Following the events of Secret Empire, many of Marvel’s heroes are now on a reset trying to figure out where they go from here.
One of those character’s journey, Shang-Chi, will be featured in the new book Master of Kung Fu #126. Working on the book are writer CM Punk and artist Dalibor Talajić.
In an interview with Marvel.com, Talajić discussed what to expect from Shang-Chi’s story.
The artist explained the importance of seeing Shang-Chi on his own.
“His own book was also a team book, so naturally various comic book teams wanted to place him within a group,” said Talajić. “So, yes I do believe it is important to give him a chance to breathe on his own—so to speak—even in a story like this, where circumstances are almost ridiculous, one might say to see him on his off side.”
Talajić says his experience in the last few years has made Shang more confident.
“Well, I guess his self-confidence in what he does better than anyone is what places him among the heavy hitters,” he said. “True, he has no special powers, but his focus, his stamina, and philosophical depth make him a genuine super human.”
The artist elaborated on how he came up with Shang’s look in the story.
“Well, given the nature of the story, I imagined him in his sweatshirt and stuff. You know, Sunday afternoon stuff that you wear while watching TV and having a nap,” he said. “The circumstances take him off guard and he stays dressed like that all the way through. He even loses his sneakers at some point.”
“Here and there, through flashbacks, I would nod to Bruce Lee’s famous yellow jump suit,” he continued. “Or the fact that he ends up topless. But the idea was the everyday Joe looks. As I’ve said—one of us.”
Telling Shang’s new story required Talajić to dig into his old ones.
“Initially Shang-Chi is a serious character. So was the art depicting it,” he said. “Paul Gulacy was treating him with an almost noir atmosphere, while I don’t think it’s possible to make him more badass than [Mike] Zeck did. Even I treated him seriously a few years back in [the] Master of Kung Fu [limited] series. There, I wanted to mimic classic flashy Hong Kong action films.”
“So I guess I tried to combine all of that a bit and hopefully blend it into something that honors all those beautiful incarnations of the character that were already there long before me. I can only hope I did Shang-Chi justice,” he continued.
Master of Kung Fu #126 hits comic book stores Nov. 8.