Facts About Shang-Chi The Kung Fu Legend:
Shang-Chi is one of Marvel’s greatest hand to hand combatants. He is also the first ever Asian character to star in a lead role in a live action movie under the Marvel Cinematic Universe banner. For the comic book fans, Shang-Chi is a known figure but the casual fans may or may not have too much information and may not be aware of the character. Shang-Chi is a celebrated hero and he is, in more ways than one, a milestone for Marvel Studios. How well do you guys know Shang-Chi? Quirkybyte has got you covered.
1. His name has a deeper meaning
It was the 1970’s. The United States of America was shifting their love of movies from crime dramas to Kung Fu action movies. The world of martial arts was gaining increasing foothold in the States. That is when Jim Starlin and Steve Englehart sat together to create an Asian superhero that could answer the call of the 70s. Shang-Chi literally means “The Rising and Advancing of the Human Spirit”. The 70’s and 80s were tumultuous times in the states. Racial tensions were high and Anti-War sentiment was gripping the nation. Shang-Chi represented a community that was despised by the majority of Americans and a sect of fiction that no one dared to look at. Shang-Chi was a slap on the face for every trend that America was breathing into at that time.
2. Friends with many well-known historical figures
For a man known as Shang-Chi, it comes as a great surprise that he could be a part of British culture. He knows martial arts and is a product of the Chinese folk-lore. But how is a guy called Shang-Chi related to Sherlock Holmes, the World’s greatest detective? It turns out that in one of his many, many adventures throughout the world, Shang-Chi met Clive Reston, one of the greatest agents and operatives of MI-6. Clive Reston is said to be the son of the great 007 James Bond. Moreover, Reston is also rumoured to be the descendant of Sherlock Holmes. Reston and Shang-Chi are said to be related through a long and convoluted family gene tree. This means Shang-Chi is related to Sherlock Holmes.
3. His fight with Iron Fist was a tie
Before Shang-Chi, the master of the mystical discipline of the enigmatic oriental martial arts technique in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was Iron Fist. Since the Netflix shows were supposed to fall under the MCU, it makes sense. But did you know that Shang-Chi, one of the top contenders for the throne of the “Greatest Martial Artist Ever”, has fought Iron Fist and almost defeated him. Danny Rand once fought the Master of All Kung-Fu. Using his Chi manipulation and concentration techniques, Rand turned out to be quite the opponent for Shang-Chi but Shang-Chi’s overall versatility in every Martial Art technique to have been ever created was also a deciding factor for the outcome of the fight.
4. His father is a big time Super-Villain
Fu Manchu was already a popular antagonist before Marvel brought him to their universe. When Marvel Comics bought the rights to the character, they decided to revamp the guy into a classic super villain from an exotic land (and turn him into one heck of a racist stereotype in the process). Shang-Chi was the son of Fu Manchu and from childhood, his father trained him and turned his own son into a human weapon for hire. Shang-Chi was sent to assassinate Dr Petrie. While trying to kill him, Shang-Chi meets Denis Nayland Smith, who explains how evil his father really is. Shang-Chi jumps boat and starts fighting for the right cause.
5. He loves to exile himself
Throughout his career, Shang-Chi has had quite the number of self-imposition of voluntary retirement. When Fu Manchu died because of Shang-Chi’s refusal to let his father access his blood, Shang-Chi averted a terrible danger by being the reason for the death of Fu Manchu. But his father’s death was on his own hands and as a result of all that grief he decided to retire and started life as a fisherman. He did not want to take in these “games of death and deceit” so he wanted a normal, peaceful life. That came to a screeching halt when one of his village friends were kidnapped by an extremist faction and Shang-Chi had to clench his fists once more. This is just one instance. Shang-Chi just wants to have a peaceful life but the circumstances don’t let him to have one.
6. He is bulletproof…sort of
Well not exactly bulletproof but firearms are useless against Shang-Chi. His body may be human but he has honed his reflexes to such a point that he can use his hand-eye coordination to pick bullets mid-air. Shang-Chi sometimes uses metal braces in the battlefield. So if the bad guys start firing for some reason, Shang-Chi knows all he has to do is move around a bit and deflect bullets that come in his way and he will be fine. All he has to do is keep doing his dance until the bad guys run out of bullets since in a bare knuckled fight there is literally no one Shang-Chi could not make bite dust.
7. He was a British Spy
He started off on the wrong foot when his father tried to use him as an assassin. But Shang-Chi found the right path to walk on after meeting Denis Nayland Smith. Smith, being an authoritative figure in the British Covert Intelligence Agency MI-6, decided to hire Shang-Chi as a British MI-6 operative. Sherlock Holmes had Professor Moriarty to take care of. James Bond had Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Shang-Chi’s mortal enemy was his own father, Doctor Fu Manchu. All his years in MI-6, Shang-Chi decided to bring down his father’s evil empire. And he did!
8. He has a superpower
For a guy whose greatest selling point is that he uses only martial arts to defeat his opponents, Marvel did quite a good job at covering up the fact that the same guy is also a super-human. Shang-Chi, believe it or not, has a superpower. He can duplicate his own body and all his copied clones will have the same set of skills as Shang-Chi. Shang-Chi gained that ability after coming into close proximity of the Origin Bomb planted in Japan. We still have no idea if this ability is limited to Shang-Chi creating a limited amount of copies or if he can do it as many times as he wants to.
9. He has fought and defeated a dragon using nothing but Kung Fu
When the Hand tasked Gorgon to raid Madripoor, little did Wolverine and Shang-Chi, who were sent there to stop whatever the Hand was planning to do, knew that they would be in for one hell of a surprise. Gorgon managed to awaken a dragon like creature that was hibernating under Madripoor Island. Shang-Chi, all alone, could not defeat him but tried his best to contain the creature to the island. The creature escaped to Hong Kong and Shang-Chi decided to use Pym Particles to grow into a humongous size and defeat the Dragon on an even playing field. He succeeded. The Dragon, as well as Gorgon’s base, were destroyed by Shang-Chi.
10. His martial arts skills are inspired from Wushu
In China, Wushu is not just one martial art technique. It is a broad term that encompasses a huge variety of close combat disciplines from different regions of China. Shang-Chi is well versed in dozens of such styles, just like Bruce Lee was. Using the Gun Style, Shang-Chi can use long armed weapons like staffs and poles to fight opponents from a distance or use Wing Chun to get up close and personal with the bad guys. Apart from shuriken throwing and dual sword fighting techniques, Shang-Chi also knows Jian – a formidable but highly difficult to master martial art style which uses a double edged sword as the rpiamry weapon of combat.
Do I really look like a guy with a plan? You know what I am? I’m a dog chasing cars. I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught it! You know, I just… do things