Spirit Boxer I:
The first Spirit Boxer (Spirit Boxer I) was a founding member of the Knights.
An Ling was the daughter of a very powerful Shaolin young monk named Shang. Shang was forced into labor by the European Colonial powers when his monastery was closed and then burned. He adapted and married a fellow worker, with whom he had a daughter, An Ling (trans: Peace, Compassion, and Understanding). But he also began to teach martial arts and the ways of resistance to his fellow workers. Over time his and others' work in agitation resulted in the Boxer Rebellion (Yihetuan Movement by Militias of Righteousness) against European colonialism in China in 1900. His daughter Ling was raised fighting injustice and trained in martial arts at the hand of her father.
An excerpt from historical experts on the topic helps illuminate the nature of her training and powers: "The Boxers believed that through training, diet, martial arts and prayer they could perform extraordinary feats, such as flight. Furthermore, they popularly claimed that millions of spirit soldiers would descend from the heavens and assist them in purifying China of foreign influences. The Boxers, armed with rifles and swords, claimed supernatural invulnerability towards blows of cannon, rifle shots, and knife attacks. The Boxer beliefs were characteristic of millenarian movements, related to such practices as the Native American Ghost Dance." This was indeed the case and Ling became quite powerful and took on the moniker Spirit Boxer.
Ling first encountered the man who would later become the Crimson Dragon during the Boxer Rebellion. Unlike her father, this madman in the making preached violence and hatred, and wielded both as a means to gain power and increase fear.
During the turmoil of World War I, Ling met Captain Redeagle and decided to travel abroad. She honed her adventuring skills over the next decade, but traveled back to China several times especially during the Second Sino-Japanese War. She witnessed the brutality and saw first hand the atrocities such as the Rape of Nanking, during which she heard rumors that the family of the man she had met during the Boxer Rebellion had been exterminated in Nanking. She believed this was the final trigger that led to the creation of the Crimson Dragon. Given these growing horrors, Ling agreed to help establish the Knights in 1940 at the outbreak of World War II.
From her contacts inside China, Spirit Boxer learned of the Crimson Dragon's plans to build an empire and conquer the world. She went on a secret mission and finally tracked him down as he carried out a daring theft of America's new superweapon, the atomic bomb. But it was too late. Spirit Boxer was killed by an atomic bomb blast over Nagasaki, Japan, on August 9, 1945, with several of her Knights teammates in a valiant effort to stop the Crimson Dragon's evil plot to eradicate Japan from the Earth.
Years later, An Ling returned to the mortal realm to train her successor, who adopted her Spirit Boxer title and became a member of the New Knights.
Spirit Boxer II:
David Daniels was a shop employee until the day a man came in to rob the place. David blacked out, and when he awoke he had beaten the robber to death. It was a few seconds before he realized the man had shot him and he blacked out again.
Pronounced dead, David was sent to the county morgue. There, he was revived by An Ling and offered the chance to train as her successor.
After accepting the offer, David spent years in seclusion, training himself to match An Ling's legacy. He returned to Queen City as a brand new Spirit Boxer and began continuing An Ling's work.