Real Name: David Ishima
former construction worker
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Angel (Warren Worthington), Lila Cheney, Colossus
(Piotr Rasputin), Daddy
Longlegs, Ieyasu Imura, Impossible Man, John DeLuca (lawyer), Gypsy
Moth (Sybil Dvorak),
Judge Elizabeth Lynn, Magnus,
Lindsay McCabe, Lieutenant Sabrina "Bree" Morrel, Poltergeist
(Michael "Mickey" Silk), Rachel Grey, Rogue (Anna Marie),
Shadowcat (Kitty Pryde), Shroud (Maximilian Coleridge),
Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew), Storm (Ororo Munroe), Tigra (Greer Nelson), Werewolf
(Jack Russell), Wolverine (Logan/James Howlett);
formerly Tim Walsh (deceased)
Enemies: Deathstroke, Freedom Force (Avalanche/Dominic Petros, Blob/Fred J. Dukes, Pyro/St. John Allerdyce, Spider-Woman/Julia Carpenter, Spiral/Rita Wayword), Kingpin (Wilson Fisk), Morgan Le Fay, Terminators, Yakuza, Cynthia Walsh
Known Relatives: Unidentified older brother
Aliases: Sir Lancelot
Base of Operations: 1 Yarboro Court, San Francisco
First Appearance: Spider-Woman I#37 (April, 1981)
Powers/Abilities: David possesses no superhuman powers, but he is an intelligent, capable person who isn't afraid to follow his heart, whether it's courting beautiful women or picking a career. Despite his university level intelligence, he prefers to work with his hands and he enjoys the thrilling danger that comes with construction work on high rises. He has a penchant for acting and roleplay, succesfully performing as Lancelot at a local medieval fair. He also has a knack for gardening, having constructed a traditional Japanese bonsai garden in his own home. Despite all that, David is a man with traditional values who prefers a normal woman to a superheroine.
(Spider-Woman I#37 (fb) - BTS) - Ignoring his parents' wishes
he would study to become either a doctor or a lawyer like most of his
family, Asian-American David Ishima followed his passion and went into
construction. He took on a job as foreman at Carillon Towers, the new
San Francisco headquarters of Vietnamese businessman Nguyen Ngoc Coy. He
bought the house on 1 Yarboro Court, a classic 1878 Queen Anne Tower
House, part of a neighborhood many locals believed to be haunted. To
supplement his income, he rented out the top floor and attic, in effect
becoming the building's landlord.
(Spider-Woman I#37 - BTS) - Ishima rented the top floor
and the attic of 1 Yarboro to aspiring actress Lindsay McCabe and her
best friend, former bounty hunter turned private detective Jessica Drew,
aka Spider-Woman. David himself continued to live on the ground level.
(Spider-Woman I#37) - David met Jessica Drew at an
impromptu housewarming party thrown by Lindsay McCabe soon after they
moved in. David presented Jessica with a housewarming present: a home
grown bonsai tree. To her delight, Jessica spotted a spider in the tiny
tree's branches, considering it a good omen. There was an undeniable,
instant attraction between them, and David offered Jessica to show her
his garden. He openly courted her, offering to give a massage to take
care of her sore shoulder. However, moments after David started to work
his magic touch, Jessica's ultra sensitive senses picked up the sonic
wail of Syrin (Theresa Rourke-Cassidy). After she recovered from this
painful incident, Jessica excused herself and left a startled David
behind as she snuck out as Spider-Woman to discover the source of the
sonic assault. She discovered Syrin robbing a local bank, along with
Black Tom Cassidy and the Juggernaut. The trio quickly beat Spider-Woman
and left her unconscious at the scene of the crime.
(Spider-Woman I#38 - BTS) - After she came to, Spider-Woman found herself surrounded by the San Francisco police force. She managed to escape, but by then professor Charles Xavier had become aware of Siryn through Cerebro and sent a party of X-Men to San Francisco for a first contact situation, which led them to the home of David and Jessica.
(Spider-Woman I#38) - Spider-Woman made her way back to 1 Yarboro Court and changed into her civvies before rejoining Lindsay's party that was still going strong. David was pleased to see her again, and asked how her head was, while Lindsay looked on, wondering to herself about the wonders of young lust. As David and Jessica were talking, Lindsay answered the door and let in the X-Men Storm, Angel and Colossus (all in their civilian guises). The X-Men took Jessica aside, informed her they were looking for a neophyte mutant and that their sensors had led them to her. Spider-Woman decided to join the X-Men in their search for Siryn. She left with them, leading David to wonder what kind of life Jessica was used to leading. Lindsay assured him that Jessica was an adult who could take care of herself. Worrying is fine, she told him, but he shouldn't crowd her because what she needed most at the moment was to fly free.
