It’s a moment that happened so fast you probably missed it — and even if you didn’t, maybe you didn’t believe it. In Marvel Studios’ latest trailer for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the main character attends a cage match with two creatures duking it out. They’re only on screen for three seconds, but it sure looks like a green monster fighting a dude in some robes. But, no. It couldn’t be.
“Some fans said, ‘This looks like a character they hadn’t seen in many years named the Abomination, fighting a character that looks like Wong,” Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said to Rotten Tomatoes. “And I can say that the reason it looks like that is because that is Abomination fighting Wong.” And when Feige says it, you know it’s true.
Abomination hasn’t been seen since 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, which starred Edward Norton as Bruce Banner. Though it’s canonically part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and has been referenced a few times since, the movie is largely overlooked because the company recast Mark Ruffalo as Banner in the films that followed.
However, that film did introduce William Hurt as Thaddeus Ross, who has come back in numerous films, and Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky, a man so desperate for a taste of Banner’s power he become the evil Abomination. That character had also been mostly forgotten, but it was recently announced he’ll play a role in the upcoming Disney+ She-Hulk show — and now, it seems, he’ll be in Shang-Chi too.
Wong (played by Benedict Wong) was first introduced in Doctor Strange and came back in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. (He loves tuna melts and the mystic arts.) He’s expected to return in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness too, but again, it seems we’ll catch up with him before that.
What any of this has to do with the plot of Shang-Chi remains to be seen. The trailer makes it seem like Shang-Chi is going to fight one or both of the characters, and maybe that’s his introduction to the larger superhero community. Luckily we won’t have to wait too long to see.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings opens September 2 in Australia.