Shang-Chi (simplified Chinese: 尚气/上气; traditional Chinese: 尚氣/上氣; pinyin: Shàng Qì; Wade–Giles: Shang Ch'i), who's name can be interpreted as "a rising and advancing spirit" was born in Honan province in China, son to a wealthy international crime lord named Fu Manchu and an unknown American woman genetically selected by his father. Trained privately by Fu Manchu himself and his most trusted senseis of various disciplines, Chinese and otherwise, in both the mental and martial arts. Shang had limited contact with his parents.
Shang-Chi: born to be the world's most fearsome fighter, yet also born to carry the cruelest curse in mankind's memory because his father is the most infamous villain of all time... Fu Manchu.
When he did see his father, his father told him that all of his training was being directed toward some sort of great humanitarian goal, as his father manipulated Shang into thinking that he was a philanthropist. When the time finally came for Shang to face the outside world and carry out this mission, he was transported to England, where his mission was assassination. He knew nothing other than to honor his father with complete loyalty, so after stealthily sneaking into his target's home, he killed who he thought was an evil man in one swift strike. British secret agent Sir Dennis Nayland-Smith arrived on the scene in time to catch Shang, but of course couldn't keep him there. Shang later sought out his mother, now living in London, who then told him the truth about her former husbands life of crime and evil. At that time, Shang swore to become his father's enemy, and do whatever it would take to topple his evil empire.
He dislikes knives. They are nearly silent, and, thus, well suited for attack.
Shang-Chi made his first appearance in Special Marvel Edition #15. He was created by Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin.
Jim Starlin and Steve Englehart were fans of the Kung Fu TV series, which had David Carradine as Kwai Chang Caine, the pair proposed to Marvel a comic adaptation of the series, however, they found that they could not license, as the series would belong to Warner Bros., owner of its rival, DC Comics. At Roy Thomas' suggestion, Shang-Chi was created with the addition of Sax Rhomer's Fu Manchu license, making him the hero's father. At the initiative of artist Paul Gulacy, he took on the features of actor and martial artist Bruce Lee. After losing his license, his father no longer had his name revealed, being called names such as Comte de Saint Germain and Han. In Secret Avengers #8, it was revealed that his real name is Zheng Zu, the organization Si-Fan was called Hai-Dai.
Fah Lo Suee, daughter of Fu Manchu and sister of Shang-Chi, was called by the alias Cursed Lotus and her real name is Zheng Bao Yu.
In the miniseries Shang-Chi (2020), written by Gene Luen Yang, it was revealed that Si-Fan and Hai-Dai were some of the names used by the Five Weapons Society. The retreat moved from Honan to Hunan, the retreat was The House of the Deadly Hand and Shang-Chi, its champion, known as the Deadly Hand or Brother Hand.
In 2021, the series Shang-Chi, also written by Gene Lue Yang, once again changed the origin of the hero, it is revealed that his mother is Jiang Li, a mortal from the dimension of Ta-Lo, likewise, she met Shang-Chi's father after he invaded Ta-Lo. Yang's inspiration was the movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings released in the same year. In the film, her mother is named Ying Li, however the name Jiang Li has been used before in advertising and licensed products.
This led to to a banding of heroes like the Sons of Tiger, Iron Fist, Jack of Hearts, and White Tiger to take down the organization known as the Corporation. Shang would eventually team-up with other heroes such as Spider-Man, Thing, and Rom the Spaceknight.
Joining the British intelligence agency MI6, Shang later moved on to form his own crimefighting organization with Sir Dennis called "Freelance Restorations". Shang eventually found his father's retreat in Honan and killed him in a brutal battle. Plagued by guilt and tired of the pressures of crime-fighting, Shang moved back to China, to the small fishing village of Yang-Tin, becoming a fisherman amongst the locals. His peace was short-lived as his father's legacy forced him to utilize his abilities once more.
His father's criminal empire split into factions: Sleeping Dragon Clan (led by Chiang Kai-Dong), Steel Lotus Group (led by Hsien Ming-Ho), Wild Tiger Mob (led by Deng Ling-Xiao), Coiled Serpent Syndicate (led by Mao Liu-Cho) and Si-Fan Cyber-Ninja (led by Kingpin). The Wild Tiger Mob allied with its half-sister Zheng Bao Yu (using the alias Cursed Lotus), in the Hong Kong underworld, the organization manufactured and trafficked an exchange called Wild Tiger, Shang-Chi dismantled the manufacture of the narcotic and Deng Ling-Xiao was killed, however, he never learned of his half-sister's involvement. Shang-Chi fought alongside the X-Men and Elektra in fighting Kingpin and Si-Fan Cyber-Ninja.
Zheng Zu was revived and sent Zaran (Zhou Man She) leading Dacoits to kill Shang-Chi, but they were stopped by Shang-Chi and the Marvel Knights.
Shang-Chi confronts his father again, enlisting the help of his old friends: Black Jack Tarr, Clive Reston and Leiko Wu. Facing a stronger, younger version of himself in the form of a half-brother, Moving Shadow, Shang nonetheless was victorious in the end. Enraged at the failure of his second son, Zheng Zu killed Moving Shadow and supposedly died in the aftermath. Unfortunately, subsequent appearances and events reveal that Shang's infamous father is far from dead.
