Shang-Chi[a] is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character was created by writer Steve Englehart and artist Jim Starlin, first appearing in Special Marvel Edition #15 (cover-dated December 1973) in the Bronze Age of Comic Books. Often referred to as the "Master of Kung Fu", Shang-Chi is proficient in numerous unarmed and weaponry-based wushu styles, including the use of the gùn, nunchaku, and jian. In later years, he gains the power to create countless duplicates of himself and joins the Avengers.
|First appearance||Special Marvel Edition #15 (December 1973)|
|Notable aliases||Master of Kung-Fu, Brother Hand|
Shang-Chi was spun off from novelist Sax Rohmer's licensed property as the unknown son of fictional villain Fu Manchu. In later editions, his connection to Fu was underplayed after Marvel lost the comic book rights to the latter's character.
Shang-Chi will make his live-action debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in his own standalone movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, scheduled to release on July 9, 2021. He will be played by Chinese-Canadian actor Simu Liu.
The character was conceived in late 1972. Marvel had wished to acquire the rights to adapt the Kung Fu television program, but were denied permission by the show's owner, Warner Communications, owner of Marvel's primary rival, DC Comics. Instead, Marvel acquired the comic book rights to Sax Rohmer's pulp villain Dr. Fu Manchu. They developed Shang-Chi, a master of kung fu, who was introduced as a previously unknown son of Fu Manchu. Though an original character himself, many of Shang-Chi's supporting characters (most notably Fu Manchu, Sir Denis Nayland Smith, Dr. James Petrie and Fah Lo Suee) were Rohmer creations. No characters from the Kung Fu television series carried over into the comic series, though the character Lu Sun, in an early issue, bears a strong resemblance to Kwai Chang Caine with the addition of a moustache. With artist Paul Gulacy, his visual appearance was modeled after that of Bruce Lee.
Shang-Chi first appeared in Special Marvel Edition #15 (December 1973) by Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin. He appeared again in issue #16, and with issue #17 (April 1974) the title was changed to The Hands of Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu. Amidst the martial arts craze in the United States in the 1970s, the book became very popular, surviving until issue #125 (June 1983), a run including four giant-size issues and an annual. Special Collector's Edition #1 (1975) cover-titled as "Savage Fists of Kung Fu" reprinted stories from The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #1-2; The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu Special #1; and Special Marvel Edition #15. He did several crossovers with other Marvel martial artists, including the White Tiger, Iron Fist and the Daughters of the Dragon (Colleen Wing and Misty Knight). He appeared regularly in The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu.
Shang-Chi had two more short series: the Master of Kung Fu: Bleeding Black one-shot (1990) and the MAX miniseries Master of Kung Fu: Hellfire Apocalypse (2002) with artist Paul Gulacy on art again. The character had two stories in the comics anthology series Marvel Comics Presents, including one by Moench that ran in the series' first eight issues in 1988, and co-starred in the Moon Knight Special (1992). In 1997 a story arc starring Shang-Chi ran in Journey into Mystery #514-516, and was intended to lead into a miniseries for the character in 1998. In 2017, after a 34-year gap, Shang-Chi once again starred in Master of Kung Fu's 126th issue as part of the Marvel Legacy relaunch, written by mixed martial artist CM Punk and illustrated by Dalibor Talajic.
Although spun out of licensed properties, Shang-Chi is a Marvel-owned character and has been firmly established as a part of the Marvel Universe with guest appearances in numerous other titles, such as Marvel Team-Up, Marvel Knights and X-Men. Most of the original, licensed characters in the supporting cast have been either phased out or renamed in the more recent series and stories.
In some of his modern appearances, mention is made of his villainous father either in cryptic terms or using a variety of new names, due to Marvel no longer having the rights to Fu Manchu. In 2010's Secret Avengers #6-10, writer Ed Brubaker officially sidestepped the entire issue via a storyline where the Shadow Council resurrects a zombified version of Fu Manchu, only to discover that "Fu Manchu" was only an alias and that Shang-Chi's father real name was Zheng Zu, an ancient Chinese sorcerer who discovered the secret to immortality. Similarly, Shang-Chi's half sister Fah Lo Suee was later renamed Zheng Bao Yu in 2013's Fearless Defenders #8 while Smith and Petrie have not appeared in any Marvel properties since the end of the Master of Kung Fu series in 1983.
Shang-Chi returned as a main character in the 2007 Heroes for Hire comic book. He, along with other Asian and Asian American superheroes, became a main character in Greg Pak's Agents of Atlas series in 2019.
In 2015, Shang-Chi starred in the Master of Kung Fu revival in the Secret Wars storyline. Written by Haden Blackman and illustrated by Taljic, the four-issue series is a wuxia-inspired story that takes place in the Battleworld domain of K'un-Lun and centered around Shang-Chi in his fight to overthrow his despotic father, Emperor Zheng Zu.
