Along the lines of Is there a depiction of Superman where he is an African American?

Was there ANY depiction of Superman as an Asian in the comics or even elsewhere?

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    Please clarify what you mean by Asian. A Siberian, Persian, or Lebanese Superman would unquestionably qualify, but I'm not sure if Armenia is considered Asian or European. – user14111 Sep 13 at 23:19
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    Japanese, Chinese,Siberian, Persian or Lebanese is basically what I’m going for on this one. – Abraham Ray Sep 13 at 23:20
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    Do fan-fics count? Because there is a DC/MHA merger fic that makes Izuka Midoriya the Last Son of Krypton... – Xavon_Wrentaile Sep 14 at 1:11
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    They could actually @Xavon_Wrentaile – Abraham Ray Sep 14 at 1:13
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    Fanfics should never be counted for questions like this, otherwise there's absolutely nothing stopping me from writing my own fanfic in which Superman is Asian and then submitting it as an answer. – F1Krazy Sep 14 at 11:47
up vote 42 down vote accepted
+150

Yes! At least three of them.

Kong Kenan

The recent New Super-Man comics feature Kong Kenan as the "Superman of China".

Kong Kenan

Note that he was some kind of replacement after the "usual" Clark Kent Superman died for the nth time.

Actually, he was shown to bully a rich kid (because he was the heir to the flight company who managed the plane Kong's mother died in) at first, then was pictured as a hero after facing a Chinese villain. He was selected to be engineered as part of the Super-Man of China project, which had the means to "replicate" Superman's powers.

Kong is recruited

His recruitment as a replacement however, is motivated by a shady branch of the Chinese government.

He eventually got to meet Clark Kent in Superman #16, during an arc which featured the villain of the month going after multiple Supermen across the multiverse.

Kong meets Clark

Up to oneself to decide whether that acknowledges him enough as a Superman!

Villain goes after the Supermen

You might also want to know that there are several other heroes in this arc as well, like Chinese Batman and Wonder Woman. They are the Justice League of China.

Justice League of China

Hoshi

In the 2002 Elseworld JLA: Shogun of steel, Kal-El's rocket lands in Feudal Japan. He is raised by a fisherman who names him Hoshi, his son of the stars. Thanks to Pharap for pointing out that "Hoshi" (星) just means "star", and "star son" would have to be "Hoshirou" (星郎).

Hoshi describes where he's from

He's able to wield a katana, but don't worry, the final fight involves the traditional Superman way of solving issues with punches, while dressed with the brand "S" symbol.

Hoshi punches Brainiac

Superman of Tokyo

Superman of Tokyo (2015) is part of the DC Nation shorts. It features an aging Superman giving his cape and his mantra to Kenta, son of the Japanese equivalent of reporter Lois Lane. Kenta then takes part in world (or at least Tokyo) saving from a giant robot.

For all its... unusualness, the short still features a depiction of Superman, who is Japanese, and is stamped DC.

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    I love the third panel in your post. "Let me divulge to you, an ordinary citizen, our country's greatest secret about our ability to reproduce an unparalleled living weapon!" "Uh, who are you?" – zibadawa timmy Sep 14 at 5:55
  • Strictly speaking "Hoshi" (星) just means "star". For "star son" it would have to be "Hoshirou" (星郎) (and that's as close as you'd get to "son of the stars". – Pharap Sep 15 at 3:52
  • @Pharap I think I remember the father in the issue calling Superman "Hoshi, son of the stars", but then again the writers may have known as much Japanese as I do... :) – Jenayah Sep 15 at 6:11
  • @Jenayah In that case "son of the stars" would be an epithet rather than the meaning of the name "Hoshi". It's like saying "Superman, man of steel". – Pharap Sep 15 at 7:32
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    @Pharap indeed - the exact quote is Hoshi, my child of the stars (panel). I'll correct that when I get to a computer. Thanks for pointing it out :) – Jenayah Sep 15 at 11:35

Dean Cain, who played Superman in the 90's TV show Lois and Clark, is actually 1/4 Japanese, and does identify as Asian American. However, by looks, I could see the audience not necessarily reading the character to be Asian American, and of course, Superman himself being an alien from Krypton, calling the character to be of any particular ethnicity is kind of a misnomer.

