REVIEW: ‘Shang-Chi,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Shang-Chi #2

Shang-Chi #2 is written by Gene Luen Yang, illustrated by Dike Ruan, colored by Triona Farrell, and lettered by VC’s Travis Lanham. It is published by Marvel Comics. Part two of “Shang-Chi VS The Marvel Universe” finds Shang and his brother Takeshi, aka Brother Sabre, traveling to Macau to obtain a Cosmic Cube for the Five Weapons Society. However, danger soon rears its head as M.O.D.O.K., and his AIM scientists, Hydra, and The Hand, also want the cube. Add in an appearance of Captain America, and Shang has his hands full.

This issue pays homage to spy films, including the James Bond series, specifically Casino Royale. Ruan even gives  Shang and Takeshi the appropriate look of spies undercover, giving them jet black shades and sharply tailored suits; under Farrell’s colors, Shang’s suit is a dark red color-matching the color of his new suit. And as befitting a spy tale, there are double and even triple crosses galore. Considering that Shang has been known to work with spy organizations such as MI-6 and S.H.I.E.L.D. in previous Marvel tales, this is a great example of a character returning to his roots. In lieu of Casino Royale‘s high-stakes poker game, there happens to be a massive fight between mad scientists, terrorists, undead ninjas, and a Sentinel of Liberty with a Master of Kung-Fu in the middle.

And what a fight it is. Ruan has shown throughout his time illustrating Shang-Chi’s adventures that he has a grasp on how to deliver solid action sequences, and this may be his best work yet. Captain America’s trademark shield-slinging is employed, along with M.O.D.O.K.’s signature mental blast. Shang himself is no slouch, as he manages to hold his own against the various forces combined. He even gets to use Cap’s shield in a truly awesome moment. However, the issue introduces a new villain named Lady Iron Fan, who may be one of the coolest villains ever introduced in a comic. True to her name, Lady Iron Fan wields a series of razor-sharp fans that she can control with her mind. With her purple outfit and hairdo, fans will probably be visually reminded of Mortal Kombat‘s Princess Kitana or her sister Mileena.  And the ending even hints that she may continue to be a thorn in Shang’s side.

Yang’s script continues to explore how Shang’s new role as Supreme Commander of the Five Weapons Society is clashing with his role as a hero. Nowhere is this made clearer than in his interactions with Takeshi, who chafes at Shang and Cap’s bond and the fact that Shang intends to give the Cosmic Cube to Cap. In keeping with how Shang interacts with his newfound family, Lanham depicts their conversations in italicized lowercase letters to mark when Mandarin is being spoken. Shang is even greeted warmly by villains such as M.O.D.O.K. and Madame Hydra, and while he’s undercover, it seems like he’s playing the part a bit too well. A staple of the spy genre is a double agent sinking a little too deep into their cover role, and it feels like Shang will have to make a final decision sooner or later regarding the Society.

Shang-Chi #2 continues to test the Master of Kung-Fu’s bond with his superhero compatriots and his newfound family. The next issue pits Shang against Wolverine and promises even more family mayhem, which sounds like a recipe for an awesome comic.

Shang-Chi #2 is available now wherever comics are sold.

 

Shang-Chi #2
5

TL;DR

Shang-Chi #2 continues to test the Master of Kung-Fu’s bond with his superhero compatriots and his newfound family. The next issue pits Shang against Wolverine and promises even more family mayhem, which sounds like a recipe for an awesome comic.