Major Story Arcs
Shang Chi has since reemerged numerous times, to aid friends such as Spider-Man, the X-Men, and his teammates in the Marvel Knights. He fought alongside his partners in a newly revived Heroes for Hire with his teammates including Iron Fist, Misty Knight, Colleen Wing, Black Cat, amongst others. After the Heroes for Hire team disbanded, Shang was called to service by MI-6 to help bring-in a Welch crime lord. Who was really a Red Dragon with memory loss. Sometime after this incident, he became the guardian and teacher to a young Killraven for a period of time.
Heroes for Hire
Shang first joined Heroes for Hire along with the Cat and Colleen Wing under the leadership of his friend and fellow martial artist, Iron Fist. Their mission was to retrieve a valuable statue of Mulan that had been stolen by a pirate named Lionmane and thought to be somewhere in Madripoor. During their mission, Shang became reacquainted with Jessica Drew, who had temporarily retired her Spider-Woman alias, and the team was later joined by Wolverine. The heroes were eventually betrayed by the Cat and captured by Lionmane. The pirate leader revealed himself as a fanatic Chinese general named Lo Chien, who also happened to be a powerful mutant. With assistance from Wolverine and Jessica, the Heroes for Hire eventually defeated Lo Chien.
Heroes for Hire: Civil War
Shang-Chi was a member of the second Heroes for Hire team assembled by Misty Knight along with Colleen Wing, Black Cat, Tarantula, Humbug, Paladin and Orka. During the Civil War story arc, the team was convinced to join Iron Man’s pro-registration side and were eventually sent after Captain America himself. While the team agreed to speak with him on peaceful terms, Paladin played his hand and attempted to knock out the entire team with Captain America using a sedative gas. Fortunately, Shang-Chi was able to hold his breath and escort Captain America to safety after quickly dispatching Paladin.
Later on, an enemy of Misty and Colleen named Celia Ricadonna sent assassins after members of the team. Shang-Chi was engaged by his old foe, Shadow-Stalker, whom he defeated and attempted to interrogate afterwards.
In their following mission, the team was hired by a young boy to retrieve a Doombot he had reprogrammed to be “nice”. As it turns out, a group of villains known as the Headmen had stolen the Doombot and reprogrammed it again for their purposes. When they were finally intercepted, Orka brashly engaged the band on his own and was fatally wounded by the Doombot. Following his friend’s passing, Shang lost his restraints and viciously beat down each member of the Headmen, finishing by destroying the Doombot that the team was initially hired to recover. Afterwards, Shang began to develop a more intimate relationship with fellow teammate Tarantula.
When the team was sent to the Savage Land on another mission, Shang and Tarantula furthered their romantic relationship. Although he resented his emotions at first and even despised Tarantula’s violent tendencies, she eventually convinced him to embrace their bond. During this time, Shang also showed a marked increase in aggression which may have resulted from the death of Orka as well as his strained relationship with Tarantula.
Heroes for Hire: World War Hulk
After Humbug’s transformation in the Savage Land by the insect hive mind, he informed the Heroes for Hire of the imminent threat posed by the Hulk’s Warbound and especially by Miek and his Brood Queen. The team infiltrates the Brood’s hive after Humbug masked their presence by tearing apart a hiveling and covering everyone in its entrails. However, they are discovered by Miek who, in a fit of rage, sent Hiroim the Shamed after the intruders for murdering one of their young. Shang saved Colleen’s life by blocking a fatal blow from their mighty adversary, but he was eventually defeated and captured with the rest of the team.
Meanwhile, Humbug had seemingly become a puppet for the Brood and pinned the murder of the hiveling on Tarantula and Colleen. As a result, both were subject to torture by the brood while Shang and the rest of the team were set free.
The Heroes for Hire assist the help of former member Paladin in order to rescue their teammates. After seeing what the Warbound had done to Tarantula however, Shang decided to go back on his own to finish off Humbug. What he ends up finding is that the Brood Queen had tricked Humbug by turning him into a living incubator for her eggs. Gruesomely mutated, he begged Shang to help end his pain and suffering. At the same time, Humbug admitted that he never wanted to hurt Colleen, but he hated Tarantula and thought she deserved the torment. Hearing this, Shang snapped Humbug’s neck without hesitation, killing his former friend out of rage and mercy. The Heroes for Hire once again disbanded shortly afterwards.
During the events of Shadowland, Shang-Chi joined the other heroes of New York in an effort to stop Daredevil. The heroes confronted their former friend who, unbeknownst to them, was under demonic influence. Negotiations broke down rather quickly after a tense encounter, and Daredevil demonstrated his new found martial prowess and physical abilities by effortlessly defeating both Shang-Chi and Iron Fist. Later on, Shang assisted Spider-Man in fighting Mr. Negative and his Inner Demons. The Chinatown crime-lord was seeking to take advantage of the situation in Shadowland by expanding his territory. During the fight, Shang was caught by Mr. Negative who attempted to corrupt him with his ability. In a shocking turn of events, Shang ends up absorbing a portion of Mr. Negative's powers, gaining some influence over the Inner Demons as well. However, the negative energies appeared to corrupt Shang's mind, fueling a desire to kill Mr. Negative to take all of the villains powers and follow in the footsteps of his father. He also intended on using the Inner Demons to fight Daredevil and the Hand, although he planned on taking over the latter's role in subjugating the city. Spider-Man confronted Shang-Chi, saving Mr. Negative, and the two engaged in a brief fight before Peter decided to lower his fists. As Shang-Chi was about to slay his former ally, he was able to regain control and dissipate Mr. Negative's influence. Shang-Chi was seen again in the final confrontation with Daredevil, fighting the Hand and aiding the other heroes in finally reverting their friend to his former self.
