With the ultimate finale fans are about to experience within ‘Avengers: Endgame’, there is one question that many fans find themselves asking – what comes next? Thankfully, filmmakers haven’t left everyone completely in the dark when it comes to the next phase, understanding that people need something to look forward to. Well, Marvel are planning to introduce plenty of new characters and storylines according to several sources, and one of those characters is Shang-Chi. But who is Shang-Chi? How does he fit into all of this?
The character himself
Marvel are slowly diversifying their big-screen range of superheroes, and Shang-Chi is part of that process, particularly after the outcry and success that Black Panther received. He has a complicated background, learning that his father wasn’t who he said he was, which meant Shang-Chi had to make a decision about who he wanted to be. Shang-Chi ultimately decided to defy his father, choosing to be a better person and being a protector of people rather than someone who takes lives. He has a variety of appearances, from working with the Avengers to being a solo hero.
What are his powers?
In most instances Shang-Chi is not superhuman, he is simply the master of martial arts and is deemed the greatest empty-handed kung-fu fighter there is. Considering characters such as Black Widow, sometimes it can be refreshing having a character who isn’t in some way extraterrestrial or augmented in some way. They can also be just as popular, Tony Stark’s ability is being super-intelligent, but he was not augmented to be that way. So, while Shang-Chi does not have any powers in most carnations of his character, in some portrayals he is exposed to cosmic radiation and can make as many duplicates of himself as he wants. There’s no confirmation on whether Marvel will choose to include these powers.
How far along are they?
While it’s not being widely publicized, it has already got people working on the script. In fact, many people are excited as Dave Callaham is writing the script, who is Chinese-American and will provide the authenticity and diversity the script deserves. He’s also well affiliated with superheroes, having worked on projects such as ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ and ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse 2’. They have also chosen a producer among assigning other roles.
MCU Phase 4
The stories of Shang-Chi are already well intertwined with the likes of Spider-Man, X-Men, and The Avengers. He has worked with a variety of other hero vigilantes. There has been speculation as to whether he will get his own origins story initially or whether they will try and introduce him first, as they did with Spider-Man in Avengers: Civil War. There has also been much debate whether this will be called ‘Phase 4’ or whether it will be called something entirely different, marking the end to an era.
Shang-Chi is being hailed as another step to diversifying Hollywood but also breaking strict stereotypes, unlike the deemed-controversial Iron-fist series which featured character Danny Rand, who practices kung-fu and has mystical powers in his hand. Look out for more details of this upcoming production.