9 South Asian Marvel Heroes we Want to see in the Next Avengers

Marvel Cinematic Universe’s latest offering, “Avengers: Infinity War,” has been breaking records at the box office all over the world. The epic film took the franchise to new heights with a storyline that brought together many heroes like Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, Hawk Eye, Black Panther, Spiderman, and the Guardians of the Galaxy team.

Though the Avengers have a diverse range of species from Gods to aliens to humans, it lacked representation of people of color until the release of “Black Panther.” With the door of representation in the Marvel universe cracked open, why not bring out some more equally powerful superheroes of color out of the woodwork?

There is a gaping hole in the representation of South Asians in the cinematic Marvel universe. Aside from Ifran Khan in “The Amazing Spiderman” and Karan Soni in the “Deadpool” franchise, there are no other notable characters on the big screen, and they’re minor supporting characters at best. It’s not for lack of options, the Marvel comics have quite a few qualified and powerful South Asian superheroes who can take on pivotal roles, many of them women.

“Infinity War” ends on a huge cliffhanger, and without giving much of the film away, let’s just say the Avengers are going to need an extra hand in the upcoming films in the franchise. We have a list of some awesome South Asian heroes from the Marvel universe who could give the Avengers a hand.

9 South Asian Heroes we Want to see in Avengers:

1. Ms. Marvel

Real Name: Kamala Khan

Powers: Ms. Marvel is a polymorph, which means she can stretch, deform, expand or compress parts of her body or her entire body. She can also heal rapidly but only when she’s back in her human form.

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What’s her story?

Kamala Khan is a Pakistani-American born and raised in Jersey City, NJ. She comes from your typical desi family, with conservative Muslim parents and an elder brother. One night Kamala sneaks out of her house to go to a “cool” party at the Jersey Waterfront. After being teased by classmates, a miserable Khan makes her way home when the city was suddenly covered in the mutagenic Terrigen Mist. The mist is used in experiments to create Inhumans, a race of humans with mutant powers.

Kamala blacks out and sees strange visions of Captain America, Iron Man, and Captain Marvel. She awoke from the vision to discover she had powers and was dressed as a younger Carol Danvers, the original Ms. Marvel/Captain Marvel.

Kamala haphazardly tries to control and use her abilities, with only her best friend Bruno knowing the truth. She tries to balance the life with her strict parents while saving Jersey City from evils like The Inventor and terrorist inhuman cells.

2. Omega Sentinel

Real Name: Karima Shapandar

Power: As Omega Sentinel, Karima has advanced nanotechnology that gives her superhuman strength, regenerative abilities, the ability to fly, and a large selection of weapons. She also has a cloaking device that helps her hide in plain sight.

Omega Sentinel

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What’s her story?

Karima Shapandar is a police officer from India. While helping Neal Shaara find his missing brother, Sanjit, Bastion captures the two. Bastion is a villain who rises to power in the American government and begins an international anti-mutant force by transforming humans into Sentinels, “sleeper agents” programmed to morph and kill when mutants are near. Bastion transforms Karima into Omega Prime Sentinel and we discover Neal’s brother was transformed into Prime Sentinel. Bastion tried to transform Neal but it led Neal’s latent mutant abilities to kick in. Karima becomes aware of her Sentinel abilities and forces Neal to leave before she transforms in order to save him.

Later, Charles Xavier and Magneto are able to change her programming but the technological modifications to her body remain. Karima becomes a police officer on Genosha, a decimated mutant homeland.

3. Thunderbird

Real Name: Neal Shaara

Powers: Neal has the ability to convert heat into solar plasma, he can transform his entire body into solar plasma as well. He is able to manipulate and discharge solar plasma as beams through his eyes or limbs. He can also radiate blinding light as well as powerful energy from his body.

What’s his story?

Neal Shaara joins Officer Karima Shapandar to search for his brother Sanjit, and the two develop a deep friendship that becomes romantic. Not long after American supervillain Bastion kidnaps them both. Neal discovers that his brother Sanjit has been transformed into a Sentinel, an experimental being with programming to kill mutants. Bastion had plans to turn Karima and Neal into Sentinels as well and while Karima became Omega Prime Sentinel, the morphing process initiates Neal’s latent mutant powers.

Bastion’s plan backfires and Neal ends up destroying the building around him with his solar plasma abilities coming into full effect. Neal’s brother was able to fight off his Sentinel programming to fight Bastion’s other Sentinels and Karima forces Neal to leave before she transforms to save him.

Struggling with his mutant abilities, Neal contacts Moira MacTaggert, a Nobel Prize-winning geneticist who founded the Mutant Research Center on Muir Island. It is unknown why he gets the name Thunderbird. Neal later joins Storm’s X-Treme X-Men team.

