02 Sep 2021 1:46 PM +00:00 UTC

Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings: Who is The Mandarin?

No, he's not the old guy we saw in Iron Man 3, that was a phony. This is the real deal. In the recently released trailer of Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings, we finally get to see the real Mandarin with the symbol of the Ten Ring behind him. A primer before the release of the film, who is the Mandarin, and what does his presence mean to Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

Who is The Mandarin?

In Marvel Comics, the Mandarin is born sometime in 1920 raised by his aunt in China where he later attained wealth and power only to be stripped away of it during the Communist Revolution. For years, he tried to regain his power. He went to the Valley of Spirits where he encountered the starship of Kakaranatharian, or Makluan, which was wrecked some few millennia back.

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There he discovered the ten mighty rings, one which powered the extraterrestrial vessel. With this, he worked on their technology and tried to conquer back his power across China. It was The Mandarin who kidnapped Ho Yinsen and Tony Stark which led Yinsen to sacrifice his life for Tony so he would survive and escape successfully.

The Mandarin was exposed to Doctor Doom's Emotion Charger giving him powers. He faced Stark and S.H.I.E.L.D. a lot of times but survived. He then manipulated the Inhumans to giving him the mystic Eye of Yin, a remnant of the Makluan sorcerers. Discovering powers along the way, The Mandarin found a way to control his consciousness and transfer it to the rings, even to another body like Apocalypse.

He is a scientific genius and he used this to be an expert in Makluan science. He is also skilled in hand-to-hand combat and with mastery in martial arts allowing him to master chi as well. With the Ten Rings on his fingers, he can possess the power of each ring.

On his left hand, his little finger holds zero, a ring emitting ice blasts, his ring finger houses the liar, a mento-intensifier emitting psionic energy, his middle finger wears lightning, elector-blast shooting electricity, his index finger has in place the incandescence, a flame blast with infrared heat or radiation, and his thumb carries daimonic, the white light-emitting various energies which could be found in the electromagnetic spectrum.

On his right hand, his thumb holds the remaker, a matter rearranger, his index finger houses influence, an impact beam causing fast neurons to project, his middle finger wears spir, a vortex beam which can shoot at a high speed, his ring finger has in place spectral, a beam which can disintegrate anything it pointed at, and his little finger carries the nightbringer, the black light creating darkness tantamount to a darkforce or could absorb light.

What The Mandarin Means to MCU?

Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings Who is The Mandarin
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Credit: Marvel Studios

He has been teased in Iron Man 3, only to find out that the man posing as The Mandarin is a phony, a fake, one Aldrich Killian put to exact fear. Now that the real Mandarin is here, it could mean that another big bad is on the way as he is indeed a force to be reckoned with. The Mandarin is not one to mess with especially with the rings he has and what it could each do.

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Possessing such a powerful weapon, The Mandarin proves to be a threat to be dealt with and his introduction to the MCU opens a door to the introduction to the Makluan alien race.

Also, with MCU seeming to retcon the origins of the Mandarin showing that the father of Shang-Chi, Wenwu, turns out to be him, it seems that the MCU is merging two villains in Shang-Chi's life, with this one becoming a father-and-son rivalry.

Portrayed by Tony Leung Chiu-wai, it is expected that Simu Liu's Shang-Chi would be facing one The Mandarin in a martial arts action epic in an almost all-Asian cast with Michelle Yeoh, Awkwafina, Florian Munteanu, Ronny Chieng, Fala Chen, and Meng'er Zhang.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings premiere in theaters on September 3, 2021. It is also possible that the film would be accessible through Disney Plus Premier Access like Black Widow.

Related: People are Trying to Cancel Shang-Chi Star Simu Liu After an Old Nicki Minaj Joke Resurfaces