It’s a great time to be a female minority in comic book culture as Marvel TV fans launched a petition on behalf of Filipina superhero Wave at the Philippines’ first Supermanila Pop Culture Convention. In May 2019, the character was introduced by Marvel Comics in the first issue of ‘War of the Realms: New Agents of Atlas #1’. Wave has appeared alongside other Asian superheroes including Shang Chi and The Totally Awesome Hulk in her short time as a Marvel character.
The popularity of the MCU has increased the popularity of comic books spreading all the way to the Philippines, inspiring many Filipino comic writers and artists. Filipino comic books fans converged in Pasig City last week for the inaugural Supermanila Pop Culture Convention, which focused mainly on comic book culture. As part of the event, organizers lead a fan campaign urging Marvel to have Wave star in her own solo TV series.
Created by comics writer Greg Pak and Filipino artist Leinil Francis Yu, Wave was born Pearl Pangan. The hydrokinetic hero, complete with dual, single-edged water longswords and gold armor, originated from Mactan Island in Cebu, Philippines. Her water longswords are a nod to the kampilan, a weapon that originated in the Philippines. This July, Wave also appeared in ‘Aero’, a book series known primarily by Chinese comic book readers; the character’s new book series, however, was also released to English readers for the first time.
Panned for insensitive portrayals of Asian culture and playing into the “white savior” archetype, the Netflix series ‘Iron Fist‘ lead to Marvel being pressured to create films and TV offerings with more diversity. After ‘Iron Fist’ flopped, Marvel has recently announced several high-profile projects starring Asian characters and actors. ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings‘ is set to be released on February 12, 2021. Chinese-Canadian actor Simu Liu will star in the film, while Pakistani-American comic Kumail Nanjiani will co-star in the upcoming Marvel film ‘Eternals‘ .
Whether Marvel decides to produce a solo TV series based on Wave or not, the petition proves that Marvel’s global audience is demanding more diversity. It’s still undetermined if Filipino fans will get anywhere with their campaign, but if Marvel gives the fans what they want, Wave would be the first Filipina superheroine to receive a major international TV series.
Source: ABS-CBN News