Matching his MCU counterpart, Shang-Chi has finally inherited the Ten Rings in the comics, though they seem to have an all-new history.
Warning: spoilers ahead for Shang Chi #eleven!
In the latest issue of Marvel Comics’ Shang Chi, the titular martial arts hero just claimed the version of the Ten Rings fans know from the MCU, changing comics lore to better match his live-action counterpart. It’s no secret that recent Shang Chi comics have been making great efforts to streamline and retcon large portions of the character’s history to better match Simu Liu’s on-screen depiction. Now, Shang-Chi has his own set of movie-alike Ten Rings (though they’re not the same Ten Rings readers might have expected).
In recent issues of Shang Chi from Gene Luen Yang and Marcus To, Shang-Chi has inherited his late father’s criminal organization known as the Five Weapons Society (not unlike the MCU’s Ten Rings organization). Becoming Supreme Commander and reuniting with his estranged siblings who serve as his captains de el, Shang-Chi has been attempting to turn the crime syndicate into a force for good. However, that change has taken longer than he’d like, much to the concern of his fellow Avengers such as Spider-Man and Captain America. Additionally, Shang-Chi’s mother Jiang Li was rescued from the Negative Zone and helped retcon their family’s history with a new MCU flavor, providing Shang-Chi with origins involving the realm of Ta-Lo and his father’s desire to infiltrate the land. Now, Shang-Chi’s grandfather has kidnapped Jiang, motivating Shang-Chi and his siblings from him to travel to Ta-Lo for an epic rescue mission.
Although they successfully travel to the other-dimensional realm of Ta-Lo, Shang Chi #eleven sees the Supreme Commander and his family getting captured by the Jade Emperor, wielding some very familiar rings on his arms. During their imprisonment and subsequent escape, Shang-Chi is met by the spirit of his father he Zheng Zu, who guides him to the Jade Emperor’s vault. Revealing that the Ten Rings are part of a set of Heavenly Weapons that inspired the Five Weapons Society, Shang-Chi’s father congratulates his son for achieving what he never could, as Shang-Chi takes the clearly MCU-inspired weapons to save his family from his grandfather and the Jade Emperor.
Discovering a brand new “legend of the Ten Rings,” Marvel has seemingly decided to move away from the original Ten Rings forged from an alien spaceship by the Iron Man villain known as the Mandarin. Instead, these new Ten Rings and their connection to Ta-Lo are much more in line with Shang-Chi’s MCU lore. While the comics have been changing to have better synergy with the film, perhaps potential movie sequels can now take notes from the unfolding events of the comics (seeing as how the origins of the MCU’s Ten Rings are still ambiguous.)
Either way, the Ten Rings are another way Shang-Chi is fulfilling his father’s dream while refocusing it as a force for good, just as he’s been doing with the Five Weapons Society. By claiming the Ten Rings, Shang-Chi’s journey to be more like the MCU version feels more complete than ever before, especially with the series’ upcoming relaunch, getting retitled as Shang Chi and the Ten Rings. now, there Shang Chi has to do is use these new Ten Rings to save his family before a brand new era begins from Marvel Comics.
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Shang Chi #eleven is available now from Marvel Comics.
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