Marvel's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings rushes into theatres September 3, and if you don’t know the character yet, here are 7 comic books to read to get to know Shang-Chi and his background better before you step into the theatre.
7 Comic Books to Read to Get to Know Shang-Chi
Phase 4 of the MCU introduces us to some characters many of us are unfamiliar with, even those of us who are huge Marvel fans and comic book readers. What better way to get to know a character than to read a comic or 6? This post contains affiliate links.
Created by Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin at the height of kung fu's popularity in the 1970s, Shang-Chi is the greatest martial artist in Marvel Comics. These comics show just why Shang-Chi is the master of kung fu.
Here are 7 Shang-Chi comic books that will help you get to know this character better so you aren't going into the theatre blind on September 3rd when Marvel's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings opens.
One of the most groundbreaking Marvel comics of all time! The series that captured the kung fu craze starts here! Born to be the world's most fearsome fighter, Shang-Chi's life takes an unexpected turn when he discovers the truth about his father, the villainous Fu Manchu. So begins the epic story of the Master of Kung Fu! In his quest to end the reign of his malevolent patriarch, Shang-Chi pits his deadly hands and unstoppable spirit against incredible foes like Midnight, Tiger-Claw…and even the Amazing Spider-Man! He's joined by Sir Denis Nayland Smith and “Black” Jack Tarr of the British secret service, who will stop at nothing to end the devil doctor's reign.
COLLECTING: Collects Special Marvel Edition (1971) #15-16; Master of Kung Fu (1974) 17-28; Giant-Size Master of Kung Fu (1974) 1-4; Giant-Size Spider-Man (1974) 2 and material from Iron Man Annual (1970) #4
MASTER OF KUNG FU easily ranks as one of the most iconic series in Marvel history. Doug Moench and Paul Gulacy's blend of kung fu action and globetrotting espionage reached beyond the already high standard for the title and pushed to new horizons of action and adventure! The thriller, “Crystal Connection”; the debuts of the whip-cracking Pavane, the savage Razor-Fist and the lovely Leiko Wu; the showdown on Mordillo's Island; the cinematic Hong Kong fight with the Cat; the tense intrigue of “Oriental Expediters;” the mystery of MI-6's mole; and the sweeping scale of “The Return of Fu Manchu.” Each adventure will have you on the edge of your seat, so don't hold back. Enter the world of Shang-Chi!
COLLECTING: MASTER OF KUNG FU (1974) 29-53 & ANNUAL 1
Shang-Chi's martial arts adventures continue with “the Saga of War-Yore!” This epic of action and intrigue pits Shang-Chi against a rogue MI6 agent-driven mad by experimental treatments. Rather than becoming the ultimate secret agent, War-Yore has become the insane embodiment of history's greatest warriors! Then, Shang-Chi is tested by the combined forces of Skull-Crusher, the Cat, and Pavane in a storyline enhanced by the debut of artist Mike Zeck. In the aftermath, Shang-Chi renews his quest for justice and inner peace. Yet “games of death and deceit” offer little room for rest, and soon Shang-Chi must deal with a surprise return to Mordillo's Island – and the mercenary/assassin weapons master known as Zaran!
COLLECTING: VOL. 3: MASTER OF KUNG FU (1974) 54-79
One of the most groundbreaking Marvel Comics of all is collected for the first time! Born to be the world's most fearsome fighter, Shang-Chi's life takes a major turn when he discovers the truth about his father – the villainous Fu Manchu! So begins the epic story of the Master of Kung Fu! On a quest to end the reign of his pernicious patriarch, Shang-Chi pits his deadly hands and furious feet against incredible foes like Tiger-Claw, Razor-Fist, the mysterious Midnight—and even the macabre Man-Thing! But will his mastery of martial arts be enough in a throwdown with the Amazing Spider-Man?
COLLECTING: SPECIAL MARVEL EDITION #15-16, MASTER OF KUNG FU (1974) #17-37, GIANT-SIZE MASTER OF KUNG FU #1-4, GIANT-SIZE SPIDER-MAN #2, and Material from IRON MAN ANNUAL #4
Shang-Chi continues to have his deadly hands full with foes like Shockwave, the sinister Agent Syn, and the weapons-master Zaran! But will his mastery of kung fu be enough to overcome monstrous menaces and the mindless minions of Mordillo? He thought he'd seen the last of his most bitter enemy -but an unholy resurrection will bring Shang-Chi face to face once again with his fearsome father Fu Manchu! And the family reunion will get even more bitter when Shang's sister Fah Lo Suee renews their sibling rivalry. There'll be gang wars, death cults, and mind-blowing martial-arts mayhem on land and on sea! Plus: what if the Master of Kung Fu fought on the side of Fu Manchu?
COLLECTING: MASTER OF KUNG FU (1974) 71-101; WHAT IF (1977) 16
In Master of Kung Fu, journey to the mystical land of K'UN LUN, where the study of martial arts reigns supreme! In a world where everyone is well-trained in at least some form of deadly combat, what becomes of a drunken, drop-out failure?
COLLECTING: MASTER OF KUNG FU 1-4, 5 RONIN 2
Asia's greatest heroes unite! By popular demand, the New Agents of Atlas return as Amadeus Cho, Silk, Shang-Chi, Wave, Jimmy Woo and all your favorites defend the cross-Asian portal city of Pan against the science-magic threat of one of Marvel's classic villains! It's classic comic book action as young and old heroes from multiple lands clash with each other, fight monsters -and hopefully save the world along the way! But who is Isaac Ikeda, the Protector of Pan? Introducing your favorite Future Fight characters to the Marvel Comics universe!
COLLECTING: AGENTS OF ATLAS (2019) 1-5
Did we miss any Shang-Chi comic books you know of that we should include? Leave us a comment below!
About Marvel's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings is directed by Destin Daniel Cretton and produced by Kevin Feige and Jonathan Schwartz, with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, and Charles Newirth serving as executive producers. Dave Callaham & Destin Daniel Cretton & Andrew Lanham wrote the screenplay for the film and the screen story is by Dave Callaham & Destin Daniel Cretton. The film opens in theaters on September 3, 2021.
Cast: Simu Liu, Awkwafina, Meng'er Zhang, Tony Leung, Fala Chen, Michelle Yeoh
Director: Destin Daniel Cretton
Screenwriters: David Callaham, Destin Daniel Cretton, Andrew Lanham
Runtime: 2 hours 12 minutes