Published February 8, 2021

A Formidable Fighter Battles for His Soul in ‘The Legend of Shang-Chi’ #1

Shang-Chi takes on a dangerous Marvel villain for the ultimate prize!

Since his debut in 1973, Shang-Chi flew under the radar in the Marvel Universe. Only a handful of heroes and villains knew just how formidable he truly was. He’s one of the world’s greatest fighters, and that propelled him to join the Heroes for Hire, the Avengers, and the Agents of Atlas. In a world filled with superhumans, mutants, the supernatural, and more, Shang-Chi proves that a man with super skills can make a big difference.

This week, Alyssa Wong and artist Andie Tong carved another notch in Shang-Chi’s mythology in THE LEGEND OF SHANG-CHI #1. But first, Shang-Chi’s old friend, Leiko Wu, welcomes him to London by inviting him out for gelato. It reinforces just how close they’ve become that they can simply enjoy their time together before getting down to business.

The Legend of Shang-Chi #1

But there is business at hand, and as Shang-Chi points out, Leiko didn’t bring him all this way just to stuff him with gelato. Leiko is an agent of MI-6, but she needs Shang-Chi for a very unique operation. As they finish their delicious dessert, Leiko explains that a cursed sword called the Equinox Blade is causing a lot of problems at a local museum. According to Leiko, it is a weapon that was forged during the Kamakura period that “drove its swordsmith mad... and then consumed his soul."

That is not a euphemism, as the sword seems to have acted on its own by stealing the soul of a security guard in the museum. The museum’s curators were sufficiently freaked out, and quickly arranged to sell the sword to an anonymous buyer. This does raise the question of who put up the money for the sword, but there’s no answer to be found here. Leiko wants Shang-Chi to steal the Equinox Blade long before anyone else can grab it.

The timing of Shang-Chi’s mission is fortuitous because someone beat him to the sword and used it to steal the souls of everyone inside. And the villain is none other than Lady Deathstrike, Wolverine’s long-time foe. She’s been a thorn in Logan’s side for years, even though she was briefly aligned with the incarnation of Weapon X led by Old Man Logan and Sabretooth. Now, she’s back on her own, and enjoying the benefits of wielding this mystical sword.

The Legend of Shang-Chi #1

Naturally, Shang-Chi can’t just let Lady Deathstrike get away with the sword. In the ensuing battle, Deathstrike recognizes Shang-Chi and deduces that he’s working with Leiko. However, she also makes the mistake of questioning how Shang-Chi can compete in the era of Marvels. His response was that he is “good with his hands,” and he demonstrated this by flipping her.

Lady Deathstrike regained control of the fight and even used the blade in an attempt to steal Shang-Chi’s soul. Incredibly, Shang-Chi resisted the sword’s supernatural pull, shattered the blade, and seemingly sent Lady Deathstrike to her doom in a five-story fall.

The Legend of Shang-Chi #1

If only it was that simple. Shang-Chi’s actions freed the souls from the sword, restoring everyone in the museum. Even the sword’s initial victim was awakened from his death-like state. The bad news is that Deathstrike not only survived the fall, she got away with a significant portion of the blade. Will this come back to haunt Shang-Chi? Only time will tell.

THE LEGEND OF SHANG-CHI #1, written by Alyssa Wong with art by Andie Tong, is on sale now online and in local comic shops!

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