(Spider-Woman I#39 (fb) - BTS) - While working on the Carillon Towers, David discovered the building plans had been modified to include a hidden core. When he tried to tell his boss Tim Walsh about his suspicions, Walsh fired him. Unbeknownst to Ishima, his boss worked for the police and was well aware of the building's secret complex that was intended to be used as a headquarters for the Yakuza.
(Spider-Woman I#39 - BTS) - The Yakuza discovered David's former boss Walsh was a police mole and ordered Deathstroke and his Terminators to kill him. Walsh was discovered dead, after having taken a header off the top floor. While the press believed it was a simple industrial accident, aware of the fact Walsh worked for the police, Lt. Sabrina Morrel deemed his demise worthy of further investigation.
(Spider-Woman I#39) - David and Jessica were enjoying each
other's company in David's appartment when police Lt. Sabrina
Morrel knocked on his door. She wanted him to accompany her, when he
agreed Jessica tagged along. Morrel brought them to Carillon Towers, where she
wanted David to confirm that the corpse was indeed his former boss Tim
Walsh. When he did, she started to question him about his whereabouts at
the presumed time of Walsh's death. At this point Jessica jumped in,
advising David to keep quiet without his lawyer. Morrel allowed Ishima
to leave, provided he kept himself available for further inquiries,
adding that he'd better get a good lawyer.
David and Jessica visited John
DeLuca, a criminal defense lawyer recommended by his older brother.
DeLuca wanted to help Ishima, but was shocked to learn his client
wouldn't share any information on where he went and what he saw on the
night in question. He then left DeLuca's offices, claiming this was
something he needed to work out on his own. DeLuca wondered out loud if
David maybe did kill Walsh, an assumption Jessica vehemently opposed.
As David went off on his own, Jessica tailed him as Spider-Woman. Ishima went to visit Walsh's widow Cynthia to request a copy of the Carillon Towers blue prints he knew Tim kept at home. The building plans could prove his innocence, but Cynthia flipped out, slapped David and told him she believed he was behind her husband's death. After she threw him out, Spider-Woman overheard Cynthia calling Eric, her contact in the Yakuza, about David. He assured her the problem of David Ishima would be dealt with permanently.
Eventually David noticed Jessica was
chasing him and confronted her about it. She assured him she only had
his best interests at heart, but he demanded she stopped following him
anyway. Ignoring his wishes, Jessica kept tailing David and witnessed
how he ran into Lt. Morrel. She overheard the term "Yakuza", but
failed to understand what exactly they were discussing.
When David went into a diner for
lunch, Jessica phoned John DeLuca for an update. He told her that a
warrant for David's arrest had just been issued and asked her if she
could bring him in. Jessica then told him about seeing him with Morrel
moments earlier. DeLuca promised to look into it. Moments later, armed
Yakuza henchmen picked up Jessica and took her away in a limousine,
picking up David along the way. The Yakuza took the two to the top of
Carillon Towers where they met Deathstroke and his Terminators. Before
killing them, Deathstroke revealed how he was responsible for Walsh's
demise. This was Jessica's clue to use a bio-electric blast to confuse
their assailants as she threw herself off the building, much to David's
shock. Deathstroke decided to throw David off the building as well, but
Jessica managed to save him as Spider-Woman. Introducing herself as an
associate of Jessica Drew, she assured him that Jessica was safe. The
two then teamed up to fight Deathstroke and his Terminators, beating the
villains and delivering them to the police. Days later, when the murder
of Tim Walsh was brought to court, judge Elizabeth Lynn summarily
dismissed all the charges raised against David.
As David and Jessica left the courtroom, Lt. Sabrina Morrel had a private moment with David. She told him the offer she made a week ago was still on the table and handed him a business card. He threw it away and responded his answer still was "no". Jessica Drew noticed the business cared had a Yakuza motif. Ignoring all this, Jessica joined David for a private, romantic celebration at a local North Beach Italian restaurant.
(Spider-Woman I#41 - BTS) - After losing his job as a construction worker, David found work at a local medieval carnival, playing Sir Lancelot, famed knight of King Arthur's legendary Camelot.
