WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Shang-Chi #6, on sale now from Marvel Comics.
As the Marvel Universe's Master of Kung Fu, Shang-Chi has made quite the list of friends and allies in the superhero community, from a mentoring friendship with Spider-Man to occasionally being a member of the Avengers. However, as ever with Shang-Chi, his family's villainous legacy has not only put him at odds with himself but his place in the wider universe. As Shang-Chi's recent ascension to the head of the shadowy Five Weapons Society has led to a full-blown conflict with Earth's Mightiest Heroes all over the matter of the Cosmic Cube. And even as the dust clears from this misunderstanding, it's clear that the Master of Kung Fu's relations with the superhero community now potentially stand irrevocably strained.
The origins of this falling out came from Shang-Chi assuming control of the Five Weapons Society after deposing his twisted sister Shi-Hua. Shi-Hua felt she was abandoned by Shang-Chi and sought to rebuild their evil father Zheng Zhu's legacy by murderously seizing control of the Five Weapons Society, targeting her siblings whom she saw as a threat to her rule. However, while Shang-Chi took control of the Five Weapons Society with the best of intentions, his family's competing interests and a chance encounter with the Cosmic Cube, has led to a confrontation with the Avengers that goes from a simmer to a full boil in Shang-Chi #6 by Gene Luen Yang, Dike Ruan, Triona Farrell, and VC's Travis Lanham.
After a run-in with the Avengers over the Cosmic Cube in Macau, Shang-Chi had relinquished the relic to his friends among Earth's Mightiest Heroes for safekeeping, however, unbeknownst to the Master of Kung Fu, the Cube he turned over was a fake. Incensed by the deception and assuming Shang-Chi was aware of the switch and kept the Cube for himself, the Avengers struck the Five Weapons Society at their facility in Japan. This resulted in a high-powered brawl when a peaceful resolution to the misunderstanding couldn't be reached. Even though Shang-Chi turned over his half-brother Takeshi and the true Cosmic Cube after discovering Takeshi had lied to him in Macau and kept the Cube for himself, things are still tense between the Five Weapons Society and the Avengers.
As the heroes lead Takeshi away in custody, with the real Cosmic Cube in tow, it is clear that the Avengers are still not entirely convinced that Shang-Chi has been truthful with them, potentially believing Shang-Chi sold out his own brother rather than face continued scrutiny. For a hero that has fought alongside the Avengers on multiple occasions to defend the Marvel Universe, this assumption feels a bit forced and uncharacteristic of some of the heroes that have always looked for the good in everyone, especially their allies. While this assumption comes after a fiery confrontation devastating the Five Weapons Society's Japanese location, even minds as smart as Mister Fantastic and Iron Man's seem to forget how harshly they treated their old friend to initiate the fighting in the first place.
The battle between the Avengers and the Five Weapons Society is over but a longer-term conflict is still brewing as tensions continue to run high. Earth's Mightiest Heroes ultimately got what they came to Japan for, along with the true culprit behind the previous deception, but not without an epic fight.
The fissure between Shang-Chi and the Avengers is likely not to be a permanent rupture but it has placed a strain on the dynamic while reminding Shang-Chi's old friends that he has earned the title as the Master of Kung Fu for a hard-hitting reason, a reminder that will inform how they approach him next time.
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