Review: Shang-Chi #1
In Shang-Chi #1, Shang-Chi has toppled his father and his organization. Now, he stands as the head of the Five Weapons Society, he’s using the organization to fix some of his father’s wrongdoings. Easier said than done, as attackers with beast-like hands start to attack, which leads to Shang-Chi locating a shop owner with a mysterious root created from an old Chinese Yeti. Even worse, Spider-Man is after a drug ring and believes both to be connected. Shang-Chi isn’t ready to divulge his association to his father’s old group. It’s only after Spider-Man falls prey to the yeren root that Shang-Chi has no choice but to fill Spider-Man in on everything. The only question that remains is whether it puts Shang-Chi at odds with his superhero brethren.
I’ve never read anything written by Gene Luen Yang before this issue. I know, it’s a total oversight and I know of all sorts of comics that everyone just loves but I just never had the chance until this moment but I left this issue feeling like I am going to just love where he’s going with Shang-Chi. I’m a fan of Shang-Chi, the character, and with this being billed as Shang vs. the Marvel Universe, I’d love to see how he handles some of the other heroes he’s going to run into with this series. He’s called the Master Of Kung-Fu. I hope Shang-Chi gets to prove it.
Now, outside of my own childhood fantasies of characters throwing down, I think the story is intriguing, with the yeren root, which is named after a mythological Chinese yeti. Just having something like that pop up here lead me down the Google rabbit hole of reading all about Chinese yetis. Awesome stuff. Gene’s dialogue feels really fresh throughout the entire issue and he does such a great job making everyone sound so different and really establishes their personalities.
Dike Ruan and Triona Farrell make the art team on Shang-Chi and there’s a good quality dynamic at work here. Dike employs a good amount of detail but doesn’t overdo it. There’s not a lot of wasted linework with his art. Triona Farrell’s colors just come off a hair too dark for me throughout the entire issue but it’s not enough to ruin my enjoyment of what I’m seeing on every page.
In the end, I’m glad one of my favorite characters is finding ways to stay in print and with a movie in the near future. It’s a good time to be Shang-Chi. I love the position he’s in and the fact he’s not going to play nice with others is even better. This first issue is definitely worth checking out.
Story: Gene Luen Yang Art: Dike Ruan
Color: Triona Farrell Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Story: 8.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.5
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review