After Shang-Chi returned last month in a brand-new series written by award-winning writer Gene Luen Yang and drawn by artists Dike Ruan and Philip Tan, Marvel has announced that the debut issue of this new era will get a second printing!
The action-packed Shang-Chi #1 introduced readers to the mysterious Five Weapons Society, a group of elite warriors who hold devastating truths about Shang-Chi’s past and future, including Shang-Chi’s newest enemy, Sister Hammer! Fans can check out Shang-Chi’s long lost sister on Benjamin Su’s eye-catching second printing variant cover and on series artist Dike Ruan’s second printing sketch variant, on sale November 4th!
I know I haven’t read a lot of comics featuring Shang-Chi. The most I’ve read featuring the character was when he was on an Avengers team a few years ago, and even then, he fit a slot on the team as opposed to feeling like a character. With the spotlight turning on the character with an upcoming film it was only a matter of time he’d again get his own comic series and now it’s here… I want more. Shang-Chi #1 is beyond fantastic and has me wanting to explore more of the character’s history.
As I said, I don’t know much about Shang-Chi so I walked into the first issue a pretty blank slate. I know there’s some problematic things with the character in the past but my knowledge of the specifics are limited. So, I can really only review what I’ve read. Not surprisingly Gene Luen Yang knocks the first issue out of the park delivering a story that feels like a “classic kung-fu” story but with a bit more of a modern sense.
The story revolves around the Five Weapons Society, a secret cabal once ruled by Shang-Chi’s father. Playing off the familiar concept of different “houses,” the society is shaky in its alliance and organization. When a leadership vacuum is opened things are thrown further into chaos leading to the call for Shang-Chi to return to the group and prevent its further corruption.
Yang is an amazing writer who brings his own experiences to his stories. We’ve seen his perspective numerous times before and here he infuses the story with small details that deliver an authenticity that makes it feel like more than just a “Saturday movie matinee.” The concept of the story is something we’ve seen many times before but it’s what Yang includes that makes it all come together a stand out. A discussion about Shang-Chi’s English speaking patterns or another character’s horrible Chinese are the type of things that makes the comic more than a simple martial arts adventure. It adds depth to the characters that make them feel much more real and they also subtlety takes digs into how Shang-Chi has been depicted in the past. This is a chance to do right by the character and it’s clear Yang is taking that seriously.
Dike Ruan and Philip Tan handle the art duties with one handling the segments in the past and the other in the present. The styles are similar and for me the transition between the two was seamless. The two deliver segments that flow with action that feel modern but at the some time a bit of a wink and nod to classic martial arts films. There’s a bit of infusion of manga into it and the opening especially feels like old Fist of the North Star manga I have. Sebastian Cheng handles the color while Travis Lanham does the lettering. Cheng’s colors help the transition between the two art styles and it works well delivering a slight different that plays off the “flashback” type art we sometimes see in manga. Lanham handles the “translation” aspect of the dialogue well with some slight jumps around that are interesting to see. A “ha” is outside the translated section for example. It’s a small detail but interesting to me as a reader.
Shang-Chi #1 is fantastic. It hearkens back to classic martial arts films with lots of action, lots of family drama, but also modernizes them to rely less on stereotypes and instead focus more on the characters themselves. I feel like I know more about Shang-Chi from this one issue than all of the other comics I’ve read featuring him combined. This is a comic I’ve been hyped about and it thankfully lives up to my expectations and in many ways exceeds them.
Story: Gene Luen Yang Art: Dike Ruan, Philip Tan Color: Sebastian Cheng Letterer: Travis Lanham Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
(W) Gene Luen Yang (A) Dike Ruan, Philip Tan (CA) Jim Cheung Rated T+ In Shops: Sep 30, 2020 SRP: $3.99
THE MASTER RETURNS! An ancient and evil secret society has stayed in hiding since the death of their leader, Zheng Zhu. But now his successor has been chosen to shift the balance of power in the world…Zheng Zhu’s son, Shang-Chi! Witness the Marvel Universe’s greatest fighter return to a world of death and destruction he thought he left behind long ago…and discover the secrets to Shang-Chi’s past that will change his world forever.
Don’t miss out on this epic tale of family, betrayal and justice as the incredible team of Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese), Dike Ruan (SPIDER-VERSE, BLACK CAT) and Philip Tan (UNCANNY X-MEN) launch a new chapter in the legend of Shang-Ch!
Extraordinary cover artist Mico Suayan delivers the final Shang-Chi #1 cover: an epic depiction of Brother Sabre done in Suayan’s incredible detailed style. Suayan joins superstar creators such as Inhyuk Lee, Jen Bartel, and Jim Cheung in commemorating the return of Marvel’s greatest fighter with this latest brilliant cover.
