Who knew a movie about an obscure superhero like Shang-Chi would be getting a solo live-action movie? And to top it off, who in their rights minds knew it would be so good. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is breaking many records. It is setting the stage on fire with a successful Box Office run, bringing new lore to the doorsteps of the MCU. Like every other Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, Shang-Chi comes loaded with incredible post credits sequences. And one of them may have revealed how the illuminati will join the MCU.
SPOILER ALERT: Major Spoilers For Shang-Chi & The Legend Of The Ten Rings Up Ahead. Enter At Your Own Risk….
For most of its run-time, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings remains out of the larger MCU loop. There is barely any mention of Avengers or other superheroes in the movie. There are vague connections but none that are profound enough for the movie to be well-connected to the Avengers lore. Simu Liu’s Shang-Chi is a fresh face in the franchise. So not associating it with any other heroes would help MCU forge a unique identity for him unlike how they did things with Tom Holland’s Spider-Man.
But this does create other problems. Marvel prides itself on making movies that are inter-connected. So they had to somehow pull enough strings to bridge Shang-Chi with the rest of the MCU. And they sure did it in a rather subtle manner. The film’s mid credits scene may have given us more than we could have ever bargained for. The scene clearly indicates Marvel Studios is setting the stage for its very own version of the Illuminati.
Who Are The Illuminati?
In the comic book lore, the Illuminati is a group of superheroes who work from the shadows. hailing from different aspects and parts of the world, they come together and share information with each other. And if they find that something or someone is about to become a large enough threat, they vote on pre-emptive collective action to neutralize said threat. The first iteration of the secretive cabal was introduced in 2005. The founding members of the group were Reed Richards, Tony Stark, Doctor Strange, Professor X, Namor, and Black Bolt.
Since the members of the Illuminati are highly influential people, their each and every action had large scale impacts on the world as a whole. The group disbanded during the events of secret Invasion.
Shang-Chi Gives Us MCU’s Illuminati
The mid credits scene of Shang-Chi reveals that Wong, Doctor Strange’s trusted confidante, has been working closely with a few other superheroes. He is examining the Ten Rings, now under Shang-Chi’s possession after his father’s death. And in the room are the hologram projections of Bruce Banner and Captain Marvel. The trio are unable to discern the origins of the Ten Rings. captain Marvel soon departs followed by Bruce banner. Before leaving, Banner welcomes Shang-Chi to “The Circus”.
Considering Wong may just be filling in for Doctor Strange, there’s reason to believe the Illuminati is already in order. Captain Marvel, Bruce Banner, and Doctor Strange are only three members. The first iteration of Illuminati had six members in the comics. Maybe rumors about Namor in Black Panther 2 are indeed true. He was one of the founding members of the group.
But our question is – if MCU is indeed bringing the Illuminati, will it be too much to ask for a World war Hulk movie with Mark Ruffalo?