(Spider-Woman I#41) - Lindsay McCabe managed to convince Jessica Drew to visit a local medieval carnival, even getting her to dress up in period appropriate garb. Lindsay told Jessica that David was there as well, playing Lancelot. Before she could meet him, sorceress Morgan Le Fay used her magics to toy with Jessica, making her believe she actually was lady Morgan Le Fay in medieval times. She was greeted by Lancelot, whose voice Jessica recognized as David's. She professed her affection for him, but Lancelot/David begged her to reconsider. Enraged, Jessica/Morgan wondered if his refusal was because he secretly loved Guinivere, King Arthur's wife. Ishima confessed to his feelings, even as they encountered Arthur and Guinevere (an equally ensorcelled Lindsay McCabe). David, forced by Morgan Le Fay's spell, professed his love for Guinivere, who callously dismissed him. A still enraged Jessica was so caught in her role as Morgan, she attemped to use magic to get her revenge. However, as Jessica/Morgan was in the middle of a complex revenge spell, the roaring engines of a low flying plane broke her concentration. Rattled, Jessica realized this wasn't a dream. She went forth to confront Morgan Le Fay, keeping both David and Lindsay safe as she chased off the centuries old sorceress.
(Spider-Woman I#44) - After a long night tailing Sabrina Morrel and learning the lieutenant was a member of the Yakuza crime syndicate, Spider-Woman returned home. Instead of going to sleep, she went downstairs and knocked on David's door, filled with certain desires. A sleepy, shirtless David opened the door and let Jessica in. After a brief romantic interlude, she asked to borrow David's motor bike. At first, David was reluctant to grant her request, worried she might get hurt or die while chasing after the woman who hurt Lindsay. In the end, he reluctantly gave in and even handed Jessica a set of leather biker gear he had intended to give her as a birthday present. So convinced Jessica was heading for her death, David cried as he said goodbye to her.
(Spider-Woman I#45) - Jessica Drew returned home to David Ishima after a particularly eventful day on the job, trying to reunite the Impossible Man with his recently estranged wife. She had promised to cook David dinner, even though he could clearly see she was exhausted as she was preparing the sashimi. They were about to retire for the evening when the phone rang. David answered the call, which turned out to be the Impossible Man who wanted to speak to Jessica because his wife had already left him after their latest argument. Tired, Jessica told Impy to call her if she hadn't returned by tomorrow morning. She then unplugged the phone and switched her attention to David.
(Spider-Woman I#46 - BTS) - Following the Yakuza incident at Carillon Towers, Vietnamese businessman and crimelord Nguyen Ngoc Coy had put a price on Jessica Drew's head. After police lieutenant Sabrina Morrel learned of the hit that had been put out on Jessica, she decided to start shadowing her.
(Spider-Woman I#46) - David and Jessica enjoyed an impromptu beach picknick, frollicking in the waters of San Francisco's Stinson Beach, when they were assaulted by mysterious men in scuba gear. David was quickly overpowered, knocked out and held hostage. Even with her superpowers, Jessica wasn't able to save both David and herself, but the timely arrival of Sabrina Morrel turned the tide. Morrel told Jessica about the hit Ngoc Coy had ordered on her, while David slowly regained consciousness. Suddenly, Jessica realized she had been shot during the fight and collapsed from the loss of blood.
(Spider-Woman I#46 - BTS) - Bree Morrel brought both David
and Jessica to the hidden Yakuza headquarters underneath Alcatraz. When
Jessica came to, her first concern was David, but Bree assured her he
was fine and safe. Yakuza oyabun Ieyasu Imura confirmed this, revealing
David had been taken home to Yarboro Court and was being watched over by
another member of the Yakuza.
(Spider-Woman I#48 - BTS) - While visiting Los Angeles with Lindsay McCabe, Spider-Woman landed near a payphone to call David Ishima. David asked her what was wrong when she paused as a nearby bum emptied a bag of crumbs over himself and let a flock of pigeons pick him clean.
(Spider-Woman I#49) - David was outside, mowing the lawn
when Jessica Drew and Lindsay McCabe returned from a trip to Los
Angeles. David was a little shocked when he saw his girlfriend's new
hairstyle. But a few hours and kisses later he admitted to her in
private that she still looked great. Jessica was about to tell David
about her LA adventures, but received a work call before getting to it.
