The Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings movie is coming out in 2021 and if you don’t know the character yet, here are 5 comic books to read.
Marvel has a lot of upcoming movies including Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. I have to be honest, he is a character I knew very little about. So where to go to get to know a Marvel character? Comic books of course! Here are five Shang-Chi comic books that I found that will help you get to know this character — they certainly helped me!
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: 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. Purchase here.
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 fi ght 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. Purchase here.
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. Purchase here.
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. Purchase here.
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. Purchase here.
Do you know of any Shang-Chi comic books that I didn’t list here and you think are worth reading? Let me know!
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Tessa Smith is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic. She is also a Freelance Writer. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for almost ten years and is a member of several Critics Associations including the Hollywood Critics Association and the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association.