Shang-Chi will star in a self-titled five issue miniseries written by American Born Chinese author Gene Luen Yang with art by Dike Ruan and Philip Tan. Initially set for a June 2020 release, the first issue was delayed to September due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fictional character biographyEdit
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Master of Kung FuEdit
Shang-Chi was born in the Honan[b] province of China, and is the son of Fu Manchu, the Chinese mastermind who has repeatedly attempted world conquest and had a thirst for blood. His mother was a white American woman genetically selected by his father. Shang-Chi was raised and trained from infancy in the martial arts by his father and his tutors. Believing his father was a benevolent humanitarian, Shang-Chi was sent on a mission to London to murder Dr. James Petrie, who his father claimed was evil and a threat to peace. After successfully assassinating Petrie, he encountered Fu Manchu's archenemy, Sir Denis Nayland Smith, who revealed to Shang-Chi his father's true nature. After confronting his mother in New York City for the truth, Shang-Chi realized that Fu Manchu was evil. Shang-Chi fought his way past Fu Manchu's Si-Fan assassins at his Manhattan headquarters, telling his father that they were now enemies and vowing to put an end to his evil schemes. Shang-Chi subsequently fought his adoptive brother Midnight, who was sent by their father to kill Shang-Chi for his defection, and then encountered Smith's aide-de-camp and MI-6 agent Black Jack Tarr, sent by Smith to apprehend Shang-Chi. After several encounters and coming to trust one another, Shang-Chi eventually became an ally of Sir Denis Nayland Smith and MI-6. Together with Smith, Tarr, fellow MI-6 agents Clive Reston and Leiko Wu, his eventual love interest, and Dr Petrie, who was revealed to still be alive, Shang-Chi went on many adventures and missions, usually thwarting his father's numerous plans for world domination. Shang-Chi would occasionally encounter his half-sister Fah Lo Suee who led her own faction of the Si-Fan, but opposed her attempts to make him a pawn in her own schemes to usurp their father from his criminal empire.
With Smith, Tarr, Reston, Wu and Petrie, he formed Freelance Restorations, Ltd, an independent spy agency based in Stormhaven Castle, Scotland. After many skirmishes and battles, Shang-Chi finally witnessed the death of Fu Manchu. Not long after his father's death, a guilt-ridden Shang-Chi quit Freelance Restorations, cut ties with his former allies, forsook his life as an adventurer, and retired to a village in remote Yang-Tin, China, to live as a fisherman.
Some time later, Shang-Chi returned from China and rejoined Tarr, Reston, and Wu. They battled Argus' terroristic group, formed to cause the United States to act more aggressively against all terrorists. In order to gain information, Argus had Wu tortured, cutting off her hand as a message. She was rescued by Shang-Chi and the others, but not before Shang-Chi suffered a dose of a slow-acting poison. Before the poison could kill him, he was cured of its effects by Fu Manchu's elixir vitae.
After his father was revealed to still be alive, Shang-Chi would later assist his old allies (who had rejoined MI-6) against him and his previously unknown half-brother Moving Shadow. The mission was a success, resulting in his father's Hellfire weapon being destroyed and Moving Shadow's death at their father's hand for his failure in killing Shang-Chi.
Heroes for HireEdit
As a member of the restored Heroes for Hire, Shang-Chi had put his strength of character at the service of their teammates. Humbug, turning against the heroes, tried to double cross both his friends and the "Earth Hive" of insects, joining the Hive,[volume & issue needed] and offering Colleen Wing and Tarantula to a lifetime of tortures.[volume & issue needed] Even so, when a dying Humbug begged his friend to mercy kill him, Shang-Chi refuses, until he finds that Humbug actually had no qualms to torture Tarantula, if it meant less suffering for Colleen.[volume & issue needed] Shang-Chi then snaps his neck and leaves with the catatonic Tarantula, ashamed of what he believed he had to become, a soulless murderer.
Still working for MI-6, he went on to collaborate with Pete Wisdom of MI-13 in facing the Welsh dragon, which had turned amnesiac and become a human crime lord. Shang-Chi had been told by Wisdom that the dragon (being inherently noble) would go free once it remembered its true origins, and was embittered to find this had been a lie. He became the tutor of a young Earth-616 Killraven.
In the Shadowland storyline, Shang-Chi is one of the heroes fighting the Hand's ninjas. He later works together with Spider-Man against Mister Negative and temporarily takes Mister Negative's powers until Shang-Chi is brought back to normal by Spider-Man.
In Secret Avengers, Steve Rogers tracks Shang-Chi down to help turn back the Shadow Council, which has partially resurrected Shang-Chi's father (who died sometime after their last encounter) and employed the Hai-Dai, a squad of assassins, to hunt Shang-Chi down. After further research, Beast reveals to Shang-Chi and the Secret Avengers that his father's true identity is that of an ancient sorcerer named Zheng Zu who gained immortality after stealing his brother's life essence and that "Fu Manchu" was merely an alias. When Shang-Chi and Rogers meet with John Steele and the Shadow Council for the prisoner exchange for a captured Sharon Carter, Rogers is overpowered by Steele and Shang-Chi is captured. While Zheng Zu prepares to sacrifice Shang-Chi to complete his resurrection, the Avengers and Moon Knight drop in on the him and the Shadow Council. The Prince of Orphans disrupts the ritual, resulting in Zheng Zu's permanent death and Shang-Chi's rescue. Shang-Chi would subsequently join the Secret Avengers but left the team following the defeat of Arnim Zola 4.2.3, believing he had adequately repaid the favor he owed Rogers.
