REVIEW: ‘Shang-Chi’, Issue #9

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Shang-Chi #9 - But Why Tho

Shang-Chi #9 is written by Gene Luen Yang, illustrated by Marcus To, colored by Sunny Gho, and lettered by VC’s Travis Lanham. It’s published by Marvel Comics. Part one of “Blood and Monsters” pits Shang-Chi and the Five Weapons Society against none other than Shang-Chi’s grandfather Xin, who leads the Qilin Riders of Ta-Lo. Obsessed with destroying the legacy of Shang-Chi’s father Zheng Zhu, Xin manages to summon creatures known as the Taotie, which will hunt down and kill the Master of Kung Fu and his entire family.

Throughout the entirety of the “Brothers and Sisters” miniseries and the “Shang-Chi VS The Marvel Universe” story arc, Shang-Chi’s relationship with his family has been front and center. In taking up the mantle of Supreme Commander of the Five Weapons Society, he’s come into conflict with his fellow heroes as well as his family. And that conflict with family continues, as his grandfather’s out to kill him and his siblings and has his mother hostage. I genuinely appreciate that Yang has kept “family” as the main theme of the Shang-Chi series, or more appropriately “everyone in your family wants to kill you.”

Yang is joined on this new story arc by To, who’s illustrated Marvel comics including Excalibur and DC titles such as Red RobinThe Flash. Though he previously illustrated a Shang-Chi story in last year’s Marvel’s Voices: Identity, To proves that he’s definitely game for illustrating more of the Master of Kung-Fu’s adventures. The book is packed with plenty of kung-fu action, as Shang-Chi’s kicks and punches leave fiery trails in their wake. To also draws arrows and daggers with a trajectory that feel like they’re flying right at the reader’s face. But the biggest draw of the issue has to be the Taotie. They are massive, lionesque beasts sporting jade masks and glowing red eyes, resulting in some absolutely nightmarish moments when they leap at their prey.

Topping it all off is Gho’s colors, which vary based on the character’s garb. Xin wears a dark purple suit of armor and a fur-lined cape, serving as a bold contrast to Shang-Chi’s red and gold tunic. And the majority of the action takes place in the small Hawaiian town of Kailua-Kona, with the reddish-orange background representing a setting sun. The palm trees and sandy beaches also make for an interesting setting for a fight scene. It’s hard to stand the right way in sand. Lanham depicts characters’ shouts in jagged word balloons and slowly increases the size of the lettering when characters shout. The slanting letters also help with the intensity of the speech.

Shang-Chi #9 launches a new story arc and brings on a new artist, with a story that’ll appeal to comic book fans of every caliber. If you loved Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, or if you’re looking to get into Shang-Chi’s comics, this is the perfect jumping on point. I’d even go so far as to recommend it as a nice jumping on point for readers who are looking to get into comics.

Shang-Chi #9 is available wherever comics are sold.


Shang-Chi #9
4.5

TL;DR

Shang-Chi #9 launches a new story arc and brings on a new artist, with a story that’ll appeal to comic book fans of every caliber. If you loved Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, or if you’re looking to get into Shang-Chi’s comics, this is the perfect jumping on point. I’d even go so far as to recommend it as a nice jumping on point for readers who are looking to get into comics.