How Shang-Chi's Abomination Cameo Sets Up Marvel's Thunderbolts Movie

Based on his cameo in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Marvel may be using Abomination to set up a Thunderbolts movie. In Marvel Comics, the Thunderbolts were a team of villains posing as heroes to gain government resources and public trust. However, many of its members were not inherently evil, so they later reformed and made the team into a force for good. There are rumors that Marvel may begin production on a Thunderbolts movie in 2023, which would allow it to release in 2024 or 2025.

Many known members of the Thunderbolts have already appeared in the MCU. For example, Baron Helmut Zemo played major roles in both Captain America: Civil War and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. In the comics, Zemo originally created and led the Thunderbolts. Also from The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, U.S. Agent, John Walker’s new alias after failing as Captain America, is a common member of the Thunderbolts. He may have already been recruited to the team by Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Val), who debuted in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. Although little is known about Val, she seems to represent a secret organization that is trying to recruit superheroes. Black Widow’s post-credits scene even reveals that Yelena Belova already works for her. Other possible Thunderbolts members include Ghost from Ant-Man and the Wasp, Taskmaster from Black Widow, and even Hawkeye.

Related: Where Wong Was Taking Abomination To After Their Shang-Chi Fight

Although Abomination, formally a human soldier named Emil Blonsky, initially entered the MCU in The Incredible Hulk in 2008, he was never mentioned again until his surprise cameo in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. In this cameo, Abomination appeared in Xu Xialing’s underground fight club, facing Wong in a cage match. After Wong won the fight, the two tended their wounds together and then left through a portal to what appeared to be the Raft, the underwater prison from Captain America: Civil War. Through this cameo that reintroduced Abomination after so many years, Marvel could be setting up their Thunderbolts movie, as it would make sense if the team of reformed supervillains was either formed in or based around the Raft.

One major hint that Abomination’s future could be with the Thunderbolts is his behavior in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Although Abomination fights fiercely during the cage match, he shows no aggression toward Wong afterward. Instead, Abomination and Wong seem to have developed a sort of camaraderie, possibly training together. He remains calm while interacting with Wong and even willingly leaves to return to prison. This could suggest that Abomination is already changing his ways for the better, making him an ideal candidate for a team of reformed villains.

However, Abomination’s cameo does create questions about what his role will be in the upcoming Disney Plus series, She-Hulk. Although the Abomination has been confirmed to be in She-Hulk, little is known about how he will affect the story. Based on his Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings cameo, he may not be the core villain in the show, playing a more nuanced role as a reformed villain instead. Either way, Abomination’s presence in She-Hulk will give him the opportunity for character development and greater importance in the MCU, helping shape his potential future with the Thunderbolts.

Next: Every Way The MCU Has Already Setup & Teased The Thunderbolts

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