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Imagine a person, tall, lean and feline, high-shouldered, with a brow like Shakespeare and a face like Satan, ...Invest him with all the cruel cunning of an entire Eastern race, accumulated in one giant intellect, with all the resources of science past and present ...Imagine that awful being, and you have a mental picture of Dr. Fu-Manchu, the Yellow Peril incarnate in one man.
~ The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu

Fu Manchu, also called "Dr. Fu Manchu", is an infamous villain who originated in the novels of British author Sax Rohmer but has become somewhat of a stock character in fiction due to his popularity, and a very iconic villain overall.

Over the decades he's become a stereotype and an inspiration for countless other villains, and in more recent times he has been criticized by some as an example of the "Yellow Peril" stereotype. The Marvel Comics version called Zheng Zu serves as the main antagonist of the Shang Chi series where he is the arch-enemy and father of Shang Chi.


  • The late Harry Agar Lyons in The Mystery of Dr. Fu-Manchu (1923) and The Further Mysteries of Dr Fu-Manchu (1924)
  • The late Warner Oland in The Mysterious Dr. Fu Manchu (1929), The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu (1930), Paramount on Parade (1930), and Daughter of the Dragon (1931)
  • The late Lou Marcelle in The Shadow of Fu Manchu (1939–1940)
  • The late Henry Brandon - who also portrayed Barnaby Crookedman in Babes in Toyland - in Drums of Fu Manchu (1940)
  • The late John Carradine in Fu Manchu: The Zayat Kiss (1952)
  • The late Glen Gordon in The Adventures of Dr. Fu Manchu (1956)
  • The late Peter Sellers - who also played the title character in Dr. Strangelove and Clare Quilty in the 1962 film adaptation of Lolita - in The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu (1980)


Dr. Fu Manchu shares traits that are common in all arch-villains such as cruelty, extreme intelligence and a hunger for power - he has been used in Marvel comics for a while but no longer appears in the comics due to the fact Marvel no longer own the rights to use him: however, Marvel gave Dr. Fu Manchu a son, who is a hero, whether this is canon outside the Marvel universe is unknown or not (though it seems likely it's the only canon for Marvel's version of the character). Marvel has replaced the character of Fu Manchu with Zheng Zu, though it's the same face and the history of Fu Manchu is his history, it apparently was simply a name he took.

Dr. Fu Manchu is an example of a mastermind and remains an iconic villain despite his considerable age as a character - have been appearing in varied formats for over 90 years. He has become an archetype of the evil criminal genius while lending the name to the Fu Manchu mustache. In films, he was played by the late Warner Orland, Boris Karloff, Christopher Lee, and Peter Sellers. He even appeared (unnamed) in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen as a rival of Professor Moriarty.

Fu Manchu is a very ruthless man, but he has a sense of honor and his word is very important to him. Though partially out of his own desire for world domination, Fu Manchu has helped take down fascist dictators and communist regimes at times, making him a dark antihero. Fu Manchu never lets his underlings fail him twice, the only exception being his daughter, Fah Lo Suee, due to his fatherly love for her.

A very loosely adapted version of the character appears as the main antagonist of the Turkish Superman movie Demir Yumruk: Devler geliyor, in which he is portrayed as a wheelchair-bound transvestite crime lord seeking to use a Uranium deposit to rule the world.

Marvel Version

Fu Manchu (true name, Zheng Zu) was born in the mid 19th century. He learned various scientific disciplines, the martial arts, and the esoteric arts at a monastery in China. Once he mastered all he could, he joined an ancient Chinese secret society, the Celestial Order of the Si-Fan.

By the early 20th century, he was the leader of the Si-Fan and has remained so ever since. Fu Manchu has attempted to take over either the United States or the world itself on several occasions, sometimes from behind the scenes and other times openly. In one of his earlier attempts in 1933, representatives of the League of Nations' were being mind-controlled by Fu Manchu but he was stopped by Denis Nayland Smith. The first known attempt by Fu Manchu in conquering the United States via the dispersal of a mind-control chemical into the atmosphere was defeated by his son, the hero Shang-Chi.

Afterward, he executed a plan to brainwash the population of the United States using television waves, but the operation was taken down by Shang-Chi and Spider-Man. Fu Manchu then attempted to start World War 3 by manipulating the United States and China into a war against each other, fortunately, he was foiled by Spider-Man, Iron Fist, and the Sons of the Tiger.

