secret identities superhero contest winner: hush
I apologize that this took so long... At long last, here's the final winner from our Secret Identities Superhero Contest, where readers were asked to submit their own original idea for an Asian American superhero. We would have posted this sooner, but understandably, superstar comic book artist Bernard Chang is a busy man. So without further ado, here is Hush by Juli Martin, as rendered above by Bernard Chang.
Abandoned 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.
Corrupt 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.
GenFX's 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.
Optimistically, they're aiming for a Spring 2011 release. To learn more about the anthology, visit the Secret Identities website here.
now I'd love to see a female queer superhero who doesnt easily conform to mainstream standards of beauty...like a more full-figured character