony.” He even acquired his own piece of land, Mandarin City, located off the mainland coast.

Chinese Characters in Marvel Comics

Powers and abilities

The Mandarin is a scientific genius and martial arts expert as well, especially with regards to channeling chi into physical power. By doing this, he is capable of sustaining himself for years without food or water. He wears ten rings of alien origin with a variety of different powers. Each contained the soul of a long-dead legendary cosmic warrior.

The Mandarin briefly wore a force-field generator, but this is not part of his standard gear.



A spy, a romantic, a philosopher and an Avenger. Known as one of the best martial artists in the Marvel universe, Shang chooses to use his talents to fight evil and defend the innocent.

Chinese Characters in Marvel Comics

Marvel’s Shang-Chi

Real name: Zheng Shang-Chi

Gender: Male

First Appearance: Special Marvel Edition #15 (December, 1973)


Shang-Chi is the son of an internationally-renowned and powerful criminal mastermind. While still a teen, his father gave him his first mission outside the walls of his father’s retreat in Honan, China. He was to assassinate his father’s enemy. As he knew nothing but that his father was a great humanitarian and savior of mankind, Shang-Chi was completely loyal to him. He finally delivered his killing strike, but almost immediately, another of his father’s enemies confronted him, Sir Denis Nayland Smith, who told Shang-Chi the truth about his father’s evil deeds. He declared himself to be his father’s mortal enemy, devoting his life to the overthrow of his criminal empire. His travels led him to meet a number of other martial artists and superheroes around the world.

Chinese Characters in Marvel Comics

Powers and abilities

Shang-Chi is the greatest kung fu fighter in the world, one of the best non-superhumans in martial arts. He is one of the greatest empty-handed fighter and practitioner of kung fu alive. Much of his physical abilities seem to stem from his mastery of chi, which often allows him to surpass physical limitations of normal athletes. He has also demonstrated the ability to dodge bullets from machine guns and sniper rifles, and is able to deflect gunshots with his bracers. Shang-Chi is an expert in various hand weapons including swords, staves, kali sticks, nunchaku, and shuriken.


Collective Man

Ho, Sun, Chang, Lin, and Han Tao-Yu are five Chinese quintuplets and mutants that can merge into a single powerful being, and draw strength from all the people in China.

Chinese Characters in Marvel Comics

Marvel’s Collective Man

Real name: Ho, Sun, Chang, Lin, and Han Tao-Yu

Gender: Male

First Appearance: Incredible Hulk #250 (August, 1980)


The five Tao-Yu brothers were born in Wuhan, China. The Collective Man first appeared in the Grandmaster’s contest, in which various international superheroes fought one another. Some time after the contest, the Collective Man also fought the Hulk.

Later, the Collective Man, Jade Dragon and Nuwa would form 3-Peace and fight for freedom against the Chinese Government. 3-Peace would join forces with the Mutant Liberation Front to help free the mutants that were being detained by the Chinese Government. Then Collective Man subsequently joined China Force, later known as the People’s Defense Force, and led the team into a battle in Tibet against the Unspoken. Collective Man later represented the Chinese government when he attended Black Panther’s meeting in the Eden Room of Avengers Mountain.

Chinese Characters in Marvel Comics

Powers and abilities

Molecular Synchronization: The five Tao-Yu brothers have the mutant ability to mentally synchronize the atoms of their bodies and merge themselves into a single superhuman being.

Reflective Synchronization: They also can physically transform other people into Collective Men such as themselves, through this they can physically and psychically link with them to further augment their capabilities.

Size Alteration: They can also shift into a giant form with significantly enhanced abilities, but this is unstable at best and lasts only temporarily.

Enhanced Strength, speed, endurance, durability, senses.

Perimeter Teleportation: Teleport one or more brothers into the presence of another

Bio-Psionic Link: Enables them to communicate telepathically with one another.



Fan-favorite X-Man Jubilee has the ability to create and detonate energy plasmoids, brilliant balls of light that resemble fireworks. Jubilee is a long-time member of the X-Men.

Chinese Characters in Marvel Comics

Marvel’s Jubilee

Real name: Jubilation Lee

Gender: Female

First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men #244 (May, 1989)


Jubilation Lee is a Chinese-American girl who was born in Los Angeles, California, where she lived with her wealthy immigrant parents. Jubilee spent much of her time rollerblading with friends at the local mall, but ultimately ran afoul of mall security. She panicked and her mutant powers activated for the first time, destroying the entire alley. Jubilee told her parents about her strange new abilities, but it didn’t seem to be a problem, as she soon learned how to control it. However, her parents were later murdered by criminals.  Jubilee fled to the only home she had left – the mall.

She survived as a petty thief and street performer, using her powers to entertain customers. Frustrated with the young girl’s rebellious nature and powerful light-shows, the mall security hired mutant hunters, known as the M-Squad, to capture her. Lucky for her, the X-Men Dazzler, Psylocke, Rogue and Storm, who happened to be shopping at the mall, rescued her. Curious about these strange women, she followed them for a while and later jumped into a portal after them and began on her path as a superhero.

In 2010, she was turned into a vampire during the “Curse of the Mutants” storyline, after being bitten by Xarus, son of Dracula. Most recently, she re-gained her pyrotechnic abilities and was turned back into a mutant. Quentin Quire sacrificed his Phoenix shard to save her life and revert her powers back.

Chinese Characters in Marvel Comics

Powers and abilities

Energy Plasmoids/Lumikinetic Explosive Light Blasting: Jubilee possesses the mutant ability to generate what she calls her “fireworks”: energy globules that vary in degrees of power and intensity. It can be anything from a multitude of colorful sparkles capable of temporarily blinding a person to a fairly powerful detonation, capable of smashing tree trunks or metal objects.

Psionic Shields: Jubilee’s mind possesses a natural defense against telepathic detection or attack.


Yellow Claw

A crime lord who wants total world domination.

Chinese Characters in Marvel Comics

Marvel’s Yellow Claw

Real name: Plan Chu

Gender: Male

First Appearance: Yellow Claw #1 (October, 1956)


The mastermind known as the Yellow Claw was born over one hundred and fifty years ago in mainland China. A genius in biochemistry, the Yellow Claw has formulated elixirs that have prolonged his life span. For decades the Yellow Claw has dedicated himself to achieving world domination. He claimed that he had the birthright to rule Atlas Foundation (they try to make the ancient Mongol Empire continue forever). Later Yellow Claw chose Woo Yen Jet as their successor. This successor moved to America, as Woo Yen Jet’s parents did not want any part of Khan’s legacy.

Woo Yen Jet’s name was changed to Jimmy Woo and he soon became one of the nation’s top FBI agents. The Atlas Foundation was keeping an eye on Jimmy since he was young. They wanted to help him advance his career by creating an enemy for Jimmy to fight against – the Yellow Claw. He became an international criminal trying to rein Jimmy to play his part as an Atlas Foundation leader.

 Chinese Characters in Marvel Comics

Powers and abilities

Illusionist: The Claw has superhuman psychic abilities with which he can influence another person’s sensory perceptions. He can use it to make the person to see, hear, and even feel the illusions he projects. The Claw can also use these abilities to completely mesmerize a foe into obeying his will.

He is an extraordinary genius in biochemistry, genetics, and robotics. Claw is also a master in Chinese martial arts and hand-to-hand combat. He often wears body armor and exoskeletons which bestow on him superhuman strength of an unknown level.


What’s your favourite Marvel character of Chinese origin?

Share in comments – or tweet us at @thatsmandarin!


[Source: WikipediaMarvel DatabaseComic Vine ]


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