Fu Manchu (Marvel)

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Zheng Zu reborn in Secret Avengers v1 #8.

Fu Manchu is a male character that features in Marvel Comics.

Contents

Biography

Origin

Shang-Chi, son of Fu Manchu from Special Marvel Edition v1 #15.

According to legend, texts indicated that the person known as Fu Manchu was actually known as Zheng Zu. He along with his brothers were noted sorcerers who were responsible for creating the artifacts known as the Eyes of the Dragon. Zu was said to had been an evil magician who stole the essence of his own brother killing him in the process so that he could live forever. (Secret Avengers v1 #8) For the better part of two centuries, he had sought out knowledge in the quest for power. (Deadly Hands of Kung Fu v1 #1) He gained his education from the monastery at Rach Churan where he learnt martial arts, arcane knowledge and every discipline of science. The people of the monastery would hold him in high regard and Fu Manchu would depart in order to share his 'gifts' to the rest of the world. (Master of Kung Fu v1 #124)

At some point, he met an American woman and their union led to her being pregnant with a child known as Shang-Chi who was delivered to his father. Since that time, Fu Manchu had the boy trained by his martial arts masters to be his prime agent and a master of murder. (Deadly Hands of Kung Fu v1 #1) When his son was 10 years old, a martial artist by the name of Tiger-Claw who demanded to join his service as a lodge master of the Si-Fan. (Giant-Size Master of Kung Fu v1 #4) One of his instructors was Cho Lin and on Shang-Chi's 14th birthday it was decided to test him for his killer instinct. This saw outsider assassins being hired to attack Shang-Chi who was forced to defend himself. Afterwards, Cho Lin confessed that this was part of his fathers test which shocked the boy and became one of the reasons for turning against Fu Manchu over the brutality of his actions. (Deadly Hands of Kung Fu v1 #1)

Among his many children included his daughter Fah Lo Suee. (Master of Kung Fu v1 #26)

Master of Kung Fu

After his death, it was believed that the Si-Fan had disbanded and that Manchu's criminal empire was quartered by various factions. These included Chiang Kai-Dong's Sleeping Dragon Clan, Hsien Ming-Ho's Steel Lotus Group, Deng Ling-Xiao's Wild Tiger Mob and Mao Liu-Cho's Coiled Serpent Syndicate. (X-Men v2 #62) All these groups gradually fell as the Kingpin established himself as the new ruler of Fu Manchu's resources with him seeking to claim the power of his Elixir Vitae. (X-Men v2 #63)

The Black Panther would later tour the United States to look for a wife with Fu Manchu sending his ninjas to follow him where they tracked him to Luke Cage's flat. (Black Panther v4 #10) They would attack the two heroes but were forced to retreat which allowed the pair to infiltrate Fu Manchu's ship and later his fortress. During the confrontation with him, he introduced himself as Han and offered his daughter Kwai Far to T'Challa in the hopes of uniting their two kingdoms. T'Challa would refuse as his heart belonged to someone else with Han getting angry over the rejection of his daughter whereupon he would dispatch his ninjas against the two heroes. The battle was soon joined by his own son Shang-Chi who joined with the Black Panther and Luke Cage in defeating Han's forces where they managed to escape the fortress along with his daughter Kwai Far. (Black Panther v4 #11)

Reborn

He was later partially resurrected in a decaying body by the Shadow Council though had only a few days in order to seek immortality otherwise his body would die once again. As such, he would dispatch his Hai-Dai assassins with the task of capturing his son Shang-Chi but would fail when the Secret Avengers protected him. (Secret Avengers v1 #7) The reason for capturing Shang-Chi was because Zu intended to sacrifice his son as part of a ritual with the Eyes of the Dragon to achieve immortality. (Secret Avengers v1 #8) With Shang-Chi in their hands, Zheng Zu proceeded with the ritual using the Eyes to restore himself with the Shadow Council hoping to use him to secure a presence for them in China. The ritual itself was interrupted by the Secret Avengers with the Prince of Orphans saving the captured Shang-Ch and destroying the decaying Zu's body seemingly killing him once again. (Secret Avengers v1 #10) One of his daughters, Zheng Bao Yu would continue to operate where she took control of the Hai Dai and resurrected one of her fathers experiments that studied the alien Brood but the operation was disrupted by the intervention of the Fearless Defenders. (Fearless Defenders v1 #8) His other son Midnight Sun would seek to honor his father by seeking out the black magic book called the Chao-Siwang Shu. With it, he begin eliminating the Triad leaders and taking their heads for a mystical ritual designed to empower him. This would have given Midnight Sun all the power, control and influence over the clans that would allow him to rule over all of China whereby he would make it into the great dragon that Fu Manchu had long desired. (Deadly Hands of Kung Fu v2 #3)

