Ms. Marvel Features A Mysterious Connection To Shang-Chi

This article contains SPOILERS for the third episode of "Ms. Marvel." Please proceed with caution.

The whole point of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that everything is connected. Though the now-defunct Marvel Television may have lost sight of that for a while, it seems like that edict has been reinstated thanks to the House of Ideas bringing all their shows and movies under the Marvel Studios banner. And it looks like the latest example of this might be on full display in this week's episode of "Ms. Marvel."

When we open on the latest chapter of Kamala Khan's exciting introduction to superheroism, we're transported to 1943 British-occupied India, as a group of people are digging through rubble in search of something. They soon find what they're looking for on a severed blue arm: the bangle that Kamala's grandmother sent to Jersey City. The group is looking for a pair of bangles, but before they can continue their search, British soldiers discover their location and they're forced to flee. But before they do, we get an overhead shot of the room they're in that shows us the insignia of the Ten Rings on the floor beneath their feet.

Last seen in "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings," this criminal organization has been a looming force in the MCU from the very beginning since 2008's "Iron Man." Now it seems like there's a connection between Ms. Marvel's powers and the weapons of choice for The Mandarin/Wenwu/Shang-Chi's father. What could this mean for the Master of Kung Fu and Captain Marvel's biggest fan? We have a few ideas.

Ring a ding ding

First, let's look at the facts. In the post-credits scene of Destin Daniel Cretton's 2021 film starring Simu Liu, Sorcerer Supreme Wong brings Shang-Chi and Katy back to the Sanctum Sanctorum to analyze the physical Ten Rings with Carol Danvers and Bruce Banner. Based on his initial scans, Dr. Banner says that the rings' thermal luminescence indicates that they're much older than a thousand years. According to Wong, the rings are also emitting some kind of beacon.

In this week's "Ms. Marvel," we quickly learn that the flashback at the beginning of the episode is depicting the events that took place the last time Kamran's (Rish Shah) mother Najma (Nimra Bucha) saw Kamala's (Iman Vellani) great-grandmother, Aisha. Plus, Kamala learns that Aisha, like Najma, is from another dimension where the inhabitants known as Clandestines have a Noor (or light) inside them that gives them powers. Since they're out of their home dimension, they don't have full access to their Noor. But thanks to the combination of being in her own dimension and the bangle, which has a luminescence of its own and acted as a beacon for Najma to find Kamala, unlocking her inner Noor, Kamala may be the key that the Clandestines need to get back home.

Clearly, there's some overlap here, right? These details could be a huge coincidence. The rings and the bangle could be totally unrelated. After all, there are plenty of mystical artifacts out there in the multiverse that can bestow unusual powers to their wielders. However, it can't be a coincidence that the Clandestines were searching for the bangles in a Ten Rings stronghold. There has to be a good reason for that. In fact, I feel like there could be two possible reasons.

That has a nice ring to it

The more obvious possibility is that the Ten Rings also came from the Noor Dimension. They could have found their way to Earth when the Clandestines were first exiled here. At some point in history, likely a thousand years ago when the Ten Rings (the group) rose to power, whichever Clandestine had access to the rings might have crossed paths with the ruthless human warlord Wenwu, who decided that he would take this power for himself and expand his evil empire across generations. During Partition, it's possible that the owner of the bangle at that time went to India because they sensed the beacon from the rings and thought they would be met by an ally. Instead, they either perished at the hands of the Mandarin or the British Empire, whoever got there first.

But this still doesn't explain why Aisha, Najma, and the other Clandestines only found one bangle in India. That's where this other potential scenario comes into play. What if the Ten Rings aren't just another set of Noor jewelry like the bangles? What if the Ten Rings are actually the second bangle, but broken into ten pieces? They both sport similar ornate designs and we've seen both of them adapt to the user to a certain degree. Sure, this thought is a bit more out there than the last one, but it's almost certain that there's some kind of connection. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait until the next episode or beyond to get some concrete answers. 

As we continue to speculate about Kamala's bangle, Shang-Chi's rings, and the Clandestines' plans, be sure to tune to "Ms. Marvel" on Disney+ every Wednesday.