Shang-Chi: How has he changed from the comics to the MCU?

Origin of the character in the comics

shang chi comics

Shang Chi is a original marvel characterbut everything that encompasses this superhero is present in the pop culture. In the early 1970s, Marvel was interested in adapting the television series to its comic book universe. Kung Fu, starring David Carradine. At that time there was a boom in martial arts that would extend another decade. However, Marvel failed to obtain the license. As an alternative, they would take over the rights of Fu ManchuSax Rohmer’s 1913 novel. Through this conquering villain, Marvel built his character, Shang-Chi, one of Fu Manchu’s sons.

In the original comics, Shang-Chi is trained in the martial arts by his father. In one of his first missions, the young man is sent to London to end the life of the Dr James Petrie, which according to Fu Manchu is a threat to peace. The boy kills him, but meets Sir Denis Nayland Smith, an archenemy of his father. He makes Shang-Chi reconsider, and he discovers that Fu Manchú is not a benevolent person, but a bloodthirsty conqueror. Shang-Chi breaks all ties with his father.flees his headquarters and promises to put an end to his plans.

Later, Fu Manchu would send Midnight (Midnight), one of Shang-Chi’s half-brothers, to finish him off. Sir Denis Nayland Smith also sends MI-6 agent Jack Tarr to finish him off. However, Shang-Chi would end up convincing the agent that he was fighting his father, putting the British on his side. A) Yes, Shang-Chi collaborates with MI-6, where he also meets Leiko Wua girl with whom he would have the occasional romantic touch.

character creation

master kung fu shang chi

Shang-Chi first appears in Special Marvel Edition Vol 1 #15written by Steve Englehart and drawn by Jim Starlin in 1973.

Marvel was correct in his prediction. Master of Kung Fu it was a success. The series came to have 125 numbers, despite the fact that it was not the typical comic aimed at a mass audience, but rather had its niche among adults and Marvel fans who were looking for slightly more cult works. Later, Shang-Chi would be part of The Avengers and other Marvel series, although the character began to be on everyone’s lips when Marvel Studios decided rescue the character for his Cinematic Universe.

Differences in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

The MCU’s Shang-Chi has many differences from its origins in the comics. The character has been modernized, as well as everything around him. This is due to several reasons, among which is that Marvel lost the rights to Sax Rohmer’s novel.


The modern Shang-Chi appears in Shang-Chi and the legend of the Ten Rings, released in August 2021 and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton. The character of Shang-Chi is played by Sim Liu. His father will no longer be Fu Manchu, but Xu Wen Wu an ancient conqueror over a thousand years old who discovered ten rings that gave him powers, including immortality. He is played by actor Tony Chiu-Wai Leung. Shang-Chi’s partner is also a new character, Katy, brought to life by actress Nora Lum (Awkwafina). On the other hand, the typical role he played in the comics Leiko Wu has been completely transformed. Character now called Xu Xialingis played by Meng’er Zhang and, on this occasion, is the protagonist’s sister.

Differences in plot

To understand the origin of Shang-Chi in the UCM, you have to go back to the past of his fatherXu Wenwu, a warrior who discovers ten rings that give him immense power. Thanks to them, he becomes a conqueror and founds his own army: The Ten Rings, which function underground for years.

Back in the 1990s, Wenwu decides to investigate an apparent secret village: ta lo. Wenwu goes to the place with a large expedition of his army, but to the forest he repels the intruders. They all die, but Wenwu survives thanks to his rings. After entering the forest, a master of martial arts, yin li, attacks him, and Wenwu falls defeated before her. Both in combat and at her feet, because the two end up falling in love. Shortly after, this couple married and had two children: Shang-Chi and Xu Xialing. That is when Wenwu decides to remove the bracelets from her arms to grow old with her.

yin li

One night, some mobsters seek revenge on Wenwu. They enter his house and Ying Li murdered in front of his children, taking advantage of the fact that Wenwu is not at home. The veteran put his rings back on and killed most of those who murdered his wife, taking little Shang-Chi with him to witness the revenge. Shortly after, the army reconvenes and little Shang-Chi is trained in martial arts. She will also her sister, albeit secretly.

shang chi training

Wenwu discovers the whereabouts of the leader of Ying Li’s assassins when Shang-Chi is already a teenager, and he sends his son to kill him. Following a parallelism with the comic, he does it, but decides abandon his father just at the moment in which revenge is charged. Later, Shang-Chi begins to live a normal life until one day he is attacked and the pendant that his mother gave him is stolen. He will soon find out that Wenwu is using his army to bring his wife back. However, the character is deceived, and totally blinded by his wishes, he releases a beast, which ends up costing him his life. Before dying, Wenwu gives the rings to his son, thus transferring the powers that it has had for centuries.

Shang-Chi’s powers

Unlike other Marvel superheroes, Shang-Chi’s powers are not fully defined. Basically, it is a normal and ordinary human martial arts expert who acquires certain extraordinary abilities thanks to the rings.

His prowess as a fighter is greatly enhanced by the power of the rings, which transfer more and more power to him the more he has equipped on his arms. Some of these superhuman abilities are a greater physical strengtha strength and durability in combathigher speed and a huge agility and reflections. Furthermore, it is practically immortal, and if you don’t remove the rings, you shouldn’t age either. Finally, there are some extra powers derived from the Energy management. Abilities that have been discovered little by little in the comics and that will also appear with total certainty in future appearances of the superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, since the spectrum of possibilities is very wide, so the writers of Shang-Chi they can play very well to endow the character with some never-seen-before abilities.

shang chi powers

As weaknesses, Shang-Chi he is a mere mortal if he does not equip the rings discovered by his father. He can defend himself without them thanks to his proficiency in martial arts, but if he throws the rings in combat and fails to retrieve them, the hero will be in trouble.

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