Sailor Moon Characters Re-imagined as The Avengers

Yesterday, we showed you what happens when an artist re-imagines some of the most beloved Disney characters in the opposite gender. Today, we have yet another artist blowing us away with creativity.

An artist known as Jei Shepard caught our attention for this impressive artwork. Not much is known about this artist. In fact, all we know is a list of interests on Jei Shepard’s tumblr which include Iron Man, Avengers, X-Men, Batman, Supergirl, Mass Effect, Sailor Moon, Dragonball Z, Final Fantasy, BBC Sherlock, Grimm and Agents of SHIELD.

Luckily for us, Jei Shepard decided to take two of those interests for a crossover: Sailor Moon and the Avengers. The result is better than anyone could have expected.

Even though these girls aren’t actually Marvel superheros, they certainly look good in the outfits. Check it out below and be sure to support Jei Shepard’s art here.

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Korean Actress Cast in Upcoming ‘Avengers 2′, Sources Say

Story by Young Rae Kim.

Korean actress Kim Soo Hyun was reportedly cast in the upcoming blockbuster sequel Avengers 2: Age of Ultron, according to Twitch Film.

Kim, 28, not to be confused with the popular male actor with the same name, is not well known outside of Korea and previously went by the stage name Yoo Ri-el. Still, it was reported that she beat out dozens of other actresses — including some top-tier names — to snag a supporting role as a doctor who helps Iron Man. Her English proficiency and familiarity with the action genre reportedly helped her cause.

Marvel has stated that at least 10 to 15 minutes of the film will be set in the swanky Gangnam district of Seoul. Marvel has already hired one of Korea’s top production teams and domestic shooting is scheduled to begin in the spring in Seoul and Incheon.

Kim who has appeared in Seventh Grade Civil Servant and The Fugitive: Plan B, grew up abroad and speaks fluent English, according to the Korea Times. She began her career as a model and signed to the same agency as Daniel Henney.

According to her management agency, Kim is still waiting for Marvel to confirm the casting.

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This story was originally published in iamkoream.com

Marvel’s New Pakistani Superhero

Lets face it– the presence of Asians in American media is not as prominent as we’d like. In fact, this number gets even smaller when we look at specific categories like the comicbook world. Luckily, this seems to be slowly, but surely changing.

We had put together a list of Asians in Comics to celebrate the Asian creators and characters who are making strides in the comicbook world and it looks like we have another big addition to make on this list.

Recently, Marvel Comics has revealed their reimagined version of the character, Ms. Marvel. Much to our delight, this hero’s alter ego is not a white, male millionaire. The new Ms. Marvel is 16-year-old Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American Muslim teenager.

Comics writer G. Willow Wilson says that Kahn “struggles to reconcile being an American teenager with the conservative customs of her Pakistani Muslim family. Like a lot of children of immigrants, she feels torn between two worlds: the family she loves, but which drives her crazy, and her peers, who don’t really understand what her home life is like.”

Creators say they will stray away from the “token minority” character and instead deal with some very deep personal struggles.

Of course, creators recognize the risks that accompany Khan’s character. Will others be against her ethnic background and religious beliefs? Will Pakistani or Muslim individuals feel a misrepresentation with this character?

The comic’s editor Sana Amanat admits, “I do expect some negativity, not only from people who are anti-Muslim, but people who are Muslim and might want the character portrayed in a particular light.”

But creators have decided to be brave and go through with the character. In fact, they claim they will address the various labels that society places on Kahn and show how such labels affect her sense of self.

Kahn is the first Muslim character to headline a book at Marvel. Ms. Marvel will launch in February 2014 and we simply cannot wait.

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(source)

Flashback Friday: ASIANS IN COMICS

I was asked which character I would cosplay as if I were given the opportunity to do so and I found myself hesitating. While I can acknowledge that the Asian presence in the American comic book industry has been making quite some progress, the list of Asian comic book characters that I could choose from still felt slim. To prove my point, my friends laughed while suggesting the only mainstream Asian woman character they could think of off the top of their head: X-Men‘s Jubilee (or apparently if I wanted to be daring, I could also be The Walking Dead‘s Glenn).

