Real Name: Hou-Yi
Occupation: Adventurer, God of the sun, farmer, former chief of the Youqiong (c. 2077 - 2019 BC)
Legal Status: Citizen of Ta-Lo
Identity: The general populace of Earth is unaware of the existence of Yi except as a mythological deity.
Other Aliases: Hau-Yi, Houyi, Shun-Yi
Place of Birth:
somewhere in the Tang Valley of Modern China
somewhere in the Tang Valley of Modern China
Marital Status: Separated
Known Relatives: Di Jun (father, alias Shun, possibly deceased), Xi-He (mother), Qui (uncle), nine brothers (names unrevealed, deceased), Chang-Xi (step-mother), Cheng-o (half-sister/ex-wife), He-Bo (brother-in-law), Yao (maternal grandfather), Yu-Huang (ancestor),
Group Affiliations: The Gods of China
Base of Operations: Yang-Ku (located somewhere in modern China) and Ta-Lo
First Appearance: Yi has not yet appeared in the Marvel or DC Universes.
History: Yi is a member of the Xian, an extra-dimensional race of beings worshipped in ancient times by the people of Ancient China. Yi is the son of Shun (Di Jun), the adopted mortal son of Yao, who reigned as Emperor of China in the 25th Century BC. Though he was born of a mortal father, he and his brothers, all sun-gods, were immortal and had mystical powers related to the sun. In ancient myths, they were often pictured as birds sitting in a mulberry tree on an island in the Eastern Sea. Each day, they traveled with their mother as she crossed the sky in a flying chariot. Eventually, Shun took Yao's throne as Emperor of China afterward. In ancient times, many of the Chinese gods served as rulers of the Chinese Empire and expanded its realm as far south as Indochina and as far west as Mongolia. Later Chinese rulers eventually constructed the Great Wall of China as a defense against their Mongolian enemies.
During the rule of Shun in the 22rd Century BC, the Chinese god Gong Gung tore down Mount Buzhou and caused a flood that devastated China. Shun appointed the hero Gun (also known by the name Kun) to hold back the floods, but to do so, Gun went to heaven to borrow a spell from Yu-Huang, the Ruler of the Chinese gods, to create dams and canals. Gun was successful in his endeavor although it took him thirteen years to do so, and Shun sent his son Yi and his brothers to use their godly powers to dry out the earth from the floods. Yu Huang had long warned Yi not to appear on earth with his brothers because their combined power was too great. The presence of the ten sun-gods on earth burned crops and scorched the earth. Once Yi realized what had happened, he opted to save the earth by slaying his brothers with his arrows.
Gun soon succeeded Shun as Emperor of China for his heroism, and Yi was revered as a god for saving the earth. As a god, he was the most adept warrior with a bow and arrow and taught his skills to other gods and mortals. His prized student was a youth named Feng Meng, but Yi's own archery skills enabled him to become champion of the gods as he slew the enemies of China. He rescued China from storms created by Fei-Lien, the god of winds, and battled his half-brother, He-Bo, a river-god, for flooding his banks. After defeating He Bo in battle, he encountered, Cheng-o, his half-sister, and took her to be his wife. However, when Yu-Huang stripped Yi of his childhood for slaying his brothers, she also was required to be stripped of her godhood.
In his battles against evil, Yi encountered and slew the giant Chiseltooth, the serpent Bashe at Lake Dongting and the giant Peng bird. Emperor Yao bestowed him the title of Marquis Pacifier of the Country. Although he cared nothing about being banished from heaven, he became afraid of Death and traveled to meet Xi Wang Mu, the wife of Yu Huang, who protected the gardens of the p'an t'ao, the celestial golden apples from which the Xian gained immortality. Yi hoped to obtain the elixir of immortality from her and told her of his adventures to gain permission. Xi Wang Mu eventually took pity on him and gave him enough elixir for himself and Chang-e, but she also required him to use his skills as an architect to build her a palace.
