Shang Chi and the Legend of the Three Keys

by Don Y

Screen-Shot-2021-02-14-at-11.27.01-AM-200x300 Shang Chi and the Legend of the Three KeysWe all know about Shang-Chi’s first appearance in Special Marvel Edition #15 (1973). Considering that Marvel will release a trailer for Shang-Chi & The Legend of the Ten Rings soon (many were expecting to see one during the Super Bowl), this issue’s value hasn’t really risen all that much during the past two years. For instance, during the past two years, sellers on eBay and Heritage sold 13 CGC 8.5 copies of this book. During that same period of time, that book’s value only rose by 3.3%.  If Shang-Chi exceeds a billion at the box office, watch out; this book’s value will likely pop.

Let’s discuss some lesser-known, and perhaps undervalued, Shang-Chi keys below.

Giant-Size Spider-Man #2: Shang-Chi’s First Crossover Event

Screen-Shot-2021-02-14-at-11.31.40-AM-207x300 Shang Chi and the Legend of the Three KeysA year after his first appearance, in Giant-Size Spider-Man #2, Shang-Chi meets another Marvel superhero, Spider-Man, for the first time. Although they end up fighting when they first meet, Spider-Man and Shang-Chi would go on to work together many times in the years to come. At one point, when Spider-Man loses his spider-sense, Shang-Chi would train Spider-Man in the martial arts.

During the past two years, the value of GSM #2 has risen at a faster rate than MSE #15. During the past two years, sellers on eBay and Heritage sold 10 CGC 9.6 copies of this book. That book’s value rose by a healthy 19.1% during that same period of time.

Totally Awesome Hulk #15: First Appearance of the Protectors

Screen-Shot-2021-02-14-at-11.29.56-AM-190x300 Shang Chi and the Legend of the Three KeysWhile the original Shang-Chi series feels dated today, Totally Awesome Hulk #15 presents a Shang-Chi that feels appropriate for the Modern Age. I just love TAH #15’s story. A team of Asian-American superheroes, including Jimmy Woo, Shang-Chi, Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel), and Cindy Moon (Silk) headline a fundraising event to support bone marrow donations (it’s difficult for Asian-Americans to find matches for bone marrow transplants).

Afterward, they hit Koreatown in Manhattan for Korean barbecue and noraebang (literally “singing room”). Not surprisingly, writer Greg Pak nails the details at the Korean barbecue and karaoke, including the laugh-out-loud battle to pay for the dinner check among the men. At the very end of the issue, the Imperial Guard of Seknarf Seven attacks New York City, and the six superheroes prepare to defend it. In Totally Awesome Hulk #16, Jimmy Woo calls this team the Protectors for the first time.

The variant cover art by Mukesh Singh that you see here is one of three variants that exist for TAH #15. Although very few graded copies of this book exist, GoCollect estimates that its FMV is just under $100. You can buy a high-grade raw copy of the standard edition of TAM #15 for only six or seven dollars on eBay.

Considering that we’ve already seen Jimmy Woo in the MCU, Amadeus Cho’s mother (Helen Cho in Avengers: Age of Ultron) and Shang-Chi and Ms. Marvel will appear later in 2021, I’m speculating that we’ll see some version of the Protectors as well.

What do YOU think? Let us know below! We want to hear from you!  What books are you collecting?

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