- Her hobby is hunting down the best fighters in the world and beating them to death with her bare hands.
Sandra Wu-San, alias Lady Shiva is one of the world's greatest martial artist, possibly the best. Not much is known about her before the murder of her sister, Carolyn. After her sister was murdered, a rich and powerful criminal named Cravat convinced Sandra that a 'spy' named Richard Dragon had killed her. There was a spark of what Sandra would become in her even then. Cravat saw that spark in Sandra and took advantage of her, sending her after Dragon for reasons of his own. Dragon was a world class martial artist. Knowing that she would have to be well-trained to avenge her sister, Sandra trained herself in martial arts. As she trained, she found that she had a natural inborn skill for the movements and the techniques. Her skills increased at an unheard of speed until she felt as though she was ready to find and challenge Dragon.
The battle she craved was not to be. After tracking Richard Dragon down, he managed to explain that Cravat had lied about the identity of Carolyn's killer. Cravat had used her for his own purposes in an attempt to kill Dragon. With this revelation and no knowledge available to her as to who actually had killed her sister, Sandra's purpose vanished. There was no need for her extensive martial knowledge and all of the training she had done. Seeing the potential for great things in her, Dragon continued to teach Sandra, the training giving her purpose again. He also coaxed her to explore the spiritual side of martial arts. During that exploration of herself and the mystic world, Sandra discovered what she saw as important truths. These discoveries helped her decide to let go of her past and to embark upon a new life, a new future - from then on she was Sandra no more, renaming herself Shiva.
After her reinvention, she fought crime with Richard Dragon and Ben Turner. Her time as a crime fighter lasted for a short time. This time, in its brevity, prepared her for the wandering existence her life would become. Richard Dragon decided to retire into the mountains, becoming reclusive. Ben Turner was brainwashed and eventually transformed into the Bronze Tiger. Shiva sought a path closer to her perception of her true self.
Shiva decided to go with her skills and natural talents, continuing to perfect her martial arts. During her time with Richard Dragon she had become addicted to combat and life-or-death situations. Already a very accomplished martial artist, Shiva hired herself out as a mercenary in order to finance her activities and training. While doing right had been a factor in her life previously, it was becoming less and less of a consideration as she followed the path she set for herself. Her considerable skills allowed her to ask a high price for her services and there were plenty of takers.
Shiva was once hired to kill Victor Sage, The Question. She defeated him with ease. After his defeat, he was shot in the head and dumped into the river. Having seen something in him, maybe having been impressed by his potential skill, she saved him, fishing him out of the river. Shiva took him into the mountains to meet her former sensei, Richard Dragon, so he could have the same chances to refine and improve upon his skill. They have encountered each other from time to time since then. Almost every time Shiva tests his skills against her own. Sage has become a measuring stick for Shiva and she has been heard to comment that his skills are among the best in the world.
Shiva continued to sell her services as a mercenary for the money and the challenge it brought her. Eventually, she crossed paths with the League of Assassins, as well as its leader, Ra's al Ghul. Ra's handed most of the operations over to Shiva, which would bring about a struggle for control between the two of them later on. Though Shiva’s primary concern is the perfection of her skills, she has kept close ties with the League over the years.
Shiva was also hired to train prospective assassins, mercenaries or terrorists. She was in the Middle East training a small group of would be terrorists when it came to light that she had something to do with the father of Jason Todd, the second Robin. This connection caused Jason and his mentor Batman to seek her out, thinking that she might perhaps be his mother. Shiva fought with Batman, impressing him quickly with her skill, speed and power. If not for the intervention of Robin, Shiva would have defeated the Dark Knight. When asked, under the effect of sodium pentothal if she was Jason Todd’s mother, she laughed, finding the idea amusing. Shiva began to track down those who referred to themselves as Shihan, "Master", or any other title proclaiming mastery of a martial arts form. She would learn what she could from them and depending on their skill, kill them when they were of no further use to her. Shiva’s decision whether or not to kill a particular opponent seem to be based on whimsy. During this time, while seeking out Green Arrow with Sensei for a mission, she encountered and fought with Black Canary.
