Previously On: SHANG-CHI And The MCU


There are lots of franchises out there and lots of storylines one needs to remember. Previously On is our way of providing a quick refresher with the plot points you may need to keep in mind for that upcoming sequel or spinoff. This installment updates you on all the happenings in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as it relates to Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings.

Iron Man

Iron Man

The first known appearance of the criminal/terrorist organization known as the Ten Rings was in May 2009, when a faction of the group under the leadership of an individual named Raza kidnapped Stark Industries CEO Tony Stark outside of Kabul, Afghanistan. The group is working at the behest of Stark Industries manager Obadiah Stane who contracted them to assassinate Stark in order to seize control of the company. However Raza felt it was better to kidnap Stark and force him to create weapons for them.

Instead of the requested weapons, Stark builds an armored, exo-skeleton battle suit (Iron Man armor, MK I) and uses it to escape. He later returns in a sleeker version of the armor (MK III) and drives the Ten Rings out of the Afghan village of Gulmira. Stane, upset at Raza’s betrayal, kills him and the other members of his cell.

Having learned that the Ten Rings was using other Stark Industries-created weapons in the attack on the military convoy that he was kidnapped from, Stark pulls the company out of all military contracts.

The following spring, a Ten Rings agent meets with Ivan Vanko, son of Anton Vanko, a Soviet defector who tried to steal technology secrets from Tony Stark’s father Howard in the 1960s. This agent supplies Ivan with the help he needs to leave Russia and journey to Monte Carlo, where he will attempt to kill Tony Stark with a set of ARC reactor-powered whips.

Emil Blonski, aka The Abomination


Following a disastrous attempt to capture fugitive Bruce Banner in a Rochina, Brazil, Emil Blonski, a British Royal marine on loan to the US Army, is injected with a low dose of the military’s latest attempt to recreate the Super Soldier Serum that transformed Steve Rogers into Captain America during World War Two, but whose secrets were lost when its creator was assassinated by Nazi spies. The injection does enhance his strength somewhat, but he is still no match when he re-encounters Banner at Culver University in Willowdale, Virginia.

Humiliated that Banner, in his form of the Hulk, managed to beat him so soundly, Blonski forces Dr. Samuel Sterns, who had been working with Banner towards a cure for his condition, to inject him with a vial of Banner’s blood. The mixture of the Super Soldier Serum and Banner’s gamma-irradiated blood caused Blonski to mutate into a monstrous creature named the Abomination. As Blonski/Abomination rampaged through Harlem, Banner forced himself to turn into the Hulk to stop him.

The Mandarin

Iron Man 3 Mandarin

In December of 2012,a series of mysterious bombings are claimed to the work of a terrorist who calls himself the Mandarin. When Tony Stark goes to investigate after one of the attacks nearly kills his friend Happy Hogan, he discovers that the public face of the Mandarin is really out-of-work British actor Trevor Slattery. The real Mandarin was Aldrich Killian, CEO of Advanced Idea Mechanics and a business rival of Stark’s. Slattery was arrested for his part in Killian’s scheme to assassinate President Ellis and imprisoned in Seagate Prison. Some months later, Slattery is sprung from Seagate by an agent of the Ten Rings, who reveals to him that Killian based the Mandarin persona that he portrayed on a real underworld figure who is not happy with him.

Masters Of The Mystic Arts

Doctor Strange Wong

For centuries, a group of sorcerers have wielded magic to help protect Earth from dangers from both this world and other dimensions. One of these Masters of the Mystic Arts is Wong, who came to study under the Ancient One in the hidden city of Kamar-Taj, where he would be given the duty to protect the city’s library of magic tomes and writings. Later,he moved to New York City where he resides at the Sanctum, continuing his mystical studies alongside fellow Master Dr. Stephen Strange.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe Now

In the spring of 2018, the Avengers were unable to stop intergalactic sociopath Thanos from gathering and using the powerful Infinity Stones to extinguish half the life in the universe. In the fall of 2023, the Avengers managed to reverse the effects of The Snap, bring back to life everyone who had been killed. While many people were delighted to be reunited with family and friends thought lost forever, many new power structures, both political and criminal, developed over those five years, leading to some strife from those who wanted to return to their pre-Snap positions of power. And some who were more than happy to let others think that they had disappeared in the Snap now find themselves having to work harder to avoid those who they were hiding from…

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About Rich Drees 7153 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty-five years experience writing about film and pop culture. He is a member of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle.
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