Eisner Award Hall of Famer Jim Starlin is considered comic book royalty. The Marvel Comics veteran is responsible for the creation of many iconic characters, from Thanos to Shang-Chi. In a recent episode of the Phase Zero podcast, Starlin spoke about the upcoming live-action MCU movie, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which will introduce Shang-Chi into the superhero franchise. According to Starlin, the character has the potential to be the new moral center of the Marvel universe after Steve Rogers aka Captain America's exit from the series.
"I guess it's gonna come down to what the movie people decide to do about him. They have a lot of choices with Shang-Chi. And that's how I pronounce it, Shang. That they had a lot of possibilities with him that I think are really kind of interesting with the departure of the Captain America, Chris Evans character. The Marvel universe is without a moral center. He was always acting as that part. Shang-Chi on the other hand, even he's an assassin to start off with. Moral character, at least Englehart and I curated, worked with him. And I think most writers after that. So he may be in some way Captain America's replacement in the Marvel universe."
At first glance, the idea that Shang-Chi might replace Captain America as the shining beacon of morality that inspires all other heroes might seem strange. After all, Shang-Chi started out as an assassin, who committed a number of crimes under his father's commands. It was only after Shang-Chi learned that his father was not the hero he had imagined, but an aspiring dictator, that he turned against his former allies to become a superhero. According to Jim Starlin, Shang-Chi's tumultuous road to heroism makes him a rare kind of leader in the superhero community.
"To transition from basically assassin to hero, an abominable will and a sort of religious discipline basically I think those are the three elements that make Shang-Chi more than any other character. You know he's basically focused on the moment and what has to be done. And that focus allows him to go on without being stopped. Makes it very hard to stop him at least."
Fans are excited to see what the solo Shang-Chi movie will bring to the MCU. The film has been described as a James Bond-style superhero movie, and there are also rumors that it will introduce the fearsome dragon Fin Fang Foom into the MCU, along with the true live-action incarnation of the Mandarin. Hopefully, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will do justice to the source material and turn out to be yet another winner for the MCU.
Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton and written by Daniel Callaham, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings stars an international cast of actors and martial artists consisting of Simu Liu, Tony Leung, Awkwafina, Michelle Yeoh, Jiang Nan, Meng'er Zhang, Ronny Chieng, Fala Chen, and Jiang Len. The film is scheduled to arrive in theaters on July 9, 2021. This news appears directly from Phase Zero podcast.