Shang Chi is asleep when suddenly he senses that he is not alone. He wakes up to find several ninjas of the The Celestial Order of the Hai-Dai attacking. He fights well, but there are many.
Fortunately, an ally appears in the form of the Prince of Orphans. He is there on the behest of Steve Rogers, and Shang-Chi is keen to discover why. Two days earlier, Hank McCoy passed a message to Steve Rogers from the Prince of Orphans. It concerned a temple he'd come across filled with dead monks.He had heard rumors that the Hai-Dai were responsible. Steve knew that the Hai-Dai were supposed to have disbanded, but the Prince informed Steve that they were looking for the Eyes of the Dragon, and if that was the case then there was trouble on its way. In the present, Shang-Chi joins Steve aboard the Secret Avengers' floating HQ. Shang is surprised to discover that his father might be alive, or at least on the verge of being brought back from the dead. Along with Steve and the Black Widow, Shang-Chi travels to Hong Kong where the team infiltrates the International Finance Centre on a mission to retrieve the eyes.
Inside, they discover that they've been lured there on purpose and are attacked by more Hai-Dai ninjas. Elsewhere, Shang-Chi's father is with Shadow Council Director Thorndrake and Max Fury. He is half-way to being brought back fully from the dead. Fury receives a call. One of the Shadow Council's teams has found the real Eyes of the Dragon, so all that is needed now is to get their hands on Shang-Chi.
As the three heroes fought against the numerically superior Hai-Dai, Steve and Natasha are cut off from Shang. Overwhelmed by their numbers and with his allies out of reach, Shang eventually fell prey to a blow from behind and was captured. On board an unspecified aircraft the Hai-Dai stood guard around Shang-Chi. Right as one of the ninjas attempted to execute him however, Ant-Man emerged from a strand of his hair and two quickly dispatched the crew. When the team regroups on board the Quincarrier, Beast reveals that the real name of Shang-Chi's father is Zheng Zu. Zu was an evil sorcerer from ancient times who gained his longevity through using the Eyes of the Dragon and draining the life essence of blood relatives.
They deduce that the Shadow Council are working with Zheng Zu to target Shang-Chi and complete his resurrection. Shang-Chi’s father is suddenly spotted attacking civilians on the streets of Hong Kong in broad daylight, and the team heads down to intercept this act of terrorism. Shang is suspicious of the obtrusive attack, but the heroes realize too late that this was nothing more than a diversion to capture Sharon Carter. The Shadow Council later offers the safe return of Sharon in exchange for Shang-Chi.
Later on as he spared with Steve, Shang made it clear that he will willingly turn himself over to the Shadow Council and his father for Sharon's safety. The Secret Avengers received directions from John Steele, requesting that Shang and Steve meet on a rooftop to make the exchange. Despite going along willingly, Steele incapacitated Shang with a shock rifle to prevent any possibility of resistance.
Steve calls in the rest of the Secret Avengers and forces Steele to retreat with a captured Shang-Chi. As Zheng Zu prepared his sacrificial ritual, Moon Knight revealed himself as a disguised guard and quickly called in the rest of the team. During the ensuing battle, the Prince of Orphans seemingly interrupts the ritual and kills Zheng Zu. In the aftermath, Shang bid farewell to the Steve and Sharon, grateful for their help in stopping his father and agreeing to return the favor if ever needed.
Secret Avengers: No Zone
Sometime after thwarting his father's resurrection, Shang-Chi rejoined the Secret Avengers on a mission in the No Zone. Along with Steve Rogers and Sharon Carter, Shang was sent to retrieve a small canister of transmatter obtained by the Shadow Council, said to be powerful enough to turn the Earth into a smouldering star. Shang was seen brutally disabling and maiming all hostiles he came across in order to prevent them from regrouping, but he resented being forced to act as a “thug”, having initially agreed on taking part in a mission of stealth and extraction.
When the team arrived at a crossroads with two ventilation shafts, Shang used his heightened senses to detect that one shaft was cooler than the other, suggesting it led to the flight deck. Steve took the opportunity to retort that Shang wasn’t there to be a thug; he was there to be an Avenger. The heroes are ultimately able to capture both the Council’s inter-universal space craft and the canister of transmatter.
During the events of Fear Itself, Shang-Chi is also among the many heroes defending Washington from the army of Skadi.
Spider-Island: Deadly Hands of Kung Fu
Before the events of Spider-Island, the new Madame Web, Julia Carpenter asked Shang-Chi to train Spider-Man in martial arts to compensate for the loss of his spider-sense. He donned special magnetic gloves and shoes during their sparring sessions to help Spider-Man develop a unique fighting style that complemented his spider powers.
With ordinary New Yorkers developing the same powers as himself, Spider-Man is forced to capitalize on Shang-Chi's training in several situations. When the wall-crawler's spider-sense returned, it worked in harmony with the techniques Shang taught him, turning the tide in a decisive battle against Tarantula.
