Welcome to the favorite part of our love for Marvel fandom: Easter eggs! We love hunting for all for the Marvel Easter Eggs and spends hours watching movies to get you the most comprehensive list of cameos, callbacks, and comic tie-ins in Marvel’s Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings possible. Here’s our collection of All the Shang-Chi Easter Eggs You Might Have Missed.
All the Shang-Chi Easter Eggs You Might Have Missed
It’s never our intent to maliciously spoil the plot. However, Shang-Chi Easter Eggs can definitely be spoilers, even out of context. Turn back now if you haven’t yet seen the movie.
SPOILERS AHEAD for Shang-Chi and The Legends of the Ten Rings
Cameos, Callbacks, and Comic Tie-ins in Marvel’s Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings
New Logo, Who Dis’?
We’re digging the trend with Marvel updating their logo within each movie.
The Ten Rings
The Ten Rings refers to not only the physical rings (bracelets in the film) but also to the criminal organization that Wenwu heads.
The Ten Rings Organization was first mentioned in Iron Man and is the Organization that kidnapped Tony Stark in Iron Man 3.
The Ten Rings Flag was first seen in Iron Man 3 behind Tony Stark when he was kidnapped and being held in Afghanistan. The same version of that flag is seen in the sequence discussion of the history of The Ten Rings in the opening of Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings.
The end of Iron Man 3 implies that The Ten Rings Organization is a scam and that the Mandarin was an actor hired by Tony Stark’s nemesis Aldrich Killian. However, the Marvel One-Shot “All Hail the King” (Thor 2 DVD Bonus, 2014) retcons that and explains that there is, in fact, a real Mandarin.
In the comics, the Rings are actually pieces of Makluan alien technology, which the Mandarin salvaged from the centuries-old crashed Makluan starship of explorer Axonn-Karr, who had retreated to a cave in the Valley of Spirits in China after being fatally wounded.
The Mandarin took the Rings from the ship’s engine despite Axonn-Karr’s pleas, and then finished the job the crash hadn’t on poor the fatally wounded alien.
The Makluan were a race of cosmic shapeshifters able to take on human form, also known as Space Dragons, and each ring contained the soul of a dead cosmic warrior trapped in a phantasmal state (Invincible Iron Man Vol 1 #522, October 2012).
I come from a shape-changing cosmic race known as the Makluan… some call ‘Space Dragons’! Our home planet of Kakaranthara was once a peaceful paradise, but a group of us could not accept the tranquility it offered. We left on a quest to find worlds more exciting than our own. —Fin Fang Foom (Black Panther and the Agents of Wakanda Vol 1 #8, September 2020)
I don’t believe any of the dragons to be Fin Fang Foom from the comics as Simu Liu confirmed in an interview earlier this spring the character will not appear.
Ta-Lo, also called “Daluo Tian” (the Great Canopy of Heaven) was one of the God Realms in the pocket dimension adjacent to Earth. It was home to the Xian, the highest of the 36 heavens of the Chinese gods. Ta-Lo is home to mythological and mystical creatures such as celestial dragons, Fenghuang, Pixu, Qilin, and Haetae.
Interdimensional nexus points exist between Ta-Lo and Earth at each of the Five Great Mountains. In Marvel Comics, it first appeared in Thor Vol 1 #301, November 1980.
In the movie, Ta Lo is Jiang Li‘s home. It also seems to be in a shifting state and resembles the mystical disappearing Eternal K’un-lun in the K’un-lun Mountains from the comics that can only be seen every 10 years (you can see the entrance in the mountains in the “Iron Fist” series but ew, Danny Rand, so no).
The film version of Ta Lo is home to mythological and mystical creatures such as celestial dragons, Dijiang, Fenghuang, Haetae, Longma, Qilin, and Shi.
Ta-Lo protects the world from the Great Dweller and its soul eaters. We aren’t given the name of the Great Dweller, but it’s possible it is a reference to the mythological Yaoguai or Wangliang.
The mythical creatures above all have significance in Asian mythology:
- Dijiang—Morris isn’t the only one of these chaotic mythical beings.
- Fenghuang—are fiery, Phoenix-like creatures that dwell within Ta-Lo, the world of the Xian, and the Taoist gods.
- Haetae—are dragons or mythical creatures from Korean and Chinese legends.
- Huli jing: ShapeshiftingAre creatures known to resemble a nine-tailed fox, may either be benevolent or malevolent spirits
- Longma—is a winged horse with dragon scales in Chinese mythology. The fable is that if you saw a longma, it was the omen of a legendary sage ruler.
- Qilin—Also known as the Kirin, has the body of a steed, and the horns and other features of a dragon. Its appearance announces the arrival of a sage or enlightened ruler. The Chinese art, the Qilin is one of the more widely used decorative motifs.
