Ever since that little slip of the lip many months ago by Jonathan Hickman that Shang Chi would be a member of his massive Avengers team, this is the one we have been waiting for!
Avengers World #3 is hot and heavy with kung fu action, reminding you of the best of Shang Chi and Iron Fist's worlds from the 1970s. If the writing and art had been as good then as it is now (and many would argue it was), both of those mags might still be ongoing ... with a probable reissue or two and a thousand #1's, lol.
This character-driven issue by Hickman and Nick Spencer is superb, its integrity the climactic battle between Shang Chi and another Marvel master of the martial arts, the Gorgan, formerly of Hydra. And by the way, while the fists fly it is imperative to remember that this villain's gaze can turn men and women into stone.
As long as he has been around, this issue really helps to flesh out the character of Shang Chi and has the feel of those old Steve Englehart/Jim Starlin books of yesteryear. The flashbacks of his mentors and masters are superb, and does nothing but help character and story advance.
And of course, as in recent years, the star of this issue is the art. The action and suspense and tight drama brought to you by the art of Stefano Caselli are superb. It will keep you sweating in your seat as Shang Chi and the Gorgon go through their paces. Truly a hypnotic issue that will become an instant kung fu classic!
If all this character-driven action and suspense are what Jonathan Hickman had in mind when he gave birth to Avengers World with Spencer, then they have been quite successful.
Not only is this book a great companion to the main Avengers title, but it is becoming quite a success in and of itself. A must read!