As the events of Spider-Island continued to unfold, Shang-Chi became infected by the spider plague. Developing the same set of powers as Spider-Man, Shang fought alongside other heroes in defending New York against the threat of spider-powered criminals.
During this time, he had nightmares involving the Immortal Weapons and saw himself as a spider attacking innocent people in visions. When he speaks with Madame Web, she left him only with a cryptic fortune. After joining Iron Fist in combat, the two discovered that they had been sharing the same nightmares. Their meeting is cut short as the Bride of Nine Spiders joined the fray and asked Danny to speak with her on a rooftop in private. Sensing something was wrong, Shang followed the two and witnessed the Bride attack and incapacitate Iron Fist. Jumping to his friend's defense, Shang utilized his newly acquired spider powers to easily pin down the Bride, but is caught off-guard and knocked out by his assailant's super natural fighting technique.
The Web of Deceit
Awakening later on at his apartment and aided by Silver Sable, Shang-Chi concluded that the Bride of Nine Spiders was the source of his nightmares. He identified a street sign in one of his dreams and tracks the Bride to an abandoned house in Hamilton Heights. The house had adverse effects on Shang's senses, weakening his reflexes despite his acquired spider powers. After overcoming several hallucinations and physical traps, he was able to find the Bride and the other Immortal Weapons whom she cocooned in webbing. While Shang was able to hold his own against the Bride despite his affliction, he took the opportunity to free Iron Fist and increase their odds.
Badly weakened due to being incapacitated, Danny is nevertheless able to muster enough chi energy to strike the Bride with his signature punch, setting her up to receive a vicious knock-out kick from Shang. As Danny attempted to heal the Bride of Nine Spiders, Shang-Chi succumbs to the spider plague and passes out. Simultaneously, Ai Apaec descends from the ceiling and reveals himself as the true mastermind behind the kidnapping of the Immortal Weapons. The South American chimera god explains that he has been working with the Queen, and the Bride was offered as payment for his services. As Iron Fist readied himself to face this threat alone, Shang-Chi recovered behind him ready to lend his deadly hands of Kung Fu - all six of them, thanks to his spider transformation.
The Zen of Spiders
With his newly acquired spider mutation, Shang-Chi held off Ai Apaec long enough for Iron fist to free the remaining Immortal Weapons. Although his transformation furthers throughout the fight, Shang was able to maintain focus and press against his monstrous opponent. Iron Fist rejoined the fight bringing with him Fat Cobra, Dog Brother, Tiger's Beautiful Daughter, and a resuscitated Bride of Nine Spiders. Despite their numerical advantage, the Immortal Weapons were weakened by their imprisonment and easily dispatched by Ai Apaec.
Shang desperately fights against the Queen's influence as his spider transformation nears completion. Seeing this, Danny rushed to his friend's aid and used his chi to help revert Shang's mutation. Given the greater threat at hand, Shang asked the Immortal Weapons to leave as they are needed to defend the city and faces off against Ai Apaec on his own. While his spider powers were gone, Shang felt his Kung Fu had been redoubled. Realizing that he was still no match for the chimera god in a head on fight, he distracted his opponent with small strikes and focused on destroy support beams that held the burning structure in place, eventually crushing Ai Apaec beneath the rubble. Shang-Chi returned to the city after his victory and continued fighting against the spider threat with his allies.
During the decisive battle against the Queen in her final form, Shang-Chi showed up with the Immortal Weapons as reinforcements. This was unforeseen by Madame Web, who reiterated the futility of the heroes' efforts. Upon hearing her loss of confidence, Shang asked her to join them in their fight, to make her own future for once.
Joining the Avengers
Following the events of Avengers vs X-Men, Captain America and Iron Man seek to make a new, bigger, stronger Avenger's roster. Shang-Chi was among the fist to be chosen for this new initiative. He gladly accepted an offer from Steve Rogers and saw it as an opportunity to further challenge himself. Although Stark acknowledged the Master of Kung-Fu as an astonishing hand-to-hand combatant, he was keen to take advantage of Shang's mastery of traditional weaponry and providing him with personalized equipment.
During a mission to Mars, several core members of the Avengers are captured by The Garden, leaving Captain America to assemble the rest of the team to mount a counterattack. Shang was among the many heroes who join a second assault on Mars, as part of a rescue effort to retrieve their companions. During the battle, he faced off against the world-razing robot Aleph and critically damages its left leg. Although the damage was eventually self-repaired, Aleph is shortly destroyed by Captain Universe when the robot refused to stand down. The Avengers eventually triumph over The Garden and allow them to continue their purpose on Mars, granted they leave Earth alone for good.
A short while later, Shang was asked by Rogers and Stark to interview the new Captain Universe and find out what the purpose of her presence was. Shang felt it more appropriate to speak with the Uni-Power's host, Tamara Devoux, and 'lured' her out with pie. Using meditative techniques, he helped piece together Tamara's traumatizing past. It was revealed afterwards that the Uni-Power manifested at this time because of the Earth's pivotal role in events to come, and it chose Tamara as a host because she was dying, much like the universe itself.
Later on, Shang and a team of Avengers went to a casino in Macau to investigate A.I.M. activities. While following his own leads, Shang was attacked by ninjas lead by a mysterious armored figure. After utilizing a pair of electrified nunchacku provided by Stark, Shang defeated their leader and took his helmet as a souvenir. He reveals to his teammates that A.I.M. was bidding to hire mercenaries, and that the insidious organization was preparing for a large scale conflict. He is next seen with the rest of the Avengers in combat at an Origin Bomb site which had gone active.
