SDCC this weekend was eventful, to say the least. We had a whole slew of announcements, but through all that, of course, the MCU never ceases to amaze us and steal the whole show. Kevin Fiege and the rest of the gang dropped multiple huge surprises for phase 4 and 5 of the MCU. One of the nice surprises was the official announcement of Shang Chi’s introduction to the MCU formally titled Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. If you are not an avid Comic book reader or if you are not a super fan of the MCU, you still might wonder who Shang chi is or how is movie fits within all the MCU! Never fear, as today on Cinema spot, we are going to breakdown who Shang chi is, his fit in the MCU and everything in between you need to know!
Shang Chi: Quite the fighter
Shang Chi was created in the 1970s by Jim Starlin and Steve Englehart. He is a half American, half Asian superhero. He is relatively a street-level character but he has been on teams such as Heroes for Hire and the Avengers. Usually, though, he likes to play alone, running the streets of New York and occasionally other places. His power is his hands, meaning that Shang Chi might be the best fighter in the Marvel Universe. He was trained by his father, who subjected him through brutal and cruel methods in order to shape him into a weapon. Noticing that his father only had bad intentions, Shang Chi swears vengeance upon him and fights him, going to the United States to start life as a hero. To answer your question, Yes, he is arguably the top 3 hand-to-hand combat in the Marvel Universe. This includes the likes of Captain America, Black Panther, and Iron fist just to name a few.
Shang Chi has mastered nearly every form of martial arts and can use his Chi (sequence of life force) to boost his powers. While Shang Chi is just human, Black Panther has stated that Shang Chi’s fighting ability is that of a superhuman. On multiple occasions, he has taken down Taskmaster, Danny Rand (Iron Fist) and has even fought Cap to a standstill. He is also ultra-skilled in all types of weaponry and at times is seen on the same skill level or if not better with weapons then Hawkeye or Taskmaster.
Currently in the comics, he wields nunchucks made by Tony Stark that can help him channel his chi and can emit electricity. Until very recently, Shang Chi did not have any powers; until out of nowhere he showed the ability to make multiple versions of himself. Note that he never showed this ability off again but it could make its rounds in the future, so it is important to note it.
Where does this fit in the MCU?
So in the comics, Shang Chi is only 16. I feel that to have the best effect possible, they need to age him up a little, which they did. Simu Liu was tagged to play the master of fighting arts so that is a start. In the MCU, I see him playing a role similar to Spidey, where he is a ground-level superhero who has to deal with local threats that could mount into something larger.
I also like the idea of this story taking place in China as it could give way for the MCU to explore another country and see how the Infinity Saga has affected other places. While we do not know the official plot, we do have some other details to play with. Destin Daniel Cretton is set to direct the film and the script is being written by the great Dave Challam who has written, Godzilla (2014), The Expendable films, and most recently Wonder Woman 1984. It is safe to say that the script is going to be in goods. Along with that we know to other castings, famous YouTuber turned quality actor Awkwafina in an undisclosed role.
The other casting is huge, as we are going to get the actually Madarin in the MCU played by Tony Legug. If I were to speculate where the story would go, I would say that the story will have to involve Shang Chi going through a gauntlet of fights and such in order to stop the Mandarin. Something simple where you can show off the character and what makes him so cool. Where do you think Shang Chi fits in the MCU? For all things cinema, you are in the right place!