Movies

Blade And Shang-Chi Chose To Abandon Their Backstories For Good

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, in the same way as Blade, did develop a whole new background for its main character, Shang-Chi. Shang-Chi, the newest hero to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has a character background that is far different from how he first appeared in the columns of Marvel Comics. This overall reworking of the original material, on the other hand, proved to be a smart choice.

Shang-Chi from the comic books is not alike as seen in the movie

His early comic book days, which took place between the 1970s and the 1980s, cemented Shang-Chi’s reputation as both Marvel’s response to Bruce Lee and the son of Fu Manchu. Certain aspects of his comic book background are preserved in the film. These include his expertise in kung fu, his initial execution operation, and the fact that his arch-enemy happens to be his father.

Blade And Shang-Chi

On the other hand, Shang-Chi’s background is re-imagined in a major way in the film. The inclusion of fantastical elements namely the hamlet of Ta Lo and the evil dragon Dweller-in-Darkness is a significant shift. Shang-Chi’s father is likewise basically combined within one entity with The Mandarin and renamed Wenwu. It concludes the retcon of the false Mandarin shown in Iron Man 3.

As a result of this, more fantastical aspects are taken into account with the ten rings. Moreover, Shang-Chi’s father is separated from the racial undertones of Fu Manchu. Shang-Chi is perhaps the first time the Marvel Cinematic Universe has made such major alterations to a hero’s background. Although the first Marvel remake to truly breakthrough at the box office, Blade did something similar with its own hero.

How Blade and Shang-Chi chose to abandon their original backstories for the better

As read in the comics, Blade was primarily a human vamp hunter. While that might sound very “regular”, he was immune to vampire bites due to his human form. His origins were presented in a different light in the 1998 film Blade, which depicted Blade’s mother being bitten by Deacon Frost  while she was pregnant, and with the often sunglassed Blade having inherited the abilities of vampires while also being invulnerable to their weaknesses, earning him the moniker “The Daywalker.” Blade’s earlier presence on Spider-Man: The Animated Series featured a similar narrative of Blade having a vampire father, and both episodes featured Blade repressing his desire for human blood with a specifically made serum.

Following Blade’s success in 1998, the character of Blade became a well-known Marvel character a good decade before the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) was established with the release of Iron Man. Shang-Chi likewise adopts a character who, like Blade, was just not well-versed to the public at large. It then transforms him into a real A-Lister. Having taken specific components from their character’s comic book origins, the creators largely developing new storylines for them can be highly debatable. However, it is possible that it was more advantageous than straightforward adaptations would be.

The future of the upcoming Blade movie

Blade’s impact on popular perception foresees Marvel’s forthcoming Mahershala Ali-led remake of the character certainly following the very same backstory as Wesley Snipes’ Daywalker. The movie may premiere in Marvel’s projected October 2023 timeframe. Despite COVID-19, the movie is a huge box office hit and has now become the highest-grossing movie in 2021.  Shang-Chi has altered its original character’s history in a manner that is now certain to be his new identity.

Most superhero films attempt to keep their heroes’ backgrounds as close to their comic book counterparts as possible. However, the films Blade and, Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings took the other approach. It is now a no-brainer that the decision obviously paid off handsomely for each of them.

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