Jessica went out to get the assignment, which involved the missing
17-year-old pyromaniac runaway Mickey Silk. She promised David a
surprise upon her return. When she came back that evening, she bawled
him over by revealing her secret identity to him. As Jessica hugged him,
relieved she had finally been able to get this off her chest, a totally
flabbergasted David watched her change into her Spider-Woman outfit and
fly off in pursuit of Mickey Silk.
(Spider-Woman I#50) - David was totally stunned when he came home and saw Jessica had invited over several of her super powered friends and acquaintances to catch their breath after being collectively kidnapped by the Locksmith. He asked Jessica if he could see her privately for a moment. As soon as they were alone, outside in his garden, David blurted out that they should stop seeing each other. He wanted a "normal" woman for a lover, one who "wears normal clothes and doesn't bring home any freak nature ever spit out". He apologized for not being man enough or brave enough to love her for who she was and simply asked her to let him go. Seconds later, David's body was inhabited by the spirit of 6th century wizard Magnus, who had come to gather Jessica for a final confrontation against Morgan Le Fay. As Magnus drew Jessica's astral self along with him on a journey through time, her body was left comatose on the floor. Moments after Magnus had taken Spider-Woman's spirit to the past, David regained control of his body and discovered his lover's body.
As Spider-Woman and Magnus engaged Morgan Le Fay, the sorceress presented Jessica with a "present"; a soul globe that contained the souls of, among others, David, Lindsay McCabe, the Shroud, Daddy Longlegs and the Werewolf. Figuring that smashing the globe would set her friends free, Spider-Woman threw it on the floor. The opposite proved true: Morgan was able to manipulate the freed and confused souls, forcing them to attack Jessica. In the end, Spider-Woman fought off her friends' souls with a diffuse venom blast.
(Avengers I#240 (fb) ) - After his soul returned to his body, David was the first to discover Jessica's comatose form. Assisted by Tigra, he rushed her to the nearest hospital, even as most of Jessica's other superpowered allies like Gypsy Moth and Daddy Longlegs took off.
(Spider-Woman I#50 - BTS) - In the aftermath of her fight against Morgan Le Fay, Spider-Woman was shocked to realize the ancient sorceress had used her magics to deny Jessica access to her own body.
(Avengers I#240 - (fb) - BTS) - Tigra called in the Avengers, who in turn contacted Hank Pym and Doctor Strange. Together, they confronted Morgan Le Fay and forced her to allow Jessica Drew's spirit to return to her body. Seemingly restored to normal, Jessica soon discovered she had seemingly lost her spider-powers.
(Uncanny X-Men I#206 (fb) - BTS) - David and Jessica rekindled
their flirtatious relationship, even as Drew welcomed the travelling
X-Men to stay at her place in Yarboro Court. David Ishima and Jessica's
best friend Lindsay McCabe met the team for the first time, spending
several quiet days with them.
(Uncanny X-Men I#206 (fb) ) - David bought two tickets to see Lila Cheney perform at San Francisco's Chi Chi Club. He planned to take Jessica, but when she was too busy working on a case, he asked Kitty Pryde, who happily accepted.
(Uncanny X-Men I#206) - David greeted Storm as he came to pick up Kitty for the Lila Cheney concert. He promised Ororo he was going to behave himself and ensured her that he'd have Kitty home at a reasonable hour. Kitty playfully challenged this notion. As they walked off, Ishima wondered out loud if the 14,5-year-old mutant girl was trying to get him in trouble.
(Uncanny X-Men I#206 - BTS) - Acting without official orders from their leader Mystique or the US government, Freedom Force members Blob, Pyro, Avalanche, Spider-Woman (Carpenter) and Spiral teleported to San Francisco to arrest the X-Men.
(Uncanny X-Men I#206) - David and Kitty were walking home from the Lila Cheney concert. As they entered Yarboro Court, David teased Kitty with stories that the neighborhood was believed to be haunted by ghosts. Moments after he told her to watch out which wall she walked through, they were surprised by a massive tidal wave of earth that headed for and crashed into David's house. Kitty phased David through the wave and quickly realized the old X-Men foe Avalanche was behind it. As she went to join her teammates in fighting Avalanche and the other Freedom Forcers, Kitty told David to stay clear.
As the battle between the X-Men
and Freedom Force raged on, Jessica Drew returned home from her
investigation. David looked on as he saw his girlfriend grow outraged at
seeing another Spider-Woman. Jessica instinctively pointed her hand at
Julia Carpenter, plannning to hit her unwanted successor with a venom
blast, before remembering she had lost her powers.