- Shi—known by several names such as Chinese Guardian lions, Imperial Guardian Lions, Fu/Foo Lions/Dogs, Lions of Buddha, stone lions, or shishi, these are traditional Chinese architectural ornaments carved in stone symbolizing guardianship, prosperity, and success. In the movie, you will see they are in life forms and help protect the village during battle.
- Yaoguai—are malevolent animal or plant spirits that have acquired magical powers through the practice of Taoism. Guài (“weird”) or mó (“demon” or “magic”) in Chinese, are the evil ones and their ultimate goal is achieving immortality and deification.
- Wangliang—is the name of a malevolent spirit in Chinese mythology and folklore. The modern Chinese translation is “demon” or “monster.”
His name means the rising and advancing of the spirit, which speaks to the journey he is on. He is part his mother’s peace, and part his father’s pain and he has to come to balance those two things to find the person he is to become.
In the comics, Shang-Chi is known for his expertise in all forms of fighting but predominately uses bare-handed battle over weapons in combat. Despite this, Shang-Chi’s demonstrates master ability with nunchaku, shuriken, staves, and swords.
He was introduced into Marvel Comics as the Master of Kung Fu, a form of Chinese martial arts not dissimilar to karate (Special Marvel Edition #15). Shang-Chi is also a pressure point precision master and is capable of incapacitating an enemy with one strike.
Theme of Worthiness
As with most Marvel superheroes, Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings establishes the theme of worthiness. In one of the flashback scenes, Wenwu tells Shang-Chi that if he wants the Rings to be his one day, then he has to show him that he’s strong enough to carry them.
This establishes that theme of worthiness, especially the theme of worthiness through the eyes of a father figure, early on in the movie. Marvel has a tendency to weave this theme in with the worthiness of being able to wield the Mjolnir or the Shield, approval of your father to be worthy of wearing your mother’s super suit, being near as worthy as your brother by your father, or being worthy of using Stark Tech.
However, as we also see in the MCU, Wenwu’s perception of worthiness is not the only kind of worthiness that gives you the power to use them. Clearly, Shang-Chi is worthy in his own right the way that Thor, Cap, Hope, Loki, and Peter all are.
If you’ve been a fan of Simu Liu from his previous work, you’re fully expecting a few shirtless Simu shots in Shang-Chi. We spotted just two perfectly timed shirtless Simu shots.
Shirtless Simu Scene 1: when Shaun wakes up and is working out in his room
Shirtless Simu Scene 2: fight sequence with Xialing at the Golden Dagger
What happened to your shirt? —Katy
Simu was often shirtless in his role of Jung on the sitcom “Kim’s Convenience,” but that could also be a nod to his episode on “Nora From Queens” with Awkwafina.
Shaun made a reference to the fact that he isn’t Korean, also a nod to his role of Jung on the sitcom “Kim’s Convenience.”
In the same scene of Shaun working out, we see posters for Kung-Fu Hustle, Stankonia, The Godfather, and The Warriors.
As the camera pans to Shaun and Katy at the Fairmont Hotel in San Fransisco where they are valets, the top-down view of the winding road is reminiscent of a dragon.
When Katy and Shaun are having dinner with their friends, Sue drops a reference to the Snap and half the world just disappears.
We’re now living in a world where half the universe can just disappear. —Sue
As Shaun is about to enter Katy’s apartment for dinner, there is a poster on the wall advertising a support group for Blip Anxiety, making to the one we see in Avengers: Endgame that Stever Rogers was running.
At Karaoke Night with Katy, they sing “Hotel California” (Eagles), “Part of Your World” (Disney’s Aladdin), “Old Town Road” (Lil Nas X), and ‘Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” (Aerosmith).
Hotel California is repeated again later in the movie, but it’s a song about the journey from a life of innocence to one of sin. The narrator sings about being checking into the old hotel where you check out but never leave, you can and stab it with “steely knives” but “just can’t kill the beast.” Kind of sounds like the final battle scene in Ta Lo, doesn’t it?
Bus Fight and a Vlogger
The street vendor from Spider-Man: Homecoming who asks Spider-man to “do a flip: is Klev, one of the bus passengers.
is that zach cherry pic.twitter.com/RRzDehtsLS
— Leah Marilla Thomas (@leahmarilla) April 19, 2021
The bus fight itself is a nod to Jackie Chan‘s famous Rumble in the Bronx.
Katy uses poorly sung/spoken lyrics to “Hotel California” to distract in situations to buy more time or when things are awkward. Trevor did the same with yodeling and with Macbeth in Iron Man 3.
The Muramasa Blade
RazorFist first appears in Master of Kung Fu #29 (1975) as an assassin whose arms were surgically replaced by blades. Latter versions only had one hand replaced with a blade. In Shang-Chi, RazorFist’s arm-blade glows red. In the comics, the Muramasa Blade glows red.