Per the instructions of the new Madame Web, Shang-Chi has begun training Spider-Man in kung fu to help him compensate for the recent loss of his spider-sense. Under Shang-Chi's tutelage, Spider-Man develops his own martial arts style, the "Way of the Spider".
During the events of Spider-Island, Shang-Chi is one of the many inhabitants of Manhattan infected by the Spider-Virus, giving him the same powers and abilities as Spider-Man. Shang-Chi is also plagued by recurring nightmares of himself as a spider attacking innocent civilians. While consulting Madame Web, Shang-Chi is told that people with spider powers are currently running amok in the city. When he sees Iron Fist and other heroes fighting Spider-Man impostors and Peter Parker nearby, Shang-Chi springs into action to protect Parker; he is able to confirm Spider-Man's identity to the other heroes, who had mistaken him for one of the costumed hooligans. Meanwhile, the Bride of Nine Spiders inexplicably starts attacking and abducting her teammates in the Immortal Weapons. Shang-Chi attempts to stop the Bride of Nine Spiders from abducting Iron Fist with his newly acquired powers, but is unsuccessful. Shang-Chi learns from Silver Sable that she has found possible locations in Manhattan for Bride of Nine Spider's lair. Although Shang-Chi manages to defeat Bride of Nine Spiders and frees Iron Fist, he discovers that the person behind this is the demon Ai Apaec who seeks to feed off the Immortal Weapons. As Shang-Chi fights Ai Apeac, Iron Fist scrambles to free the other Immortal Weapons. Shang-Chi mutates into a spider during the battle as a result of his infection, but Iron Fist uses his Chi force to cure Shang-Chi, leaving Iron Fist in a weakened state. After making sure Iron Fist and the rest of the Immortal Weapons are evacuated, Shang-Chi collapses the mansion hide-out on Ai Apeac, leaving him immobilized for the Avengers to put back into custody. Shang-Chi and the Immortal Weapons arrive to join the heroes during the final stand against the Spider Queen.
During the events of Infinity, Shang-Chi and the Avengers join the Galactic Council to fight against the Builders and their crusade against all life in the universe. When several allies were captured by the enemy, Shang forms a rescue team with Black Widow, Spider-Woman and Manifold. Wielding a pair of energy projecting gauntlets, Shang's timely intervention prevented his friends from being vaporized by an Aleph. After the Builders' defeat, the Avengers return to Earth with their new Galactic Council allies to face off against an even bigger threat back home - Thanos. Shang is sent along with Black Widow and Manifold the infiltrate the Peak and shut down Thanos' first line of defense. However, the team is intercepted by Black Dwarf and his guards. As Manifold returned to grab reinforcements, Shang and Natasha managed to defeat the entire security force, save the general who proved to be too much for even the Master of Kung Fu. The combined might of Gladiator, Ronan the Accuser and other Council members eventually made short work of Black Dwarf and allows Shang and the infiltration team to complete their mission.
With the threat of both the Builders and Thanos thwarted, Shang-Chi is sent to Madripoor along with Black Widow, Falcon, and Wolverine to stop a full-scale riot that has broken throughout out the island nation. Shang-Chi infiltrates a temple housed by Hand but is too late to stop the Hand's new leader Gorgon from completing a ritual which raises the island out of the water up upon the head of a massive dragon. When the dragon begins to take flight, Shang-Chi quickly takes out all of the present Hand ninjas at the temple and challenges the Gorgon. Despite a valiant effort, Shang-Chi is defeated by the Gorgon, who throws Shang-Chi from the edge of the dragon's head several hundred feet above the earth. Shang-Chi is rescued by the Chinese intelligence-gathering agency S.P.E.A.R and is taken to their air-bound base, the Circle, to recuperate. Shang-Chi, along with the Avengers and S.P.E.A.R.'s superhuman response team the Ascendants go to Shanghai to defend the city from the dragon and the Hand's forces. Using Pym Particles supplied to him by S.P.E.A.R director Xian Zheng, Shang Chi grows to the size of a giant and defeats the dragon in combat, but not before enacting payback by tearing off the Hand's temple (with a screaming Gorgon still trapped inside) from the dragon's head and throwing it several miles away.
When the Illuminati were exposed to have tampered with the mind of Captain America and attempting to destroy worlds threatening Earth as part of the Incursions as seen in the Time Runs Out storyline, Shang-Chi joined a faction of the Avengers led by Sunspot.[volume & issue needed] Sunspot's Avengers, having taken control over A.I.M., discovered that "Incursion points" (points where an Incursion world that is about to hit Earth can be seen) were causing a massive number of physical mutations among those who stumbled upon the locations.[volume & issue needed] Sending Shang-Chi to an incursion point in Japan,[volume & issue needed] Shang-Chi was exposed to cosmic-level radiation that transformed Shang-Chi into a mutate capable of creating duplicates of himself.
