[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ladyshiva1_1190.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Is this [[OneHitKO beating]] for [[HiredGuns business]] or [[BloodKnight the buzz?]]\\
[[AddedAlliterativeAppeal Both!]]]]

Lady Shiva is a Creator/DCComics character created in the short-lived ''Richard Dragon, Kung Fu Master'' series in 1976 (notably, during the kung-fu craze kicked off by the popularity of Creator/BruceLee). She was an archetypical DragonLady, complete with sinister motivations and exotic sex appeal. From the start, she was set up as Richard's [[TheRival rival]] in martial arts ability, and the two even [[FriendlyEnemy teamed up from time to time]]. Usually, however, she works as a ProfessionalKiller, selling her fighting skills to the highest bidder. She's not in it for the money, though--[[BloodKnight she simply enjoys battle]].

Lady Shiva is best known for her [[TheDreaded reputation]] as [[TheAce the single greatest martial artist]] in the Franchise/DCUniverse, in terms of pure skill. Other masters, such as Franchise/{{Batman}}, ComicBook/{{Nightwing}}, [[Comicbook/BirdsOfPrey Black Canary]], and others, are usually depicted as being inferior to her on equal terms. But while Shiva craves a [[LetsFightLikeGentlemen fair fight]] against a WorthyOpponent, most [[RoguesGalleryTransplant crimefighters encounter her]] as an obstacle hired by the current ArcVillain, whereupon they have to [[OutsideTheBoxTactic figure out a way to deal with her]] without being lured into a [[CombatPragmatist fair duel]]. Despite her abilities, she [[TheWorfEffect has been defeated on several occasions by numerous characters]], but almost always with [[WorfHadTheFlu some kind of Hand Wave to explain it]].

Though she began as the ArchNemesis of the aforementioned Richard Dragon, she is [[BreakoutVillain FAR more famous than he ever became]], and thus is more known as the antagonist of Franchise/{{Batman}}, [[Comicbook/RobinSeries Tim Drake]], [[Comicbook/{{Batgirl 2000}} Cassandra Cain]], and the Comicbook/BirdsOfPrey. She's developed into something of a NobleDemon, showing VillainRespect to characters whom she thinks may be able to [[SuperiorSuccessor succeed her as the top fighter]] in the DCU. She's usually willing to train anyone (hero and villain alike) on the condition that a year or so later, they hone their skills and face her in a fair DuelToTheDeath.

She is instrumental in the origin story of Victor Sage, otherwise known as ComicBook/TheQuestion. After Vic pried into a corruption scandal, Shiva was hired to eliminate him. Impressed with his spirit, Shiva rescued Vic after he was dumped in a river and brought him to train with Richard Dragon, who taught Vic most of his lifestyle choices. She also has FriendlyEnemy status with Vic's successor, Renee Montoya.

Later stories also revealed Shiva to be the biological mother of [[Comicbook/{{Batgirl 2000}} Cassandra Cain]], [[InTheBlood to whom she passed not only her fighting ability]], but Shiva's "instincts" and insight to read body language and fight with speed and precision. Thanks to her [[AbusiveParents "upbringing" by her father]], Cassandra is capable of using this ability on a [[CharlesAtlasSuperpower level beyond what a human should be capable of.]] This greatly pleases Shiva, as she sees her own biological daughter as the natural choice to be her heir. Having defeated Shiva twice, Cassandra has largely supplanted her in being considered the DCU's strongest martial artist, although Shiva still has the title on a technicality. (Cassandra has adopted Batman's [[ThouShaltNotKill code against killing.]])

During DC's ''One Year Later'' event, Shiva and Black Canary switched places for a time, with Shiva using the CodeName "Jade Canary". Since then, she's made several [[HeelFaceRevolvingDoor turns from villain to anti-hero and back again]].

After DC's 2011 reboot into the ''Comicbook/{{New 52}}'', there is little known about Shiva's status in the new continuity, other than a brief appearance opposite Nightwing. She later also appears as an adversary of the ''Comicbook/SecretSix''.

