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Shang-Chi by Gene Luen Yang, Vol. 1: Brothers & Sisters

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THE MASTER RETURNS! An ancient and evil secret society has stayed in hiding since the death of their leader, Zheng Zhu. But now his successor has been chosen to shift the balance of power in the world...Zheng Zhu's son, Shang-Chi! Witness the Marvel Universe's greatest fighter return to a world of death and destruction he thought he left behind long ago...and discover the THE MASTER RETURNS! An ancient and evil secret society has stayed in hiding since the death of their leader, Zheng Zhu. But now his successor has been chosen to shift the balance of power in the world...Zheng Zhu's son, Shang-Chi! Witness the Marvel Universe's greatest fighter return to a world of death and destruction he thought he left behind long ago...and discover the secrets to Shang-Chi's past that will change his world forever Don't miss out on this epic tale of family, betrayal and justice as the incredible team of Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese), Dike Ruan (SPIDER-VERSE, BLACK CAT) and Philip Tan (UNCANNY X-MEN) launch a new chapter in the legend of Shang-Chi! COLLECTING: SHANG-CHI (2020) 1-5


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THE MASTER RETURNS! An ancient and evil secret society has stayed in hiding since the death of their leader, Zheng Zhu. But now his successor has been chosen to shift the balance of power in the world...Zheng Zhu's son, Shang-Chi! Witness the Marvel Universe's greatest fighter return to a world of death and destruction he thought he left behind long ago...and discover the THE MASTER RETURNS! An ancient and evil secret society has stayed in hiding since the death of their leader, Zheng Zhu. But now his successor has been chosen to shift the balance of power in the world...Zheng Zhu's son, Shang-Chi! Witness the Marvel Universe's greatest fighter return to a world of death and destruction he thought he left behind long ago...and discover the secrets to Shang-Chi's past that will change his world forever Don't miss out on this epic tale of family, betrayal and justice as the incredible team of Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese), Dike Ruan (SPIDER-VERSE, BLACK CAT) and Philip Tan (UNCANNY X-MEN) launch a new chapter in the legend of Shang-Chi! COLLECTING: SHANG-CHI (2020) 1-5

30 review for Shang-Chi by Gene Luen Yang, Vol. 1: Brothers & Sisters

  1. 4 out of 5

    Paul E. Morph

    Eh, this just didn’t feel like the Shang-Chi I know of old. It felt more like a martial arts anime where the characters, who are ostensibly just very well-trained humans, nonetheless continually perform feats that are very much in the superhuman category. In this book, Shang-Chi, who let’s not forget does not have super powers (anymore) does stuff like shattering six-inch thick metal, leaping twenty feet from a standing start and catching bullets. He’s an amazing martial artist; I’d argue the be Eh, this just didn’t feel like the Shang-Chi I know of old. It felt more like a martial arts anime where the characters, who are ostensibly just very well-trained humans, nonetheless continually perform feats that are very much in the superhuman category. In this book, Shang-Chi, who let’s not forget does not have super powers (anymore) does stuff like shattering six-inch thick metal, leaping twenty feet from a standing start and catching bullets. He’s an amazing martial artist; I’d argue the best non-powered martial artist in the Marvel Universe; but he’s not Iron Fist or Karnak. I’m also tired of stories about Fu Manchu (or ‘Zheng Zu’ as Marvel now have to call him for legal reasons). Can we not let Shang-Chi step out of his father’s shadow now Marvel aren’t even allowed to use the character? There’s got to be more to him than ‘Fu Manchu’s son’, surely... The whole ‘Five Weapons Society’ thing also feels like a rip-off of the Immortal Weapons introduced in Matt Fraction’s run on Iron Fist some years back. The artwork was fine but didn’t especially impress. I’d give the art 3 stars and the story 2, giving this book an overall rating of 2.5 stars. I’m rounding down, though, as this just doesn’t feel like a 3 star book. My next book: They'll Call It Treason

  2. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea 🏳️‍🌈

    This wasn't for me, and that's okay! This was about 95% action with 5% of Shang Chi's regular life before and after the main plot. There's some backstory with his family and some history of the "cult" he was raised in. The art worked really well in the action scenes. Overall, if you like martial arts stories and action packed stories, this is for you! This wasn't for me, and that's okay! This was about 95% action with 5% of Shang Chi's regular life before and after the main plot. There's some backstory with his family and some history of the "cult" he was raised in. The art worked really well in the action scenes. Overall, if you like martial arts stories and action packed stories, this is for you!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Logan

