Warning! The following contains SPOILERS for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Read at your own risk!
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was one of the most action-packed solo Marvel movies to date, and it teased major changes to the Marvel universe. We even saw the return of a Marvel character who has been away for a long time, though he seemed a lot different than when we last saw him.
Emil Blonsky, a.k.a. Abomination, fought Wong in a brief, but memorable sequence in Shang-Chi, but what happened after that was super confusing. Let's break down where Abomination was prior to his MCU re-entry, his scene in Shang-Chi and whether or not Marvel could be setting him up for a future as a Marvel hero.
Where Abomination Last Showed Up In The MCU
After his defeat in The Incredible Hulk, Emil Blonsky was shipped to Alaska and held in a cryo-cell called The Vault by S.H.I.E.L.D. If you're someone who only watched the Marvel movies, that's where you'd think he remained up until Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Of course, many Marvel fans may remember there was another mention of Abomination in Marvel One-Shot: The Consultant.
The short, which took place after Iron Man 2 and Thor, featured a discussion between Phil Coulson and Jasper Sitwell about recruits for The Avengers Initiative. The World Security Council demanded that Abomination be freed from prison for inclusion in The Avengers initiative, and neither Sitwell or Coulson believed that was a good idea. To sabotage the plan, they sent in Tony Stark to discuss Blonsky's release with General Thaddeus Ross. Stark ended up annoying Ross so much that Blonsky's release was denied, and Bruce Banner was floated instead as his replacement. As far as we know, that's where Blonsky stayed right up until viewers saw him in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
His Strange Conversation With Wong
Abomination's appearance, in general, was surprising in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and while we learned how he ended up in an underground fight club in Macau, the answer only raised more questions. It was revealed that Emil Blonsky was transported to the arena via a portal by Wong, and based on their conversation, it seemed the two had arranged for a sparring match in order to make a little cash on the side.
Honestly, it's not entirely clear what the arrangement was. All we know is that Wong helped Abomination return to some location via his magic, there was some agreement the two had in which Wong was "training" Abomination, with Wong specifically noting that he'd had Abomination practice "controlling" his punches. The verbiage would imply the two had been in contact more than just this one time, but for how long, we can't say for sure. Blonsky then returned to an unknown destination via a portal and that was the end of it.
It's also notable that Abomination looked considerably different from when we last saw him in The Incredible Hulk. He has fins for ears and looks a little more green as well compared to his first appearance. I can't imagine it's because he's gotten a lot more sunlight in his high-security containment cell. Truthfully, it could just be that Marvel decided to update his look closer to that of his Marvel Comics counterpart, and there will be no explanation for his changes. It wouldn't be the first time something like this happened with a Marvel character, and more likely than not, it won't be the last time.
What's Going On With Abomination And Wong?
Obviously, we all want to know what exactly is going on with Abomination and Wong. Until Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, there wasn't even an inkling that these two were aware of each other's existence. Fast forward to now, and these two seem on good enough terms for Wong to trust Abomination not to murder him in an underground cage fight. Also, Wong opened a portal and Abomination just walked right through it as opposed to trying to make a break for his freedom. What in the hell is going on?
We can only speculate, of course, but there is precedent in Abomination being a "good guy" of sorts in Marvel Comics. Emil Blonsky has been a repentant villain in the past and even aided the good guys on occasion. Truthfully, nothing has really led us to believe Abomination is at all repentant in what he did in The Incredible Hulk, but over a decade behind bars can likely lead to some remorse.
That still doesn't really explain how Wong came in contact with Abomination though, and there has to be a story there. Maybe he had a Hulk-sized problem, and Bruce Banner isn't exactly in peak condition to smash things. I have to think the key to this mystery is rooted in Wong's relationship with Abomination, and how the two came in contact in the first place. Surely we'll get some eventual explanation behind that, right?
Will This Be Addressed In She-Hulk?
We didn't get any answers about Abomination in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, but there will be an opportunity for answers in another Marvel series. Abomination is confirmed to appear in the upcoming Disney+ series She-Hulk, and that actor Tim Roth will reprise the role. Roth portrayed Abomination in The Incredible Hulk and did vocalization for Shang-Chi, so his return isn't too much of a surprise at this time.
Of course, back when Abomination was teased for She-Hulk, it was assumed he'd play a villain. Now, given what Marvel fans saw in Shang-Chi, I think it's possible the situation may be a bit more convoluted than that. Then again, the moral implications of fixing an underground street fight aren't exactly noble, so I really don't know what side of the fence Abomination is on in the whole good and evil thing. Hopefully, though, we'll get some answers in She-Hulk to piece together the full picture.