Spider-Man is the latest Marvel character to get another stand-alone film after the MCU introduced a new character a few months earlier this year – Shang-Chi. Both characters are extremely popular – and powerful – in the comics, so the fans started to wonder: if Spider-Man and Shang-Chi fought, who would win, and why?
If we look at the comics versions of the characters, Spider-Man will win against Shang-Chi in a very tight matchup. However, if we look at the MCU and Shang-Chi wields the Ten Rings, he would easily overpower Spider-Man and defeat him.
In the comics, Shang-Chi never wielded the Ten Rings. He relied mostly on superior martial arts knowledge and experience. Shang is one of the greatest – if not THE greatest – martial artist on Earth. At one point, he gave Spidey lessons in hand-to-hand combat. Would that knowledge be enough to battle Spidey’s superhuman abilities? Let’s find out.
Spider-Man and His Powers
Spider-Man first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15 in 1962. His real name is Peter Parker, and he got his superhuman powers when he was still in high school. After a radioactive spider bite, Parker developed great abilities that, paired with his genius intellect, made him one of the most popular superheroes ever. Let’s see what he can do.
Before he mutated, Peter Parker was a normal human being. The mutation gave Parker many spider-like attributes both physically and mentally. He gained superhuman strength, speed, stamina, reflexes, durability, and senses.
Peter’s eyesight repaired almost instantly, meaning he also gained a powerful healing factor. It allows Spidey to regenerate from injuries much faster than an average human.
Spider-Man can hold onto any surface, no matter how steep it is, allowing him to crawl on walls, ceilings, and other gravity-defying surfaces. It also helps Spidey with his incredible balance – he can instinctively find the balance point on any object regardless of its height and width.
The extent of his strength is immense – usually having to hold back punches not to kill his opponents. Also, Parker is fast enough to dodge bullets easily, but all that is possible thanks to one incredible ability – the Spider-Sense.
Peter Parker’s strongest attribute is the Spider-Sense. It’s a precognitive ability that warns Peter of incoming danger, moments, seconds, or even minutes before it happens. It allows Parker to react at a lightning-fast speed, avoid and counter any attack thrown at him.
Moreover, Spider-Man doesn’t have to plan his every move when avoiding imminent threats. You see, the Spider-Sense works instinctively. After a while, Parker realized that he simply needed to let go and trust his “radar” completely, allowing his reflexes and agility to dodge attacks.
The precognitive sense is so strong that Spider-Man can save a person even after a bullet had already been shot at them. However, it’s not unmistakable. Spidey gets hit from time to time, and he suffered some damage a few times.
The Spider-Sense is an incredible power, but the only reason why Peter can use it so effectively is that he’s as intelligent as they get.
Peter Parker was a Grade-A student his entire life. After the bite made his brain work even faster, Spidey could easily measure with some of the world’s most brilliant minds like Bruce Banner or Tony Stark. Perhaps not yet in his teenage days, but as he grew older, he learned more.
Parker is an expert in several scientific fields – most notably, engineering – but his academic knowledge isn’t the best he has intellectually. The best part about Spidey’s intellect is the quickness of thinking, especially under high pressure.
His brain perceives the world almost in slow motion when he’s fighting, so he thinks and strategizes a lot while in combat. What Spidey lack in martial arts skills, he makes up with quick thinking and impeccable instincts.
Shang-Chi and His Powers
Shang-Chi is also a several-decade-old character, first appearing in Special Marvel Edition #15. He’s among the most masterful martial artists on Earth, training virtually since birth to become the world’s greatest warrior. While he doesn’t have superhuman abilities in the comics, his knowledge and combat experience make him a scary opponent for anybody, including Spidey.
Master Martial Artist
Shang-Chi is often called the Earth’s Greatest Martial Artist, which is 100% true. Shang’s father was Fu Manchu, a villainous crime lord who trained his son to be the world’s deadliest assassin ever since Shang-Chi was born.
He learned countless martial arts and weapon skills, but instead of becoming a cold-blooded mercenary for his dad, Shang rebelled and ran away, living a life on the run from his father.
He trained and perfected his craft, getting incredibly near perfection in hand-to-hand combat. Shang taught many heroes how to fight, including Spidey, at one point, when the web-slinger lost his Spider-Sense and had to find new skills to keep being a hero.
Shang-Chi is physically human, albeit at peak physical and mental condition. He can lift at least two times his weight, around 350-400 pounds or 160-180 kg. However, his martial arts expertise allows Shang to channel his chi and temporarily augment his strength to an unknown extent. We saw him hold his ground alone against 40 attackers, so I’d say it’s pretty high.
Nervous System Control
Another fantastic skill that makes Shang-Chi so deadly even though he’s just human is the nervous system control. Shang has complete control over his pain tolerance, drug or poison resistance, slow down his bleeding, and much more.
Not just that, but Shang-Chi’s incredible knowledge about the human body allows him to impact his opponent’s nervous system, attacking pressure points and incapacitating a person with a single touch. That kind of control over one’s nervous system gives one incredible patience, focus, and calmness in combat.
As the world’s greatest martial artist, Shang-Chi is prolific in hand-to-hand combat and weaponry. He usually uses nothing but his fighting skills in battle, but we’ve seen him being incredibly prolific with nunchaku, swords, sticks, shuriken, and other traditional Eastern culture weapons.
Unlike the MCU version of Shang-Chi, the comic version never wields the highly powerful Ten Rings. They give Shang – or anyone else wearing them – incredible mystical powers, including flight, spellcasting, and more.
If you combine Shang-Chi’s amazing combat skills with the power of the Ten Rings, Spidey would be toast. If we’re sticking to the comic version of Shang and Peter, though, they’re much more evenly matched.
Spider-Man Vs. Shang-Chi: Who Wins?
If both Spider-Man and Shang-Chi are at their standard comic power levels, then Spider-Man would win more often than not. He’s a superhuman with incredible strength, speed, agility, and precognitive reflexes, along with a genius intellect, superior technology, and more.
On the other hand, Shang-Chi is a master martial artist, but he can’t match Spidey in any aforementioned segments. Still, that doesn’t mean it would be a cakewalk for Peter Parker. Shang beat much more powerful threats. He even taught Spidey some fighting lessons after Parker lost his Spider-Sense and asked Shang-Chi for help in Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #16.
Also, if we consider Shang-Chi’s strongest version, which would be the MCU’s Shang-Chi with the power of the Ten Rings, then he would destroy Spider-Man, hands down.
Then again, if we’re considering Shang’s strongest version, we have to consider Spider-Man’s, too. That would be Cosmic Spider-Man, who becomes one of the strongest characters in the Marvel Universe. Cosmic Spidey would trump Ten Ring Shang-Chi.
We can go on like that forever, so let’s just stick to their standard comic versions; Spider-Man would have a hard time matching Shang-Chi’s combat skills, but his Spider-Sense and superhuman physiology would prevail more often than not.
Spider-Man wins in 7/10 fights against Shang-Chi.