Marvel Universe gets a new team of Asian superheroes, and a number of firsts

PHOTO: Marvels newest series, Agents of Atlas will be released in August 2019. Artwork by Jung-Geun Yoon.PlayMarvel
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Marvel's newest superhero is making “waves” in the comic book universe.

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Donning an aqua blue and black outfit with gold armor, Wave is one of Marvel’s newest characters, appearing in the new series "The War of the Realms: New Agents of Atlas," and she’s capturing the attention of many as Marvel’s first Filipina superhero.

Wave’s story was created by comic book writer and filmmaker Greg Pak, and she’s designed by Filipino artist Leinil Yu. Her powers are water-based and she joins a diverse cast of characters in “New Agents of Atlas,” including two new characters from China, Aero and Sword Master, as well as Shang-Chi, who Marvel Studios announced will be the star of his own forthcoming film.

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Wave design

A post shared by @ leinilyu on Mar 10, 2019 at 11:21am PDT

The “New Agents of Atlas” story follows a union of new and old superheroes who come together to save the planet from villains attacking an Asian portal city that enables people to transport to and from different Asian cities.

PHOTO: War of the Realms: New Agents of Atlas #1. Artwork by Billy Tan Marvel
War of the Realms: New Agents of Atlas #1. Artwork by Billy Tan

“It’s always been one of my dreams to do a series with a bunch of these Asian and Asian-American heroes,” said Pak. “I thought it would be really fun to take a lot of these characters and to do a story with them together.”

Every summer, Pak said Marvel publishes big crossover stories and that this year was focused on “War of the Realms” with a story revolving around a fire goddess who attacks Asia. With the story’s setting, Pak wanted to create new characters as well as include characters that were created by Marvel’s Chinese creators, like Luna Snow, a character who is both a K-pop star and superhero, and Crescent and Io, a Korean superhero duo.

Pak thought it was about time to introduce these characters into Marvel’s American comics and was given the green light by his editors to pursue the story.

PHOTO: Writer of Marvels War of the Realms series, Greg Pak. Marvel
Writer of Marvel's War of the Realms series, Greg Pak.

“We needed to get other Asian representation in the story,” Pak added. “It's even more exciting when you have multiple characters from different backgrounds and present diversity within diversity in a community.”

This isn’t Pak’s first time creating a character who has an Asian background. Nearly 15 years ago, he introduced Korean American Amadeus Cho, who was Bruce Banner’s best friend in “The Hulk” and later became the new Hulk in his own series.

For Asian Americans and Filipino Americans, Wave as well as the "War of Realms" series itself are inspiring many, and the comments online have been overwhelmingly positive. When Pak shared an image of Wave on social media, he received comments from people thanking him for creating a powerful character that they could identify with.

With the success of “The War of the Realms: New Agents of Atlas,” Pak is working with Marvel on a new series that focuses on the group of pan-Asian superheroes called “Agents of Atlas” where we’ll learn more about each character.

At Midtown Comics in New York City, “The War of the Realms: New Agents of Atlas” is already impacting many, including employees of Asian descent.

“A number of staff here have found it to be striking because they come from Asian backgrounds and they don’t often get to see this,” said Henry Varona, marketing associate and events coordinator of Midtown Comics. “I think it’s easy to forget how important Asian representation can be…so seeing a character like Wave means a lot.”

The new comic series, “Agents of Atlas” will be released in August.

PHOTO: Marvels newest series, Agents of Atlas will be released in August 2019. Artwork by Jung-Geun Yoon. Marvel
Marvel's newest series, Agents of Atlas will be released in August 2019. Artwork by Jung-Geun Yoon.