4. Timeslip

Real Name: Rina Patel

Powers: Timeslip has the ability to move between time within her own consciousness. She can transfer her consciousness into her body in the past or future. She also has visions at times.

Day 22: May is #AsianHeritageMonth so every day I will be showcasing an #asiansuperhero or villain. Today is #RinaPatel aka #Timeslip of #MarvelComics. Timeslip first appeared in New Warriors 59 (May 1995) and was created by Evan Skolnick and Patrick Zircher. Rina Patel is an #Indian #mutant, born with special, superhuman abilities. Initially her only known special ability was to completely swap her current consciousness with her consciousness from any other point in her life, past or future. As a college student, Rina was seen “time-swapping” to when she was four years old as an escape from studying. At the same time, her four-year-old consciousness was time-swapped to her college-age self, causing the child version of herself to panic. Suddenly Rina’s current self was ripped to another time, a bewildering vision of herself in a superhero outfit talking with the #NewWarriors in their Crashpad headquarters. The short episode passed, and a confused Rina decided to pay little heed to the strange future that seemed to be in store for her. Rina Patel was one of the former Warriors whose secret identities and home addresses were “outed” on a New Warriors hate site, a backlash from the latest incarnation of the Warriors’ involvement in a catastrophe that was the catalyst of the Marvel Comics publishing event known as Civil War. After being “outed”, Rina was shown on the run from an angry mob, part of a growing anti-New Warrior (and anti-superhero in general) movement in the United States in reaction to the catastrophe. Rina has been identified as one of the 142 registered superheroes who appear to have joined the Initiative. Rina was recently seen celebrating the Holidays in San Francisco with the #XMen and other mutants still remaining after #MDay. Initially, Rina Patel could exchange her consciousness with her past or future self. Eventually she was capable of limited time travel, and also employed her abilities to simulate super speed by slowing time around her, much like #theFlash and his enemy #Zoom.

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What’s her story?

Rina Patel is a mutant of Indian origin born in Palo Alto, California. From a young age, she has visions of her future. She can swap consciousness with her future or past self. It takes her many years to control her abilities and to be able to accurately move through time.

Rina has visions of Speedball, a member of New Warriors, being in trouble. Instead of saving the real Speedball she ends up saving an imposter, Darrion Grobe from the year 2092. Darrion traveled back in time to stop his father from turning into the robot being, Advent. The New Warriors are skeptical at first, but soon accept Rina and she is named Timeslip. Rina helps defeat Darrion Grobe and his father.

5. Vesper

Raani Jatwinder takes on the role of Vesper Image/Media Source: Marvel Wiki Page
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Raani Jatwinder takes on the role of Vesper Image/Media Source: Marvel Wiki Page

Real Name: Raani Jatwinder

Powers: Vesper has telepathic powers and technopathy, the ability to manipulate technology.

What’s her story?

Little is known about the origins of Vesper and the rest of her Genetix team created by the British Dr. Oonagh Mullarkey. Some may have been active or latent mutants but due to Dr. Mullarkey’s experiments, they are all implanted with false memories and artificial backgrounds. They all were altered to have a monitoring harness that helps them control, be more accurate and develop their powers further. During a battle with Prime Evil, the Genetix team uncovers that their memories are false and of Dr. Mullarkey’s evil plans so they broke free. Apparently, Vesper uncovers the history files of the team but it was never divulged to the readers.

6. Excalibur

Real Name: Dr. Faiza Hussain

Powers: Excalibur can render people immobile and can manipulate people down to an atomic level to disassemble and reassemble them and heal them all while the person is conscious.

What’s her story?

Dr. Faiza Hussain is a second generation Pakistani-British medical doctor. She is the daughter of Dr. Farida Hussain, the former holder of Excalibur and Dr. Yusuf Hussain, a human who later is turned into a vampire. She is one of the only hijabi superheroes we have.

She was working triage in London during an attack by the aliens known as the Skrull. While doing her best on the battlefield and helping the Black Knight, Dane Whitman, an alien beam knocks her unconscious. While unconscious she dreamed of King Arthur’s legendary sword, Excalibur, and when she woke up she discovers she had the power to turn people into a living cross-section and paralyze them. After defeating the Skrull she was able to pull Excalibur from a rock and became its new master.

7. Enigma

Tara Virango is also known as Enigma she first appeared in the Spiderman series. Image/Media Source: David Lai Blog ">
Tara Virango is also known as Enigma she first appeared in the Spiderman series. Image/Media Source: David Lai Blog

Real Name: Tara Virango

Powers: Enigma has superhuman abilities like agility, speed, strength and the ability to fly. She is a skilled escape artist.

What’s her story?

Tara Virango is a Bangladeshi native who mutates through a nano-virus gaining superhuman strength and ability. The CIA apparently commissions AGK, Inc. to develop a nano-virus that enhances latent mutant abilities. The new technology was tested on the citizens of the small Bangladeshi village of Malpura, but they end up killing four thousand people. This nano-virus is what gave Tara her powers as well.

