A Star MCU Hero Is Now Officially Considered a Villain


With the MCU bringing more and more Marvel Comics heroes into its cinematic universe, even those who lack A-list popularity in the comics can become stars on the screen, including this hero-in-question. However, in a cruel twist of fate, this star MCU hero is now officially considered a villain in Marvel Comics, as even the person he’s closest to describes him as a “liar and a criminal” – and that hero-turned-villain is none other than Shang-Chi.

In Deadly Hands of Kung Fu: Gang War #2 by Greg Pak and Caio Majado, Shang-Chi continues to carefully navigate the Gang War that’s erupted in New York City. Shang-Chi is currently the leader of the Five Weapons Society – an ancient gang formed by his villainous father – and he’s trying to rehabilitate the entire organization. Given his status as a gang leader, Shang-Chi is still very involved in the Gang War, both as a criminal and as a hero. However, this issue shows him leaning much more one way than the other.

Shang-Chi challenges the leaders of every warring gang to a one-on-one showdown, which is something they all accept. However, each of them think that this distraction set by Shang-Chi is the perfect time to attack one another. In essence, Shang-Chi tricked his enemies into attacking each other while he was essentially left out of the conflict altogether. While that was a masterful move as a gang leader, it wasn’t very heroic. And Marvel’s superheroes – not to mention his own girlfriend, Delilah – would agree.

It’s revealed at the end of Deadly Hands of Kung Fu: Gang War #3 that Shang-Chi does eventually side with the heroes in lieu of maintaining neutrality for the sake of his gang leader position and the territory he protects. However, everything he does up until that point is decidedly villainous. Shang-Chi doesn’t just manipulate the other gangs into fighting each other in #2, but he manipulates the heroes into battling all the gangs at once in #3, all while Shang-Chi fights a personal battle within the hierarchical structure of his own Five Weapons Society.

The biggest indicator that Shang-Chi was going down a dark path was when his girlfriend, Delilah, called him out for it, saying she couldn’t be with him if he continued to put the Five Weapons Society above everything else. To keep his own territory safe, Shang-Chi literally blew up other areas of New York. Plus, Shang was present during a meeting of gang leaders, where a hit was put out on an innocent person, and Shang did nothing to stop it. While he has the best of intentions, Gang War proved Shang-Chi has the makings to be a dangerous villain.

As it stands, Shang-Chi is closer to becoming a full-fledged Avenger than a criminal gang leader in the MCU, though that doesn’t mean this MCU star couldn’t eventually follow in the footsteps of both his comic book counterpart and his father. Shang-Chi’s father in the MCU was the leader of the Ten Rings crime syndicate, which is exactly like the Five Weapons Society in everything but name. His sister, Xu Xialing, is the current leader of the Ten Rings, but their story is still young, and anything could happen. Perhaps Shang-Chi’s villainous turn could be mirrored in the MCU?

Regardless of whether Shang-Chi becomes a criminal in the MCU, the character has already made the transition in Marvel Comics. While he did redeem himself and is now fighting alongside the heroes to end the Gang War, the things Shang-Chi did – and proved he had the stomach to do – cannot be undone, as he played the role of “a liar and a criminal” a little too well, which means this star MCU hero can officially be considered a villain in Marvel Comics.

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