Is American Born Chinese Part of the MCU? Explained

May 25, 2023
Louie Fecou 0
Disney+, News, Streaming Service
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Is American Born Chinese Part of the MCU? We discuss the popular Disney+ series, its origin, and whether it’s part of a more expansive universe. 

There’s a fantasy adventure series on Disney+ that has been exciting fans with its depiction of battling Chinese Gods and a manga-loving teenager that is dragged into the war.

The show has all the elements of a YA adventure, and the eight episodes have so far been going down well, but the tone and style of the show has many people wondering about the story’s origins.

With Disney+ being the home of Marvel, there is no doubt that this show could have come from some little-known comic book series in the 70s, probably written by Gerry Conway or Doug Moench, so fans have been scrambling to look for the source, hoping to find a first comic book appearance to sell on eBay.

So without further ado, let’s check to see if American Born Chinese is part of the MCU.

What is the premise of American Born Chinese?

The story follows Jin Wang, played by Ben Wang, the son of Chinese immigrants. Like most high schoolers, Jin is just a typical high school kid who enjoys reading manga and wants to join the soccer team.

When Wei-Chen, played by Jimmy Liu, arrives at the school as an exchange student, arrives at Jin’s school, it unsettles Jin. Wei-Chen is almost an antithesis of Jin. He didn’t grow up in America and is confident and bold.

Events take a mystical turn when Wei-Chen is revealed to be the son of Sun Wukong, portrayed by Daniel Wu. Known as the Monkey King, a legendary figure in Chinese literature. Wei-Chen had a dream that the mythical Fourth Scroll can stop an uprising against Heaven. And also predicts that a teenager will help him in his quest.

Convinced that Jin is his side-kick, Wei-Chen, complete with the stolen power staff of his father, is in California searching for the scroll.

Is American Born Chinese Part of the MCU?

As much as it could be, this series is not part of the MCU. Despite the almost superhero concepts and the fact that two episodes of the show have been directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, who was behind Marvel’s Shang-Chi movie, the MCU is not behind this series. 

This is a shame, as the production values of this series are high, and the characters are well-rounded.

For a long time, Marvel has been trying to break into the manga market. Let’s face it, as far as comic book sales go, manga is way ahead of the sales of the likes of Marvel and DC comics, so a show like this under their belt would have been a bit of a coup, but this is not part of the Marvel machine.

What is American Born Chinese Based On?

American Born Chinese is a graphic novel by Gene Luen Yang, who writes and does art chores in the book. The color work was handled by the talented Lark Pien. Pien would win the coveted Harvey Award for her work on the project in 2007.

It first appeared in 2006, printed by First Second Books, and made it a finalist in the 2006 National Book Awards for Young People’s Literature.

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