    A great modern introduction to the character of Shang-Chi! So prior to them announcing the new Shang-Chi film coming out, I had never even heard of the character, as he was largely popular in the 70s and then Marvel forgot about him for the most part. But with the movie coming out, I felt this mini was a good way to get to know the character and it definitely was! The series cleverly introduces you to the world of Shang-Chi and I can imagine the film will be using lots of elements from this comi A great modern introduction to the character of Shang-Chi! So prior to them announcing the new Shang-Chi film coming out, I had never even heard of the character, as he was largely popular in the 70s and then Marvel forgot about him for the most part. But with the movie coming out, I felt this mini was a good way to get to know the character and it definitely was! The series cleverly introduces you to the world of Shang-Chi and I can imagine the film will be using lots of elements from this comic. The art isn't really my thing and the story did drag a bit in the middle but the final issue was solid and ended things nicely! I honestly wouldn't mind this creative team coming back to do a Shang-Chi ongoing! But overall, a fun read!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Subham

    This book was quit awesome! It focuses on Shang-chi as he is going about his life in SF when he is attacked by some crazy ninjas and his MI6 ex Leiko comes in, and then we get this whole story with secret warriors named "Five deadly weapons" who protected China and their five houses and Zheng Zu aka Shang-chi's father and everything. Its him learning about his fate and teaming up with Esme and Takeshi to fight Sister Hammer aka his own sister to protect this society and also save her in the proc This book was quit awesome! It focuses on Shang-chi as he is going about his life in SF when he is attacked by some crazy ninjas and his MI6 ex Leiko comes in, and then we get this whole story with secret warriors named "Five deadly weapons" who protected China and their five houses and Zheng Zu aka Shang-chi's father and everything. Its him learning about his fate and teaming up with Esme and Takeshi to fight Sister Hammer aka his own sister to protect this society and also save her in the process and maybe take his rightful place as the supreme commander? This book was so awesome and like the start seems funky but as you go deeper in the stories and learn so much history and why characters feel that way and Sister hammer is a cool addition and that ending was short but okay end. But the epilogue with Zheng Zu wow. The art is gorgeous and like each issue is a marvel to look at. The sequel to this is gonna be awesome!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Shadowdenizen

    4.5 stars. Read as single issues. As someone who's been a fan of the Master of Kung Fu since his first appearance, (and still has a complete run of that series), I was thrilled to see Shang Chi being re-introduced to the new generation of the Marvel Comic Universe readers! (OK, yes, he has made some cameos since his title, and had a few previous limited series, but I think he's still largely unknown to the Marvel readers as a whole.) Overall, I really enjoyed this updated take on the character. An 4.5 stars. Read as single issues. As someone who's been a fan of the Master of Kung Fu since his first appearance, (and still has a complete run of that series), I was thrilled to see Shang Chi being re-introduced to the new generation of the Marvel Comic Universe readers! (OK, yes, he has made some cameos since his title, and had a few previous limited series, but I think he's still largely unknown to the Marvel readers as a whole.) Overall, I really enjoyed this updated take on the character. And the fact that Gene Luen Yang was involved also added to the appeal, as I'm a big fan. Part of the appeal of the older series was Shang's relationships (to his father, to his sidekicks, and to his paramour Leiko.) While they maintain some elements of that original series, this is largely a "clean-ish", action-packed take on the character, including using the real name of Shang Chi's father [Zheng Zu], rather than the more common moniker of Fu Manchu.]) (Sounds like the movie might omit this character in favor of the Mandarin, but that's a discussion for another time.) This series just wrapped up, but I'm already looking forward to the next mini-series (Legend of Shang Chi), which starts next week.

