REVIEW: ‘Shang-Chi,’ Issue #6

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Shang-Chi #6

Shang-Chi #6 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. The conclusion to “Shang-Chi VS. The Marvel Universe” finds Shang-Chi torn between the heroes of the Marvel Universe and his family in the Five Weapons Society, as Captain America believes that the Society is still holding onto the Cosmic Cube from the second issue. The fight only escalates when Thor enters the fray, and Shang-Chi is forced to make a decision that may have major repercussions.

All of the issues leading up to this have slowly built up the conflict that Shang-Chi faces as the leader of the Five Weapons Society and a superhero, and Yang finally has him come to a decision regarding both lives. It’s not only a neat twist on the stress a double life can visit upon a superhero, but it also fits perfectly with Shang-Chi’s character. Although he loves his siblings and mother, he has no desire to follow in his father Zheng Zhu’s footsteps. Yet taking Zheng Zhu’s place as leader of the Society has led to conflict with family and friends. I’m glad this thread continues to be a throughline in Shang-Chi’s stories, including his film debut.

In line with previous issues, the story also pits Shang-Chi against Thor. Comic book fans, yours truly included, have discussed Shang-Chi’s skills at length. But how do those skills stack up to a God? The answer comes courtesy of Ruan and Farrell’s artwork, which finds Shang-Chi picking up a mystical blade said to be enchanted by the god of blades and thunder Takemikazuchi to battle Thor. Ruan redesigns the Master of Kung-Fu’s costume to resemble a samurai’s, complete with flowing red robes and silver armor. The two-page spread where Shang-Chi’s blade meets Thor’s hammer is worth the cover price. And the action doesn’t end there. Shang-Chi’s family battles the other Marvel heroes—Brother Sabre fights Captain America, Sister Staff enchants Mister Fantastic, and Sister Dagger goes toe-to-toe with Spider-Man.

Farrell colors it all with the vibrant, eye-catching hues that have defined the book so far; when Thor enters the scene, a massive bolt of bluish-white lightning rips through the sky, which has turned jet-black and stormy. Likewise, whenever Shang-Chi uses the Takemikazuchi blade, white-hot sparks literally fly when he swings his blade. And rounding out the artistic team is Lanham, who continues to switch between lowercase and uppercase letters whenever Shang-Chi speaks in Mandarin to his family or English to his fellow heroes. The lettering also shifts based on the character speaking, with Iron Man’s word bubbles turning into red-and-gold when he has his helmet on and Thor’s words resembling Nordic runes.

Shang-Chi #6 concludes the Master of Kung-Fu’s battle against the Marvel Universe with a decision that promises to have repercussions on his life. However, with the next arc promising to explore how Shang-Chi’s parents met and introducing a new enemy, his troubles are far from over.

Shang-Chi #6 is available wherever comics are sold.


Shang-Chi #6
4.5

TL;DR

Shang-Chi #6 concludes the Master of Kung-Fu’s battle against the Marvel Universe with a decision that promises to have repercussions on his life. However, with the next arc promising to explore how Shang-Chi’s parents met and introducing a new enemy, his troubles are far from over.