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Quote1.png My father has often said to me: 'A man may not be too careful in his choice of enemies, for once he has chosen... he has forfeited a friend.' These are words my father has lived by, for he is Fu Manchu, and his life is his word. Quote2.png
Shang-Chi[src]

History

Origins

Zheng Zu and his younger brother Zheng Yi were powerful sorcerers born during the 18th century in China. The two brothers and their five disciples, the Deadly Warriors, formed the Five Weapons Society to protect China.[8] The structure and naming system of the Five Weapons Society was inspired by the legend of Ta-Lo's Five Sets of Heavenly Weapons, which consisted of the One Hammer (Hammer), Two Swords (Sabre), Nine Daggers (Dagger), Three Staffs (Staff) and Ten Rings (Hand).[9] Through the use of longevity spells, the Sorcerer Brothers lived decades beyond their natural lifespans, outliving their original disciples and leaving them old and weak during the Opium Wars in the next century. During a battle with the British Army, the Five Weapons Society suffered a horrible defeat by Dormammu and his Mindless Ones, resulting in the deaths of the then current lineup of Deadly Warriors and Yi receiving mortal wounds. With the Eyes of the Dragon, Zu attempted to revive his brother and restore his youth at the cost of his own life, but Yi reversed the spell due to not wanting the rule the Society alone, sacrificing himself to restore Zu's youth and power. Zu led the Society alone from then, but without his kindhearted brother's influence he became increasingly ruthless and corrupt, transforming the Society into a vast criminal empire. To instill fear, Zu lied about Yi's death, claiming he murdered Yi for his perceived weakness and stole his life energy to augment his own.[10]

Over the years, Zheng Zu learned martial arts, the various scientific disciplines, and esoteric knowledge at a monastery.[11] In the modern day, Zheng Zu adopted the name "Fu Manchu" and created the false origin that he was empowered by the Elixir of Life. Like with his name, the Society would go through different aliases over the years, beginning with the Order of the Si-Fan and eventually the Order of the Golden Dawn and the Order of the Hai-Dai.[12] He became a crimelord, the shadow emperor of a worldwide invisible empire with a globe-spanning army of highly trained fanatical killers.[13][5][14][15] At his command were the killers of various cults and secret societies, including; the Dacoits, the Thugees, the Phansigars, the Hashishin, and others. "Fu Manchu" had the intellect of three geniuses and the world's most beautiful women as his pawns.[5]

20th century

It was during the Boxer Rebellion Zheng Zu led the Five Weapons Society against the invaders only to learn that the House of the Deadly Sabre had fallen to the foreigners. Zheng Zu reprimanded the Deadly Warriors for not properly preparing for such an assault. Commander Sabre begged for forgiveness and mercy for his failure he let Sabre in on a old secret before decapitating him: Zheng Yi had similarly been weak and, rather than being held back, he murdered his own brother and stole his spirit energy to augment his own. When he realized that China could not remain isolated from the rest of the world he set up bases across the globe establishing new strongholds in England, Japan, Russia, and France.[16]

Zheng Zu discovered the existence of a gateway to Ta Lo on Earth and planned to steal the Five Sets of Heavenly Weapons to bolster the Five Weapons Society.[9] Upon arriving at Qilin Island, Zu was betrayed and left for dead by pirates under his service but was rescued by Jiang Li of the Qilin Riders. While being nursed back to health, Zu and Jiang Li fell in love with each other. When Jiang Li's father, Chieftain Xin, discovered Zu's presence on the island, he ordered his daughter to execute the trespasser but the two fled to the House of the Deadly Hand. When she discovered that Zu led a criminal organization, Jiang Li attempted to leave him but Zu promised to change his evil ways. The two married and had two children: son Shang-Chi and daughter Shi-Hua. Within the first few years into his marriage, Zheng Zu grew to genuinely love his family.[17] However following an attack by Hydra against the House of the Deadly Hand, Zu became cold and distant towards his family, as he felt that his love for them made him weak, and resumed his plans to infiltrate Ta Lo. Xin and Jiang Li confronted Zu in his personal tower, where they discovered he had constructed a makeshift portal to Ta Lo. While Zu fought his wife and father-in-law, Shang-Chi happened upon the scene, just as the portal's connection to Ta Lo became disconnected and Jiang Li was accidentally pushed through, sending her to the Negative Zone. Zu and Xin blamed each other for Jiang Li's presumed death and each tried convincing Shang-Chi to join them. Shang-Chi sided with his father and threw one of Zu's chemicals at Xin' face, blinding and leaving a scar across his right eye. Xin denounced Shang-Chi to be as evil as his father and fled. Zu subsequently placed a memory spell on Shang-Chi, making him forget the incident.[18]

