As a culture writer, a Chinese person, and a comics nerd, I’ve had a deep interest in the character of Shang-Chi, and the way he has been used over the last half century. I’ve written about him in the build up to Marvel’s first Asian led movie, but now that I have seen the film, and had a chance to really digest it, I’ve got a lot to discuss.
Posted in Commentary and tagged china, Chinese, cinema, comics, culture, film, Ghost Month, kungfu, Mandarin, Marvel, MCU, reaction, Shang-chi, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, wushu, Wuxia
I did some work on Shang-chi for a project last year, which didn’t materialise due to the pandemic. The filming of the MCU movie was delayed, also due to COVID_19. Now that it’s finally in the can, I’m celebrating its shaqing by reworking the contents of that unfortunate project into an article that looks at the pitfalls and potential of Marvel’s cultural representation of a character whose origins were so problematic, and yet whose development through the decades of comics has been so interesting.
Posted in Commentary and tagged china, Chinese, cinema, comics, cultural appropriation, culture, diversity, film, kungfu, Marvel, MCU, movie, racism, representation, Shang-chi
A dramatization based on Marvel’s Iron Fist took a long time coming. The comics themselves which began in the 1970s only came into being with the craze for kungfu films in the US at the time, and even with its blatant cultural appropriation and lumping together of all non-white cultures, it was a beacon as a Western comic with a semblance of diversity. The Fraction/Brubaker series in the 90s paid its dues to diversity, nodding to a long line of warriors from different backgrounds, who held the title of Iron Fist, though still representing in quite stereotypical terms the nation the culture of which it owed so much of its world building.
In the 21st century, with the popularity of superheroes TV series, and the success of the “Daredevil” and “Luke Cage”, many have been anticipating one on the warrior of K’un-Lun, and there has been calling from fans and celebrities alike for an Asian casting of its protagonist Danny Rand. The series had been delayed, due to creative debate on the on-screen depiction of the hero’s fiery powers. At last, it was released on Netflix on the 17th of March, and I watched through it all in one go to bring you a continuous commentary on social media. Owing to the positive response I’ve received, here’s a write up of the various themes and points of interest that have come to light.
Posted in Commentary and tagged china, Chinese, comics, commentary, culture, diversity, Iron Fist, Marvel, Netflix, review, TV
When Netflix announced the collection of Marvel heroes it would be bringing the small screen, I was overjoyed to see Iron Fist amongst them, but with Daredevil now in its second series, and Luke Cage’s stand-alone show being slated as the next in the pipeline, I’m beginning to wonder what sort of a show we’ll end up with.
Posted in Commentary and tagged china, Chinese, comics, culture, Iron Fist, Marvel
I’m often quite traditional in my information gathering, usually finding out about books through printed reviews, or more often just wandering round book shops, but I discovered White Crane through their twitter account. I’m quite new to comics, having had an upbringing that didn’t really have space for comics beyond the type of kids books brought from corner news agents (Lian Huan Hua). However, they are an important part of popular culture, and when I saw this title, a Kung Fu inspired comic in English, the amalgamation of traditional and pop culture, Eastern subject for Western readers, it really struck a chord with me.
Posted in Commentary and tagged china, Chinese, comic, culture, Daredevil, DC, graphic novel, kung fu, martial arts, Marvel, Scifi, Shaolin, The Sandman, white crane, wing chun, yong chun
2013 saw Stan Lee in China for the creation of his Annihilator, the Marvel Chinese super hero movie currently in production and scheduled for release next year. This year we’ve seen a very cool new Chinese mutant, Blink, introduced in X-Men: Days of Future Past. I thought this would be a good time to take a look at some existing Chinese super heroes and villains in the Marvel universe.
Posted in Culture and tagged china, Chinese, comics, culture, Marvel