Shang-Chi is an unlikely Marvel success story, born from an unholy alliance of 1970’s Kung Fu craze and Marvel’s fallback plans to utilize the public domain character Fu Manchu. The end result is a surprisingly contemplative action showcase, where Shang-Chi, the son of Fu Manchu, goes on a journey to become a heroic master of martial arts.
While the 70’s comics are the clearest Shang-Chi focus in all of Marvel – Master of Kung Fu alone runs for 125 issues – the character has had various supporting roles throughout the shared universe since that time. From working with the Avengers and Heroes for Hire to training Spider-Man how to actually fight, Shang-Chi is increasingly integrated into the fabric of Marvel Comics.
Below you’ll find a complete guide to the comic book stories of Shang-Chi, including the Comic Book Herald logo next to personal favorites, or recommended starting places.
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Shang-Chi Origins & Kung Fu Comics!
Shang-Chi: Master of Kung-Fu Omnibus Vol. 1
Collects: Special Marvel Edition #15-16, Master Of Kung Fu (1974) #17-37, Giant-Size Master Of Kung Fu #1-4, Giant-Size Spider-Man #2, & Iron Man Annual #4
Master of Kung Fu Epic Collection: Weapon of the Soul
Collects: Special Marvel Edition #15-16, Master Of Kung Fu (1974) #17-28,Giant-Size Master Of Kung Fu #1-4, Giant-Size Spider-Man #2 & Iron Man Annual #4
Note here that the first Master of Kung Fu epic collection overlaps significantly with the first Master of Kung Fu omnibus edition. You don’t need both.
I’d recommend reading the issues in the following order:
- Special Marvel Edition #15-16
- Master Of Kung Fu (1974) #17 to #21
- Giant-Size Spider-Man #2
- Giant-Size Master Of Kung Fu #1
- Master of Kung Fu #22
- Giant-Size Master of Kung Fu #2
- Master of Kung Fu #22 to #25
- Giant-Size Master of Kung Fu #3
- Master of Kung Fu #26 to #28
- Giant-Size Master of Kung Fu #4
- Master of Kung Fu #29 to #37
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu Omnibus Vol. 1
Collects: Deadly Hands Of Kung Fu (1974) 1-18; Special (1974) 1
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu is the black-and-white magazine that runs somewhat parallel to Master of Kung Fu, touching on all sorts of 70’s karate culture. In terms of publication dates, you could definitely try to fit these issues into the Master of Kung Fu chronology, although I’d argue that’s not really necessary.
Shang-Chi: Master of Kung-Fu Omnibus Vol. 2
Collects: Master Of Kung Fu Annual (1976) 1, Master Of Kung Fu (1974) 38-70
Master of Kung Fu Epic Collection: Fight Without Pity
Collects: Master Of Kung Fu (1974) 29-53 & Annual 1
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu Omnibus Vol. 2
Collects: Deadly Hands Of Kung Fu (1974) 19-33; Bizarre Adventures (1981) 25
Shang-Chi: Master of Kung-Fu Omnibus Vol. 3
Collects: Master Of Kung Fu (1974) 71-101; What If (1977) 16
Shang-Chi: Master of Kung-Fu Omnibus Vol. 4
Collects: Master Of Kung Fu (1974) 102-125; Marvel Comics Presents (1988) 1-8; Master Of Kung Fu: Bleeding Black (1990) 1
Shang-Chi in the 2000’s – Max and Heroes for Hire!
Shang-Chi: The Hellfire Apocalypse
Collects: Marvel Max Shang-Chi #1 To #6
Collects: Heroes For Hire #1-5
Heroes For Hire Vol. 2: Ahead of the Curve
Collects: Heroes For Hire #6-10
Heroes For Hire Volume 3: World War Hulk
Collects: Heroes For Hire #11-15
Collects: Shang-Chi: Master Of Kung Fu (2009) #1
In the opening story written by Jonathan Hickman, Shang-Chi and Deadpool race in a deadly motorcycle race, and share hot dogs.
Spider-Island Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu
Collects: Spider-Island: Deadly Hands Of Kung-Fu #1 To #3
Secret Avengers Vol. 2: Eyes of the Dragon
Collects: Secret Avengers #6-12
Secret Avengers: Run the Mission, Don’t Get Seen, Save the World
Collects: Secret Avengers 16-21
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu: Out of the Past
Collects: Deadly Hands Of Kung Fu 1-4; Deadly Hands Of Kung Fu (1974) 1 (B Story), 32-33
Avengers World: The Complete Collection
Collects: Avengers World 1-21, Avengers (2012) 34.1-34.2, Material From All-New Marvel Now! Point One
Master of Kung Fu: Battleworld (Secret Wars)
Collects: Master Of Kung Fu 1-4, 5 Ronin 2
A part of the larger, excellent Secret Wars (2015) crossover event.
Shang-Chi, Supporting Master of Kung Fu
The Totally Awesome Hulk Vol. 3: Big Apple Showdown
Collects: Totally Awesome Hulk #13-18
Iron Fist Vol. 2: Sabertooth – Round 2
Collects: Iron Fist 6-7, 72-76
Issues 6 & 7 include an Iron Fist and Shang-Chi team-up!
Marvel Legacy Master of Kung Fu
Collects: Master Of Kung Fu (2017) #126
Domino Vol. 1: Killer Instinct
Collects: Domino 1-5
War of Realms: New Agents of Atlas
Collects: New Agents of Atlas #1 to #4
Part of the larger War of the Realms reading order.
After that was 517-519 with Black Widow and then 520-521 with Hannibal King – then the series was mercifully canceled due to low sales.
One thing I don’t see here is Journey Into Mystery #514, 515, 516 three part story from 1996. After Thor ended at #502 they switched the title back to Journey into Mystery and ran a title story called The Lost Gods from #503-513. Then for some reason there were these three issues with Shang-Chi.
Awesome stuff, thanks, you cover everything, where most websites don’t, I’m grew up a hardcore DC fan, but in the past few years, I’ve really enjoyed Marvel’s stories.