China’s Future in the DC Universe from Doomsday Clock: The Great Twenty

The new issue of Doomsday Clock by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, the unauthorised sequel to Watchmen and published by DC Comics, is showing the future of the DC Universe Earth and the superheroes who live on it, around the world. The Supermen Theory, currently causing global uproar, points out that 97% of the superheroes live in the USA. But other countries are catching up…

But who is who? Well, The Great Ten over in China have doubled in size it seems…

The Great Ten was created by Grant Morrison, JG Jones, and Joe Bennett in 52 #6 in 2006 as a government-sponsored state superhero team. All were created by them unless specified. But they’ve gone deep into DC Comics history to find ten more, as well as using the recent Justice League of China comic.

New Super-Man created by Gene Luen Yang and Viktor Bogdanovic in New Super-Man #1 in 2016, Kong Kenan was picked their Super-Man of China project where he was imbued with the life force of the dead Kryptonian. Kenan became the living embodiment of the principles Yin and Yang after the mantle was passed to him by his teacher, I-Ching. Kenan is capable of manipulating his connection to the path of his qi to disperse malevolent entities of yang or close mystical gateways connected to qi, seems to be immune to, or at least, highly resistant towards magic, able infuse his qi with light and darkness, which seems to augment his powers and can fly, use heat vision, be invulnerable, absorb solar radiation, use super breath, hearing and speed, vibration, leaping and X-Ray Vision, though he can only use these one at a time.

Accomplished Perfect Physician or 達医者完 (Dá Yī Zhĕ Wán), Yao Fei was born a peasant in the Anhui Province. Yao had dreams of becoming a doctor but lacked the money for medical school. He enlisted in the army instead. When his unit was sent to suppress an uprising in Gyantse, Tibet, Yao killed a monk named Tenzin Cering. Horrified at what he’d done, he deserted his unit and was shot by his commanding officer. He was saved by a local medicine man who told Yao that his son, Tenzin, was supposed to be the seventeenth man to hold the position of the “Accomplished Perfect Physician”; since Tenzin was now dead, Yao was forced to take his place by Tenzin’s father. Tenzin tossed Yao through a magical portal, wherein he was filled with the memories and powers of the past Physicians. As the new Accomplished Perfect Physician, Yao was branded an outlaw and an enemy of the state for many years before he willingly joined the Great Ten. With simple vocal sounds, the Accomplished Perfect Physician can produce a variety of magical effects, such as physical or mental paralysis, force fields, the redirection of energies, healing, destruction of matter, and earthquakes. The diplomat of the team, the Physician appears to be a collected individual with well-developed people skills. He does not get along well with his team leader, August General in Iron, who sees Yao only as an irreverent deserter.

Bat-Man – created by Gene Luen Yang and Viktor Bogdanovic in New Super-Man #1, 2016. Wang Baixi, was selected by the Chinese Ministry of Self-Reliance to become their equivalent of the United States of America’s Batman. He then designed several pieces of equipment for The Ministry of Self-Reliance’s Justice League of China initiative.

August General in Iron or 钢铁圣将 (Gāng Tiě Shèng Jiāng) is Fang Zhifu formerly a member of a “Xeno-Team”, an elite Chinese spec ops unit trained for encounters with aliens. 15 years ago, his unit was sent to investigate a Durlan ship that crashed in Qinghai province. The Durlans wiped out his unit with a flesh-melting pathogen weapon. Fang barely survived by injecting himself with a counter-agent that slowed the degeneration. Chinese scientists subjected him to special treatments which saved his life, but also endowed him with superhuman strength and caused his skin to grow iron-like plates. He was then recruited into China’s new metahuman division. He wields a staff that can easily slice through metal.

