The best Shang-Chi comics start with the Master of Kung Fu kicking his way into the Marvel Universe in 1973's Marvel Edition #15, so he's been around since the early Bronze Age of Comics. Since he was first introduced, Shang-Chi has been involved in numerous major Marvel comic book events, and he's got his own live-action feature film in the MCU. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has Marvel fans around the world wondering what the best books are to read to get to know the character.
Over the 48+ years he's been roundhouse kicking his way across the Marvel Universe, there have been tons of comic books, great stories, graphic novels, trade paperbacks, comic book issues, story arcs, storylines, and one-shot books about Shang-Chi, making it hard to determine which is the best of Shang-Chi's greatest adventures. This list attempts the impossible by narrowing the best down to the top 20. If you've ever asked yourself "Who is Shang-Chi?," be sure to use this list as a Shang-Chi reading guide.
Check out these Shang-Chi stories and vote up your favorites, you can also vote down any you think other fans should skip. Then check back to see which of these comics is the best Shang-Chi story ever told!
The Hellfire Apocalypse
Story Found In: Shang-Chi: Master Of Kung Fu MAX #1-6
Details: Back in the 1990s and early 2000s, Marvel Comics released an imprint called MAX, which delved into some of the company's darker characters. It did so by not holding back on anything explicit, making the books incredibly violent, somewhat sexual, and filled with blood, drugs, and adult themes.
One character who managed to get their own MAX title was Shang-Chi. His six-issue series, "The Hellfire Apocalypse," definitely delivered on the MAX promise. The book was masterfully written by Doug Moench with illustrations by Paul Gulacy and is definitely worth checking out if you want to read into the darker nature of the character.A great story arc?
Defenders Of The Streets
Story Found In: Marvel Knights #1-15
Details: Marvel's Marvel Knights series delved into the so-called "street-level" superheroes in gritty and adult-themed stories. They included stories about Daredevil, Punisher, Black Widow, Dagger, and Shang-Chi. While he wasn't the primary character in the series, he played an important role throughout the 15 issue maxi-series.
The group comes together to form the Defenders to take on none other than Ulik the Troll! Each character has their own thing going on, including Cloak, who has some problems with Dagger, and it gets crazier from there. It's not long before Doctor Strange, Nick Fury, and Luke Cage get involved in this excellent series by Eduardo Barreto, Chuck Dixon, and Mike Lilly.A great story arc?
Weapon Of The Soul
Details: Several Epic Collections feature the Master of Kung Fu, and each one covers a large portion of his early publication history. "Weapon of the Soul" covers 19 issues of various series, and it offers a great primer on the character.
This killer compilation of kung fu action from Steve Englehart, Doug Moench, Jim Starlin, Gerry Conway, Len Wein, and Roger Stern covers some of Shang-Chi's best adventures from his early days in the Marvel Universe. Each adventure details the beginnings of Shang-Chi and is a must-read for fans of the character.A great story arc?
Fight Without Pity
Story Found In: Master Of Kung Fu (1974) #29-53 & Annual #1
Details: Several Epic Collections feature the Master of Kung Fu, and each one covers a large portion of his early publication history. "Fight Without Pity" covers 24 issues of Master of Kung Fu alongside the Annual, and it offers a great primer on the character.
This killer compilation of kung fu action from Doug Moench and Paul Gulacy covers some of Shang-Chi's best globetrotting espionage! It includes classic adventures such as "Crystal Connection," "Oriental Expediters," and "The Return of Fu Manchu." Each adventure details the early days of Shang-Chi and is a must-read for fans of the character.A great story arc?