What are the powers of Shang-Chi? | RBC

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Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings introduce a surprisingly different character to the MCU. Here’s what he and the eponymous rings can do.

Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings promises to break new ground in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, both in terms of representation – being the first MCU film to be led by a predominantly Asian or Asian-American cast – and as the first MCU film to focus on a martial artist instead of a typical superhero. Like his comic book heyday in the ’70s, Shang-Chi is expected to bring a different flavor to the franchise.

Unlike other heroes in the MCU, Shang-Chi isn’t a god, super-soldier, or even a super-spy, nor does he rely on gadgets like Hawkeye and Black Widow do. However, while he may not have much in common with The Avengers, Shang-Chi is an extremely capable fighter. (The title of his ongoing comic book series is Kung Fu Master, after all.) Here’s a breakdown of everything can do, based on Shang-Chitrailers and source material from.


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Shang-Chi is a master martial artist


Shang Chi feature

Shang-Chi developed his fighting skills through intense training imposed on him by his villainous father (originally Fu Manchu) from birth. This regiment gave him more than elite melee skills. Shang-Chi has the ability to control and channel his chi. While not weaponizing it like Iron Fist, he used it to do things like detect a psionically masked Jean Gray by recognizing her energy.

The self-discipline Shang-Chi learned in his training gives him full control over his body. He used this control to slow the spread of poison in his blood, numb his pain by controlling his nervous system, and slow his bleeding. He also has control of his senses. While not at the level of Daredevil’s sonar or Wolverine’s tracking ability, it’s similar. The best example of this was his duel in total darkness with villain-turned-X-Man The Gorgon.

There are different types of testimonials about Shang-Chi’s prowess from other Marvel Comics characters. God of War Ares considers him one of the few humans who can fight a god without magic, and he fought Iron Fist while stationary. No less an authority than Black Panther even told Iron Fist partner Luke Cage that Shang-Chi was the top martial artist. And when they needed martial arts training, three of Marvel’s most iconic superheroes (Captain America, Wolverine, and Spider-Man) called upon Shang-Chi’s expertise.

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Shang-Chi is highly skilled in multiple weapons


Shang-Chi prefers to use his deadly hands and feet in combat. His training life also makes him proficient with weapons. His weapons of choice include swords, staves, kali staves, nunchaku, and shuriken.

During his time with the Avengers, Shang-Chi had access to more high-tech weapons. Tony Stark gave him a repellent nunchaku and gauntlets which helped him focus his chi. The Infinite crossover also saw Shang-Chi use a pair of energy gauntlets to save his teammates Black Widow, Manifold, and Spider-Woman from certain death.

Until there, Shang-ChiThe trailers for showcased the martial arts prowess of the eponymous warrior above all else. The MCU’s Shang-Chi also doesn’t appear to use most of the weapons his comic book counterpart has mastered, although the film’s marketing has revealed he wields a stick.

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What we know about the ten rings


shang-chi new ten mcu power rings

Shang-Chi’s The eponymous Ten Rings is set to become the MCU’s most powerful weapon since the Infinity Gauntlet. They give Shang-Chi Wenwu’s father his powers and are worn like the iron rings used in Chinese martial arts, allowing their user to easily manipulate them.

The rings themselves are based on the Mandarin’s Ten Rings of Power from the comics. In the Marvel Comics Universe, Rings are alien artifacts discovered by Iron Man’s villain and are used in the same way as a Green Lantern Ring. Each ring also has a different power, with some simulating super speed and others being used for mind control and creating illusions.

Wenwu is a composite of Mandarin and Fu Manchu from the Marvel comics, but without the racist elements associated with these versions of the characters. (As Ed Brubaker said, having an evil father to rebel against is central to Shang Chi’s story.) At the moment, however, we don’t know if Wenwu owns the most, or all, the same ring-based powers as The Mandarin in the Marvel comics.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will hit theaters on September 3.

KEEP READING: Marvel’s Shang-Chi Guide: News, Easter Eggs, Reviews, Theories & Rumors


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