Shang-Chi Vol 2 – Shang-Chi vs. the Marvel Universe
Writer – Gene Luen Yang
Artist – Dike Ruan
Recently, I have been working in the office twice a week. One of the benefits of working in town is being able to go to the local Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh branch a few blocks from my building during my lunch break. I am able to look at the graphic novel section and get the books I want instead of having to request them and then wait for them to be delivered to my local branch near my home. One graphic novel collection that jumped out at me was Shang-Chi Volume 2 – Shang-Chi vs. the Marvel Universe.
After the death of his father, Shang-Chi’s life is turned upside down. It is revealed that he has a brother and sister he never knew he had and he inherits the Five Weapons Society, an enterprise known for its less than heroic ventures. Shang-Chi has the opportunity forge a brand-new direction for the society, but some don’t want things to change, while others want to take control of the society from the hero’s grasp. Some heroes have misgivings about Shang-Chi’s new responsibilities and feel that instead of having a positive impact on the society, the society will change Shang-Chi into a villain.
You can dive into Volume 2 with no issues but I should give you a heads up. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to read Shang-Chi Volume 1 Brothers and Sisters first. I was unaware of this and I want you to avoid the same mistake I made.
Shang-Chi’s ongoing series came out around the same time as the MCU movie hit the big screen. I remember grabbing an issue either before or after seeing the movie last September. It was a fantastic bit of synergy. For many years, Shang-Chi was often only a guest star in another hero’s comic and I’m really glad to see him getting a chance to shine on his own. Shang-Chi becomes a major player in the Marvel Universe after he becomes the new leader of the Five Weapons Society and I enjoyed this group competing against other villainous cabals like A.I.M. and HYDRA in Issue Two (guest-starring Captain America). Each issue has guest stars galore in it ranging from Spider-Man to the Fantastic Four and Iron Man and Wolverine. Some might think it’s a cheap marketing ploy to help increase sales for a new series but as rumors regarding Shang Chi swirl among the hero community, it was only a matter of time before they started seeking the truth about the possible seismic changes across the world and back home in New York City.
Shang-Chi vs. The Marvel Universe is full of action, mystery, and a whole lot of sibling rivalry. Shang-Chi has his hands full and he must be able to trust those around him but its only a matter of time before he ends up with a knife in his back, both literally and figuratively.
I enjoyed this collection so much that I wanted to read the next volume immediately but I was disappointed to learn that it won’t be available until August! The disappointments mounted when I picked up Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings #1 on New Comic Book Day. I’m going to have to wait until I read Volume 3 before I can dive into this new series. I just find it odd because once a certain number of issues are released, it’s only a few weeks or a month until the collected edition hits the stands. I can only guess there are still a few hiccups for comics and collected editions and when they get printed and released. It will definitely be worth the wait.