BTW, There's Also A Singaporean Character In The DC Universe!

And she came before her Malaysian counterpart.

Cover image via DC Comics

Earlier, we told you how there's a Malaysian character named Munira Khairuddin, codenamed 'Obscura', in the DC Universe.

Well, Obscura isn't the only Asian character to appear. Bartender Alysia Yeoh, who is of Singaporean descent, is Batgirl's best friend and she appeared before her Malaysian counterpart.

Image via DC Comics

Alysia was introduced in the first issue of Batgirl when Barbara Gordon decides to move out of her father's home and moves in with the Singaporean, who self-describes herself as "kinda an activist"

She was depicted as a young woman of Singaporean descent who worked nights as a bartender and described herself as an "activist." Since then she has remained a presence in the book and was briefly involved with Barbara's brother James Gordon Jr., before learning how dangerously insane he was.


However, when Alysia Yeoh was introduced to the cast of Batgirl, it took some time for her history to be made known to the readers

Interior page of Batgirl #19, written by Gail Simone, with art by Daniel Sampere and Vicente Cifuentes.

Image via DC Comics

In Batgirl #19, Alysia reveals to Barbara that she is a transwoman

Image via DC Comics

Taking care to distinguish Yeoh’s sexual orientation from her gender identity, Batgirl writer Gail Simone noted that the character is also bisexual.

Simone attributed the inspiration for the character to a conversation she had with fellow comic book writer Greg Rucka several years ago at the Wondercon convention, after a fan asked why there were fewer gay male superheroes than lesbian ones.

“I looked out into the audience, saw dozens of faces I knew well — LGBTQ folks, mostly — all avid comics readers and superhero fans and DC supporters,” said Simone. “And it just hit me: Why was this so impossible? Why in the world can we not do a better job of representation of not just humanity, but also our own loyal audience?”


The great thing about Alysia's character is that she is not transgender due to a latent superhero ability to shapeshift. It's just a part of who she is as a person. Basically, her character didn't use science fiction to facilitate that in some way. She just was.

Despite being a bartender by night and social activist by day, Alysia immediately became a fixture in Barbara’s life and, as a result, a constant presence in Batgirl’s pages.

While independent comics have made leaps and bounds in incorporating queer and trans characters into plots, mainstream comics have struggled to keep up.

In an interview with NewNowNext, Alysia’s creator, Gail Simone, insisted for all the progress that the industry has made towards broadening the types of characters it featured in stories, she was committed to keeping Alysia in readers’ minds.

When asked about what Batgirl has in store for Alysia, Simone was frank, explaining that, like any character, she was likely to be put through the ringer: “Sadly, there’s a lot of transphobia out there. I can’t say she’ll NEVER face someone who is ignorant or bigoted. But Alysia is very confident in herself, and I think it’d be lovely for her story to be a positive one.”


In October last year, in Issue #45, Alysia was married to her longtime girlfriend Jo. Barbara, AKA Batgirl, was her maid of honour.

In October 2015, Alysia Yeoh, a transgender friend of Batgirl, and her girlfriend, Jo, were married.

Image via DC Comics

What the future holds for Alysia and her new bride is up in the air. However, in a relatively recent issue, it was hinted that she might, one day, become another of Gotham's masked vigilantes.

Image via DC Comics

Read about the Malaysian character in the DC Universe, here: