Minorities in cartoons: Lady Shiva

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Last updated on December 10th, 2021

This week’s minorities in cartoons entry is Lady Shiva (real name: Sandra Wu-San/Sandra Woosan), a DC Comics supervillain. Shiva first appeared in “Richard Dragon, Kung Fu Fighter” #5 (December 1975). She was created by Dennis O’Neil and Ric Estrada.


Shiva was initially an adversary of martial artist Richard Dragon, a character created during the height of the 70s martial arts craze. Following various continuity revamps in the mid-80s, Shiva became mainly an adversary of Batman, with an altered backstory.

Shiva was born in a run-down village, and later moved with her sister to Detroit. There, the two learned and mastered various forms of martial arts until her sister was killed by David Cain, a member of the League of Assassins. Capturing Sandra, David agreed to spare her life (so she could pursue her own goals) if she bore him a child to raise and train as an assassin. After giving birth to their daughter (Cassandra Cain), Sandra left her with David, and resumed her own life course.

Lady Shiva’s regarded as one of the top martial artists and assassins in the DC Universe. As such, she’s crossed paths with Batman and other heroes on numerous occasions. She also spent a period of time (under the name “Jade Canary”) as part of the Birds of Prey.

Other media

Lady Shiva appeared in the short-lived “Birds of Prey” live-action TV series. Sung Hi Lee played Shiva.

Shiva also appeared in “Beware the Batman,” voiced by actress Fionla Hughes.

A heroic version of Lady Shiva appears in the “DC Super Hero Girls” web series. There, she’s a student at Super Hero High, and classmate of Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn, and others. She’s voiced by Tania Gunadi.

Anthony Dean

Anthony Dean is the owner of Diverse Tech Geek and Diverse Media Notes.

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