The newest entry into Phase 4 of the MCU works as a superb standalone origin story – nevertheless it additionally highlights simply how good Phase 1 actually was.

Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings could be the primary cinematic MCU release to truly happen within the time interval of Phase 4, nevertheless it additionally showcases simply what was so good about Phase 1. An origin story that introduces Marvel’s Master of Kung Fu into the MCU, Shang-Chi was fast to garner reward from critics for each its illustration and the way in which wherein it expands the broader MCU, even making Marvel’s One-Shots finally relevant. Not least, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings provides the Ten Rings group a correct backstory by linking again to the MCU’s very beginnings.

The Ten Rings’ most notable earlier MCU look was their very first again in 2008’s Iron Manwherein they had been liable for kidnapping Tony Stark and setting him on the trail to changing into a hero. All that point in the past, the MCU was little greater than a distant hope for Marvel, however that setup was lastly capable of repay 13 years later in Shang-Chi, and it proves simply how a lot Phase 1 actually nailed Marvel’s method. Being the primary post-Endgame narrative, a minimum of in movie, Shang-Chi had rather a lot to ship. Not solely did it must arrange the new Avengers team after Endgame, nevertheless it additionally needed to function the start of a completely new saga whereas nonetheless present alongside everything of the prevailing universe.

Related: Shang-Chi’s Planet Of The Apes Joke Is Perfect Iron Man 3 Payoff

In the pursuit of ticking so many packing containers, Marvel was truly capable of spotlight that they have been getting ready for this all alongside, which truly makes for a fair higher appreciation of simply how good the MCU’s first section actually was. Phase 1 was made up solely of its heroes’ origin tales (even Iron Man 2 exhibits War Machine’s origins), and whereas each Phases 2 and three launched new characters, this was at all times completed with a give attention to the broader Infinity Saga. Shang-Chi marked a return to the MCU placing just a little extra emphasis on the standalone story – in fact, Shang-Chi still connects to MCU’s Multiverse, however the one required viewing for added context is Iron Man 3, and even that is not solely vital.

This throwback to the marginally extra remoted outings of Phase 1 is definitely refreshing. Some audiences might have grown weary of the intricate interconnectivity of the MCU’s varied entries, and Shang-Chi provides respite from that, standing as a self-contained origin story in the identical vein as Iron Man or Captain America: The First Avenger. Those movies used Marvel’s in depth supply materials as Easter eggs slightly than necessary plot factors, and easily targeted on adapting their particular characters to the display screen. This enabled hardcore comics followers to know the subtleties of the movie with out alienating potential newcomers to the viewers. In Marvel’s domination of cinema over the previous 13 years, that dynamic was misplaced, however Shang-Chi managed to recapture that high quality.

Of course, it does make connections to earlier movies, reminiscent of The Incredible Hulk‘s Abomination appearing in Shang-Chi‘s cage match, and 13 years into the franchise, it would not make sense for it to not. What Shang-Chi does so effectively, although, is capitalizing on what seemed to be oversights in Phase 1 by exhibiting that the Ten Rings hadn’t been forgotten by the MCU, however had been at play beneath the floor the entire time. Even if that wasn’t a deliberate setup from years again, it simply exhibits how robust the MCU’s basis is that the studio might discover a solution to work them again into the story and tie up unfastened ends. It additionally gave the franchise an opportunity to right Iron Man 3‘s Mandarin misstep with out retconning it, which was a masterclass in proudly owning a mistake whereas nonetheless saving face. All of those mixed to make Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings each a promising entry to Phase 4 and a pleasing reminder that Marvel has been completely nailing its movies for over a decade.

Next: Why The Ten Rings Organization Is More Dangerous Than Hydra


  • Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
  • Doctor Strange within the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
  • Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
  • The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023

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