After the first Shang-Chi teaser focused mainly on the martial arts action we’re going to see, the latest trailer dipped its toes into the mystical aspects of the story. While the extended fight scenes, glimpses of the mystical ten rings, and the hints at a deeper story were all great, the two standout moments revolved around our first looks at the intimidating villain Abomination and a draconic creature underwater. Both of these characters come with huge potential connections to the rest of the MCU.
We first saw the Abomination in the oft-forgotten 2008 Incredible Hulk film played by Tim Roth. Soldier Emil Blonsky got a weird mix of chemicals and Banner’s blood in his system, transforming into a huge creature—but after the Hulk beat the Abomination in a brawl in Harlem, the villain was barely mentioned in the MCU. (The last we heard, he was being kept in cold storage in Alaska.) In this trailer, Abomination is decidedly unfrozen and going toe-t0-toe with everyone’s favorite sorcerer Wong in an underground fight club. How did the villain go from freezing to fighting? And does his appearance here have anything to do with his possible upcoming role in the She-Hulk series? It’ll be exciting to get answers to both questions.
The identity of the draconic creature that appears underwater is a little more complicated. Many fans suspected that the famous alien/dragon hybrid from Marvel Comics named Fin Fang Foom would appear in the film. However, Simu Liu, who’s playing Shang-Chi, seemed to hint in interviews that the character would not appear. Although he could be messing with fans, Fin Fang Foom isn’t the only dragon creature in the Marvel Universe: Another strong potential candidate is a character called Ismenios. In the comics, Shang-Chi is sent to rescue Ismenios after the dragon steals treasure from Atlantis. Given that the hero meets this creature in Madripoor, a location recently introduced in Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Ismenios seems like a good alternate option.
Whether the dragon is Ismenios or not, the prospect of Abomination’s return is worth the ticket price alone. When combined with the promise of an emotional story and great fight scenes, the movie seems poised to be a strong entry in the MCU. We’ll see all the action and magic in Shang-Chi’s debut on September 3rd.