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Shang-Chi Just Showed Why He Has the Most Underrated Marvel Comics Series

Warning: SPOILERS for Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings #3


Marvel’s Shang-Chi’s new comic series is one of the most underrated in the company’s current roster, and the formerly C-list hero has an A-tier story that harkens back to the superhero’s roots while also looking to the future. Shang-Chi’s popularity has only skyrocketed in recent years thanks to the box office success of his MCU debut film, and multiple new series starring Shang-Chi were since published. But Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings #3 is the latest in the superhero’s new 2022 series that already contains magic, villains from the 80s, spy-thriller action and the famous Ten Rings becoming one.

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Shang-Chi is a rather unique hero in the Marvel Universe. His backstory and powers are occasionally subject to change, and he’s rarely featured in team-up stories (and in crossover events, he’s hardly even seen; he has yet to appear in 2022’s Judgment Day, for example). But Shang-Chi’s appeal comes from his personality: a confident yet calm martial-arts master who happens to be the best hand-to-hand combat specialist on Earth, and is friendly to a fault despite his deadly training.

Related: Shang-Chi Sets Up A Perfect What If Season 2 Episode

But in Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings #3, written by Gene Luen Yang with art by Marcus To, a new element is introduced into Shang-Chi’s life: the Ten Rings. These are not the Ten Rings of the Mandarin of Iron Man fame, but the Ten Rings from the MCU (bracelets worn on one’s wrists and forearms). Originating from the Jade Emperor himself, the Ten Rings open dozens of new story possibilities: Shang-Chi is now the only one who can wield the rings (everyone else is hurt by them), he is tempted by the power offered by the weapons, and old friends turn enemies when they attempt to steal the rings…resulting in the Ten Rings merging to become One Ring…which then turns into a portal.


Shang-Chi’s New Series Shouldn’t Be Missed

The portal releases small worm-like creatures which burrow into humans, Alien-style. The sheer amount of absurdity regarding the Ten Rings and the creatures, combined with Shang-Chi’s rather stoic personality, make for a delightfully exciting read. Shang-Chi is not necessarily known for a strong roster of supporting characters, but it appears Gene Luen Yang wishes to fix that by introducing multiple memorable heroes and villains per issue. These include otherworldly beings who insist on having “…a Game of Rings” upon seeing the creatures emerge from the portal.

Shang-Chi’s latest series, between the Game of Rings, portals, and the hero’s own temptation, is one Marvel fans cannot afford to miss. It is a largely stand-alone series without cameos by other, more popular heroes, but that is a strength and not a weakness: Shang-Chi’s world is singular and a visit from the X-Men, for example, would only get in the way. The MCU could benefit from any or all of these story developments, especially the evil nature of the Ten Rings worn by Shang-Chi instead of his father. Shang-Chi may not be as well-known or as popular as other heroes, but he certainly deserves to be.

Next: Marvel Officially Names Earth’s Eight Most Powerful Heroes

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