Shang-Chi was with the Avengers when they joined 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 formed 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 were defeated by the alliance forces, the Avengers returned to Earth with their new Galactic Council allies to face off against an even bigger threat back home - an untimely assault by Thanos. Shang was sent along with Black Widow and Manifold the infiltrate the Peak and shut down Thanos' first line of defense. However, the team was intercepted by the Black Dwarf and a complement of 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 and other Council members eventually made short work of the Black Dwarf and allowed Shang and the infiltration team to complete their mission.
With the threat of both the Builders and Thanos thwarted, Shang-Chi was sent to Madripoor along with Wolverine, Falcon and Black Widow to deal with the civil unrest. During the mission, Shang stumbled upon a group of Hand ninjas at a temple, where the Gorgon was being inaugurated as their new leader. Furthermore, it was revealed that Madripoor is actually sitting atop the head of an ancient dragon who was now under command of the Gorgon. Knowing he was facing an incredibly powerful opponent, Shang tried his best to attack the Gorgon from the shadows and utilized a pair of energy generating bracers. Despite initially having an advantage, Shang knew his efforts were not enough. The Gorgon eventually counterattacked and severely injured the Master of Kung Fu, tossing him off the side of a cliff.
It was later revealed that Shang-Chi had been rescued by agents of China's first response and intelligence gathering organization, S.P.E.A.R. As he recuperated aboard their ship, the Circle, the rest of the Avengers teamed up with the Ascendant in combating the Gorgon's forces who were attacking China. In an effort to defend Shanghai, Director Zheng of S.P.E.A.R. requested assistance from S.H.I.E.L.D. in the form of Pym Particles, which were given to Shang-Chi allowing him to fight the gargantuan dragon. Taking care not to harm the city atop its head, Shang quickly dispatched the beast before plucking the Gorgon along with the Hand's temple from its head, tossing them into the distance. He presumably helps drag the beast back to where it belonged so Madripoor could be restored to its original geographic location.
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu: Out of the Past
In London's Chinatown, we see Leiko Wu chased by a group of eccentric assassins lead by Razor Fist, who viciously slaughtered her after a brief struggle. Shang-Chi is on a mission in the Rocky Mountains to capture Crossbones, and after taking down his target, he received a call from Steve Rogers delivering the bad news. Leiko's demise puts Shang into a slump and forces him to seek answers regarding her death. This reunites him with the Sons of the Tiger and eventually makes him a target of several assassins. After attempting to interrogate one of his assailants only to have them bite a cyanide capsule embedded in their molar, he plucked the rigged tooth from a remaining assassin and forced him to reveal a name: the White Dragon. Black Jack Tarr and MI6 show up shortly after in a mock attempt to dissuade Shang from pursuing revenge, but they ultimately decided to stay out of Shang's way while keeping him under surveillance.
His investigation eventually reunites him with an old enemy, Skull-Crusher, who reveals to be both Leiko's lover and the target of her espionage activities. Shang refused to believe his words despite Skull-Crusher's willingness to aid him. When he finally encounters Razor Fist and his band of assassins, Shang is joined by his friends and former teammates, Colleen Wing and Misty Knight, who help fight them off. The Master of Kung Fu is shocked to learn that the assassins use a form of ancient Chinese black magic known as Mao Shan Pai. Asking his friends to look further into the source of this black magic, Shang himself tracks down the White Dragon and meets him face to face.
Five Weapons Society
Shang-Chi was living in Chinatown, San Francisco when he was tracked down by his former flame, Leiko. She had a warning that his father’s old organization was active again just as ninjas came crashing through the window. The two masked ninjas were Brother Sabre and Sister Dagger. According to them, the spirit of Zheng Zu chose Shang-Chi, as Brother Hand, to lead the Five Weapons Society, the real name of the organization created by his father Zheng Zu and his uncle Zheng Yi. Over the years, it has been called other names like Si-Fan and The Celestial Order of the Hai-Dai. They needed a new leader after Sister Hammer killed the last leader, Brother Staff.
Shang-Chi declined to join them, so Brother Sabre and Sister Dagger left disappointed. It wasn’t until their parting words convinced Shang-Chi that Sister Hammer was the sister he presumed was dead. With Leiko’s help, Shang-Chi made it to a Five Weapons Society facility to liberate his sister. However, she tried to kill him so that his father’s spirit would legitimize her as the leader. He was rescued by Brother Sabre and Sister Dagger, unfortunately, not before he was clawed by a jiangshi. Shang-Chi was concerned his claw mark was transforming him into a jiangshi. In his next confrontation with Sister Hammer, he even felt a compulsion to follow her commands.
After failing to stop Sister Hammer again, Shang-Chi visited the tomb of Zheng Yi for answers. The ghost of Zheng Yi reveals secrets of Shang-Chi’s father and the Society. He tells Shang-Chi that his injury is leading him in the direction he needs to go, the direction he has been fighting against. With a new sense of purpose, Shang-Chi joins his loyal siblings in their fight against Sister Hammer. They make it to London just in time to help Leiko and her MI5 forces against Hammer’s army.
