Writer: CM Punk / Artist: Dalibor Talajic / Marvel Comics
Marvel’s god of fisticuffs, Shang-Chi, is back in these panels. I’ve been low-key riding for Shang-Chi since he re-trained Spider-Man to develop his own unique fighting style and incapacitated the fuck outta folks in Secret Avengers. I’m glad to see him back in action, even if it’s only for one issue. We got CM Punk back in these panels again too?! I see you, Marvel. Punk scripts a Ferris Bueller’s Day Off Kung-Fu adventure for Shang-Chi. We join our guy Shang-Chi eating push-ups for brunch (cause that’s what he does) and catch wind of animals disappearing from zoos on the news in the background.
The adventure begins once Shang and his sidekick go on an ice cream run. They’re attacked by ninjas in broad daylight which then leads to humorous circumstances. The story feels right out of the Silver Age with how out there it is. Shit is cute man, what you want me to say?
Shang’s dialogue may feel campy at first but once the attacking ninja’s personalities shine that changes. CM Punk excels in small nuances and quick ad-libs in conversations. That sharp wit is an easy translation to the page as he has these henchmen become the everyman in this story. Their commentary on how ridiculously punny their villainous boss’ actual name is lets you know this isn’t an issue that takes itself seriously.
Dalibor Talajic’s art follows the vibe of this book splendidly. When the action scenes are taking place, Talajic highlights how efficient Shang-Chi is in fight sequences. We also see these very low-level villains take the spotlight as the comedic relief this issue. Shang-Chi plays the straight-man in his story instead of being the snarky smart-ass, which works for him.
My only complaint is a long monologue that Shang-Chi delivers. I can overlook that though cause you only have so many pages to get the story across in a single issue. So, I’m not hung up on it. It made me wonder what this creative team could do if they had more issues to tell their story (or stories).
Long story short, CM Punk and Dalibor Talajic deliver a fun side-quest for Shang-Chi. Check out what the master of Kung-Fu gets into on when not breaking faces on the clock.