Overview

Personality and attributes

His followers referred to him as the Celestial One and as the Lord of the Si-Fan though his enemies sometimes called him the Devil Doctor. (Deadly Hands of Kung Fu v1 #1) He was known to had gone by many names over his life with this being believed as a means for him to protect himself. (Secret Avengers v1 #8) One of his assumed names he went under for a time was Han. (Black Panther v4 #11)

Shang-Chi claimed that his father was always a terrorist in the way he operated. (Secret Avengers v1 #8) It was said that evil was the property of Fu Manchu and that he was the most infamous villain of all time. (Deadly Hands of Kung Fu v1 #1)

It was said that the wisdom and power of the mandarin Fu Manchu was the source of legend. He had sought knowledge during his long life as he knew it as a source of power. Fu Manchu believed that knowledge was not difficult with the world only not being able to find such fonts of knowledge because they did not know where or how to search for them. (Deadly Hands of Kung Fu v1 #1)

Over the course of his life, he had many children that included a daughter Kwai Far. (Black Panther v4 #11) Another one of his offspring was another daughter named Zheng Bao Yu. (Fearless Defenders v1 #8) He had another child that was a son who went by the name of Moving Shadow. (Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu v1 #1) Fu Manchu stated that he knew many things but he did not know his son Shang-Chi. (Deadly Hands of Kung Fu v1 #1)

With regards to his name, he said that the name Fu Manchu was a silly title that Westerners had given to him which simply meant Man of the Manchu Dynasty. He stated that every century that he went under a different alias such as Han. (Black Panther v4 #11)

Powers and abilities

The basis for his near immortality was by draining the life force of those of his bloodline be they siblings or children who were sacrificed to him for Zheng Zu to live longer. (Secret Avengers v1 #8)

He had a number of priests that served him who were all masters of the martial arts. In addition, he managed his own Cult of Assassins that operated as an extension of his will. (Deadly Hands of Kung Fu v1 #1) A position among the Si-Fan was that of the lodge master. (Giant-Size Master of Kung Fu v1 #4)

Among his most elite followers was the silent Council of Seven who oversaw the operations of the Si-Fan. The death of any on the council saw their spot open for new membership[. (Giant-Size Master of Kung Fu v1 #1)

Notes

  • The Marvel Comics version of Fu Manchu was first developed by Roy Thomas and Steve Englehart.
  • Dr. Fu Manchu was originally created for a series of novels by British author Sax Rohmer.

Alternate Versions

  • In Masters of Kung-Fu (2015), a version of the character was shown to reside on Battleworld where he was the ruling baron of K'un Lun. When the Beyonders destroyed all of reality, Doctor Doom created a safe haven where he lived as a god-king with this world being known as Battleworld. On this planet, there was a realm known as K'un Lun where a version of Zheng Zu had arisen to become the emperor of this land and ruler of the Ten Rings. Under his rule came a hundred year old reign of prosperity through terror until the doors of the Thirteen Chambers opened for the next trial that determined the new ruler. In this time, his son Shang-Chi was a vagrant and a drunk who resented his fathers rule. (Master of Kung Fu v2 #1)

Appearances

  • Master of Kung-Fu v1:
  • Giant-Size Master of Kung Fu v1:
  • Black Panther v4:
  • Secret Avengers v1:

External Links

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