Shang-Chi starts to succumb to his infection becoming a jiangshi that Hammer instructs to attack Sabre and Dagger. He tries to resist and ends up connecting to the spirit energy Hammer was using to power the jiangshi. It was based on an old memory from when she and Shang-Chi first were separated. This gave Shang-Chi the opportunity to reignite his bond with Hammer and end her loyalty to their manipulative father. Hammer panicked and ran.
Without her interference, Shang-Chi took his place as the head of the Five Weapons Society, determined to end his father’s oppressive rules and tactics ingrained within it.
Vs. the Marvel Universe
Shang-Chi was taking his father's organization in a new direction: undoing all the evil he put into the world. Two such endeavors allowed him to cross paths with Spider-Man and Captain America, but the shadiness with which the organization left Shang-Chi's allies left them concerned about whether or not Shang-Chi was changing the Five Weapons Society or vice versa.
When Zhilan, former member of the Deadly House of the Staff, unintentionally went viral on social media, the Five Weapons Society was on edge. While Shang-Chi invited her back into the fold, Brother Sabre and Sister Dagger intended to kill her for the betrayal that led to her exile. He also led his allies into the Negative Zone after having dreams that his sister was there. Instead, they found Shang-Chi's mother, Jiang Li. Inspired by the film, writer Gene Luen Yang retconned Shang-Chi's origins, saying his mother is a Chinese woman (the name Jiang Li was shown in promotional material for the film, but was replaced by Ying Li). Each of these instances brought him into direct conflict with Krakoa (through its representative Wolverine) and the Fantastic Four, respectively.
The heroes who have crossed paths with Shang-Chi started working together to investigate where Shang's loyalty was. With Iron Man and Thor's help, they confronted Shang over a missing Cosmic Cube they believe he stole. After a brief fight, Shang found it in Brother Sabre's possession. To pacify his superhero allies, he gave them Brother Sabre, causing his new allies to question his loyalty.
What Is vs. What If
Using a Ruguo Coin, Shang-Chi fights a version of himself from an alternate universe where he remained faithful to his father.
Chieftain Xin, Shang-Chi’s grandfather, had gathered all the recent rivals Shang-Chi had made while leading the Five Weapons Society. They combined forces to attack Shang-Chi’s new headquarters, while Xin kidnaps his daughter, Shang-Chi’s mother, and brings her back to their homeland, the dimension Ta Lo.
Xin also released demon dogs, called Taotie, bred to hunt down the descendants of Zheng Zu. This included both Brother Sabre and Sister Hammer. In order to keep them safe, Shang and his sisters needed to break Sabre out of prison and track down Hammer, who has been avoiding them since she was passed over for Supreme Commander. With the Five Weapons finally reassembled, they head into Ta Lo to rescue Jiang Li.
Shang and his siblings were immediately taken prisoner by the Jade Emperor. He planned on having words with Xin for the trouble he has attracted from Earth, but Xin instead used a magic mask to enhance his strength and attack the palace in order to kill the children of Zheng Zu. Shang took advantage of the distraction and found the Jade Emperor’s prized weapons, The Ten Rings.
He and Xin struggled over the rings, but Shang overpowered him and ultimately showed mercy with the help of his siblings. He presented Xin to the Jade Emperor, who also proved merciful. Shang's mother was named the new chieftain, and Shang-Chi and his siblings returned to their responsibilities.
Game of Rings
Despite returning the Ten Rings to The Jade Emperor, they found their way back to Shang-Chi, coinciding with the gate to Ta Lo closing. Afraid of their power, Shang keeps them locked away in a vault, but when the news of the fight between Shang and his grandfather spreads, a number of supervillain organizations come gunning for the impressive new weapon, including his old friends at MI-6.
Above all though is the Most Revered Game Administrators, who hold a tournament for true ownership of the rings. Ten contestants, each with an individual ring, compete to collect them all. These fighters are:
- The Cat
- Zaran, the Weapons Master
- Lady Iron Fan
- Ghost Maker
- Red Cannon
- Leiku Wu, possessed by the Wyrm of Desolation
Shang would enter into an alliance with The Cat, agreeing to work together until they were the last ones. However, The Cat ultimately tried betraying Shang and take the rings for himself. Shang was surprisingly defended by Red Cannon, who turned out to be his sister, Sister Hammer. She offered Shang the chance for the Red Dot Collective to become his shadow so that he could stay in the light. Shang-Chi refused it though and decided to carry the weight of the Ten Rings and the responsibility of the Five Weapons Society himself.
As a grassroots campaign begins to develop to end the the Anti-Vigilante Law enacted by Mayor Fisk, Hammerhead stokes the fires of a gang war to give the Maggia an opening to take back New York City for themselves. As leader of the Five Weapons Society, Shang-Chi is brought to the table to defend his interests. Shang-Chi was mostly interested in guarding his section of Chinatown and the people residing there.
When he was injured by Mr. Negative, members of the Five Weapons attempted a coup, led by Captain Feng. Shang-Chi has suspected this and faked his injuries to force their hand. He ended the coup before it even started, however, the traitors managed to freeze the Ten Rings with an incantation, taking away Shang-Chi's best weapon to protecting his territory.
