Marvel’s Shang-Chi characters – Who’s who in the Legend of the Ten Rings

Marvel’s Shang-Chi is where the long-awaited Multiverse Saga really kicks into high gear on the big screen.

Introducing exciting new characters and surprising links to the very beginning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is the Phase Four blockbuster you’ve been waiting for.

So let’s meet the characters opening up the next chapter in the MCU.

Shang-Chi release date: 3 September 2021

Shang-Chi poster. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

 ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Who is Shang-Chi?

Need to know

Shaun the Bay Area valet is an easygoing guy with loyal friends and a simple, drama-lite life. Only, Shaun has a secret he’s been keeping for ten years – he’s actually Shang-Chi (Simu Liu), a trained martial-arts assassin and heir to the Ten Rings global terrorist network.

His dad, Wenwu (AKA Mandarin) gave the young Shang-Chi a decade to live free of responsibilities in the US, but time is up, and Wenwu will stop at nothing to bring his son back into the family business.

Superpowers/skills

Strictly speaking, Shang-Chi isn’t a superhuman. However, he has been trained since early childhood in martial arts, making him the greatest empty hand fighter in the world. During an illustrious comic-book career, Shang-Chi has routinely vanquished ‘classic’ supervillains thanks to his absolute mastery of the universal life force (Chi). Mastery that not only gives Shang-Chi incredible physical prowess but also opens up near-psychic abilities.

Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) in Marvel Studios' SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

 ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Fun fact

Shang-Chi’s skills are so legendary in the Marvel universe that the likes of Captain America, Spider-Man and Wolverine have sought him out and trained under his watchful eye.

Wenwu/Mandarin poster. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

 ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Who is Wenwu?

Need to know

Wenwu (Tony Leung) is Shang-Chi’s dad. As Mandarin, he’s also the leader of the Ten Rings – a nefarious criminal organisation whose tendrils reach around the globe, promoting terrorism, extortion and who knows what other badness. Wenwu’s iron grip on the organisation is made possible by his possession of ten mystically powerful rings that enhance his already impressive fighting skills to a terrifying degree.

Superpowers/skills

The ten rings that gave the Mandarin’s terrorist organisation its name are immensely powerful alien artefacts – each armband possessing a different offensive or defensive capability. In the comic books, Wenwu stole them from Axonn-Karr, a space dragon of the Makluan race who’d crash-landed on Earth. Space dragons? Wait. Didn't we see Shang-Chi and a certain scaly customer in the trailer?

Marvel Studios' SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021.

 ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Fun fact

Remember the terrorists who captured Tony Stark in the MCU’s first film, Iron Man (2008), during which he created the very first Iron Man prototype? That was a Ten Rings terrorist cell. So, if you think about it, ultimately we have Wenwu to thank for the eventual defeat of Thanos in the Infinity Saga…

 


Xialing poster. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

 ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Who is Xialing?

Need to know

Never one to crack a smile if there’s time for a withering scowl (and there’s always time), Xialing (Meng’er Zhang) is Shang-Chi’s estranged sister. Unlike Shang-Chi, she appears to have really leaned into her martial arts training during her time away from the family business, and now lives a solitary life taking on opponents at an underground fight club (possibly in Mandripoor, previously seen in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier). We’re not entirely sure if she’s pleased to see Shang-Chi initially – they fight in the latest trailer – but it looks as though Xialing may join forces with Shang-Chi and Katy.

Superpowers/skills

Just like her brother, Xialing was trained practically from birth as a deadly Ten Rings assassin. As such she’s highly skilled in open hand combat and sword fighting and possesses extraordinary agility.

(L-R): Xialing (Meng’er Zhang), Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) and Katy (Awkwafina) in Marvel Studios' SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

 ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Fun fact

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is the very first role for Meng’er Zhang, who plays Xialing.

Katy poster. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

 ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Who is Katy?

Need to know

Katy (Awkwafina) is Shaun/Shang-Chi’s best mate in San Francisco. And she’s anything but a fair-weather friend. When Shang-Chi is attacked on a bus by an assassin with a freaking laser sword for an arm, she doesn’t just absorb this surprising development quickly, she helps save everyone on (what remains of) the bus and stands by her bessie even after she learns he’s the heir to the Ten Rings.

Superpowers/skills

We would have said none beyond an amazing sense of humour and undying loyalty to her best friend, but take a look at Katy in her character poster – she’s only wielding a bow and arrow. Looks like she’s going to be picking up some special skills of her own before the credits roll.

