- Written by: Gene Luen Yang
- Art by: Marcus To
- Colors by: Erick Arciniega
- Letters by: VC’s Travis Lanham
- Cover art by: Dike Ruan, Matthew Wilson
- Cover price: $3.99
- Release date: November 16, 2022
Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings #5 continues the Game of Rings but takes a brief break for a fireside story to reveal how the Ten Rings came to be.
Is It Good?
Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings #5 reveals the history behind the creation of the Ten Rings. That reveal, alone, makes this issue an interesting read, but two questions immediately come to mind. First, how well (if at all) will the MCU stick to this historical explanation? Second, is Marvel trying to shoehorn in on DC’s few good titles with reference to a certain mythical Chinese figure? We shall see.
Shang-Chi and his tentative allies make it to the White Level in the Game of Rings. Between the brief fights to whittle down the competitors, players are invited to a fireside story with the game’s arbiters to learn the history of the Ten Rings’ creation.
The Ten Rings belong to a set of twelve, broken apart to forever seal away the Desolation Wyrm from infecting our dimension. The Twelve Rings were once a single Universe Ring wielded by the Chinese deity Nezha, who sealed the Desolation Wyrm away after it attacked Ta Lo. DC readers may recognize the name Nezha from the currently running World’s Finest and Batman vs. Robin series.
Relaying the history of the Ten Rings’ creation is a smart play by Yang because it clarifies the benefit and threats associated with the rings and whoever possesses them. The legend is well-told and interesting. The fight sequences during the tournament are energetic. And the stakes take a few ticks upward when it’s shown the Desolation Wyrmis working to influence the outcome of the tournament.
In all, this is one of the better issues in the run because it intermixes great action with solid storytelling instead of delivering the comic version of a video game.
About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.
Bits and Pieces
Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings #5 builds out the legendary origin of the Ten Rings with a universe-ending threat that raises the stakes of Shang-Chi’s tournament run exponentially. The action is solid, and the Rings’ origin makes sense, so this series takes a big step up with this issue.