Three gang leaders had their eyes on Chinatown: Diamondback, Lady Yulan, and Mr. Negative. Shang tries to set a trap by getting them to agree to a fight among champions, one from each gang, instead of a full out gang war that could ruin the part of the city they all wanted. This backfired when the three gangs sent distractions to keep Shang busy while they fought each other. Shang's impressed underlings and disappointed hero friends believed this was the intended outcome.
When the heroes finally came to Chinatown to confront him, Shang used them to fight off the three gangs vying for his territory. Once the dust settles and the rings are released, Shang begins looking for a better way to protect Chinatown.
Using resources from The Outer Circle, Bucky Barnes recruits a new team of Thunderbolts to take down the Red Skull and his various enterprises for good. Shang agrees to join and offers resources from his own secret organization, The Five Weapons Society.
- Height: 5'10"
- Weight: 175 lbs
- Eye Color: Brown
- Hair Color: Black
- Place of Birth: Hunan, People's Republic of China
- Citizenship: Chinese and American
- Martial Status: Single
- Occupation: Supreme Commander of the Five Weapons Society; formerly secret agent, fisherman
- Known Relatives: Shaka Kharn (ancestor), Zheng Zu (father), Jiang Li (mother), Zheng Yi (uncle), Chieftan Xin (grandfather), Sister Hammer (sister), Zheng Bao Yu (half-sister), Kwai Far (half-sister), Sister Dagger (half-sister), Sister Staff (half-sister), Brother Sabre (half-brother), Moving Shadow (half-brother), Brother Staff (half-brother), Midnight Sun (adoptive brother)
Powers and Abilities
Master of Kung-Fu: Although possessing no superpowers, Shang-Chi has a lifetime of combat training behind him and is an expert in all known forms of terrestrial martial arts, enabling him to equal and best many superhumans.
- Weapon Master: Although he prefers to fight empty-handed, Shang-Chi can also formidably use any martial arts weapon and is skilled at improvising weapons out of ordinary objects in his environment.
- Trainer: Shang-Chi is also a skilled teacher, having most famously trained Spider-Man to become a skilled martial artist and having helped him develop a unique fighting style that complemented his spider powers.
Peak Human: Shang-Chi is a master of meditation and relaxation techniques as well, allowing him to receive psychic premonitions, limit the spread of toxins in his blood stream, and render his pain receptors insensitive. He was able to use his mastery of meditation in a psychotherapy session with the new Captain Universe in order to reveal her repressed memories. His understanding of metaphysics is further elaborated on when Shang becomes one of the few normal humans capable of communicating with Builder Machine code.
- Chi Manipulation: Shang's mastery of chi allows him to disperse physical trauma across his entire body (as opposed to accumulating at any single point) and strike with enough force to break through reinforced steel. On many occasions, he has also demonstrated the ability to dodge and deflect bullets from automatic weapons after they've been fired, and he is quick and agile enough to keep up with the likes of Spider-Man.
- Keen Observation: Shang-Chi is highly attuned to his surroundings thanks to his training and having spent most of his life thwarting his father's assassins. He is able to pinpoint the breath sounds and heart beats of silent aggressors, as well as the distant loading of firearms by gunmen. On one occasion he was even able to detect the precise location of Jean Grey and Cyclops, cloaked by the former's psionic powers. He has also demonstrated the ability to sense small changes in the environment that would be unnoticed by most, as demonstrated during his mission in the No Zone.
- Psychic Immunity: Due to his training, Shang-Chi is also less susceptible to mental attacks than most humans, having been able to resist the influence of the Queen during Spider Island, and maintaining autonomy after being converted by Mister Negative's powers.
- Multilingual: Shang-Chi is fluent in English, Cantonese, and both modern and ancient Mandarin. He also knows a little French.
Weapons and Equipment
Classic Weapons: He is skilled with (and often utilizes) a wide variety of weapons, including the nunchaku, various types of swords, bo staff, Kali sticks, throwing stars and knives.
Bracers: Shang-Chi is usually seen with a pair of bracers made of an unknown material, but known to be durable enough to deflect bullets.
- Chi Manipulation: It appears that his bracers are also able to generate energy, allowing him to mimic Iron Fist's basic chi-amped punches.
Stark Tech: After joining the Avengers, Tony Stark provided him with a pair of high tech nunchaku capable of discharging electricity as well as a pair of gauntlets capable of projecting energy blades.
Ten Rings of Ta Lo: Shang-Chi is in possession of ten enchanted iron rings from a mystical world. They are nearly unbreakable and can enhance their user's strength, speed, agility, and endurance.
- Appearance: The rings glow with varying colors based on the user. For instance, for The Jade Emperor they glow green, but for Shang-Chi, they glow gold.
- Telekinesis: Current users can control the rings with their minds. This includes using them as projectiles, summoning them to their person, and using them as transportation or restraints.
- Dark Influence: Using the rings requires a demanding physical and mental toll. The power could very easily corrupt and possibly mutate an unworthy user.
- Mystical Gate: If combined, the rings will turn into a gateway to a mystical world full of potential threats.
In the Ultimate Marvel Universe, Shang-Chi was once again the son of a powerful underworld figure. However, due to copyright reasons (as Marvel had lost the rights to the character of Fu Manchu), his father was never named. Trained from a young age to be the ultimate assassin, Shang-Chi rebelled against his father and fled to America in order to live a peaceful life. He eventually settled in New York City's Chinatown, where he began working at a local market. One fateful day, Shang-Chi saved Leiko Wu, who, unbeknownst to him, was there on behalf of his father, from a group of muggers. Leiko mobilized a large group of local criminals to capture Shang-Chi, but he managed to fight them off with the assistance of Spider-Man. Realizing New York was no longer safe, Shang-Chi was forced to flee the city, but not before teaching Spider-Man a martial arts technique.
