Shang-Chi has arrived. The action-packed first trailer for Marvel’s first martial arts-heavy movie looks incredible. Simu Liu leads the cast as the titular hero and in one particular sequence he seems to be facing down one of the most famous weapons in Marvel history. Yes, dear readers, we think that Razor Fist could have the Muramasa Blade for an arm.
Who is Razor Fist?
Although this isn’t a Razor Fist explainer, seeing as he’s currently wielding the blade we’ll start here. First introduced in 1975’s Master of Kung Fu #29, the first villain to hold the mantle was an assassin. In a horrible twist of fate, his arms were surgically replaced with blades. That’s obviously where he got his name. The first Razor Fist even has a Fantastic Four connection as Doom built robots of him after his death. We don’t know which version of the villain we’ll get here, we can probably assume this is one of the latter two Razor Fists, as they both began with just one hand replaced with a blade. But here that blade glows a mysterious red. Which is why we think it might be the legendary Muramasa Blade.
What is the Muramasa Blade?
Now it’s time to get into the important stuff. The Muramasa Blade is named after the legendary Japanese swordsmith Sengo Muramasa. He established his school during the Muromachi period, and history remembers him for his unique weapons. The Marvel Universe reinvented the real life figure as a fictional one to create its version of the Muramasa Blade.
The first Muramasa sword appeared in the late ’80s Wolverine series. It was known as the Black Blade. In the comics, Muramasa is a demon blacksmith who forged his own soul into the blade of this sword. That violent choice imbued the blade with superhuman powers. But it’s the second iteration of the Muramasa Blade that became the most well-known. And that the one we think might have made an appearance in the Shang-Chi trailer.
The Red Muramasa Blade
While the forging of the Black Blade used Muramasa’s soul, the second Muramasa Blade came with a slice of Wolverine’s soul and blood inside it. It was a weapon created solely for revenge after Wolverine’s wife Itsu was killed by the Winter Soldier. Yes, Bucky Barnes murdered Logan’s wife in the comics. Shocking stuff.
But the creation of the Blade is just the beginning. It’s purported to be one of the few weapons which can actually hurt Wolverine. Logan’s previous wounds from the sword have taken much longer to heal. Supposedly, the Muramasa Blade even has the ability to slice through adamantium, the nigh-indestructible metal lacing Wolverine’s bones. This makes the sword one of the few items that could be truly fatal to the mutant with healing powers.
Over the years, the red Muramasa Blade has been in and out of Wolverine’s possession. Even Captain America himself has wielded it. It’s a mythical artifact with connections to both Wolverine and his son Daken who we’ve yet to see on screen. The last time we saw it in the comics, it had been melted down and made into bullets. But Wolverine has recently had a new Muramasa Blade crafted in order to protect the nation of Krakoa.
Why would it be in Shang-Chi?
Well, it looked like we met Razor Fist in Madripoor. The original Black Blade first appeared during the Madripoor era of Wolverine. So there’s a big Muramasa connection there. Also, if we look at the original plan for Shang-Chi’s release—in February of this year—it seems like Marvel might have been seeding its appearance in its huge X of Swords comic event. The publisher has a history of introducing or highlighting characters, concepts, or artifacts in the comics leading up to the movies where they’ll appear. The Muramasa Blade played a key part in X of Swords, which would have led directly into its appearance in Shang-Chi. Other than that, there’s the fact that this seems to be a film about magical artifacts—including the titular Ten Rings—so it would make sense to see other fantastical weapons appear.
What does it mean going forward?
Wolverine teases are becoming a new trend in the MCU as we approach the debut of the X-Men. We’ve had Madripoor in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which even introduced “The Patch Act” for good measure. What relevance does that have? Well, when Wolverine was in Madripoor he wore an eyepatch and went by, you guessed it: Patch. If Razor Fist does have the legendary blade attached to his arm, that doesn’t necessarily mean Logan is right around the corner. But slowly introducing the places and objects that play a big part in his life could simply be good long term storytelling on the part of Feige and co.
If this theory is correct, then we can be sure of one thing: Razor Fist won’t have it by the end of the film. It could be reclaimed by any of the massive roster of characters, good or bad. In the comics he died pretty quickly, so potentially he could die here and someone could steal his arm blade or hide it away for protection. Just like how we first saw the Infinity Gauntlet in Thor, this could be a little bit of Easter egg foreshadowing for whenever Wolverine or Muramasa himself shows up. Either way, we expect that the MCU will do a little better of a job introducing the legendary blade and its story than the comics. Perhaps we could even see a Japanese or Japanese-American hero wielding it rather than James Howlett?
Featured Image: Marvel Studios