His most audacious plan was yet to come. Fu Manchu was going to knock the moon out of its orbit, which would result in cataclysmic effects on the Earth. Afterward, he would be able to use the opportunity to conquer the chaotic world. Shang-Chi working with the British intelligence agency (MI6) assaulted his subterranean mountain fortress city in the Arctic and then his space station, preventing the end of the world as they knew it. In the explosion on the space station, Fu Manchu appeared to die.

Fu Manchu returned and brought various secret societies together under his umbrella, which were the Hashishin (Middle East), the Templars (Europe), the Leopard Cult (South America), the Thugees (India), the Light-Seekers, the Followers of the Left-Hand Path (Satanic), the Three-Cornered Sight, and the Twenty-Third Sect. They joined his own Celestial Order of the Si-Fan in the Order of the Golden Dawn.

Using the Order of the Golden Dawn, Fu Manchu sowed confusion and fear around the world in an attempt to bring about chaos and eventually World War 3 by creating "UFO" incidents, mind-controlling the representatives of the UN, and attempting to detonate a nuke in the Big Apple. Shang-Chi was able to stop him before detonating the bomb. Years afterward, an old and ailing Fu Manchu apparently died.

For nearly two decades, he was believed dead. When he reemerged he appeared younger. Once again he threatened wold with a lightning ray weapon (Hellfire) that had the ability to destroy cities. Shang-Chi and the MI6 assaulted his Hellfire Base, destroying the weapon. Years later, Black Panther the Wakandan sovereign and Avenger team member, was on a tour of the United States in search of a wife. Fu Manchu offered his daughter to create an alliance between the two but was rejected and his forces clashed with the Black Panther and Luke Cage. The superheroes prevailed, and Fu Manchu withdrew with his daughter and forces.



  • Many literature fans nickname Fu Manchu an Asian Professor Moriarty.
  • Fu Manchu has inspired many villains, like Marvel's own Mandarin and Yellow Claw and Hanna-Barbera's Jonny Quest's Dr. Zin.
  • There is a parody of Fu Manchu portrayed by Nicolas Cage in Rob Zombie's fake trailer Werewolf Women of the SS, as seen in Grindhouse.
  • Movies often portray Fu Manchu as having a mustache. In the novels, however, Fu Manchu is never mentioned to have one.
  • In the film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the hero's father is Xu Wenwu, a composite character of Fu Manchu and the Mandarin.


           MGM Logo.png Villains

Animated Features
Princess Yakusha | Blue Meanies (Chief Blue Meanie & Max) | Suckophant | Terrible Trivium | Ralph and Al | Lizard Leader | John | Blue | Michael Corleone | Carole | Angelo Corleone | Molly | Sauron | Saruman | Gollum | Durin's Bane | Gríma Wormtongue | Witch-king of Angmar | Nazgûl | Orcs | Fellbeasts | Von Rothbart | Odile | Jenner | Dragon | NIMH | King Haggard | Red Bull | Mommy Fortuna | Celaeno | Captain Cully | Dr. Boycott | Lynn Driver | William Harbottle | Under Secretary | Dr. Goodner | Ackland | Mok Swagger | The Demon | Schlepper Brothers | What's Her Face | Mutants | Satan | Evil Spirit | Vultor | Mr. Shadow | Radicals | Kanako | Claudia Furschtein | Klaus Furschtein | Sophie | Lord Maliss | Scowl the Owl & Batso the Bat | The Evil Queen | Flip | Nightmare King | Manta Ray | Carface Carruthers | Killer | Mean Street Dogs | Hellhound | Grand Duke of Owls | Hunch | Pinky | Frog Bouncers | Goblins (Prince Froglip, Goblin Queen & Goblin King) | Goblin Pets | The Swarm Lord | Drake | Leopard Seal | Red | King Wartlord | Vincent Volaju | Jacob Marley | Old Joe | Queen of Selenites | Emperor Maltazard | Ernest Davido | Darkos | King Malbert | Dr. Schadenfreude | Jaclyn | Scamper | Dr. Schadenfreude's Igor | Monsters | Brain | Dr. Glickenstein | Eva | Moriarty | Reggie and Ronnie | Lord Piggot-Dunceby | Willard Stenk | Mr. Collick | Willard Stenk's Accomplices | The Yeti Elder | Yeti Soldiers | Margaux Needler | Cyrus Strange

