October 27, 2021

How the MCU’s Shang-Chi compares to the comics

How the MCU's Shang-Chi compares to the comics


Warning: This article contains SPOILERS for Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings.

A new superhero has entered the MCU Shang-Chi & the legend of the ten rings – and so Simu Liu’s Shang-Chi compares himself to the comics. Marvel Studios believe diversity is the future of the MCU, which explains why they chose to start with Phase 4 Black widow and Shang-Chi. The former was a (rather overdue) female-led blockbuster, while the latter played Marvel’s first Asian lead. Tech-wise, this is the culmination of a story that began in 2018 when Liu tweeted “Ok @Marvel, are we going to talk or what #ShangChi.“He was confirmed for the role a year later – and now his Shang-Chi has officially joined the MCU.


Although the film stands on its own and is stylistically unique, Shang-ChiThe post-credits scene solidifies the Master of Kung Fu’s place in the broader MCU. Marvel officially calls Shang-Chi a “New Avenger,” which means it certainly won’t be long before he’s back in action alongside Captain Marvel and the Hulk, and it’s only a matter of time before Marvel has a sequel green Light gives. It certainly helps that the MCU deviated significantly from the original comics, which makes it especially fascinating to see where it goes from here.

Related: Every MCU Easter Egg in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Oddly enough, the recent comics have rewritten Shang-Chi’s history before his MCU debut. It is all the more interesting to compare comics and films and to explore the differences and similarities between these different visions of Shang-Chi.

Shang-Chi’s MCU costume and looks compared to Marvel comics

Comparison of the Shang Chi costumes

Shang-Chi’s costume design was usually pretty straightforward, with Marvel’s masters of kung fu donning traditional combat robes – and tending to choose red. It wasn’t until 2014 Avengers world that he really takes up his modern look, variations of red jumpsuits with frequent black triangle motifs over the chest. The latest Shang-Chi miniseries modified this again by mixing the jumpsuit with the combat clothing and adopting a scaled texture in places to summon different dragon beings.

If you look at the MCU’s Shang-Chi, it’s easy to see why Simu Liu was cast in the role; he is the image of Shang-Chi and carried himself with all the presence that the audience would expect. Although he initially fights in casual clothing, on some occasions – just like in the comics – he wears shirtless and when entering the mystical land of Ta Lo he is given dragon scale armor. This is a dramatic improvement over the comics as the dragon scale armor appears remarkably durable and is particularly resistant to magical attacks. Black triangle motifs were patterned on the costume, the memories of them Avengers world equip.

Shang-Chi’s MCU Fighting Style and Powers versus Marvel Comics

Young Shang Chi training in the Shang Chi trailer

There’s a reason Shang-Chi is usually marketed as Marvel’s “Master of Kung Fu” – he’s widely recognized as one of her most formidable warriors. In the comics, Shang-Chi was trained to be a lethal assassin by his criminal father, and he has mastered most forms of hand-to-hand combat – a specialty with Kung Fu. It traditionally shows the practice of the Shaolin variant of Kung Fu, one of the most demanding and identifiable among all the Kung Fu styles that are common in popular culture. Unfortunately, the various artists who rendered Shang-Chi didn’t always know much about martial arts, so it wasn’t consistently rendered.

Related: Why Marvel Said The Ten Rings Would Return, Not Shang-Chi

In addition to being in the best of human condition and a master of martial arts, Shang-Chi is among a handful of Marvel heroes who have learned to master their chi – the bioelectric energy that surrounds all life. Although nowhere near as spectacular and effective as Iron Fist at chi manipulation, shang chi can strike with superhuman strength and smash bricks, concrete, and iron while tapping into his chi to hasten his own healing. This is coupled with phenomenal control over his own nervous system that allows him to ignore physical pain or slow the spread of toxins through his body.

The MCU’s Shang-Chi is fairly comic-book-accurate in terms of its powers and abilities. Producer Jonathan Schwartz said EW He believes the fight choreography is some of the best Marvel has ever done. “Every punch is meaningful, every fighting style is meaningful, and the story is told so visually,“he observed. Shang-Chi demonstrates mastery of several martial arts and lets himself be”from the elegant, almost ethereal Wushu style of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon to the kinetic choreography of Jackie Chan’s action comedies.“Shang-chi’s fighting style borrows from his parents, and he eventually learns tai chi in Ta Lo – and uses it very effectively against wenwu. There is no trace of chi manipulation in Shang-Chi & the legend of the ten ringswhich is a shame.

Shang-Chi’s MCU Origins and Backstory Versus Marvel Comics

Shang Chi Trailer Child Shang Chi and Mandarin

The MCU’s Shang-Chi looks and feels a lot like the comics, but its origin story has been changed a bit – for good reason. His backstory is linked to Sax Rohmer’s beloved villain, Fu Manchu, an evil Chinese criminal mastermind who led a dangerous criminal gang. Marvel acquired the rights to use Fu Manchu in their comics in the early 1970s, which led to the creation of Shang-Chi. Marvel imagined Shang-Chi as the son of Fu Manchu, who had been trained to one day ascend to the throne of his father, but who had refused that fate because he realized that everything his father stood for was evil. Shang-Chi’s comic series, The hands of Shang-Chi: Masters of Kung Fu, borrowed a number of key supporting actors from Rohmer’s novels, but also introduced a few new characters who join Shang-Chi in his quest to defeat Fu Manchu.

Marvel Comics no longer owns the rights to Fu Manchu or related characters and therefore had to make a number of retcons and adjustments based on Shang-Chi’s origins. Fu Manchu was again referred to as an alias, with Shang-Chi’s father really being Zheng Shu. Most interesting of all, the organization of Zheng Shu – now called the Five Deadly Weapons Society – has been transformed into an old and evil criminal empire dating back to the days of Genghis Khan and divided into five separate “houses” ” competing for leadership. Every house has a champion who has the potential to take the throne of Zheng Shu after his death; Shang-Chi is the greatest warrior of the House of Deadly Hand, and the others are Sister Dagger, Brother Saber, Sister Hammer, and Brother Staff, all named for the house they represent. Sister Dagger is actually one of Shang-Chi’s sisters whom he tried to redeem from the Five Deadly Weapons Society. Marvel Studios turned things upside down for the MCU, pairing Zheng Shu with another villain, the Mandarin, as the original Wenwu character. Wenwu became the leader of the terrorist group known as the Ten Rings, quasi-immortal through the mysterious mystical weapons he possessed, the Ten Rings, and has been active for millennia. Meanwhile, the MCU’s Xialing is basically a composition of all of the Shang-Chi sisters from the comics.

Shang-Chi ends with his hero getting possession of the Ten Rings, a bow that never happened in the comics, meaning the MCU version is now operating at a level of performance never before seen. This logically means that his journey will take him in a direction he has never seen before in the comics themselves, however comic-exactly whatever the character may be feeling at the moment. It will be exciting to see what the future holds in store Shang-Chi.

Next: All 13 Marvel Movies Released After Shang-Chi (and When)

  • Black Widow (2021)Release date: 07/09/2021
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release date: 03.09.2021
  • Eternal (2021)Release date: 05/11/2021
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)Release date: 12/17/2021
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release DATE: March 25, 2022
  • Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release DATE: May 06, 2022
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever / Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: 07/08/2022
  • The Marvels / Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: 11/11/2022

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