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January 11, 2018

The 5 Greatest Martial Artists in Marvel Comics – The Correct Opinion

“See, I knew it. guys I told you it’s…”

…because of course it is

1. Shang-Chi
So let’s start with the obvious: Shang-Chi is Bruce Lee. You get it? Their names rhyme. Now here’s the other obvious thing. If Shang-Chi wasn’t at the top of this list then I would have my comic expert [read:nerd] license revoked and rightfully so. Shang-Chi is listed several times in several books for his character’s entire history as the greatest martial arts practitioner in the Marvel Universe. He is such a big deal that in Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers run leading up to Secret Wars, Iron Man made a point of recruiting him for his Avengers World Team (which he called the most powerful Avengers team ever assembled) alongside Captains America and Universe, Thor and Hyperion, who are two different kinds of space god, and a Hulk.

Because of his character’s seeming lack of pizzazz, a man who is simply the greatest living martial artist has struggled to find mainstream success outside of the 70’s exploitation period of Marvel’s publishing and I can kind of understand why. If you consider that the character has no real inner personal conflict to base compelling stories off of, like say a Batman or a Spider-Man, you can see how it would be hard to make a drama-packed story line for a person with perfect zen-like inner peace. Add to that the fact that the bullpen of Marvel has been historically packed with a bunch of old white men with the racial sensitivity of an 80’s Los Angeles police captain and I can see them staying away from the character just to avoid the social justice warriors that might have something legitimate to say about their inability to craft characterizations of POC which don’t rely on stereotypes.

So here’s hoping that more talented writers, invested in telling tales that reflect the diverse nature of their readership step up and take the reigns of a criminally underused Asian character because Greg Pak shouldn’t have to write everything.Cameron Crump

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  1. Klue

    Now I have to find some comics with this Temjin guy in them and make sure I see him beat Iron Man! I was expecting some regulars like Elektra or maybe even Mantis. Now I have to check out that Iron Fist run because I didn’t know about the others aside from Danny and Orson.

    • Ed Brubaker is amazing and his run on Iron Fist should have been the blueprint that the show followed if they wanted to avoid the poop storm they unnecessarily stepped in.

      Definitely read that and definitely read Karnak. Both great titles.

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