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Who Is Shang-Chi - Photo Marvel

Shang-Chi is the newest star of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and could be an integral part of its next decade — but his history goes back almost half a century. The character’s origins were problematic, but he has been modernized in both his comics and in his live-action movie debut that arrives in theaters this weekend.

With even some seasoned MCU fans getting to know this character for the first time, here are seven things you should know about Shang-Chi.

Who is Shang-Chi?

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Photo CBR

Shang-Chi was created by Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin in 1973. Shang-Chi’s name has an interesting meaning. In Chinese, Shang-Chi means “Rising and Advancing Spirit”. At first, Shang-Chi is told as a kid from Yang Yin, Hunan Province to be exact, a small fisherman village. There, he spends most of his youth by training hard to be a master of kung fu.

Inspired From Bruce Lee

Who doesn’t know Bruce Lee? Hearing his name, people immediately remember with an actor whose identical to Hong Kong action movies. This actor is not only known in his country but also in the States. Even Lee once received some movies that feature himself. Looking at Lee’s popularity in the States, Marvel, in the end, creates a character inspired by the late Hong Kong actor.

Shang-Chi In Comics

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Photo CBR

Created by Jim Starlin and Steve Englehart, Shang-Chi made his first appearance in “Special Marvel Edition” No. 15, published by Marvel Comics in 1973, and starred in his own comic book series until the early ’80s. A martial arts master frequently in battle with a father who wants him fighting by his side, Shang-Chi at times has craved normalcy just as much as he has super-heroics. In 2020, Shang-Chi starred in a miniseries from an all-Asian creative team of Eisner Award winning comic book writer Gene Luen Yang and artists Dike Ruan and Philip Tan. Yang and Ruan are currently writing and illustrating Shang-Chi’s ongoing series at Marvel Comics, which debuted in May.

The sibling rivalries

In the current comics, Shang-Chi has many half siblings courtesy of his father, each also a master of martial arts. In the film he has one sibling, Xialing, played by actress Meng’er Zhang. There is a competitive component to these relationships, with some of the most dangerous people in Shang-Chi’s life frequently being in his own family bloodline.

Shang-Chi's Plot

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Photo syfy wire

Like most superhero films, the plot is relatively simple: Shang-Chi (Liu) must go from an immature slacker who works as a valet to a man who believes in himself and, in doing so, save the world from evil. Evil, in this case, is his own estranged father, Wenwu (Tony Leung), the 1,000-year-old leader of the powerful Ten Rings organization, who is known in America as The Mandarin. Shang-Chi has a not-exactly-a-love-interest in Katy (Awkwafina), a fellow slacker in need of maturing, who travels with him for plot exposition purposes. His sister, Xialing (Meng'er Zhang), who he left behind when he ran away, must also learn to believe in herself after being underestimated and belittled due to her gender. In the end Shang-Chi, Xialing, and Katy team up to defeat mythical soul suckers, grow up a little and even provide a redemption arc for dear old dad.

But the approach to this familiar material, filtered through the lens of Chinese culture, creates a wholly new product that white superhero origin tales lack. The visual language is the most obvious. Wenwu’s story echoes the wuxia tradition of martial arts fantasy, and Shang-Chi’s action sequences recall some of Jackie Chan’s greatest hits. (Indeed, the hero’s fighting abilities are no superpower but the result of his father’s ruthless and abusive training regimen.) Even the “Ten Rings” weaponry of the film’s title, which Wenwu controls and which bestows on him an unnaturally long life, is reimagined from the finger rings of the comics to power bracelets straight out of Stephen Chow’s “Kung-Fu Hustle.” In its final acts, the influence of Chinese mythology becomes even more apparent, as the protagonists travel to a hidden village guarded by a vicious bamboo forest where mythical hybrid creatures out of Chinese fairy tales like pixiu, dijiang, and longma roam the landscape.

Who is Simu Liu (Shang-Chi): Biography, Girlfriend, Personal Life, Career Who is Simu Liu (Shang-Chi): Biography, Girlfriend, Personal Life, Career

Who is Simu Liu (Shang-Chi in Marvel's Superhero): Biography, Personal Life & Profile, Family, Actor Career.

Shang-Chi's Power

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Photo CBR

1.Master Of Weapons

Where most heroes like Elektra, Daredevil, and Colleen Wing tend to stick to specific weapons for combat, Shang-Chi has displayed a mastery of all kinds of weaponry, but especially swords and nunchucks.

Shang is adaptable, able to make good use of just about anything he can get his hands on. Of course, he is just as deadly with his bare hands.

