Shang-Chi has taken over the Five Weapon Society and works to change their evil ways. But his enemies are many and his mother is ready to reveal secrets about the family. Find out more in Shang-Chi #7 by Marvel Comics!
Writer: Gene Luen Yang
Artist: Dike Ruan
Colorist: Triona Farrell
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Editor: Darren Shan
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: January 5th, 2022
Previously in Shang-Chi: Shang-Chi was trained to be a killer for his father, who was the leader of the Five Weapon Society. Breaking free from his father’s evil teachings, he has taken over the organization and is trying to redeem them. Now that Shang-Chi is reunited with his mother, he is ready to hear more secrets about his family and perhaps the biggest one. How did the virtuous Jiang Li fall in love with Zheng Zu.
DISCOVERING THE TRUTH
Shang-Chi #7 begins with a group of people preparing to attack Shang-Chi. This is a loose alliance between villains like Red Dot, Lady Iron Fan, and Sister Staff that is about to interrupt a dinner between Shang-Chi and his mother. From Shang-Chi’s perspective, he is introducing his mom to the great fine dining of burritos! This gives his mother the courage to tell Shang-Chi the story about how she met his father.
Jiang Li was part of a hidden Qilin Island that protected a gateway. She was the daughter of the chieftain and rose amongst the ranks quickly. So much so that she was given an outpost on Earth. At her outpost, she noticed a man being attacked by pirates and Jiang Li risked everything to save him and nurse him to health. When her father found out, she orders Jiang Li to kill him. But she couldn’t because she fell in love with Zheng Zu. After believing him to be a good man, the couple had two children, one of which was Shang-Chi. Suddenly, dinner is interrupted, and the Shang-Chi begins to fight off their intruders. But another person is around the corner that may complicate everything even further!
THIS SEEMS FAMILIAR
I can’t help but notice the similarities between Shang-Chi #7 and the recent movie that has come out. It almost felt like they were trying to find common ground between the lore of both universes. Not to say that the creation of the Qilin Rider’s isn’t cool and engaging, it just seems like a near-direct copy of the movie. But making that creative decision sells comics, right? It helps bridge the gap between people who are only used to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the associated comic books. And that is a good thing for the industry overall.
In the comic, we see threads of love and redemption between Shang-Chi’s parents. But something set Zheng Zu back on his evil path after learning compassion. This is the hook that draws us into the next comic book. Even though Shang-Chi is our protagonist, he doesn’t get a lot of on-page time in this comic. So in a way, I’m lacking that character attachment in this story arc thus far, but I’m confident that will pick up the next issue.
BOTTOM LINE: GOOD FOUNDATION FOR A NEW ARC
I have my reservations about Shang-Chi as a character, but this new series seems to be bringing up new and interesting ideas for the story. Shang-Chi #7 is an excellent catalyst to supply depth to this cast of characters in a positive and meaningful way. But as a standalone book, it didn’t give me a lot to personally latch on to. Shang-Chi #7 is an above-average book at 3.5 stars and I’m looking forward to the next issue.
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Shang-Chi #7 provides a lot of background information that is engaging but doesn't connect us to the title character.