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More than just a Token Minority, this sort of character has been written into a series specifically because the minority group is associated with a group that the country is at war with (to various degrees of hotness or coldness).

Usually, there are two reasons to include such a character: either as a way for the writer to use the enemy in the series without stereotyping all members of the group as enemies, or as a way for the writer to express his opposition to the war or its excesses. As such it's rare before the 1960s. It can be strange if minorities of other types are conspicuously missing--if the only Asian on your World War II super-team is Japanese, it's pretty obvious what's going on.

Alternatively, works set in the future will use a current enemy as an ally as a way of pointing up how futuristic they are being. ("A Russian serving with an American? Now I know we're in the future!")

The character often remains stereotypical in ways other than being an enemy. In cases where this overlaps with Token Non-Human, this results in Token Heroic Orc

Examples of Token Enemy Minority include:


Comic Books

  • Pvt. Eric Koenig in Sgt. Fury's Howling Commandos was a defector from the Nazi military.
    • Jim Morita as well.
    • And Dino Manelli.
  • Rampart in Chris Claremont's Gen 13 (Arab Muslim during the War on Terror). Noble gesture, but unfortunately a bit Captain Ethnic; the guy said "Oh Allah!" so many times you'd think it was his Catch Phrase.
  • Golden Girl in The Invaders (Japanese during World War II--note that she's a Retcon hero; real World War II comic books didn't do this).
  • Tsunami in All-Star Squadron (Japanese during World War II; likewise).
  • Colossus in X-Men (Russian during the Cold War).
    • Dust in New X-Men (Afghan Muslim during the War on Terror).
  • The Black Widow in The Avengers was a hero, despite being a Russian spy.
  • Red Star from the 1960s Teen Titans comics, although he was not a regular character.
    • Averted during the time when he WAS a regular (1991-1994), as the USSR ceased to exist around the time.
  • Rocket Red #7 in Justice League International. It turned out he was actually The Mole... for invading aliens, not Russia. His replacement, Rocket Red #4, played the trope straight.
  • Contessa De Fontaine for S.H.I.E.L.D.. At least for a while...

Film

  • The 1994 action-comedy True Lies had a "good" Arab working with the government agents who are trying to stop a band of Arab terrorists. This didn't stop the movie from being widely tarred as anti-Arab.
    • Well, the good Arab was clearly an American of Arab descent, speaking with a fluent American accent, so that might have had something to do with it. In fact his ethnicity isn't brought up once. He might be Arab, but at least he's not foreign.
  • General Gogol from several James Bond films -- he was a Russian General, but was usually an ally to Bond. Even as the Bigger Bad in For Your Eyes Only he was a Friendly Enemy at worst, and is back to ally in the following movies.
  • Hammer Films' horror Space Western Moon Zero Two had an American pilot hero with a Russian engineer sidekick (and a British everything else, but that's another trope entirely) as part of its philosophy that space exploration would dissolve all the old Earth prejudices.

 100% Hubbard: Your engineer... what nationality is he?

Captain Kemp: He's a foreigner.

Hubbard: That's not quite what I meant...

Kemp: We're all foreigners up here.

  • The remake of Red Dawn, in which the North Koreans are the enemy, will have an Asian-American Marine played by Kenneth Choi working with Colonel Tanner.
  • In Captain America the First Avenger, one of the Howling Commandoes is Jim Morita, a Japanese-American man played, again, by Kenneth Choi. When another soldier comments on his race, Morita indignantly says "I'm from Fresno, Ace".
    • Earlier, the scientist who creates the super serum that gives Captain America his strength is a German defector portrayed very sympathetically.
  • Aces Iron Eagle III has old World War Two pilots working alongside another old World War Two pilot...who is Japanese.
  • Inglourious Basterds has Hugo Stiglitz, the only non-Jewish German in a Nazi-killing unit.
  • The Boondock Saints: The main villain is the Mafia; one of the heroes is Italian.


Literature

  • Herald Alberich of Karse in Mercedes Lackey's Heralds of Valdemar series was the Token Enemy Minority Herald, until he got two entire books as the protagonist and stopped being just a token. Then there're three other books (published earlier, taking place chronologically later) with a Karsite priest as one of the protagonists. As of the chronolocially latest books in the series, Karse is now allied to Valdemar, but for centuries they were very bitter enemies fighting a perpetual war.
  • Robert A. Heinlein's story Sixth Column was a reworking of a John W. Campbell story where the Yellow Peril invades America. Heinlein wrote that he had to remove racist elements from the original story, and the final story has a Japanese-American as one of the good guys. Assuming this was an addition by Heinlein (which seems likely), it may be unique as an example of the trope used during World War II.
    • None of the Enemy race joins the "good" side, however. Also, in a rather racist part, a white man gets plastic surgery and tattooing to infiltrate the bad guys...because the idea that any of that race could be recruited (or, being America, actually be born in America) is impossible. All in all, one of the stories that Heinlein must wish he had never written.
    • One version of the introduction explicitly states that he only wrote it because he was needed the money and goodwill from an editor that requested it.

Live Action TV

  • Chekov on the original Star Trek (Russian during the Cold War). The producers actually spread a fake rumor that Pravda complained about the absence of a Russian on the show. Although you'll notice that the multi-ethnic cast is subordinate to the guy from Montreal.
    • Worf in Star Trek: The Next Generation is a fantastic variant of same, as a member of what was the main Big Bad alien race in the original Star Trek, though by the time of the new series relations are tense, but no longer hostile, and they improve over the course of the franchise due in no small part to Worf himself.
    • Before TNG, the Star Trek comics had Konom, a Klingon defector serving on Kirk's Enterprise.
    • Seven of Nine, being a de-assimilated Borg serving on a Federation ship, is arguably an example too.
  • Illya Kuryakin in The Man from U.N.C.L.E., who turned out to be a friendly Russian spy. justified because the agency they worked against was hated by both the free world and the communist bloc. Quickly promoted to joint protagonist after positive fan reaction, so ceased to be 'token'.
    • He later moved to Scotland, went to medical school, became a medical examiner and works for NCIS.
  • A rare modern example is Djaq from the BBC's recent Robin Hood, a friendly Arab woman who's as good a fighter as the rest of the crew and gets to bag her chosen Merry Man at the end of Series 2 (she's a total Mary Sue).
    • They've been adding a Saracen to the Merry Men since the 1980s TV serial. First time the Saracen has been a Twofer Token Minority though.
  • Sayid Jarrah from Lost. He served in the Gulf War. For the Republican Guard. Dude.

Theatre

  • Older Than Steam: In Shakespeare's Henry V, Henry is accompanied in his French war by (fictional) Scottish, Welsh, and Irish soldiers. It is Macmorris the Irish captain who really fits this trope, as Henry V was written in 1599 in the middle of a very bloody English war against Irish rebels.

Video Games

  • In Home Front, Resistance member Hopper Lee is Korean-American. He mentions that anyone who looked even slightly Asian had been getting lynched when he left Oakland, and he was "lucky" to only have his home burnt down.
    • Oddly, its a better example than most because Hopper is surprisingly understated about the horrific treatment he's received. The Resistance Fighters are pretty stunned about it when he actually does mention it.

Western Animation

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