SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS Spoilers: 10 Easter Eggs, References, And Cameos You Need To See

SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS <font color=red>Spoilers</font>: 10 Easter Eggs, References, And Cameos You Need To See

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings broke box office records this weekend, and we're now taking a closer look at the movie itself to bring you a breakdown of the biggest Easter Eggs and cameos...

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings exceeded expectations at the box office this weekend, and we're now just patiently waiting for news of a sequel from Marvel Studios. 

It's obvious that one is coming, especially with the way we leave things in this movie. Before we talk too much about the future, though, we're going to take a much closer look at this first chapter and the most badass Easter Eggs. There are plenty to delve into (including some fun cameos), and a fair few of these might just have ended up passing you by. 

We can always rely on the Marvel Cinematic Universe to deliver a mixture of fun and meaningful references, and there are some real deep cut nods to the comic books in Shang-Chi. Throw in some teases about the franchise's aforementioned future, and we definitely have lots to discuss. 

To take a look through this feature, all you guys need to do is click on the "Next" button below! 
 

10. Dweller-In-Darkness

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Did you think that giant dragon-like creature - dubbed the "Dweller-in-Darkness" - was just a randomly created monster to accommodate the expected CG-heavy final act in an MCU movie? 

Well, guess again. This villain does hail from the comic books, but quite a few changes have been made for his big-screen debut. On the page, the Dweller-in-Darkness is one of the Fear Lords and claims to be the cousin of Nightmare (much to the disgust of that classic Doctor Strange bad guy).

Thousands of years ago, he was embroiled in a war with Atlantis and even has ties to the Eternals and Deviants; however, he's primarily a Doctor Strange baddie in the present day and even gained a robotic body not too long ago. Ultimately, we'd say he was put to pretty good use here. 
 

9. The Blip

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At the end of Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos snapped half of the universe out of existence. The Hulk reversed that in Avengers: Endgame, but Shang-Chi doesn't devote a tonne of time to the fallout. 

We never learn if characters like Shang-Chi, Katy, and Wenwu were dusted, but there's nothing here to indicate that they were. However, Shang-Chi can be seen walking past some tattered posters advertising help for those affected, while "Shaun" and Katy's friends mention that they're living in a world where "half the population can just disappear."

The events of those last two Avengers movies are clearly fresh in the minds of people, but seemingly not something we can expect to see directly referenced very much moving forward in the MCU. 
 

8. Ta-Lo

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Ta-Lo should also be familiar to comic book fans...providing you have a very good memory. This is not a location that's been particularly well explored after debuting in the pages of 1980's Thor #301

One of the God Realms, this version also exists in a small "pocket" dimension adjacent to Earth and is home to the Xian. Despite Marvel Comics' often problematic history with Chinese culture, this was introduced as the highest of the 36 heavens of the Chinese gods and a little more in line with China's actual mythology (unlike "The Mandarin" and "Fin Fang Foom"). 

Like the Ta-Lo we visit in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, it's inhabited by many mythological creatures. We can't help but think how easy it would be for Marvel Studios to now introduce K'un-Lun...
 

7. The Golden Daggers

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Shang-Chi's sister, Xialing, may not have earned the respect of her father, but she's created a successful fight club known as the Golden Daggers Club in Macau. People are able to gamble on the battles that take place there through the dark web, and most seem to feature superpowered individuals. 

The Golden Daggers does exist in the comic books, but is actually a criminal organisation run by Shang-Chi's sister, Leiko (who Xialing is based on). She decided to establish the group in an effort to rival their father's Ten Rings empire, so it's easy to see what Marvel Studios borrowed from that here.

Leiko ultimately falls into full-blown villainy, but it remains to be seen whether that'll be the case for Xialing now she's in charge of the Ten Rings following the death of Wenwu. 
 

6. Bruce Banner's Arm

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Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings features two post-credits scenes, both of which we've already covered pretty extensively on the site. However, there is something during the first we want to take a slightly closer look at as it was surprisingly easy to miss (especially when you're trying to concentrate on that exposition about the Ten Rings and a Captain Marvel cameo). 

