Written by: Gene Luen Yang
Art by: Marcus To
Colors by: Erick Arciniega
Letters by: VC’s Travis Lanham
Cover art by: Dike Ruan, Metthe Wilson
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: August 24, 2022
Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings #2 follows Shang-Chi as he receives a visit from an old flame to help her rescue her kidnapped ex-husband. When old loyalties and passions bubble to the surface, Shang-Chi may wind up becoming his own worst enemy.
Is It Good?
I’m not sure if Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings #2 is any good or not. There are plenty of superspy shenanigans, martial arts, death traps, and demons. In many ways, this issue is a throwback to the James Bond & Bruce Lee, over-the-top action films of the ’70s, so this issue should fit right in the sweet spot for a lot of readers. The one thing missing that would elevate this issue from good to great is a protagonist with just a little more good judgment.
Shang-Chi, as presented here, is a good man, a strong man, a thoughtful man, and a brave man, but Shang-Chi, as presented here, is not a smart man. Strangely, this issue makes you think less of him when Yang’s writing should do the opposite.
The plot centers around a visit from an old MI-6 colleague and old flame, Leiko Wu, who asks for help rescuing her kidnapped ex-husband and former MI-6 partner. Shang simply follows Leiko alone without asking any deep questions, scouting the kidnapper’s location, or bringing any backup. When a spy calls for help, and that spy doesn’t want their organization involved, a million red flags should instantly go up in Shamg-Chi’s mind, but off he goes.
The kidnapper’s hideout is laced with booby traps, gauntlets, and challenges that would make all James Bond arch-villains combined envious. But of course, the kidnapping is not what it seems, and Shang-Chi pays a heavy price for his lack of caution and judgment.
To’s art is solid in this issue. The character designs look good in close-up panels, but the lack of detail in establishing shots is disappointing. The action is fast-paced, and the panel layout/composition is excellent.
About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.
Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings #2 does a fine job furthering the idea that every organization is out to get the Ten Rings for themselves, but Shang-Chi’s lack of good judgment and common sense in this issue almost confirms maybe he isn’t the right person to have them. At least the art is fairly good.