Ruthless, unrelenting and lethal are just some of the words that could be used to describe Lady Shiva. Provided that you never cross the deadliest hand to hand fighter on the planet.
Not much is known about the formative years of the greatest martial artist in the DC Universe. What is known is that her real name is Sandra Wu-San, and it was the murder of her sister Carolyn that drove Sandra to take up martial arts.
Fed false information by the criminal Cravat, Sandra initially believed martial arts master Richard Dragon to be behind the murder of her sister. Cravat saw in Sandra a tool that could be used to dispose of Dragon who had foiled several of his criminal activities.
Sent for training, Sandra discovered that she had a natural aptitude for martial arts, quickly mastering multiple forms and styles. Feeling ready, Sandra went after Dragon but soon discovered that he had not killed her sister after all.
Lost, and without a clue as to who actually murdered Carolyn, Sandra went with Dragon for further training. Dragon saw potential in her, and trained Sandra to hone her mind, body and soul even further. Re-emerging as Lady Shiva from her training, Sandra set out with a new slate on life.
Now addicted to combat, Lady Shiva lived to test herself, and would continue to engage and hunt down the best martial artists alive in order to satiate her blood lust.
Skills and Abilities
Lady Shiva is widely regarded as the best martial artist in the DC Comics universe. She’s gone one on one with top ten combatants such as Batman, The Question, Richard Dragon and her own daughter Cassandra Cain who was operating as Batgirl.
Lady Shiva has mastered the following martial arts, and combined them into a unique fighting style as well. These are just some of the known martial arts that she has been seen to use:
Leopard Style Kung Fu - A hard fist martial arts style which uses the ridge on phalangeal joint to attack, and is also the origin of the Leopard Blow, a one hit-kill.
Dragon Style Kung Fu - A flowing style of Kung-Fu taught to Shiva by Richard Dragon.
Savate – A French style of kickboxing that combines that combines boxing elements with Muay Thai influences.
Judo – Also known as the gentle way, Judo focuses on throws, limb-locks, strangulation and ground work in order to disable an opponent.
Karate – An open martial art that combines punching, kicking, knee/elbow strikes, and open-handed techniques.
Stick Fighting - Shiva is able to make any length of wood deadly, from canes through to Escrima fighting sticks.
Body language – Shiva is skilled at reading the body language of combatants, using that knowledge to predict their movements and attacks with devastating effect.
Physical control – Shiva is able to control her nervous system to a certain degree, which allows her to numb her body and ignore pain, control her bleeding rate and fight without emotion.
Birds of Prey – One Year Later
Joining the covert team known as the Birds of Prey, Shiva begins to operate solo under the codename Jade Canary, fighting crime and becoming involved in several mysteries in the process as she attempts to redeem her past actions.
Healed, yet still broken after his encounter with Bane, Bruce Wayne decides to rebuild his skills as the Batman and enlists the aid of Shiva to help train him. Shiva reluctantly agrees, but on one condition: Wayne must kill or be killed by one of the numerous martial arts masters after him, if he is to graduate from her training.