Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: everything you need to know

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: everything you need to know

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

After welcoming us into Phase Four via three television series, WandaVision, The Falcon & The Winter Soldier and Loki, the Marvel Cinematic Universe also brings the new era of Marvel heroes to the big screen with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, coming out. on September 1st. The film starring the Kung-Fu master of the House of Ideas will be distributed exclusively in theaters, breaking the recent dynamic of the double room-Disney + distribution, as happened with Black Widow or Jungle Cruise. A courageous choice by Disney, which hopes to bring back fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Although a little-known character, Shang-Chi could be the right hero to sanction a return to the theater . The figure of him, in fact, makes him a protagonist in an action film, but at the same time allows the screenwriters to be able to build a solid narrative full of ideas, especially by relying on his complex family situation. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, precisely for these character traits, presents itself as an exciting chapter of Phase Four, perfect to show us the new company born after Avengers: Endgame and mentioned in the aforementioned Disney + series, which have given a new lymph at the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

ATTENTION: the following contains spoilers about the Marvel Cinematic Universe after the events of Avengers: Endgame

The current Marvel Cinematic Universe

After the events of Avengers: Endgame, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has not only been orphaned of two central figures of the caliber of Tony Stark and Steve Rogers, but has shown a change in social terms. The snap of fingers with which Thanos, for five, forced the world to face loss and mourning did not evaporate with the Blip, that is, the return of loved ones considered lost when Iron Man sacrificed himself in the finale of Avengers: Endgame. After five years, the company was moving in different directions, but this sudden return, despite an initial relief, had far from minimal consequences. In Spider-Man: Far From Home we had seen an ironic side, with jokes about it, but The Falcon & The Winter Soldier instead portrayed a social dynamic strongly compromised by this event, touching sensitive themes and telling how also some sidekicks of the heroes , like Sharon Carter, have taken other paths, also bringing them closer to crime, especially in places of a certain reputation, such as Madripoor.

The new criminal context, which emerged already at the time of Captain America: Civil War, seems to be a new source of trouble for the heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A presence that, especially in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, will have a central role, knowing that Wenwu, the father of the protagonist, is at the head of one of the most powerful criminal seven in the world, the Ten Rings, which have appeared since Marvel Cinematic Universe's first film, Iron Man. It was they, in fact, who led the rebels of Gulmira who captured Stark, imprisoning him and giving life, involuntarily, to his life as Iron Man. For some time, the Ten Rings disappeared from the scenes of the MCU, only to reappear as a deception in Iron Man 3, where their leader, the Mandarin, had also introduced himself. As revealed, this crime lord was actually the unfortunate actor Trevor Slattery (Ben Kingsley), hired to play the leader of the Ten Rings, a role that led him to be punished by the real Mandarin, as told in the short All Hail the King.

The presence of the Ten Rings in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has always been subtle, managed through small appearances, as in Ant Man. This criminal sect, therefore, does not emerge now in the new post-Blip world, but has been moving in the plots of the MCU since its first film. It was therefore inevitable that the 'true' leader of the sect would make an appearance, and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is the ideal time.

Shang-Chi: how it will fit into the MCU ?

Within the Marvel Universe, Shang-Chi is the son of a crime lord who, after raising and training him, would like him as his heir. Animated by a pure spirit, Shang-Chi rebels against his father, Zhen Zu, becoming a fierce opponent, going so far as to contribute to his death during a fight. The emotional fulcrum of Shang-Chi, as can be discovered by reading the recent volume Panini Shang-Chi: Brothers and Sisters, is the emancipation from the uncomfortable father figure, rebelling against a path already imposed by others and far from the character of the character.

This essential Shang-Chi trait will be at the heart of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings storyline, as the trailers have shown us. Wenwu's desire to bring his son back under his control clashes with the young man's choice to seek his own path, opposing his father and rejecting his wealth. Yet, now a final showdown seems to have come, in which Shang-Chi's future will be decided.

Within the Marvel comic world, Shang-Chi, despite having been part of lineups such as Avengers and Agents of the Atlas, he remains a second-rate figure, not very present in the great sagas of the House of Ideas. The transition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, on the other hand, could represent greater visibility for this character, thanks to the new 'criminal' structure of the MCU. No wonder it turns out that the mysterious interlocutor with whom Sharon Carter plans a new criminal era in the final installment of The Falcon & The Winter Soldier was someone connected to the Ten Rings, a juncture that could lead Shang-Chi to play a role. more active in the continuity of the MCU.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: what can we expect?

What is particularly interesting, however, is the presence of mysticism within of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. In one of the trailers, in a frame we see the presence, in an underwater cave, of a dragon, which seems to have a particular affinity with Shang-Chi. Appealing to Marvel's vision of Chinese culture, central to the folkloristic and stylistic definition of Marvel Studios' new cinecomic, this dragon could be Shou-Lao, who in Marvel comics is the source of power of K'un-Lun, the mysterious monastery where the warriors who can aspire to the title of Iron Fist are trained. Having determined that the previous Marvel series made with Netflix (Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Punisher and The Defenders) are not part of the MCU, what is told in the series dedicated to Danny Rand is not binding on the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

But in addition to the mystical aspect, a more cosmic aspect of the Marvel Cinematic Universe could also find space in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. In fact, Wenwu's power derives from ten mysterious rings, which give him incredible powers, which man uses to maintain his figure as a crime lord. Appearance borrowed from the comic book Mandarin, but which could also become yet another reference to the alien presences of the MCU, not forgetting that the Eternals will soon make their debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, particularly important characters within the cosmic dimension of the House of Ideas.

Shang-chi and the legend of the Ten Rings, while featuring a minor character, promises to be an intriguing chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Having identified Shang-Chi as one of the new faces of the franchise demonstrates on the one hand wit on the part of Disney, which introduces a smiling figure to the oriental entertainment market, on the other it is a sign of how Marvel Studios want to impress a new vitality to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, demonstrating its solidity by giving life to a Phase Four in which viewers can meet new faces to live new adventures.

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