Miya Shimada was a Japanese American who grew up during WWII. During a time when there was wide spread prejudice towards the Japanese. The incredible prejudice against Japanese-Americans, that she felt during the start of World War II, influenced her decision to leave. She traveled to Japan to study abroad. While she was in Japan she studied Japanese philosophy. She was particularly taken by the culturally instilled sense of honor. She eventually enlisted in the Imperial Japanese government. Admiral Yamamoto, gave Miya Shimada the nickname "Tsunami" because of her incredible power to create and control ocean waves using her mind.
In 1942, when the United States entered the war against Japan, Tsunami was secretly taken to California, by a submarine, to recruit any Japanese Americans she could to Japan's cause. She was angered over the treatment of Japanese Americans who were being sent to internment camps. She immediately found herself fighting Liberty Belle and Starman of the All-Star Squadron. Tsunami's father was also in the battle and supposedly died. She was enraged and fought very wildly but was unable to defeat the Squadron and was forced to retreat.
She returned under a plot devised by by Prince Daka to steal Starman's gravity rod. They fought with members of the All-Star Squadron but in the battle she found herself revolted by Daka's brutality and lack of honor. She found herself respecting the Americans. Conflicted, she decided that she could no longer side with Daka, but she would not join the Americans and she retreated again.
Tsunami was created by Roy Thomas and Rick Hoberg. Her first appearance was in All-Star Squadron #33, May 1984.
Major Story Arcs
Once more time, the Axis leaders attempted to recruit Tsunami, but by this time Miya had reflected upon and felt remorse for her actions. She declined an invitation by the Wolf to join the Axis Amerika and afterwards became depressed and contemplated suicide. At a crucial moment, she encountered the undersea hero, Neptune Perkins, for a second time. He convinced her to try another path. Together they approached Green Lantern and asked for his help to end the imprisonment of Japanese Americans.
Green Lantern took the two to meet the Squadron where Miya met other teen heroes besides Perkins. She pleaded her case to the day's assembly, which also included President Roosevelt. FDR pledged to look into the matter of the detention camps then suggested that Tsunami and her new young friends travel the country on a cross-country war bond tour. She and the others were all given provisional membership in the All-Star Squadron and set off on there new task as the Young All-Stars.
Some, like Sandy (Sandman ’s boy sidekick) found it difficult to accept a former adversary, but Perkins was always ready to defend her. On one of their first stops, Miya came under attack by prejudiced bystanders. The group helped her find her family in a nearby camp, where she heatedly elected to stay until they could be freed. However, She was soon forced to leave the camp when she learned that Axis Amerika and her former ally, Kamikaze, were initiating attacks. Tsunami stayed with the Young All-Stars throughout the War and grew closer to Neptune Perkins.
After the War Years ...
Not much is known about Miya’s life after World War II. However, Miya continued her relationship with Neptune Perkins. For unknown reasons, she let Perkins believe he helped conceived a daughter named Debbie. She never revealed the truth to Perkins, that Debbie’s biological father was actually the ancient Atlantean sorcerer, Atlan. The two would eventually go their separate ways due to some unexplained reason. It’s believed that Miya raised Debbie on her own.
Miya and Debbie reunited with Neptune Perkins years later when Aquaman called for all undersea nations to unite. At this time, Debbie had taken her own codename as Deep Blue. The three would go on to encounter the villain Rhombus, who claimed he was Debbie’s father. Neptune and Miya were instrumental in his defeat, yet Miya did not take the opportunity to set the record straight about Debbie. Miya has not been seen for some time and it’s unknown if she heard about the death of Neptune Perkins at the hands of the Shark and the similar villain called King Shark.
Powers and Abilities
Tsunami is endowed with super-human strength and the ability to swim at super-human speeds. She is a superb hand-to-hand combatant. Tsunami’s powers are mental in nature and allow her to cause tidal waves to form in the ocean with the ability to mentally control them. It has also been seen that Tsunami can control the flowing path of even smaller masses of water.