I Ching (comics)
I Ching from Wonder Woman #180,
artist Mike Sekowsky.
|First appearance||Wonder Woman vol. 1 #179,
|Created by||Denny O'Neil (writer)
Mike Sekowsky (artist)
|Alter ego||I Ching|
|Supporting character of||Wonder Woman|
|Abilities||Martial artist, mystic|
I Ching (often spelled I-Ching) is a fictional, blind martial artist published by DC Comics. He first appeared in Wonder Woman vol. 1 #179 (November 1968), and was created by Denny O'Neil and Mike Sekowsky.
Fictional character biography
I Ching is the last surviving member of an ancient sect, whose monastery was hidden high in the mountains. Their task was to maintain ageless knowledge lost centuries past - a time when men concluded that magic and science are different. Only the sect knew that they are sides of the same coin. The Temple contained several of precious gems and metals. Desiring this treasure, Doctor Cyber sent agents to raid the temple. During this attack, all members of the temple were murdered with the sole exception of I Ching, who managed to escape with serious injuries.
Around this time, Wonder Woman surrendered her powers to remain in "Man's World" rather than accompany her fellow Amazons when they relocated to another dimension so they could "restore their magic." Now a mod boutique owner, the powerless Diana Prince acquired I Ching as her mentor. Under I Ching's guidance, Diana trained her body as a weapon, learned martial arts and weapons skills, and undertook adventures that encompassed a variety of genres, from espionage to mythology. It is also revealed that I Ching has a daughter, Lu Shan.
Wonder Woman's powers and traditional costume were restored in 1973 (issue #204). The issue begins with a lunatic sniper gunning down innocent passersby from his rooftop vantage point. A newly married couple driving to their honeymoon destination are among the fatalities and their car crashes into a nearby restaurant where Diana Prince and her mentor I Ching are dining. During the chaos, the sniper fires again and this time he kills I Ching, who dies in the arms of a distraught Diana.
Post-Crisis/One Year Later
In Justice League of America #0, Wonder Woman is shown in her white "Diana Prince" outfit during a flashback. It is unknown if her time as a powerless adventurer has been restored in her history, or if I Ching was her mentor.
Later in Wonder Woman #2, photos are obtained of Wonder Woman training with an Eastern mystic code-named I Ching. In the photos (presumably obtained during the one-year gap), Wonder Woman is in her white "Diana Prince" outfit.
In Detective Comics #838, Robin #169, and Nightwing #139, I Ching works with Batman against Ra's al Ghul, ultimately involving himself in Robin and Nightwing's conflict regarding the Lazarus Pit.
I Ching returns to help Batman and Robin defeat Sensei in Batman #705-707.
I-Ching appears in The New Super-Man #7 as a martial arts instructor in China, whose guidance Kenan Kong seeks in order to better control his powers. In later issues, he is revealed to be connected to an identical-looking villain named All-Yang, who caused multiple problems Kenan and his friends are facing, using disguise of Ching Lung, a villain from Detective Comics #1. The nature of their connection is vague, with I-Ching referring to them as brothers, while All-Yang insisting I-Ching is merely his creation and shadow.