The Legend of Shang-Chi #1 by Alyssa Wong
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I bought this purely because it’s drawn by Andie Tong. I’ve known Andie for years and even worked with him once, during his seemingly endless run on Panini’s Spectacular Spider-Man comic here in the UK. Andie is good people and Marvel should definitely have him draw more comics.
However, other than the art, this comic was a little disappointing. I’ll be honest, I got pulled out of the story on page one for a really stupid and trivial reason, and it’s totally not fair to judge a comic for something like this…but the comic open with Shang-Chi and his contact in MI-6 sharing gelato at a table outside a café opposite the British Museum. I know that area too well, having visited many, many times and set the opening of a graphic novel of my own there. And, well, there is a café opposite the entrance to the British Museum, but it’s a Starbucks and there are no tables outside (there’s no room on the pavement and there’s a pedestrian crossing there anyway). As I said, it’s completely trivial, and if you didn’t know then it wouldn’t matter…but I do know. (Also, writers, the street view feature on Google Maps is an invaluable resource when setting scenes in locations you haven’t personally visited, please use it).
The story itself sees Shang-Chi breaking into the museum (should I mention that an ex of mine’s dad worked as a security guard at the British Museum?) to steal a katana and coming into conflict with Lady Deathstrike. There’s a hint at the end that this might have “future consequences” but I’ll be surprised if it does.
Ultimately, for a comic entitled “The Legend Of Shang-Chi” this is far from being a legendary tale. It’s a mostly forgettable heist that feels deeply unsatisfying.
Also, I’m aware that this review mostly feels like if I were to review Avengers: Infinity War and spend most of my time pointing out that the kebab shop Vision and Scarlet Witch stand outside of in Edinburgh is actually a cake shop, but here we are.
(Seriously, though, it’s a cake shop).