Shang-Chi Co-Creator Jim Starlin Explains Key Character Details Ahead of Movie

Jim Starlin co-created Shang-Chi with Steve Englehart in Special Marvel Edition #15 back in December of 1973. Now, the character is gearing up to be blasted out into mainstream media as Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is set to be an addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Simu Liu playing the title role. Who knows the origins and core of Shang-Chi better than those who created him, right? Well, it seems Starlin and Liu are both quite knowledgeable on the subject, considering they agree the character could go toe to toe with the Hulk. While Starlin has not yet had a chance to meet those involved with the film, he does have his hopes and ideas for what definitive elements of Shang-Chi should make their way to the movie.

Starlin joined ComicBook.com's Phase Zero podcast on Friday's live show (which is available now on Apple Podcasts and Spotify), where he was asked to share his perspective of Shang-Chi's most defining characteristics. "The transition from basically assassin to a hero, an indomitable will, and a sort of religious discipline, basically," Starlin says. "I think those are the three elements that make Shang-Chi more than any other character. He's basically focused on the moment and what has to be done. That focus allows him to go on without being stopped, making it very hard to stop him at least."

While there is no indication Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will feature other Avengers characters, Starlin does see a few good fits for the character should crossovers arise. "In the version that Englehart and I worked with, I would have thought Black Widow and Captain America, more of the earthy characters would have been more natural fit for collaboration," he says.

In fact, Starlin goes so far as to point out that Shang-Chi's intense loyalty to his moral compass could help the character slip into a role similar to that of what Captain America held in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. "They have a lot a possibilities with him that I think are really kind of interesting with the departure of the Captain America, Chris Evans' character, the Marvel Universe is without a moral center," Starlin notes. "He was always acting as that part. Shang-Chi on the other hand, even if he is an assassin to start off with, a moral character, at least the way Englehart and I created and worked with him, and I think most writers after that. So he may be in some ways, Captain America's replacement in the Marvel Universe."

What do you want to see from Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings? Share your thoughts in the comment section or send them my way on Instagram! ComicBook.com's Phase Zero podcast records new episodes every Friday at 12pm ET on ComicBook.com's official Twitch channel before being made available on all major podcast platforms.

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Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is currently set to hit theaters on July 9, 2021.