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Shang-Chi: who is Abomination?

The Hulk's old foe makes an appearance in Shang-Chi but who is the Abomination?

The abomination in The Incredible Hulk

The second trailer for Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings revealed a whole host of new and old faces returning for the Marvel action movie. We got our first glimpse at the dragon Fin Fang Foom, Wong made a blink and you’ll miss it cameo, but the biggest revelation was the return of Abomination, one of the Hulk’s old enemies.

But who is Abomination? You’d be forgiven for forgetting as he’s not made much of an impression over the years. He’s only appeared in one Marvel Cinematic Universe movie so far, and that was over a decade ago, in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk. Thankfully, you’ve come to the right place for more information. We here at The Digital Fix have read all SHIELD’s records, checked the World Security Council’s files, and been through the Marvel movies with a fine-tooth comb to break down exactly who the Abomination is.

So, grab your radiation suit and get ready for a dose of gamma infused knowledge – here’s our breakdown of exactly who this warped fusion of super-soldier and Hulk really is.

Who is Abomination in the MCU?

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In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Abomination is Captain Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth). First introduced in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, directed by Louis Leterrier, Blonsky was tasked by General Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt) with hunting down and capturing Bruce Banner (Ed Norton), aka the Hulk, so they could dissect him and weaponise his powers.

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Unfortunately for Blonsky, as good a soldier as he was, he proved no match for the gamma-powered Hulk, and he became enamoured with the idea of becoming as strong as the jolly green giant. Ross gave Blonsky an imperfect variant of the Super Soldier Serum to try and even the playing field, which gave him increased strength, speed, and endurance.

It wasn’t enough for Blonsky, though, who, after another embarrassing battle with the Hulk, forced Samuel Sterns (Tim Blake Nelson) to perform a blood transfusion using Banner’s gamma-irradiated blood. The resulting mix of Banner’s blood and the wonky super-soldier serum caused Blonsky to mutate into a twisted parody of man and hulk, a living abomination that tore through New York.

While it first seemed that Abomination was mindless, it was revealed during his battle with The Hulk that Blonsky retained all his faculties while transformed and that he was simply revelling in his new power. The Hulk and Abomination seemed evenly matched at first, but eventually, the Hulk triumphed and Abomination was imprisoned.

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After the events of The Incredible Hulk, Abomination disappeared from our screens, held in cryo-sleep somewhere in Alaska. The Marvel One-Shot: The Consultant, released with the Thor Blu-Ray, revealed that the World Security Council planned on making the Abomination an Avenger, but those plans were shelved thanks to Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr).

What are Abomination’s powers?

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Abomination has incredible speed, strength and endurance, all of which are around the same level as the Hulk. During the battle in New York, he was capable of throwing cars like they were made of paper and going toe-to-toe with the Hulk in a one on one.

He also has a powerful healing factor that allows him to heal from injuries extremely quickly. His unique ability is to create extremely sharp spikes capable of piercing even the Hulk’s skin. Unlike the Hulk, though, Blonsky retains his mind while transformed and is therefore capable of fighting in a much more strategic way than Bruce ever could.

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Unfortunately for Blonsky, while he’s a powerful combatant, his transformation has two downsides. The first is that, unlike Bruce, he’s incapable of returning to his normal human form (not that he’s that bothered about it). Secondly, his strength doesn’t increase as he gets angrier, which puts him at a disadvantage in longer fights.

Why is Abomination in Shang-Chi?

The Abomination fights Wong

In the new trailer for Shang-Chi we see that Abomination has escaped (or been freed) and he appears to have joined some sort of underground fight club (but don’t tell anyone). The trailer definitely teases that he’ll be fighting Shang-Chi (although we only see him fighting Doctor Strange’s mate Wong in the trailer), and we imagine that fight won’t go too well for poor Blonsky, who’s no doubt being used to show off the strength and skill of the Marvel martial artist.

Interestingly it seems Blonsky’s had a bit of a glow-up over the last decade. He’s less of a hulking mass of twisted flesh and instead has the lizard-like appearance of his comic book counterpart, he’s even got his iconic pointy ears.

Starring Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings sees the mighty martial artist confront the past he thought he left behind when he is drawn into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organisation. The film is directed by Destin Daniel Crettin also stars Tony Leung as Wenwu, the Mandarian and Shang-Chi’s father, Awkwafina as Shang-Chi’s friend Katy, and Michelle Yeoh as Jiang Nan.

Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings opens in cinemas on September 3.