Riding a wave of success from blockbuster franchise films, tv shows, and comic books, Marvel continues its rollout of Phase 4 (the series of movies between 2021-2023). Spider-man: Far From Home (2019) marked the end of Phase 3, and Black Widow (released July 9, 2021) marked the beginning of Phase 4. Opening September 2nd, Simu Liu stars in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings continues the Phase 4 rollout. Marvel veterans will recognize this iconic character from Heroes For Hire or his involvement in the Spider-Man comics. New fans can look forward to Asian representation, incredible fighting choreography, and fresh content for the MCU.
Incidentally, the movie’s initial premiere has provided fresh content, and a certified fresh score of 91% on rotten tomatoes, with high praise from fans. One rotten tomato film critic Mathew DeKinder says, “Shang-Chi takes the Marvel Cinematic Universe in an exciting new direction without leaving behind all the fun and thrills. The future is in good hands.” Despite positive reviews, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has had many ups and downs in the past few months.
The movie itself is a focus on Shang-Chi’s origins and introducing him into the rich MCU. In recent months, the MCU has begun branching into new cinema and groundbreaking concepts like What If?, Loki, and WandaVision. Disney CEO Bob Chapek referred to the film release as an “interesting experiment”. However, this statement brought up controversy. Marvel launching its first Asian lead movie during this era of experimentation has brought up concerns with fans. Many fans have voiced their concerns that Marvel is jeopardizing the rich diversity present in comics. Marvel has been under fire after casting a white woman to play Wanda, a Roma-Jewish character. Simu Liu himself responded with, “We are not an ‘interesting experiment,’ we are the underdog; the underestimated. We are the ceiling-breakers. We are the celebration of culture and joy that will persevere after an embattled year. We are the surprise.”
For new fans unsure of the future, Phase 4 may seem daunting. Shang-Chi has rich lore, with his first comic debuting back in 1973. It is not uncommon to feel overwhelmed by the amount of content Marvel has produced. Not to fear, Marvel Unlimited is here. For fans looking to learn more about Shang-Chi, and hundreds of other characters, https://www.marvel.com/ is a reliable source for information.