The Celestial Archer or 天体射手 (Tiān Tĭ Shè Shŏu) is a figure with ties to Chinese mythology. As a teenager, Xu Tao sold souvenirs at the foot of Mount Tai. After his father’s business was shut down by corrupt police, he joined a gang to support his family. He was not a good thief, however, and a botched robbery landed his fellow gang members in jail. When they were released, they sought his death. They chased him to an old temple below Mount Tai. While hiding behind a tree, Tao was swallowed up by the earth, and found himself in a cavern where he found the Celestial Bow of Yi. The magical bow begged Tao to take it as his own, as it was dying after four thousand years of disuse. When Tao picked it up, he was transformed into the Celestial Archer and granted Yi the Archer’s godlike archery skills. After chasing away his former gang, he instinctively fired an arrow at the moon, creating a magical bridge that took him to the home of the Chinese gods. The gods tasked him to serve as their agent on Earth, to inspire the Chinese and remind them of the old gods, whose worship was suppressed by the Communist government. The Celestial Archer has unerring aim capable of shooting arrows charged with a mysterious energy, or that can turn day into night.

Dao – created by Marc Guggenheim and Jerry Bingham for Batman Confidential #52 in 2011. Chinese super-archer with a perfect shot.

The Flash – created by Joshua Williamson and Carmine Di Giandomenico for Flash #5 in 2016. Avery Ho is the Flash of China and a member of the JLC. She received her powers from the Speed Force Storm of Central City.

The Ghost Fox Killer or 鬼狐杀手 (Guǐ Hú Shā Shǒu) is an emissary from the hidden colony of “Ghost Fox Women”. She is charged with killing evil men, and has power over the ghosts of those men. Apparently her home city is powered by the souls of evil men, and her touch causes instant death. She is typically accompanied by a rui shi (or Imperial guardian lion) of living jade. If Ghost Fox Killer does not kill off evil men for her colony, her society will fall. She encounters August General in Iron early in her career, and is stunned to discover that she can touch his body without killing him. She has demonstrated undefined feelings of loyalty towards him.

Gloss –  First appeared in Millennium #2 in 1988, and was created by Steve Engelhart and Joe Staton. Xiang Po was given powers by the Global Guardians, Gloss has immortality and the power to draw energy from the Dragon Lines of the Earth. These lines of mystic power infuse her with incredible strength and make her incredibly durable. She can command the Dragon Lines, manipulating the Earth’s energy to create earthquakes and affect local ecosystems.

Guanxi – created by Marc Guggenheim and Jerry Bingham for Batman Confidential #52 in 2011. Chinese, telepathy, super strength.

Immortal Man-in-Darkness. Fifteen years ago, a Durlan ship crashed in China’s Qinghai province. The Chinese reverse-engineered the craft and used the technology to build the Dragonwing, the most advanced fighter plane in the world. The pilot sits in a cockpit filled with a sort of amniotic fluid, bonding himself to the craft. This type of bond gradually breaks down a human’s molecular structure; each flight takes a year off the pilot’s life. The Dragonwing has been flown by a succession of PLAAF pilots, all of whom knowingly sacrificed themselves to serve China as the Immortal Man-In-Darkness or 黑暗中的不朽者 (Hēi Àn Zhōng De Bù Xiǔ Zhě). The current pilot is Chen Nuo. He operates from Anshan Air Base but makes his home in Shanghai. The Dragonwing is a powerful shapeshifting aircraft. It can take the form of diffuse smoke and handle hurricane-force winds.

Mother of Champions, Wu Mei-Xing or 冠軍母亲 (Guàn Jūn Mǔ Qīn) was a theoretical physicist, working on a particle accelerator when she was briefly exposed to a theoretical “god particle”, which mutated her system by triggering her metagene. At first she was unable to bear children, but eventually discovered her super-fecundity powers by accident. She no longer needs to eat, and has to remind herself to breathe, and she is immune to radiation poisoning from ionizing radiation. She can now birth a litter of twenty-five genetically identical supersoldiers about every three days. These children are short-lived, however, only lasting one week, aging ten years every twenty four hours. She has at times used a metallic chair with insect-like legs to remain mobile during her pregnant state. It is revealed that she has had thousands of children, and that each batch of superhuman children are conceived by suitors whom she hand picks. Her children appear to demonstrate fairly standard superhuman abilities, save for when she has the children of fellow Great Ten members. She has had children with Seven Deadly Brothers, Accomplished Perfect Physician, at least one Immortal Man-in-Darkness, and most recently with Socialist Red Guardsman.

