Marvel's Shang-Chi Finally Claims His Powerful MCU Artifacts

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was the second film to debut in Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Simu Liu introduced fans to the martial arts expert Shang-Chi, with director Destin Daniel Cretton dropping seeds for the real story behind the powerful Ten Rings. Marvel's new Shang-Chi series has updated the hero's story and brought it slightly closer to his MCU counterpart. The conclusion of the series officially gives Shang-Chi the Ten Rings, ahead of the title's relaunch as Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings.

WARNING: Spoilers for Shang-Chi #12 follow. Continue at your own risk!

Shang-Chi #12 by Gene Luen Yang, Marcus To, Erick Arciniega, and VC's Travis Lanham serves as both the end of the series and the beginning of what's to come. The overarching story arc has been a family affair, with the introduction of Shang's siblings as the Five Weapons Society. Shang-Chi's grandfather, Chieftain Xin, is on a terror streak to rid the world of anyone sharing a lineage with Shang's mother, Jiang Li. The final battle begins in Ta Lo before moving to our dimension, and Shang must try and gain control of the Ten Rings in order to defeat his evil grandfather.

Every time Shang-Chi uses the Ten Rings, they start to corrupt his soul. He can feel himself thinking violent thoughts and begins to hear and see visions of his father, Zheng Zu, egging him on. They were originally the property of Ta Lo's ruler, the Jade Emperor, who gives Shang-Chi the task of retrieving the Ten Rings from Chieftain Xin and bringing them both back to him so he can pass judgment. 

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(Photo: Marvel Comics)

Shang-Chi and Xin trade attacks as both of them wield the Rings. Zu correctly points out how Shang-Chi's fear of the Ten Rings and becoming his father is what's preventing him from securing victory. Shang-Chi finally embraces the power that comes with the Ten Rings and defeats Chieftain Xin. His wardrobe even transforms into one previously worn by Zheng Zu. When Shang-Chi almost goes too far by slicing off Xin's hand, his sister has to stop him from doing something he'd regret. 

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A month after the battle is over, we catch up with Shang-Chi. His family members all have new obligations, and he's even returned Xin and the Ten Rings back to the Jade Emperor. Shang-Chi initially believes he's back to being alone again, but the final page reveals the Ten Rings have sought him out once again. This will lead directly into Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings.

Viewers of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will remember Simu Liu's character took the Ten Rings to Bruce Banner and Captain Marvel to examine. While they never got concrete answers, they did allude to the Ten Rings being very old and possibly having either cosmic or dimensional origins. Something similar could play out in the new Shang-Chi series launching in July, but instead of having the Avengers on his side, Shang-Chi might find them to be wary of the new powers at his disposal.