We got out first look at the highly anticipated MCU movie, Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings, when Marvel dropped the first trailer this week. Not to mention the cool new poster (above) and some photos courtesy of EW.com. Now, I’m sure some of you out there might be asking: Who the hell is Shang-Chi? Before I answer, don’t forget that just a few years ago, audiences asked the same question about Iron Man and Thor, Captain America and Black Panther. Hell, before Marvel Studios announced the film, even I had no idea who the Guardians of The Galaxy were! Now these characters are household names! Marvel Studios has proven time and again that they can take the most obscure Marvel characters and make magic.
Who Is Shang-Chi?
Shang-Chi is widely regarded to be the deadliest and most skilled martial artist on Earth. He’s better than Iron Fist, Black Widow, even Daredevil. I always like to describe Shang- Chi as: Imagine Bruce Lee, if he was an Avenger? Bruce Lee and his films were a huge influence on comic books featuring Shang-Chi. Stan The Man Lee wanted Bruce Lee’s son, Brandon Lee, to Star in the role whei a film was being developed in the early 80’s. Some comic book artists like to model their character on real people, so quite a few artists based their version of Shang-Chi on Bruce Lee (in one instance, complete with nunchucks straight out of Enter The Dragon).
It’s sort of like the now classic story of artist Bryan Hitch drew Nick Fury, to look exactly like Samuel L. Jackson in The Ultimates. An iconic Avengers comic that Hitch worked on with writer Mark Millar. Of course, Jackson eventually saw this, being an avid comic book reader himself. He and Marvel Studios contacted each other and the rest is history!
But I digress! Sorry about that, I tend to ramble sometimes. Anyway, back to Shang-Chi! Without any enhancements, like the super soldier serum Captain America and Bucky were exposed to call, I think Shang-Chi is so skilled that he would even be able to hold his own, if not out right beat, “enhanced” individuals like Steve Rogers or Bucky Barnes. I’m sure we’ll see his skill as a martial artist on full display in the movie.
Shang-Chi became such a force of nature because of the brutal and cruel father spent Shang’s entire life forging him into a human weapon. To say that Shang-Chi has a complicated relationship with his father is an understatement. Shang is a hero, one of Earth’s champions, an Avenger. His father Wewun on the other hand, happens to be one the most dangerous supervillains on the planet and he wants he son to join the family business (whether Shang-Chi likes it or not). Wewun has gone by many names over the years, including one Marvel fans have heard before, but to say anymore would get into SPOILER territory. Just trust me when I say Wewun is a very cool, badass villain and I can’t wait to see what they do with him in this film. Wenwu wields Ten Rings (5 on each forearm) as you can see in the photo below. The Ten Rings bestow unimaginable power up their bearer, each with it’s own unique power. Fire and water manipulation, lightning blasts, some low level psychic abilities, just to name a few. Basically, Wenwu is a guy you do not want to fuck with. With the heart of this film being about a father and son who are diametrically opposed to one another, some powerful emotional (and liter) fireworks are going to fly.
The exciting thing about Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings, is how it parallels the first Iron Man movie when it came out in 2008. No one who knew who the fuck Iron Man was and this great film, with this great characters, exploded onto screens and started this incredible journey. One of the greatest film franchises of all time both creatively and commercially. Like Iron Man, even among comic book fans Shang-Chi is a fairly blank slate. Beyond appearances as a key member of the team in some Avengers comics, as well as Daredevil and Iron Fist, I haven’t read one of the characters solo titles. Something I will be rectifying shortly with the new mini series that just became available in trade paperback/graphic novel. My point is this has the potential to blow up and be huge in the same way Iron Man has. Like Black Panther before it, this is the first major superhero, blockbuster featuring an Asian lead, with an almost entirely Asian cast, and an Asian crew. Shang-Chi can do for Asian children, what Black Panther did for young black kids all around! Not just children, but all Asians who want to see themselves represented in the biggest and coolest franchise in the world. If the people making this film play their cards right, this could be fucking amazing. Without further ado, take a look at the first trailer for Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings, here:
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings opens 9/3/21
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