2.Warrior At Peace

Something that definitely sets Shang-Chi apart from most Marvel heroes is his ability to remain at peace, even while in combat. While the likes of Iron Fist and Daredevil try to practice the tenets of Zen Buddhism to remain level-headed in combat, Shang-Chi is able to do it better than just about anyone else in the Marvel Universe.

Shang remains calm, collected, and clear-headed whether he is facing his greatest foes or overwhelming numbers. That's not to say that Shang-Chi has never shown anger and emotion while in a fight, but it takes something extraordinary to get the Master of Kung Fu to crack.

3.Pressure Point Precision

Much like Mr. Spock and most martial arts film characters, Shang-Chi has the precision, practice, and know-how to strike at a target's pressure points for maximum pain and debilitation.

He's far from the only one in Marvel capable of such things--Iron Fist and Daredevil have shown such expertise as well--but it's still something that sets Shang apart from the likes of Spider-Man (who Shang has trained in the past) or any of the brutish brawlers of Marvel.

4.Complete Control Over His Own Body

Needless to say, Shang Chi has precise control over all of his voluntary muscles, but he has also shown control over the involuntary in the past.

Shang-Chi has displayed the ability to control his blood flow to slow the spread of poison, the ability to regulate his own heartbeat, and even slow down his own bleeding. He has also been able to control his own nervous system such that he could numb himself to pain.

Who Plays Shang-Chi On Screen?

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Photo CBR

After MCU announced the list of phase 4 movies, the actor Simu Liu becomes a hot topic. Why not? His name is said to be the actor of Shang-Chi in the said movie. Liu is the first Chinese actor in these Marvel movies. Before entrusted to play as the titular character, Liu already appeared on a few Canadian TV dramas.

So that’s the facts of Shang-Chi that you should know. Surely you are curious with Shang Chi himself on the screen right? Follow for more information regarding video games.

Shang-Chi is played by Simu Liu, best known for his role in the TV series “Kim’s Convenience.” Liu is the first actor to portray Shang-Chi in live-action — and he’s the first Asian superhero in a Marvel Studios movie. Much like Robert Downey Jr. did for Iron Man, Liu has an opportunity to take the popularity of Shang-Chi to new heights and make the character a household name. Liu told The Washington Post he’s always wanted to play a superhero in a film and that he understands the significance of the imagery of being an Asian man saving the day in such a high-profile film.

The Avengers Connection

Whereas May’s “Black Widow” was a prequel-esque look into the past of the MCU, “Shang-Chi” is a broad proclamation of what is to come. Think of it as Marvel Studios 2.0., the beginning of a new decade after the sun set on the first Avengers series. New heroes. New villains. Things we haven’t seen before.

One of the film’s strengths is that it stands on its own, apart from the MCU. But there are moments and guest appearances that remind us that this hero’s on-screen debut is connected to a world that has been building on screen for the last decade (we won’t spoil them here). And there is always the possibility of Shang-Chi and his friends and family could be recruited for a new Avengers squad. Don’t be surprised if somewhere down the line he and Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury are having a chat.

Where to Watch 'Shang-Chi and Legend of The Ten Rings'

Photo MCU Times
Photo MCU Times

That’s right, folks. Right now, if you want to watch Shang-Chi, then you’re going to have to do it in theaters—an understandably dicey prospect for many during a global pandemic. Still, Disney is taking a chance on Shang-Chi, giving the film a wide theatrical release in the U.S. and internationally. Tickets are available to purchase here.

Last month (via Deadline), Disney CEO Bob Chapek called the theatrical release for Shang-Chi “an interesting experiment,” adding that it will be “another data point” for the studio as it tries to come up with a commercially successful model for big-budget feature film releases during the COVID-19 era. However Shang-Chi performs at the box office—also factoring in the ever-shifting state and national mandates around social distancing and venue capacity—will inform how Disney handles future releases, including other upcoming MCU Phase 4 blockbusters like The Eternals and Spider-Man: No Way Home, both set to come out before the end of the year.

Shang-Chi Disney+ Release Date Details

Of course, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will eventually make its way to Disney+. Right now, Disney has a planned 45-day theatrical release run (shorter than the traditional 90-day window) for the film, which means it should hit Disney+ in mid-October. If the box office is doing poorly, which is not exactly unlikely given the global pandemic, Disney could choose to change that plan. But, right now, look for Shang-Chi on Disney+ on October 17, 2021.

While we know Shang-Chi will come to Disney’s +, it’s unclear if it will be available for all subscribers or if MCU fans will have to pay an additional fee (usually $30) using the “Premier Access” model—Disney could choose to make Shang-Chi a “Premier Access” film for the rest of that traditional 90-day window. However, given the hubbub caused by the initial introduction of “Premier Access” around Mulan‘s release, which happened solely on Disney+, my money would be on Shang-Chi going straight to basic Disney+ access.

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