After capturing Crossbones for a mission, Shang-Chi is informed by Captain America about his former lover Leiko Wu's murder at the hands of Razor Fist while working undercover for MI-6 in one of London's triads. Shang-Chi travels to London for Leiko's funeral and while wondering around Chinatown, he is attacked by unknown assailants, one whom reveals that the crime lord White Dragon was behind the murder. Shang-Chi is approached by triad clan leader and former enemy Skull-Crusher who offers him a truce; Chao Sima alleges he and Leiko became lovers while she was working undercover and had planned to defect from MI-6 for him. With help from Skull-Crusher and the newly arrived Daughters of the Dragon and the Sons of the Tiger, Shang-Chi confirms that Razor Fist was hired by White Dragon to kill Leiko due to her involvement with his rival Skull-Crusher and discovers that White Dragon has access to the Mao Shan Pai, a powerful Chinese black magic. Shang-Chi and Skull-Crusher infiltrate White Dragon's estate where they discover a room displaying the decapitated heads of missing triad leaders. The two of them fight White Dragon but are captured by Shang-Chi's brother, Midnight Sun, who reveals himself to be the true mastermind behind White Dragon. With the Mao Shan Pai spellbook taken by White Dragon's men, M'Nai plans to use its magic to give him power and influence over the triad clans, finally fulfilling Zheng Zu's legacy. Needing the heads of the clan leaders in order to complete the ritual, Midnight Sun beheads White Dragon and Skull-Crusher and proceeds to cast the spell. Instead of giving him power, the spell resurrects Leiko from Chao's spilled blood. Since Skull-Crusher made her the leader of his clan before her death Chao's death violated the ritual and resurrected Leiko to punish Midnight Sun. Shang-Chi is able to knock out Midnight Sun during their fight while Leiko brutally maims Razor Fist. Leiko uses her newfound powers to summon the dead spirits of Skull-Crusher, White Dragon and the other dead triad leaders, who drag Midnight Sun into their realm. When Leiko attempts to execute Razor Fist, Shang-Chi pleads with his former lover to stop; while he is able to get Leiko to spare Razor Fist, he is unable to bring her back to her normal self. Black Jack Tarr (now director of MI-6) and his men raid the estate; Razor Fist and White Dragon's men are arrested while Leiko escapes. Before leaving London, Shang-Chi leaves a photo of him and Leiko at her grave, which is later taken by Leiko after he leaves.
Shang-Chi joins several other Asian American superheroes (Hulk (Amadeus Cho), Silk, Ms. Marvel, Jimmy Woo, and S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Jake Oh) for a fundraiser in Flushing, Queens. Later while the group is spending the night out in Koreatown, Manhattan they are ambushed by the alien Prince Regent Phalkan and his small army from Seknarf Seven. Shang-Chi and his allies briefly fight off the invaders before they and a large group of bystanders are teleported near Seknarf Seven, where Phalkan demands that the group offer a few people for food within a time limit. Dubbing their group "The Protectors", Woo rallies the group and bystanders into working together to escape, while Shang-Chi leads an attack with Silk and Ms. Marvel. The Protectors are eventually able to free themselves and defeat Phalkan and his forces with the help of the bystanders. The Alpha Flight Space Program arrives to rescue the Protectors and bystanders and arrest Phalkan, who Sasquatch reveals was exiled from Seknarf Seven for treason.
During the Secret Empire storyline, Shang-Chi was found to have been a prisoner of HYDRA in Madripoor following HYDRA's takeover of the United States. After Hive and Gorgon are defeated, the Tony Stark A.I. finds him and he states that he does not have the Cosmic Cube shard anymore. A flashback revealed that Emma Frost took the Cosmic Cube shard from him when he was unconscious. Shang-Chi was later seen with the Underground when they and other superheroes are fighting HYDRA's forces in Washington, D.C.
Seeking a way to fight her ability stealing adversary Topaz, Domino approaches Shang-Chi (who was referred to her by his Protectors teammate Amadeus Cho) at his retreat in Lantau Island for training. After a long training session, the two spend a romantic night out in Hong Kong, only to be ambushed at a night club by a large group of Shang-Chi's enemies, led by Midnight and including Razor Fist, Shen Kuei, Shockwave, Death-Hand, Shadow Stalker, Tiger-Claw and others. Domino and Shang-Chi defeat them with relative ease. The two are eventually confronted by Topaz who Domino defeats using Shang-Chi's teachings. Despite Shang-Chi's pleas for mercy, Domino kills Topaz. Disappointed, Shang-Chi breaks up with Domino and dismisses her as his student.
War of the RealmsEdit
After taking part in a demonstration for Jimmy Woo's Pan-Asian School for the Unusually Gifted in Mumbai, Shang-Chi and the Protectors are offered membership to Woo's Agents of Atlas. Shang-Chi and the others are suddenly alerted by the news of Malekith's invasion of Earth; most of the New Agents of Atlas head to Seoul while Ms. Marvel joins Jake Oh and the Champions in New York. Shang-Chi and the others defend Seoul from Malekith's ally Queen Sindr and her Fire Goblin forces from Muspelheim with help from the Korean heroes White Fox, Crescent, Io and Luna Snow. After Sindr threatens to summon a volcano in the middle of the city and kill millions of innocents, Brawn teleports Atlas and their new allies away from the battle, allowing Sindr to peacefully annex South Korea. Brawn eventually summons the Chinese heroes Sword Master and Aero, Filipina heroine Wave, and the Hawaiian Goddess of Fire and Volcanoes Pele from Shanghai to help assist in the fight against Sindr. The newly summoned heroes are less than pleased for being taken out of their previous battle, but Pele quickly puts a stop to the infighting, warning the group that Sindr plans to melt the polar ice caps if they don't work together. After formulating a plan, Brawn confronts Sindr and her forces directly while Aero, Wave and Luna use Sindr's Black Bifrost to travel to the Arctic to decrease its temperature; Shang-Chi and the others are teleported to Atlas' ally Monkey King of the Ascendants in Northern China where Shang-Chi begins training the remaining members for their final fight. As planned by Brawn, the Queen of Cinders arrives in Northern China with a captured Brawn, only to be taken by surprise by Shang-Chi and the others, who defeat Sindr with Shang-Chi's training, although Pele (who is revealed to have been M-41 Zu, a mystically enhanced Atlas Android) and Monkey King sacrifice themselves in the process. Despite given the chance to surrender, Sindr flees using the Black Bifrost, only for Shang-Chi and the others to follow her with Brawn's teleporter, where they help Captain Marvel defeat her and her remaining forces at the Great Wall of China near Beijing. Shang-Chi is later shown fighting the remaining Fire Goblins alongside Wolverine, Hawkeye, Misty Knight, and the Warriors Three in Shanghai. After Malekith's defeat, Shang-Chi is seen with the other Agents in Shanghai looking on while the captured Fire Goblins are escorted back to Muspelheim.
