Appearing in "Masterstroke!"
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "Masterstroke!"
Spider-Man interrupts a robbery in progress at the Guggenheim Museum. Engaging the crooks in battle, he is unimpressed when they display prowess in the art of Kung Fu. He makes short work of these thieves, even when they begin using weapons. Still, Spider-Man takes a beating by some nunchucks before he stops this gang of crooks. When he begins questioning one of them, he refuses to reveal the identity of his master, as he would be killed. Spider-Man convinces the crook that he will do whatever he can to protect them. He is then told that they were employed by a man named Shang-Chi. Suddenly, they hear the arrival of police cars. Before Spider-Man can decide what to do, the thugs have suddenly been electrocuted thanks to strong currents built into their strange costumes, killing them instantly. Believing that Shang-Chi is the mastermind behind all this, Spider-Man wonders what kind of monster he is dealing with. Elsewhere, Spider-Man is being observed by the true mastermind behind this plot, the international criminal known as Fu Manchu. He has arranged to frame his son Shang-Chi for these crimes so that Spider-Man will go after him. He tells him of a false story about how Shang-Chi was going to attack the Con Ed power plant near the 59th Street Bridge. This is all a means to distract both heroes while Fu Manchu sets his sights on his newest scheme, which involves the Empire State Building, and later destroy his foes.
Elsewhere in the city, Shang-Chi wonders the streets lost in thoughts about his evil father. Suddenly, he hears a mugging in progress and discovers a group of men in cheap Spider-Man costumes beating up on an elderly Chinese man. When Shang discovers them, the thugs attack him, but their martial arts skills pale in comparison to his abilities. As Shang-Chi incapacitates them, their leader claims that they were employed by Spider-Man, and then attempts to kill Shang-Chi with poisoned darts. Shang-Chi disarms his foe, but he must turn his attention to the injured old man, allowing his attackers to flee. The old man tells Shang-Chi to bring him to see Sir Denis Nayland Smith. Shang-Chi complies, taking the old man to Smith's home where he is cared for by Denis and Black Jack Tarr. The old man is an old associate of Smith named Lu Chang. Dying, his final words are of warning of how Fu Manchu intends to destroy the power plant near the 59th Street Bridge, and that Spider-Man has allied himself with their old foe. With Lu Chang now dead, Smith believes his final words, recalling how Spider-Man is currently wanted for murder. Although Smith and Tarr offer their aid, Shang-Chi insists on dealing with this threat alone.
Meanwhile, Spider-Man has done his own investigations, learning that Shang-Chi was responsible for the death of Doctor James Petrie. Spider-Man quickly goes to the power station. Once inside, the wall-crawler is attacked by Shang-Chi. The pair battle it out but are almost evenly matched. After a prolonged struggle, the pair fall through a vent and find themselves separated when the ventilation shaft branches off, sending the two heroes landing in different parts of the power plant. As the two start searching for each other, Spider-Man suspects that the two have been set up to fight each other. When he finds Shang-Chi, he tries to convince him of this, but the martial artist jumps at him. Deciding to take a chance, Spider-Man stands still, hoping that Shang-Chi will pull back at the last moment. Spider-Man's gamble pays off and Shang-Chi pulls his kick. The pair then compares notes, confirming Spider-Man's suspicions and the two flee the scene as security arrives.
Shang-Chi leads Spider-Man to an informant for Nayland Smith, saving him from an assassin in the employ of Fu Manchu. They learn about Fu Manchu's plot to use the Empire State Building and rush to the famous building to stop him. Meanwhile, Fu Manchu has his minions connecting a mind control device to the transmitter found atop the Empire State Building. When Spider-Man and Shang-Chi arrive on the scene they are confronted by Fu Manchu's sumo warrior Tak. While Spider-Man handles this threat, Shang-Chi pushes ahead to stop his father's scheme. On the roof, Shang-Chi is forced to fight an army of his father's warriors. He is joined by Spider-Man, after the wall-crawler had finished his fight with Tak. In the middle of battle, Blackjack Tarr and Naylan Smith arrive with a team of soldiers in two helicopters. With the area being pelted with gas grenades, Fu Manchu flees the scene. Spider-Man and Shang-Chi give chase. When they fail to stop Fu Manchu from escaping in an elevator. When they leap down the side of the building and try to catch their foe in the lobby, they find that Fu Manchu managed to give them the slip. They are soon joined by Blackjack and Smith, who reveals the identity of their foe. Spider-Man is surprised to learn that Fu Manchu is a real person, as he thought he was merely a work of fiction. With their foe escaped, but his plot foiled, Spider-Man departs. As he swings away, the wall-crawler tries to wrap his head around the idea of Fu Manchu being a real person.
