Jeff Yang has written an amazing, in-depth article for SFGate about Asian Americans in comics featuring interviews with Larry Hama and Greg Pak and in-depth discussion of Asian American superheroes, including Pak’s Captain Asian America and Mastermind Excello. An excerpt:
“I had this idea of doing a story about an insanely smart kid, but one who wasn’t a reject or dork or geek,” says Pak. “It was a way of turning that whole Asian brainiac stereotype on its head. One way to do it is to go against type, to create Asian American characters that are jocks or stoners or thugs or whatever. But another way is to not run away from the stereotype — to embrace it, but present a character like that as having an incredible level of confidence, having just this verve, this lack of self-consciousness.”
Comics reviewers raved about “Mastermind Excello” — and when they did, more often than not they barely even mentioned that the lead character was Asian. And that, to Pak, is the point.