James Morita

jimmoritafilmWaiting for the new (or spoilerish) guys, we have another member of the Howling Commandos portrayed on a poster in the Smithsonian Museum from Captain America: The Winter SoldierJim Morita, portrayed by Kenneth Choi. In the first movie, he’s a war prisoner from Fresno who’s rescued by Captain America from a Nazi camp, and who joins him in his Howling Commandos for the rest of the war. He also appears, in photo, in a deleted scene from The Avengers, while Rogers looks at some files S.H.I.E.L.D. has given him about his friends: the only one along with James Falsworth, Morita is reported as “deceased”, succumbing either to war or to old age. In the comics, Morita isn’t a member of the Howling Commandos, but surely has something to do with them. Let’s check it out.

Jim Morita was born in San Francisco, the only son of a couple of Japanese immigrants who had reached the United States in search of work. Life wasn’t easy from the beginning, being him a Nisei (a second-generation Japanese), but when Second World jimmoritacomics1War started, and the States entered the conflict because of a direct attack from Japan in Pearl Harbor, Morita became a real social pariah, seen by his neighbors as some sort of enemy behind their lines. In order to clean up his name, and to serve the country he actually truly cared for, Jim enlisted in the US Army, ignoring all the racist comments his fellow soldiers directed to him during the training. His perseverance, determination and overall capability gained the attention of Captain Sam Sawyer, the man behind the creation of the Howling Commandos. Sawyer recognized some potential in the young recruit, and proposed him to enter a special strike team, the Nisei Squad, entirely composed of second generation Japanese soldiers: the Squad was meant, on a side, to limit the spreading racism inside the normal troops, while on the other it promoted a positive look over Japanese people among the American population. Totally devoted to the cause, both the Nisei and the American one, Jim gladly accepted.

Jim Morita became a Ranger, and was immediately assigned to the Nisei Squad, where he soon was promoted to a position of command thanks to his numerous skills, both tactical and military. Once, the Nisei Squad was assigned the mission of freeing Dr. Warren Parker, a precious American scientist, from a Nazi concentration camp. During the mission, Morita met Nick Fury, a sergeant leader of the Howling jimmoritacomics2Commandos, and the two became friends. Their two teams allied to free Parker, and they brilliantly accomplished the mission. They met again to defend Able Company‘s base from the evil counterpart of the Howling Commandos, the Blitzkrieg Squad, led by Nazi officer Colonel Klaue. During another mission, however, Morita got captured by Nazis, and he and his surviving teammates were locked into a POW camp. Thanks to his Japanese heritage, Morita was believed to be a traitor and a collaborator by his fellow prisoners, making his life even harder in the prison. Despite being badly considered by everyone, Morita contacted Fury and orchestrated with him the liberation of all his fellow prisoners, putting up a massive evasion. The moment he saved all the people who plainly distrusted and despised him, Morita was finally recognized as the hero he had always been.

Jim Morita is a strong and good-hearted man, an idealist who fights, more than for his country, for the people inhabiting it. He’s an accomplished fighter, an expert tactician and a skilled parachutist, an expert of explosives and a proficient stealth operator. Overall, he’s a great karate fighter, able to use his skills also in the midst of a battle. Fighting for many people who despise him because of the color of his skin and the shape of his eyes, Morita is a hero born, committed to redeem his name and honor.


1 Comment

  1. […] the second, nicknamed the Maulers, led by Sgt. Bull McGiveney; the all-Asian Nisei Squad, led by Jim Morita; the National Guard’s Commando Squad, aka the Missouri Marauders, led by Sgt. Bob Jenkins; […]

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