Shang-Chi’s comic book origins get huge MCU update

Shang-Chi’s movie was so successful, the new origin in comics directly copies the movie – but is the MCU too influencing the comics?

Warning: contains spoilers like Shang-Chi # 7!

by marvel Shang-Chi is finally a leading character again, thanks to the phenomenal success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings at the global box office. Totaling just over $ 430 million worldwide, the film was well received as the highlight of the MCU’s 2021 sequel. The film was so successful that it influenced the comics in Shang-Chi # 7 – but is this really a positive development, or is Marvel refusing to let the comics tell their own story?

Shang-Chi’s origins revolve around his father’s legal rights. Shang-Chi is the son of Fu Manchu – but Marvel never really owned the rights to the character, and perhaps realizing that building a narrative around a negative Chinese stereotype would be immoral (and hurt the character’s longevity. ), Marvel Creatives changed its name to Zheng Zu. Another plot element that was later dropped was Shang-Chi’s mother, who was originally white. The unfortunate implication that his Chinese side was wrong and the Caucasian side was Well, although unintentional, was quickly deleted (and was an editorial mandate, not the original author’s decision.

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In Shang-Chi # 7, Shang-Chi was able to rescue his mother – and withstood an onslaught from Thor and the other Avengers (at the end of the Shang-Chi vs Marvel Universe arc). With the Avengers and his own family no longer trusting him, Shang-Chi has a long discussion with his mother about his origins in Ta Lo. Zheng Zu, a foreigner, was found by Jiang Li (after Zheng Zu’s compatriots turned on him) and treated him again – but when he revealed his true identity as a criminal, he persuaded Jiang Li to stay a month at Deadly Headquarters from the hand to see his true nature.



Jiang Li eventually fell in love with Zheng Zu and eventually gave birth to her son Shang-Chi. This tale emphasizes Zheng Zu’s ability to change, where Fu Manchu’s original tale did not have such a theme. It’s a big lesson – that even the worst people who commit the worst sins can change – but it’s an element of the film carried over to the comic book. The two sides of the story have essentially become one.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is one of the most successful film franchises in history, and Marvel would no doubt want the comics to retain the elements that made the movies popular. But it comes at a cost, and it looks like Marvel can no longer tell two stories at once. Shang-Chi’s the lesson in the movies has basically transferred to the comics … but that’s not necessarily a good thing.


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Daniel K. Denny