DC's Rebirth event reintroduces her in a manner closer to her pre-Flashpoint counterpart, though with the major difference that this version of the character is [[spoiler: the leader of the League of Shadows, a secret organization that Batman believes is only a myth.]]

Shiva made an appearance as an optional side-boss in ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamOrigins'' as one of the eight assassins hired by Black Mask to kill Batman.
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!!Tropes Associated with Lady Shiva

%%* ActionMom
* TheAce: She's considered the single greatest martial artist in the DC Universe, in terms of pure skill. Only Richard Dragon can be considered her equal, and only her daughter, Cassandra Cain, is considered overall superior.
* AffablyEvil: If you're a WorthyOpponent. FauxAffablyEvil to everyone else.
* AGodAmI: Not by Shiva herself, but there's a cult that worships her as a goddess. She finds them sometimes quaint, sometimes annoying, and often useful as CannonFodder.
** In ComicBook/TheQuestion #27, Charlie literally prays to her for help on the streets of Hub City.
* AllAsiansKnowMartialArts: Probably the most infamous example in the DC Universe, thanks to the Creator/BruceLee craze of TheSeventies.
* AmbiguouslyHuman: Shiva and her daughter have both accomplished feats that should be impossible for a normal human. While Cassandra's TrainingFromHell was thought to be the source of these abilities, the reveal that her mother is Shiva, who has them ''without'' such intense training, raises many questions.
* AngstySurvivingTwin: What caused her StartOfDarkness.
* AntiHero: From time to time.
* AntagonistInMourning: During her final duel with Richard Dragon, Richard had finally managed to corner her and was poised to deliver his signature attack, the Leopard Blow (which is fatal). One of Shiva's goons saved her life, and the angry Shiva felt insulted and killed the intruder. She and Richard resumed their duel, and this time she won (killing him). She was ''very'' upset that their final duel ended this way, when Richard technically should have been the winner.
* ArchEnemy: She's been one to Richard Dragon, the Question, ''and'' Batgirl.
* ArrogantKungFuGuy: Has a deep superiority complex due to her mastery of martial arts. She can be very amiable to someone she considers an equal, though.
* AsianBabyMama: Inverted. She knew of the pregnancy and childbirth, but David Cain walked off with her daughter at birth while she went about her own business for 17 years before laying eyes on her again.
* BadassNormal: Just barely. Some of her feats (like bringing back the dead) are very nearly in the territory of SupernaturalMartialArts and CharlesAtlasSuperpower.
* BadassLongcoat: A look she adopted from the 90s onward.
* BloodKnight: The only thing she cares about is finding a WorthyOpponent that will one day defeat and succeed her.
* BlueAndOrangeMorality: Claims she cannot kill anyone unless "they permit [her] to" and despite a general disdain for people, she shows unabashed respect for those who are good at their jobs, whatever they may be.
* BrainwashedAndCrazy: During the "Public Enemies" storyarc in ''Comicbook/SupermanBatman'', Shiva is one of several villains to show up to fight the Duo. She's defeated rather easily by Batman, and this is later explained by her being [[WorfHadTheFlu mind-controlled by Gorilla Grodd]].
* BreakoutVillain: More people have likely heard of her than Richard Dragon.
* ButNotTooForeign: She's Asian, but grew up in Detroit.
* CombatClairvoyance: She and her sister were born with this ability, which is what makes her a natural genius at martial arts. This gift was also passed along to her daughter Cassandra, and David Cain enhanced it through an abusive TrainingFromHell.
* TheCorrupter:
** David Cain was this for her, murdering her sister to TeachHerAnger, and awaken the BloodKnight within.
** In turn, she herself attempts this for several other characters, when she feels like their morals are holding them back from their true potential.
* CynicismCatalyst: When David murdered her sister, Carolyn.
* DarkActionGirl: One of the best examples in the DC Universe.
* DarkIsEvil: When she's not wearing green, she's typically clad in black.
* DeathSeeker: Was portrayed as one when she battled Cassandra in their final duel.
