Books & Art

A Filipino Will Write the Origin Story of Wave, the Marvel Superhero from Cebu

Alyssa Wong will also be writing several titles in the Marvel Future Fight lineup.
IMAGE MARVEL STUDIOS/TWITTER @crashwong
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Now that the San Diego Comic-Con is over, your newsfeed is probably flooded with a lot of Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 4 news. Of course, every Marvel fanboy and girl out there is excited with all these movies and TV shows we have to look forward to, but there was another piece of news that got me very excited as well. 

During SDCC, Marvel also announced that Alyssa Wong will be co-writing the superhero origin of Wave, as well as writing several titles from the Marvel Future Fight lineup of heroes. 

What makes this so exciting? 

First of all, it’s great to know that Marvel is continuing to develop the character of Wave, the newest Filipino Marvel superhero! She was introduced in War of the Realms: Agents of Atlas, where we saw her use her water manipulation powers to defend the Philippines (and the rest of the world) from invading fire goblins.  

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Wave was written and created by Greg Pak and her costume was designed by Filipino comic book superstar artist Leinil Yu. (By the way, it was also announced at SDCC that Leinil will be the artist of the new X-Men comic book, written by Jonathan Hickman.) 

So, where did Wave get her super powers? That’s all being revealed in the pages of the comic book Aero, which is about a new Chinese superhero who can control the wind. The backstory of the book is all about Wave and how she started out as an aspiring swimmer from Cebu, who worked in a fast food restaurant to earn money for her tuition.  

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Pak will continue to co-write Wave’s story with Wong, who is a multi-awarded science fiction writer. She’s already won the Nebula Award, the World Fantasy Award, and the Locus Award and has written an Adventure Time comic book and stories for the video game Overwatch. It’s always great to see someone from a non-comic book background bring in something new to the comic book medium.  

What I find as interesting is the fact that her mom is Filipino. Which means, this might be the first time we’ll get to read a Marvel Comics story about a Filipina superhero that’s written by a Filipina! 

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To aspiring Filipino comic book creators out there, learning about this can be truly inspiring. The last time this happened to me was back in the 1990s, when I found out that the artist of the X-Men, Whilce Portacio, was a Filipino. It was mind-blowing for me to learn that a fellow Filipino was creating the stories of my favorite superheroes. So, I can only imagine what it will be like for a young writer or artist to now learn that their new favorite Filipino superhero is also being written by a Filipina. 

In an interview with Marvel Comics, Wong talked about how she was offered the assignment to write the story of Wave and Aero: “Greg Pak, whose work I've admired for some time, called me and asked me if I wanted to co-write the Wave and Aero stories with him! He'd read some of my work and thought I would be a good fit for the project. My mom is Filipina and my dad is Chinese, and a lot of my sci-fi and fantasy stories tend to be about women with strange, supernatural abilities. I was honored that he thought of me, so obviously I said yes!” 

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She also talked about how it feels to write a Filipino character that’s set in the Marvel Universe: “I'm also so excited for Wave and the fact that we have a Filipina superhero who's taking center stage. I never got to see Filipino characters when I was growing up, so it's so, so cool to write Wave now! She's strong because of her water manipulation powers, but she also draws strength from her community and her lolo. And that feels emotionally true, to me, for a Filipino superhero.” 

Aside from Wave, Alyssa is also writing the comic book White Fox, which will be drawn by Filipino illustrator Kevin Libranda: 

“Ami Han is White Fox: a spy, a superhero, and the last of the kumiho—a mystical race of shapeshifters. But who was she before she became White Fox? And what happened to the rest of the kumiho? This October, Alyssa Wong teams up with Kevin Libranda and others to provide all the awesome answers!” 

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So, you can probably say that this is first time we’ll have an all-Filipino team writing and drawing a Marvel comic book. How cool is that? 

Wave and White Fox will also be part of the new "Agents of Atlas series," so we’ll be seeing more of our new super Filipino and this growing roster of Asian Marvel superheroes. 

Maybe their stories will inspire kids. Instead of putting on a cape and pretending to fly, they’ll pick up a stick and pretend to command the sea and water, just like Wave! 

Budjette Tan is the writer and co-creator of the award-winning comic books Trese and The Dark Colony. He’s also the co-editor and writer of The Lost Journal of Alejandro Pardo and The Black Bestiary. He currently works in Denmark as one of the creative leads in the LEGO Agency. The rest of his time is devoted to teaching his three-year old son all the characters in the Marvel Universe.

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Budjette Tan
Budjette Tan is the writer and co-creator of the award-winning comic books 'Trese' and 'The Dark Colony.' He’s also the co-editor and writer of 'The Lost Journal of Alejandro Pardo' and 'The Black Bestiary.' He currently works in Denmark as one of the creative leads in the LEGO Agency. The rest of his time is devoted to teaching his three-year old son all the characters in the Marvel Universe.
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