Yi remained indebted to Xi Wang Mu to build her palace, but Emperor Yao also dispatched him to slay threats he perceived to China. Meanwhile, Yi left the elixir unguarded at home for he and his wife. By now, Cheng-o had grown bitter that she also had lost her immortality. When she discovered the elixirs that Yi had left behind, she drank both shares and disappeared from Earth, returned to Ta-Lo, the home of the Chinese gods.
Embittered by the betrayal, Yi changed from being a hero to a tyrant to his mortal subjects. By now, Feng Meng's skills as an archer had increased to the point that he believed he was superior to Yi. He confronted Yi in an archery contest which Yi easily won, but upon deciding that Yi was no longer an honorable hero, Feng Meng decided to assassinate him as a ruthless tyrant. Joined with allies upset with Yi, Feng Meng surprised Yi under the auspices of a hunt and slew him. In one version of this account, Yu-Huang had now realized Yi had learned humility and cast a spell where Yi and Cheng-O had to share their immortality, requiring only one of them could live in Ta-Lo at a time while the other returned to Earth. Yi was given power over the day, and Cheng-O was given power over night as a result.
Despite this hindrance, Yi became one of the greatest gods of
the Chinese. As a god, he defended Ta-lo from several menaces for several centuries, but
the fall of the Chinese Empire prohibited him from gaining new worshippers.
Although retired as a god, he still commutes between earth and heaven, ready to
share the thrill of adventure with anyone willing to share it.
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 345 lbs.
Strength Level: Yi possesses superhuman strength enabling him to lift (press) 30 tons under optimal conditions.
Known Superhuman Powers: Yi possesses the conventional physical attributes of the Xian or Chinese gods. Like all of the Xian, he is functionally immortal: he has aged at an extremely slow rate since reaching adulthood and cannot die by any conventional means, but he is not a true immortal like the Gods of Olympus. He is immune to all Earthly diseases and is resistant to conventional injury. If he were somehow wounded, his godly life force would enable him to recover with superhuman speed. It would take an injury of such magnitude that it dispersed a major portion of his bodily molecules to cause him a physical death. Even then, it might be possible for a god of significant power, such as Yu-Huang or for a number of Chinese gods of equal power working together to revive him. Yi also possesses superhuman strength and his Xian metabolism provides him with far greater than human endurance in all physical activities. (Xian flesh and bone is about three times as dense as similar human tissue, contributing to the superhuman strength and weight of the Chinese gods.)
Yi has a number of mystical powers connected to sunlight; he can command and summon intense light radiating a proportion of heat to the amount of light he generates. He can produce a small amount of light equal to melting candles, or he can become bright enough to set fire to an entire city block or completely evaporate a small lake. He can also charge his arrows to burn and set their targets on fire. He can also levitate himself enough to fly incredible distances in a matter of seconds, covered the length of China from Bei Jing to Mount K'un-L'un in a matter of minutes. There are also purifying effects behind his power of sunlight and he can burn demonic creatures sensitive to sunlight, such as vampires and minor demons. However, his powers are limited solely to daylight, and he is completely mortal at night time.
Abilities: Yi is an above class archer, hunter and warrior
trained in the martial arts, specializing in karate, judo, ninjitsu and other
modes of unarmed combat utilizing all his senses and reflexes. He also utilizes
states of meditation to gain a state of inner peace and transcendental harmony. He
also has skills as an architect.
Weapons: Yi's preferred weapon is a golden bow and arrow enchanted to never miss a target. He is also adept in the use of swords.
Pets: Yi can fly the heavens in a chariot pulled by two dragons.
Limitations: Yi can only wield his powers during the
day in the presence of the sun; he is completely powerless at night,
experiencing all the mortal frailties of a typical human being. Any injuries he
experiences during this time are cured and healed once he regains his godhood.
Despite this limitation, he still maintains all his skills in mortal combat without
his godly gifts.
Comments: Yi has not yet made an appearance in Marvel or DC Comics or any other media. He is possibly behind the scenes when Thor visits Ta-Lo in Thor I #301.
Last updated: 03/27/12
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