  6. 5 out of 5

    James DeSantis

    This was decent. A little confusing on what the fuck was happening sometimes. I'm not huge into the whole mystical aspect of this book. However, the actual fights and dialogue were solid. Yang knows how to give believable characters and how they talk. The art was good though some of the faces and expressions looked odd. A bit of a mix bag, but solid for my first Shang-Chi book. Looking forward to what Yang can bring to the table with the next book. This was decent. A little confusing on what the fuck was happening sometimes. I'm not huge into the whole mystical aspect of this book. However, the actual fights and dialogue were solid. Yang knows how to give believable characters and how they talk. The art was good though some of the faces and expressions looked odd. A bit of a mix bag, but solid for my first Shang-Chi book. Looking forward to what Yang can bring to the table with the next book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Katie Florida

    You already know I love everything this man writes. This was my introduction to this character and I loved it!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lewis

    This was a lot of fun and a great introduction to the character! The artwork and action in this were so great.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Namratha

    I call myself a MARVEL fan and I am appalled to say that I had no clue that a superhero/avenger/ all-round cocky yet likeable ripped bloke Shang-Chi aka Master of Kung-Fu , existed. However I also grew up on a steady diet of Bruce Lee’s killer grace, Jackie Chan’s hilarious fight sequences and the zen precision of Ip Man. So much so, that during a misgotten time of my youth, I proceeded to mimic their moves against a window ledge. The window ledge won. I have the scar to prove it. But that's a (h I call myself a MARVEL fan and I am appalled to say that I had no clue that a superhero/avenger/ all-round cocky yet likeable ripped bloke Shang-Chi aka Master of Kung-Fu , existed. However I also grew up on a steady diet of Bruce Lee’s killer grace, Jackie Chan’s hilarious fight sequences and the zen precision of Ip Man. So much so, that during a misgotten time of my youth, I proceeded to mimic their moves against a window ledge. The window ledge won. I have the scar to prove it. But that's a (humiliating) story for another day. Devouring this book in all its martial arts glory was a no-brainer. The plotline assumes that you are familiar with Shang-Chi’s origin story and gruesome family dynamics. And yet, it fills in the gaps quite efficiently and as a first-time reader, you get to know Shang-Chi pretty well. In this edition, our buff young superhero is just trying to lead a quiet life in San Francisco’s Chinatown but is violently thrust back into the murky politics of his villainous father’s centuries old cult : The Five Weapons Society. Shang-Chi has been mystically chosen as the new Supreme Commander, a position he doesn’t want to embrace at any cost. And ensuring that he fails is his estranged sister, ace fighter and contender for the top position, Shi-Hua. Also a sincerely ripped lady with some serious issues. Brr. Shang-Chi must decide what is right for him and his extended and dispersed family. He will have to revisit his past, uncover some secrets and find much-needed balance. And for this, he must don his battle gladrags yet again. This book is a good blend of emotional drama, fantastical mayhem, undead creepies and kung-fu splendour. I definitely want to know more about Shang-Chi and his adventures. A good solid read.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy Bautista

    Already a fan of Gene Yang and his other comic titles, I was anxious to read his story to introduce to me Shang-Chi. I was thoroughly satisfied with this book as an entry point for someone like me, not heavily invested in Marvel or previous Shang-Chi lore, but intrigued with the anticipated introduction of the character into the MCU. The story gives a clear introduction to Shang-Chi that posits him as the champion of the House of the Deadly Hand as part of his "family" (alongside 4 other "brother Already a fan of Gene Yang and his other comic titles, I was anxious to read his story to introduce to me Shang-Chi. I was thoroughly satisfied with this book as an entry point for someone like me, not heavily invested in Marvel or previous Shang-Chi lore, but intrigued with the anticipated introduction of the character into the MCU. The story gives a clear introduction to Shang-Chi that posits him as the champion of the House of the Deadly Hand as part of his "family" (alongside 4 other "brothers and sisters" who are respective champions of their own Houses) but also as a "normal" person who works at Grandma Wang's bakery in San Francisco's Chinatown. The story primarily takes him away from San Francisco and into a conflict between the "brothers and sisters" as to who is the proper Supreme Commander of the Five Weapons Society, the overarching organization that binds these Houses and Champions together for the protection of China. I think the book sets up these characters well enough with an introduction and seeds of motivation to their potential future actions and interactions. Yang does a nice job taking care in not overwhelming the readers with too much history or culture that may scare away more casual readers but does not hide nor shy away from it either. I sincerely appreciate his style in balancing the incorporation of Asian culture, history, and concepts into the story giving light and representation and the telling of a new story, likely introducing this legacy character to the modern audience. I do recommend this book for anyone interested in Shang-Chi, whether because of the upcoming MCU movie or drawn to it because of the author Gene Yang. This is more of an introduction of characters and a world-building story arc, but there is one philosophical question throughout about how much the past or people from our past should guide or lead our present or point to our future. It's a terrific question to me as an Asian American and if that interests you, it is touched upon also. Note: I read this as single comic issues.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Will Brown