Now one could argue that I don’t have to choose an Asian character just because I’m Asian, but quite frankly thats not the point. There’s a reason why we get so excited when we see even one Asian character pop up in a series. You have to give us a break here- it doesn’t happen all too often.

With that said, the Asian presence is slowly, but surely, increasing in numbers. Writers, artists, and even Asian characters have been popping up everywhere and upon closer examination, I realized that the list of characters to choose from was more than I had originally presumed. Much to my delight, it became clear that there are a number of notable Asian figures making strides in the comic book industry. There are people who are working so that in time, I will have more characters suggested to me aside from Jubliee and Glenn (Don’t get me wrong, of course. I’m sure I’d make a lovely Glenn).

It only feels right that we take some time to showcase and appreciate some of these notable Asian comic book characters and the Asian artists behind these works. Lucky for us, this list seems to be growing more everyday.

 

CHARACTERS:

(Women)
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Cassandra Cain- A Eurasian fictional character in DC Comics who serves as one of many Batgirls (part of the Batman franchise). A gifted warrior, Cassandra Cain was born and trained from birth to be the ultimate assassin. Cassandra was deprived of speech and human contact. Instead, she was taught to read the physical movements of humans in order to determine their next move. Cassandra is the first Batgirl to get her own Batgirl comicbook series.
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Jubliee-A Chinese American mutant within Marvel’s X-Men franchise. Known for having the superhuman ability to create “sparkles” from her hands. Although the youngest member of X-Men for quite some time, she was also a prominent figure during the 90′s era. More recently, Jubilee had lost her mutant powers, but was infected with a vampiric virus and currently has the abilities of a vampire.

 

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Psylocke- A fictional character in Marvel Comics most known for her appearances in the X-Men franchise. Psylocke made her first appearance in UK Comic book Captain Britain which stars her twin brother. Psylocke’s mutant powers begin as telepathy and she eventually acquires telekinesis.

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Lady Shiva- Mother to Batgirl, Cassandra Cain, Lady Shiva is also a character from DC Comics. She is an assassin known for killing her targets with her bare hands. Her popularity increased when she became more involved with the Batman franchise characters including the famous fights with her own daughter, Cassandra.

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Lady Deathstrike- A Japanese Marvel Supervillain. Lady Deathstrike’s father was Lord Dark Wind himself who created the adamantium-bonding process (This is the indestructible metal alloy used on Wolverine’s skeleton and claws).Lady Deathstrike had adamantium bonded to her own skeleton. After her fathers dramatic end, Lady Deathstrike focused on seeking vengeance for his death. She is a foe of the X-Men and aims to kill Wolverine in particular.

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Karma- A Vietnamese mutant part of Marvel’s X-Men franchise. Karma was among the “boat people” fleeing Vietnam during the war. Her mutant power is the ability to control the mind of others. She is one of the five founding members of the New Mutants (a group of teenage mutant superheros-in-training) and she is one of the first lesbian characters in such a well-known comic-book franchise.

(Men)

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Ryan Choi (Atom) - A DC Comics fictional super hero. Born in Hong Kong, Choi was a protege of Ray Palmer. Palmer had a sudden disapperance and Choi moved to Ivy Town to take over his Palmer’s position as a professor at Ivy University. What he didn’t expect was to find Palmer’s “bio-belt” which can control the size and density of its wearer. Under Palmer’s blessing, Ryan becomes the new Atom.

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Captain Steel- Although this DC Character was not originally Asian, in DC‘s “New 52″ reboot which featured a parallel world, it was revealed that Captain Steel was Pilipino. Although DC had Pilipino characters prior to this, Captain Steel was the first Pilipino superhero. Suffering from a congenital defect causing brittle bones, his scientist father created a metal substance to replace his bones and unknowingly gave him super human strength.

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Tony Chu- A Chinese character from Image Comics, Tony Chu is one of few Asian American characters who is the lead of his own book, Chew. Chu is a police detective who is a “Cibopath” – he can take a bite out of anything and get a psychic read of what happened to them/it. It is in this manner that he solves his crimes.