During their childhood, Shang-Chi and Shi-Hua accidentally discovered one of their father's secret laboratories in his Hunan retreat. As punishment, their father told Shang-Chi that he gave Shi-Hua a merciful death, explaining that the luxury of human bonds was weakness. In truth, he secretly sent Shi-Hua to the House of the Deadly Hammer in Russia. Shang-Chi would continue to be raised in isolation in his father's Hunan retreat.[12]

Like with Shang-Chi and Shi-Hua, their father selected several of his other children to be raised in the Society's other Houses as their respective champions, with daughter Zhilan[19] and an unnamed son at the House of the Deadly Staff in England, son Takeshi at the House of the Deadly Sabre in Japan and daughter Esme at the House of the Deadly Dagger in France. When Zhilan voiced her plans to reform the Society, Zheng Zu ordered Brother Sabre to assassinate her, who instead chose to spare her and helped fake her death. Unbeknownst to both, their father ordered her death due to her status as a mutant, whom Zu believed were colonial threats.[19]

Sometime later Zu began going by Fu Manchu. One of his earlier attempts global domination was by kidnapping the leaders of the League of Nations[20] In 1933, he was stopped by Denis Nayland Smith, Lyman Leeks, and James Petrie.[20]

Modern Day

When Shang-Chi turned nineteen years old, Fu Manchu sent him on his first mission: to assassinate James Petrie. After assassinating Petrie in his London home, Shang-Chi was confronted by Smith, who told him the truth about his father. Realizing that his father was evil, Shang-Chi defected from him, sparking the beginning of a years long conflict with him.[5]

His first attempt to conquer the United States by dispersing a mind control chemical via the exhaust produced by automobiles was thwarted by Shang-Chi.[21] Later Spider-Man and Shang-Chi stopped his attempt to brainwash the citizens of the United States via television using a transmitter installed on the Empire State Building.[22] Fu Manchu then attempted to manipulate China and the United States into a war against each other, but was foiled by Iron Fist, Shang-Chi and the Sons of the Tiger.[23]

Shang-Chi and MI6 later stopped Fu Manchu from knocking the Moon out of orbit, thereby bringing chaos to Earth and giving him the opportunity to conquer it.[24] Fu Manchu then brought together several shadowy and criminal secret societies (Thugees, Leopard Cult, Three-Cornered Sight, Hashishin, Twenty-Third Sect, Light-Seekers, Templars, Phansigars, Followers of the Left-Hand Path, and his own Celestial Order of the Si-Fan) under an umbrella secret society, the Order of the Golden Dawn.[25] Using these new assets he attempted to sow chaos and a World War 3 via using mind control on UN representatives, creating "UFO" incidents, and attempting to detonate a nuclear weapon in New York before being stopped by Shang-Chi.[25][26][27]

For many years he was inactive and believed dead, and upon his return he recommenced his war with Shang-Chi. First he had Zaran retrieve a chemical agent from A.I.M Who infiltrated an A.I.M. facility, killed everyone in it, and brought him the chemical agent.[28] He then had Zaran lead a team of Daicots against Shang-Chi and his allies. Which was a diversion, as the true target, Spector Tower was destroyed in a great explosion.[29] He later built the Hellfire Weapon which could destroy cities, before being foiled once again by Shang-Chi and MI6.[30]

Seeking alliance with Black Panther

As the Black Panther was touring in the United States, looking for a wife, Fu Manchu had him followed by his ninjas to Luke Cage's flat.[31] Those attacked the two heroes but were forced to retreat, allowing the pair to infiltrate their ship and then Zheng Zu's Fortress.[6]

Going now by the name of "Han", he offered his daughter Kwai Far to T'Challa, hoping to unite their kingdoms. But as the Panther refused the offer, feeling he was bound to someone else, Han got mad, rejecting his daughter and unleashing his ninjas over the two heroes, soon rejoined by his son Shang-Chi. Cage, T'Challa, and Shang-Shi managed to defeat the ninjas and dodge the Dragon, and all left the fortress along with Kwai Far.[6]

Shadow Council

The Shadow Council would resurrect Fu Manchu some point after his death. However, without the proper materials, he was stuck in a temporary undead state. In order to fully resurrect him, they needed to collect the Eyes of the Dragon and sacrifice a relative. After the eyes were located, they decided to capture and sacrifice Shang-Chi. The Shadow Council created a diversion to draw out Shang-Chi and the Secret Avengers so that they could capture him. After Shang-Chi was captured, Zheng Zu told Shang-Chi he planned on killing him. Shang-Chi then revealed he had discovered his true origins, but Zheng Zu dismissively said it did not matter. Zheng Zu then took Shang to a hidden temple in the mountains where all the proper resources would be found. However, his plans were foiled by Moon Knight, who had infiltrated the Shadow Council, and used a tracer to let the Secret Avengers discover the temple. Amidst the chaos, The Prince of Orphans, an old enemy of Zheng Zu, destroyed the glyph powering the ritual. As a result, Zheng Zu died and his body turned to stone. To ensure his death remained permanent, John shattered his body. This created a magical backlash of energy that caused the whole temple to collapse.[32]

