Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings finally brought the character and the world of Shang-Chi to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Despite being one of the most original characters in Marvel, Shang-Chi was massively influenced by a lot of things during the time it came out. This was primarily the reason the character became popular because of the fandom that the characteristics of the character in the comics. We can be rather sure that this was the primary reason that the movie was able to succeed at the box office amidst the pandemic. Even though the movie puts Shang-Chi against the Mandarin who makes for a worthy foe there are various other foes that the character has faced before. Let’s take a look at some of the strongest Marvel characters Shang-Chi has defeated in the comics.
One of the most iconic villains of Shang-Chi was Sister Hammer. Similar to the movie she is also someone quite skilled in battle and she actually wanted her brother dead in order to maintain control of her father’s criminal organization, the Five Weapons Society. The movie actually puts in a mix of this character and other siblings to define a single character, Xialing. Shi-Hua actually matches in various characteristics of her brother and this puts Shang-Chi in a rather delicate situation in terms of combat. She gets dethroned by him eventually and he allows her to escape so that he can take on the mantle of the organization himself.
The Bride of Nine Spiders
One of the most interesting narratives of the comics saw a lot of the normal citizens developing interesting powers that somewhat resemble that of Spider-Man. This is taken from the narrative of Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu #1-3 which saw the tale from Shang-Chi’s perspective as he is plagued with nightmares of becoming a spider and attacking innocents. He then witnesses his friend Iron Spider getting captured and finds out that the Bride of Nine Spiders is the kidnapper. She proves to be a challenging foe for Shang-Chi but he ends up defeating her regardless.
Humbug is considered to be one of the most tragic characters in the Marvel comics and he faces a rather tragic end to considering this was also the time that the hero went too far. Heroes are known for going a bit too far when certain circumstances arise to provoke them. Shang-Chi actually ends up allowing vengeance to end up corrupting him in Heroes for Hire #15. Initially, a teammate Humbug is then infected by an insectoid hive-mind. This makes him betray another team member, Tarantula tot the hive-mind by blaming her for a hatchling’s death. Shang-Chi falls for Tarantula and ends up murdering Humbug.
Things went quite far in this narrative as we saw Shang-Chi head to space. The Avengers #1-3 narrative saw the Earth’s mightiest heroes standoff against the forces of Mars, specifically some inhabitants of the Garden. The guardian of this place is a massive automaton, Aleph, who purges the universe of unworthy species. But he meets his wrath in the hands of Shang-Chi when the latter cripples him. Later Aleph is actually annihilated by Captain Universe when the latter is mistaken to be an impostor. This actually goes to prove that lack of superpowers is not actually a big loss in the Marvel Universe.
Shang-Chi is known for his skills when it comes to using his mind for building strategy in battle situations and this is actually something that puts him above Spider-Man. During a fight with the friendly neighborhood hero, Shang-Chi looks for means that won’t force him to actually harm Spidey. The villain King Wild Man ends up infecting Spidey with the Yeren Root and this ends up transforming the hero into a Bigfoot-like creature. Shang-Chi manages to return Spidey to normal by removing the root and thus this proves that he is not only a skilled fighter but quite strong of mind too.
Shang-Chi actually takes on a cosmic level threat in War of the Realms: New Agents of ATLAS, with some assistance from the New Agents of ATLAS and Captain Marvel. Sindr is a character who is generally seen opposite the likes of Thor and Asgard. She is actually the daughter of Surtur and she chose to have a cauldron of flames instead of going for a mountain of food. This actually puts her above certain other villains that even the Avengers had to come across in their battles. Shang-Chi actually takes on ger and ends up defeating her with the help of the guidance that he ends up providing.
Shang-Chi’s father actually planned on resurrecting himself with his son’s life force but this was all foiled by Moon Knight, Steve Rogers, and Valkyrie, and Shang-Chi himself. This was actually a part of the 5-part story arc that began with Secret Avengers #6, where Shang-Chi starts encountering echoes from his father. But Zheng Zu actually proves to be a threat to Shang-Chi’s physical and spiritual well-being when he proves to be the character’s arch-nemesis. Teaming up with Marvel characters actually proves the status the character has amongst the other heroes.
The biggest part of the narrative of defeating the Bride of Nine Spiders follows with the revelation of the actual mastermind behind all the havoc. This was none other than Ai Apaec who is actually the self-proclaimed South American Chimera God. This proved to be a rather strong villain considering he possesses superhuman levels of strength along with arachnid-like abilities. But Shang-Chi takes on him alone by collapsing an entire building on him. He does do this by actually emptying the building beforehand. The Avengers end up capturing him right after the battle.
In what could be said to be one of the coolest moments from Shang-Chi’s comics, he goes ahead and fights a literal dragon in hand-to-hand combat using the Pym Particles. This fight between the giants takes place in the city of Hong Kong while the civilians run around looking for cover. Fans were actually wondering if this would be adapted for the screen but that did not end up being the case. Shang-Chi ends up defeating the dragon and also makes sure to throw its lair miles away from its original home in Madripoor.
Yes, the master of hand-to-hand combat actually had to fight himself at one time and this is actually quite similar to that one time Superman fought himself in Superman III. This happens when Shang-Chi is exploring the city of Kobe, Japan when he suddenly experiences certain visions brought on to him by strange matter that emanates from the remains of Gorgon’s dragon. We see him have a dojo fight with a dark reflection of himself which was supposed to be a certain form of introspection. This was clearly a reference to the idea that the deadliest enemies often lie within us.