Beating the Tarr Out of Your Opponent

Category: Kung Fu
Last article published: 24 May 2019
This is the 96th post under this label

Shang-Chi content comes at a snail's pace here at the SBG. I covered his first appearance in 2008, then his second 15 months later. With his third, he completely takes over Special Marvel Edition and picks up its numbering from #17.

Round 1 (Amuse-Bouche)
Shang-Chi walks into 1970s New York and immediately gets jumped by muggers.
Guys, this a man who walks barefoot on asphalt and looks comfortable doing so. Aren't they at all aware of the kung fu craze, at least enough to know a guy in a gi is a risky proposition. I guess not.

So why IS Shang-Chi in New York? Well first, because Marvel Comics almost all take place there. Second, it's where Nayland-Smith is at the moment (hell, Fu Manchu too), and our hero has just seen the light. He wants to apologize to Nayland-Smith for killing his friend, and ultimately team up with him against the real villain. But neither Nayland-Smith nor Black Jack Tarr (the big dude on the cover) know that, and they're planning a deadly welcome for the Master of Kung Fu.

Round 2 (Appetizer)
Shang-Chi versus Nayland-Smith's house. It's got federal agents!
It's got traps!
It's got robot knights!
But nothing can overcome Shang-Chi's prowess (and Spidey-sense... I mean, they put squiggly lines around his head when opponents are about to strike - what am I supposed to think?). They Brits are going to have to get their hands dirty.

Round 3 (Main Course - according to the marquee)

Shang-Chi versus Black Jack Tarr!
Disappointing! Tarr gets exactly one punch in and before being thrown off the gallery. It doesn't even feel like a Robin Hood/Little John moment (as these guys are destined to be allies, it might have been appropriate). Tarr is ultimately defeated because he talks too much. So Shang-Chi's stoicism has a plot function. But if this is not the climax, what is?

Round 4 (Main Course - according to Kung Fu philosophy)
Shang-Chi versus Nayland-Smith! But dude's been crippled by Fu Manchu! He's in a wheelchair! His legs have been destroyed! Shang-Chi shouts at him about mind over matter, and then...
JAW DROP! "But have you ever thought you would succeed?" That's probably one of the best pep talks in history. And if Nayland-Smith was wrong about his legs, could he have been wrong about Fu Manchu's son? I think so.

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