Who the Clix? is a series of articles featuring information on comic book characters that have been made into figures for the popular tabletop game Heroclix. These articles are meant to help Heroclix players learn more about the characters behind their favorite pieces.
He’s not Bruce Lee. I swear. He’s not. He’s noooooot…: Shang-Chi
Appearances in Heroclix: War of the Realms, Wizkids Marvel 16, Deadpool, Avengers
First Appearance: Special Marvel Edition #15 (December 1973)
Team Affiliations: Avengers, Agents of Atlas, Heroes for Hire, Secret Avengers
Powers: Master martial artist, Mastery of chi, Self-duplication
Created by: Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin
Shang-Chi is the son of Fu Manchu, born in the Honan province of China. His mother is a white American woman that was selected for her genetic quality by his villainous father. Shang-Chi is raised from infancy in all manner of martial arts by his father and other tutors. When he comes of age, Shang-Chi is sent on his first mission to London. There he kills Dr. James Petrie, who Fu claims is a threat to world peace. Shang-Chi then confronts his father’s archnemesis before traveling to New York City for the truth from his mother. After her confession, Shang-Chi realizes that his father is actually an evil man and becomes determined to thwart the plans of his progenitor.
For years, Shang-Chi battles his father and other siblings in numerous adventures. Some times he is even aided by his father’s foes or some of his own half-siblings. Eventually, Shang-Chi watches his father’s death and is emotionally distraught over it. Unwilling to continue adventuring, Shang-Chi disappears from his life and returns to China to live out his days as a simple fisherman.
This retirement does not last as Shang-Chi returns to aid old friends and discovers that his father is actually still alive. This brings the hero back into adventuring full time which eventually results in him joining a reformed Heroes for Hire alongside Colleen Wing and Humbug. While this team does not last for too long, it brings Shang-Chi into contact with more of the world’s heroes. He battles against Hand Ninjas when Daredevil creates Shadowland and aids Spider-Man in his battle against Mister Negative.
He joins the Secret Avengers, led by Steve Rogers, in battling the Shadow Council. Shang-Chi also trains Spider-Man in some martial arts disciplines, leading to Spider-Man developing his own style. He is also instrumental in helping the other heroes reverse the effects of the “Spider-Island” infection.
Shang-Chi joins the Avengers during the war against the Builders. He is among the response team sent to Madripoor when the Gorgon awakens an ancient dragon sleeping beneath the city. Shang-Chi is temporarily given Pym Particles that allow him to grow to the size of the dragon and defeat it in giant hand to hand combat. When the Avengers split due to the Illuminati’s manipulation of Captain America’s mind, Shang-Chi joins Sunspot’s Avengers. During a trip to an incursion point in Japan, he temporarily gains the ability to create duplicates of himself.
Shang-Chi is later pulled into a web of intrigue surrounding his former lover Leiko Wu. After many betrayals and twists and turns, Leiko is resurrected and revealed to have become involved in triad matters. She is able to summon the spirits of the dead to punish Shang-Chi’s brother Midnight Sun and stops just short of murdering another villain.
After a fundraiser along fellow heroes, Shang-Chi joins a new team known as the Protectors, consisting of Amadeus Cho Hulk, Ms. Marvel, Jimmy Woo and Jake Oh in order to help a group of civilians that are abducted by an alien Prince.
Shang-Chi is among those heroes that resist Hydra after it’s takeover of the United States. Shang-Chi then trains Domino in some of his advanced techniques before being disappointed by her ease at killing foes.
During the War of the Realms, Shang-Chi travels to Seoul to help defend it from Queen Sindr along other Protectors. After Malekith’s forces are defeated, Shang-Chi returns to New York City and begins training the young hero Sword Master. Shang-Chi hopes to curb some of the young heroes’ more impulsive traits and instill discipline. While this is going on, a tech mogul is able to use advanced portal technology to connect a number of cities on the Asian continent or that have majority Asian populations. The mogul claims his goal is to allow citizens to explore and experience each other’s cities without massive travel cost or government intervention.
This also leads to Shang-Chi and Sword Master encountering Ares and helping him rescue one of his sons. This leads to a complicated scheme involving dragons and Atlantis that ultimately reveals Jimmy Woo’s involvement with all of the above. This leads to Namor attacking the merged cities to rescue his lost sea dragon, which was being used to power the portal technology. The entire ordeal disgusts Shang-Chi so much that he quits the Agents of Atlas, after helping return everyone to their proper place.
Shang-Chi travels to San Francisco’s Chinatown in an attempt to lead a quiet normal life. Unfortunately, he runs into his resurrected former lover Leiko and the pair are soon attacked by a number of unknown assailants. They are then saved by two of Shang-Chi’s half-siblings that reveal the spirit of their ancient wizard father has chosen Shang Chi to be the new commander of an organization he founded centuries ago. They also reveal that the Honan province is actually one of the Houses of the organization, the House of the Deadly Hand and he is its champion: Brother Hand. Shang-Chi endeavors to travel to the organization and free his full sister from the effects of the cult.
After nearly losing his life and discovering many family secrets, he is able to encounter his sister on the astral plane and replay memories from their youth. While there, she realizes that she does not hate Shang-Chi, but instead their cruel father. This releases the hold her magic has on Shang-Chi and allows her to leave the seduction of the cult, but still leaves her in an angry place where she is unwilling to fully forgive Shang-Chi for imagined sleights. Shang-Chi then takes his “rightful” place as the Commander of the Five Weapons Society. After the ceremony, his father’s spirit appears to him and congratulates him, warning that Shang-Chi is destined to become just like him.
When the Phoenix Force holds a tournament to choose its next host, Shang-Chi is among the participants chosen. Shang-Chi is eliminated from the tournament by the Phoenix Force itself when he swears to never use his powers to take a life. His new role as Supreme Commander begins to take a toll on him as he feels pulled between heroics and acting in the best interest of the group.