Appearing in "...To Become an Avenger!"
Synopsis for "...To Become an Avenger!"
- The man who appears to be Fu Manchu here is not who he seems. As revealed in Secret Avengers #6–10, he is really Zheng Zu, a nearly immortal being who co-opted the identity of Fu Manchu for his own use.
- While the above explains how Fu Manchu could be still alive in the Modern Age of Earth-616, it does not explain how Nayland Smith (who first clashed with Fu Manchu in the 1910s) could be still alive in this era, as he has no apparent means of extended longevity. This puts him at odds with the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. Without any official explanations, his existence in the modern age is a matter of interpretation by the reader.
- Fu Manchu makes reference to his failed attempt to lace gasoline with mimosa. That happened in Master of Kung Fu #18.
- Nayland Smith mentions how Spider-Man is wanted in connection to "several" murders. At the time of this story, Spider-Man is the suspect in the deaths of Captain George Stacy, his daughter Gwen, and Norman Osborn. The facts:
- In reality, George Stacy died saving the life of a child in a battle between Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus. When Doc Ock caused a smoke stack to collapse he was crushed under the debris. That happened in Amazing Spider-Man #90.
- Gwen Stacy's death was actually due to Spider-Man's foe the Green Goblin, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #121, although Spider-Man blamed himself.
- As for Norman Osborn, who was secretly the Goblin seemingly perished in Amazing Spider-Man #122 during a battle with Spider-Man. However, Norman's son Harry removed his costume in the following issue to keep this secret. Osborn is not truly dead though, as explained in Osborne Journals #1, and he will resurface in Amazing Spider-Man #412. Likewise, his double identity will be exposed in Spider-Man: Legacy of Evil #1.
- Spider-Man is eventually cleared of all charges in Amazing Spider-Man #186.
- Spider-Man learns that Shang-Chi had "murdered" Dr. James Petrie. That happened in Special Marvel Edition #15. However, this is later revealed to have been a robot in Giant-Size Master of Kung Fu #3.
- Fu Manchu mentions how the transmitting tower atop the Empire State Building was recently rebuilt. The previous one was damaged following a battle between Daredevil and Mandrill in Daredevil #112.
- Tak mentions the last time he battled Shang-Chi. That happened in Special Marvel Edition #15.
- ...To Become an Avenger was originally printed in Amazing Spider-Man (Volume 1) Annual #3. It has also been reprinted in Marvel Tales #181, Marvel Masterworks Volume 22, Spider-Man's Greatest Team-Ups and Essential Spider-Man, Volume 2.
- Avengers (Volume 1)
- Amazing Spider-Man (Volume 1)
- Deadly Hands of Kung Fu
- Marvel Team-Up (Volume 1)
- Master of Kung Fu
- Amazing Spider-Man cover art gallery
- Master of Kung Fu cover art gallery
- Denis Nayland Smith appearances list
- Fu Manchu chronology page
- Jack Tarr appearances list
- Spider-Man appearances list
- Shang-Chi appearances list
Links and References
- Wikipedia:Spider-Man article at Wikipedia
- Spider-Man article at Marvel Universe
- Spider-Man article at the Marvel Directory
- Spider-Man article at Don Markstein's Toonopedia
- Amazing Spider-Man.Info
- Shang-Chi at Wikipedia
- Shang-Chi at the Marvel Directory
- Giant-Size Spider-Man series index at the Grand Comics Database (creator credits)
- The Marvel Chronology Project (character appearances)
- First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
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