Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings can set the stage for the arrival of the Chinese criminal organizations into the MCU.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is the true revelation of Ten Rings, a terrorist organization. But since Shang-Chi is MCU’s first Asian superhero, the movie can also bring in the Yakuza and other Chinese criminal organizations.
Watch: Marvel Team-Up | Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Yakuza in Avengers: Endgame
After the death of Barton’s family due to Thanos’ snap, Barton takes up the mask of a Ronin and goes on a killing spree. Natasha finds him in Tokyo where we see him killing members of the Yakuza. We see Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) fight Akihiko (Hiroyuki Sanada). While this has been the only time that a gangster organization has been shown, Marvel comics have a lot of events from which the MCU can easily borrow.
Yakuza and Triads in the Comics
In Marvel comics, Shang-Chi has had a lot of experiences with the Yakuza. One of them is in Marvel Comics Presents #4, where he goes undercover and infiltrates the organization.
Other than the comics, we saw a thorough picture of the Yakuza in The Wolverine (2013). But back then, the mutants, including Wolverine, belonged to 20th century Fox. However, 20th century Fox has now shaken hands with Marvel. So we can expect the Yakuza to arrive (Shang-Chi being an effective way to do that).
The Triads too had multiple secret societies across China. These slowly spread across the world in the form of small to large scale criminal organizations. The most powerful Triad faction was the Celestial Order of the Si-Fan. The most sinister society to have ever existed, it was led by Fu Machu AKA Zheng Zu, father of Shang-Chi. See the connection? Superheroes like Black Widow and Spider-Man have had multiple run-ins with the Yakuza.
Existence in Marvel Shows
Such criminal organizations do exist in Marvel shows. For instance, members of The Hand, a villainous organization with the knowledge of immortality, started working in New York disguised as the Yakuza. As the yakuza, The Hand collaborated with Wilson Fisk (Daredevil villain). The Hand indeed was one of the antagonist factions in Season 1 of Netflix’s Daredevil and the main antagonist faction in Season 2. With Daredevil’s AKA Matt Murdock’s apparent cameo in Spider-Man: No Way Home, we can hope to see the Yakuza play a more significant role in the MCU movies in the not too distant future.
Position of Shang-Chi in the MCU Timeline
Fans were curious about when does the events of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings take place in the MCU. Director Destin Daniel Cretton cleared all doubts when he told Fandago that the movie will take the MCU forward. “Shang-Chi is set in the present day in the MCU timeline,” he said.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings allow the Ten Rings to resurface and claim their age-long motives. We don’t know if Shang-Chi too had turned to dust and returned after 5 years. This might allow him to find out about the Avengers, something that can bring him face to face with other superheroes in the future.
With its premiere reflecting promising action, we can expect big things from Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings when it comes exclusively to the theatres on September 3.