Why “First real Pinoy Marvel hero” Wave (a.k.a. Pearl Pangan) is unhealthy for Filipino Pride

First Filipinos latched on to “heroes” who were actual real people — like Manny Pacquiao and, before him, the late former Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. Many more, past, present, and future, are subjects of Filipinos’ idolatry to the detriment of a now-anemic resolve to face real national issues using real resources and capability.

Perhaps we are now seeing the end of an era seeing that flesh-and-bone “heroes” tend to end up being big disappointments eventually. The solution? Come up with a fictitious one. But it would’ve been bad enough if this fictitious new hero were a homegrown product of native Filipino culture. The new proposed Filipino superhero to join the Marvel Universe isn’t such. Pearl Pangan, a.k.a., Wave, we are told, will be a character owned by the Marvel franchise. But of course. It would be crazy for any studio exec with even the smallest ounce of business sense to have artefacts of its cultural assets exposed to the smallest hint of claim from other parties it has no interest in other than to milk box office revenue from.

Nonetheless this bit of business reality flies way over the heads of starstruck Filipinos. It does not even occur to most that right under their noses is a quaint homegrown Filipino hero named Darna who also fits the typical American superhero archetype (wears a cape and flies and all that) but is a relatively original product of the local arts and entertainment landscape.

By the looks of some sneak peeks into the handful of images making the rounds on the Net, the “fight” Wave will be engaged in involves, what else, the spat over the South China Sea. This, not surprisingly, is getting all the snowflakes excited as it will be an illustrated narrative that represents their collective anxieties and aspirations.

They shouldn’t hold their breath, though. China is the biggest source of box office receipts for America’s Marvel Empire and, for that matter, just about every major film production outfit on the other side of the planet. Studio execs would be insane to put something out there that would piss off the government of their biggest market.

The thing with Filipinos is rather than come up with their own they’d rather depend on others. Rather than create their own business empire that taps into their own original mythology, Filipinos would rather celebrate a “local hero” subsumed into the universe of — what do the commies call them? — the Ugly Imperialist Americans.

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14 Comments on “Why “First real Pinoy Marvel hero” Wave (a.k.a. Pearl Pangan) is unhealthy for Filipino Pride”

  1. Meh, I don’t even mind if Wave is Filipino or not but what I care is how the character was written. The problem with Marvel comics nowadays is that they went for representation and not creating/developing characters and good stories. That’s why my all-time favorite Marvel characters are still Captain America and Daredevil, with Spider-Man being 3rd.

    Speaking of commies, I wonder how will they react about Superman:Red Son.

    1. Indeed. Mine remains Spiderman, because the character sits atop a deep well of background narrative development that goes back decades. To be fair, the Marvel cinematic franchise today invested a lot in character development over a series of films built upon a coherent encompassing framework. If they go down the path of focusing on representation (likely with the aim of extending their reach to other audience groups), that is where the strategy becomes problematic.

      1. Carol Danvers is used to be good when she is Ms. Marvel. Now when she took the Captain Marvel mantle from Mar-Vell, this is where it goes downhill since most of her writers are feminist SJWs. So they’re instilling their woke politics in comics. That even made me hate the MCU Captain Marvel more because of Brie Larson herself.

    2. I agree. Don’t see any problem with “Pearl Pangan”. I get the feeling @benign0 is accusing Marvel of “cultural appropriation”, which seems a bit odd given his usual attitude to the self-righteous left.

      But yeah. The stories. The South China Sea spat? Is that for real? Does anybody actually think that’s an exciting storyline? They must want their heads examined.

      1. Rappler wrote about it here.

        In the preview posted by Adventures in Poor Taste and shared by writer Greg Pak, Wave is shown responding to what she feels is a disturbance in the water, only to face off with Chinese hero Aero, who is based in Shanghai.

        “These aren’t Chinese waters!” she says to Aero, who was turned out to be responding to a disturbance in the wind. As the two heroes investigate the disturbances, an explosion ensues, and the rest of the story unfolds.

        The character is being used to make a political statement.

  2. She’s technically not the first “real” Filipino superhero, but if you’re playing semantics like those who watched Black Panther say that he was the “first” Black superhero for brownie points, then you’re an ill-informed idiot, and the comic book industry has been in a sad state for years, I could go on how Marvel and DC effectively stranglehold the entire industry with their monopoly or how childish and spiteful these “Professional” comic book writers and artists are that they will sabotage any upstart that offends them, not to mention even though Marvel Studios can brag about their billions in ticket sales and merchandising, it never translates to comic book sales, and they are still in the red. Lastly, political garbage like this is the norm, they don’t treat comic book stories as escapism anymore, it’s modern day socio-political to ideological propaganda and it’s sad, much sadder to know that how the industry treats comic book making, they treat it like it’s Hollywood or major network television shows, they are written awfully and they don’t know what demographic to pander to.

    Even the barely-alive Komiks here in the Philippines are more entertaining than modern day Marvel or DC, and it’s funny, years ago Marvel tried to appeal to the Chinese with S.P.E.A.R. , a S.H.I.E.L.D. and Avengers analogue, and DC with the aptly-named Justice League of China. They’re trying to appeal to everyone and just fails at it, it’s why Komikons here you’ll have more fans cosplaying their favorite Manga characters and actually knowing about the story and background while the Superhero fans can only take their story from the movies, and not the comics because they’re convoluted and have 40-70 years history that is all over the place.

  3. Pinoy Wave a.k.a. Pangan, is a badly imitated SuperHero story, from American SuperHero characters…

    The original good story should be: Pinoy Wave is fighting against the two Arch Villains of the Philippines: Trililing Trillanes and his evil master, Pnoy Aquino.

    China has grabbed our islands in Palawan. It is because these two Arch Villains, sold the islands secretly to the Chinese. Used the Philippine mountains, as landfills and turned it into a military base.

    These two Super Villains are too corrupt, that “Pinoy Wave a.k.a Pangan”, must find these two evil villains, hiding somewhere in the Universe. If the SuperHero could find them; he would throw them into the inferno called: Hades. So that they cannot sell our islands , the Philippines and us , again to the Chinese…I think, this will be a better scenario of the story.

    Abangan ang susunod na kabanata !

  4. I think rodel is bikoy. he’s trying to bluff the NBI. no webmaster can give his site for use to others. it’s his personal. he’ll just give all anonymous names nowhere to be found.

  5. Reminds me, I wonder if people remember Grail from the Image Comics team Wetworks, made by Filipino artist Whilce Portacio in the 1990s. That guy is Filipino and when he first discovered his hands glowing because of his newfound powers, he exclaimed in big letters, “Susmaryosep!” Nothing more Filipino than that.

    But the celebration of “heroes” is generally unhealthy for Filipinos, because it represents the desire for chronic dependence on others, and to eschew personal responsibility to support oneself.

    1. wetworks#3. i still have the comic book. his primary weapon were arnis. regine velazquez was a reporter in that universe. i remember being ecstatic then, but in retrospect, nothing really to be excited about.

  6. pearl WHOT ?
    chances are that comic strip character would drown outright
    from the onslaught of REAL waves of floating plastic debris now choking the Pacific.
    some Flips, awash to the gills with Yanqui fiction,
    allowing themselves to be transported into some kind of suspended animation
    to momentarily escape the jarring realities of life_hardly MARVEL-ous.
    ‘must have been precipitated by that lady who authored an article
    stating that the country needs “kryptonite” badly to solve its woes.
    dog gone it ! it’s “la vida EAT BULAGA loca” time !

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