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Glenn (The Walking Dead)- A young member of the original Atlanta survivor group- a group of random strangers who must work together to survive an undead apocalypse. He is described as a selfless character who takes dangerous risks for the benefit of the group and thus becomes a vital member for their survival. His character increased in popularity due to the hit horror television series based on the comic book of the same name. His character is played by Korean American actor, Steven Yeun.

 

CREATORS:

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Jim Lee- Arguably the most known and decorated Asian-American comicbook artist, Korean-American Jim Lee began his career as an artist for Marvel Comics and he became a household name with his work for the X-Men franchise. In 1992, Lee joined forces with serval other artists to create Image Comics where he worked on WildCats. Adding on to his impressive resume, in 2010 Lee was announced as Co-publisher of DC Comics. He has worked on popular franchises such as X-Men, Batman, and Superman.

Leinil Yu
Leinil Yu- A Pilipino comic book artist who currently serves as one of Marvel’s major Asian-American artists. He began his career at Marvel by working on Wolverine. Pleased with his work, he was then asked to create art for Fantastic Four, Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk, and New Avengers. Yu has also done some work with DC such as Superman:Birthright with prominent writer Mark Waid. Additionally, he was the conceptional artist for the 2005 film Serenity (written and directed by Joss Whedon)

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Whilce Portacio- Pilipino comicbook artist who was discovered in a San Diego Comic-con by a Marvel Comics editor. He was offered a position at Marvel to ink artwork and as a penciller. He is one of the seven co-founders of Image Comics and has also worked with DC Comics. While working on Uncanny X-Men became co-creator of the character Bishop. He has worked on many big titles including Punisher, Batman/Superman, Stormwatch, X-Force, Hulk, Iron Man, X-Factor, Alpha Flight, Batman, The Darkness and he is the creator of the series Wetworks.

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Marjorie Liu- A novelist and comic writer most known for her work with Marvel Comics. She has written for the X-Men/Wolverine franchises with works such as NYX, X-23, Dark Wolverine, and Astonishing X-Men. She is also known for writing the first ever gay wedding in comics.

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Jo Chen- A comicbook artist and writer most known for her painted comicbook covers. She worked professionally in the Asian comic book industry before beginning her career with DC Comics in 2000. Within DC, she has worked on major titles such as Thor and the Batman & Robin Franchise. She is most known for her work as a cover artist for Runaways (A Marvel comic book series) and Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In addition to comics, she has done artwork for videogames such as Fable and Final Fantasy, and has created a manga series.

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Dustin Nguyen- A Vietnamese-American comic book artist who has worked with DC Comics, Marvel Comics, and Wildstorm. He has worked on popular Batman titles such as Batman, Detective Comics and Batman: Streets of Gotham. His cover art includes other major DC titles such as Batman Beyond and JL: Generation Lost. In addition, he has worked on projects such as Batgirl, Justice League Beyond, and a new digital series titled Batman: Li’l Gotham. When he’s not working on comics, Nguyen is also a conceptional artists for toys, games, and animation.

Chinese Theater Accidentally Uses Fan-Made THOR Poster

A movie theater in China may have just made the best mistake ever.

The theater put up a poster of Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and his villainous brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) to promote the new Marvel film Thor: The Dark World. The mistake? Last we checked, we’ve never seen the brothers embrace like that.

Much to the delight of fans (many of whom had hoped for something like this) the Chinese theater had accidentally used a photoshopped image made by a fan. The original poster is one showing Thor clutching his girlfriend Jane who is played by Natalie Portman. We simply can’t decide which one we like better.

On the bright side, the mistake has gone viral and has done quite a spectacular job marketing the film. Be sure to catch the midnight premiere of this much anticipated film tonight!

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Catch Booboo Stewart and Fan Bingbing In The New “X-Men: Days of Future Past” Trailer

There are many reasons to be excited about Marvel’s X-Men: Days of Future Past which hits theaters on May 23, 2014.

For one, there’s time travel. We get to see Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart as Magneto and Professor X – the roles they played in the earlier “X-Men” movies  AND we get to see Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy, the actors who played the younger versions of  Magneto and Professor X in the 2011 prequel, “X-Men: First Class.”

Secondly, this Marvel film puts together a star-studded cast including Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, Ellen Page and Halle Berry.

And of course, we’re more than excited to see Eurasian actor Booboo Stewart and Chinese actress Fan Bingbing bring life to their much-anticipated characters.