After police Lt. Sabrina Morrel managed to call off Freedom Force's attack by insisting they showed her a proper warrant for the X-Men's arrest, David comforted Jessica and was present the next morning when the X-Men decided they'd better move on before Freedom Force would return with the right paperwork.
Comments: Created by Chris Claremont (writer), Steve
Leialoha (pencils), Bob Wiacek, Alan Weiss, Danny Bulanadi & Bruce
David is one of those Claremont creations that really sparkled when handled by Chris himself, but who fell kind of flat as soon as other writers tackled him. Claremont obviously had bigger plans for David, after all lieutenant Morrel doesn't just invite anyone to join the Yakuza. Under Ann Nocenti's all too brief tenure, he quickly devolved into the dumbstruck stereotypical boyfriend who eventually broke up with her because he just wanted a normal life with a normal wife.
A missed opportunity, in my book. The relationship between David and Jessica was one of the most adult and realistic the Comics Code could allow. They weren't high school sweethearts, nor did they go through the typical will they-won't they? cliches, wasting months before their first kiss... No, under Claremont, they were two consenting adults who decided to pursue and enjoy the instant attraction that existed between them. How much of this was (inadvertently) caused by Jessica's pheromone powers is never made clear. But as Claremont showed when he wrote David and Jessica in X-Men, they were still together even after Jessica lost those abilities.
It was interesting to see how in the ever so politically correct early 80s, no one seemed to bat an eye when the hero of the book started dating an Asian American. The only other example of a mixed race couple, to my knowledge, was "Flash" Thompson who ever so briefly dated Vietnamese refugee Sha Shan.
Profile by Norvo.
CLARIFICATIONS: David Ishima has no known connections to
images: (without ads)
Spider-Woman I#39, p4, pan4 (main image)
Spider-Woman I#37, p13, pan4 (meeting Jessica Drew)
Spider-Woman I#39, p17, pan8 (meeting Spider-Woman)
Spider-Woman I#44, p5, pan4 (booty call)
Spider-Woman I#49, p12, pan1/2/3 (discovers true identity)
Spider-Woman I#50, p24, pan8 (break up)
Uncanny X-Men I#206, p5, pan6 (dating Kitty)
Spider-Woman I#37 (April, 1981) - Chris Claremont (writer), Steve Leialoha (pencils), Terry Austin, Bob Wiacek, Alan Weiss, Al Milgrom, Frank Springer, Steve Leialoha, Walt Simonson (inks), Dennis O'Neil (editor)
Spider-Woman I#38 (June, 1981) - Chris Claremont (writer), Steve Leialoha (pencils), Bob Wiacek, Alan Weiss, Danny Bulanadi, Bruce Patterson (inks), Dennis O'Neil, Mark Gruenwald (editors)
Spider-Woman I#39 (August, 1981) - Chris Claremont (writer), Steve Leialoha (pencils), Bob Wiacek (inks), Dennis O'Neil (editor)
Spider-Woman I#41 (December, 1981) - Chris Claremont (writer), Steve Leialoha (pencils), Bob Wiacek (inks), Dennis O'Neil (editor)
Spider-Woman I#44 (June, 1982) - Chris Claremont (writer), Steve Leialoha (pencils, inks), Dennis O'Neil (editor)
Spider-Woman I#45 (August, 1982) - Chris Claremont (writer), Steve Leialoha (pencils, inks), Dennis O'Neil (editor)
Spider-Woman I#46 (October, 1982) - Chris Claremont (writer), Steve Leialoha, Trina Robbins, Brent Anderson (pencils), Steve Leialoha (inks), Dennis O'Neil (editor)
Spider-Woman I#48 (February, 1983) - Ann Nocenti (writer), Brian Postman (pencils), Sam de la Rosa (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Spider-Woman I#49 (April, 1983) - Ann Nocenti (writer), Brian Postman (pencils), Sam de la Rosa (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Spider-Woman I#50 (June, 1983) - Anne Nocenti (writer), Brian Postman (pencils), Sam de la Rosa (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Avengers I#240 (February, 1984) - Roger Stern, Ann Nocenti (writers), Al Milgrom (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Mark Gruenwald, Michael Carlin (editors)
Uncanny X-Men I#206 (June, 1986) - Chris Claremont (writer), John Romita Jr. (pencils), Dan Green (inks), Ann Nocenti (editor)
Last updated: 10/23/13
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