New Agents of AtlasEdit
Shortly after the War of the Realms event, Shang-Chi encounters Sword Master in New York City, who is searching for his missing father. Noticing the upstart hero's inexperience and recklessness, Shang takes Lin Lie under his wing to improve his skills. While Shang-Chi and Sword Master are continuing their training in Flushing, they are interrupted when white lights begin engulfing the city. The two, who are reunited with the other Atlas agents and Giant-Man discover the cities they were in (along with other Asian, Pacific and predominantly Asian cities outside of Asia) have been merged and connected together with portals. Tech mogul Mike Nguyen of the Big Nguyen Company reveals himself to be behind the newly merged city, "Pan", which he states for 24 hours would allow every citizen to easily explore each other's respective cities without any political and economic restrictions.
Sometime later, Shang-Chi and Sword Master are confronted by Ares, who attempts to take Lin Lie's Fuxi sword. Shang-Chi makes a compromise to Ares: in exchange for Shang-Chi and Sword Master helping him, Ares would help find Lin Lie's missing father. Ares accepts, explaining that his drakon son Ismenios had been abducted and that he wished to use the sword to kill Ismenios' kidnapper, who Ares believes to be another god. Using Pan Portals, the three are able to track Ismenios to a temple in Madripoor, where they encounter Davi Naka, the Mother Goddess of Madripoor. Naka reveals that Ismenios attempted to plunder Atlantis's treasure hoard during the absence of its sea serpent guardian but was caught by Namor. Due to her duty to protect all dragons, Naka rescued Ismenios from Namor's wrath and imprisoned the young drakon in her temple for his protection and to placate the king. Naka further warns the group that despite her efforts, Namor is still outraged over the disappearance of his dragon and implores them to find her.
Amadeus later approaches Shang-Chi and tasks him with locating Jimmy Woo, who has not contacted the team since Pan's creation. Along with Crescent, Shang-Chi infiltrates Woo's office in the Pan-Asian School for the Unusually Gifted in the Mumbai sector of Pan, where he discovers a photograph of Woo and Nguyen together. Shang-Chi and Crescent discover a secret tunnel in Woo's office that takes them to the Atlas Foundation's headquarters in the Pan sector of San Francisco, where they confront Woo and the Atlas Foundation's dragon adviser Mr. Lao, who introduces himself to the Atlas agents. Concurrently, the other Agents find Atlantis' missing sea serpent imprisoned in Nguyen's personal tower, where her magical scales are being harvested to power Pan's portals. Woo and Lao order the team to immediately release her while Nguyen argues that doing so would disrupt Pan's portals. Before a decision can be made, Namor emerges from the waters off of Pan's coast to reclaim his stolen dragon, kickstarting a war between Pan and Atlantis.
In the Atlantis Attacks storyline, Shang-Chi and the other New Agents of Atlas are summoned by Brawn during his confrontation with Namor. Namor warns the group to return Atlantis' dragon in a day or else face the wrath of Atlantis before retreating. After the skirmish, Shang-Chi and the other New Agents are introduced to the original Agents of Atlas by Woo. When Woo sends Namora, Venus, Aero and Wave to Atlantis for a diplomatic mission, Brawn discretely orders Shang-Chi and Sword Master to spy on Namora, due to her familial ties with Namor. The dragon is eventually released from captivity, but upon arriving home she unexpectedly goes berserk and attacks the underwater kingdom. Witnessing the destruction caused by the dragon, Shang-Chi relays to Amadeus that Atlantis' scientists discovered an implant embedded in dragon's scales to be the source of her behavior and that Namor believes Amadeus to be behind the sabotage, prompting the king to resume his attack on Pan. When Amadeus is forcibly transformed into the Hulk and put under Nguyen's control with Sirena tech in a last ditch effort to destroy Atlantis, Shang-Chi is able to remove the device from Amadeus, freeing him from Nguyen's control and reverting him back into Brawn. After the conflict, Shang-Chi admonishes Woo for using the team as his pawns and subsequently quits.
