One of the things that has been different, and sort of a missed opportunity in the MCU is that Iron Man hasn’t fought the real Mandarin. The events of Iron Man 1 sort of pushed the 10 Rings into shadows and they are only emerging out of their shell now, after the death of Tony Stark. Iron Man is gone. Captain America is a real old man now. Thor & Captain Marvel are off-world. Black Panther is back in Wakanda. Doctor Strange is protecting his sanctum. Spider-Man is stuck in his own crisis. Wanda is too depressed & Clint Barton is retired. The only ones that are really around are the Falcon and the Winter Soldier. So, this seems to be the perfect time for villainous organizations like the 10 Rings or AIM to strike back.
Screen Rant has brought us a new theory in which they have stated that the 10 Rings have been absent because of Tony Stark & the Avengers. Iron Man 3 let us believe that Aldrich Killian was running the operations of the 10 Rings and he was The Mandarin. But later in the Marvel One Shot All Hail the King, it became clear that Killian wasn’t the real Mandarin. He just took advantage of the fact that The 10 Rings organization wasn’t really committing a lot of terrorist activities. He took up their name, staged a few attacks, hired Trevor Slattery to play the Mandarin, and so on.
In Iron Man 3 Prelude comic, it was revealed that War Machine became active on the international front, dealing with missions relating to the 10 Rings and other such threats. Meanwhile Tony was more self-involved until The Avenger happened. While the Avengers were fighting the Chittauri, Rhodey was in Hong Kong on a mission associated with the 10 Rings. See they were trying to assess the capabilities of Rhodey’s suit in hopes of acquiring it. But they failed at this attempt, so they crawled into shadows, trying to gather tech that could counter the Iron Man suits.
When S.H.I.E.L.D. fell and the Avengers became free agents, it became even clearer for the 10 Rings to wait for their opportunity. They did not have what it takes to beat Iron Man. And on top of that he was now surrounded by an entire team of Avengers which consisted of heavy hitters like Captain America, Thor & the Hulk. The presence of a 10 Rings agent in Ant-Man hints at the notion that the 10 Rings were trying to acquire tech that could compete with the Avengers.
The 10 Rings were trying to get their hands on the Yellowjacket Suits and Pym Technology. Since they didn’t get it, they had to wait for an even longer time to make their play. In 2018, Thanos would have wiped out half of their agents as well. So, their functioning probably became even slower & they had to regroup. But now that Hulk brought their agents back, Tony Stark is dead & the Avengers have disbanded, it’s the perfect time for the 10 Rings Organization to take a dominant step and announce their presence to a world that has forgotten about them.
For this theory of Screen Rant to come true, we believe that the Mandarin may not have had access to the 10 Rings until now. It has to be that or the above theory may not make complete sense. These Rings could have been a sacred legend which would have led to the name of their organization. But now that the Mandarin will finally get the 10 Rings of power, he will try and make a move that will lead to world domination. Poor Shang-Chi! He will have to take on an organization that has been trying to assemble forces which will pose a threat to the Avengers. Let’s hope that he won’t be alone.
Kevin Feige has confirmed that the Shang-Chi movie will answer the questions that were raised after Iron Man 3 & All Hail the King. So, it’d be cool if the answers we seek lie in the aforementioned theory that we have covered. Let’s see what happens when Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings arrives on May 7, 2021.