Before her debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Shang-Chi found herself embracing her father’s legacy and stepping into a massive Marvel villain event.
WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for VC’s Gene Luen Yang, Dike Ruan, Triona Farrell, and Travis Lanham of Shang-Chi # 3, on sale now.
Shang-Chi may only make her first appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe this year, but she has an expansive history within the Marvel Universe itself. While he has long been one of Earth’s most powerful heroes, Shang-Chi’s recent actions have made him look much more of a villain from the outside. Following the death of his father, Shang-Chi has become the leader of the Five Weapons Society, an ancient cult organization with a deadly reputation. Try as he might, the Kung Fu Master cannot make his father’s legacy align with his overnight.
Shang-Chi has already experienced the difficulties of acting as the hero and boss of a criminal organization by shutting down his own newly acquired drug operation, a job that left him on somewhat shaky terms with Spider-Man. No matter how comfortable Shang-Chi is making heroic moves using the dire resources at his disposal, he is still coming to terms with the power he wields.
When preparing to collapse an illicit auction being conducted by the Iron Eighty-Eight triad, his immediate thought is to literally fall from his flight headquarters, although his ally, Brother Saber, reminds him that this is an important social event. and it must be treated. as such. Shang-Chi reluctantly follows Saber’s lead, and the two arrive at the event in amazing fashion via flying sports car, much to the surprise of the other assembled villains.
Even with Saber by his side, Shang-Chi is still in awkward company. In addition to the packs of Hand, Hydra and AIM foot soldiers, MODOK and Madame Hydra are also present. They are both eager to speak with the new Supreme Commander of the Five Weapons Society. Not all attendees are sure why Shang-Chi has been admitted to the event considering his history with the rest of the guests, but Madame Hydra doesn’t mind explaining that they are in the presence of Zheng Zu’s heir. In fact, Madame Hydra is quite interested in Shang-Chi’s recent career change, as are other major villains at the auction. Not least, the evening’s hostess, Lady Iron Fan, whose hospitality leads to another awkward moment for the Supreme Commander. Shang-Chi is not used to joking around with criminals, and he is certainly not used to pretending to drink the champagne on offer. Fortunately, Deadly Saber is there to keep the hero on the right track, even if that’s proving to be a lot harder said than done.
Shang-Chi has had years of experience becoming one of the most capable heroes on the planet, and so far it doesn’t seem like any of that has taught him to think outside the box, so to speak. When Captain America interrupts the event, Shang-Chi even performs the moves of a fight with his former ally before attacking the many villains around them.
Aside from showing that old habits are slow to die, Shang-Chi doesn’t seem to have a real understanding of the vast amount of resources available to him now, and if he does, it’s definitely not what he has in mind. Hopefully, he will discover his new place in the world before falling victim to the new circles he has found himself in.
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