Star of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Simu Liu, has formally announced that he will not be autographing any of the older Shang-Chi comics. While he has been supremely welcomed into the MCU as the character, his reasoning for not wanting to sign the older comics is warranted. Liu is set to appear at the Awesome Con in Washington, D.C., though he will not be signing the older comics. Even though Shang-Chi has been around for a long time in Marvels’ publishing efforts, the original Dr. Fu Manchu remains one of the most racist depicted villains in the publication’s history. Due to the obvious racial connotations for the older characters in the comics, they will not be autographed.
Due to the issues that Marvel saw with the depiction of Dr. Fu Manchu, he was later changed in the comics to Zheng Zu. Zu was the rival and father of Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) throughout most of his run, though his depiction still caused major problems. Thankfully that was also altered in the MCU as Zheng Zu was changed into Mandarin, also known as Xu Wenwu. Marvel decided to do away with the connection that could be made between the original father of Shang Chi, and what the studio and comics would want to portray the man as going forward. Honestly, it was a great move by Kevin Fiege and Destin Daniel Cretton (director of Shang-Chi) made. Shang-Chi has been heralded as being one of the best films in the MCU and one that has shown some fantastic Asian representation. While we all knew the fake Mandarin, Trevor Slattery, as he was revealed in the Shang-Chi film. It was quite a hilarious happening as well.
Based on the older and clearly problematic depictions of Shang-Chi’s father, Simu Liu will not allow older comics to be signed. It makes total sense, but even more so for the fact that Liu was not brought into the Marvel universe until the 2021 film dropped. Even without the racial depictions of the older comics, he could have just stated that he wouldn’t want to sign comics that had nothing to do with his brand of the character. That would have made sense as well too. However, there are clearly bigger issues at stake here. The older and clearly xenophobic comics will not be welcomed to the newest martial artist of the MCU. It’s best not to want to make Simu Liu upset as he joins the list of the perfectly cast Marvel characters.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was a smash hit, garnering over $432 million at the box office, even with those numbers taking place during the height of the pandemic. Simu Liu was fantastically cast as Shang-Chi, and based on the final scene of the film, he is set to reprise his role. While we all patiently wait for him to appear again, hopefully in Doctor Strange 2, everyone will have to respect the man’s wishes and do away with the older and offensive comics. Just bring in that new Shang-Chi memorabilia for the man to sign, and send one over to us while you’re at it.