Shang-Chi’s first miniseries in years may be over, but he’s back for more in a special one-shot by Alyssa Wong and Andie Tong. Set in London, there’s a mystical sword that needs saving, but who must Shang-Chi fight to acquire it? In a fight comic suited to Shang-Chi, can Wong and Tong pull off this adventure, or is it worth skipping?
The Legend of Shang-Chi tells the tale of the Equinox Blade, which fits right at home with the ancient mysteries Shang-Chi seems to be embroiled in. That makes him a solid protector to help Leiko, who ends up being the operative in his ear on this mission, lock down a dangerous weapon. Beyond the premise, this is a fight comic through and through with some spy underpinnings to go with it.
The Legend of Shang-Chi preview gives away the villain he faces off against, who is an interesting choice since she’s not usually involved in Shang-Chi’s world. It cuts off right before the real fighting begins, which is drawn well by Tong. There are many moves to keep track of and the choreography is easy to follow. Amongst the punching and dodging, there’s a clever twist or two to navigate for these characters on top of the fight scene.
There isn’t a lot to this book, however, and it’ll be over and done with even more quickly if you speed through fight scenes. It’s a perfectly fine fight comic one-shot, albeit it was likely planned to coincide its release with the Shang-Chi movie so its main target was probably casual fans who haven’t been reading Marvel Comics. With that approach in mind, casual readers can dig the fight scenes and get a sense of what Shang-Chi is about. If you’re looking for more than a single action scene and a light entry point, however, you’ll want to look elsewhere.
Rachelle Rosenberg’s colors add to the book when it comes to lighting. From the sheen on blades to the added energy of splashy backgrounds, there’s a good sense of volume and drama added to each scene. The lighting on the skin is particularly good in certain scenes.
This is a perfectly fine one-shot, but it doesn’t offer enough to be truly great. The Legend of Shang-Chi is an easy access point for casual readers who may not know Shang-Chi and don’t want to get involved in the complexities of comics stories. Whether you pick this up or not will depend on how interested you are in a fight scene involving Shang-Chi and an unexpected villain.
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