On Thursday, I’m gonna tell you about how Iron Man 3 should handle what will inevitably be its main villain: The Mandarin.

But before that happens, I need you to understand why, despite his being inextricably tied to Iron Man in terms of “arch-nemesis,” there are some very, VERY good reasons they didn’t use him in the first two movies*.

With that, I present:


1) “Every last bit of the family fortune was spent obsessively training the Mandarin in science and combat, with the result that he was completely broke upon reaching adulthood. Unable to pay the taxes on his ancestral home, The Mandarin was evicted by the [Chinese] government.”

2) “Some time later, the Mandarin discovered that one of his rings was an elaborate fake. One of his underlings had betrayed him, surrendering the ring to Chen Hsu, an ancient wizard who lived in San Francisco. Hsu, elfin in appearance but puissant in power, gave up the ring to the Mandarin, who, however, collapsed as soon as he put it on.”

3) “It was revealed that, many thousands of years ago, a number of aliens from the planet Kakaranathara, fourth planet of the star Maklu, had traveled to Earth to look for the conflict which was unknown in their culture and which they craved. The ship had crashed, forcing them to stay on Earth for thousands of years. Then, the Mandarin had found the ship and had claimed their rings. Now, they demanded them back, but he refused them. Iron Man forcibly combined his power with the rings, and managed to destroy the Makluan dragons. The Mandarin survived in a coma state, but his hands were vaporized in the blast.”

4) “For months, he lay in a state between life and death, in the care of a peasant woman who did not even know who he was. Over time, his hands grew back – albeit as reptilian claws – and the rings called to him again – called him to reclaim them.”

5) “Iron Man infected Mandarin with a techno-organic virus, and the Heart, seeing him infected with technology, rejected the Mandarin and imploded. Iron Man believed him dead, though in reality the Mandarin is transported and transformed by the last flare of the orb’s magic, turned into a janitor in the Hong Kong branch of Stark Enterprises”

6) “He has also been living with no food or water for years. His ability to survive so long without food or water is likely due to his mastery of chi. Despite being handless and starved, he was able to kill several men armed with guns via his mastery of the martial arts.”

Keep in mind: These are the HIGH points of the character’s career. The ones worth noting on Wikipedia. Just imagine which stories were left off the page.

I’ll be back on Thursday to explain how the character can still be salvaged.

*And YES, I know about the whole “Ten Rings” thing from IM1. That was a fine idea. We will be talking about that too.

  1. Jefferson Robbins says:

    Oh jeez … well, if you look at the Wiki breakdown of any serial fiction character, of COURSE it becomes absolutely ridiculous. This is one of Wikipedia’s many crimes. But that’s no judgment on your work still to come.

  2. Jeff Holland says:

    Oh, no argument, Jefferson. Go read the entry on Daredevil supporting character Karen Page. It is downright SCHIZOPHRENIC. That is what happens when you are written by Stan Lee and then Frank Miller and then Karl Kesel and then Kevin Smith. It HURTS YOU.

    That said: These were the stories worth noting on Wikipedia. I’m not sure I’d like to read a Mandarin story that was too down to earth for it to be mentioned.

  3. braak says:

    I don’t even think that this is the most insane part of the Mandarin’s character.

    I think the most insane part is that he is an evil chinaman with ten magic rings that are actually alien super-weapons built by ancient space-faring Godzillas.

  4. Jeff Holland says:

    God, Iron Man 3 would be so great if they’d just use Fin Fang Foom.

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