Shang-Chi later returned to New York and teamed up with his old friend Iron Fist to help take down Hammerhead. Following this, he and Iron Fist became part of the Ultimate Knights, a group of street-level vigilantes assembled by Daredevil. After their plan to take down the Kingpin failed, the Knights disbanded, and Shang-Chi once again fled to parts unknown.
In the Earth X reality, Shang-Chi is known as Tao, a member of Sunfire's Xen.
House of M
In the House of M reality, Shang-Chi winds up in New York City after his father is killed by Magneto during the mutant takeover of the planet. A bitter and vengeful Shang-Chi forms a street gang in New York's Chinatown called the Dragons, whose ranks include a number of street level characters like Colleen Wing, Mantis, Swordsman and Zaran. He and his gang initially clash with Luke Cage and the Avengers, but become allies against the oppressive mutant regime that controls everything. Shang-Chi is arrested when an attempt to buy the Ten Rings of the Mandarin turns out to be a sting operation organized by Thunderbird and the Brotherhood. He and his comrades are freed by Cage, but a later article published in the Pulse indicates that he and Rafael Vega were later arrested again in a raid.
In the K'un-Lun region of Battleworld, Shang-Chi was the son of Emperor Zheng Zu, Master of the Ten Rings. In order to save the life of his lover, Red Sai, Shang-Chi was forced by his father to kill Master Tuan, the head of the Iron Fist school. Exiled in order to cover up Zheng Zu's hand in the assassination, a disgraced Shang-Chi became a drunken vagrant. Following a chance encounter with the Outcasts, he was persuaded to help train them in self-defense by Kitten, the group's leader.
In order to save the lives of the Outcasts, Shang-Chi entered a tournament to decide the new ruler of K'un-L'un. After triumphing over foes such as Black Panther, Namor, White Tiger, Psylocke and Karnak, Shang-Chi faced his father in the final round of the tournament. Using his own mastery of the Ten Rings fighting style, Shang-Chi ultimately vanquished his father by turning his body to stone. With Zheng Zu defeated once and for all, Shang-Chi became the new emperor of K'un-L'un, which he ruled with a just and fair hand.
In Other Media
Chinese-Canadian actor Simu Liu appears as the title character, Shang-Chi in the MCU film, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
Shang-Chi is the estranged son of a near-immortal Chinese terrorist hiding out in America. When dark forces manipulate his father, he sends his soldiers after Shang-Chi to bring him home and accept his destiny as the leader of the Ten Rings organization.
Popular Hong Kong star Tony Leung has been cast as Wenwu, the real Mandarin, the film's main antagonist. Due to legal issues, Wenwu will replace Fu Manchu in Shang-Chi's origin.
Shang-Chi is son of Wenwu and Ying Li (Fala Chen), the guardian of Ta Lo. Wenwu can be described as a character composed of Mandarin and Fu Manchu, like the Mandarin, Wenwu has ten powerful rings and as Fu Manchu, Wenwu has discovered the secret of immortality, he commands the secret criminal organization Ten Rings, which bears similarities to the Si-Fan and Hai-Dai, commanded by Fu Manchu. Even though for legal reasons, Marvel currently says that Shang-Chi's father is called Zheng Zu, it was chosen that Mandarin fill this role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Her sister, Xu Xialing was inspired by her half-sister, Fah Lo Suee (currently Zheng Bao Yu).
In the film's post-credit scene, Shang-Chi has a meeting with Wong, Captain Marvel, and Bruce Banner, implying a bigger role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the future. Xu Xialing appears in another scene leading the Ten Rings, but his intentions are not yet known.
- Shang-Chi appears as a playable character in the Marvel Future Fight mobile game.
- Shang-Chi appears as a playable character in the Marvel Duel mobile game.
- Shang-Chi appears as a playable character in the Marvel Contest of Champions mobile game.
- Shang-Chi appears as a playable character in the Marvel Strike Force mobile game.
- Shang-Chi appears as a playable character in the Marvel Super War mobile game, voiced by Kaji Tang.
- In 2021, Shang-Chi was added to Fortnite.
- Shang-Chi was featured in ToyBiz's Modern Age line of action figures.
- Shang-Chi was featured in the HeroClix figure game.
- Shang-Chi was featured in The Classic Marvel Figurine Collection from Eaglemoss Publications.
- Shang-Chi was featured in Hasbro's Super Hero Squad line as part of a two-pack with Spider-Man.
- Shang-Chi was featured in Hasbro's Marvel Legends line as part of the Demogoblin Build-a-Figure wave.
- The Shang-Chi film was the subject of a Marvel Legends wave from Hasbro, which featured Mr. Hyde as the Build-a-Figure.
- The Shang-Chi movie also received a full product line from Hasbro.
- Shang-Chi appears in the board game Marvel United, published by CMON Limited.
- Shang-Chi appears in a Little Golden Book written by Michael Chen.
- Shang-Chi appears in the book World Of Reading -This is Shang-Chi.