Tuesday May 10, 2022

Spider-Man: No Way Home brings Wong back for another Phase 4 appearance, and it makes his role in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings even stranger. Debuting in Doctor Strange, Benedict Wong’s wizard has become a much more prominent character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in recent years. This continued with Spider-Man: No Way Home, which marked his fifth MCU appearance. It was also arguably his most important role yet, as it confirmed Wong is the MCU’s Sorcerer Supreme, which also recontextualizes his Phase 4 journey to date.

Prior to his return in Spider-Man: No Way Home, Wong appeared in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. The second movie of Phase 4 included Wong as part of the underground fights run by Xialing (Meng’er Zhang). His inclusion was tipped off in the trailers, which also showed him fighting a redesigned Abomination (Tim Roth). Wong was victorious in the fight, and the movie revealed that he and Abomination were working together in some fashion. Many viewers initially questioned why Wong, of all people, would participate in this event, especially when it is revealed the prize is just money – and not the powerful Ten Rings as heavily theorized.

Related: Doctor Strange Will Never Become Sorcerer Supreme – Theory Explained

Wong’s role in Spider-Man: No Way Home only makes his Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings role stranger thanks to the reveal he’s the MCU’s Sorcerer Supreme. It is implied that he’s had this title since Doctor Strange vanished in Avengers: Infinity War, which means he should be a seasoned vet when it comes to the responsibilities that come with this job. The Sorcerer Supreme is responsible for protecting Earth from the most dangerous mystical threats from across the multiverse. With that in mind, the idea that Wong is taking time away from that to fight Abomination for money and possibly fame doesn’t fit. The Sorcerer Supreme has bigger priorities than this, which draws his role in Shang-Chi into question.

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Spider-Man: No Way Home now raises questions about the Sorcerer Supreme’s focus, as Wong fighting Abomination seems beneath him. There has long been a discussion about Wong’s priorities within the MCU. He repeatedly stays out of conflicts that he probably should be involved in, such as going back to the Sanctum Sanctorum instead of fighting Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War. The MCU is now showing Wong potentially letting his Sorcerer Supreme responsibilities slide based on his Shang-Chi fight. Perhaps his fight with Abomination has more going on than the movie let on, but for now, it is fair to question Wong’s actions when the Sorcerer Supreme should be focused on greater threats.

The ascension to become Sorcerer Supreme and Wong’s Shang-Chi role were brushed over in the grand scheme of Spider-Man: No Way Home. This could mean that the MCU won’t address what happened in Shang-Chi, but hopefully it has all been taken into account for Wong’s Phase 4 story. His return in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness should allow Marvel Studios to explore what he’s been up to as Sorcerer Supreme. If the MCU plans to address why Sorcerer Supreme Wong was fighting Abomination for money in Shang-Chi, that is the best place to do it.

More: Phase 4’s Avengers Problem Can Explain Why Wong Fights Abomination


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