Sandra Woosan was the goddaughter of the martial arts expert O-Sensei. When Sandra Woosan’s sister was killed, a mysterious man approached her and convinced her that Richard Dragon had killed her. Sandra became determined to avenge her sister's death, but knew that she had to train if she were to have any hope of defeating Richard Dragon. While training, Sandra discovered that she had a natural talent for the skills and movements required for martial arts.
She trained for years, eventually reaching a point in her martial arts training where she felt that she was ready to find Richard Dragon and avenge her sister. She decided to take up the code-name Shiva and eventually tracked Dragon down, luring him into a trap. However, Dragon revealed to Shiva that he did not kill her sister and the man that told her he had was someone that worked for him and wanted Dragon dead. He then explained who the real killer was and that he had already killed him in battle.
Shiva came to the devastating conclusion that she had no more purpose in life and that all her training had become a waste. She decided to aid Dragon with some of his missions because all she knew was how to fight. Dragon let her come along in hopes that she would decide to use her skills for good. After many years, Dragon decided to retire and Shiva left to find meaning in her life. Later, she again partnered with Richard Dragon and Ben Turner, The Bronze Tiger and went on numerous missions for the mysterious G.O.O.D.
Lady Shiva was created by Denny O'Neil and Ric Estrada
Original Continuity: Earth-One
She again came to prominence when she was contracted by Reverend Jeremiah Hatch to kill Vic Sage, the reporter who was also the super hero The Question. The Reverend believed that Sage's reporting was causing political unrest. Shiva beat Vic Sage nearly to death and dumped him into a river. She was impressed with his fighting spirit and saved him at the last moment from his imminent death. She sent him to see Richard Dragon, who trained the Question to be a more effective fighter.
Modern Age: New Earth
After the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Shiva’s origin was rewritten. Sandra Wu-San and her sister Carolyn were born and grew up in Detroit. Sandra and Carolyn shared a special bond and began practicing martial arts with each other every day. Their practicing transformed into sparing and due to their competitive nature, both sisters became martial arts masters. The two sisters developed an almost meta-human ability to easily read an opponent’s movement in combat, down to even the slightest twitch of a small muscle. When an assassin named David Cain discovered Sandra and her talents, he decided to spark an unlit fire in her, hoping to push her over the edge. One day, Sandra returned home to discover her sister’s body lying in a pool of her own blood.
Sandra discovered that it was David Cain that killed her sister. She hunted Cain down but before she could confront him, she was ambushed by Ra’s al Ghul’s League of Assassins. Cain revealed to her that he was a member of the League of Assassins and they battled. Sandra lost the fight but Cain decided to spare her life. Through the machinations of Ra's al Ghul, Sandra ended up bearing David Cain's child, Cassandra Cain. Cassandra's sole purpose was to become Ra’s ultimate bodyguard, inheriting her mother’s ability to read movements. Sandra left her to be cared for by David Cain and trained by The League of Assassins. On her own again and still searching for meaning to her life, she picked up the code-name Lady Shiva.
Post-Flashpoint: Earth 0
In the post-Flashpoint universe, little is known about Lady Shiva.
Major Story Arcs
Modern Age: New Earth
Assassin for Hire
Shiva set out with her martial arts and began training to perfect them. She went on adventures with Richard Dragon and became addicted to the adrenaline rush that is gained from life or death situations. She eventually became a mercenary for hire in order to finance her activities. She became so skilled that people will pay high prices for her services. During one of her hires, she was set out to kill Victor Sage (The Question). She beats him easily almost killing him and she threw him in the river. However, he was not dead and Shiva fished him out later. Shiva thought she saw a "warrior's passion" in Victor Sage, so took him to Richard Dragon for training. In the end they parted, going their own ways.
