Shang-Chi’s post-credit scenes, explained

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Photo: Jasin Boland / Marvel Studios

Spoilers for Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings below.

Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings is Marvel’s first new Phase 4 origin story and a long-awaited showcase for the first Asian American main hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The plot of the film is quite self-contained – impressive considering much of it takes place in San Francisco, where any The ant Man the character could have made an unnecessary appearance. But this Simu Liu superhero showcase also comes with some intriguing questions and clues about the MCU’s future, especially in its two post-credit scenes. Let’s break down exactly what’s going on there.

It was no secret that Benedict Wong would reprise his role as Wong in Shang-Chi, although it’s interesting to see what he’s doing here. Earlier in the film, Wong is seen fighting Abomination – the villain of Tim Roth from The Incredible Hulk – in the underground ring of Xialing (Meng’er Zhang). It seemed at first that the MCU was just reminding us that this antagonist still exists, since he will appear in she-hulk Next year.

But in the post-credits scene, Wong pulls Shang-Chi and Katy (Awkwafina) through his portal to a library to tell them about the rings – the weapons, not the organization – which can did you ask …

Because Wong is just as awesome, dammit! Doctor Strange likely stayed behind to watch the Sanctum in New York City, although the recently released Spider-Man: No Path Home the trailer shows the place in absolute ruin. While the timeline is unclear at this time, we do know that the two Spider Man and Shang-Chi take place in the current MCU, which, due to the Blip, is actually 2023.

Yes, along with Wong, Shang-Chi, and Katy, we see Brie Larson and Mark Ruffalo’s Captain Marvel as the Hulk, both in hologram form. But like almost all of Carol Danvers’ appearances so far in the MCU, she’s always in a rush! She just needs to go help the alien races. She manages to show off her new hairstyle (more short hair) and notes that the rings aren’t an alien creation as far as she can tell.

We don’t know much about the origins of the rings after Shang-Chi. Wong mentions that they don’t match any of the artifacts in Strange’s Codex, the ancient book he used to learn the mystical arts in. Doctor strange. And even with some additional input from the Avengers, he can’t seem to figure out where they’re coming from, while Shang-Chi himself clearly has no idea. Wong mentions that they are sending a beacon. We know the rings are incredibly old and were in Wenwu’s possession for some time. looong time. But what else? What is their source of energy? And why do Wong and Strange care?

It looks like Wong and Strange may be able to hunt down and catalog ancient artifacts in response to the entire Infinity Stone debacle. When Vanity Fair spoke with Michael Waldron, writer for Loki and Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, he gave an interesting quote about Strange and what his sequel will look like: “He’s Indiana Jones in a cape to me.” Back then it didn’t seem like it exactly followed, but now I see it. Someone has to hunt down weapons and artifacts that could break half of existence or open up the multiverse.

But why don’t the rings appear anywhere? This is also where Waldron can step in. Loki presents a key player for phase 4: Kang. (To be precise, He Who Remains is a variant of Kang, but I digress.) In the comics, Kang the Conqueror is as fearsome as Thanos, more he can time travel. At Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung Young Avengers: Companions, Kang’s teenager travels through time to join the Young Avengers as Iron Lad – basically, an even more technological Iron Man – in an effort to defeat his future Timebender. As it comes from the future, its technology is more powerful and more advanced. If you’re still with me: what if the MCU primed the rings not as weapons from the old past but from the far future? It’s a long-term theory, but it would be related Shang-Chi in phase 4 tissue well.

Now here I am Also confuses. In Avengers: Endgame, it looked like the excruciating Bruce vs. Hulk conflict had finally been resolved with the introduction of Smart Hulk. “Eighteen months in a gamma lab, I put the brain and the muscles together,” he tells Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanoff, and Scott Lang in the movie. But in this Shang-Chi dart scene, Bruce is clearly not in his intelligent Hulk form, although he still has his arm slung while healing from burns he suffered while using the Infinity Gauntlet. What is going on?

Guess you wouldn’t want to hide Mark Ruffalo behind all that CGI forever. And Marvel loves to cram the important events in Bruce Banner’s life between the movies (see also: The Birth of the Smart Hulk Before End of Game and his trip to Sakaar before Thor: Ragnarok). Ruffalo (and Abomination) will be be back in the next Disney + show she-hulk, so we’ll probably find out what happened then. But really, it’s funny that Marvel is assuming we’re going to connect the non-existent dots. A character in a suddenly different hairstyle or location is one thing, but this Hulk’s dilemma is a whole other level of puzzle.

In the second final credit sting, we catch up with Xialing, who Shang-Chi says is dealing with the shutdown of the Ten Rings organization. Suuure. She more or less does it, but Xialing also seems to be turning the Ten Rings into a more female-centric spy organization. Funny, Black Widow just spent all of his execution time shutting down another female spy ring, but we’d like to think Xialing’s will be more ethical. No mind control or pig experimentation here! Shang-Chi and the ten rings ends with a place card promising: “The ten rings will return.” So it’s safe to say that we will see a lot more of Xialing in the future.

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