REVIEW: ‘Shang-Chi,’ Issue #10

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Shang-Chi #10 - But Why Tho

Shang-Chi #10 is written by Gene Luen Yang, illustrated by Marcus To, colored by Erick Arciniega, and lettered by VC’s Travis Lanham. It’s published by Marvel Comics.  Part two of “Blood and Monsters” features Shang-Chi and the rest of the Five Weapons Society infiltrating the superhuman prison known as the Vault. They’re attempting to save Brother Sabre from Tao Lo’s chieftain Xin and his bloodthirsty Taotie; however, the battle against Xin also reunites Shang-Chi with his sibling Sister Hammer. Hammer was attempting to live a quiet life in Canada until Xin and his warriors attacked her, intending to kill her for a mysterious ritual.

The main conflict of this issue isn’t the fight with the Taotie – even though Shang-Chi and the Five Weapons do engage the mythical creatures in battle. Rather, it’s between Shang-Chi and the members of his family. At the end of the first story arc, “Shang-Chi VS The Marvel Universe,”  he ended up leaving Brother Sabre to the authorities, and prior to taking over the Five Weapons, he clashed with Sister Hammer. Long story short, Shang-Chi is not very popular with his siblings. Yang plays off this friction, with Shang-Chi clearly being torn between letting Sabre back into the Society or leaving him in prison. And continuing the connection between Shang-Chi and his siblings, Lanham continues to depict their speaking Ancient Mandarin in lowercase letters, shifting to uppercase whenever Shang-Chi speaks in English.

And when it comes to the comic’s fight scenes, To is a master.  He manages to capture each of the Five Weapons’ fighting styles; Sister Hammer takes up an ax and proves to be as proficient with it as she was with her trademark hammer. meanwhile, Brother Sabre lives up to his name by transforming his dinner tray into a pair of makeshift—and quite lethal—swords. But the standout, obviously, is Shang-Chi. In perhaps my favorite sequence, he plucks a rifle from one of the Vault’s Guardsmen and disassembles it in a series of quick movements. Each issue has featured a similarly impressive feat and I hope it’s a trend that continues because this is the Master of Kung-Fu, after all.

Arciniega replaces colorist Sunny Gho for this issue, but his darker color palette proves to be a boon to the issue. The forests of Canada take on a sinister green hue as Sister Hammer does battle with Xin and his warriors. Likewise, a blood-red aura permeates the Vault as Shang-Chi and his siblings fight the Taotie. The color shifts in hue once Shang-Chi and his siblings enter Tao Lo; things grow brighter and lusher, with enough vegetation to rival the X-Men’s home of Krakoa. Shang-Chi and the other Five Weapons also shine in their respective outfits, which each feature a different color scheme.

Shang-Chi #10 continues to explore the fractured family tree of the Master of Kung Fu, as he travels back to the land of his mother’s birth. With upcoming issues planning to explore more of Tao-Lo and the effect it has on Shang-Chi, Marvel’s premier martial artist is in for the fight of his life.

Shang-Chi #10 is available wherever comics are sold.


Shang-Chi #10
4.5

TL;DR

Shang-Chi #10 continues to explore the fractured family tree of the Master of Kung Fu, as he travels back to the land of his mother’s birth. With upcoming issues planning to explore more of Tao-Lo and the effect it has on Shang-Chi, Marvel’s premier martial artist is in for the fight of his life.