SPOILERS are ahead for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
A new hero has arrived. Since the release of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, we’ve been drifting off thinking about how Simu Liu’s Marvel character could play a larger role in the expansive universe he is part of, and it’s time to talk through our early ideas. Usually before a superhero like Shang-Chi becomes part of the Avengers, he’ll be seen in a team-up capacity in another film or something along those lines, and there’s a ton of characters we could see him fighting alongside.
After getting to know Shang-Chi in his solo movie, we learned that he’s a larger-than-life martial artist with a dark past to sift through and has a bright future ahead. And by the end of The Legend of the Ten Rings, Awkwafina’s Katy is likely to be by his side going forward, but there are some other Marvel heroes we want to see him get to know better.
Shang-Chi briefly met Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner as a hologram at the end of his movie, and let me tell you, we missed the green superhero to pieces. Because Shang-Chi is such a capable fighter, it would be interesting to see Shang-Chi matched up with the Hulk should the latter lose control of his alter ego again. Shang-Chi is a super capable hand-to-hand combat fighter, and perhaps he could employ pressure points on Hulk instead of the other more destructive ways the Avengers have attempted to contain him. On the flip side, he’d be a good match to Bruce Banner because of the different worlds they come from.
The other hero Shang-Chi met in his movie, thanks to Wong, was Captain Marvel. This hero would be a great one for him to team up with for a few reasons. For one, she’s another recent hero we’ve seen get an origin story. Interestingly enough, Carol Danvers now one of the older Avengers, so she’d have a lot of wisdom to throw the way of a newbie hero like Shang-Chi. Additionally, behind the scenes, Shang-Chi's director, Destin Daniel Cretton, has worked with Brie Larson on two other projects: Short Term 12 and The Glass Castle. They’ve created some awe-inspiring work together, and seeing how they work in the MCU, perhaps in a Shang-Chi sequel would be killer and full circle for Larson.
You just know Shang-Chi and Spider-Man would really get along. Both of these characters have dealt with some serious childhood trauma that made them feel like they didn’t belong as a kid, and they’re kind of self-made heroes who were just regular people, living quite unextraordinary lives prior to tapping into each of their abilities. The pair have shared the same pages in the comics a number of times, but we could definitely see these two having a blast together fighting alongside each other or just kicking it back, should their paths cross.
By association of meeting Wong, it seems only a matter of time before Shang-Chi meets Doctor Strange as well in the MCU. The spell-casting hero is set to have a major role in the universe with the multiverse opening and all. We’d really like to see Stephen Strange and Shang-Chi’s fates align because their two distinct worlds would mix in a really exciting way. There’s the mysticism of the Sorcerer Supreme and the magical elements of the world that the Ten Rings and Simu Liu’s character come from that would be mind-blowing together.
Now here’s a long shot, but hey, we can dream! Daredevil is not currently part of the MCU, as the last time Marvel fans got to see Matt Murdock was on Netflix through the cancelled, but groundbreaking series starring Charlie Cox. If Disney ever does decide to bring back the character, it’s going to be difficult to top that rendition of the character. (Many fans believe Murdock will in fact be back for Spider-Man: No Way Home.) Whether that happens or not, Daredevil is a skilled hand-to-hand combat fighter like Shang-Chi, and it would be fun to see them cross paths.
Following The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Anthony Mackie is the new Captain America. As such, we’d imagine the character will become a major leader in the MCU. Sam Wilson has always been a great hero to team up with others like Ant-Man and Winter Soldier. Now we’d imagine that he and Shang-Chi would not only get along, but be incredibly engaging to see fight on the same side. They’d be in awe of each other. Sam Wilson has a Captain America solo movie on the way just as Shang-Chi is coming up in the MCU.
Here’s another Marvel character who is not part of the main MCU continuity, but we’d love to see Shang-Chi team up someday. Iron Fist is quite similar to Shang-Chi, as he too is a practitioner in martial arts and he wields some serious magic, but in the form of the “iron fist.” The character doesn’t have a great track record as of late considering his critically underwhelming Netflix series, but should Marvel decide to reboot the character for the MCU, a connection with Shang-Chi would be our first point of interest.
An exciting upcoming hero introduction coming soon to the MCU via Disney+ is the Moon Knight TV show starring Oscar Isaac. Just as Shang-Chi’s origin story operates in some mystical places, like the world of Ta Lo, Moon Knight will be about a character, Marc Spector, who gains superhuman abilities from the Egyptian moon god Khonshu. We expect this series to be a dark tale that brings a truly unique hero into the MCU. Combining Moon Knight with another one-of-a-kind hero like Shang-Chi is cloudy for the time being since we haven’t officially met Isaac’s hero, but it's an enticing combo.
There are a lot of exciting Marvel team-up ideas here. Which is your favorite? Vote in the poll below and check out the upcoming slate of Marvel movies right here on CinemaBlend.
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