Originally Posted by cherokeesam
Yeah, I'm sure there's a helluva lot more context to that brief quote. Because frankly, it's outright stupid: "First lesson: there are no heroes." That's total bull**** and even Mandarin knows it --- there's heroes all around, from the everyday variety to full-blown folk heroes and, of course, superheroes.
So the actual speech probably continues with Mandarin offering some sort of qualifying description of the term: "First lesson: there are no heroes. There are only people who......(fill in the blank)"
The quote isn't ******** from the Mandarin's point of view. The Mandarin seems to be the ultimate anarchist/cynic, one who believes that if you strip away all the trappings of civilization and break a man down to his core, he’ll lose all of the illusory beliefs that go along with the civilized mindset. Beliefs in heroism, in justice, in the ultimate triumph of technology over nature and good over evil, doubtless seem foolhardy to him.
So the Mandarin set out to attack the exemplar of the ascendancy of technology and modernity, humanity’s only knight in shining armor, Tony Stark, in order to prove the rightness of his own philosophy. By destroying Stark and the technological empire he has created, by stripping away the illusion of heroism Stark has built up around himself, Mandarin can teach humanity that there truly are no heroes, only weak and arrogant human beings existing within a fragile civilization that can easily crumble – indeed, a civilization that should
In Iron Man 2, Stark hubristically declared himself the greatest phoenix metaphor of his time. In Iron Man 3, he will have to prove that once again by returning to the metaphorical cave and rebuilding his life once again from the equivalent of a box of scraps. In the end, of course, Tony will prove the Mandarin wrong by once again rising from the ashes of utter defeat to overcome his enemies. Iron Man will prove that in his world there really are
heroes. And that is what it's all about.