Shang-Chi created by Steve Engleheart & Jim Starlin in
Special Marvel Edition #15 (Dec. 1973)
Shang-Chi introduced as the son of Fu Manchu, an evil sorcerer
bent on world domination - his white mother was chosen based on her
genetics - Shang was raised to be an assassin and serve his father,
but on his first mission to kill one of his father’s rivals, he has
a change of conscience, and discovers his father is the true
Early stories largely based around defeating his father’s
henchmen and doing everything he can to stop him - also based
heavily in racist Yellow Peril tropes
Often teamed up with other martial artists, like White Tiger,
Iron Fist, and Daughters of the Dragon
After finally destroying his father’s organization, he retired
to become a fisherman, but was drawn out to assist former
colleagues at MI-6
Joined the Marvel Knights, run by Daredevil, to take down the
Punisher and his extrajudicial killings
Joined the second iteration of Heroes for Hire during Civil
War, and began a relationship with Tarantula, although it was over
quickly due to her violent tendencies
Joined the Secret Avengers to help track down his father, who
had been resurrected again
Gained spider powers during the Spider-Island event, but when
he mutated into a spider, Iron Fist used his chi powers to cure
Joined other Asian heroes in the Protectors and the Agents of
Atlas - together they fought Sindr, Ismenios, and other
Later became the Supreme Commander of the Five Weapons Society,
his father’s old organization, but vowed to use it for good - this
put him in conflict with other members of the group, but several of
them allied to his cause
Was temporarily the host of the Phoenix Force when it was
seeking someone new, but when he refused to kill Captain America in
battle, the Phoenix rejected him and left his body
Tracked down his half-sister, who had left the society, and
convinced her to return
Dealing with having a mass murdering villain for a father
No childhood outside of training (15:45)
Raised thinking the Western world was horrible & out to get
In-universe - Help him hone energy sensing abilities
Out of universe - Address cultural differences, and meet the
patient where they are without being condescending (38:16)
DOC: Hello Shang-Chi, I’m Dr. Issues.
SHANG-CHI: Greetings, doctor.
D: I’d tell you to make yourself comfortable, but it seems
you’ve already done that.
SC: Comfort is a luxury seldom offered, and even more rarely
accepted. Forgive me if this ironically makes you
D: No, it’s fine. We don’t have a “no shirt, no shoes, no
service” sign out front for a reason. This is a place for calm and
SC: I am sure you mean well, and truly believe that. But sadly,
Doctor, wherever I go, chaos follows me like a tail attached to a
cat, and I am certain this office will be no different.
D: That must be difficult to deal with.
SC: I long ago accepted my fate. My father’s influence is
far-reaching, and even without him, there are many who would seek
to usurp the title of Master of Kung-Fu. Even as I agreed to meet
with you, I pondered whether there was a chance this was a trap for
a sneak attack.
D: I’m certainly glad you trusted me enough to come here, for
what it’s worth. What made you finally agree?
SC: I spoke to some trusted associates who have been clients of
yours. Their experience and faith in you was enough to convince
D: So now that you’re here, what do you want to discuss?
SC: At this point in my life, I am trying to transition my path
to one of less fighting. However, as I said, so much of what I do
involves martial arts that this seems impossible.
D: No forks in the road. That’s one way to look at it. I’ll
pause on that because I see on your face that there is more to
SC: I know that you think I am being blind to other options,
but it is not as you say. I have taken service jobs. I have been a
teacher of the craft. I do not wish to abandon all that I know for
the sake of comfort. And still...something haunts me. Other noble
heroes invite me. If I am not asked first, then I am chosen as a
consequence. I am thankful that I have survived so far, and I do
not fear death. But there is this pestering essence that the world
does not accept me as I am.
D: That’s...heavy. It’s rare that I’m taken aback by someone
due to their eloquence. I have to admit, I got lost in it!
SC: Forgive me if I am rude, but your statement itself is an
example of it.
D: I’m still lost.
SC: You said I speak well.
D: *pause* OH MY GOD I AM SO SORRY I DID THAT I’VE HAD IT DONE
TO ME I AM AN IDIOT I WOULD NEVER MEAN TO DO THAT ON PURPOSE
SC: *laughs* Your chi is genuine. But do you realize how common
that is, how through no forethought, we are verbally sparring? I
know that is how it will be for the rest of my life. At least,
that’s how I perceive it.
D: Perception is reality. I won’t hide my mistakes, and I’m
thankful for your latitude. But that tells me your experiences have
been way more hostile than a random faux pas.
SC: You have quickly redeemed yourself. Yes, there are blatant
examples that happen. How am I supposed to grant grace to those who
don’t do the same? Unfortunately, my father did me no favors. I
carried a similar yoke of disdain across my shoulders for those I
only knew through his eyes. I am grateful for my enlightenment so
many years ago as a young man. But I feel those same shackles
weighing down those around me when they see me, not knowing what to
make of me, what to say, fearful or angry and not even
D: It’s not your - or anyone’s - singular purpose to enlighten
every individual. You’ll make yourself feel worse that way. Focus
on the successes, be they one or one million.
SC: You know, it’s not just the common man. I was chosen by the
Phoenix Force once. I fought Captain America. I had proven myself
...but because I showed grace, I was eliminated by Phoenix itself.
Still...I would make that decision again.
D: A worthwhile and rigorous process is the true path,
regardless of the outcome. Thank you for reminding me of what my
own Attendings taught me. But using a great thought process, even
when all emotions say to ignore it, that’s true mastery.
SC: It is fair to say we understand one another so
D: Oh believe me, it’s hard for me to keep my chill when
someone calls me a
SC: *cuts him off* Wait.
SC: Something is amiss.
D: I don’t -
SC: Silence. *beat* Get down.
*glass shatters* ASSASSIN LEADER: SHANG-CHI! THE WHITE DRAGON
CALLS FOR YOUR DEATH!
D: Who’s the White Dragon?
SC: *fighting sounds throughout* Unclear. There have been
several with that name. I watched the last one die. Beheaded by my
brother. It seems someone new has taken up the mantle.
D: And I thought my family was difficult to deal with…
SC: *to fighters* You all fight well, but in service to a
madman. There will be no shame in submitting now. I promise this.
But continue to fight me, and you and your master will suffer great
AL: You will join us, Shang-Chi, or die. Either way, the White
Dragon Clan will be victorious!
SC: There is no victory in your falsehoods.
D: But there will be a huge insurance claim coming your
AL: The doctor is of no consequence! Subdue him or kill him, it
is of little matter.
D: I’M OUT!
SC: *more fighting sounds, tapering off* there is no need,
D: You...just took down a hit squad, while conversing at the
same level as your original discourse with me…*random movement
sounds* AND YOU’RE FIXING THE ROOM?!!!
SC: I have brought pain and despair to your office. For this, I
D: Ok, first off, if we are going to have sessions together, do
not apologize for saving my life. Second, if it weren’t
insulting to a man of your stature *whispers* and I could afford it
*normal* I would hire you as my bodyguard on sight.
SC: Or, I could teach you, in exchange for your psychiatric
services. Bartering at it’s finest.
Saving the world doesn't necessarily mean you go home happy. How's the mental health of your favorite superhero? A comic aficionado and a board-certified psychiatrist look at the various neuroses of your favorite heroes and villains and provide options for treatment.