Shang-Chi is the undisputed “Master of Kung Fu” in the Marvel Universe. There have been very few foes that have faced Shang-Chi and emerged victorious. Alone and as a member of the Avengers, Heroes for Hire and Agents of Atlas (among others team-ups), Shang-Chi has beaten numerous super-powered foes, martial arts masters and legions of henchmen.
However, Shang-Chi is just a mortal man and kung fu is but one of many disciplines in a wide array of martial arts. There are a few characters in both the DC and Marvel Universes whose skill sets may, and only may, be able to defeat Shang-Chi in combat. Let's take a closer look at some contenders!
Elektra Natchios is the daughter of a Grecian Ambassador who was murdered when they were both kidnapped. Distraught, she left Empire State University and her relationship with Matt Murdock to study martial arts in China. She was recruited by the Hand, who trained her as a ninja assassin.
Elektra has mastered multiple forms of combat, including ninjutsu and karate. She also mastered a number of ancient martial arts from China and Siam. Elektra is proficient in the use of a number of weapons, but she is most skilled with the three-bladed sai. Elektra is also an Olympic-level athlete and gymnast.
9 Black Canary
Dinah Lance is a second generation hero, following in her mother’s footsteps. After a childhood surrounded by her “aunts and uncles” in the Justice Society of America, a hero’s life was inevitable for Dinah, who became an early member of the Justice League.
Black Canary is one of the most proficient fighters in the DC Universe. She has mastered a multitude of fighting skills including Shuri-Te, boxing, and Capoeira, to name a few. She learned from some of the best warriors including Wildcat, Cassandra Cain and Wonder Woman. Dinah also possesses a ultrasonic “Canary Cry” that can rend steel and even knock Superman off his feet.
8 Master Izo
Apparently more than 500 years old, Master Izo was a member of the Hand in Feudal Japan. He left when it changed from a Samurai alliance to a ninja cult and surrendered his vision in order to possess the “sight” the original founder (and Daredevil) uses.
Izo is a formidable martial artist and actually predates the creation of many of them. He is so proficient that he can wield two katanas at once. He also has considerable stamina and traverses Hell’s Kitchen by jumping from rooftop to rooftop. Izo possesses a superhuman radar sense that allows him to “see” his surroundings and opponents.
7 Richard Dragon
Richard Dragon was a teenage thief taken in by the O Sensei and trained in the martial arts. He found an inner peace and a sense of heroic purpose that he used to battle crime for many years (and pass his skills onto several of the world’s greatest fighters).
Richard Dragon is a master martial artist who has perfected the arts of judo, Muay Thai, and more. He is also a master of philosophy as it relates to the heroic lifestyle. Considered one of the top martial artists in the world, he has trained The Question, Lady Shiva and several members of the Bat Family.
Matt Murdock lost his sight as a child, in an accident that heightened his other senses to superhuman levels. He was trained by master Stick to control those powers. In the process, he mastered a multitude of martial arts that he uses to rid the streets of Hell’s Kitchen of crime when the law fails.
Daredevil’s fighting style is unique, a mix of various fighting disciplines including wrestling, boxing, gymnastics and more. He is also deadly with a range of different close-quarters weapons. His senses allow him to feel the presence of opponents around him and even “feel” the atmospheric changes of teleporting foes.
5 Lady Shiva
Sandra Wu-San began studying martial arts to avenge the death of her sister and found herself to be a prodigy. Since her sister’s killer had been taken out in turn, Lady Shiva found herself wandering without a purpose, learning more skills until she began using them as a master assassin.
Lady Shiva has mastered nearly every martial art and fighting style on the planet. Batman believes that she may be the greatest martial artist alive. Shiva also has the ability to read a person’s body language in order to anticipate their movements.
4 Captain America
Steve Rogers was a sickly young man who simply wanted to serve his country in WWII. Rogers was given the first Super Soldier serum by Dr. Abraham Erskine. The serum transforms the frail Rogers into the absolute peak of human perfection. Given the patriotic garb and shield of Captain America, Steve Rogers became the hero of two generations.
Captain America is considered to be one of the best hand to hand combatants in the world and is limited only by the fact that he is a human being. His fighting style is a unique blend of the multiple martial arts he has mastered. Cap’s primary weapon is his nearly indestructible shield. Through practice and years of battles, Cap can throw the shield with such accuracy that it can ricochet off of multiple foes, incapacitating them before returning to his hand.
3 Karate Kid
Born in 31st Century Japan, Val studied the martial arts of many different worlds from birth. He joined the Legion of Super-Heroes by beating Superboy in single combat. Karate Kid is a living weapon, having mastered every martial art in existence on any world in the 31st Century. Val is able to sense the weak spots in objects and people and deliver seemingly superhuman blows. He can also shatter extremely hard surfaces like steel and stone with a single blow.
Val is a master of all forms of melee weapons, but rarely uses them. Val uses a Legion Flight Ring, which enables him to fly and survive in space, incorporating this advantage in his fighting style. His mental discipline makes him highly resistant to mental control and allows him to ignore physical pain for an extended period.
2 Iron Fist
Orphan Danny Rand lived in the mystical city of K’un Lun and won the right (at age 19) to challenge the dragon Shou-Lao the Undying to acquire the mystical power of the Iron Fist. Danny defeated the dragon and plunged his fists into its molten heart, gaining the power.
Iron Fist has mastered all of the martial arts of K’un Lun and Earth, including Shaolin Kung Fu, Fijian White Crane, Wing Chun and many others, as well as being a skilled gymnast and acrobat. Thanks to the power of the Iron Fist, he can focus his Chi to increase his strength, speed, agility and stamina to extraordinary levels. It also allows him to heal himself and others. By focusing his Chi into his fist, Danny can deliver a blow of superhuman impact.
Nine-year-old Bruce Wayne’s wealthy philanthropist parents were killed in an alleyway in Gotham City by an unknown gunman (well, unknown depending on the version of the story). He vowed on their graves that he would rid their city of the violence that took their lives. Armed with a genius level intellect and an indomitable will, Bruce spent the next 15 years gathering the skills and knowledge he would need to achieve this goal.
Batman is the single greatest melee fighter in the world. Superman once referred to him as “the most dangerous man alive.” Batman has mastered multiple martial arts and fighting styles, including boxing, wrestling and street fighting. His chief offensive weapon is a stylized boomerang called a Batarang that he uses to cut or stun opponents. Additionally, his costume and Utility Belt are filled with an ever changing array of gadgets and weapons. Batman’s most powerful weapon is his mind. Batman is considered to be the world’s greatest detective. He anticipates and plans for nearly every eventuality and is rarely caught off guard.