She arrived in New York City years later and contacts Spiderman to help in her revenge against AGK, Inc. She was able to mentally share her memories with him, showing him all the pain and suffering AGK caused. Tara took on the identity of Enigma and models her skills after the Buddhist goddess also named Tara to exact her revenge.

8. Indra

Real Name: Paras Gavaskar

Powers: Indra has a retractable exoskeleton so his body can form an armor in a variety of forms like a rhinoceros beetle or medieval armor. He has superhuman durability and is immune to trauma and retractable weapons such as powerful knives.

More info about his powers ___ Retractable Exoskeleton: Indra is a mutant who possesses the superhuman ability to form a very durable retractable exoskeleton around his body. The mechanic behind his power is unknown, but he is able to summon his exoskeleton almost instantaneously and with little to no restriction in his mobility. His exoskeleton formerly took the form of a rhinoceros beetle like armor but now he is able to summon a full-fledged set of ornate medieval armor. When Indra wills so, the armor dissipates into the air. ___ Retractable Weapons: Recently Indra has demonstrated the ability to form weapons (such as a knife) in a similar fashion to his armored exoskeleton. The knife Indra formed has shown to be sharp enough to cleave rock in half. He seems to be able to psionically levitate the weapons he creates. ________________ #marvel #marveluniverse #marvelcinematicuniverse #xmen #superhero #villain #xmendaysoffuturepast #xmenthelaststand #xmenapocalipse #xmenfirstclass #avengers #avengersageofultron #teamazingspiderman #spidermanhomecoming #Asgard #guardiansofthegalaxy #inhumans #SHIELD #humanmutate #FantasticFour #Defenders #mcu #mutant #ParasGavaskar #Indra #marvelprofilesm _______________

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What’s his story?

A mutant teen from India, Paras joins the Xavier Institute and took on the name Indra. After the M-Day incident when many of the mutant students lost their powers, Indra was one of the few who retains his mutant abilities. He and the institute’s students survive capture by the sorcerer Belasco after which he relocates to the X-Men’s base in San Francisco and then Utopia. He begins counseling with Rogue because of an internal crisis about violating his Jain faith.

There’s even a storyline about Indra’s family tricking him into going to India to set up his arranged marriage to Vaipala Rani but chaos ensues involving supervillains and bride swapping, so the wedding never happens. Even mutant heroes can’t escape desi parents and arranged marriages.

9. Dust

Real Name: Sooraya Qadir

Powers: Dust can control and turn into dust and sand. Dust can bring on sandstorms too.  She is skilled at hand to hand contact, she has resistance to the telepathic abilities of others, superhuman skin, bone and muscles making it hard to injure her. Her abilities also make it hard to detect her magically.

More info about her powers ___ Sand Form: Dust has the ability to convert herself into a destructive sand blast by simultaneously transforming the substance of her body into loose silicon particles and creating an explosive release at her center, expelling her sandy mass at high velocity in all directions, then cause her particles to reassemble themselves back into her human form. With apparent telepathic control, she can then move at high velocity resembling a sand storm. ___ Telepathic Resistance: Dust is very hard to telepathically detect or influence while in her sand-like form, even for more powerful telepaths like Professor Xavier and Jean Grey. ___ Enhanced Durability: Dust’s skin, bone and muscle augmented to make it stronger and harder than human; impervious to injury to a certain extent. ___ Magical Resistance: Dust is very hard to magically detect or influence while in sand-life form. __________________________________________ #marvel #marveluniverse #marvelcinematicuniverse #xmen #superhero #villain #xmendaysoffuturepast #xmenthelaststand #xmenapocalipse #xmenfirstclass #avengers #avengersageofultron #teamazingspiderman #spidermanhomecoming #Asgard #guardiansofthegalaxy #inhumans #SHIELD #humanmutate #FantasticFour #Defenders #mcu #mutant #SoorayaQadir #Dust #marvelprofilesm __________________________________________

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What’s her story?

Sooraya Qadir was sold into slavery as a child in Afghanistan and Wolverine rescues her from the slave ring. Wolverine sends her to the Indian X-Corporation base in Mumbai but she hides from the X-Men by turning to dust. Phoenix, who senses Sooraya’s presence, and telepathically convinces her to reveal herself.

Dust enrolls at the Xavier Institute and is placed in the Special Class with Professor Xorn to help her acclimate to the new environment. Dust was suspicious of Xorn’s motives and she even warns Professor X, but Xorn made it seem like she was out of control. Xorn tries to take over the school and Professor X’s place. Dust and the fellow X-Men defeat Xorn. After M-Day, Dust still has her powers and joins the Hellions squad led by Emma Frost. Her faith, morals, and traditions are tested in this group of rebels but she supports her team members.

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