Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings.
Some surprising MCU figures meet for a fight tournament in Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings. The second film in Phase 4 of the MCU has expanded the franchise’s world structure with Wenwu’s leadership of the Ten Rings through the centuries, the paradisiacal area of Ta-Lo, and the underground dangers of Macau’s tournament. Takes place after the events of Avengers: Endgame, plotted by Shang-Chi and its two post-credits scenes also give more features some unexpected Marvel characters.
While most of the competitors in the tournament have signed up to survive ranks of deadly warriors a la Mortal Kombat, Blood sports, and Enter the dragon, Shang-Chi will only find his sister Xialing. But as the titular hero becomes an internet sensation after battling Razor Fist and his henchmen on a moving bus, Shang-Chi quickly becomes part of the main event. Before Shang-Chi faces his sister and is attacked by Wenwu and Death Dealer, he can see other unfortunate warriors risk their lives.
Shang-Chi’s participation offers an exciting spectacle that was made even more exciting by guest appearances from various unexpected MCU characters. The film shows very little of the brutal event that is not blocked, but it sets out how skilled Shang-Chi must be to be considered for the main fight, given how other contestants are allowed to use their superpowers. Besides the sumo wrestler and the poor soul he smashes against the window while Shang-Chi enters the ring, here all the characters are present in Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings tournament.
In Marvel Comics, Shang-Chi spent his childhood and early adulthood improving his body and mastering several forms of Chinese martial arts at the instigation of his father, Fu Manchu. Due to his isolation from society, all of Shang-Chi’s time was devoted to his training, which allowed him to become Marvel’s master of Kung Fu. With hand-to-hand combat skills that put him on par with Captain America himself, Shang-Chi is without a doubt one of the most formidable warriors in the Marvel universe, as evidenced by his victories over super-powered heroes like Wolverine and Spider- Man.
Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings incorporates the title character’s cartoon origin and martial arts skills, albeit without the racist stereotype of Fu Manchu, thankfully. Instead, it is Iron Man’s cartoon arknemese – Wenwu aka the mandarin – that turns him into a human weapon. The grueling training Shang-Chi is forced to undergo during his childhood can pay off when his defeat over Razor Fist gives him a place in the tournament, raising the expectations of every fighter and spectator present. However, Shang-Chi’s skills are not enough to give him a victory against his sister Xialing.
The biggest surprise in Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings is Abomination. Played by Tim Roth in the 2008s The amazing Hulk, Emil Blonsky had been missing from MCU ever since he was knocked unconscious by The Green Goliath. For years, his whereabouts were unknown. There was a lot of uncertainty surrounding the character, and many thought Marvel had left one of the Hulk’s biggest enemies. the second Shang-Chi trailer then delivered a welcome surprise by teasing a cage fight between Abomination and Doctor Strange‘s Wong – a fight that, although still short in the film, teased an exciting future for both characters.
As promotional material for the film had suggested, Abomination has the upper hand over the wizard because of his great strength. But once Wong is tired, he switches to a more aggressive stance and uses a well-timed portal to hit Abomination with his own fist and knock him out. The aftermath of the match suggests that Wong and Abomination have developed a friendly bond after many similar matches, and the fact that Wong reprimands Abomination for getting too carried away suggests that they have arranged the match results. The last fans to see this unlikely couple is Wong, who opens a portal to Blonsky’s maximum security cell, meaning that Abomination only takes a break from his prison during the film’s events. It is possible that he will be officially pardoned Hun-Hulk, where Tim Roth is confirmed to return in a major role.
Abomination is not the only major MCU character who made a surprising cameo Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings. When Shang-Chi by filming, a photo showing Benedict Wong (Wong) along with Simu Liu (Shang-Chi) was shared online. Wong actually completely humiliated Abomination in the tournament, even though he did not reach it without even receiving a few bruises. Wong seems to help Abomination get a fresh breath once in a while, and as for why Wong participates in an underground championship, he may be raising money to maintain Sanctum Sanctorum or to travel to where he is. must go to Spider-Man: No way home trailer.
Shang-Chi ends up signing up for the tournament while looking for his alienated sister Xialing, who happens to be the one in charge. Not only does she own the tournament, but she also masters the art of one-on-one combat, helping her defeat Shang-Chi without sweating. As Xialing later reveals, she built the tournament from scratch despite Wenwu not allowing women to hold positions of power in the ten rings. Since post-credits scene of Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings reveals that Xialing has taken over Wenwu as leader of the ten rings, the future of Macau’s tournament is unknown. Maybe someone like Sharon Carter, also known as Power Broker, will take advantage of it to expand her empire, or maybe Valentina Allegra de Fontaine or the one she works for will keep it running so she can find more recruits for her new team of antihelte.
A black widow
One of the first fighters Shang-Chi and Katy see when they are introduced to Xialing’s underground combat tournament is a black widow. Although it was always known that many girls had walked through the red room, the only black widow who had appeared on screen at the end of Infinity Saga was Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff. Takes place between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, Black widow showed Natasha breaking other widows free from General Dreykov’s command. Without anyone to answer to, these skilled spies are likely to show up in the MCU more often. Life can be tough for them as they do not have a fairly ordinary civilian life like Melina Vostokoff, Yelena Belova and Natasha Romanoff, so it is fair to see a black widow compete in the match tournament, presumably to sustain themselves.
An extreme soldier
Black Widow’s opponent in the low standing battle holes is a man with camo pants and a glowing body. The burning red glow seeping through his bones is exactly the same as seen in Extremis test subjects from Iron Man 3, where Aldrich Killian – who stole the “Mandarin” moniker from Wenwu and hired Trevor Slattery to emulate him – used Maya Hansen’s technology to improve his healing factor and become extremely powerful. The extremist soldier in Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings does not show the fiery abilities normally seen in these characters, and it seems that he loses the battle against the black widow. Considering that the Extremis-driven people seen in Iron Man 3 had a tendency to blow up in a cloud of fire, it is likely that the virus has stabilized, perhaps with the side effect of removing breathing skills. Nevertheless, the fact that Extremis still exists after Aldrich Killian’s death suggests that AIM may still be out there somewhere.
Next: How Marvel Reconnected Its Iron Man 3 Mandarin Controversy
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- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever / Black Panther 2 (2022)Release Date: July 08, 2022
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- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release Date: May 5, 2023
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