Writer: Alyssa Wong
Art: Andie Tong
Colors: Rachelle Rosenberg
Lettering: VC’s Travis Lanham
Cover: Andie Tong and Rachelle Rosenberg
Release Date: February 3rd, 2021
Let’s start with a round of applause for the newest fan of Shang-Chi. I am decades behind on reading this superhero, but I am happy that I finally on the bandwagon. This was the first Shang-Chi comic I have ever read. I went into this comic with low expectations, however, I left extremely satisfied and wanting more. With that being said, let’s take a leap into the world that writer Alyssa Wong has written in issue #1 of The Legend of Shang-Chi: The Equinox Blade.
If you’re interested in this comic or any of the others mentioned, simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon.
First off, Shang-Chi is beautifully drawn. Often, we see our heroes (sans Ms. Marvel and a few others), portrayed as a character in their early 20’s, but they look as if they could be in their 30’s. This is not the case with Shang-Chi. Andie Tong draws Shang-Chi as a male in his early 20’s. I love this! When I see comic characters LOOK their age, I feel like I am reading something a lot more realistic (in my mind, Galactus is always eating a world somewhere). The Legend of Shang-Chi: The Equinox Blade #1, is a prime example of what I call Comic Eye-Candy. Every page is like a different flavor. It is visibly appealing with the hues of gold and green (I was watching Bob Ross last night…) and cotton candy blues. Sometimes, the art is what keeps you reading a less than stellar story. Luckily for us, both the art AND the writing, are harmonious.
Shang-Chi reads the way I would expect it to. When I read X-Men, I expect a story about multiple characters with various abilities, who are ultimately living in a soap opera. When I read the Avengers, I expect a story about A-List superheroes doing epic things. When I read the Fantastic Four, I expect some type of a family theme embedded within the story. Wong does an amazing job with the overall content of this story. There is a robbery, an epic fight scene, a villain reveal, and a cliffhanger. Shang-Chi practices martial arts. I expect (at some point) an epic fight scene in his comic books. This was delivered to me on a golden platter. This also created a playground that allowed Tong to draw some epic fight scenes. Shang-Chi almost gives me Mission Impossible or an early aughts action movie vibe.
Lastly, I am a sucker for a good comic book that utilizes various characters. As I said regarding Strange Academy #8, the Marvel Universe is riddled with beings from every dimension. I expect them to consistently run into each other on a fairly regular basis. The surprise appearance of a classic X-Villain upped the ante in terms of action/combat AND having a character from another comic. This type of “cross-pollination” if you will, pulls in readers from other comics. It opens doors of potential crossover and miniseries.
I have a lot of expectations when I am reading a new comic for the first time. From the art to the story content even the way the characters interact amongst one another, I have HIGH expectations. After reading my first Shang-Chi comic, I can now see him in the MCU. I want to see him in the MCU. He is a character who is outside the traditional superhero model. From this first issue, I can see he operates differently. He uses force as a last resort; a diplomat if you will. But he is also able to break your face. This type of calm and confident energy is something that I did not know I needed. Now that I have it, I want to continue to explore it (I may have his first omnibus in my Amazon Cart…) I would 100% recommend anyone to pick up this comic. Some seeds were planted in the issue that may yield some interesting results.
I finish this review with a letter to Marvel,