* DeliverUsFromEvil: Type 2. In ''Comicbook/{{Batgirl|2000}}'', its shown to be her StartOfDarkness.
* DragonLady: Asian, sinister, exotic, and sexy.
* TheDreaded: Just mentioning that she's in town is usually enough to scare the shit out of any skilled martial artist. Not even ''Batman'' is fond of facing her in a fight.
-->'''Mr. Combustible:''' Oh Oswald... '''you're''' scared of a "mob killer"? '''Really?'''
--> '''The Penguin:''' It's not a mob killer. It's '''Lady Shiva'''.
--> '''Mr. Combustible:''' Come, girls. Let us find better accommodations for tonight.
--> '''Girl #1:''' What? Where?
-->'''Mr. Combustible: Anywhere but Gotham.'''
* DuelToTheDeath: She LOVES these, but that doesn't stop her from being forced into an InvoluntaryBattleToTheDeath every now and then. Usually, people use her to get others into them. She'd rather choose her own targets.
* EvilMentor: To several characters, such as Tim Drake, Cassandra Cain and even Batman himself.
* FadSuper: She was created to cash in on the 1970s Creator/BruceLee Kung-Fu craze. She debuted within the pages of ''Richard Dragon'', but her popularity outlasted that series. She's still a martial arts master, but no longer looks like a 1970s DragonLady.
* FairPlayVillain: As stated, what she really wants more than anything is a fair fight against someone on her level.
* FinishingMove: The Leopard Blow. What it is varies from time to time, but one of the most gruesome versions involves ramming two fingers into a weapon point in the forehead, killing the target in one hit. Another version is smashing the nose and forcing the small bones of the nose into the brain. When later writers realized that was a physical impossibility, it was changed to the former version.
* ForbiddenTechnique: The Leopard Blow.
* FriendlyEnemy:
** Somewhat to Richard Dragon.
** But very much this toward Black Canary...and Shiva ''doesn't'' like it, because Black Canary is trying to use it to reform her.
* TheGift: Her ability of CombatClairvoyance. Only she, her sister, and Cassandra are known to possess it. Its actual nature is unclear, since Cassandra is known not to have a meta-gene.
* GlowingEyes: The New 52 version of Shiva has eyes that occasionally flash green. It's not yet been revealed why.
* TheGreatestStyle: She uses an unnamed martial art that takes full advantage of her natural gift in CombatClairvoyance to push her speed and reactions to borderline superhuman levels. She can also fight without it, but why would she?
* HeelFaceRevolvingDoor: She may try her hand at heroism now and then, but her BloodKnight tendencies usually call her back to the dark side.
* HonorAmongThieves: She rarely tolerates anyone breaking it.
* InLoveWithYourCarnage: David Cain, towards her.
* ItOnlyWorksOnce: If you use a move she's never seen before, you better hope it takes her out, because that's the only chance you're getting.
* ItsPersonal: Do not harm her sensei or her students. The latter is her job.
* LadyOfWar: Her fighting style is a masterpiece of elegance with no wasted motion whatsoever.
* LukeIAmYourFather: She's Cassandra Cain's biological mother.
* ManipulativeBastard: Let's see:
** Attempted to trick Batman into killing someone by secretly teaching him a fatal attack, then killing the master of a ninja clan and framing Batman for it. Batman caught wise and used a non-fatal version instead, [[OutGambitted but not to Shiva's knowledge.]]
** Attempted to corrupt Richard Dragon, Tim Drake, Cassandra Cain, and Black Canary on several occasions.
** Likes to trick martial arts masters into teaching her what they know, killing them after [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness they've fulfilled her wishes]].
* MartialMedic: Taken UpToEleven in that she's brought people BackFromTheDead ''by punching them in the chest''.
* MeaningfulName: Shiva, as in both destroyer and creator; she's killed hundreds of people with her bare hands, but almost all the superheroes she's trained or mentored actually got good enough to neutralize her. Tim Drake became a competent fighter, but more importantly a CombatPragmatist. Batman got a HesBack moment from her training, and remains one of the few people she respects on a professional warrior level. Black Canary TookALevelInBadass under her, which combines with her meta human powers for a powerful package.
