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Shang-Chi Can Make Spider-Man Even More Powerful In The MCU

Shang-Chi and Spider-Man have yet to meet in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but may be incredibly important to each other’s stories.

A possible team-up in the as-yet-untitled Spider-Man 4 has the potential to make the eponymous web-slinger more powerful than ever. Tom Holland’s Spider-Man has only just begun a long and illustrious career as a superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe following Spider-Man: No Way Home. However, the events of his now beloved third solo film have also left Peter Parker at a rare disadvantage as he struggles to pave his own path forward in a world filled with other heroes. Nevertheless, Spider-Man has the perfect opportunity to overcome his recent setbacks with help from Simu Liu’s Shang-Chi, the master of kung fu.

Spider-Man’s future in the MCU remains mysterious but promising as the franchise enters Phase 5, the middle chapter of the Multiverse Saga. It was confirmed shortly after the release of No Way Home that future films were in development with Tom Holland attached to continue his journey as Spider-Man. While details have been scarce regarding Holland’s second MCU trilogy, it has been revealed that the initial screenplay for his next film is currently being written, suggesting that Spider-Man 4 will hit theaters before the end of Phase 6. Moreover, the character’s sustained popularity suggests that he will remain an integral piece of the MCU moving into its next chapter.

Spider-Man May Need Help After Losing Access To Stark Tech
No Way Home ended with a new suit for Spider-Man which may leave him at a disadvantage after so many years of using Stark Tech to help him fight crime. After the world’s memories of Peter Parker were erased, it is believed that he lost access to the suits that Tony Stark had built for him in his early days as Spider-Man, including his Homecoming costume, the Iron Spider, and the Integrated Suit. Peter was then forced to sew his own new suit, one stripped of the frills and tricks that his original Stark suits had to offer, which often came in handy while in combat against criminals and supervillains.

In the MCU’s next Spider-Man movie, Peter Parker will be learning a whole new side to crime-fighting. No longer bordering on being invincible thanks to the fancy gadgets given to him by Tony Stark, Spider-Man will be far more vulnerable than he has ever been before. While he started his crimefighting career in a similar fashion, he now fights in a whole new league, battling supervillains and even Avengers-level threats on a regular basis. If he is to survive with this new status quo, Spider-Man must adapt and potentially pick up new abilities that will aid him in the next chapter of his life as a superhero

The MCU Could Adapt Shang-Chi And Peter’s Marvel Comics Relationship
To give Tom Holland’s Spider-Man a power-up, the MCU can adapt his relationship with Shang-Chi from the comics. The two superheroes grew close in the late 2000s and early 2010s, especially in the build-up to Dan Slott’s seminal Spider-Island event in 2011. Leading up to the major crossover storyline, Spider-Man sacrificed his spider senses to save New York City, leaving him defenseless against his enemies’ many attacks. Thereafter, Spider-Man took kung fu lessons from Shang-Chi, learning how to defend himself without his sixth sense. When his spider-sense returned to him, however, Spider-Man proved to be more powerful than ever, using both his senses and kung fu to defeat his enemies.

Although Peter Parker still has his Spidey Sense in the MCU, his loss of the Spider-Man suits built by Tony Stark is just as debilitating. However, if he wishes to overcome this setback, Spider-Man will have to hone his fighting skills more than ever before. Shang-Chi, a master martial artist, is the perfect person to help Peter expand his abilities, teaching him how to use his own strength, speed, and agility to take down enemies without relying on fancy gear. With Shang-Chi’s help, Spider-Man can become one of the most formidable fighters in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, just as he is in the comic books.

When Could Shang-Chi And Spider-Man Finally Meet?
As the MCU continues to add to its Multiverse Saga, there are plenty of opportunities down the road for Spider-Man and Shang-Chi to meet in live-action for the very first time. As the timeline for Phase 6 begins to take shape, it appears as though each of these superheroes is poised to take a leading role in the final act of the Multiverse Saga, making their eventual meeting inevitable. It is highly likely that Shang-Chi and Spider-Man will appear in both Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars, set to hit theaters in 2025 and 2026 respectively, though there are certainly opportunities for the two to cross paths beforehand.

Spider-Man could very well make a surprise appearance in the announced sequel to Shang-Chi, showing up to take fighting lessons from the titular hero. Currently, the untitled sequel has not received a release date but, considering director Destin Daniel Cretton’s strong presence in Phase 6 of the MCU, the film is likely to be fast-tracked to come out before The Kang Dynasty, therefore providing a perfect place for the two characters to meet. Alternatively, Marvel can avoid complicated rights issues with Sony by including Shang-Chi in Spider-Man 4 instead, giving him a featured role as he helps Peter grow into the hero he was always meant to be.


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