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Marvel to Celebrate Asian Superheroes with ‘Marvel’s Voices: Identity’ #1

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May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month but Marvel is going to celebrate big in August, with the release of Marvel’s Voices: Identity #1 featuring Asian characters and creators.

Marvel has been using its Marvel’s Voices series to highlight and celebrate both diverse characters and creators, and many wondered why there wasn’t an Asian focused book for May. While having their anthology released this month would have been ideal, the next best thing is making the announcement that an Asian focused book is coming.

Marvel’s Voices: Identity #1 features some of Marvel’s top Asian characters like Shang-Chi, Silk, Kamala Khan, Jimmy Woo and more from Asian creators, including Gene Luen Yang, Greg Pak and Maurene Goo. What’s great is that several of these characters, currently have on-going monthly comics, ensuring that this isn’t just a case of tokenizing diverse characters for a specific book, only to be ignored later.

One area that where this book, and the comic industry in general, looks to be lacking is in the area of Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander representation. Entertainment in general is sorely lacking in Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander characters, and that’s an issue that needs to be addressed. Greg Pak and Leinil Francis Yu created the Filipino superhero Wave during the New Agents of Atlas run, which also featured a variety of Asian superheroes. Wave also had her own series for a while as well. However, both books were canceled at the end of 2020, and Wave hasn’t been seen since. Hopefully we will see Wave and other Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander characters in the near future.

Marvel's Voices: Identity #1 Cover by Jim Cheung
Marvel’s Voices: Identity #1 Cover by Jim Cheung

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MARVEL CELEBRATES ASIAN SUPER HEROES AND COMIC CREATORS IN MARVEL’S VOICES: IDENTITY #1!

Gene Luen Yang, Greg Pak, Maurene Goo, and more lead an all-star lineup of Asian talent in new MARVEL’S VOICES one-shot this August!

New York, NY— May 13, 2021 — In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Marvel Comics is proud to announce that this summer will see the launch of a brand-new Marvel’s Voices one-shot spotlighting some of the most legendary Asian super heroes: MARVEL’S VOICES: IDENTITY #1! This thrilling issue will take readers across the Marvel Universe with a collection of tales written and drawn by new and established Asian creators. Following in the footsteps of the mega-popular MARVEL’S VOICES: INDIGENOUS VOICES and MARVEL’S VOICES: LEGACY, MARVEL’S VOICES: IDENTITY #1 will continue the tradition of featuring inspiring and uplifting stories reflecting “the world outside your window.” These new stories will celebrate Marvel’s ongoing, ever-expanding representation of the vastness of all Asian, Asian American and Pacific Island cultures and identities including South Korean, Chinese, and more.

The giant-sized one-shot will be full action-packed of stories told in the Mighty Marvel Manner! Eisner Award-winning writer Gene Luen Yang continues his groundbreaking work on the Shang-Chi mythos in an all-new tale with artist Marcus To (Excalibur). Get ready for some fireworks when Generation X writer Christina Strain and artist Jason Loo catch up with everyone’s favorite mutant mallrat Jubilee. Greg Pak takes secret agent Jimmy Woo on another hair-raising mission that will mark the Marvel Comics debut of artist Creees Lee. Also new to Marvel, artist Lynee Yoshii joins critically acclaimed Maurene Goo to weave another unpredictable adventure in the saga of Silk. Plus, an amazing tale starring Ms. Marvel drawn by Mashal Ahmed and some bonus surprises that will be announced at a later date.

“It’s unreal to me that one of Marvel’s first Asian super heroes, Jimmy Woo, was first introduced in 1956. He predates the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, and the X-Men,” Editor Darren Shan said. “It just goes to show that Asians have been an integral part of Marvel’s history, both on the page and behind it. So I’m incredibly excited to celebrate that with all these amazing creators, new and established, featuring some of Marvel’s greatest (and dare I say it, best) super heroes!”

“I’m thrilled to be a part of MARVEL’S VOICES: IDENTITY #1,” Yang said. “Asian and Asian American super heroes are such a vital part of the Marvel Universe. Asian and Asian American creators, too. This book proves it.”

“Jubilation Lee was an important character for me growing up as an Asian American kid in the 90s, so it’s an incredible feeling knowing that I’ve been able to directly contribute to the development of her character and history,” Strain said.

Check out Jim Cheung’s cover below and stay tuned for more information on MARVEL’S VOICES: IDENTITY #1 including new story details, variant covers, and more!

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Ron is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of POC Culture.  He is a big believer in the power and impact of pop culture and the importance of representation in media.

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