Shang-Chi, the MCU’s first Asian hero, is absolutely hated by the entire Marvel universe in his own comic series, and his shady past isn’t helping.
Warning: contains spoilers for Shang-Chi #3!
The newest hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Shang-Chi, is hated by practically everyone in the comics. He’s steadily making more and more enemies, especially among his friends. In Shang-Chi vs the Marvel Universe #3, Shang-Chi faces his greatest threat, and it doesn’t come in the form of a battle with villains, but rather from pressure from both his superhero friends and the member of his family.
In current comics continuity, Shang-Chi has recently been promoted to Supreme Leader of the Five Weapons Society after the defeat of his father, the previous Supreme Leader. Over the course of the previous two issues, Shang-Chi has faced a dilemma: what to do with a massive personal army that, until very recently, was an immensely powerful society specializing in organized crime? Shang-Chi has decided to reform the Five Weapons Society and make amends for his father’s misdeeds…but the organization is steeped in traditions that Shang-Chi is finding very hard to change.
The heroes of the Marvel Universe are naturally suspicious of Shang-Chi’s intentions with his father’s organization. Shang-Chi has already faced Spider-Man and Captain America; in this issue, he fights Wolverine, who’s come to take Zhilan – a friend of Shang-Chi’s family and a mutant – to the island haven of Krakoa. The hot-headed Wolverine attacks Shang-Chi, having no love for the Five Weapons Society. But when Shi-Hua, Shang-Chi’s sister, learns Zhilan is a mutant, she becomes hostile. “Our father taught that mutantkind has the potential to become the most devastating colonial power the world has ever seen…it’s our duty to take her down!” When Shang-Chi saves Wolverine from certain death at the edge of a cliff, Shi-Hua is incredulous. “He’s our enemy! Whose side are you on!?”
At this point, Shang-Chi is no longer fully trusted by the Avengers, the X-Men, or even his own family. He makes no friends by retaining his station and his army – but it’s clear that Shang-Chi doesn’t always agree with the traditions of the Five Weapons Society. Case in point: the tradition of placing a statue of the Supreme Leader inside their New York headquarters. To Shang-Chi, the statue is excessive, but the Five Weapons Society believes their leader must be honored in such a manner. To deny the statue is to insult the organization that Shang-Chi’s father created.
Shang-Chi has powerful friends, but their respect is not unconditional; he could be in real, tangible danger if his family’s repeated calls to respect tradition go unheeded. To say nothing of angering three prominent heroes in the Marvel Universe; Wolverine is far less reasonable than Captain America and Spider-Man. Shang-Chi is officially surrounded by enemies on all sides – and unfortunately, they’re enemies of his own making.
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