Real Name: Shen Li-men
Identity/Class: Human mutant
Affiliations: the Authority
formerly Stormwatch Black
Enemies: Henry Bendix
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: The Carrier
First Appearance: Stormwatch
Powers/Abilities: Shen Li-men was born with bird-like characteristics. She has fully-functional wings. Her body is made for flight and has increased strength. In times of combat, Swift's hands and feet can become talon-like. Mentally, Swift can feel the air currents and listen to the bio-rhythms of the planet. She is also a natural pilot who has Stormwatch level combat training.
Originally, Shen's superhuman attributes were only partially activated, allowing her to fly using feathered membranes under her arms, but little else. After being fully activated by Christine Trelane - Synergy of Stormwatch - Shen lost her membranes, but developed the ability to grow fully functional wings with great rapidity. When not in use, Shen can shed the wings, dissolving them into a liquid goo. Shen also appears to be able to transform her hands and feet into bird-like talons.
History: Shen Li-men was hatched from an ancient egg - the Egg of Dhammpada - that had been guarded by Tibetan monks for generations. The monks believed that the creature that hatched from it in the closing years of the millennium would usher in an age of peace and love. When the egg was stolen by the Nazi's in 1943, Jenny Sparks retrieved it and returned it to Tibet.
Raised a buddhist after she hatched, Shen Li-Men witnessed the the Chinese Army's occupation of her homeland as a child. After emigrating to the West she was mis-identified as a "seedling" (a human given a latent superhuman ability following exposure to the radiation of a comet that once swung past the Earth) and had her powers "activated" by a special officer of Stormwatch. Because at the time Stormwatch was in desperate need for warm bodies she was only partially activated (full activation takes a while to recover from) and a weaker manifestation of her true ability appeared. She developed powers of flight, and was tapped for the UN's Stormwatch Academy program where she became a crack shot, an expert pilot, and a fully trained tactical officer. When Stormwatch was radically reorganized shortly before Henry Bendix was revealed as a madman Synergy, the special officer who activated seeded humans, fully activated Swift and gave her the current incarnation of her powers. Nearly invulnerable when flying at high speeds she became a full Stormwatch officer in her early twenties where she served under Jenny Sparks.
It didn't take long for Shen and the other Stormwatch operatives to figure out that Bendix was insane. When Skywatch was destroyed Shen stayed with Jenny Sparks to form the Authority. A member of that group from the inception, she has fought and killed in the name of a better world, but also has proven herself talented at finding non-violent solutions when bloodshed is unnecessary or when conflicts threaten to escalate out of control.
Comments: There is some evidence to suggest that Shen is bi-sexual.
Thanks to Chris "Doc TOC" Halliday for additional information and clarifications about this character. Thanks to Cadmus for addition details. As he pointed out "Swift is actually a human who was "seeded" with a latent superhuman ability when exposed to the radiation of a comet that once swung by earth (at least, she was when she was created and when Ellis was handling her)." Subsequently her origin was ret-conned to add in the Egg of Dhammpada aspect.
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
Swift Arrow, Golden Age hero
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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