Dean Cain

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    Good answer. I never knew he had Japanese ancestry although he certainly has quite an interesting 'look' – Valorum Sep 13 at 21:54
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    He's actually more than 1/4. according to iMDb's trivia on him he is 3/8 Japanese – Ivo Beckers Sep 14 at 11:22
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    @IvoBeckers The link in the post is a Dean Cain tweet on his own ancestry; so I'd consider that 'canon' as we say on this site. – kingledion Sep 14 at 15:05
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    Indeed, the surname on his birth certificate (and tattooed on his ankle) is Tanaka.. – Davislor Sep 14 at 21:22
  • Absolutely amazing answer - thanks for that! – Fattie Sep 16 at 8:39

South Asian

In Superman: The Feral Man of Steel (Superman Annual #6), an Elseworlds story, the infant K'L'L lands in India in the 19th Century and grows up in the wild.

This version of Superman has the appearance of a dark-skinned Caucasian of South Asia.

Cover of *Superman: The Feral Man of Steel* (*Superman* Annual #6)

(Image source: Wikipedia)

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    interesting that his appearance should always correlate to the part of the world he landed in. – ths Sep 14 at 12:55
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    @ths It's probably because people generally really like the idea of of a seemingly completely average person having super powers, and if Superman looked distinctly different from the local population where he landed, people would start to question where he came from. – Kai Sep 14 at 14:50
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    @ths Clearly, it's one of his superpowers. – jpmc26 Sep 15 at 0:14
  • astounding! thanks for this! – Fattie Sep 16 at 8:39
  • That should have been SuperMowgli. – muru Sep 20 at 7:22

While this may be toeing the line between Eurasia, we do have a depiction of Soviet Superman, and Russia is technically in Asia (even if it shouldn't be culturally). In Superman: Red Son his ship lands in Ukraine instead of Kansas and he becomes a "Champion of the common worker"

The ᴙed son

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    Russia is only partly in Asia. The part west of the Urals (where the vast majority of Russians live) is Europe. But if we're talking Ukraine, that's definitely Europe and not Asia. – R.M. Sep 14 at 16:02
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    Also, mixing up "Russia" and "Ukraine" is going to bother some people, even if both are former Soviet Republics. – SJuan76 Sep 14 at 16:06
  • @R.M. he may have landed in Ukraine but he became the Superman almost exclusively commanded by Moscow. So it isn't unreasonable to say Russia. He landed in Ukraine but he grew up in Russia. – The Great Duck Sep 15 at 4:56
  • amazing!!!!!!!!!!!! – Fattie Sep 16 at 8:39
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    "While this may be toeing the line between some states, we do have a depiction of North American Superman, and US is technically in Texas (even if it shouldn't be culturally). In Superman: Redneck Son his ship lands in Canada instead of Ukraine and he becomes 'Champion of the nice citizen'". Erm, nope. Russia is only partly in Asia, and Ukraine is not part of Russia. (Seriously, to an Eastern European your post sounds about as right as the above nonsense, even if origin of your misconceptions is kind of understandable) – Frax Sep 21 at 5:58

I have never seen or heard of any clear depiction of Superman as anything other than the American of European origin that portrayed him in the original series. I specifically recall his motto of "truth, justice and the American way" being voiced over film of him standing with arms folded and cape flowing.

I think your question is interesting and yet your search better directed to characters of a similar nature with a known Asian origin. Aside from the films of several Chinese action stars such as Jackie Chan, Jet Lee, and Bruce Lee, most of us here in the US are completely ignorant of superhero film or comic book characters of an Asian (or any other non-European) origin. To my taste, remakes transposed to other cultural regions are often uninspired. The inspiration of the original is lost, if there was any to begin with.

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