A few weeks ago Marvel released the teaser trailer of their newest superhero to hit the big screen, Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Now I’m not going to front like a snob and say that I’ve known about this awesome but obscure asian superhero before it was cool and that somehow, someway the books were better. I didn’t.
Up until a few days ago, I didn’t know a single thing about Shang-Chi. However, I did what any self-respecting content creator on the internet would and should do when faced with a situation like this which is to research. And in my research, I dug up some absolutely crazy things about the character. If the MCU version is anything like the source material, we’re in for a character that well worth knowing and remembering.
Shang Chi is widely known as the best hand-to-hand fighter in the entire Marvel universe. He has the intense agility and speed to catch bullets from machine guns and sniper rifles, as well as wield various handheld weapons to incredible effect. This is thanks to his intense martial arts training and his mastery of chi which allows Shang-Chi to push his body beyond the limits of normal men. Even olympian Ares has once stated that Shang Chi can square up against a literal god with just his bare fists and even without the use of magic. That’s how you know Shang Chi got hands when even the God of War give props.
His martial arts and combat prowess has been so well recognized that he’s basically trained everyone with a martial arts background in Marvel including Captain America, Wolverine and Spider-man.
Speaking of the wall crawler…
When Manhattan was overrun by the Spider Virus which gave everyone spider powers in an event called Spider Island, Spider-Man sought Shang-Chi’s aid to compensate for the loss of his Spider-Sense. Together they developed a new martial art specially catered towards Spidey’s abilities called the Way of the Spider.
Over time, Spidey was able to add to the martial arts form by incorporating lessons from Captain America, his natural prowess in acrobatics and flexibility as well as his spider sense when it returned.
If there’s anything I want to happen most in the forthcoming MCU Phase is for this scene to be recreated on the big screen and Tom Holland’s Spidey references this really old series called Cobra Kai to Simu Liu’s Shang Chi.
Remember that cool neon-colored Southeast Asian Island in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier? Well in the comics, it somehow became a dragon.
SURE COMICS, WHATEVER YOU SAY COMICS.
The Hydra sword master Gorgon found a way to turn Marvel’s fictional cyberpunk Tortuga into agargantuan flying dragon in the hopes of taking over the world or whatever these people wanted to do. After somehow handing Shang Chi a massive L and throwing him off Mads the Neon Dragon into the ground below, Shang gets some help from Hank Pym in the form of some handy dandy Pym Particles. With the pixie Pym dust, Shang grows into a giant version of himself as he cashes in the money in the bank briefcase to get a rematch with the Dragon. With both combatants in the same weight class, Shang-dre the Giant puts the hurtin’ on Madzilla and takes him down for the count.
For a guy whose be schtick is that he doesn’t need powers, Shang-Chi sure does manage to wield a whole lot of crazy one-off powers at different points in time.
In the Infinity event, Iron Man gave him gauntlets that let him project Shi Chi force and Repulsor-powered Nunchucks because what better way to improve on a classic. In Spider Island, we forgot to mention that Shang Chi was one of those people who gained spider-like abilities and that towards the end of Spider Island Shang Chi mutated into an actual giant spider.
Not a fan of this one.
We already also covered the turning into a huge giant thanks to Pym Particles to fight the dragon part earlier. He also was able to make multiple copies of himself similar to Jamie Madrox when he was exposed to the cosmic radiation that the Incursions between the two Marvel universes caused.
In the Battle World continuity, Shang-chi could wield the powers of the Ten Rings which the Mandarin wielded and would also, later on, learn to replicate Shadowcat’s ability to turn intangible and somehow use it to turn his enemies to stone.
Most recently, in Enter the Phoenix, Shang-Chi was among those selected to be the possible candidates for the new bearer of the Phoenix force and was briefly given all the cosmic powers of the Phoenix and developed another new style of Wushu he calls the Way of the Firebird—Cosmic, Kung Fu.
Like dang, Shang, save some for the rest of us, am I right?
Alright so during Shang-Chi’s earliest incarnations in the comic books in the roaring 1970s, he was the son of a racist stereotype, the evil Asian criminal mastermind incredibly named Fu Manchu. This walking yikes of comic books was compounded by the fact that Shang-Chi skin in the comics was colored yellow, another common offensive association.
Credit: Marvel ComicsThankfully, Shang-Chi was later on given a more natural skin tone and his father was also updated into an immortal sorcerer and crime lord by the name of Zheng Zhu.
…who looks 100 % cooler and 1000% less racist than again *checks notes* Fu Manchu.
In the MCU, it’s being reported that to simplify this whole affair, Shang-Chi’s dada will be The Mandarin, who we last heard about in the Iron-Man 3 follow-up short All Hail the King
Like that will be easier to digest.
Did you feel like you learned a lot of stuff about Shang-Chi? Because we did. Let us know in the comments below! For more Kung Fu and Comics stuff check out Dr. Juggernaut is Real and is Coming to Hurt You and our Mortal Kombat Hot Takes
Also if you are so compelled, check out the GG Network Discord! We’ll be dropping post updates and videos up there, as well as hang out and play games together! Join us! https://discord.gg/WsZg3y35bk
And while you’re at it leave us a like on the GG Network Facebook Page so we can keep you entertained with more videogames and geek stuff! Take care and stay safe out there!
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