Shang-Chi (Origin) Marvel’s Kung Fu Master

Shang-Chi is one of the best hand-to-hand combatants in Marvel comics and he has been known as a master of Kung Fu since his first appearance in Special Marvel Edition #15. He was born into a wealthy family who had him kidnapped by agents of The Hand to be trained in their ways, but Shang turned on them and went back home to China with his parents, only to find out they were dead. This article will explore all aspects of the kung fu master’s history.

History of Shang Chi

Shang-Chi first appeared in 1973 in Special Marvel Edition #15. He was created by writer Steve Englehart and artist Jim Starlin, Shang-Chi was the first Marvel comic book hero of Asian descent.

Chi is the son of Fu Manchu, who was known as an evil genius. Apart from being the son of Fu Manchu, Shang-Chi also has a sister who is more famous than he is. Her name is Fah Lo Suee and she was known in some circles as The Cat. She first appeared in 1977 on Marvel Team-Up #64 when Spiderman teams up with Shang Chi’s second incarnation Lonnie Machin to fight against Hydra agents led by Baron Strucker.


Shang-Chi was trained in the art of kung fu by a man named Zheng Zu. His skills were so great that he defeated an evil dragon on Mount Everest as well as Frankenstein’s Monster! He also had to fight the world’s mightiest martial artists in order to become the Master of Kung Fu.

Shang-Chi had to fight the world’s mightiest martial artists in order to become the Master of Kung Fu. In his first appearance, he was hired by wealthy socialite Sir Denis Nayland Smith and James Bond author Ian Fleming (under assignment) as a bodyguard for Dr. Gilda Radner at an expedition site in Vietnam. Bad guy organization HYDRA attempted to steal some scrolls from her excavation but she refused them and Shang Chi saved her life!

In 1976, Marvel gave Shang-Chi his own comic book series which ran until 1983 for 35 issues. He has appeared sporadically since then including stints with Spiderman and Iron Fist when they formed a team called The Protectors. He is a member of the Avengers as well.

Powers and Abilities

Shang Chi is the best fighter in Marvel Universe. That is literally his power.  His power is being really, really good at hand-to-hand combat! That said, Shang Chi does have some other powers as well. He can increase his strength by drinking water from China (his homeland),  and he can slow downtime. 

Shang Chi can also use pressure points to find his opponent’s weakness. He is an expert in martial artist and 23 other forms of art. He is an expert grappler, judo fighter, kickboxer, kung fu master, etc. 

Shang is also blazing fast and doesn’t give his opponents enough time to react while fighting. He can fight up to nine opponents at a time with ease. His punches are so powerful that they have knocked out multiple people who were in the same room as his. 

Romance and Relationships

Shang Chi has been romantically involved with multiple characters in the Marvel Universe. His first relationship was with a woman named Leiko Wu, who he married but had to divorce after she became an agent for HYDRA. Shang Chi has three children with his first wife, and they are not married because of her HYDRA involvement.

Shang Chi’s second romantic involvement occurred when he met his ex-Kung fu partner Orson Randall, and they dated briefly before realizing that their duties as warriors were too much to have a relationship.

He was also in an intimate relationship with the daughter of Fu Manchu, but she died during childbirth.

Team Affiliations

Shang-Chi is a staple in the Marvel Universe with many different affiliations and teams. He has been on both The Avengers and MI13, he was also part of Heroes for Hire at one point as well.

This means that Shang-Chi knows how to work together effectively with people from all walks of life,  and has experience in a number of different teamwork styles.

“Every time I deal with heroes, it’s like dealing with my kids.”- Shang Chi

Shang-Chi is well known for his teamwork abilities and quickly fitting into any situation where he is needed. Whether that be as a spy on Marvel’s espionage comic titles or being part of The Avengers, there are never many words wasted when Shang-Chi works alongside other characters. This shows just how adaptive and collaborative the kung fu fighter truly is!

Comic Book Recommendations

Under this heading, I will list two comic books that are recommended for readers who want to learn more about Shang-chi.

Shang Chi: Master of Kung Fu Volumes One and Two – This is a compilation of the first twelve issues in which Shang-Chi faces his enemy Dr. Petrie and seeks out the secret organization responsible for destroying his home village with nuclear weapons.

The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu, Vol. One – This volume recaps Shang-Chi’s early career, his first battle with The Beast With No Name, and the horrors of war he experienced in Vietnam.

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