The Captain America Easter Egg You May Not Have Noticed In Shang-Chi

Helmed by Destin Daniel Cretton, "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" marked the arrival of Simu Liu as Shang-Chi — Marvel Studio's first Asian superhero and features a predominantly Asian cast and crew. The film was a breath of fresh air in the latest slew of Marvel movies — the combination of martial arts, Chinese mythology, and folklore, and its dangerous-yet-empathetic villain made it one of the most engaging standalone movies we've seen from the studio in recent times. But like every oter Marvel movie, it's also packed with comic book references, cultural nods, and Marvel Cinematic Universe Easter eggs — they brought back Tim Roth's Abomination for the first time since "The Incredible Hulk" in 2008!

Although Abomination's reveal could be seen early on in the movie's marketing, there's another Easter egg planted into "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" that you may have missed. Captain America's shield seems to make an appearance, though not in the way that you might think.

That's America's Shield

As children, Shang-Chi and his sister Xialing were given a set of emerald pendants known as The Eyes of the Dragon by their mother, which are used to reveal the safe passage into the magical village of Ta Lo. When the Ten Rings attack Shang-Chi and Katy (Awkwafina) on a moving bus, the superhero discovers that they had managed to steal his pendant. Worried that they'd attack his sister next, Shang-Chi travels to Macau, where he finds Xialing (Meng'er Zhang) running an underground fight club that she founded after escaping their father, Xu Wenwu (Tony Leung).

When Shang-Chi finds himself suddenly facing off with his sister, the camera rests on our hero as he prepares for battle. Through the chain cage in the background, you can see a certain disc-shaped vibranium object with a five-pointed star in its center. It's not the shield itself, but it appears to be graffiti on the wall. Though this is instantly recognizable as Captain America's shield, others wonder if it could be a representation of John Walker (Wyatt Russell), the new Captain America from "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier." We're not sure how the timeline of "Shang-Chi" and the Marvel series on Disney+ lines up, but that's an interesting proposal.

However, other fans think the Easter Egg may be a different reference to "The Falcon and The Winter Soldier." Since Xialing's fight club could be affiliated with the city of Madripoor (where Baron Zemo, Sam, and Bucky traveled for information on the super-soldier serum in the Marvel series), there are those who believe the shield is the flag of Madripoor. 

In the comics, Madripoor is a safe haven for criminals and makes most of its appearances in X-Men stories. It was first introduced in the MCU as the location where Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp), the Power Broker, was holed up during "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier." It's a corrupt, highly volatile city that is built on the foundation of gambling. If the Easter egg is, in fact, the flag of Madripoor concealed away for fans to speculate on, maybe we can expect to see the ties between the corrupt city and the Ten Rings. In the film's post-credits sequence, Xialing is seen running her father's Ten Rings organization despite promising her brother to disband it. However, even though the fictional country's red flag does feature a similar white crescent shape and star, the star is much smaller, and there's a lion icon that's much more prominent. So this might be a dead end.

Fortunately, "Shang-Chi" has a sequel in the works from filmmaker Destin Daniel Cretton, so we'll see if Madripoor continues to play a big part in the MCU sometime down the road.