Brothers and SistersEdit
Yearning for an ordinary life, Shang-Chi relocates to San Francisco's Chinatown but crosses paths with Leiko, who had rejoined MI-6. When Leiko informs him that his father's organization might be active again, they are attacked by unknown assailants but are rescued by Brother Sabre and Sister Dagger, who reveal themselves to be Shang-Chi's half-siblings. The two reveal to Shang-Chi that he has been chosen by Zheng Zu's spirit as the next Supreme Commander of the Five Weapons Society, a secret organization created by their father centuries ago; it is also revealed to Shang-Chi that the Henan retreat he was raised in was the House of the Deadly Hand, one of the Society's five houses, and that he was its designated Champion, Brother Hand. Sabre and Dagger ask their half-brother to return to their family and reclaim his rightful place as leader of the Society from its illegitimate leader Sister Hammer, who usurped control from the previous Commander, Brother Staff, and sent Staff's Warriors to kill Shang-Chi to maintain her rule. Realizing that Hammer is his long-lost full sister, Zheng Shi-Hua, Shang-Chi vows to save her from his father's cult. Shang-Chi arrives House of Deadly Staff in London, where he and Shi-Hua surprisingly have a tearful reunion. Shi-Hua explains to Shang-Chi the history of the Five Weapons Society and its five houses, which had gone through many names, including the Si-Fan, Golden Dawn and Hai Dai; Shi-Hua reveals that she had been sent to the House of the Deadly Hammer in Russia. Shang-Chi reveals the truth of their father's nature and attempts to convince Shi-Hua to leave the Society but is rebuked. Mistakenly believing that Shang-Chi murdered Zu, Shi-Hua is outraged that their father's spirit would choose Shang-Chi over her to succeed him and reveals that she can only be legitimized as the Society's Supreme Commander by killing Shang-Chi. Shang-Chi realizes that his sister had poisoned him and begins to succumb to its effects. Instead of dying, Shang-Chi awakens in one of the Society's laboratories and is attacked by a swarm of jiangshi. After receiving a wound while fighting the jiangshi, Shang-Chi discovers that his blood has become black and sparkling. Before losing consciousness, Shang-Chi is once again rescued by Sabre and Dagger. As he recuperates at the House of Deadly Dagger in France, Shang-Chi is provided with a new ceremonial uniform and trains with Sabre and Dagger (who reveal their birth names Takeshi and Esme, respectively, to him) and the Warriors of the Deadly Dagger to prepare against Shi-Hua's jiangshi. A dilapidated spirit beckons Shang-Chi to the House's shrine room. Believing him to be his father, Shang-Chi uncovers a shrine dedicated to Zheng Zu's younger brother, Zheng Yi, and a mysterious map. The spirit reveals himself to be Yi and disappears before explaining anything else. While researching the map with Leiko over the phone, Shang-Chi is informed that Shi-Hua and her warriors have invaded the Louvre. Shang-Chi confronts his sister and her forces along with Takeshi and Esme at the Chinese Art Exhibit, but Shi-Hua commands a jiangshi to self-destruct and flees with a mysterious urn. Guided by the map, Shang-Chi and his siblings are directed to Yi's tomb in Henan which is guarded by a talking chimera-like monster created by their father. As Takeshi and Esme fight the beast, Shang-Chi is able to reach Yi's grave where his uncle's spirit appears to him in full flesh. Shang-Chi requests Yi's guidance in stopping Shi-Hua and her jiangshi and to heal his festering wound inflicted by the jiangshi. Instead, Yi's spirit tells Shang-Chi to stop running away from his family, otherwise he would lose his way like his father and that his wound would lead to something greater. Yi also reveals that Zu did not steal his life essence for immortality but willingly gave it when Zu tried to save him from dying. Emboldened by his uncle's words, Shang-Chi reunites with Takeshi and Esme and helps them defeat the guardian.
Enter the PhoenixEdit
Powers and abilitiesEdit
Although it has never been determined exactly how extensive Shang-Chi's fighting skills are, he has beaten numerous superhuman opponents. Shang-Chi is classed as an athlete but he is one of the best non-superhumans in martial arts and has dedicated much of his life to the art, being referred to by some as the greatest empty-handed fighter and practitioner of kung fu alive, with even Ares acknowledging him as one of the few mortals who can hold their own against a god without the use of magic. Much of his physical abilities seem to stem from his mastery of chi, which often allows him to surpass physical limitations of normal athletes. He has also demonstrated the ability to dodge bullets from machine guns and sniper rifles, and is able to deflect gunshots with his bracers. Shang-Chi is also highly trained in the arts of concentration and meditation, and is an expert in various hand weapons including swords, staves, kali sticks, nunchaku, and shuriken.
Due to his martial arts prowess, Shang-Chi is a highly sought out teacher and has mentored many characters in kung fu and hand-to-hand combat. Some of Shang-Chi's most prominent students and sparring partners have included Captain America, Spider-Man, and Wolverine.
During his time with the Avengers, Shang-Chi was given special equipment by Tony Stark, including a pair of bracelets that allowed him to focus his chi in ways that increased his strength and a pair of repulsor-powered nunchaku.
Originally having no superpowers, Shang-Chi has temporarily gained superpowers on several occasions. During the events of Spider-Island, he briefly gained the same powers and abilities as Spider-Man after being infected by the Spider-Virus. After mutating into giant spider, he was cured of his infection by Iron Fist's chi, although at the cost of him losing his spider powers. In Avengers World Shang-Chi briefly used Pym Particles to grow to immense size. Following exposure to the cosmic radiation from the Incursions, Shang-Chi was able to create an unlimited number of duplicates of himself.