Live-Action Films
Wicked Witch of the West | Flying Monkeys | Winkie Guards | Wicked Witch of the East | Rhett Butler | India Wilkes | Curley | Messala | Humbert Humbert | Clare Quilty | SPECTRE (Dr. Julius No, R.J. Dent, Miss Taro, Annabel Chung & Three Blind Mice) | Mrs. Iselin | Roger Furness | Rosa Klebb | Kronsteen | Red Grant | Morzeny | Rhoda | Benz | SMERSH (Krilencu) | Ernst Stavro Blofeld | Simone Clouseau | Charles Dreyfus | The Phantom/Sir Charles Lytton | Paul's Grandfather | Ramón Rojo | Miguel Rojo | Esteban Rojo | John Baxter | Chico | Auric Enterprises (Auric Goldfinger, Jill Masterson, Oddjob, Pussy Galore, Kisch, Mr. Ling, Mr. Solo, Jed Midnight & Jack Strap) | Flying Circus (Denise & Sydney) | Capungo | Malness | Godzilla | Rodan | King Ghidorah | Emilio Largo | Fiona Volpe | Count Lippe | Angelo Palazzi | Colonel Jacques Bouvar | Quist | Vargas | Janni | Ricardo | El Indio | Groggy | Angel Eyes | Tuco | Corporal Wallace | Dr. Noah | Vesper Lynd | Le Chiffre | Mr. Osato | Helga Brandt | Hans | Adam Hart | Irma Bunt | Grunther | Felsen | Josef | Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd | Bambi and Thumper | Amafi | Wassa | Shimba | San Monique (Dr. Kananga, Tee Hee, Baron Samedi, Adam, Whisper, Dambala, Rosie Carver & Leroy) | Mr. Blue | Mr. Green | Mr. Grey | Mr. Brown | Hai Fat | Francisco Scaramanga | Nick Nack | Kra | The Ultimate Depravity (President Curval, The Duke of Blangis, Bishop & The Banker Durcet) | Billy Nolan | Carrie White | Chris Hargensen | Donna and Mary Lila Grace Thibodeau | Helen Shyres | Margaret White | Mortimer Snerds | Ralph White | Tina Blake | Stromberg Shipping Line (Karl Stromberg, Jaws, Liparus Captain, Liparus Crew, Naomi, Sandor, Professor Markovitz & Dr. Bechmann) | Mr. Chong | The French Connection | Pod People | Walter E. Kurtz | Bill Kilgore | Drax Industries (Hugo Drax & Chang) | Ramons (High Priest) | Alan Yates | Alan Yates' Crew (Jack Anders, Mark Tomaso & Faye Daniels) | Ya̧nomamö Tribe | Shamatari Tribe | Fu Manchu | Farmer Vincent | Sador | Morgana le Fay | Mordred | John Lansdale's Severed Hand | Thetis | Calibos | Acrisius | Stygian Witches | Giant Scorpion | Calibos's Henchmen (Huntsman) | Medusa | Giant Vulture | Aris Kristatos | Emile Locque | Erich Kriegler | Hector Gonzales | Claus | Apostis | Burke | Susan Johnson | Burt Johnson | Poltergeists (Tree & Clown Doll) | Demons | Ligget County Sheriff Department (Will Teasle, Art Galt, Ward, Mitch Rogers, Balford & Shingleton) | Orval Kellerman | Clinton Morgan | Earl | Rawley Wilkes | Octopus Cult (Octopussy, Magda, Kamal Khan, Gobinda, Mischka and Grischka & General Orlov) | Countess Chandra | Lieutenant Palmyra | Maximillian Largo | Fatima Blush | Scut Farkus | Grover Dill | Fukaire | Tax Collectors | Antonio Salieri | T-800 | Skynet | Ghoulies | Zorin Industries (Max Zorin, Scarpine, Hans Glaub, May Day, Jenny Flex, Pan Ho & Bob Conley) | The Countess | Stirba | Vlad | Mariana | Erle | Karen White | Bradford Whitewood Sr. | Bradford Whitewood Jr. | Reverend Henry Kane | Samson Tollet | Ray Sinclair | El Guapo | Bob Barnes | Bunny | Junior | Carlos Malfeitor | President Skroob | Dark Helmet | Pizza the Hutt | General Georgi Koskov | Brad Whitaker | Necros | Colonel Feyador | Imposter 00 Agent | OCP (Old Man, Richard Jones, Lt. Hedgecock & ED-209) | Clarence Boddicker | Emil Antonowsky | Leon Nash | Joe Cox | Steve Minh | Faith Stewart | Mary Lou Maloney | Grant Stayton III | Alan Santini | Queen Bavmorda | General Kael | Killer Klowns (Jumbo, Fatso, Shorty, Rudy, Slim, Spike, Bibbo, Chubby, Baby Killer Klowns, & Klownzilla) | Curtis Mooney | Pumpkinhead | Tony Russo | Connie Russo | Suette | Martin Thiel | Leslie Giles | Chucky | Eddie Caputo | Peddler | Damballa | Deputy Sheriff Clinton Pell | Peter Loew | Wavekrest Marine Research (Franz Sanchez, Sanchez Cartel, Milton Krest, Colonel Heller, William Truman-Lodge, Dario, Ed Killifer, Joe Butcher, Perez, Braun & Clive) | R. J. Fletcher | Robert "Bob" Patchett | Patrick Channing | Fred Frenger Junior | Dr. Juliette Faxx | Nuke Cult (Cain/RoboCop 2, Angie & Hob) | Elliot Marston | Sergeant Bauer | Pawnee | Corporal Spivey | Corporal Edwards | Major Grace | Annie Wilkes | Dennis Brown | Ray Brown | Luther | James | Saladene | Skeet | Buffalo Bill | Hannibal Lecter | Paul Krendler | Harlan Puckett | Chuck De Nomolos | Evil Bill & Ted | Abigail Craven | Tully Alford | Witch | George Stark | CEO | Urban Rehabilitators (Paul McDaggett, Ōtomo & Kanemitsu) | Don John | Borachio | Ryan Gaerity | Ra | Anubis Guard | Horus Guards | Mosquitos | The Cat | Kesslee | Archibald Cunningham | Killearn | Andrew Carver | Janus Syndicate (Alec Trevelyan, Xenia Onatopp, Arkady Ourumov & Boris Grishenko) | Dawg Brown | Ernie McCraken | Mr. Buttinger | Frank DiVinci | Carver Media Group Network (Elliot Carver, Stamper, Henry Gupta, Captain Scott, Stealth Ship Crew, Dr. Kaufman, General Chang, Timblin, Satoshi Isagura, Jeff Hobbs, Philip Jones, Tom Wallace, Mary Golson, Beth Davidson & Tamara Steel) | King Louis XIV | Tall Man | Rachel Lang | King Industries (Elektra King, Renard, Gabor, Sasha Davidov, Mr. Bullion, Giulietta da Vinci, Mikhail Arkov, Trukhin & Lachaise) | Mason Verger | Rinaldo Pazzi | Cordell Doemling | Creeper | Graves Corporation (Gustav Graves, Miranda Frost, Zao, Vladmir Popov, Mr. Kil, Dr. Alvarez, General Han, General Li, General Dong & Van Bierk) | Dr. Brinkman | François Molay | Lucy Diamond | Victor Diaz | Georges Rutaganda | Gregoire | John Ketcham | Mirror Queen | General Vavarin Delatombe | Dorothy Macha | French Paul | The Rabbi | Nana Mae Frost | Baron von Westphalen | Herod Sayle | Mr. Grin | Nadia Vole | Quantum (Mr. White, Steven Obanno, Alex Dimitrios, Adolph Gettler, Dryden, Valenka, Kratt, Mollaka Danso, Carlos Nikolic, Leo & Fisher) | Emperor Maltazard | Ernest Davido | Darkos | Billy | Agnes Lenz | Kyle Autry | Mrs. Lenz | Beauregard Rice | Vladis Grutas | Grutas' Group (Petras Kolnas, Zigmas Milko, Enrikas Dortlich, Bronys Grentz & Kazys Porvik) | Paul Momund | Dieter | Water Street Butcher | Michael Myers | Kendall Jacks | Noel Kluggs | Ronnie White | Steven Haley | Wesley Rhoades | Mrs. Carmody | The Mist | Samantha Tunnell | Hourglass | Lance Landers | Greene Planet (Dominic Greene, Elvis & Edmund Slate) | General Medrano | Colonel Carlos | Gregg Beam | Lieutenant Orso | Craig Mitchell | Yusef Kabira | Guy Haines | Marchetti Pilot | Gregor Karakov | Moishe Soref | The Tornado | Daniel "Danny" Rivers | Onigen | Noel Winters | Stretch | Sid Rourke | Ms. Cipher | Sander Sanderson | Shane | Stephanie | Spectre (Raoul Silva, Patrice, Severine & Boat Captain) | Trolls | Saruman | Gollum | Goblins (Great Goblin) | Azog | Bolg | Orcs (Yazneg & Torturer of Dol Guldur) | Smaug | Sauron | Nazgûl (Witch-king of Angmar) | Master of Laketown | OmniCorp (Raymond Sellars, Rick Mattox, Tom Pope & Liz Kline) | Antoine Vallon | Karen Dean | Thomas King | Lord Cotys | General Sitacles | King Eurystheus | Deputy Foster | Corey Holland | The Phantom Killer | Kirk | Eve Rafael | Tyler Harne | Deputy Stack | Emilio | Ernst Stavro Blofeld | Max Denbigh | Mr. Hinx | Marco Sciarra | Moreau | Dr. Vogel | Guerra | Abrika | Marshall | Valerian | Lorenzo | Gallo | Francesco and Marco | Rachel Hennie | Bartholomew Bogue | McCann | Denali | The Voice | Barry Norris | Claire Shannon | Music Box | Darcie Chapman | Arthur Savage | Amber Altmyer | Misty Altmyer | The Duchess | Edward Scarka | Daniel | Lincoln Burgess | Hyde | Mo | Chucky (2019) | Evil Dolls | Larissa Good | Holda | Lyutsifer Safin | Valdo Obruchev | Logan Ash | Primo | Patrizia Reggiani

