In an effort to prepare for the release of Iron Man 3 I devoted a several hours over the past few weeks to all of the Marvel Studio blockbusters I missed when serving as a missionary for the LDS Church. These films inspired the following observation: Asians Americans  are now an established part of America’s popular culture.
The portrayal of racial minorities in pop-culture is a volatile issue. The over-use of “Token Black Guys” to fill out Hollywood casts has been a source of particular derision. Urban Dictionary explains:
1. token black guy – Any black character in any movie that is neither the protagonist nor antagonist, is unimportant to the plot and does not significantly contribute to it, preferably dies before the end, usually does not end up with the girl.
2. token black guy – Any fictional character of African-American descent that has been inconsequently inserted into the plot a movie or TV show for the express purposes of creating an image of commercially safe, politically correct, and insipid racial harmony. 
In the Marvel Studio films Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger the stereotyped token black guy has been eclipsed by a new character type: the token Asian guy.
Thor begins his film with a posse of Asgardians introduced as “Lady Sif and the Warriors Three.” Reflecting Thor’s identity as the Norse God of thunder, the group is dressed in shiny Hollywood versions of Viking attire. One does not need to be playing close attention to notice that one of these warriors looks distinctly un-Viking.
|The Asgardian posse in Thor.|
Captain America has his own side-kick team, a group of talented soldiers handpicked by the movie’s titular hero to face off against super villain Red Skull and the renegade Nazis under his command. Included in the team is another “Token Asian Man”, the Japanese American Jim Morita.
|Captain America’s side kicks.|
This character is less of an anachronism than it seems at first glance. The most decorated American unit of the Second World War was the 442nd Infantry, composed entirely of Nisei Soldiers. The best of the Nisei soldiers certainly deserved to be on America’s premiere special-ops team; whether or not the military brass of 1944 would agree to place a Nisei soldier on such a team is a different question.
We do not have to ponder the question at great length. Fortunately for the viewing public, Captain America: The First Avenger is a super-hero adventure movie, not a work of historical fiction. Thor and Captain America are a window into 2010s, not the 1940s. As with most films, these two movies betray the expectations of their audience. The inclusion of “Token Asian Men” in these blockbusters suggests that Asian Americans are now too prominent a part of American society for politically correct Hollywood producers to ignore. 
|Source: Pew Research Center. Rise of the Asian Americans.
(Pew Research: Washington DC). last updated 4 April 2013. p. 1
It is not a coincidence that this is happening in the 2010s. The growing presence of Asian Americans in American pop-culture mirrors the growing Asian American population of the United States: the 2010s is the first decade in American history where Asians are the largest group of new immigrants entering the United States. 
This is just the beginning. Over the next few decades more American communities will start to look like the 626. As the number of Asian Americans grow, their impact on American pop culture will only increase. Who knows? Before the decade is over America might have her own Asian Will Smith.
 “Asian American,” as the term is used here, refers to the peoples most Americans associate with the phrase: immigrants from Northeast and Southeast Asia (or descendants of such). Sorry my Desi and Arab friends: you are not main stream quite yet.
 themarcuscreature. “token black guy.” Urban Dictionary. 13 Feb 2013.
 Hollywood is not the only place to see more Asian Americans during the 2010s. The music industry has also seen notable shifts: in late 2010 the Far East Movement became the first Asian American group to reach the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100.
 This is especially true in the areas close to Hollywood itself. See Jennifer Medinia.”Asians Now Largest Immigrant Population in Southern California.” New York Times. 28 April 2013.