‘Shang-Chi’ may have set up the MCU's real ‘Iron Fist’

Published : 03 Oct 2021 07:23 PM | Updated : 03 Oct 2021 08:18 PM

Marvel's latest blockbuster, ‘Shang-Chi & the Legend of the Ten Rings’, may have set up the MCU's version of ‘Iron Fist’. Starring Simu Liu as Marvel's ‘Master of Kung Fu’, ‘Shang-Chi’ perfectly positioned its titular hero to become one of the next ‘Avengers’. But it didn't just introduce Shang-Chi and his sister Xialing, who wound up in charge of the legendary ‘Ten Rings’ terrorist group; it also introduced Ta Lo, a mystical realm that's a pretty deep cut from the comics.

Marvel Studios had a lot of leeway when it came to designing Ta Lo, simply because the pocket dimension has appeared more in Handbooks than in the comics themselves. Amusingly, ‘Shang-Chi’ drew on Iron Fist's lore, presenting Ta lo as a mystical realm that can only be accessed at specific times, where it is possible to learn a mystical form of martial arts; that's the basic idea behind Iron Fist's city K'un-Lun, where Danny Rand learned how to channel the power of the Iron Fist. In the comics, Rand became Iron Fist by punching the heart of a dragon, meaning he possesses its power. Shang-Chi was stated as having a dragon's heart, albeit in a far more spiritual way. It's a marked improvement.

At first glance, this could be taken as rendering ‘Iron Fist’ and K'un-Lun superfluous. Still, it's important to remember that, in the comics, K'un-Lun is one of the ‘Seven Capital Cities of Heaven’, realms that operate similarly. Each of the ‘Seven Capital Cities of Heaven’ is inspired by different martial art of fantasy trope; K'un-Zi is a city of ‘Dark Magic’, ruled by the Crane Mother, while Tiger Island is a tropical paradise where women are expected to cater to a man's every whim. Just as the ‘Iron Fist’ protects K'un-Lun, so each of the ‘Seven Capital Cities of Heaven’ has a champion. It's possible that, in the MCU, Ta Lo is one of these seven realms and the one who possesses the heart of the dragon - originally Shang-Chi's mother, Ying Li, and now her son is the champion of Ta Lo. Interestingly, recent comics have indeed revealed that each of the ‘Seven Capital Cities of Heaven’ possesses a dragon, meaning Shang-Chi's Great Protector simply supports this theory.

Screen Rant  

Related Topics