Shiva continued her career as an assassin or mercenary for hire. Shiva also kept an eye on the League of Assassins, but her main concern was to perfect her martial arts. Shiva would later be hired by some terrorists in the Middle East. She was stationed at a camp out in the desert where Batman and Jason Todd would come seeking for her. Jason believed that Shiva could possibly be his mother. Shiva realizes that this is a chance to test Batman alone and began fighting him. Batman realizes that he cannot underestimate Shiva no longer and quickly knocks her unconscious and subdued her for interrogation. They ask Shiva if she was Jason’s mother and she laughed and tells them she has many babies. Batman then gives her sodium pentothal and she admits that she never had any children. Afterwards, she went to find more martial arts masters to learn their style and perfect it.
Shiva developed an interest in a master of the art of empty-handed fighting named Koroshi. She discovers that Koroshi had been defeated and went to him to find out who it was. Koroshi declined to give her any information so she went out and looked for that man, eventually hearing rumors that the person who defeated Koroshi was named King Snake. Shiva eventually runs into Tim Drake training to become the third Robin. She sees the potential he has to become a great fighter and decides to take him in and train him herself. She also offered to teach him one weapon of his choice, which Tim would choose the Bo Staff. Near the end of their training, Tim was able to defeat Shiva and thus she rewarded him with a retractable Bo Staff that will fit in his cape. They then continue to fight King Snake when they foiled one of his plans to release a virus. King Snake was hanging on the edge and Shiva orders Tim to kill him, which Tim would refuse. Right after Shiva throws King Snake off the building, but it was later discovered that he is still alive.
Back in Gotham
After Bane broke Batman’s back, he had seemingly lost his skills and confidence. Batman decides to seek out Shiva to help him regain his fighting ability. Shiva was disgusted and refused to help him, but because he was Batman she made a training plan for him. Shiva later goes out to kill a martial arts master living in Gotham in a tengu mask in hopes to make his students seek revenge. She gives Batman the mask to wear on one of his training missions and was ambushed by the master’s students. Shiva had hoped Batman would kill someone, but Batman pretended to kill someone and was able to fool Shiva. Shiva would eventually find out that Batman really did not kill anyone, but elected to do nothing about it.
During the earthquake in Gotham, Robin had teamed up with a girl named Dava who wanted to seek out Shiva to learn the Leopard Blow, a punch that will kill anyone instantly. Shiva found this out and wanted to fight Dava. Later Dava had chemicals that could give anyone super speed and was administered on her lips, and she kisses Robin and gives him super speed, when Shiva appears and demands to fight Dava. Robin decides to fight Shiva instead with his super speed. Robin would accidentally kill Shiva, but he quickly used CPR and revived her. During the CPR, some of the super speed was transferred to Shiva. Shiva wakes up and quickly uses the super speed and vanishes.
After the earthquake, Shiva participated in a martial arts tournament. On her last match, she was pitted against Connor Hawke, the other Green Arrow. A close match it was, but Shiva came out victorious. Robin shows up and asks Shiva not to kill Conner as a favor, and Shiva responds by saying next time they fight, he cannot use the favor to save his own life. Shiva would became very popular when she started gaining obsessive followers. Shiva would pay little attention to them however, but they would build temples and worship her, believing she was an incarnation of the Hindu goddess of death, Shiva.
Finding an Heir
Dinah Lance, (A.K.A Black Canary), comes to Hong Kong to pay her respects to her dying sensei, only to find that Shiva has also arrived to do the same, as the man was one of many teachers she had trained with over the years. After talking with each other, both women come to the conclusion that the assasin known as Cheshire is behind thier master's fatal illness, and the two warriors form an alliance to find her and bring her to justice. The two capture Chesire, who tells them that she was set up by a corrupt U.S. senator, (who raped her mother years ago and may be her father), whom she is trying to kill. Chesire convinces Shiva and Black Canary to let her accompany them to arrest the senator, and on the plane ride to his mansion, Shiva tells Black Canary that she would like to train her. Shiva claims that since she has no child, (though she does), she would like to make Dinah her successor. Dinah is deeply conflicted, and tells Shiva that she needs to think about it first, and she is given 24 hours to decide.