 

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Booboo Stewart plays Warpath, a mutant who posses superhuman speed and strength.

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Fan Bingbing plays Blink, a mutant with the ability to teleport.

Fans have been anticipating the portrayal of these new characters and we’re sure these two actors will do them justice. Catch them both in the new trailer below:

 

 

Girls’ Generation’s Tiffany Interviews (And Gets A Kiss From) Tom Hiddleston

Story by Taylor Weik.

As if you couldn’t be any more jealous of Tiffany, one of the members of the global K-Pop sensation that is Girls’ Generation, another bullet point makes the list: on October 18, “Mnet Wide” released a 13-minute video of Tiffany’s interview with the British swoon-worthy actor, Tom Hiddleston.

While Hiddleston was in South Korea promoting his new movie, Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World in which he plays Thor’s deeply complex brother, Loki, Tiffany took the opportunity to interview the star about his role in the film while also showing him around the cultural spots of Seoul.

The pair wandered around on a rainy day in Seoul arm-in-arm with umbrellas while Tiffany introduced him to locations like the N Seoul Tower (“Do you find this really romantic?” Hiddleston says) and the observation deck where thousands of love locks hang off the side.

“[I’ll remember Korea] with enormous passion and affection,” Hiddleston says at the end of their interview, before promising to return to Korea “real soon.”

Watch the interview for yourself below:

PREMIERING TONIGHT: Ming-Na Wen on “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

Story by Teena Apeles. 

Actress Ming-Na Wen has been fortunate to have played many strong female characters during her career: Dr. Chen in ER, Camile Wray in SGU Stargate Universe and, of course, the beloved Mulan. So you can bet that it would take a pretty amazing character to get this pro as giddy as a teenager. Enter Melinda May.

“When this opportunity came up, my skin was just tingling with excitement,” says Wen of her role in the highly anticipated series Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., premiering on ABC this fall. “I wanted to have a show that I could enjoy doing, working with people who I love, and that my kids can watch. And so I think I hit the jackpot here.”

What’s not to like about Agent Melinda May? She has a reputation for being an expert pilot and skilled fighter as a member of the international organization S.H.I.E.L.D., which protects “the ordinary from the extraordinary.” And as May, Wen flexes her muscles often … on bad guys. “We were working on some fight sequences this past week, and I am so into it right now; it makes me feel really powerful,” she says. “I am going to be in the best shape of my life because of this show.” Extra plus, she’s taking direction from Joss Whedon, the show’s creator, which, in her own words, had her “screaming for joy” because she is a huge fan.

A self-described “geek girl,” Wen says she’s been drawn to the sci-fi world as an escape since she was a kid. Growing up as the only Asian girl in a very white suburban neighborhood, she says she liked anything that was “other-worldly.” She admits, “I used to pray that E.T. or some extraterrestrial being would take me away, to some other world, and get me out of some of the environments that I was in, always feeling like the outsider.”

As she got older, Wen became interested in Dungeons & Dragons through her science fiction class and, later, drama club, “where I found people who accepted me for who I was and understood me, and we had a lot in common. And that became my world.”

Star Wars, Star Trek and Aliens were among the movies she loved because in such worlds, says Wen, “there are outsiders and yet they have these amazing superpowers. And even though they don’t fit in, they become the heroes.”

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While Agent May doesn’t have superpowers, she is still part of an elite force that works within the government to facilitate and help out the superheroes. But as far as Wen’s daughter and son, ages 12 and 7, respectively, are concerned, she looks pretty super on screen. “After seeing the pilot, my son said, ‘Wow, I didn’t know you could fight like that!’ It is just so nice to be able to share with them why mommy disappears so much,” she says. “They get excited to think I can fly a plane and fight.”

Of course, they’re not the only fans thrilled with her role. After the summer release of the Melinda May trailer to promote the show, Wen was the talk of the Web — so much so that her Twitter following grew.

“I just love the fans so much, and when this was starting to trickle out, I started this fan group related to the show that I could talk to and party with,” she says of what she calls the M.O.B., short for “Most Optimum Badass.” As for how she came up with the name, Wen says, “Everyone kept calling me a badass. I think everyone wants to feel like a badass, so alright, I am going to form a group of badasses.”

