Who is ‘Shang-Chi’s’ The Mandarin?
The Marvel Cinematic Universe will return to theatres once again this September, sporting a debut of one of their most interesting characters; a question that remains for most fans is, who is Shang-Chi’s The Mandarin?
Shang-chi will make his much anticipated MCU debut later this summer, with fans ready to explore a side of the universe yet to be seen.
The Master of Kung Fu, Shang-Chi’s original within the Cinematic Universe seems to differ quite a bit from the comic book origins that the character has come to be known.
One major shift from the comic books comes in who is the Marvel Heroes father; who the films have already verified to be the legendary and revered Mandarin.
But who is the Mandarin? What does this mean for Shang-Chi?
Many fans recognize the name as it has appeared in the MCU before.
Debuting in Iron Man 2, Ben Kingsley portrayed the character of The Mandarin in a highly anticipated appearance that brought to the forefront one of Marvel Comics’ most fearsome foes.
Kingsley’s turn as the character ended up being not what it seemed; as The Mandarin was found to actually be an actor portraying the legend of the real MAndarin; a fact seen in the Marvel one-shot, All Hail The King.
The appearance was highly anticipated for what it could mean to the universe, as Mandarins presence in Marvel comics was one of consistent villainy and opposition to the heroic efforts of Iron Man.
The beholder of the Ten Rings, Mandarin would consistently use the magical weapon to compact the advanced technology of Tony Starks armor.
So, what seems to be consistent between the comic books Mandarin, and the Mandarin debuting in Shang-Chi’s solo film?
As the name of the film implies, the Ten Rings will, in some iteration, be present in the film.
Based on the promotional material, we can infer these Ten Rings come in two formal both as a mystical weapon wielded by The Mandarin and by a society formed by the villain.
Referred to as Wenwu, and portrayed by Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, the character’s fathership of Shang-Chi speaks to the characters MCU backstory likely being combined with controversial Marvel creation, Fu Manchu.
Fu Manchu was the leader of the Marvel Comics villainous entity known as the Five Weapons society. A global terrorist organization, the Ten Rings of the MCU seems to be a different version of that idea.
Wenwu, or Mandarin, has been built up as a character in the MCU since 2013. His influence has been seen within different MCU films- hidden as easter eggs of characters sporting the Ten Rings mark of allegiance- since that Iron Man 2 debut.
Shang-Chi should be introducing one of the MCU’s most interesting characters in the Tony Leung portrayed Mandarin; a fact spoken to by the film’s producer Jonathan Schwartz.
“I think people hear, ‘The Mandarin’ and expect a very specific kind of thing, and may not be getting that thing” Schwartz explained.
The producer continued, “They’re hopefully getting a more complex and layered take on the character than that name would lead you to.”
Fans can catch the villainous debut in theatres and with premiere access on Disney+ on September 28th.