** Her daughter emphasizes this even more. Shiva approves of Cassandra's aversiveness to killing (most of the time) and she had Cassandra as much to have someone [[DeathSeeker who would stop her rampage]] as much as anything else. And she personally retrains her to ensure Cassandra emails in fighting form.
* MightyWhiteyAndMellowYellow:
** Her enmity with Richard Dragon.
** Her entire villainous career was essentially caused by David Cain, and she later had a child with him as "thanks".
* MoralityPet: ComicBook/BlackCanary [[InvokedTrope deliberately tries]] to be one for her in ''Comicbook/BirdsOfPrey''. Shiva allows it [[InvertedTrope because she wants to break Dinah of that habit.]]
* MuggingTheMonster: Done to her by Bikers. Ended about as well as one could expect.
* MyKungFuIsStrongerThanYours: It's so good, other characters go to her to enact this trope.
* NobleDemon: She has a personal code of honor and a warped sense of loyalty.
* OddFriendship: With Black Canary to some extent. "Friends" may be pushing it a little far, but they are amicable acquaintances with a shared history and civil interactions. They have, on occasion, gone for drinks together, trained together and worked together. However, they also remain potentially mortal enemies from diametrically opposite sides of the good/evil divide.
* OldMaster: Her godfather, "O-Sensei".
* OlderThanTheyLook: The New 52 version of Shiva is implied to be this, as Nightwing notes she still looks rather young even though they encountered each other years earlier and she was a master martial artist even then.
* [[OneManArmy One Woman Army]]: To the point where people started [[CargoCult worshiping her as an avatar of Shiva]] the destroyer. She couldn't care less.
* PregnantBadass: She was still capable of [[CurbStompBattle curb-stomping]] David (a world-class martial artist), even while ''heavily'' pregnant. Ironically, it was his kid she was pregnant with. Probably what helped make her daughter so badass.
* ProfessionalKiller: Her day job. She doesn't really care about it, though. It's just good for thrills, and for finding good opponents by luring heroes to protect her targets.
%%* ReligiousAndMythologicalThemeNaming
* {{Retcon}}:
** In her original appearances, she trained in martial arts to fight Richard Dragon and avenge her sister (Richard was framed for her death). ComicBook/PostCrisis, this was changed by saying that David Cain, a member of ComicBook/RasAlGhul's League Of Assassins, killed her sister.
** In the ''ComicBook/ADeathInTheFamily'' storyline, Shiva was one of the possible candidates for [[Comicbook/RedHoodAndTheOutlaws Jason Todd's]] real mother, him having found her name in an address book of his fathers'. When they subdued her, they asked her if she had ever born children. Amused, Shiva sarcastically told them that she had dropped litters all over the globe, but a shot of a truth serum made her say that she hadn't. This was changed with the reveal that she was Cassandra Cain's mother, since Cass is about the same age as Jason. However, since it was a fairly minor moment, it's just as likely that this was a simple continuity mistake instead of an intentional retcon. Of course, given the kind of insane stunts that she and her daughter have done, it's entirely possible that the truth serum [[ILied didn't work]] [[NoSell on her]].
* TheRival: Several.
** Her big one is Richard Dragon.
** She also considered Black Canary to be one. Although they do have FriendlyRivalry with each other to an extent.
** Cassandra Cain is the person she most wants to succeed her, as she's her daughter.
* RoguesGalleryTransplant: She started as an enemy/ally of Richard Dragon, before moving to the Question, Batman and eventually her own daughter, Cassandra Cain. As one of the DCU's best martial artists, she often appears in other titles in a similar capacity.
* ShesGotLegs: As the Jade Canary, she even gets to wear Black Canary's fishnet stockings [[ReluctantFanserviceGirl much to Shiva's dismay.]]
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: Writers tend to forget whether her last name is spelled Woo-san or Wusan. Probably because very few people think of her as Sandra Woo-san/Wusan, knowing her only as Shiva, and as a result, issues in which her given name is even mentioned are few and far between.
* StalkerWithATestTube: David was this for her. Eventually, she gave him what he wanted, and thus came Cassandra.
* StartOfDarkness:
