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Quote1.png I do not seek power. I seek only peace. Quote2.png
Shang-Chi (Earth-616)

Appearing in "A Small Spirit Slowly Shaped..."

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Synopsis for "A Small Spirit Slowly Shaped..."

Shang-Chi visits a penny arcade in Times Square to "observe," but he does not understand the attraction of the games with their lights and noises. Black Jack Tarr and Clive Reston pick him up and tell him that Sir Denis Nayland Smith has been kidnapped. The only clue is a bamboo tube (used for passing messages; last seen in Special Marvel Edition #16). Shang-Chi opens it and pulls out a note: "we will talk under the tree where a little spirit was slowly shaped." He understands that it came from Fah Lo Suee.

He remembers the tree. Fu Manchu led him there to meet his half sister for the second time (their first meeting appeared in issue #26). Fah Lo Suee showed him a bonsai tree and asked which was more beautiful: the small tree, meticulously trimmed, or the large tree, shaped by nature? Shang-Chi could not make a choice. Fah Lo Suee pointed out that nature is not evil, whereas human agency can be, and that Shang-Chi himself was being slowly shaped by his father: "some day you may be called upon to wield your choice."

Tarr, Reston, and Shang-Chi fly to China. Shang-Chi climbs across the plane and disappears before Tarr and Reston can exit. He breaks into his father's fortress, finds Fah Lo Suee on Fu Manchu's throne, and follows her to the tree in the courtyard. She has the ruby eyes of Pharaoh Seth-Amon (obtained in issue #26), now made into earrings, and is using them to hypnotize members of the Si-Fan to serve her instead of Fu. She asks Shang-Chi to ally with her against Fu Manchu. "I cannot now choose between two forms of the same evil," he answers. She claps her hands and orders her Si-Fan to kill him.

Shadow-Stalker leads the attackers. To everyone's surprise, he turns and tells Shang-Chi they will fight back to back. Fah Lo Suee watches the brief battle with dispassion and flees. Shadow-Stalker explains his decision: together, he and Shang-Chi could beat anyone, so they should take over the Si-Fan. Shang-Chi demurs. Shadow-Stalker tells him that Smith is in the dungeon, and he leaves.


Shang-Chi breaks Smith out of his cell. Only then do Tarr and Reston arrive. Shang-Chi shows them the ruby eyes, which he took during the fight, and smashes them together. He thinks, "I have learned that this fortress is much like the arcade ... a place of games I do not understand."


  • This issue includes the second chronological appearance of Fah Lo Suee (Main story and flashback).

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