Later, Shiva developed a specific interest in Koroshi, master of the art of empty-handed fighting, after hearing that he had been defeated. Any time a true martial arts master is defeated, Shiva does her best to verify the fact and discover how it was accomplished. After gaining no information from Koroshi himself, she started to look for the man rumored to have defeated him, King Snake, to get the information from him instead. During her search, she met Timothy Drake, who was undergoing training to become the new Robin. Tim Drake was fighting King Snake's criminal organization, the Ghost Dragons, with the help of a DEA agent, Clyde Rawlins. Shiva trained Tim in martial arts generally and specifically in one weapon - he chose the bo staff. Shiva mentioned, somewhat derisively, that it was not a lethal weapon, to which he replied that was the reason he had chosen it. At the end of his training, he defeated Shiva once, with the bo as his weapon. She gifted him with a collapsible bo staff.
King Snake was creating a virulent plague. The three attempted to stop them from releasing it but the Ghost Dragons escaped with a few of the canisters. After tracking them to Hong Kong, they eventually defeated King Snake, though Rawlins died in the attempt and Shiva mostly watched the proceedings. Shiva ordered Robin to kill King Snake while he hung from a building, though he refused to do so. Shiva kicked King Snake off the cliff to his death, though later it would be revealed that he did not actually die.
After Bane broke the Batman's back, he sought out Shiva to help him regain what the skills and fighting spirit which he had lost. She deemed him unworthy of her efforts. Out of respect for what and who he was before his back was broken, she devised a training regimen for him. As part of this training, Shiva killed an armless sensei in Gotham City while wearing a tengu mask, making sure that his best student witnessed the death. There were plenty who sought revenge or to challenge Shiva. Shiva then made Batman wear the tengu mask while performing training missions. He was taken by surprise when he was attacked by the master's students, who mistook him for Shiva. He defeated all of them in turn. Shiva was attempting to "complete" Batman's training by manipulating him into killing an opponent. Batman fooled Shiva into believing he had done so, using a false imitation of the Leopard Blow technique she had taught him. Shiva later discovered the truth, but did not seek vengeance.
After the earthquake in Gotham, the Brotherhood of the Monkey Fist held a martial arts tournament in the ruined city, attempting to prove their worthiness and skill after having been dishonored. Under the alias "Paper Monkey", she fought and defeated many other competitors. Her final opponent was Green Arrow (Connor Hawke). Though it was a very close and taxing contest, Shiva was the winner. Robin had saved Shiva's life previously and asked her not to kill Connor, trading a life for a life. After warning Robin that using the favor now meant she would challenge and kill him when he was older, she refrained from killing Connor. Over the years, Shiva amassed groups of followers who seem to worship her as an incarnation of Shiva, the Hindu goddess of death. Shiva pays them little attention, other than occasionally using them as lackeys or killing them when it suits her whims. Some of her followers have even created temples to honor her victories. There was one such temple in Gotham, which she destroyed. There are likely others found around the world. Her followers are nearly as obsessed as she is, though they do not come close to matching her skills.
Shiva later sought out Cassandra Cain, the new Batgirl, in order to test her skill. Having heard that she was a fighter with legendary talent, Shiva was disappointed to find her barely able to defend herself. Batgirl had been raised in isolation by her father, the assassin David Cain, who never taught her how to speak, read, or write any language. Instead, she developed a phenomenal ability to analyze the body language of others, which, coupled with the martial arts training she received, made her an incomparable fighter. After being gifted with an understanding of language by a psychic whom she had rescued, she lost her talent for understanding body language.
Shiva and Batgirl struck a deal: Shiva would re-teach the girl the skills she had lost and in return, Cassandra Cain would face her in a battle to the death one year later. Shiva appeared to fight Batgirl at the Forum of The Twelve Caesars. Initially, Shiva defeated Batgirl, rendering her clinically dead. Realizing that Batgirl had not given her all, Shiva revived her. Batgirl admitted to Shiva that she had been fighting suicidally, harboring a death wish due to the fact that Cain had forced her to kill a man with her bare hands when she was only a child. Her ability to perfectly understand the agony of her victim traumatized Batgirl. Having now overcome her death wish, Batgirl fought Shiva again, shattering the sword she wielded. In the midst of battle, Batgirl accused Shiva of having a death wish herself and that she was really only traveling the world and fighting other martial artists in search of her own death. Batgirl defeated Shiva by breaking her jaw, but refused to kill her.