Night Dragon created by Doug Moench and Tony Wong in Batman: Hong Kong in 2003. Originally the bodyguard to Triad Leader Tiger One-Eye, Benny was inspired by Batman to avenge his dead friend and become Night-Dragon, then working together.

Ri – created by Marc Guggenheim and Jerry Bingham for Batman Confidential #50 in 2011. Chinese super healer.

Seven Deadly Brothers or Yang Kei-Ying  致命七兄弟 (Zhì Mìng Qī Xiōng Dì) was born in poverty in Fujian province over 300 years ago. He was a soldier in service to the Yongzheng Emperor in 1723, and took part in the destruction of the Shaolin Temple. One of the temple’s kung fu grandmasters, Bak Mei, defected to the Emperor and helped destroy the second temple. Yang was impressed with Bak Mei’s skill and wanted to learn kung fu himself, but Bak Mei laughed at him and thought him unpromising. He deserted the army and headed to the school of the Seven Scribes of the Cloudy Satchel, seven taoist sorcerers in the mountains near Song Shan. Yang begged to become a pupil and fed the sorcerers all manner of excuses and lies, but the sorcerers saw through him and placed a curse on him as punishment for his evil actions. They placed in his mind complete knowledge of all seven schools of kung-fu and a lust for violence, and sent him back to slaughter Bak Mei and the soldiers who had destroyed the Shaolin temples. Centuries later, he was incorporated into the Great Ten and fabricated his origin, claiming that he received his powers from an old mystic whom he saved from a beating. When entering battle, Yang splits into seven identical clones, each a grandmaster of one of the seven schools of kung-fu.

Shaolin Robot – When the First Emperor of China commissioned the construction of his tomb, a brilliant engineer by the name of Lao Yuqi built a hundred clockwork automatons to serve as tomb guards. The vain and jealous emperor ordered that Lao be entombed with him upon his death so that his genius would never serve another patron. Before dying of thirst, Lao reprogrammed one of the automatons with his own insights, values and priorities and gave it a semblance of free will. Thousands of years later, when the tomb was uncovered by archaeologists, the automatons went on a rampage in an attempt to topple the Communist government and restore imperial rule. These automatons were defeated by the Super Functionaries. Only Lao’s reprogrammed automaton remained inactive back at the tomb. The Chinese government reactivated it and upgraded it with Durlan technology. Shaolin Robot speaks in simple I Ching hexagrams, but can express more complex thoughts using written pinyin.

Striker-Z – created by Kurt Busiek and Tom Grummett for JLA #61 in 2002. Stunt operator in Hong Kong, Daniel Tsang was subjected to a vat of experimental fuel cell plasma from Hong Kong branch of S.T.A.R. Labs, turning him into a super bio-energy battery.

Socialist Red Guardsman. Real name Gu Lao, is one of the oldest Chinese heroes. He used his solar powers to carry out the Cultural Revolution. His body is highly radioactive, so he is forced to wear special armor reverse engineered from Durlan technology. He has since become bitter and disillusioned as China abandons Mao Zedong’s vision and embraces market economics. He lives like a hermit in an isolated stretch of the Gobi Desert due to the possible threat of a nuclear meltdown. Mother of Champions is immune to his radiation, and was the first person to touch him in over fifteen years.

Thundermind or 雷念 (Léi Niàn) is Zou Kang, a history teacher at Beijing No. 8 Middle School who, on a tour of the Beijing Museum, accidentally recites aloud a sanskrit “trigger phrase” from an ancient Buddhist artifact. Afterwards, he transforms into Thundermind whenever he recites his trigger phrase and unlocks what he calls his full human potential, becoming a Bodhisattva with the power to access metahuman analogues of the powers listed in the Buddhist siddhis. He saves a fellow teacher named Miss Wu, who happens to be in love with his alter ego Thundermind.

Wonder-Woman created by Gene Luen Yang and Viktor Bogdanovic in New Super-Man #1, 2016. A mystical being of Buddhist sagas, a white snake and a green snake who turned themselves human and fought for the love of a man. The Green Snake was imprisoned until she was freed, given the name Peng Deilan and became the Wonder Woman of China.

We will continue journeying around the world today at this link. Let me know if I got anything wrong in the comments.

Thanks to DC Wiki and Wikipedia…

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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