Fans were excited yesterday when it was revealed that a brand new trailer for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings would drop last night. We were sure to get some cool new details about the movie that would get people excited. But the thing that has everybody talking right now is the surprise that Shang-Chi is apparently bringing back a character we haven't seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since its very earliest days, the Abomination.
In the final moments of the Shang-Chi trailer, we're treated to a shot of a large audience watching a cage fight. One of the people in the battle breaks out a shield in the same way that we've seen Doctor Strange do, so this person has clearly been trained in the same way. But the other person, or thing, in the cage, breaks right through the sorcerer's defenses. It seems Abomination has been keeping busy by fighting for money since the events of The Incredible Hulk?
Needless to say, nobody was really expecting to see Abomination appear in this trailer. While it's been reported that the character is set to return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the upcoming She-Hulk series on Disney+, even if we'd been told we were going to see the character appear someplace else first, I'm not sure anybody would have guessed this.
The Incredible Hulk was the second MCU movie to be released, and by virtue of the fact that the role of Bruce Banner/The Incredible Hulk was recast since then, the movie has become the most overlooked in the franchise so far. We've seen other characters from that film, like William Hurt's Thunderbolt Ross, return to the franchise elsewhere, so Marvel has never completely ignored the film as part of canon, but it makes it that much more surprising when the film is directly referenced like this.
And that's very likely at least part of the reason that Abomination is seen here. With plans in motion for the character to return to the MCU after a long hiatus, an opportunity to take a minute and remind fans who he is wouldn't be out of place. The Incredible Hulk isn't available on Disney+ with most of the rest of the MCU, so it's possible even current fans don't really remember that movie. This could be a quick way of putting the character back in people's heads so they don't have to fully reintroduce him in the She-Hulk series.
Whether we'll see Abomination do more than simply beat the snot out of a sorcerer is unclear, but even if that's all we see, that's still pretty cool.
And perhaps seeing Abomination in this trailer will send people back to check out The Incredible Hulk again. The movie may be the one film that gets the least amount of love from fans, and even Marvel Studios itself, but the film certainly has fans who think it's great.
I would agree that The Incredible Hulk is underrated. I'd also add that Tim Roth is an awesome actor and I certainly hope that we get to see him, and not just the CGI Abomination, when Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings arrives this fall.