    I picked this up once I saw Gene Luen Yang was the author and I'm really glad I did! Shang-Chi's father may be dead, but his past comes roaring back when the cult his father once commanded chooses him as its next successor. Like a lot of other reviewers have noted, there's a lot of retcons and table-dressing done in the beginning, but a lot of it was necessary. There were more than a few harmful stereotypes associated with the character, from the way he spoke to opponents like *groan* "Fu-Manchu" I picked this up once I saw Gene Luen Yang was the author and I'm really glad I did! Shang-Chi's father may be dead, but his past comes roaring back when the cult his father once commanded chooses him as its next successor. Like a lot of other reviewers have noted, there's a lot of retcons and table-dressing done in the beginning, but a lot of it was necessary. There were more than a few harmful stereotypes associated with the character, from the way he spoke to opponents like *groan* "Fu-Manchu". The result of these changes is a stronger, more nuanced character who desires peace and acceptance after escaping an abusive upbringing. I really related to Shang-Chi's struggle to divorce himself from his past. Sister Hammer made a wonderful antagonist in this regard, as the abuse she endured drove her to fully embrace The Five Weapon Society while Shang-Chi tries to completely cut himself off from it. Neither option is entirely healthy, and both have to take some lessons from the other in order to truly start to move forward and build something healthier. On the subject of new characters, Brother Sabre is delightfully jolly and upbeat and Sister Dagger feels like a younger Shang-Chi, someone brought up in a narrow upbringing, but curious of the outside world. They're wonderful new additions and I hope we see more of them in future Shang-Chi stories. If you're looking for Shang-Chi book to tide you over until the movie comes out, absolutely pick this up.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kier Scrivener

    This was my introduction to Shang Chi and I thought his world and dynamics around his past and family was interesting that love and hate, drawing away and being drawn to is something he can never untangle. This might just be my experience but I find DC much better at introducing characters than Marvel, here I am often lost in the origin. This is Shang Chi's first solo series ever and a push of the character for those who would check him out before or after the 2021 film where he makes his live a This was my introduction to Shang Chi and I thought his world and dynamics around his past and family was interesting that love and hate, drawing away and being drawn to is something he can never untangle. This might just be my experience but I find DC much better at introducing characters than Marvel, here I am often lost in the origin. This is Shang Chi's first solo series ever and a push of the character for those who would check him out before or after the 2021 film where he makes his live action debut. And in 47 years of history, to finally have a solo series you'd think we might have a better introduction to who Shang Chi is as a character (as many will be coming across him for the first time) and though we did get glimpses of him and his character I did really feel like we were in a middle of a story that I didn't know and would have to jump through a myriad of different titles and fifty years to figure out. The story as a whole was interesting, the art wasn't my favourite type but didn't hamper the story overall. And I could be tempted into reading more of him, but mostly to steal a word from the climax it was adequate. 2.5 Stars

