Originally Posted by Kurosawa
If the director thinks Iron Man's greatest enemy is a "racist characture", then he doesn't need to use the Mandarin-and he also basically called Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Don Heck racists.
There's blatant racism, and there's latent racism. Lee and Kirby were definitely not blatantly racist, and far from it; but their early 60s approach to ethnic stereotypes was definitely latent. Asians were always of the Yellow Peril variety; Russians were always of the Red Scare variety; etc.
The 70s brought a different version of latent racism, too: exploitation. In order to make up for the stereotyping of the previous decades/centuries, Marvel (like Hollywood) swung the pendulum to the other extreme and turned to blaxploitation, chop-sockey Asians, and Native American pseudo-mysticism.
Regardless of how Mandarin has been presented over the decades, it's always been as an ethnic stereotype: Fu Manchu yellow peril, kung fu mystic, or modern Asian crime boss. He's an offensive stereotype, period --- always has been, always will be.