Shang-Chi May Have Started Two New Civil Wars in Marvel's Multiverse

WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Shang-Chi #6, on sale now from Marvel Comics.

The fourth phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe saw the debut of Shang-Chi, the MCU's Master of Kung Fu, with the new superhero defending the world from invading extra-dimensional monsters. And while Shang-Chi and his allies emerge triumphantly with the young hero finding himself drawn deeper into the world of the Avengers, his sister Xialing may be on a collision course with the rest of the heroes as she takes control of the criminal organization the Ten Rings. Meanwhile, in the comic book Marvel Universe, Shang-Chi faces problems of his own with the superhero community stemming from the actions of his family.

Shang-Chi's evil father Zheng Zu has been dead for some time, but his villainous influence continues to endure through his crime syndicate in the comics, the Five Weapons Society. Founded centuries ago by Zheng Zu and his brother, the society is comprised of five different houses that each boasts their own fighting style and mythical weaponry. In the present-day, each house is headed by one of Zheng Zhu's children, the long-lost half-siblings of Shang-Chi, with Shang-Chi rising up to take control of the Five Weapons Society in an effort to use it towards good.

However, in Shang-Chi #6, by Gene Luen Yang, Dike Ruan, Triona Farrell, and VC's Travis Lanham, Shang-Chi's good intentions for his family and this organization disastrously lead to a heated confrontation with Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

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Shang-Chi and the Five Weapons Society came on the Avengers' radar when they discovered Shang-Chi possessed the powerful Cosmic Cube, a relic capable of rewriting the rules of reality. Shang-Chi believed he turned over the Cosmic Cube during an encounter with his fellow heroes in Macau, however, his half-brother Takeshi secretly kept the cube hidden at the Five Weapons Society's house in Japan. This leads to a full-on battle with the Avengers when the heroes learn of the deception. After hostilities ceased, Shang-Chi relinquished the true Cube, but even when he eventually discovered the truth, tensions between him and his old teammates visibly persist.

In the MCU, Xialing's intentions after taking over the Ten Rings are still unclear, but her decision is similarly rooted in deception involving her family. Shang-Chi had assumed that his sister was remaining in China to dismantle the criminal empire their father had built for years. Instead, Xialing is seen supervising the Ten Rings as it continues to extend its global reach and train a new private army as she asserts her own vision over what her father started. And with the Ten Rings having previously menaced Iron Man and Ant-Man in the MCU, the heroes may be rightfully ready to take matters into their own hands if they discover the criminal organization has survived under new leadership.

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Shang-Chi has been an Avenger himself, on occasion, forming tight friendships with many of the Marvel Universe's most iconic heroes. However, these connections have become strained due to his commitment to his family and leadership of the Five Weapons Society, echoing Xialing's own potential heel turn in the MCU.

Shang-Chi was able to defuse the situation regarding the Cosmic Cube for now but fissures are forming in Shang-Chi's position in the Marvel Universe. As Shang-Chi plays a more prominent role in the MCU, he may have to similarly choose between superhero responsibility and family soon as well.

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Sam Stone is a 10th level pop culture guru living just outside of Washington, DC who knows an unreasonable amount about The Beatles. You can follow him on Twitter @samstoneshow and ask him about Nintendo, pop punk, and Star Trek.

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