The Muramasa Blade, named after a real Japanese sword-smith, Sengo Muramasa, known for his craftsmanship of unique weapons. Marvel Comics created a fictional version of Muramasa—a demonic blacksmith—who forged his soul into the comic version called the Black Blade. The first Muramasa sword appeared in the Wolverine series in the 1980s, complete with violent superhuman powers embedded in its blade.
The second iteration of Muramasa Blade—and most well-known—was forged with Wolverine’s blood and a slice of his soul, created for revenge after the Winter Soldier killed his wife.
The blade is one of the few weapons that can actually hurt Wolverine; in the comics, Logan took much longer to heal from wounds by that sword and that blade allegedly has the ability to cut through adamantium, the metal bonded to Wolverine’s bones and claws that is supposed to be virtually indestructible.
Last we saw in the comics, the red Muramasa Blade had been melted down and made into bullets, though Wolverine recently had a new Muramasa Blade crafted in order to protect the nation of Krakoa.
Razor Fist was seen fighting Wolverine in Madripoor, also so this Murasama/Wolverine teaser could be a connection to tie in X-Men/Madripoor.
Golden Daggers Club
The tournament battle scenes where we see Wong and Abomination take place in the Golden Daggers Club in Macau.
The name is a nod to Prelude: to Golden Daggers (A Death Run), Master of Kung Fu Vol 1 #44 (September 1976). Golden Daggers and the criminal organization Shang-Chi helped to take down in that comic run.
John meets them at the door and tells Katy it’s fine if she doesn’t speak English.
All good, I speak ABC. —John
ABC is American Born Chinese
A Black Widow
As John walks Katy and Shang-Chi around the fighting rings at the Golden Dagger, we see Helen (Jade Xu) from Black Widow in one of the rings.
There’s also a man fighting who blows up and appears to have been infected with Extremis, the advanced form of genetic manipulation seen in Iron Man 3.
Extremis was first created by Maya Hansen in 1999 and tested on plants. Tony Stark helped to reduce the volatility with a formula he deduced. Hansen and Aldrich Killian later upgraded Extremis thanks to Advanced Idea Mechanics and did experimental testing on humans. A.I.M. recruited amputees and other disabled people for the trials, most notably, victims of military ops, to regrow limbs. Successful cases were convinced to work for A.I.M. as assassins and soldiers. In unsuccessful cases, bodies exploded. Stark, James Rhodes, and J.A.R.V.I.S. killed the Extremis Soldiers eventually.
Extremis was also used as the main component of serum in the clandestine program Centipede, which combined it with Gamma Radiation, a variation of the Super Soldier Serum, and technology from the Chitauri for injection in an effort to create their own super soldiers.
We haven’t seen Abomination in the MCU since he fought the Hulk in 2008 except for the Marvel One-Shot “The Consultant” in 2011 and one quip Agent Coulson made to Grant Ward regarding guarding Blonsky’s cryo-cell in Barrow, Alaska, in an episode of “Agent’s of SHIELD” in Season 1, Episode 13 (2014).
I’ll reassign you to Barrow, Alaska, and you’ll spend the rest of your years pulling the night shift guarding Blonsky’s cryo-cell. Am I clear? —Coulson
This scene with Abomination connects the “She-Hulk” series and presumes that Abomination has probably made a living in an underground tournament fighting in Macau. Tim Roth is confirmed as is Mark Ruffalo for the “She-Hulk” series.
What people online were calling to be Captain America’s Shield embedded in the wall behind the tournament cage in the shot with Shang-Chi in the trailer looks like it could potentially be the Madripoor flag in another shot with Shirtless Simu.
This all seems to be leading up to a comic-based, government-sanctioned team such as The Thunderbolts. We’ve been collecting baddies and some misguided folk like Baron Helmut Zemo, Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine, John Walker (U.S. Agent), maybe Taskmaster, and Sharon Carter (currently known as the Powerbroker).
In the comics, Li Ching-Lin was an MI-6 agent secretly working for Fu Manchu. Shang-Chi was hired to take him out, but he escaped at returned to Fu Manchu, he was using the alias Wang Yu-Seng, given the moniker “Death-Dealer,” and a mask & costume. Ultimately Shang-Chi killed him with a brazier. (Master of Kung Fu Vol 1 #115, August 1982).
It’s interesting to note that the only reason Shang-Chi was sent after the Death Dealer was that his estranged sister, Zheng Boa Yu (aka Fah Lo Suee) was head of the MI-6 at the time. In the movie adaptation, Shang-Chi is paired with his sister for much of the film.
In the movie, the Death Dealer works for Wenwu and The Ten Rings Organization. Notice the comic-similar mask and hooded top—the overall costume is similar to that of the Grim Reaper. The movie costume varies in overall styling. The way the costume is designed also leaves the possibility that the movie version of the Death Dealer is female.