Life After Death

After Zheng Zu's death, leadership of the Five Weapons Society was passed down to his son Brother Staff. Following Staff's murder at the hands of Zu's daughter Shi-Hua to usurp control, Zu's spirit chose Shang-Chi as his successor. Despite this, Shi-Hua named herself Supreme Commander, prompting a civil war between the Houses of the Society.[8] After Shang-Chi was named Supreme Commander, Zheng Zu's spirit congratulated his son, remarking that he was destined to become just like him.[33] When Shang-Chi and his siblings were imprisoned in Ta-Lo, Zheng Zu's ghost appeared before him again, which Zu claimed was possible due to Shang-Chi inheriting his mother's psionic abilities. Zu warned his son that Xin was on his way to destroy Shang-Chi and his siblings and urged him to take Ten Rings, which the Jade Emperor kept sealed away from his throne room. Not wanting to give in to the same dark temptations that corrupted his father, Shang-Chi refused. When Xin, empowered by a Taotie Mask, arrived at the dungeon to destroy the Zheng linage once and for all, Shang-Chi reluctantly allowed Zu to guide him to the vault containing the Ten Rings. After Shang-Chi was able to secure the rings, Zu congratulated him accomplishing what he could not.[9]

Attributes

Powers

Sorcerer: Zheng Zu is a powerful sorcerer with several magic-based abilities, including striking and moving human targets from a distance, and causing explosions with his spells.[1]

  • Energy Manipulation
    • Energy Blasts
    • Enhanced Punch: Zheng Zu is able to imbue his fists with magical energy, greatly strengthening his strikes.[18]
  • Flight: Through the use of sorcery, Zheng Zu is capable of flight.[8]
  • Telekinesis.[8]
  • Prolonged Longevity: Through the use of longevity spells, Zheng Zu is able to live longer than his natural lifespan. However, his body still grew old and weak. With his brother's sacrifice through the Eyes of the Dragon, Zu's youth was restored, making him resemble a man within his prime well into the modern age.[34]
  • Memory Spell:Zheng Zu is capable of casting memory spells, making his Shang-Chi forget certain memories from his childhood.[18] However, Shang-Chi was able to recall bits and moments from his erased memories and it wasn't until Jiang Li explained his past to him that he was able to recover them.[35]

Abilities

  • Genius-Level Intellect: Fu Manchu invented the mind control mimosa which could be dispersed in the atmosphere,[21] developed a transmitter to brainwash people via television,[22] built a huge subterranean mountain fortress, made plans to knock the moon from its orbit, built the Hellfire lighting ray weapon which could destroy cities,[30] genetically engineered "aliens",[27] created giant arthropods (spiders, praying mantis, scorpions),[36][37] and mutate human-animal hybrids.[38]
  • Unarmed Combat: Skilled in all of the martial arts that were known to mankind.[11]
  • Master of Disguise: Being able to fool Shang-Chi, his own son.[21]
  • Hypnotism: Skilled in animal magnetism (aka, mystic hypnotism).[11]

Paraphernalia

Equipment

Elixir of Life, orbiting satellite,[26] mind control devices.[39]

Weapons

Directed energy cannons,[40] lightning weapon,[30] giant mutated creatures (insects, arachnids, and reptiles),[41][37] human-animal hybrid mutates.[42]

Transportation

Space shuttle, UFO-like vehicles, space station, and stealth bombers (similar to the F-117 Nighthawk).[24][27][30]

Notes

  • Fu Manchu was originally created by British pulp novelist Sax Rohmer (real name Arthur Sarsfield Ward) and was the eponymous antagonist in several novels and anthologies published between 1913 and 1959. Fu Manchu's greatest adversaries were Sir Denis Nayland Smith and Doctor Petrie (also creations of Sax Rohmer). Fu's infamous son, Shang-Chi, is a character unique to the Marvel Universe and has no pulp era counterpart. As Marvel Comics Entertainment no longer maintains the license to use Fu Manchu as a character; he is seldom referenced in comics but does occasionally appear under an assumed name. His daughter, Fah Lo Suee, is also Rohmer's creation, which is also called by other names. The Marvel Comics version of Fu Manchu was first developed by Roy Thomas and Steve Englehart.
  • On Earth-616, Fu Manchu is a real person, but most people believe him to be a fictional character:

See Also

Links and References

References

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