Avengers: The Kang Dynasty can’t ignore the new hero set up by Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ first post-credit scene. The movie serves as an origin story not just for Shang-Chi but also for his best friend Katy Chen, whose inclusion in the post-credit meeting with Wong, Carol Danvers, and Bruce Banner promotes her from a side character to a hero in her own right. With the Avengers recognizing Katy as a future hero along with Shang-Chi, Avengers 5 needs to incorporate Katy as a member of the new team.
Although Katy Chen was created for the movies and has no comics counterpart, she proved invaluable to saving the world in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. She saved lives by taking control of the bus in San Francisco while Shang-Chi fought the Ten Rings’ henchmen, drove the car the group used to break out of the Ten Rings’ compound, and navigated the bamboo forest in search of Ta Lo. Her critical shot in the battle against the Dweller-in-Darkness greatly wounded it and bought Shang-Chi, Xialing, and the Great Protector enough time to stop it once and for all. While she may not possess years of training and the power of the ten rings like Shang-Chi, Katy has proven herself just as much a hero.
Avengers: The Kang Dynasty needs to honor Katy’s status as a hero and include her as part of the Avengers. While title heroes such as Shang-Chi and Captain America will likely be the main focus, there is still a role she can play. The original Avengers team was often supported by Maria Hill, who connected the team to resources and gathered intelligence. With Maria Hill presumably in space with Nick Fury and the Skrulls, the new Avengers could use an auxiliary member like Katy to support their operations.
While the MCU could end Katy’s run as a hero with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, doing so would be a mistake. Beyond Katy’s vital role in Shang-Chi’s journey, Shang-Chi and Katy are integrally tied together through parallel arcs. As Shang-Chi was running from his violent past as the heir of the Ten Rings, Katy was too afraid of disappointment to commit to any future. In Ta Lo, she embraced her potential by studying archery as Shang-Chi learned to accept himself and his family. The movie ends with Shang-Chi and Katy stepping through Wong’s portal arm-in-arm, symbolizing that they will embrace their roles as heroes together. Making Shang-Chi an Avenger without Katy would not only retcon Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ first post-credit scene but ignore the parallel development driving him and Katy forward.
Katy should be an Avenger in Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, but using her to replace Hawkeye or Black Widow—the two original Avengers without superpowers—wouldn’t make sense. While Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings showed Katy developing her archery skills, making her a primarily bow-based character would overlap too much with Kate Bishop and Clint Barton. The limited time she has spent learning archery also makes it unlikely that she could rival either master archer. She lacks the years of training that made Black Widow an asset to the original Avengers, and Natasha Romanoff already has a more likely successor in the form of Yelena Belova. Trying to fit Katy into the role of either Hawkeye or Black Widow would only make the MCU’s roster feel more crowded and highlight her relative inexperience.
Maria Hill was rarely on the front lines during the Infinity Saga, but she provided vital support to the Avengers. She managed operations on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier that the team used as a base in The Avengers as well as the Helicarrier they used to evacuate Sokovia in Avengers: Age of Ultron. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, she also served as the team’s primary source of information, researching Wanda and Pietro Maximoff for Captain America and keeping tabs on Ultron’s movements so the team could respond. She has also shown combat prowess and engaged in high-speed car chases, revealing the ability to handle a variety of crises as they arise. She kept systems the Avengers needed to save the world functioning and helped guide their strategy for the greatest effect. With Earth’s mightiest heroes scattered across the globe and throughout space, the new Avengers team could use someone like Maria Hill to manage communications and track people, resources, and information.
Katy’s versatility makes her suited to being the team’s jack-of-all-trades. Her friend Soo comments on her intelligence, noting that she received an Honors degree from Berkeley. Her ability to pick up archery quickly—as well as her self-proclaimed tendency to abandon activities and pick up new ones—shows she has a knack for learning different skills. Her affinity for driving suggests that her current skillset is made up of the practical knowledge that the team will need but might be too busy fighting Kang to implement themselves. Her adaptability would allow her to provide logistical, informational, and martial support to the new Avengers as Maria Hill did for the original team. Occupying a role similar to that of Maria Hill would also mean Katy could be active in Avengers 5 while still keeping the focus on title heroes like Shang-Chi and Captain Marvel.
Katy serves as a reminder that anyone can be a hero. In a universe increasingly packed with super soldiers, geniuses, trained assassins, sorcerers, and superpowered individuals, Katy is one average person stepping up to save the world. Keeping her relevant in upcoming Avengers films would allow the ordinary to triumph in a world of extraordinary threats. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ first post-credit scene set Katy up as an Avenger, and making her the new Maria Hill would follow through on this promise in Avengers: The Kang Dynasty.
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