Denis Nayland Smith was working as Britain's police commissioner when he first encountered Fu Manchu while stationed in Burma. He later joined the MI-6 to continue his pursuit. After years of cat-and-mouse, Smith was knighted for his tireless efforts against Fu Manchu. His recognition did not come without its costs, as an infuriated Fu Manchu sought revenge, injuring Smith so badly that he lost the use of his legs.
Years later Smith came across Shang-Chi, who had seemingly slain his friend Dr. Petrie. Together they joined forces to battle Fu Manchu.