Chinese heroes are going to grace Marvel comics under a new deal between Chinese web portal Netease and Marvel.
In addition, the deal allows Netease’s comics platform to show comics from 12 Marvel franchises, including Captain America’s Civil War plotline, Spiderman, and Guardians of the Galaxy. Marvel has also made deals to screen their movies in China, with Chinese partners taking a cut.
This isn’t actually the first time Chinese heroes have made their way into large US comic franchises. Over the decades, numerous heroes with Chinese connections have appeared in comics and graphic novels, and perhaps the best, most recent example, was last year, when DC launched the Chinese Superman, Kenan Kong, who hailed from Shanghai and whose powers manifested along Daoist lines, in the form of qi.
In regard to the new Marvel arrangement, the deal is for comic books that will be released online, but given the size of the Chinese movie market, it seems likely that there will be further discussions on how to bring Chinese heroes into the film universe.
Chinese elements have appeared in Marvel’s superhero blockbuster universe a few times, though they’ve generally been pretty shoddy affairs. The most obvious instance was when Fan Bingbing made a very brief appearance as a surgeon’s assistant at the end of Iron Man 3.
Cover image from Mtime