Shiva waits with Cheshire at her apartment while Dinah talks to the senator,and during this time Cheshire reveals that she did indeed kill the two women's master, and fabricated the entire story about the setup so that Dinah would be killed by the senator, Cheshire would kill him, and use Shiva as a scapegoat while she fled the country. After drugging and defeating Shiva, Cheshire ties her up, seals her mouth shut with a piece of duct tape, and stuffs her in the trunk of her car. While attacking the sentor's mansion, she wires her car to explode, so that after she kills him, the police will find the charred body of an asian woman in the car wreck and assume it to be Cheshire. Shiva is saved when Catwoman inadvertantly finds her bound and gagged in the trunk while trying to diffuse the car's explosives. Though Dinah allows Cheshire to escape, Shiva tells her that her offer still stands, but at the master's funeral, she declines.
Mother and Daughter
When Batman and Barbara Gordon gave their blessings so Cassandra can become the next Batgirl, it caught Shiva’s attention. Shiva encounters Cassandra and does not tell her of their relationship, she engages in a battle to the death with her daughter. Due to Cassandra learning a language through telepathy, she lost some skill. Shiva defeats Cassandra easily but does not kill her. She offers to train Cassandra and help her regain her full abilities under the condition that they fight one year later.
They would battle again later, Shiva fights Batgirl and defeats her, actually killing her. Shiva realizes that Batgirl had not fought with her fullest potential, revives her. Once revived, Batgirl admits to Shiva that she just wanted to die because her father made her kill someone with her bare hands when she was younger. Batgirl was able to get over it with having just been dead, and engages with Shiva again. Batgirl accuses Shiva of searching for her own death by traveling and fighting so much. Batgirl would defeat Shiva by breaking her jaw but was unwilling to kill her.
Cassandra began to suspect that Shiva was her mother but could not get an answer out of her father David Cain. Meanwhile, Shiva had decided to become a sensei for Black Canary (They had the same master) and the new League of Assassins. Cassandra decides to search for Shiva and discovers that Shiva was under the control of Nyssa. Later Cassandra was killed trying to save a life of a former League of Assassins member. Shiva realizes with the death of her daughter that she was never a pawn of Batman. Shiva decides to resurrect Cassandra using the Lazarus Pits. Upon Cassandra’s return, Shiva revealed her true heritage and they began to battle once again. Cassandra became determined to stopping Shiva and all of her activities. Shiva would admit that this is the reason she agreed to give birth to Cassandra. They began to fight and the battle seemed evenly matched. Cassandra would dodge Shiva’s Leopard Blow and break her neck. Shiva refused help from Cassandra but Cassandra would place her body near the Lazarus Pits and left.
One Year Later
One year has passed since Infinite Crisis, and Shiva and Black Canary have switched places to experience each other’s lives. Shiva joins Oracle’s Birds of Prey and uses the code name Jade Canary. Black Canary’s reasons for doing this is hoping that working with the Birds of Prey may help make Shiva human a little more. Shiva even wore the same stockings and boots that Black Canary traditionally wears. Shiva still went on solo-missions and even visits Robin to aid him in his missions. Shiva discovers from Robin that Cassandra had taken over the League of Assassins and assures her that he will handle it. When Oracle wanted to get the Birds of Prey involved, Shiva tells her not to and that she trusts her pupil, Robin, to take care of it.
On her last mission with the Birds of Prey, they encountered a villain named Prometheus. He had a helmet that allowed him to copy every martial art skill in the world and also had Shiva on file. Shiva was confident that his files were out of date and that she could defeat her “old self.” She begins to attack him but Prometheus had an updated file and was able to knock Shiva unconscious. Shiva would vanish leaving a message for Black Canary telling her that she releases her. Since losing her chance to mold Black Canary into a killer like her and losing her successor Sin, she was last seen talking to a girl that is the daughter of a former criminal.
