The Marvel Cinematic Universe introduced a unique set of characters with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. It’s one of the few movies in which the majority of the heroes and villains are brave individuals, and the question of being afraid largely has to do with their emotional resolve rather than fear itself.
The story sees Shang-Chi head to the village of Ta Lo to protect it from his father, Wenwu, as the latter’s attempts to bring his wife back awoke the Dweller-in-Darkness. Even beyond this daunting premise, Shang-Chi’s characters have other traits that determine their level of bravery.
8 Trevor Slattery
The return of Trevor, who was first seen in Iron Man 3, drew some of the most reactions about Shang-Chi on Twitter because the character was returning nearly a decade after his previous appearance. Like before, Trevor was mostly cowardly, going so far as to pose as a corpse in order to avoid fighting in the climactic battle.
Trevor did have some brave moments, such as leading the heroes to Ta Lo and initially taking part in the fight against Wenwu. However, his cowardice was his main feature, with Trevor introduced when he begged Shang-Chi and the others to take him away from his imprisonment at Wenwu’s hands.
7 Razor Fist
While the character is one of the prominent Shang-Chi villains in the comics, he was more of a henchman in the MCU. Still, Razor Fist was no coward as he repeatedly fought against Shang-Chi and the people of Ta Lo even after seeing their powers.
Of course, he had limits to his bravery, as he openly admitted being scared once the Dweller-in-Darkness was released and joined forced with Ta Lo to save himself. All things considered, Razor Fist wasn’t scared by things in general but realized he was out of his element when more powerful forces came into view.
The film went a long way in answering many questions about Shang-Chi that fans had while also delivering a flawed superhero. Shang-Chi was brave overall but he lacked the courage to face his past and former sins, which led to him abandoning his sister.
This meant he wasn’t brave where his conscience was concerned, at least not until the end. On the other hand, he was courageous enough to return to China when he thought Xialing was in danger, as well as protecting Ta Lo from the Dweller-in-Darkness when it truly mattered.
Fans had to forget everything they knew about the Mandarin from the comics, as Wenwu was a different man in the MCU. He was a bit too brave for his own doing, as he was willing to kill all of Ta Lo if it meant bringing Ying Li back.
However, like his son, Wenwu wasn’t very brave in his inner spirit, as he was too cowardly to admit that Ying Li was truly gone and nearly destroyed everyone to resurrect her. He did ultimately have the courage to redeem his wrongdoing, as Wenwu gave his life to empower Shang-Chi with the Ten Rings and did so without being scared for himself.
Xialing was headstrong enough to defy her father’s refusal to train her and became an even greater fighter on her own. By the movie’s end, she was willing to die if it meant Shang-Chi would be saved, before taking over the Ten Rings and not being intimidated by the responsibility.
Xialing also didn’t need Shang-Chi to rescue her even though he arrived to do so, as she didn’t flinch at the prospect of being in danger. What she lacked, though, was the resolve to confront her father, which she didn’t do for over a decade. However, her reasons not to go through with it are understandable considering how powerful he was and the army he commanded.
3 Ying Nan
Ying Nan never backed down from any challenge and only chose the peaceful route because she knew it was the better way. When it came down to fighting, she had no issue with confronting the Ten Rings organization and was also there to confront the Dweller-in-Darkness.
Her bravery was without question since she used her lack of fear to empower herself in battles, which is why she was able to easily defeat Shang-Chi. The few moments where she appeared nervous were only for the protection of Ta Lo and not for herself.
2 Ying Li
Ying Li lived and died as a fighter, having never been tempted by power and facing perilous situations with absolute calm. She was brave enough to leave Ta Lo in pursuit of love and had such an influence that she made Wenwu give up his power-hungry ways.
Even in her final moments, Ying Li bargained for the lives of her children rather than herself, going down fighting against dozens of enemies. She also didn’t fear Wenwu when he’d arrived to fight her at his peak, as her lack of fear made her the powerful warrior she was.
Although Katy had the most moments where she was scared, she displayed the true mark of a brave person. Despite not having the super abilities or powers as everyone else, Katy didn’t flinch in accompanying Shang-Chi to Ta Lo, and she fought in the battle against beings with supernatural powers. She was a hero even in the face of fear, which makes her relatable.
This goes to show that she may have been the most courageous character as she went through with everything she did without the benefit of enhanced abilities. Katy saw the power that Wenwu commanded, and she was under threat numerous times, yet she still had the wisdom to push Shang-Chi into accepting his responsibility.