Unless you’ve been hiding out from the internet, you know that Marvel Studios just dropped the first trailer for Shang-Chi and the Legend of The Ten Rings.
The movie’s release date is September 3, 2021, giving Marvel Cinematic Universe fans something to look forward to this fall, with the first theatrical-only release since before the COVID-19 pandemic (Black Widow comes this July 9 — finally — to theaters and Disney+).
As the world gets ready for the release of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first Asian-fronted film with an Asian film crew, all but the most diehard comic fans are becoming very curious about some of the finer details revealed in the teaser — especially if you’re not completely familiar with the comic book source material for Marvel’s superheroes and supervillains.
For example, there’s that scene on a public bus, in which Shang-Chi is fighting a guy with a beard, wielding a sword-like weapon with a glowing red edge.
That bad guy is named Razor Fist, and he’s played by actor Florian Munteanu. But who exactly is this villain, anyway, and what role does he take on in the new film against hero Shang-Chi?
The first Razor Fist, in the comics, is a bodyguard with steel blades for hands
While Razor Fist doesn’t have any special powers, he’s known for the fact that, in place of hands, his arms end in steel blades. He’s a strong fighter and a martial arts expert who has come up against Shang-Chi numerous times.
There have actually been a few characters that used the same name. The first Razor Fist, William Young, was introduced in Master of Kung-Fu #29 from June 1975. He was created by writers Doug Moench and Paul Gulacy.
He was an assassin, bodyguard, and enforcer who worked for criminal mastermind Carlton Velcro, a drug lord with an estate in southern France, who decided to make his bodyguard more effective by surgically replacing Young’s hands with steel blades.
This doesn’t appear to be the Razor Fist of the trailer, though — as if you look closely, he’s only got one arm that appears to be in the form of a steel blade. So, it’s more likely that the MCU’s Razor Fist is one of the second two incarnations of the character.
The second and third Razor Fists were brothers
The second and third men to take the name Razor Fist were mercenaries Douglas and William Scott, starting with Master of Kung-Fu #105. Each lost a hand in a car accident, after which Velcro visited them and offered to replace their lost limbs with steel blades. William Scott eventually met a fate similar to that of his predecessor Young, thanks to a confrontation with Shang-Chi in which the protagonist mentioned how the original Razor Fist had actually died.
Razor Fist wanted to know if this was true, and Velcro panicked and accidentally shot William’s Razor Fist while aiming for Shang-Chi.
This led to Douglas Scott becoming the new Razor Fist, and he had quite a career as a villain. He also fought Shang-Chi, but branched out and fought Captain America, Hawkeye, Daredevil, Iron Man, Mockingbird, Wolverine, and many other heroes, as well.
Eventually, he drew his own followers to him, and replaced his other hand with a weapon — but also lost one of his blades during a fight with Colleen Wing.
Thus, it’s most likely that the version of Razor Fist seen in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is Douglas Scott, the most menacing person to ever take on the moniker of Razor Fist.
Of course, the Marvel movie canon isn’t obligated to stay true to the comic-book version — see the two Shockers in Spider-Man: Homecoming, for instance – so fans will just have to wait and see which version of this villain shows up on screen, and what his fate ends up being when he encounters Shang-Chi on the silver screen.