Top 6 Comic Book Martial Artists (Not Named Shang-Chi)
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is only a day away for yours truly! I can’t wait! Word has it that the martial arts action in this movie is going to be off the chain! Who doesn’t love a good martial arts action movie? Who doesn’t love a good martial arts action superhero?
To celebrate the new movie, I’ve decided to list a bunch of other awesome martial arts characters in comics. Obviously, a ton of characters know how to fight and do martial arts. Batman is one of the world’s best fighters in the DC Universe. So this list is specifically for characters whose whole schtick is being a martial arts master. That is their general aesthetic. And I think I’ve picked out some pretty good ones!
6. Cassandra Cain
Back in the day, Cassandra Cain’s aesthetic was Batgirl. And I think that might even be coming back? But more than anything, across all the decades, Cassandra Cain has been a fighter. She was specifically raised to treat martial arts as a language. That was how she was taught to communicate. She’s a better fighter than Batman and is one of the best martial artists in the DC Universe. She gets a lot of that from her mom, who also appears on this list.
5. Karate Kid
Every member of the Legion of Super-Heroes has a unique power, and for Val Amorr, that power is martial arts. A resident of Earth, Karate Kid is a master of every form of martial arts that exists by the 31st century. The dude is just so darn good at martial arts that he doesn’t need any other character traits. He even developed something called “Super Karate” just so that he could take Superboy in a fight. That is dedication to the craft.
Elektra is a lot more than just Daredevil’s troublesome girlfriend. She’s a ninja warrior of the highest caliber. Sometimes she works for the bad guys, sometimes she’s one of the good guys. Either way, they don’t get more comic book ninja badass than Elektra.
3. Lady Shiva
Speaking of Cassandra Cain’s mom, meet Lady Shiva, the most badass female fighter in all of DC Comics. A grandmaster of multiple martial arts, Shiva came into her own when the League of Assassins killed her sister, granting her the freedom to fly free and train like the queen of all martial arts. This also led her to give a child to assassin David Cain. With these two things in her past, Shiva remade herself and became the warrior she is today, often serving as an assassin herself, though sometimes she’s a good guy.
2. Iron Fist
If we’re not talking Shang-Chi in the Marvel Universe, then we’re definitely talking Iron Fist. He’s a martial arts master with an actual super-power, which is likely why he was chosen for that Netflix TV show a while back. Danny Rand was an orphan who was taken in by a mystical city and learned martial arts, earning the right to slay a dragon and claim the Iron Fist. He’s one of a long line of Iron Fist through the ages, and hopefully makes it into the Shang-Chi sequel.
1. Richard Dragon
If Shang-Chi is the greatest martial artist in the Marvel Universe then Richard Dragon is the greatest martial artist in the DC Universe. Dragon has had a couple of different origins in the comics and never really headlined his own comic. Mostly he’s this awesome, powerful, mythical fighter that other characters go to for training. He was involved in the origin of Lady Shiva, and he trained the likes of the Question, Huntress and Barbara Gordon at one point or another. Dude is mostly in it for the training, because that’s what you’ve got to look forward to when you’re the absolute best in the world.