In the comics, the Death Dealer is known for using a blade, and he uses them dangerously well. Cosplay replicas of the Death Dealers Kunai are already being sold all over the internet.
At the compound, we see The Ten Rings Army training and it is reminiscent of the Sorcerer’s training in Doctor Strange. You can also see The Ten Rings symbol on the ground, indicating that they are all serving this power and it encompasses them at all times.
In Xialing’s room, we see a poster for AC/DC. AC/DC is Tony Stark’s favorite band. “Back in Black” was used in several scenes with Tony Stark throughout the MCU.
Wenwu tells Shang-Chi he has been known by many names over the years. In the comics, some of these include Fu Manchu, Master Kahn, Warrior King, and The Most Dangerous Man on Earth. Master Kahn is one of the Mandarin’s aliases in the comics. He was also known as Fu Manchu before Marvel lost the right to use the name in the comics. At that point, Marvel reinvented the character as Zheng Zu, a powerful Chinese sorcerer, and leader of the Five Weapons Society.
Trevor from Liverpool
It turns out Wenwu has had poor Trevor Slatterly locked in a dungeon for a decade or so. When we meet an actor named Trevor from Liverpool, he tells a story of how he was portraying Mandarin about 10 years ago. Ben Kingsley is reprising his cult-favorite role of the fake Mandarin from Iron Man 3.
Trevor is accompanied by an adorable two-butted, no-faced creature named Morris, who is a Dijiang. In Chinese mythology, the Dijiang is a mountain patron god, oft described as a crimson, six-legged, four-winged creature with no facial features.
In the Mandarin compound when they are watching Wenwu unlock the relief sculpture on the wall, we know it’s a depiction of Ta Lo. If you look closely, you can see the cave in one and the dragon below the water’s surface in the sculpture.
When Shang-Chi, Katy, and Trevor approach the waterfall, it looks very much like a portal that Doctor Strange or Wong would sling open. Later on, Ying Nan tells Shang-Chi that they are helping to “protect YOUR universe.” This right indicates that Ta-Lo is in fact in another multiverse.
Training Montage in Ta Lo
In the training sequence with Shang-Chi and Ying Nan, the ring where they are training is encompassed by a wavy, flowing stone that appears to be dragon-like and is a nod to The Great Protector.
The training they are doing looks like air bending.
The Great Protector
While The Great Protector isn’t in the comics, we do know the rings were created by Makluans, a dragon-like species sometimes called “space dragons.” This dragon could be one of those creatures, or another mythical protector. This is likely why Wenwu was drawn toward Ta Lo in the first place, because of its protective power.
The Bailong Dragon in the comics is a white dragon who lives deep within Qinghai Lake in China. It’s the patron saint of the lake and is associated with virtuosity, While there’s no official connection made, it could be inspired by this.
The Great Protector Dragon gave the villagers dragon scales during a previous war as protection and are used in their weapons and armor. When Shang-Chi and Xialing arrived at the village, Ying Nan gave them gifts from their mother—battle outfits with those dragon scales.
We all know that Marvel loves to color-code powers.
Jiang Li and Ying Nan are yellow and Shang-Chi has an orange color to their powers (and their outfits tonally are very warm)
Marvel tends to make its villains purple. It appears that the Mandarin has joined the ranks of Ronan and Agatha.
Scaly Cave Entry
The entry to the cave where the Great Dweller/Soul Eaters are blocked looks like dragon scales and a bit like the dragon eggs in “Game of Thrones.”
Theme of Balance
We see the same color-coded juxtaposition in the flashback sequences where Shang-Chi is being trained by his mother and father.
The training sequences with Shang-Chi’s mother are all warm with yellow hues and emphasize peace; the training sequences with his father are cold will cool blue hues and emphasize pain.
This balance is a very common theme in Ancient Chinese philosophy, the yin & yang complementing forces balancing one another out in all aspects of life. The yin & yang is a concept of dualism and how opposites may actually be interconnected, interdependent, and complementary in the natural world.
The fight sequence in front of Ta-Lo when Wenwu and Jiang Li first meet is a dance of closed fists-open hands balancing each other out.
Dee Bradley Baker
One of our favorite voice actors is at it again, this time playing the mysterious and lovable. Morris.
Wang, who portrays a gang member in the film, was also in The Wolverine (2013). Welcome to the real Marvel, Benjamin.
In the bar when Shang-Chi and Katy are recounting the activities of their recent adventures, a portal opens and Wong walks in and asks them to come with him and bring the rings.
If you stay through the credits (because what Marvel fan wouldn’t??) you’ll see that they tie back to the water graphics from earlier in the movie.
Check out our other Marvel’s Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings coverage:
Did we include your favorite Easter egg? Let us know below in the comments!
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