You don't need us to tell you that Smart Hulk is now back to being Bruce Banner, but did you notice that his arm was still in a sling? We don't know what led to him choosing to revert to his human state, but green or not, the damage done by the Infinity Stones is quite clearly being felt. 

We can't help but think this will be closely explored in She-Hulk, and given what a sorry state Thanos was in when Earth's Mightiest Heroes found him, we're concerned about Bruce's future...
 

5. A Familiar Face From Spider-Man: Homecoming

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During that superb battle on the bus through the streets of San Francisco, we see a familiar face from the MCU's past. While he only had a very minor role in Spider-Man: Homecoming, we're sure you'll recognise Zach Cherry's Klev as the same guy who asked the web-slinger to do some flips in Queens. 

Since then, the vlogger has clearly been able to up sticks to San Francisco as, yes, the characters are meant to be one and the same. We're not sure what the point of this cameo really was, but Cherry is a funny guy and does a great job in the scene (he could have easily been an irritating distraction). 

Now, we can't help but wonder where he'll pop up next - Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, perhaps? Regardless, it's worth noting that this fight sees Shang-Chi use his jacket, a likely nod to Jackie Chan's penchant for doing so in his many martial arts battles. 
 

4. Some Familiar Fighters

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We're heading back to the Golden Daggers Club now, where, if you looked hard enough, you might have spotted the Madripoor flag painted on the wall (Sharon Carter, the MCU's Power Broker, will almost certainly have something to say about the emergence of Xialing's Ten Rings). 

However, it's the fighters we're most interested in. Abomination is the obvious one, as we see him battling Wong in what appears to be a training exercise before he's returned to prison. 

Elsewhere, we see one of the Extremis-powered soldiers from Iron Man 3 who has either managed to survive all this time or been experimented on by someone else making use of the tech. That unnamed character can be found battling one of Black Widow's Widows: Jade Xiu's "Helen." 
 

3. Death Dealer

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Death Dealer doesn't get a single line in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, but he is shown to be both a skilled fighter and the one responsible for training the title hero when he was young. 

It's clear that there's a lot of hatred between these two (perhaps Death Dealer viewed Shang-Chi as a rival to his master's affections?). However, that's not something the movie explores beyond the moment Shang-Chi nearly decides to stab him at the conclusion of the epic battle on the scaffolding.

As for this villain's comic book counterpart, Li Ching-Lin was an MI6 agent who secretly worked for Shang-Chi's father, "Fu Manchu." He was later named Death Dealer, and became a recurring threat in the hero's world; should he have been saved for a much bigger role somewhere down the line, though?
 

2. Iron Man 3 Explained

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Iron Man 3 revealed that "The Mandarin" was, in fact, a drunken English actor hired by A.I.M.'s Aldrich Killian to pose as the leader of the Ten Rings. In the "All Hail The King" One-Shot, Trevor was broken out of prison by the real "Mandarin," and we learn here that Wenwu planned to execute him. 

However, after he entertained the villain's men with his acting, he was kept around as...well, a jester of sorts. Wenwu also addresses Iron Man 3 head-on, confirming that he played no role in Killian's plot and mocking the Americans for fearing a man named after a chicken dish and orange. He also reveals some of his true titles, including the Warrior King, Master Khan, and the Most Dangerous Man on Earth. 

Master Khan was used by the comic book Mandarin for a time, but in the MCU, it's possible we're to believe that Wenwu and Genghis Khan were, in fact, one and the same. 
 

1. Where Shang-Chi Fits Into The MCU's Timeline

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We still don't have a definite idea of how all of Marvel Studios' Phase 4 movies overlap and connect in terms of their place on the MCU's timeline, but we have a rough idea of how Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings fits into all that. 

Wenwu points out that the gate to Ta-Lo only opens on Qingming Jie, the Chinese festival day that takes place on April 4 in 2024. As this movie is set after the events of Avengers: Endgame, we're going to assume it's still 2024, likely placing Shang-Chi after WandaVision, but before The Falcon and The Winter Soldier and Spider-Man: Far From Home

Whether that really matters is up for debate, especially as many of these stories do seem to be taking place at the same time. Still, it's an interesting detail we think is probably worth remembering. 
 

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