Yellow Peril by Tze Ming Mok

Look ...up in the sky! It's a birdflu!

Check out the new DC Comics Chinese Government superhero team 'the Great Ten', featuring such wacky stereotype fantasies as a mother who constantly produces litters of 25 warriors, a guy permanently clouded in noxious pandemic-like vapours, and a Socialist Red Guardsman. (hat tip: angryasianman)

Sociopolitical...overload... too... many... critical references...

All that's really missing 'Mao-Man', the embalmed body of Mao returned as a staggering killer zombie. Apart from the gibbering geopolitical Neo-yellow peril subtleties, I don't understand why they're not very sci-fi at all. Although I quite like how the Socialist Red Guardsman is in a 'special containment suit' seemingly protecting him from the march of history. He "uses his solar powers to carry out the Cultural Revolution"? Shouldn't he have retired thirty years ago?

Still, for Chinese stereotype superheros they sure kick Jubilee's ass (coloured balls of light anyone?).

Meanwhile, Jeff Yang has an extensive historical analysis of Asian American comic superheros, including the new crop who, unsurprisingly are far less weird than those employed by the Chinese government. 'Cos you know, they're Americans and all.

Great Jeff lines:

Superman has always appealed to Asian Americans. He has dark hair, his public identity is a meek guy with glasses, he's from a faraway place -- why not? ("Sure there are parallels," says Hama. "But remember he was created by [Jerry] Siegel and [Joe] Shuster. He's a Jewish immigrant fantasy." Jewish, Asian -- same difference.)

What's with every superhero with size-reducing powers suddenly becoming Asian? Is shrinking the new martial art?

In other news, I am still a geeky Asian kid. For my own Chinese stereotype superhero character, when I was ten and wanted to be one of the X-Men, I thought I could be a mutant who had initially only had rudimentary control over electron charge and movement, but also had immense special powers of studying really really hard with Beast in the library and science lab, thus allowing me to develop, with a lot of intellectual effort, the ability to wage thermonuclear war. My character wouldn't have to go out and fight evil mutants much, she'd just stay at the Xavier school and study a lot, which would be just as effective. Thermonuclear war = way cooler than fireworks displays of exploding balls of light, although neither of course are as iconic within the imagined Chinese super world than studying really hard.