Real Name: Kasumi "Cassie" de Winter
Aliases: Michiyo Yamashita
Occupation: Instructor (yoga and meditation)
Citizenship: USA and Japan (dual citizenship)
Place of Birth: Baltimore, Maryland
Marital Status: Single
Martial Status: 7th degree black belt (shichidan) in Kenkujutsu
Known Relatives: Kintaro Moribatsu, aka the Obsidian Dragon (maternal grandfather)
Education: College equivalent
Weight: 120 lbs
Powers: Mastery of the mystical martial art Kenkujutsu gives her the ability to channel yin and yang energy for various protective or destructive effects, including but not limited to: devastating martial arts strikes; leaps of incredible distance; invisibility; protection from thermal and kinetic energy; manipulation of life energy in self and others. In addition, she has the strength, speed and stamina of an Olympic-level athlete.
History/Origin: Kenku's father was Simon de Winter, also known as the Raven, a Baltimore-based crimefighter of the 70s and 80s famous for his crafty intelligence and strange sense of humor. Her mother was Kumiko Moribatsu, the daughter of Kintaro Moribatsu and arch-nemesis of the Raven in his guise as the Obsidian Dragon. Upon the latter's apparent death in 1983, Simon and Kumiko retired from costumed life to raise their daughter, Kasumi, in relative normalcy.
All of this changed in 2002, when the Obsidian Dragon reappeared at Kasumi's 18th birthday party and, in the course of capturing his granddaughter, killed Simon and Kumiko as they attempted to prevent her abduction. Seeking to brainwash her into serving as his protege (and as a replacement for her "failed" mother) he took her with him back to his hidden base in Japan. However, Kasumi fled at an opportune moment and disappeared into the forests of Hokkaido.
After several weeks on her own, she discovered an enclave of Kenku: spirits in the form of raven-men who practiced their own forms of martial arts. Kasumi begged them to let her stay, citing her heritage as the daughter of the Raven as proof they were kindred. After proving her dedication and purity of spirit through the performance of several difficult tasks, she was accepted into their community and was taught the secrets of the mystic martial art kenkujutsu.
After several years, her grief and rage had been balanced with insight and discipline, and she was judged ready to return to the world. Adopting the new identity of Michiyo Yamashita, she returned to the United States to begin her dual careers as instructor and costumed crimefighter.
Personality: In her costumed identity, Kenku is extremely focused and exceedingly precise in her demolition of enemies. She will kill if necessary, but prefers to reduce her foes to quivering, whimpering piles of extreme pain from yang-powered strikes to nerve clusters and pressure points. (Nonlethal does not equal painless.) The intensity of this self-described "total war against crime" abates when out of costume, however; when in her Michiyo Yamashita persona she is mellow and balanced, teaching classes on yoga and meditation out of the local community center.
bipolar disorder or dissociative identity disorder; instead, Kasumi practices emotional balance in accordance with the principles of yin and yang. The restfulness of her Yamashita personality keeps her costumed identity from becoming too violent and consumed by thoughts of revenge, and allows her to give back to the community without having to be "on" all the time. In many ways, both Kenku and Michiyo Yamashita are halves of the greater whole which is Kasumi de Winter.
(Special thanks to: Doomslayer for taking the screenshots, Jo for asking the right questions, Nathan for helping me with names and Hickman for starting it all.)
Now playing: VNV Nation - Darkangel (Apoc Mix - Das Ich)