So are her kids allowed to call her a “badass” at home? Wen laughs. “Well, it could be a donkey. …”

 

This story was originally published in our Fall 2013 issue. Get your copy here

 

Three Things to Watch Now to Get Your Girl Power On: Steel Magnolias, Austenland, and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

I grew up in an age where the women in power believed in a 1970s sort of feminism: be hard-core, don’t let a man control you, fight back at every turn. Under their tutelage, I believed that was the only way to be a feminist. Thankfully, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to accept that feminism is not so … difficult. I embrace being an equal professionally, regardless of gender, while at the same time, embracing the joys of not having to be a man. In fact, sometimes being a girl just feels damn good.

Looking to get your girl power on? Be inspired with these recommendations on screen and stage that will appeal to the many sides of your complex female self.

Steel Magnolias

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Leave it to East West Players, the nation’s leading Asian American theater troupe, to take on an all-Asian cast production of the classic play (turned movie) “Steel Magnolias.” I’d never seen the play before, but I loved the movie … from what I could remember: pretty much Julia Roberts having a diabetic seizure as Sally Fields did what she does best (freak out) — that was the extent of it.

But what I saw at opening night this past Wednesday was so much more — the electric dynamic of six strong women, the Asian faces in a very Southern setting, the hilarious exchanges (Hiwa Bourne excelled as beauty parlor owner Truvy, played by Dolly Parton in the film, and Lovelle Liquigan’s Annelle was brilliant in all her awkward glory), and most of all, the intimacy of watching something on stage. Not only was it a reminder that truly good theater could never be replaced by film, it reaffirmed to me that a compelling story always works, regardless of race or ethnicity.

Catch East West Players’ production of “Steel Magnolias,” from now until October 6. Book your tickets here.

Austenland

I am not ashamed to say that I am a huge Jane Austen fan. Sure, some may wonder how a 19th century, practically “chick lit” British author appeals to a 21st century Asian American woman, but I tell you, when I first read Pride and Prejudice, I couldn’t believe how much the social mores and cultural norms of 1810s England sounded just like those of my religious Korean immigrant upbringing. (Read Persuasion and I dare any 30- to 40-something single Asian American woman not to feel the plight of poor Anne Elliot.) Needless to say, I’ve been hooked ever since.

So naturally, when I heard about Austenland, which premiered at Sundance, I had to go see what it was all about. Keri Russell (of Felicity fame) stars as the awkward Jane Hayes, a 30-something woman obsessed with the Colin Firth version of Mr. Darcy (from the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice). Her entire apartment is decorated — creepily — in Regency Era teapots and porcelain dolls, and the lord of the manor is a life-size cardboard cut-out of Firth. When she gets the chance of a lifetime to spend her vacation at Austenland, an English-themed resort where you get to live out your Jane Austen fantasy, complete with cute actors in costume, hilarity, as they say, ensues.

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Now, I’m not gonna deny that the film will appeal mostly to those familiar with Austen’s work. But the hilarious Jennifer Coolidge (perhaps best known for being the MILF in American Pie), playing the rich, ignorant American who goes to the resort solely because she thinks she’ll look great in those “wench dresses,” will make up for any inside jokes you may miss.

Oh, and did I mention that the soundtrack was done by Hong Kong-born Chinese hapa Emmy the Great?

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Emmy the Great.

Austenland is in select theaters now.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

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It’s almost here … the Joss Whedon-helmed television series following Agent Phil Coulson and his agents of the Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate, aka S.H.I.E.L.D. As we told you in our Fall 2013 issue interview with actress Ming-Na Wen, The Joy Luck Club star kicks ass as Melinda May, an expert pilot and martial artist. But she’s not the only Asian American doing us proud on the ABC series. Chinese American hapa Chloe Bennett stars as Skye, a mysterious computer hacker genius, while Thai American Maurissa Tancharoen is a producer on the show. All I can say is based on the reviews, this is one show you’re not going to want to miss.

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Chloe Bennet as Skye, right, in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premieres on ABC Tuesday Sept. 24. Get psyched with cool video extras, including one especially devoted to how Agent Coulson recruited Melinda May, here.