“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” star Simu Liu is set to attend The ACE Experience at comic convention Awesome Con alongside his co-stars Meng’er Zhang and Florian Munteanu, but fans must take note of some rules put in place for the signing event.
According to an ACE announcement, Liu, Zhang and Munteanu will be available for celebrity photo ops and in-person autographs on June 4 at Awesome Con at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The announcement also noted, however, that the actors would not be signing any comic books deemed offensive, particularly Marvel Comics’ original “Shang-Chi” run from 1974-83.
“Simu Liu will not sign any Master of Kung Fu comics or other comics deemed offensive,” the note read. “All autographs from Simu will be signed in English only.”
Shang-Chi first appeared in the 1973 comic book “Special Marvel Edition” issue No. 15, created by writer Steve Englehart and artist Jim Starlin. It went through a title change two issues later to become “The Hands of Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu.”
While it featured an East Asian protagonist, the series was ripe with “yellow peril” tropes, most notably in the form of the hero’s father, Fu Manchu, a fictional cultural icon who has been deemed by many as “yellow peril incarnate.”
Fu Manchu first appeared as a racist caricature in a series of novels created by British author Sax Rohmer, most notably the “Fu-Manchu: The Mystery of Dr. Fu-Manchu.”
Another controversial character that appeared in the “Shang-Chi” comic books was the Mandarin, a supervillain who harnessed the power of the Ten Rings. A version of the character also appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s “Iron Man 3,” played by British actor Ben Kingsley.
Starlin reportedly left the “Shang-Chi” series after being informed by colleague Larry Hama of the racist nature of Fu Manchu.
Prices for autographs and photo ops with Liu at Awesome Con are set at $150, while those with Zhang and Munteanu are $65-$75. The convention is scheduled as an in-person event running from June 3-5.