(L-R): Xialing (Meng’er Zhang), Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) and Katy (Awkwafina) in Marvel Studios' SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

 ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Fun fact

In the trailer for Shang-Chi, he and Katy are seen singing a karaoke version of A Whole New World from Disney’s Aladdin. Super appropriate considering it’s about a pair on the edge of an incredible adventure together.

 


Death Dealer poster. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

 ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Who is Death Dealer?

Need to know

With their true identity hidden by a mask inspired by Chinese opera performers’ makeup, Death Dealer (Andy Le) is a deadly assassin and Wenwu’s chief henchperson. When Shang-Chi was a child, Death Dealer helped to train the boy in martial arts. Now that Shang-Chi is all grown up and living the easy life in San Francisco, Death Dealer is dispatched to bring him back to his dad (or kill him in the process).

Superpowers/skills

On the spectrum of martial arts mastery and self-control, Death Dealer is firmly on the ‘brutal overkill’ end. He’s also equipped with the finest murder gadgets Ten Rings money can buy. We particularly like his exploding kunai throwing knives.

(L-R): Wenwu (Tony Leung), Death Dealer and Young Shang-Chi (Jayden Tianyi Zhang) in Marvel Studios' SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

 ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Fun fact

In the comic books, Death Dealer’s real name is Li Ching-Lin, and he’s a former MI6 agent gone very, very rogue.

 


Ying-Nan poster. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

 ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Who is Ying-Nan?

Need to know

Ying-Nan (the awesome Michelle Yeoh) is the guardian of a mythical city and seems to act as a mentor to the adult Shang-Chi on his journey. It’s she who points out that he is both his mother (good) and – for better or worse – his father (far from good). 

Trailers have shown us glimpses of the mystical realm – a place that looks like a book of Chinese mythology come beautifully (and dangerously) to life. It seems likely that Shang Chi’s meeting with the Makluan space dragon will occur in Ying-Nan’s realm, suggesting that the MCU multiverse is now fully open for business.

Superpowers/skills

Little has been revealed about Ying-Nan’s powers as yet, but it’s clear that – as the guardian of a city – she is a very powerful entity.

(L-R): Ying Nan (Michelle Yeoh) and Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) in Marvel Studios' SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved

 ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Fun fact

Michelle Yeoh is one of only a handful of actors who’ve played two different characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She previously played the ravager, Aleta Ogord, in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

(L-R): Wenwu (Tony Leung) and Ying Li (Fala Chen) in Marvel Studios' SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

 ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Who is Ying-Li?

Need to know

Ying-Li (Fala Chen) is Shang-Chi’s mum. Given that she’s always depicted in the glorious gold and green tones of the film’s past, it seems that she either died or left the scene a long time ago. So far, we’ve glimpsed her going full Wire-Fu in a spectacular bit of acrobatic sparring against a younger Wenwu, and training a cute-as-a-button young Shang-Chi. But is she gone forever? Now that the multiverse is open, absolutely anything is possible, including her return.

Superpowers/skills

Ying-Li is a phenomenally skilful wushu warrior. Moreover, she is the light to Wenwu’s darkness.

 


(Center): Razor Fist (Florian Munteanu) in Marvel Studios' SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

 ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Who is Razor Fist?

Need to know

Razor Fist (Florian Munteanu) is a skilled martial artist and mercenary whose prosthetic arm gives new meaning to the phrase ‘cutting-edge’. He’s hired to assassinate Shang-Chi in San Francisco, but who exactly ordered the hit?

Superpowers/skills

Aside from being a hulking mountain of nasty, Razor Fist is equipped with an energy-blade where his lower right arm used to be. It’s sharp enough to cut a San Francisco bus in two, so Shang-Chi needs to keep him at blade’s length.

 


Shang-Chi payoff poster. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

That's the lowdown on the villains and heroes of Marvel's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings - an epic martial-arts blockbuster that blends action, fantasy and high-drama on a scale that you absolutely must see on the big screen.

 


 

See Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings at ODEON from September 3

 

myODEON members get more

Enjoy cinema for less and access to a host of exciting benefits!

With a myODEON membership you can enjoy a faster, better booking experience, pay less with our Saver ticket, receive exclusive member offers, and so much more.

Sign up for free
myODEON members get more