Shang-Chi proves he’s a hypocrite by helping the Avengers hunt Hulk just as they recently hunted him while also showing how the team corrupts heroes.
Warning! This article contains spoilers for Thor #25
While the Avengers are known as the protectors of Earth and are considered to be the pinnacle of superhero standards, the team also holds a power that corrupts its members, something that is proven true by Shang-Chi’s hypocrisy over the Hulk.
Shang-Chi was, up until recently, an adversary of the Avengers after he decided to stick with the criminal organization created by his father, the Five Weapons Society, in an effort to change it from within. The Avengers wanted to shut it down and arrest everyone involved, but Shang-Chi couldn’t let that happen to his family as he believed his plan to turn them to the side of good was sound enough without the Avengers’ interference. The conflict resulted in a brutal battle between the Five Weapons Society and the Avengers, with a versus battle between Shang-Chi and Thor that is one for the books. While tensions were high, Shang-Chi was eventually welcomed back into the good graces of the Avengers.
In Thor #25 by Donny Cates and Martin Coccolo, Thor is in the middle of a raging battle against the Hulk. The two titans broke out into combat after Thor accused the Hulk of the murder of innocent civilians in El Paso, an event that has yet to be fully explained. During the battle, which is taking place in a deep-space fighting arena, the Avengers gather in their mountain headquarters on Earth to discuss how to take down the Hulk given his alleged crimes in El Paso–and among them stands Shang-Chi.
Shang-Chi knows better than anyone that the Avengers sometimes get it wrong when it comes to pursuing a target, especially one of their own. Within continuity, it had been only a few short weeks at most since the Avengers were trying to take Shang-Chi down after they accused him of being a criminal and then fought him even though the Avengers clearly didn’t understand the situation. Now, Shang-Chi stands with them against the Hulk despite not knowing the full story, a sign of true hypocrisy that puts the toxic nature of the Avengers on full display. Given the sheer number of big personalities on the Avengers roster, it seems to be easy to get swept away in whatever mission they deem worthy of their time. When the Avengers say something is a problem, heroes associated with the team blindly follow since the group has been such a long-standing force for good in the world, they don’t even consider that their actions may be wrong.
This isn’t a singular problem as both Civil War and Civil War II events clearly show how heroes can get swept away in their own ideals that they lead others astray. This momentum created by every Avengers mission keeps the heroes that take part in them from asking deeper questions as their only goal is to accomplish the task as an Avenger. Shang-Chi is the latest example of launching a premature attack on the blind faith that the Avengers know what they’re doing, and his hypocrisy over Hulk shows exactly how the Avengers corrupts its heroes.
Thor #25 is available now from Marvel Comics.
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