In the Secret Wars storyline from the Battleworld continuity, Shang-Chi is able to use nine of the ten techniques of the Ten Rings school, which are based on the powers of the Mandarin's ten rings from the mainstream continuity. Shang-Chi later learns and masters his student Kitten's technique of intangibility and develops a new technique that turns his opponents into stone.
Secret Wars (2015)Edit
In Secret Wars, a version of Shang-Chi resides in the wuxia-inspired K'un-Lun region of Battleworld. In this continuity, he is the exiled son of Emperor Zheng Zu, Master of the Ten Rings, a ruthless martial arts school that uses mystical powers and techniques based on the powers of the Mandarin's ten rings from the mainstream continuity. Shang-Chi is wanted for the murder of Lord Tuan, the master of the Iron Fist school, the main rivals of the Ten Rings school. A drunk vagabond, Shang-Chi is approached by Kitten to help teach her and her group of fellow outcasts who had been exiled from each of their respective schools the techniques of the Ten Rings. Ashamed by his upbringing, Shang-Chi coldly refuses and insults the group, outraging their leader, Callisto, who informs the emperor of Shang-Chi's whereabouts. The gang's hideout raided by K'un Lun's sheriff and Tuan's student Rand-K'ai, the emperor's assassin Red Sai of the Red Hand school and Ten Rings enforcer Laughing Skull but after Laughing Skull kills outcast Cy against Rand-K'ai's orders, Shang-Chi helps the group escape with the Nightbringer technique. A guilt ridden Shang-Chi agrees to take the outcasts as his pupils, dubbing their new school The Lowest Caste. Shang-Chi returns from his exile to represent the Lowest Caste for the tournament held every thirteen years to decide which participating master would be the next ruler of K'un-Lun. Zu allows Shang-Chi to participate but alters the rules so Shang-Chi would have to defeat every representative before facing him in the Thirteen Chambers. After defeating Namor, Drew, Karnak, Lady Mandarin, Ava, Creed, Spector and T'Challa in consecutive matches, Shang-Chi encounters Rand-K'ai and Red Sai in the penultimate match of the Thirteen Chambers. During the fight, Red Sai confesses that Zu had sent her to assassinate his rival Tuan but ultimately failed. To spare his lover and her students from the emperor's wrath, Shang-Chi killed Tuan; Zu implicated and exiled his son for the murder to cover his own involvement. After the truth is revealed, Red Sai and Rand-K'ai let Shang-Chi pass so that he could defeat his father. During the fight between Shang-Chi and Zheng Zu, Zu attempts to kill his son with the Spectral Touch technique, only for the move to pass through him due to Shang-Chi learning Kitten's technique to become intangible. Shang-Chi proceeds to use nine of the Ten Ring techniques against his father and ultimately defeats him with The Gorgon's Eye, which turns him into stone. With Zu's defeat, Shang-Chi becomes the new emperor of K'un-Lun.
House of MEdit
Shang-Chi never realizes his father's evil doings before his death at Magneto's hands. This causes him to become consumed with a desire for vengeance. In this reality, Shang-Chi is the head of the Dragons criminal organization, alongside Colleen Wing, Swordsman, Mantis, Zaran and Machete. The Dragons later resolved their rivalry against Luke Cage's gang, but were eventually captured in a trap created by both the Kingpin's assassins and Thunderbird's agents. The Dragons and the Wolfpack were freed by Luke Cage, in which Shang-Chi's gang join the Avengers in their battle against the Brotherhood.
In this simian version of the Marvel Universe, Shang-Chi and his father work as a subversive organization, trying to get the local sentients to work in peace and not in animalistic domination. The Avengers (Ape-vengers) murder him for this 'weak-minded' sentiment.
In the Marvel Zombies continuity, Shang-Chi is turned into a zombie during a multi-hero effort to rescue surviving civilians. In a mid-Manhattan battle, detailed in Ultimate Fantastic Four #23, he and dozens of other zombie-heroes attempt to consume the last batch of humans. These humans are defended by that universe's Magneto and the Ultimate Fantastic Four. During a successful rescue attempt, Thing sends Shang-Chi flying through the air with one punch. Shang-Chi is then seen attacking Magneto once again, but he is cut in half by the Master of Magnetism. A different Shang-Chi appears in Marvel Zombies Return in an alternate universe where he is unaffected by the zombie outbreak. The zombie Wolverine finds him in an underground fight club, engaging with other infamous martial artists. The flesh-hungry mutant slashes him to death.
In the Ultimate Marvel universe, Shang-Chi first appeared in Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #15. He is the son of an international crime lord. Trained from birth to become a living weapon, he became the world's greatest martial artist. A noble spirit, he eventually came to renounce his father's empire. Seeking to get away from his father's reach, he emigrated to New York where he worked as a floor sweeper at Wu's Fish Market in Chinatown. Feeling that the denizens of New York's Chinatown needed someone to protect them, he and his friend Danny Rand were drawn into the gang war between the Kingpin and Hammerhead after the latter targeted him to win over the Chinatown gangs to his cause. The conflict climaxed when Shang-Chi, Danny Rand, Spider-Man, Black Cat, Moon Knight and Elektra ambushed Hammerhead's penthouse, where a battle royale ensued. It ended with an unconscious Elektra, Hammerhead and Moon Knight. The gang members were then arrested by the police.
