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A New Look at Shang-Chi Asks: Where Is His Shirt?

Simu Liu shirtless, shrugging as Marvel's Shang-Chi.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe loves to give us a shirtless superhero. As I have previously investigated, they seem to have all their heroes shine shirtless (and without chest hair), and Simu Liu as Shang-Chi seems to be no different. We got a new trailer for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and with it comes a very important question: Where did Shang-Chi’s shirt go?

In a new bit of footage, Shang-Chi is about to fight, and he’s standing in the ring without a shirt on—honestly, a typical Marvel Cinematic Universe move. But something is clearly up with it because his friend Katy says, “What happened to your shirt?” Shang-Chi just shrugs.

What I love about this, though, is Awkwafina’s Katy calling it out. Do you ever stop and think about moments in the MCU where these male heroes aren’t wearing a shirt and ask yourself why? I will never understand how Steve Rogers’ pants changed with his super-soldier body but a shirt couldn’t. (Not that I’m complaining.) There’s always this shirtless shot and, sometimes, it doesn’t make sense as to why that hero doesn’t have a shirt on. Thank god for Katy. She just wants to know why Shang-Chi suddenly isn’t wearing one.

But I love that Katy asks, Shang-Chi shrugs, and the two carry on. From what we’ve seen of their relationship, it seems like the two just have that sort of back and forth with each other. They’re quick, funny, and I do hope we get quite a bit of Katy and Shang-Chi throughout the movie.

This trailer is also a deeper look into the dynamic between Shang-Chi and his father. Wenwu wants his son to take on the Ten Rings, but what we can see in these trailers is that Shang-Chi doesn’t want to be like his father. This is the second trailer to show us the father/son dynamic between the two.

Shang-Chi says in the trailer that all he ever wanted was a normal life—one that we’ve seen glimpses of in the other trailers, since he escaped from his father to live the life he wanted. But it also makes for an interesting arc for Shang-Chi in the movie. There’s something so appealing about a reluctant hero, and Shang-Chi has the training, has the ability, but clearly wants to be separated from his father’s legacy, so it will be interesting to see how the movie tackles his journey into his power and his acceptance of his role as a superhero.

I love that we got a new look at Katy and Shang-Chi’s friendship. I love that we’re learning more about Shang-Chi as a character and his wish to be freed from his father’s wishes, and I’m incredibly excited to see Simu Liu’s introduction into the Marvel Cinematic Universe!

(image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.