Armed with his trademark nine-ring sabre, Brother Sabre is a fiercely devoted member of the mysterious Five Weapons Society, a group of elite warriors making their debut in Shang-Chi #1. This new series, written by award-winning writer Gene Luen Yang and drawn by artists Dike Ruan and Philip Tan, will reveal long-hidden truths about Shang-Chi’s origins in the deadliest family reunion the Marvel Universe has ever seen. Don’t miss Shang-Chi #1 when it hits stand on September 30th!
Shang-Chi returns this month in a brand-new series by Eisner Award-winning writer Gene Luen Yang and acclaimed artists Dike Ruan and Philip Tan. The former Avenger will be forced to confront his family’s dark history when the mysterious Five Weapons Society emerges from the shadows. With the group’s leadership in question, a bloody power struggle will erupt into a full-blown war and only the deadly fists of Shang-Chi can protect the Marvel Universe from the fallout. Founded by his father, Zheng Zu, this ancient group of warriors will reveal long-hidden truths about Shang-Chi’s past and drag the hero back into a world he thought he left behind forever. Get your first look at this shocking family reunion in the Shang-Chi #1 trailer, featuring never-before-seen art from the debut issue!
Don’t miss this fascinating new take on the Shang-Chi mythos when this action-packed series kicks off on September 30th!
Kim Jacinto, one of Marvel’s most popular cover artists, delivers an electrifying take on Marvel’s greatest fighter in his cover for Shang-Chi #1! Known for his eye-catching work on 2018’s Avengers storyline “No Surrender,” the acclaimed Filipino artist celebrates Shang-Chi’s return by depicting the former Avengers in a heated battle. This stunning cover joins more Shang-Chi #1 variants by top talents like Jen Bartel, Dike Ruan, and more!
In this exciting new era, Shang-Chi will discover hidden secrets about his family that will rock his world as he goes up against dangerous new enemies, including the deadly Sister Hammer, a figure from Shang-Chi’s past who will stop at nothing to destroy him. Shang-Chi is in for the fight of his life in this action-packed adventure full of startling revelations, shocking betrayals, and pulse-pounding battles. Check out Jacinto’s cover below and don’t miss Shang-Chi #1 when it hits stands next month from writer Gene Luen Yang and artists Dike Ruan and Philip Tan!
It’s a deadly family reunion for Marvel’s greatest fighter when the mysterious Five Weapons Society resurfaces next month in Shang-Chi #1! This all new series, written by Gene Luen Yang and artists Dike Ruan and Philip Tan, will propel Shang-Chi into a brand-new era, boldly redefining his origin and mythos.
To celebrate Shang-Chi’s grand return, a host of all-star talents have showcased the hero in stunning variant covers, including artist Benjamin Su. The Pixar animator makes his Marvel Comics debut with a stunning cover depicting the Avenger assuming fighting stance as he bravely faces off against an army of new enemies. Don’t miss this action-packed new era of Shang-Chi when it kicks off next month!
One of the most popular comic book cover artists today, Jen Bartel is the latest superstar creator to deliver an incredible cover for Shang-Chi #1, commemorating the return of Marvel’s greatest fighter with a depiction of his newest foe, Sister Hammer! Brought to life in Bartel’s iconic vibrant style, Sister Hammer is ready to take down anyone who gets in the way of her long-awaited vengeance—including Shang-Chi!
Written by award-winning writer Gene Luen Yang and drawn by artists Dike Ruan and Philip Tan, Shang-Chi’s new era will expand his mythos like never before by introducing the Five Weapons Society. Founded by Shang-Chi’s corrupt father, Zheng Zu, these elite warriors have acted as secret protectors of China for centuries, but when Sister Hammer makes a vicious grab for power, the group is thrown into chaos and Shang-Chi is dragged back into a world he thought he left behind… Shang-Chi’s deep connection with the Five Weapons Society will forge a new destiny for the former Avenger, forever altering both his past and his future.
For centuries, the Five Weapons Society protected China from countless threats, but their incredible legacy has been shrouded in mystery—until now! Next month, the Marvel Universe will meet this deadly group of warriors in Shang-Chi #1, written by Eisner Award-winner Gene Luen Yang and drawn by superstar artist Philip Tan and rising star Dike Ruan. This trio of amazing talent have created a dynamic new cast of characters that will boldly reshape the past and future of Marvel’s greatest fighter, Shang-Chi!
Dike Ruan will soon bring these new characters to life in the action-packed pages of SHANG-CHI, but you can get your first glimpse at the warriors in his spectacular variant cover for the debut issue! Emerging from the shadows is the vengeful Sister Hammer, the wise Brother Staff, the fiercely devoted Brother Sabre, and the young and sharp Sister Dagger. Together, they will impact Shang-Chi’s world like never before when a vicious battle for control of the Five Weapons Society erupts.