The martial arts warrior disguised himself as a costumed criminal in order to take down the Kingpin. The Kingpin discovered his plan and threatened to kill the hero, but he was rescued by Daredevil, who then recruited him as a part of his team to take down the Kingpin. After the Kingpin's identity is leaked to the New York Police Department, Shang-Chi and the team disbanded and went their separate ways.
In other mediaEdit
- According to Margaret Loesch, former President and CEO of Marvel Productions, in the 1980s Stan Lee considered Brandon Lee for the role of Shang-Chi and met with the actor and his mother Linda Lee to discuss a potential movie or television series starring the character. In 2001, Stephen Norrington announced his intentions to direct a Shang-Chi film entitled The Hands of Shang-Chi. By 2003, the film was in development at DreamWorks Pictures with Yuen Woo-Ping replacing Norrington as director and Bruce C. McKenna hired to write the screenplay. Ang Lee joined the project as a producer in 2004, but the film did not materialize after that point and the rights to the character reverted to Marvel. In 2006, Shang-Chi was chosen as one of the many properties in Marvel Studios' new film deal with Paramount Pictures, along with Captain America, Nick Fury, Doctor Strange, Hawkeye, Power Pack, Black Panther and Cloak and Dagger.
- In December 2018, Marvel Studios hired David Callaham to write the screenplay for a Shang-Chi film set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In March 2019, Destin Daniel Cretton was hired to direct. Guntis Sics, the sound mixer on Thor: Ragnarok, revealed in an interview that filming will take place in Australia. At San Diego Comic-Con 2019, Simu Liu was announced to portray the character in the film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Originally set for a February 2021 release, the film's release date was moved to May due to the COVID-19 pandemic putting production on hold. The film is set for release on July 9, 2021.
- Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu (collects Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu #1-6), 144 pages, May 2003, ISBN 978-0785111245
- Deadly Hands of Kung Fu: Out of the Past (collects Deadly Hands of Kung Fu vol. 2 #1-4 and The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu vol. 1 #1, 32-33), 160 pages, November 4, 2014, ISBN 978-0785190783
- Master of Kung Fu: Battleworld (collects Master of Kung Fu vol. 2 #1-4 and Ronin #2), 112 pages, January 2016, ISBN 978-0785198796
- Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu Omnibus
- Vol. 1 collects Special Marvel Edition #15-16, Master of Kung Fu vol. 1 #17-37, Giant-Size Master of Kung Fu #1-4, Giant-Size Spider-Man #2 and material from Iron Man Annual vol. 1 #4, 696 pages, June 14, 2016, ISBN 978-1302901295
- Vol. 2 collects Master of Kung Fu vol. 1 #38-70 and Master of Kung Fu Annual #1, 664 pages, September 20, 2016, ISBN 978-1302901301
- Vol. 3 collects Master of Kung Fu vol. 1 #71-101 and What If? #16, 696 pages, March 14, 2017, ISBN 978-1302901318
- Vol. 4 collects Master of Kung Fu vol. 1 #102-125, Marvel Comics Presents vol. 1 #1-8 and Master of Kung Fu: Bleeding Black #1, 748 pages, October 17, 2017, ISBN 978-1302901325
- Deadly Hands of Kung Fu Omnibus
- Vol. 1 collects The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu vol. 1 #1-18, The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu Special Album Edition and The Deadliest Heroes of Kung Fu, 1,152 pages, November 15, 2016, ISBN 978-1302901332
- Vol. 2 collects The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu vol. 1 #19-33 and material from Bizarre Adventures #25, 1,000 pages, June 20, 2017 ISBN 978-1302901349
- Epic Collection
- Master of Kung Fu Epic Collection: Weapon of the Soul collects Special Marvel Edition #15–16, Master of Kung Fu #17–28, Giant-Size Master of Kung Fu #1–4, Giant-Size Spider-Man #2 and Iron Man Annual #4 480, March 14, 2018 ISBN 978-1302901356
- Master of Kung Fu Epic Collection: Fight Without Pitycollects Master of Kung Fu #29–53; Master of Kung Fu Annual #1, June 26, 2019 ISBN 978-1302901363
- Master of Kung Fu Epic Collection: Traitors to the Crown collects Master of Kung Fu #54–79, November 10, 2020 ISBN 978-1302901370
- simplified Chinese: 上气; traditional Chinese: 上氣; Hanyu Pinyin: Shàng Qì; Tongyong Pinyin: Shang Ci; Wade–Giles: Shang Ch'i; Jyutping: Soeng6 Hei3; lit. 'rising spirit'
- While the Master of Kung Fu series consistently placed Shang Chi's childhood in Honan, also known as Henan, Shang-Chi #1 states it to be Hunan.
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Capitalizing on the popularity of martial arts movies, writer Steve Englehart and artist/co-plotter Jim Starlin created Marvel's Master of Kung Fu series. The title character, Shang-Chi, was the son of novelist Sax Rohmer's criminal mastermind Dr. Fu Manchu.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
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