Shang-Chi vs Iron Fist: Who would win? Marvel fans have had a treat recently, what with the long-awaited debut of the second trailer for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Shang-Chi is one of Marvel Comics’ original Asian superheroes, who rode the wave of martial arts exploitation flicks in the 70s to become one of the publishing behemoth’s most enduring characters. Shang-Chi – also known as the Master of Kung Fu – is now getting the spotlight he deserves, shedding his exploitative roots to become an A-list hero on the screen for Marvel Studios, as played by Simu Liu (Kim’s Convenience).
Iron Fist, aka Danny Rand – a poor, orphaned, heir to a massive fortune raised in a mystical city in a heavenly realm – has similar roots in the exploitation era. Created in 1974, Iron Fist was the answer to the question no one asked – what if Batman was raised on a mystical plane by martial arts masters, and plunged his fist into the heart of a dying dragon, giving him a spiritually-powered fist of iron? Iron Fist has similarly been brought to life on-screen, albeit in the short-lived, much-derided Netflix show Iron Fist.
With SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS due for release on September 3rd, it’s important to consider how Shang-Chi stacks up against Marvel’s other martial arts-oriented superhero, Iron Fist. With Marvel Studios seemingly holding little to no interest in bringing Iron Fist (as played by Finn Jones) back from his current dormant Netflix contract, it begs the question – are they putting all their chop-socky eggs in Shang-Chi’s basket? If so, is it because when it comes down to it – ‘Shang-Chi vs Iron Fist, who would win’… is it Shang-Chi?
If you’re asking the question Shang-Chi vs Iron Fist: who would win – the first thing that comes to mind is, what powers do these dudes have? In a fight between two superheroes, power sets are front and center. For the purpose of this match, we’ll be looking at the comic book versions of Shang-Chi and Iron Fist; let’s face it, comparing Simu Liu’s Shang-Chi (a character only seen in a trailer) and Finn Jones’ Iron Fist (a performance uniformly criticized) wouldn’t be very fair.
In that aspect, the power differences are very simple. Shang-Chi is a non-superhuman combatant – instead being incredibly gifted and well-trained in a variety of martial arts, as well as in the arts of concentration and meditation, and in-tune with the chi emitted by all living beings. He’s proficient with multiple weapons.
Iron Fist, on the other hand, battled the dragon Shou-Lao the Undying; defeating it, he plunged his fist into the dying dragon’s heart, imbuing it with the power of “something unto iron”. This power allows him to concentrate his own chi into glowing energy, making for an extremely destructive punch. He can also use his chi to enhance his natural abilities to superhuman levels; his strength, speed and stamina can be increased, enough to cause a problem for anyone who comes looking for trouble.
Verdict: In terms of power sets, Shang-Chi and Iron Fist are both extraordinarily well-trained, but Iron Fist has the added bonus of his, well, iron fist.
As previously mentioned, Shang-Chi and Iron Fist are comparably well trained; so when it comes to ‘Shang-Chi vs Iron Fist: Who would win?’ it’s going to be down to the wire. Shang-Chi, however, was born of a woman selected for her genetics, and trained from birth by his father, a genius with a predilection for destruction, and hand-picked mentors. Danny Rand, on the other hand, was a boy when he was trained by Lei-Kung the Thunderer in K’un-Lun, and not from any physically-talented gene pool.
Verdict: Fighting style points go to Shang-Chi for having a whole additional childhood spent training and genetics on his side.
Home Turf Advantage
In the fantasy fight of Shang-Chi vs Iron Fist, home turf advantage can matter a great deal. For Danny Rand, the Iron Fist, who can usually be found either atop the skyscrapers of Manhattan or in the heavenly capital city of K’un-Lun, it’s possible he might struggle outside of the fighting arenas he’s used to. Shang-Chi, on the other hand, has travelled between worlds and dimensions, and is more likely trained to operate on assorted battlefields.
Verdict: This one goes to Shang-Chi, as Iron Fist may have gotten too comfy on his home turf. If the fight happens anywhere else, he’s pooched.
Famously, Iron Fist is one half of the Heroes for Hire, where he operates with Luke Cage. He’s also had a relationship with Colleen Wing, a talented fighter of her own reknown, and she usually rolls with Misty Knight, another talented fighter. Iron Fist has been an Avenger, and once covered for Daredevil while he was in prison – so you could say the Man Without Fear owes him a favor. Iron Fist is pretty tight with his crew, and it stands to reason they’d step up to the plate.
Shang-Chi, on the other hand, is typically a lone wolf. The reality is, he doesn’t usually need the help! That said, he has featured on a couple of Avengers squads, including the covert ops Secret Avengers. More recently he’s with the Agents of Atlas, and the squad boasts some hitters; Jimmy Woo, Silk, Namora and Amadeus Cho aka one of the smartest people on earth and the former ‘Totally Awesome Hulk’.
Verdict: While Iron Fist has some solid brawlers on his side, Shang-Chi clinches it with the wide range of Agents of Atlas currently at his back, including one of the smartest people on the planet (Cho) and one of the craftiest (Woo).
Final Winner: Shang-Chi
It’s a close tussle, but the answer to the question of ‘Shang-Chi vs Iron Fist: Who would win?’ is undoubtedly Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu by a hair’s breadth. Iron Fist would give a good fight, but Shang-Chi recently held the power of the Phoenix (literally) and just sat there and meditated. Who could beat that kind of confident, calm energy?