** Pre-Crisis, it started when she learned martial arts strictly to kill Richard, became friends with him, and then became [[InHarmsWay addicted to danger]] after they began traveling.
** Post-Crisis, it began when David killed her twin sister.
* StockingFiller: As the Jade Canary.
* StrikeMeDownWithAllOfYourHatred: What she tries to get her {{Worthy Opponent}}s to do, so that they will adopt her philosophy and succeed her.
* SupermanStaysOutOfGotham: An interesting Inversion of this trope is usually in play with Lady Shiva, in that she goes out of her way to avoid getting involved with heroes that [[SuperPowerLottery serious levels of power]]. She even goes so far as to try to avoid anything involving serious power being thrown around where the participants are straight up PhysicalGods. In spite of Shiva's great skills and fighting ability, she fully acknowledges that she's just a Muggle in a world full of beings with power that defy logic and reason. It's telling that most of the comics she appears in are the ones with the heroes being BadassNormals or having super powers that only give them a bit of an edge over normal people.
* ThatManIsDead: She hasn't gone by the name "Sandra Woo-san" in ''decades''.
* TheyWereHoldingYouBack: The reason David killed her sister. The two of them were both good fighters, but Shiva needed the extra push to become great.
* ThouShaltNotKill: When working with heroes, they insist she not kill anyone. This often annoys her, but she complies.
* TrainingFromHell:
** She puts herself through this and others come to her to get it. Its implied that the name Lady Shiva is a title and that others are going through the same training to become the next one.
** Playing into the more positive aspects of her name, Shiva has also trained an awful lot of heroes, including Tim Drake and Bruce Wayne, and her code of honor has led her to even spare them if she feels they can be a better fight later. She even resuscitated Cass Cain after beating her to death in order to gain a proper rematch!
* TheUnfettered: Shiva believes in letting others do as they wish, just as she does. Sometimes, of course, she wants to kill someone and they want to live. "This gives life interest."
* VillainTakesAnInterest: Constantly. When she shows up in your life, things are about to get interesting, whether you want it to or not.
* WillfullyWeak:
** When she and Carolyn sparred, Sandra held back out of fear of hurting her. David noticed this and saw how much potential Sandra had, so he [[TheyWereHoldingYouBack killed Carolyn so that Shiva would realize her full strength]].
** Not much of a weakness, considering how good she is anyway... But, she did tell Canary she never uses Sensei Otomo's techniques when she's trying to kill, out of respect for his teachings.
* WorldsBestWarrior: In terms of pure skill, she is practically unmatched in the Franchise/DCUniverse. In a fair duel, Shiva can defeat anyone, with only her {{Rival}} Richard Dragon and [[Comicbook/{{Batgirl 2000}} her own daughter]] demonstrating any actual potential to defeat her. However, seeing as she lives in the DC Universe, she doesn't stand a chance against a SuperpowerLottery, and whenever a hero is forced to fight her, they typically use an OutsideTheBoxTactic to soften her up first or defeat her outright.
* TheWorfEffect: It does happen on occasion, but she often regains herself shortly afterwards. The only person who she did not overcome in the end so far was Prometheus.
** WorfHadTheFlu: ''ComicBook/DetectiveComicsRebirth'' has her state that her previous defeats were intentional in order to appear weaker than she really was.
* WorthyOpponent: All she wants is to find one. In ''Comicbook/BirdsOfPrey'' after ComicBook/{{Huntress}} fights her in place of ComicBook/BlackCanary (who is sporting a broken arm and thus guaranteed to die) as a distraction until they can locate Canary's adopted daughter Sin and stop the fight, Shiva is so impressed that she gives Helena the name Iron Owl. Here, she wasn't impressed by Helena's skill (which she admits isn't up to par with Shiva's) so much as the sheer guts it took to challenge her.
* YouKilledMyFather:
** She originally appeared chasing after Richard when he was framed for murdering her sister.
** In a ''Comicbook/BirdsOfPrey'' story, she mercilessly hunted down the person who killed one of her favorite senseis.
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