Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is fixing one abomination of a problem with Abomination, the villain from the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s The Incredible Hulk. First announced at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019, Shang-Chi finds actor Simu Liu playing the titular Master of Kung Fu. Set after Avengers: Endgame, the film has Wenwu (Tony Leung), the actual Mandarin and leader of the Ten Rings, calling on his son, Shang-Chi, to follow in his footsteps. However, Shang-Chi has different plans, choosing to turn away from a criminal path. The film, which Destin Daniel Cretton directs, also stars Awkwafina and Michelle Yeoh.
Like many MCU films, Shang-Chi will also feature exciting returns. Marvel already confirmed that Sir Ben Kingsley, who played Trevor Slattery in Iron Man 3, is part of the Shang-Chi cast. In Iron Man 3, Slattery posed as the fake Mandarin, taking credit for various attacks carried out in the villain’s name. Additionally, a fight scene from the Shang-Chi trailers had fans buzzing about the possible return of Wong (Benedict Wong) and Abomination (Tim Roth). Marvel later confirmed the pair were coming back in the film. The Abomination return marks the first appearance by the villain since 2008’s The Incredible Hulk.
With the confirmation of Abomination, it seems Shang-Chi is fixing a noticeable problem. In The Incredible Hulk, both Hulk (played by Edward Norton in the film) and his Hulk-like nemesis, Abomination, suffer from CGI-related issues. For Hulk, there are so many muscle striations that the character comes off as a green, cartoonish bodybuilder. Unfortunately, Abomination has even more issues. The character is a bonier, grosser-looking Hulk. While he has a similarly unrealistic and cartoonish appearance, Abomination also forgoes his comic book look for a more simplified result. Fortunately, the Hulk’s CGI got an upgrade with Mark Ruffalo’s appearance in The Avengers, and it appears Shang-Chi is doing the same for Abomination.
Shang-Chi immediately improves Abomination’s look. The trailers for the upcoming film reveal Abomination’s redesign, showing the character with a greener color and adding fins around his head. It’s a drastic difference from the bald, yellow-ish balloon animal that shows up in The Incredible Hulk. The new design is more accurate to the character’s look in Marvel’s comics, notably including fin-like ears that the villain was missing in the 2008 film. Overall, Abomination’s 2008 appearance gave the villain a more human-like look, while the Shang-Chi Abomination redesign seems to embrace the monstrous side of the character.
Importantly, the changes to Abomination make sense. In The Incredible Hulk, Roth’s character, Emil Blonsky, only recently transforms into Abomination. Since time has passed in the MCU, it makes sense that the character’s look has taken on changes. Of course, he’d appear more monstrous and less human as the years have gone on. Additionally, it’s been more than a decade since the character first showed up. In that time, visual effects technology has improved by leaps and bounds. It makes sense that the CGI would change for a future appearance by Abomination, and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings clearly takes advantage of that improvement.