Shang-Chi’s two after-credits scenes point to Marvel’s future
It’s hard to believe, but Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings is the first Marvel Studios film to continue the ongoing MCU story since Avengers: Endgame.
With Spider-Man: Far From Home in his little corner Sony and Black Widow taking place in the past, it was up to Marvel’s Disney Plus shows to support the march forward. Corn Shang-Chi has one on them all.
After years of all the roads pointing to Avengers: Endgame, Shang-Chi don’t point a tantalizing finger in any particular direction.
[Ed. note: This piece contains spoilers for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.]
The first of Shang-ChiThe two end credits scenes are basically about the Avengers remaining stumped, as we see what happened after Wong, an ally of Doctor Strange, interrupted Shang-Chi and Katy’s dinner.
He and other members of the Avengers have been watching for a signal beacon emanating from the Ten Rings, which is unlike anything in the Avengers archives. Bruce Banner can’t figure out what they’re made of, and Captain Marvel doesn’t recognize their design of any of his space adventures.
In the middle of the conversation, the two senior avengers are called in and Wong tells Shang-Chi and Katy to get used to this sort of thing. They are now in the world of Big Weird Superhero Stuff.
And then they’re going to do karaoke, which is extremely relevant.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about Shang-ChiThe first credits scene is that it doesn’t have a conclusion: the Ten Rings are weird, and if you want to know why, out of luck. This leaves a lot of room for speculation.
What are the Ten Rings and what is their origin story?
We shouldn’t expect the MCU’s Ten Rings to have the same origin as in the comics, though. Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings is something to go through. The film makes significant changes to the mythology of the Marvel character, and for good reason. But just for context, here’s where the Ten Rings come from in Marvel Comics.
In the comics, the Ten Rings are small enough to fit on your fingers, not your arms, and each has a distinct power. They were the favorite weapons of the Iron Man villain known as Mandarin, who inspired the Mandarin in Iron man 3, and thus the character of Shang-Chi’s father, Wenwu. In the comics, Mandarin got his rings from, keep with me here, an ancient crashed spaceship that belonged to a dragon.
The dragon was a Makluan, a race of advanced alien shape-shifters resembling dragons from the planet Kakaranthara. If you’ve ever heard of Fin Fang Foom, well, he’s probably Marvel Comics’ most famous Makluan. (He’s also a giant green dragon who wears purple pants.)
So! He is possible that the MCU’s Ten Rings are also of alien origin, and that Captain Marvel simply did not recognize Makluan’s designs.
The Ten Rings could be an everlasting artifact
To point a little more specifically to upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe releases, the next MCU movie to hit theaters will be Eternals, a film that promises to unbox a family of immortal aliens who have secretly lived on Earth for millennia.
The Eternals were created by some of the most powerful cosmic forces in the Marvel Comics universe, and the Avengers have never faced them before. Shang-Chi says the Ten Rings were discovered centuries ago under obscure circumstances, and if they are eternal technology, that might explain why Banner and Danvers haven’t found anything familiar about them.
The Ten Rings might be something we’ve never heard of before
But these are still clichés in the dark. With no clear Thanos-like threat on the release schedule horizon, the possibilities of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are wide open with potential. Maybe the rings are an artifact from another part of the multiverse! Maybe they are divine, and they will bond with Moon knight and the god Khonshu! Maybe they are homegrown but just very weird! Everything is possible!
Oh, and Xialing took over the Ten Rings empire
Let’s not forget, there’s another credits scene to see in Shang-Chi, and it’s much simpler.
Shang-Chi’s sister, Xialing, fulfilled her dream of creating a criminal empire to rival that of her father – by taking control of her own after her death during the film’s climax. Although she told her brother that she was dismantling their father’s job, a final scene shows us that reality is anything but. She is rebuilding this army in her image, allowing women to train alongside men for the first time in her history and covering her father’s compound in colorful graffiti.
Where the origin of the Ten Rings as an artifact seems destined to connect with the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Xialing Organization, also known as the Ten Rings, will undoubtedly return in any follow-up to. Shang-Chi – although this comes in the form of a Disney Plus TV sequel or suite remains to be seen. Marvel has yet to announce a Shang-Chi following.