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Preview: Shang-Chi #3 (of 5)

Shang-Chi #3 (of 5)

(W) Gene Luen Yang (A) Dike Ruan (A/CA) Philip Tan
32 PGS./Rated T+
In Shops: Nov 25, 2020
SRP: $3.99

DEADLY FAMILY REUNION!
Shang-Chi gets to know the family he never knew he had…
But which of his siblings can he trust, and which are trying to kill him?
Plus, witness the horrifying origin of Shang-Chi’s father!

Shang-Chi #3 (of 5)

Preview: Web of Venom: Empyre’s End #1

Web of Venom: Empyre’s End #1

(W) Clay McLeod Chapman (A) Guiu Villanova (CA) Philip Tan
Rated T+
In Shops: Nov 04, 2020
SRP: $4.99

KNULL IS COMING VARIANT ALSO AVAILABLE
SPINNING OUT OF EMPYRE, KNULL’S DOMAIN BEGINS!
• FOR WEEKS, chaos engulfed Earth and space alike. First, the corpse of serial killer Cletus Kasady was bonded to a remnant of a mysteriously powerful alien symbiote, resurrecting his psychotic alter ego, Carnage.
• THEN, the generations-long Kree/Skrull conflict reached a brutal head on Earth, with shocking and unforeseen consequences.
• MEANWHILE one ancient entity at the edge of the universe has awoken. Born of hate and darkness, it’s the entity that feeds on chaos and brutality-and one group of unlucky fighters is about to face it head-on…

Web of Venom: Empyre's End #1

Review: Shang-Chi #2

Shang-Chi #2

The debut issue of Shang-Chi was fantastic. Feeling like a breath of fresh air, the first issue set a new path for the character-building off of his history but at the same time attempted to right the stereotypes and wrongs of the past. Shang-Chi #2 ups the action as Shang-Chi goes after those who attacked him in the first issue but it’s not all fighting, there’s a lot of heart as well.

Written by Gene Luen Yang, Shang-Chi #2 delivers more than the usual foot soldier then boss battle you might expect. Yang adds depth by focusing on the relationship between Shang-Chi and his younger sister Shi-Hua. We learn of their abusive upbringing and the type of child Shang-Chi was. While he might be cool, calm, and focused, now, as a child he was spoiled and troublesome. His actions put his sister in danger and as we learn lead to her current situation. It establishes not just how Shang-Chi has grown but also the friction that exists between the two. The rivalry is more than just a simple jockeying for power, there’s a somewhat relatable past that adds depth to the story.

And that’s part of the brilliance of what Yang has put together. While the series could easily be the expected “kung-fu” story of a bad guy trying to gain power, the focus on the family adds so much. While the world is fantastical, those with siblings can relate to a lot of it. We have gotten our other siblings in trouble. There is probably grudges, even a small one, over incidents from when we were kids. Even those without a sibling can relate to similar situations concerning friends. While the story is fantasy, the grudges are rooted in a reality many of us have experienced and can relate to.

The art is split between Dike Ruan and Philip Tan. One handles the flashbacks while one handles the present. Sebastian Cheng handles the colors and Travis Lanham does lettering. Though the art is split, it flows well between the two. The switch isn’t jarring and not too noticeable. There’s also some beautiful art. It’s hard to say exactly what without spoiling it by the visuals and colors pop on the page with an almost magical element about them. There’s also an interesting use of panels as the “quieter” and “calmer” moments are broken up with standard block styles and the action leans more towards angled panels and spreads. There’s also a clear influence with classic manga visual tropes without leaning in to them too much and overdoing it. It has those elements but is still very much “Marvel” in the presentation.

Shang-Chi #2 is another win for the team updating what could easily fall into stereotypes. The action is solid but it’s the more human moments that really stand out in the issue. This is an issue, and series, that realizes that the main character at the center is what’s interesting, not just action sequences. Shang-Chi matures the character and series and shows that with a little work, classic characters can feel new and fresh while still honoring what has come before.

Story: Gene Luen Yang Art: Dike Ruan, Philip Tan
Color: Sebastian Cheng Letterer: Travis Lanham
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Preview: Shang-Chi #2 (of 5)

Shang-Chi #2 (of 5)

(W) Gene Luen Yang (A) Dike Ruan (A/CA) Philip Tan
Rated T+
In Shops: Oct 28, 2020
SRP: $3.99

THE HITS KEEP ON COMING!
Shang-Chi may have finally met his match in the form of this strange new assailant, Sister Hammer – BUT WHO IS SHE REALLY? Find out in this shocking reunion!

Shang-Chi #2 (of 5)

Shang-Chi #1 Gets a Second Printing with New Covers by Benajmin Su and Dike Ruan

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!

Early Review: Shang-Chi #1

Shang-Chi #1

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


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Preview: Shang-Chi #1 (of 5)

Shang-Chi #1 (of 5)

(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!

Shang-Chi #1 (of 5)

Shang-Chi Teams Teams with Brother Sabre on Mico Suayan’s Shang-Chi #1 Variant Cover

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 #1 Mico Suayan variant

Get Ready for the Return of Shang-Chi with this new Trailer

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!

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