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Shang-Chi was the son of Zheng Zu, Emperor of K'un Lun and head of the Ten Rings, one of K'un Lun's many schools of martial arts.

Shang-Chi offered two accounts of his birth. In the first, Zheng Zu created him by forging his heart "from the steel of the Ebon Blade melted in the Eternal Flame." He was given Infinity Gems for eyes, and a Cosmic Cube for a mind. After being baptized in the River Styx, Shang-Chi was born dead, until his father filled his lungs with the smoke of Phoenix ashes. The second, which was much more likely, was that his mother was simply one of his father's many concubines.[1] Shang-Chi was trained since childhood to become his father's most promising student, mastering nine of his ten techniques.[2][1]

Zheng Zu sent Red Sai, head of the Red Hand school, to kill Lord Tuan, the head of the Iron Fist school, after being humiliated by him in the Thirteen Chambers, the martial arts tournament used to decide the new emperor. She failed, and Zheng Zu threatened to kill her and all her students.[1]

Shang-Chi completed her task, sacrificing his honor to save her life and the lives of her students. Zheng Zu, in an attempt to cover his own crimes, had Shang-Chi exiled.[1]

Master Drunk

Following his exile, Shang-Chi became a drunken outlaw. While telling the history of K'un Lun and the Thirteen Chambers to a dog in a park, Shang-Chi was accosted by Razor Fist, Typhus, and Nightwind, students of the Ten Rings school sent by the Emperor to clear the park of vagrants. Shang-Chi quickly defeated his enemies with ease. After realizing their opponent was no mere drunk but instead a wanted fugitive, the trio attempted to collect the bounty on Shang-Chi's head. Their effort was rendered futile when a group of outcasts that witnessed the fight intervened. They rescued Shang-chi and brought him to their underground hideout.[3]

Shang-Chi agreed to teach these outcasts some self-defence tips but their leader Callisto begged him to fully train them. When Shang-Chi refused, Kitten, another member of the group, explained their plight in an attempt to convince him. Shang-Chi responded by telling each of them of the kind of punishments his father would bestow upon them for failing. Callisto then went to Zheng Zu and offered to give Shang-Chi to him in exchange for acceptance into the Ten Rings.

Zheng Zu sent Red Sai, Laughing Skull, and Rand-K'ai, once a student of Lord Tuan, to the outcasts' location. Rand-K'ai promised not to harm any of them if they told him where to find Shang-Chi. Just then the outcast named Cy attempted to fight back only to be killed by Laughing Skull. Shang-Chi intervened and used the Nightbringer technique to get the remaining outcasts to safety. Shang-Chi then vowed to fully train the outcasts as his students and face Zheng Zu in the Thirteen Chambers.[2]

Thirteen Chambers

On the day of the tournament Shang-Chi publicly confronted Zheng Zu, demanding the right to compete. Zheng Zu agreed but warned him that should he become the emperor again, he would personally execute each of Shang-Chi's students. As the tournament began Shang-Chi entered the Thirteen Chambers along with Kitten. His first opponent was Lord Namor, whom he fought underwater. Using the Mortal Blade technique Shang-Chi turned his fist into a sword and stabbed Namor in the lungs. Shang-Chi vowed to Kitten not to kill any of his opponents and he left Namor to be healed.

Fighting his way through opponents from every school in K'un Lun, Shang-Chi and Kitten eventually encountered Rand-K'ai and Red Sai.[4] After engaging in a short fight with Rand-K'ai, Shang-Chi was cut by Red Sai's namesake blade, which she coated in poison. As Shang-Chi slipped into unconsciousness Red Sai revealed the truth about Tuan's murder. Kitten begged Rand-K'ai to save Shang-Chi's life, stating that Shang-Chi had to follow Zheng Zu's orders as he was his master, and asking Rand-K'ai if he would do the same for Lord Tuan. Rand-K'ai agreed to help save Shang-Chi's life by using the Iron Fist technique to burn the poison out of his system.

Upon being restored, Shang-Chi continued on to the final chamber and met his last opponent: Zheng Zu. Initially Zheng Zu had the upper hand, easily subduing Shang-Chi using several of his ten techniques. Before he could use The Spectral Touch, the only technique Zheng Zu didn't teach his son, Shang-Chi made his body intangible, a skill he learned from Kitten. Regaining his footing, Shang-Chi proceeded to overpower Zheng Zu using eight of his father's techniques before turning him to stone by using The Gorgon's Eye, a skill Shang-Chi discovered on his own.

With Zheng Zu defeated Shang-Chi became the new Emperor of K'un Lun.[1]

Powers and Abilities


Master Martial Artist: Shang-Chi is a master martial artist, having been trained since birth by his father.

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