Marvel Studios already has access to most of the Marvel Comics character catalog, but while the Disney-backed company can now make productions based on some of its most famous superheroes, in the short-term future it will continue to rely on character-centric stories that perhaps they are not as well known as the X-Men.
Particularly during the next September, Marvel Studios plans to release Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, a new film that will mark the debut in the MCU of the so-called “master of kung fu” and that also intends to introduce a new edge to the controversial history of the Mandarin in that Universe.
Thus, although during this week the first trailer of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten RingsAs this is not one of the best known characters of the so-called “House of Ideas”, below we review the key aspects that they have to know about this hero and what they have to remember about the Mandarin in the Avengers franchise.
Created in 1973 by the creative team consisting of Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin, Shang-chi is a character that did not arise from a particular idea of those creators and was actually invented to operate as a rival to Fu Manchu, a villain established by Sax Rohmer and to which Marvel Comics acquired the rights after Warner Bros denied him the possibility of realizing a comic based on the series Kung Fu.
That is to say, this character arose because Marvel wanted to take advantage of the interest that there was in kung-fu during the decade of the ’70s.
But although his creation may not have been completely original, Shang-Chi introduced himself as a new character and debuted in Special Marvel Edition #15 As the hijo de Fu Manchu.
However, although the hero debuted as a kind of soldier ready to carry out the orders of his powerful father, in the pages of his first story he quickly realized that Fu Manchu was not who he thought he was and, after a conversation with Denis Nayland Smith, not only learned the truth about his father but promised that he would spend the rest of his life trying to stop his criminal plans.
Shang-Chi’s debut had a positive reception from readers, so Marvel continued to post stories with the character and showcase his adventures as an MI6 agent, part of the Heroes for Hire, and more recently, an avenger and a member. of the Agents of Atlas. All while also positioning the character as one of the most skilled fighters in that universe.
Of course, Shang-Chi has not starred in as many comics as other heroes of the so-called “House of Ideas”, but in addition to his works mentioned above also highlights the revelation that occurred in Secret Avengers #8.
In the context of that story where Shang-Chi worked with The Avengers, Beast uncovered that the hero’s father was not actually Fu Manchu but rather a sorcerer named Zheng Zu. All in a twist that clearly has to do with Marvel’s loss of rights to Fu Manchu.
As you can deduce based on the above, Shang-Chi’s family history is a bit complicated and is also marked by a lot of stereotypes, so Marvel Studios will approach it from another perspective in its new film.
According to what has been revealed so far, in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings the father of the titular hero will be played by Tony Leung and although his name will be Wenwu, those responsible for Marvel Studios have already announced that he has had several identities and one of them is nothing more and nothing less than the Mandarin.
Wenwu is not a character that exists in the Marvel comics, but the Mandarin is clearly a renowned figure in those publications and in particular in the Iron Man stories.
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The Mandarin debuted in Tales of Suspense #50 in 1964 and although initially not many details were established about his origin story, eventually in Tales of Suspense #62 Stan Lee and Don Heck explained that he was a descendant of Genghis Khan who gained power after finding an abandoned alien spaceship.
And, although the Mandarin was going through several problems, one day he discovered a ship that contained the remains of Axonn-Karr, a kind of extraterrestrial dragon. The Mandarin used the ship’s technology to learn about Axonn-Karr and his planet, but more importantly, he also decided to seize the power source of that device: a game of ten rings.
The Mandarin dedicated himself to studying these rings and, after understanding their power, proceeded to use them to conquer a sector of China and consolidate his power.
Thus, throughout different Marvel comics, the Mandarin has not only used these gadgets to fight Tony Stark but has also faced other heroes and teams in his quest for still power.
While Shang-Chi and “Wenwu” will make their debut in the Marvel Studios universe in the framework of the new film directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, the name of the Mandarin and even the mention of the ten rings are known to fans of this film franchise.
After all, in the first MCU movie, Iron Man, The Ten Rings appeared as a terrorist organization that was key in the kidnapping of Tony Stark.
But clearly the most important Mandarin moment in the Marvel Studios universe came during Iron Man 3.
In that 2013 movie, Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) claimed he was the Mandarin after having an actor named Trevor Slattery (Ben Kingsley) pose as the villain.
Although the film was released several years ago, that twist continues to generate controversy around Iron Man 3. Nonetheless, it’s not the last thing that appeared about the Mandarin in the MCU (and we’re not talking about that deleted scene from Ant-Man).
During 2014, Marvel Studios released a short called All Hail the King where Trevor Slattery was released from jail by a member of The Ten Rings who realized that the real Mandarin wanted to talk to him.
In that context, the member of The Ten Rings who caught Slattery not only assured that the true Mandarin wanted his name back but also explained that he was a warrior king who “He inspired generations of men throughout the Middle Ages, perhaps even further back in time.”
The real Mandarin was never shown in that short, but in 2019 Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige confirmed that they had plans to present the definitive version of that character and everything indicates that this will finally happen during Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, a movie that still plans to release in September this year.
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