Black Panther Versus Shang-Chi – Which Movie is Better?

Edenilson Flores Crespin

Black Panther and Shang-Chi and The Legend Of The 10 Rings are arguably two of the most culturally-inducing Marvel movies of all time: Black Panther embraces West African culture while Shang-Chi embraces East Asian culture. Both movies are very similar in that they both showcase cultural aspects like imagery, language, etc. 

Now, what are the differences? Let’s get into that!

Black Panther follows the story of newly crowned King T’Challa, who was forced into becoming King after the sudden death of his father. Throughout the movie, the viewer witnesses T’Challa and his struggle to become his definition of a “worthy king”. T’Challa’s journey of becoming Wakanda’s “worthy king” place in West Africa, and therefore, throughout the whole movie there is a heavy West African influence. Black Panther, for the most part, is accurate to the comics: there are no major changes from the series and the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). Black Panther received heavy praise from audiences and critics around the world. It received over 200 million dollars on its opening weekend and received a 97% Rotten Tomato rating from critics.

Shang-Chi is a movie about the rise of Marvel’s new Asian superhero, Shang. During the movie, Shang tries to change the course of his life by escaping his past. The majority of the movie takes place in China, therefore, East Asian culture is depicted in many ways, such as the setting, language, clothing, symbolism, and fighting style, as Shang-Chi uses a fighting style not seen in the MCU before: Kung-Fu infused with other elements of martial arts. Shang-Chi, similarly to Black Panther, has no major changes between the comic and the movie, although Shang-Chi’s story is altered a little: Shang-Chi was born the son of Wenwu in the movie, while in the comics, the father is Fu Manchu. Shang-Chi was rated 92% on Rotten Tomatoes by critics, and for the most part, is enjoyed by its viewers.

So Which Is Better?

Black Panther and Shang-Chi are both great movies, attracting Marvel fans from all over the world, and don’t require background information regarding previous movies/comics. Now, for the answer? Before I tell you, we must remember this is all opinion-based. Personally, I think Shang-Chi edges Black Panther for the simple fact that Shang Chi’s possibilities, as a franchise, are unmeasurable. As a Marvel fan, the integration of Shang-Chi can change the scene. Some might argue differently and say that Black Panther has already changed the scene, but regardless, in my opinion, Shang-Chi edges Black Panther.