Korean adoptee winner in “secret identities” superhero contest

Secretidentities_hush According to Angry Asian Man, fellow Korean adoptee and activist Juli Martin, blogger at Grinding Up Stones (and fellow knitter) is the winner of the Secret Identities superhero contest for her entry Hush.

Juli's description of her superhero:

as a newborn, Jane was adopted from Korea by a wealthy white couple at
four months. After unexpectedly having two biological children, Jane's
adoptive parents feel they have no use for her, and when she comes out
as bisexual at age 13, they kick her out. She is shuffled through the
foster care system until aging out, at which point she moves to The
Center, a cooperative home for homeless LGBTQ youth. Abandoned so many
times, she now calls herself "Jane Doe."

Jane is a
queer femme woman, slim build, 20. Her black hair is cut choppy and
asymmetrical, streaked with electric blue. Her style is edgy and
futuristic, in black, gray and blue.

governmental wheeling and dealing put The Center in the hands of
multibillionaire Elliot Rush, whose biotech firm GenFX needs secret
human testing. Believing the residents of The Center are “throwaway”
people – people no one will miss – Rush uses them as human guinea pigs.

serum takes prexisting traits in the host and amplifies them to a
superhuman level, operating under the theory that if a body has a
predisposition towards a certain ability, enhancing that trait will
give the individual intuitive control over it. Jane has a keen
emotional awareness that allows her to read people, situations,
feelings and intentions, so when exposed to the serum, her body reacts
by amplifying her existing emotional intelligence. She becomes
telepathic, and in addition to being able to read others' minds, she
can speak to them in their thoughts and share images or sounds. When
experiencing strong emotions, these feelings "radiate," positively or
negatively affecting those around her.

Because it is not
immediately known what powers are developing within each subject (and
how), Jane's telepathy allows her to learn more about Rush's intentions
than subjects were supposed to know. Using her abilities, Jane informs
the others that Rush plans to destroy them once he has the data he
needs. She and the others secretly develop their powers and plan an
escape. Their plans are interrupted, however, when Rush, suspicious of
Jane, separates her from the others.

While being held by
Rush, Jane learns that he has called for armed reinforcements. She
pleads with the others to get out and leave her behind, but they
refuse. Instead, they risk everything to rescue her, and when the
battle is over, Jane feels claimed and protected for the first time.
From that moment on, her commitment to the others and ensuring their
safety is solidified.

Rush manages to escape the
fighting, but not without sustaining severe burns in the process, and
slips into a coma. When he awakes, he has been disenfranchised by his
company and insane from a virus in his skin grafts which ate away the
logic and reason portions of his brain. Engraged, he begins to assemble
a crew of bio-engineered villains to seek revenge and destroy all who
inhibit his rise to power.

SI The Editor's description of why they chose Hush:

loved the uniqueness of Hush's background–how many other lesbian,
transracially adopted superheroines are there in comics? Not
enough!–and the rich emotions at play in her characterization. We did
end up editing aspects of her power and origin, however, both to make
her code name make sense and to bring her power away from that of other

We also liked the notion of turning a vulnerability
into a power: In this edit, Jane goes from self-imposed isolation and
emotional repression to becoming superhumanly empathic; we thought that
it was really interesting that such an ability would turn her into a
formidable opponent. Think about it: If you could instantly read a
person's emotions and responses, and react with exactly the right
physical or verbal cue, you'd be both a killer hand-to-hand combat
artist and a devastating manipulator, wouldn't you?

For more about Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology, click here. Please support my fellow Asian American writers and artists!

Remember, those of you who have adopted Asian children, it is important for them to see all kinds of powerful and strong representations of Asian Americans!!