During the aftermath of Batman R.I.P. Robin receives a cryptic letter from none other than Lady Shiva. Referring to Robin as "Little Bird" a reference to their first encounter, Shiva announces her intentions of killing him. However, in a display of pure intelligence Robin locates Shiva's hotel and poisons her turned down service chocolates the night before. The poison is slow acting and Lady Shiva has no idea that an accelerated heart rate will kick in the effects of the temporary toxins. She still manages to break three of Robin's ribs during the short confrontation before succumbing to the poisons effects. She is last seen motionless on the ground.
Lady Shiva later appears on a stormy night in North Carolina at the home of Aristotle Rodor seeking out the current Question, Renee Montoya. As the heir to the Question mask, Shiva leads Montoya to believe she has sought her out in order to test her martial arts prowess as well as her right to wear the mask. Reluctantly, Montoya accepts and the two wage a brief yet masterful battle on the shore. Meanwhile, in his quest to understand the mysteries of life and death Aristotle, apparently in possession of a Black Lantern Ring; resurrects Vic Sage as a Black Lantern who then immediately descends upon Shiva and Montoya. It is then that Shiva reveals her true intentions. To test her skills against a member of the Black Lantern Corps.
However she poses little threat to Sage who easily takes the fight to both Shiva as well as his former apprentice Renee Montoya. Briefly interrupted when Aristotle puts a bullet in Shiva's arm, Sage turns his attention to the originator of his mask. Giving Shiva time to explain to Montoya that the Black Lanterns see through emotion, and that by hiding their feelings they can become undetectable. The strategy works and Vic Sage disappears into the night, leaving Shiva to tend to her wounds and Renee Montoya to follow after him.
Lady Shiva later appears in Thailand awaiting a fight to the death with Black Canary after Canary was forced to come by White Canary by threatening the life of her adopted daughter, Sin. Seeing that Black Canary was in no condition to fight, Huntress took her place to fight Lady Shiva. After many fatal blows by Shiva, Huntress manages to knock her down. Before Lady Shiva could retaliate, the death match was stopped when Black Canary rescues Sin herself. Shiva, impressed by Huntress' bravery, dubbed her as Iron Owl.
Powers and Abilities
Lady Shiva has no superpowers, but she is regarded to be one of the best assassins and martial artist on the planet. She is known to had learn and mastered numerous martial arts, including long forgotten ones. She is able to read people's movements using with body language, predicting their movements before they do it. She is able to hold her own against multiple opponents. Batman, who is considered to be one greatest martial arts as well, stated that she, "may well be the best fighter alive."
Lady Shiva's trademark finishing move is the Leopard Blow, which is used against her strongest opponents.
Superman/Batman: Public Enemies
In the movie, Lady Shiva is one of the many super-villians attempting to apprehend Superman for the billion dollar bounty put out by Lex Luthor. She attacks Batman and is taken out uncharacteristically fast. This may have something to do with her being controlled by Gorilla Grodd. She doesn't have any lines of dialogue.
Birds of Prey
Lady Shiva was featured in the short lived 2002 television series loosely based on the DC Universe's Birds of Prey. Taking place in a city named "New Gotham," Lady Shiva is first introduced during a flashback scene in which she is apparently killed in an explosion following a fight with then Batgirl, Barbra Gordon. All signs point to her return however when several murders take place in New Gotham. Shiva's signature Chinese throwing stars are left behind at each scene leading Batgirl to believe her old enemy has returned. At the same time Helena, also known as the Huntress and the daughter of Catwoman and Batman, welcomes back and old high school friend by the name of Sandra Woosan. In fact the two are one in the same.
Shiva's return is do to the fact that it was her 15year old sister, and not the lethal assassin, who perished in the explosion. She is easily defeated by Barbra and Huntress at the end of episode 8. Lady Shiva was played by the actress Sung Hi Lee. This origin of Shiva is obviously a far cry from that of her comic book counterpart.
DC Universe Online
Lady Shiva appears in DC Universe Online as one of the non-playable characters
Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
Lady Shiva appears in the portable version of the game as a playable character