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jibug

    I really like Gene Luen Yang’s work and so when I saw this trade paperback for Shang-Chi it was an immediate buy for me. The story didn’t quite grab me but it’s still too early to tell. The plot was meh, but the characters is what pulled me in. I just really like the dynamic between brother Sabre, sister dagger, and Shang-Chi and I want to read about them again so I’ll definitely pick up the next trade if we get one. This comic is intended to get the audience caught up on the family history and I really like Gene Luen Yang’s work and so when I saw this trade paperback for Shang-Chi it was an immediate buy for me. The story didn’t quite grab me but it’s still too early to tell. The plot was meh, but the characters is what pulled me in. I just really like the dynamic between brother Sabre, sister dagger, and Shang-Chi and I want to read about them again so I’ll definitely pick up the next trade if we get one. This comic is intended to get the audience caught up on the family history and drama leading up to the present. It very much reads that way with flashbacks and storytelling. In that way it didn’t feel organic but forced and calculated in the way the information was presented. So I didn’t get fully lost in the story. I was very much aware of the storyteller/writer. It took some time to get used to the art but I got a hang of it and was able to follow along. Overall an okay read. Not my favorite of Gene’s however this is still a set up for what could be a promising series.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    Read more graphic novel reviews at The Graphic Library. Shang-Chi is holding down a normal job in a Chinese bakery in San Francisco’s Chinatown when remnants of his past life break in and demand he be pulled back into the cult of his father. Sister Hammer, Shi-Hua, recently killed the Supreme Commander of the Five Weapons Society, but rather than put her in charge, the flame of their father’s spirit alights on the Fist. Enraged that her father’s spirit would pick her brother, Shang-Chi (especial Read more graphic novel reviews at The Graphic Library. Shang-Chi is holding down a normal job in a Chinese bakery in San Francisco’s Chinatown when remnants of his past life break in and demand he be pulled back into the cult of his father. Sister Hammer, Shi-Hua, recently killed the Supreme Commander of the Five Weapons Society, but rather than put her in charge, the flame of their father’s spirit alights on the Fist. Enraged that her father’s spirit would pick her brother, Shang-Chi (especially after Shang-Chi practically murdered their father), Shi-Hua sets a plan in motion to kill her brother and finally become the rightful Supreme Commander. But, two others oppose her usurpation. Brother Sabre and Sister Dagger seek out Shang-Chi and help him regain the strength and will to take his rightful place as leader of the Five Weapons. Shang-Chi is sent down his path to confronting his destiny and the family he thought he left behind. Shang-Chi is an interesting super hero story in that it is steeped in ancient Chinese folklore with a dash of history as it relates to how the Five Weapons Society’s crusade to protect China from colonizing forces. Gene Luen Yang is know for crafting engaging stories, and this has promise to be one of them. Like many volume ones in a new run, the primary focus of this volume is setting up the world that we are dropped into at the beginning of issue 1, so there isn’t as much room to flex the creative storytelling muscles Yang has. However, the foundation laid with Shang-Chi’s journey and conflict with his family promises to be a fulfilling story. With the announcement of Shang-Chi joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this is a good bet to have on your shelves for interested students. Dike Ruan’s illustrations are colorful and enjoyable, but Philip Tan’s flashback art isn’t my favorite. Everything is very efphemeral, especially in facial details where there are lots of shading lines with less definitive facial features. Sara’s Rating: 8/10 Suitability Level: Grades 7-12

  15. 4 out of 5

    Theo Kallström

    This one is a fine introduction to the character of Shang-Chi, the people around him and the style of superhero story that can be built around him. Whether it's a good representation of what the upcoming film will be like is yet to be seen, but it's fast-paced and believable, even if the story isåpretty simple and not particularly memorable. This one is a fine introduction to the character of Shang-Chi, the people around him and the style of superhero story that can be built around him. Whether it's a good representation of what the upcoming film will be like is yet to be seen, but it's fast-paced and believable, even if the story isåpretty simple and not particularly memorable.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Neal

    Interesting and fun story with a group of characters I knew nothing about. Ending was a little too “jump the shark” for me, but still very enjoyable. Very curious to see the MCU film take on this.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sarospice

    Didn't give me the feel goods I wanted. Shang Chi doesn't want to fight for the Five Weapons Society, so why should I want to read it? Art gets very murky. Didn't give me the feel goods I wanted. Shang Chi doesn't want to fight for the Five Weapons Society, so why should I want to read it? Art gets very murky.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Merenwen

    Even though this isn't the first run of comics for Shang-Chi, this gives you enough backstory to follow along just fine. I'll definitely continue reading this series. Also... Esme is awesome :) Even though this isn't the first run of comics for Shang-Chi, this gives you enough backstory to follow along just fine. I'll definitely continue reading this series. Also... Esme is awesome :)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Andre

    This was my introduction to Shang-Chi as a character. I enjoyed the plot, the artwork, and the characters and look forward to more.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Paul Park

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nico

  22. 5 out of 5

    Bianca Macedo

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey Gregory

  24. 4 out of 5

    Steven Salazar

  25. 4 out of 5

    David Moreau

  26. 5 out of 5

    Art Posocco

  27. 5 out of 5

    Joel

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Scatena

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jack Stubblefield

  30. 4 out of 5

    Wake Harper

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