Shang-Chi is not exactly one of Marvel’s biggest properties. His origins are a part of Marvel Comics’ history with Asian stereotypes. But if we’re seeing the new trailer for “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” correctly, that could be changing in the MCU.
The trailer has a lot of big moments. While most Marvel movies have a grey concrete-like aesthetic to them, “Shang-Chi” seems to be bringing a depth to it’s color grading. The neon tones and dark blacks have fans like myself breathing a sigh of relief. Additionally, the action looks ripped straight out of a martial arts comic book, with McGuffin magic added in for good measure.
One of the largest moments in the trailer is harder to track in this new aesthetic. The trailer reveals Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) will fight Abomination, a villain that goes all the way back to “The Incredible Hulk” in the MCU. This connection may be bringing back Tim Roth’s iconic Hulk villain for just a cameo, but it is a big deal for the Marvel Universe. Besides bringing back General Ross for “Captain America: Civil War,” the MCU has barely referenced the Hulk’s solo outing.
However, the conversation about another Shang-Chi villain has overshadowed Abomination’s appearance. At the end of the trailer, a dragon shows up that resembles a famous MCU antagonist. Fans have speculated the dragon to be Fin Fang Foom, a Kaiju that has destroyed many Marvel cities. Of course the actors have denied the dragon’s involvement, but that hasn’t stopped fan speculation.
Fin Fang Foom is a big deal in Marvel Comics. In fact, he is response for originally bringing the titular Ten Rings of Power to Earth. His usual motivation is global conquest. In the movie, the dragon is named The Great Protector. Perhaps this is just a title for Fun Fang Foom after bringing the rings to Earth. Or perhaps Marvel didn’t want the dragon to be associated with such a his complicated history of Asian representation.
“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” comes to theaters September 3rd 2021.