Review: Shang Chi: Master of Kung Fu #3
Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy was quite ahead of this time. Movie critics rarely had heralded superhero movies up until the trilogy’s release, many did Nolan’s vision. The movies did something that adaptations struggle with. It satisfied the diehard comic book fan and the regular movie watcher. It pulled from the different stories already in canon while remembering that a good story must always be told.
One of the gifts that the movies gave audiences was the introduction of Ra’s Al Ghul, a storied character, who never saw his time onscreen until Nolan used him. As the character’s influence is evident not only those movies but the Gotham television show. In the third issue of Shang Chi: Master Of Kung Fu, we find Shang Chi’s father in an omnipotent position much like Ras Al Ghul, giving our heroes an intimidating adversary to face.
We find Leiko in the middle of who is behind the Hellfire Apocalypse, and it just so happens to be Shang Chi’s father, who faked his own death so no one would be the wiser. As Shang Chi enters the lair, he is able to reach Leiko and escape only to take on a hail of gunfire, as the truth is revealed about what his father had been up to, and where this doomsday weapon may be headed. As Leiko and Shang Chi look to escape the fortress, these two must fight their way out, through the failed experiments that his father created, where they were once humans but are mindless ravaged beasts who no wonder the compound. As the two are alone, Shang realizes he still feels some sort of way about Leiko, knowing that she is married only complicates his intentions. By issue’s end, the Omega team is getting closer, someone close to Leiko and Shang has other intentions and things between the two are reignited.
Overall, the story feels like a James Bond movie that more than tilts its hat at the famous spy. The story by Doug Moench is thrilling and commanding. The art by the creative team is enchanting. Altogether, a story that maybe Shang’s big-screen debut may aspire to.
Story: Doug Moench
Art: Jimmy Palmiotti, Paul Gulacy, Paul Mounts, Richard Starkings, and Wes Abbott
Story: 9.7 Art: 9.6 Overall: 9.66 Recommendation: Buy