Shiva has recently claimed that she is Cassandra's real mother. She engaged Cassie in one last battle to satisfy her 'death wish'. Cassandra left Shiva apparently dead, although near a Lazarus pit.
One Year Later
Having switched places with Black Canary in order to allow them both to experience each other's life experiences, Shiva joins Oracle's covert team of female operatives known as the Birds of Prey (with Canary hoping that spending time with them would soften Shiva), using the name "Jade Canary". However, she retains her hard and cold personality. Oracle semi-seriously refers to Shiva as being possibly sociopathic. Barbara Gordon refuses to call Shiva by the Jade Canary title, even though Shiva (as part of the deal with Canary) has taken to wearing Black Canary's boots and trademark fishnet stockings (even though she hates wearing them).
Shiva continues to perform solo-work however. She visits Robin to assist him (much to Tim's's chagrin) in discovering the truth behind Batgirl (Cassandra Cain)'s recent disappearance and recent upheaval within the League of Assassins. She refuses to allow herself or Oracle's team to be involved. Instead, she trusts her former pupil to handle the situation. It appears that she holds no ill-will towards Cassie as she informs Tim that she hopes that her daughter is well.
During a recent mission, Oracle's team confronted the villain Prometheus, whose helmet allows him to copy the skills of 30 of the world's greatest martial artists, including Shiva herself. This had allowed him a victory against Batman in the past. Shiva believed that his files on her would be out of date, as well as that she would be able to defeat her "old self". She seemed unconcerned about the skills of the other 29 fighters and apparently decided to attack Prometheus head-on. Prometheus, however, had more up-to-date files than Shiva suspected and in three seconds had knocked her to the ground. After this defeat, Shiva vanished, leaving a message for Black Canary: "Tell the Canary, I release her."
Stripped of her chance to mold Black Canary in her own image, stripped of Sin (the young girl who was next in line as her successor), Shiva was last seen talking to Bethany Thorne, daughter of the late Crime Doctor Bradford Thorne. It appears that she is yet again hoping to train a new heir in the art of her lethal form of martial arts.
Still, although Shiva is no longer an active member of the Birds of Prey, she continues to be protective of her former teammates. Such is the case when the Birds of Prey were being threatened by Spy Smasher who attempts to steal control away from Oracle. After a mission in Russia, Oracle and Spy Smasher fight against one another for control of the team. Although Oracle is unable to use her legs, she is victorious, though Spy Smasher attempts to go back on their deal. Unfortunately, she is confronted outside by every single Birds of Prey agent Oracle has ever recruited, who warn her against ever going after Oracle ever again. Amongst them, Lady Shiva. Later, when Barbara asks the others who called Shiva, no one responded.
Shiva appeared in Gotham to test the 'presumption' of Robin in a duel, following the events of Batman R.I.P.. Anticipating the fight, Robin defeats her by poisoning her with tainted chocolates he had planted in her hotel room hours earlier, which cause her to experience paralysis when her heart rate goes up during the fight.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
- Martial Arts: Lady Shiva is a deadly assassin and one of the preminent martial artists on the planet. She has combined many moves and elements from numerous martial arts including a few forgotten ones to create a combat form that matches her own strengths.
- Tactical Analysis: Shiva is very literate in body language. She can often predict what an opponent will do before they do it and better plan her attacks this way.
- Indomitable Will: She can control her nervous system enabling her to deaden her body to physical pain, control her emotions. She can even control her bleeding rate.
- Lady Shiva is often said to be the world's greatest martial artist. However, she contends this position with others such as Batman (Bruce Wayne), Richard Dragon, Green Arrow (Connor Hawke) and her own daughter Batgirl (Cassandra Cain).
- Lady Shiva was defeated by Robin (Tim Drake) just once. He was however, using a speed-enhancing drug at the time. 
- Lady Shiva was defeated by Prometheus just once.
- 87 Appearances of Sandra Wu-San (New Earth)
- 18 Images featuring Sandra Wu-San (New Earth)
- 5 Quotations by or about Sandra Wu-San (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Sandra Wu-San (New Earth)
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