Shaolin Monkey

Shaolin Monkey (click to enlarge)

Shaolin Monkey (click to enlarge)

Real Name: Houzi

Identity: Secret
Group Affiliation: Occasional member of Simian Squad
First Appearance: THE NEW SIMIAN SQUAD #11
Personality: Honorable, just, and often hot-headed.
Powers & Tactics: 

History:

In her native land, Hóuzǐ was the minority of minorities. In a monastic order oppressed by the Imperial regime she was the only woman to attain the status of monk rather than servants.

 

Under the reign of the benevolent Empress Shih Tzu, the various secluded temples that peppered the mountain forests were left to provide their spiritual services unharassed. During that time the infant Houzi was left at Heavenly Golden Temple an orphan and spent years growing up under the tutelage of the monks.

 

As a young girl she decided she too would become a shaolin monk even though at the time it was not permitted for women to be ordained. Nevertheless she studied the ways of the monks each day from dawn to dusk and under the secret guidance of “White Grandmother” – a kindly old lady who kept the grounds. Eventually it was discovered that Houzi was learning forbidden teachings and she was ordered out of the temple, but before the decree could be enforced White Grandmother had a secret meeting with the temple master and he repealed his judgment without explanation. Houzi was allowed to stay, but mysteriously White Grandmother secretly left the temple that night, much to Houzi’s woe.

 

Still unable to become an ordained monk and losing the only real friend she had, Houzi decided to leave the monastery and find herself. During this time Houzi began to have visions of her ancestors who gave dire warnings of soldiers led by the evil Warloris coming from the city to slay monks and burn the shaolin temples to the ground, including Heavenly Golden Temple. When she returned to the temple with these warnings they were dismissed by the master. Undeterred, Houzi went to the capital dressed as a peasant to find out who the Warloris was and what he wanted. She learned of a coup d’etat to overthrow Emperor Shih Tzu and inadvertently became embroiled in it. Unable to reach the Empress she resolved to obstruct the Warloris’ scheme herself. Forced to melee, Houzi found herself suddenly granted with supernatural strength, speed, and an uncanny intuition, as if other powers were guiding her blows. Even so, the Warloris escaped and Houzi returned to her temple to seek guidance from her master. Again the monks refused to accept Houzi’s pleadings–the account of her heightened strength and prowess becoming the source of much amusement.

 

Upset and forsaken, Houzi headed into the forest to seek guidance. She came across a beautiful garden around a tiny hut and knew that it was the work of White Grandmother. Indeed the old lady was in the hut and welcomed Houzi in. White Grandmother believed Houzi’s story and suggested that the ancestors from the girl’s dreams may have been guiding her hands and giving her their strength. Houzi begged White Grandmother to come back to the temple and convince the master of the danger they were all in but the elder woman was near death. White Grandmother told Houzi to heed her dreams and fight for justice against the Warloris and all evil-doers. She gave Houzi her blessing and passed away.

 

Meanwhile, the Warloris had resumed his plans and staged his coup successfully, abruptly becoming the leader of an empire and the general of a bamboozled army. Just as Houzi had divined, Warloris sent his soldiers to destroy all of the monasteries on the mountain. As she was returning White Grandmother’s remains to Heavenly Golden Temple, Houzi saw the army coming and raced to the temple to raise the alarm. This time Houzi’s warnings were of some use. A pitched skirmish between a detachment of the Imperial army and the monks of the Heavenly Golden Temple—with a supernaturally powerful Houzi at the fore—left most of the monks dead but the soldiers on the run. The master knew that Imperial reinforcements would arrive sooner or later to finish the job so he sent all of the monks into hiding. His last act before vanishing into the mountains was to ordain Houzi as an official shaolin monk.

 

Houzi travelled the world for years afterwards, fighting for justice and righteousness. She was briefly an active member of the Simian Squad but came to odds with some of the philosophies of other members and is currently a reserve member of the team.

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