Marvel has just announced that the newest incarnation of Captain America will be a Filipino-American college student named Ari Agbayani.
For Superhero fans in the Asian American community that have been longing for more superheroes, it’s time to be excited. Ari will be introduced in the upcoming issue of The United States of Captain America.
The character will not be inspired by Steve Rogers or Sam Wilson’s Captain America, however, but by Bucky Barnes’ version of the iconic mantle. That also includes a similar outfit to the former Winter Soldier, making Agbayani’s version of Cap something of a super heroine vigilante.
The character was created by Marvel comic writers Christopher Cantwell, Alyssa Wong, Dale Eaglesham and Jodi Nishijima.
Meeting The Latest Captain America
Wong was interviewed about the newest Captain America.
During Wong’s interview he explained that:
“When editor Alanna Smith approached me about creating a new, local Captain America for this series, I immediately knew I wanted to write a Filipino-American girl,” Wong said. “There just aren’t very many of us in comics! I grew up without a Filipino-American community for the most part, so every time I see a Filipino character, I get excited. And getting to create one–a Captain America, even!–feels incredibly special.”
Wong also explained the origins of Agbayani and her character traits:
“Ari Agbayani is a scholarship student at a small, private university,” she continued. “When she finds out her best friend is being victimized by a wealthy legacy student, Ari is determined to make things right. But what can she do when her college is only concerned with keeping its donors happy, and half the buildings on campus are named after her best friend’s abuser? In order to take him down, she’ll have to get creative.”
Nishijima then shared the honor in finally bringing Agbayani to life and the character being a inspiration to Filipino Americans.
“I’m honored that my debut at Marvel could coincide with such an important and unique project,” Nishijima added. “To be able to lend my thoughts and experiences to a property and concept I greatly admire, as well as work alongside such talented and diverse creators, brings me an excitement that cannot be understated.
Ari’s design was inspired by all the girls I’ve known in my life who in their day to day appear very sweet and empathetic, but when challenged can be terribly fierce. Her style is very much what I and my friends would feel comfortable and confident in wearing as well! I hope that her youthful design is well communicated and relatable, but no matter what I’m so glad that I could help bring her to life!”
Lets just say that the new Cap might surprise as all.
As a fellow Filipino American, I have to say this is a big deal our community. There has not been a lot Asian representation in the comic book or superhero world. We had iconic figures such as Amadeus Cho and now currently Shang-Chi which his movie will be coming this upcoming September, but never a Filipino American super heroine with a big mantle.
Hopefully with Ari Agbayani’s introduction in the comic book world, we will see more Superheroes with Asian Descent. Hopefully Agbayani can make us all proud and help honor the Captain America name or mantle. Also you never know we might see Agbayani’s incarnation of Captain America in a future series or a film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.