Before Seeing ‘Shang-Chi,’ Here’s Everything You Need to Know From the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Iron Man Shang-Chi Abomination
Left, middle: Courtesy of Marvel Studios / Everett Collection; Right: Courtesy of Universal Pictures / Everett Collection

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” is something of an anomaly within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in that when the title character makes his debut in theaters on Sept. 3, it will be with zero preamble from the world that’s been established by Marvel’s previous 24 features and four TV series on Disney Plus. Even Doctor Strange and Captain Marvel got nominal shout-outs before they showed up in their solo movies, but, as “Shang-Chi” makes clear from the outset, Simu Liu’s eponymous master of kung fu has been living a life of deliberate anonymity while Marvel’s superheroes have been saving the universe.

However, while the character may be an unknown within the MCU, it turns out the world around him — especially the nefarious Ten Rings organization — has been hiding in plain sight since the earliest films released by Marvel Studios.

Here’s everything you need to know within the MCU before seeing “Shang-Chi” — warning, this story contains SPOILERS for several Marvel titles, though not for “Shang-Chi.”