Shang-Chi Used to Be a Team With James Bond’s Unofficial Son – CBR – Comic Book Resources

An MI-6 agent with a penchant for ASP guns, Shang-Chi’s ally Clive Reston had ties to characters from both Enter the Dragon and James Bond!
In transitioning from comic books to live-action movies, there were a lot of changes made to Shang Chi. This is why the film was much more of a mystical martial arts adventure than a grounded spy caper. This also saw many of Shang Chi’s few supporting cast members absent in the movie, with one of these characters being Clive Reston. An MI-6 agent with a penchant for ASP guns, Shang-Chi’s ally Clive Reston had ties to characters from both Enter the Dragon and James Bond!
Now a fairly obscure character, not unlike the martial artist Shang-Chi himself before the movie, Clive Reston was intended to be the son of the much more well-known Agent 007. He’s gone on to show up in more important books throughout the Marvel Universe, but he’s mostly been fairly forgotten, despite his monumental planned heritage. Here’s a look at Shang-Chi’s friend, the son of James Bond.
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Clive Reston was introduced in Giant-Size Master of Kung Fu #3 in 1974 and was created by comic book legend Doug Moench and artist Paul Gulacy. In his first appearance, he befriended and worked alongside Shang-Chi, going on to appear regularly throughout his adventures and in the Master of Kung Fu book. One of his most recurring love interests was Leiko Wu, a Chinese MI-6 agent who joined Reston and Shang-Chi on adventures.
The tension between the team was needless to say quite volatile once Leiko and Clive broke up, though he soon found another love interest in Melissa Greville. The two would be arrested in Hong Kong following their being framed for a mysterious explosion. This was the doing of Kogar, a scheming villain that Clive and Melissa teamed up with MI-6 to defeat. Later adventures would see Shang-Chi and Clive taking out villains like Shockwave and a modern Jack the Ripper, though his relationship with Melissa would sadly end.
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Beyond Shang-Chi’s books, Clive Reston has also made brief appearances in the ’80s toy tie-in hit Rom as well as X-Men. Books featuring British Marvel characters such as Captain Britain and MI-13 as well as the Marvel MAX title Wisdom have also seen him make brief appearances, though he’s never been a major character in anything that doesn’t involve the equally as overlooked Shang-Chi titles.
Ironically, his intended origins could have made him one of Marvel’s most well-known and important characters, if only for copyright laws allowing so. Clive Reston was meant to be the son of James Bond, with official Marvel handbooks stating that his father was a 00 agent with a license to kill. Likewise, Sherlock Holmes was going to be his great-uncle, explaining some of Reston’s great deductive skills and abilities. This made him a sort of composite legacy character to represent all of Britain, with his being fathered by James Bond, in particular, trying to cash in on current movie trends of the time.
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Shang-Chi himself, along with Iron Fist, was created to capitalize on the kung-fu movie crazy of the 1970s, while Luke Cage, Blade and Ghost Rider were obvious attempts to ride the wave of blaxploitation and horror movies. Clive Reston took elements of the former with Shang-Chi, along with the burgeoning spy movie genre, as well. ’60s/’70s spy capers had of course been characterized most by James Bond, so the son more than took after the father.
The reason for the lack of notoriety from his lineage is that Marvel could never explicitly state that Clive Reston’s family members were James Bond and Sherlock Holmes due to legal reasons. This left them having to play coy with what was now essentially a spoof character, and this premise can likely be attributed to why Reston has been forgotten. This is similar to how Shang-Chi in the movies couldn’t be the son of Fu Manchu as he was in the comics.
Legalities wouldn’t keep his appearance from many times being drawn to resemble Sean Connery’s Bond, though he was initially made to look like John Saxon, who played Roper opposite Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon. Shang-Chi has since seemingly outgrown his own being inspired by Lee, so perhaps his Bond spawned friend can also return in the comics to die another day.
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Timothy Blake Donohoo is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he majored in Communication and minored in Creative Writing. A professional freelance writer and marketing expert, he’s written marketing copy and retail listings for companies such as Viatek. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, playing video games, watching documentaries and catching up on the latest Vaporwave and Electro-Swing musical releases.

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