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5 MCU Villains Wenwu Would Defeat (& 5 He Wouldn’t)

Superhero fiction saw a glorious year with 2021: Marvel Studios’ various streaming hits continued to intrigue fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Conversely, the studio had a divisive year in regards to movies. Black Widow and Eternals struggled in their respective landings, but there were also certified hits like Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Spider-Man: No Way Home.

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The former even managed to redeem the studio for a mistake early in the MCU’s history, which was their handling of the Mandarin in Iron Man 3. The legitimate claimer to that title, Wenwu, proves a complex foe that confronts the racial problems associated with Shang-Chi’s comic history with prowess in combat possibly without equal. The character is easily one of the best villains in the film franchise and begs for comparisons to previous rogues he now renders feckless or failures.


Loki Asgard Ruins

The aforementioned streaming ventures Marvel Studios successfully rolled out this year include an amazing first season for the god of mischief in Loki. The series portrays the character as more of an antihero, but Loki found favor among fans long before he warranted his own solo adventure. His appearances in the Thor and Avengers films established him as one of the franchise’s best villains – perhaps it’s only one. Until the arrival of others more on his level, Loki was the image that entered into fandom’s heads when thinking of the bad guys of Marvel. With all of this fervor in mind… Wenwu would defeat him. The trickster god is exactly what that title implies: full of tricks yet with no real bite. It’d make for an annoying battle given the various illusions Loki would deploy, but Wenwu would prove too powerful.

9 WOULDN’T: Thanos

Thanos shows off his gauntlet

One man’s pieces of jewelry against another. One human and one Titan made equal in physical strength by Wenwu’s use of the Ten Rings. However, Thanos is able to conquer an entire team of Avengers and remake the galaxy in his own image 14, 000, 604 times, with the one loss a real nail-biter. He has a myriad of methods given the Infinity Stones and is devoid of any real love thanks to his sacrifice of Gamora.

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Put simply, the Mad Titan has less to lose and seemingly more to gain, at least in his own mind. Having Wenwu during the battle in Avengers: Endgame would’ve been a real asset, but a solo duel would only end in Thanos conquering yet another beloved MCU character. A snap would not even be necessary as the Titan proves creatively lethal with the Gauntlet before he takes the brunt of the Blip.

8 WOULD DEFEAT: Killmonger

Killmonger MCU

The tenacity of Erik “Killmonger” Stevens would benefit him tremendously in his fight against Wenwu. Viewers are witness to his inability to embrace defeat during the climactic battle in Black Panther; the man does not lay down until his goal is accomplished. Wenwu would struggle to end the fight quickly, but would eventually come out on top. Killmonger is gifted the enhanced physical attributes of the Black Panther but has no supernatural weapon at his disposal besides the vibranium. Wenwu, lest audiences forget, took down entire armies almost single-handedly and has wisdom beyond the mere decades worth that Killmonger does. The Mandarin may even appreciate the single-minded pursuit that Killmonger engages in: surely he would recognize the warrior’s skill and devotion to his familial legacy.

7 WOULDN’T: Hela

Hela stops Thor's hammer

Being the literal goddess of death, Hela would have an enormous advantage over Wenwu in direct combat. He possesses supernatural longevity as well as his signature Rings, but viewers aren’t entirely clued in as to Hela’s potential.

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An enormous demon was required to destroy her if that’s what it did at all, and the capabilities she displayed on-screen included the halting of otherworldly relics such as her brother Thor’s MJOLNIR. The Ten Rings may be able to compete with the aforementioned hammer but it remains unlikely they’d stand a chance against the god who destroyed it.

6 WOULD DEFEAT: Mysterio

FFH Peter Gives EDITH to Mysterio

Quentin Beck aka Mysterio is a skilled illusionist and special effects artist, but these yield him hardly any skills that would prove useful against Wenwu. Much like Loki, the best Beck can do is avoid the more powerful villain with tricks and hope Wenwu doesn’t catch on. The leader of the Ten Rings is superbly intelligent so it’s likely he’d see through Beck’s deceptions. The Rings would be able to tear through Mysterio’s drones by the handful, leaving the magician without a defense and inept at offense.


Ego is a god… small “g.” Even so, the father of Star-Lord is may prove overwhelming for Wenwu as the latter would not be equipped with the celestial gene. Peter Quill’s harnessing of the planet’s energy left Ego at a severe disadvantage, but Wenwu’s Ten Rings would only serve as blunt instruments lacking a precise target.

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Should the Mandarin uncover Ego’s core, he may have a chance with said blunt instruments, but this endeavor would not have the further advantage of being openly invited into Ego’s good graces… much like the Guardians of the Galaxy were. Too much is stacked against Wenwu for him to overcome, leaving the celestial able to retain his supremacy (for now).


The Vulture’s humanity worked to ensure audiences would identify strongly with the villain, but Adrian Toomes’ reliability proves his downfall in a match-up with Wenwu. It’d be no problem at all for Wenwu to dismantle the technology enabling Toomes’ attack, rendering him nothing but a mere mortal. However, given their respective paternal roles, Wenwu may extend mercy to the likes of the Vulture, but relying on the mercy of one such as the Mandarin is an indication of the dire circumstances one already exists in.

3 WOULDN’T: Ultron

Ultron- How tall is thanos and other MCU characters

Wenwu’s effectiveness against a swarm of technological robots remains in limbo as viewers haven’t gotten to see such a battle. However, the brief glimpses into the Mandarin’s past in Shang-Chi present him easily slaughtering hundreds of enemy combatants with the Ten Rings at his disposal. Ultron’s synthetic armies may only serve to slow Wenwu down, but they may gain the advantage should they manage to overwhelm him. The strategic commands dictated by their leader would certainly factor into the fight, granting Ultron the victory. Also, the synthetic villain has managed to take over Earth on several occasions, lending further credence to his destructive capabilities.

2 WOULD DEFEAT: Aldrich Killian

Aldrich Killian Iron Man 3

A cosmic justice of sorts, Wenwu would dispatch Aldrich Killian in haste. Although Trevor Slattery seems to have escaped the true Mandarin’s grisly judgment, Killian served as the mastermind behind the actor’s entire scheme.

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Wenwu is shown to harbor antagonist feelings towards those who hijacked his influence and power for their own ends, which is exactly what Killian did during the events of Iron Man 3. The fire-breathing thing may prove entertaining, but Wenwu might be even more offended by the appropriation of the dragon symbology. Killian is not getting out of this alive.

1 WOULDN’T: Dormammu


Wenwu is clever enough to imagine a way to victory against Dormammu, much like Stephen Strange did in Doctor Strange. However, the former doesn’t possess the Time Stone. The Mandarin would only manage one “I’ve come to bargain” before being killed by the trans-dimensional villain. No amount of powerful Rings would aid Wenwu against the abstract entity; even Strange had to perish multiple times before the menace would yield. The Mandarin is deadly but perhaps only in the proper setting. His odds against Earthly threats are simple; those against unimaginable enemies, considerably less.

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