A thousand years ago in Ancient China a man named Wenwu found the Ten Rings that gave him great power and stopped his ageing for as long as he was wearing them. He used the Rings to become a warrior-king and forged the Ten Rings into an organization that had for centuries directed the world's history from the shadows. 
While searching for mythical Ta Lo, Wenwu encountered Ying Li. The two fought and Wenwu found himself defeated, with Ying Li's powers negating that of his Rings. However, the two were smitten with each other and Wenwu soon returned with an offering of peace. He and Ying Li fell in love, but were forbidden to stay in her village by its elders, who feared the power of Wenwu's Rings. Instead, Ying Li relocated to his mountain compound, where the two were married, both of them giving up their powers for the family. She soon gave birth to a boy named Shang-Chi, followed by a daughter Xialing just a few years later. For a time the family lived in peace, until one day when Wenwu was away the Iron Gang came to seek vengeance for what he did to them in his previous life. Without her powers Ying Li was eventually overwhelmed and succumbed to her injuries.
Seeking revenge on those who had taken his wife from him, Wenwu took up the Rings again and proceeded to kill off all but the leader of the Iron Gang. Afterwards he began training Shang-Chi to become a ruthless fighter. When Shang-Chi reached 14, Wenwu sent him on a mission to the United States where Wenwu had tracked down the leader of the Iron Gang with the intent of having his son assassinate him. Though Shang-Chi went through with this, it led him to defect and remain in the United States. Six years later, Xialing escaped her father as well.
In 2013 Aldrich Killian and A.I.M. set up a plot to cover up failed Extremis test subjects and to profit off the war on terror. They hired a drug-addicted, narcoleptic actor Trevor Slattery to portray the "Mandarin" as a terrorist figurehead on television. Following the arrest of Slattery for aiding and abetting Killian's crimes, Ten Rings member Jackson Norriss abducted Slattery from the Seagate Prison, for the actor to "meet" the real Mandarin. Slattery was taken to Wenwu and was about to be executed, but impressed his captor with his acting prowess and was kept as prisoner to act as Wenwu's court jester.
Ten years after his son Shang-Chi refused to return to his side, Wenwu began hearing a voice of his late wife, who said to be trapped in Ta Lo and begged him to rescue her from her own people. Wenwu send Ten Rings operatives to retrieve the pendants his wife left their kids, with Razor Fist and four others attacking Shang-Chi and his friend Katy in San Francisco. Later, Death Dealer and others attacked Xialing's Golden Daggers Club Club in Macau, where Shang-Chi and Katy were also present. Shang-Chi overpowered Death Dealer and was about to kill in retribution was his brutal training, but was stopped by Wenwu, who took all three of them captive.
Wenwu took his children and Katy to the Ten Rings compound in China, where Wenwu explained that he had met Ying Li in a mystical realm called Ta-Lo which could only be accessed through a specific path at a specific time of each year, and demonstrated the way that Shang-Chi and Xialing's pendants allowed for the creation of a map which led there. Wenwu explained that he believed his wife was being kept beyond the walls of Ta Lo and away from him because the people who lived in that realm didn't believe he deserved Ying Li and that he had stolen her away from them, but he planned to return there and retrieve her while burning the village to the ground. When Shang-Chi, Katy, and Xialing expressed their disbelief and disagreement with that idea, Wenwu imprisoned the three. However they came across Trevor Slattery and, along with him, managed to escape the cave where they were held and made their way down to the garage, where they stole Razor Fist's car and used Morris, a friendly dijiang from Ta Lo who had been captured by Wenwu, to guide themselves through the perilous shifting bamboo maze to get to Ta-Lo. Wenwu refused to pursue him, believing that his children would come home with their mother returned to them.
On the one day of the year on which the path was opened, the Ten Rings followed, and Wenwu arrived in Ta Lo with his cohorts. Shang-Chi confronted him, trying to explain to his father the truth of the matter, but Wenwu refused to listen and fought his son to a standstill with the Rings before blasting him into the lake and moving on to the colossal wall. While in the lake, Shang-Chi met the Great Protector, which brought him back to the surface and allowed him to confront his father again as he tried to break down the wall, which had already successfully released a few of the Soul-Eaters. Shang-Chi battled his father, gaining control of the Rings but refusing to use them against his father. When Dweller-in-Darkness broke through, Wenwu realized what he was actually doing, though it was too late. Knowing what had to be done, Wenwu bestowed the Rings upon his son and allowed the Dweller to consume his soul to ensure that Shang-Chi could get clear of it.
Powers and Abilities
- Advanced Longevity while wearing the Ten Rings
- Ten Rings: Ten bracelets that give Wenwu enhanced strength and longevity, emit concussive energy blasts, and can be telepathically controlled as projectiles.
- Tony Leung portrays Xu Wenwu in the film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
- The Mandarin becomes Shang-Chi's father in the MCU since Fu Manchu is unavailable to Marvel to use for the films.
- The Mandarin was considered to appear in Marvel's The Avengers in the post-credits scene as a tease for the Chinese market, but Beijing's development team shot down the idea as they didn't want the first Chinese character of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to be a villain.
- 2 appearance(s) of Xu Wenwu (Earth-199999)
- 1 mentions of Xu Wenwu (Earth-199999)
- 12 image(s) of Xu Wenwu (Earth-199999)