A Fitting End, But a Far Better Beginning


(Photo: Marvel)

Shang-Chi has been wrestling with the accountability of dwelling in two worlds, one he wished to completely embrace and one other he hoped to depart behind. Even although the conflict and outcomes between these two appeared inevitable, the collection’ conclusion stops wanting making it appear “predictable,” no less than in a adverse sense. Shang-Chi #5 is probably not the collection’ most visually spectacular chapter or its greatest paced, however it’s a becoming finish to an excellent higher collection.

In a gap that’s about as dramatic as they arrive, readers see a superhero squad who’ve mastered their disciplines descending on a metropolis besieged by “ancient Chinese vampires” as an agent aptly places it. While the ferocity of the Jiangshi and Sister Hammer have been established earlier than, these opening moments reminds readers of that high quality in case they held any lingering doubts. A present of brokers and civilians being transformed into the Jiangshi subtly raises the risk degree by presenting not simply an assault, however an outbreak.

Though the bond between Shang-Chi, Sister Dagger, and Brother Sabre is stronger than ever earlier than in Shang-Chi #5, their reforged reliance upon each other is weighed down by some unaddressed reservations from Shang-Chi #4. Through visions of what might come inflicted on his thoughts by an enemy, Brother Sabre noticed visions of Shang-Chi taking the place of Commander and bringing the Earth to break.

At the time it foreshadowed that Brother Sabre might later intervene to save lots of Shang-Chi, maybe from the Jiangshi wound inflicted on him by Sister Hammer’s forces. Or maybe Shang-Chi would personally save Brother Sabre someway to unknowingly reassure his brother of his pure nature. Neither route, nor any route, was taken, nevertheless, even when there was a good alternative offered by Shang-Chi unwillingly having to strike out at his siblings. It’s an omission with no obvious purpose behind it which stands out much more contemplating how cohesive the remainder of these chapters have been.

As far as Shang-Chi’s dealings along with his conflicting worlds go, the ultimate situation dealt with the matter with poise. A mind-influencing microchip was a bit on-the-nose so far as personifications of the trendy affect on previous methods go, however the dwelling metaphor for the Jiangshi demons being manifestations of internal demons solid from trauma was a artistic answer and rationalization for his or her existence. Shang-Chi’s journey by Sister Hammer’s reminiscences seems like it will’ve been higher suited to maybe the fourth situation whereas leaving the conclusion extra grounded in actuality, however this peek into her thoughts is a visible deal with regardless. Some of Shang-Chi’s greatest moments got here from the expert warrior being transported to the worlds he was least conversant in, and the identical is true when reliving Sister Hammer’s previous.

Coming to phrases with Zheng Zu’s lasting affect is an final result anticipated because the venomous relationship was established lengthy sufficient in the past that one may’ve predicted possible outcomes of the collection, however the finale nonetheless manages to shock whereas staying true to its characters. It additionally neatly leaves the door open for extra Shang-Chi adventures to return with a renewed since of camaraderie imbued within the Five Weapons Society because it enters a new period.

Published by Marvel Comics

On January 27, 2021

Written by Gene Luen Yang

Art by Dike Ruan and Philip Tan

Colors by Sebastian Cheng

Letters by Travis Lanham

Cover by Marcus To and Sebastian Cheng