Why Simu Liu Refuses To Sign Some Shang-Chi Comics At Events

At an upcoming comic book convention, Shang-Chi star Simu Liu won’t be signing some older comic books from the character’s history due to their offensive nature.

At an upcoming comic book convention in Washington DC, Simu Liu will not be signing certain issues of the hero’s comic book story. Liu joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the titular character of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. The film centers on the martial arts-skilled hero as he is recruited by his father Wenwu (Tony Leung) to track down the entrance to a mythical world and resurrect his long-dead mother. The film was a pandemic-restrained box office success, grossing over $400 million, and was praised for its positive Asian portrayal.

Shang-Chi was first introduced to Marvel Comics in 1973 during the Kung Fu movie craze in the United States. Although Shang-Chi is an original character from the superhero world, he got his start in Marvel Special Edition #15 — later inclined Kung Fu Master – alongside popular characters from novelist Sax Rohmer such as Fah Lo Suee, Sir Dennis Nayland Smith and nemesis Dr. Fu Manchu. The evil mad scientist originated in Rohmer’s 1913 book series The Mystery of Dr. Fu Manchuand can clearly be seen as an embodiment of the xenophobic “Yellow Peril” metaphor, which was an irrational racist fear that East Asian cultures threaten the Western world.


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According to the Ace Experience webpage for the Awesome Con WebsiteLiu has decided not to sign some comics in Shang-Chi’s long publishing history at an upcoming convention in Washington D.C. The comics in question belong to the original Kung Fu Master series that first introduced the hero with the infamous Dr. Fu Manchu, Shang-Chi’s rival and father. Although the comic book series was wildly popular upon its initial release, it remains a racist stain on the superhero’s legacy.

Zheng Zu sends minions to fight Shang-Chi.

Eventually, Marvel Comics lost the rights to Dr. Fu Manchu and the character’s name was changed to Zheng Zu. Unfortunately, many of Fu Manchu’s xenophobic traits will remain for years to come. When the character was given the green light to join the MCU, Kevin Feige and director Destin Daniel Cretton had to address the elephant in the room. In the film, Zheng Zu was cleverly replaced by the supervillain the Mandarin, known as Wenwu in the MCU.

Even though Fu Manchu is closely tied to Shang-Chi’s roots, it was a smart move to replace him with the Mandarin, a character who also had his own problematic past. Throughout Fu Manchu’s long history in media, both inside and outside of Marvel, the character has significantly damaged Western perception of East Asian cultures. 2007 the Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End was criticized for his character Sao Feng, played by Chow Yun-Fat, whose facial hair and long fingernails resembled those of Fu Manchu. His scenes were later cut from Chinese theaters, citing offense to the portrayal of the character. Although the simple swapping of characters in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings had major implications for overall Marvel lore, the change was warmly welcomed by viewers and seen as a good step to take to right past wrongs.

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Source: Awesome Con

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