Synopsis for “Smoke, Beads and Blood!”
Shang-Chi (Earth-616) meets with an old Chinese wise man in London’s Limehouse District. He tells him that his spirit has been ill at ease, and that he is striving to define his purpose in life. After discussing the situation at length, the old man leads Shang into a rear parlor. There, he finds a second man who produces a gun and orders Shang-Chi out into the alley. Shang is disheartened to discover that the old man has sold him out.
Outside on the docks, several rough-looking individuals surround Shang, ready to take him down. Shang-Chi kicks up a rock to distract the thugs, before launching into them with a flurry of blows. He quickly defeats them all and interrogates one of the fallen adversaries. The man reveals that they are employed by someone named Zaran.
In Scotland, Jack Tarr conducts surveillance outside of an ancient estate. This is the last known appearance of Denis Nayland Smith. Jack suspects that something terrible has happened and prepares to contact Shang-Chi.
Back in London, Shang-Chi goes to Leiko Wu’s apartment. He asks her about a night that they recently shared together, and wonders if what he remembered was real, or just some fanciful vision. Leiko grows very concerned for Shang-Chi’s emotional state and tries to console him. As they talk, Shang receives Black Jack’s telephone call.