Direct-To-Video Features
Barnaby Crookedman | Martin Brisby | Dr. Valentine | Muriel and Floyd | Belladonna | Injurin' Joe | Owl

Animated Television
Blue Aardvark | The Grinch | Sour Kangaroo | Vlad Vladikoff | The Wickersham Brothers | The Scrambler | Giant Squid | Captain Nemo

Live-Action Television
Lorne Malvo | Mr. Wrench | Mr. Numbers | Lester Nygaard | Sam Hess | Hanzee Dent | Dodd Gerhardt | Floyd Gerhardt | Bear Gerhardt | Mike Milligan | Joe Bulo | Kitchen Brothers | V.M. Varga | Yuri Gurka | Meemo | Ruby Goldfarb | Nikki Swango | Ray Stussy | Josto Fadda | Loy Cannon | Oraetta Mayflower | Gaetano Fadda | Constant Calamita | Odis Weff | Antoon Dumini | Ebal Violante | Donatello Fadda | Yiddles Milligan | Bone Machine | Anubis | Sokar | Adria | Apophis | Serpent Guard | Replicators | Ba'al

Video Games
Adrian Malprave | Nigel Bloch | Rafael Drake | Kiko Hayashi | Armitage Rook | Ninja | Nikolai Diavolo | Katya Nadanova | Arkady Yayakov

Tom | Jerry | Spike | Butch | The Little Man

See Also
007 Villains | 20th Century Studios Villains | A. Film Production Villains | Alvin and the Chipmunks Villains | Blumhouse Productions Villains | Cannibal Holocaust Villains | Child's Play Villains | Cowboy Bebop Villains | Dollars Trilogy Villains | EuropaCorp Villains | Fargo Villains | Farrelly Brothers Villains | Giallo Villains | Hannibal Villains | Killer Klowns from Outer Space Villains | Laika Villains | Luc Besson Villains | Middle-Earth Villains | Nepenthe Villains | Oz Villains | Pannonia Film Studio Villains | Pink Panther Villains | Ralph Bakshi Villains | Rambo Villains | Rankin/Bass Villains | Ridley Scott Villains | RoboCop Villains | Rocky Villains | Salo Villains | Sherlock Holmes Villains | Sony Pictures Villains | Stephen King Villains | Syfy Villains | The Addams Family Villains | Tom and Jerry Villains | Village Roadshow Pictures Villains | Warner Bros. Villains

           Shang-Chi Vol 1 % 282020% 29 Logo.png Villains

A.I.M. | Brynocki | Crossbones | Death Dealer | Doctor Doom | Dormammu | Dweller-In-Darkness | Fin Fang Foom | Fu Manchu | Hand | HYDRA | Inner Demons | Madame Viper | Mandarin | Maximillian Zaran | Midnight Sun | Mister Negative | M.O.D.O.K. | Moving Shadow | Puff Adder | Razor-Fist | Serpent Society | Shockwave

Ten Rings (Mandarin, Death Dealer, Razor Fist & Gao Lei) | Soul Eaters (Dweller-In-Darkness) | Abomination | Trevor Slattery