Re: Ben Kingsley is The Mandarin!
I like to think that the Mandarin's name has now become symbolic for how he sees his position in the new Empire that AIM (actually the remnants of Hydra) intends to form... AIM views him a different way and gives him that name.
I see this Mandarin as an Emperor. Not a businessman or wielder of alien rings. He acted like Genghis Khan and secured every new technology he could find during his business conquests. He uses devious tactics like infiltrating enemy strongholds and attacking from within while expanding, conquering, and annexing. He acts like a leader of an expansive Empire--like his ancestor Genghis Khan. Although this Mandarin also claims descent from Egyptian pharaohs and has a varied ancestry. There's a little bit of a genetic superiority angle to him, but only because he AIMs to outdo all of the old masters he claims lineage to.
He claims that he's related to many rulers of past empires that failed--the old "masters of evil" he calls them. Who lacked proper vision or overextended themselves without securing power. He includes Red Skull in this assessment of failed "Empires", which sets up an interesting dynamic between the two should Skull ever return... His genetic ancestry is interesting to Sterns when he returns. He claims descent from a number of rulers, some from obscure past Empires/kingdoms/dictatorships etc. Also claiming that somewhere along the way his family mixed with Alexander the Great's bloodline...
He views himself as a Mandarin only in the way that it relates to his title/position in AIM/Ultron's future Empire, which he will eventually become Emperor of.
(in the Chinese Empire) a member of any of the nine ranks of public officials, each distinguished by a particular kind of button worn on the cap.
He's not a terrorist--he's the figurehead, mouthpiece, and manipulator all at once. A soldier in the battles. "Politicians hide themselves away". He acts as a leader, a mouthpiece, a politician & a figurehead, but he also fights in the battles he starts & controls a massive amount of power/technology. He understands that politics are only one avenue of control and can be used as a weapon. There are no heroes...only soldiers. Soldiers acquired power, Mandarin doesn't believe their true power comes from within... He intends to exploit weaknesses and infiltrate from within. Soldiers are only weapons of the leaders. That goes for Stark and Cap. The leaders are to blame... Shield is to blame, but soldiers are how you win battles and need to be eliminated. Some soldiers, like Taggert, can even be turned against their own country. Again, attacking from within. He's an aggressive and expansive Emperor as well as an active part of the battle at times like Genghis Khan. The problem is that AIM views him as a figurehead Emperor--which is unlike his ancestor(s). He sees himself as the Emperor, they see him as the Emperor without clothes on, a Mandarin, a member & not the leader. That's their mistake.
The Emperor's choice of garb is strange, though like many cultural symbols it's expressing something. The clothes tell a story too. Mandarin is even making it appear to his men that he controls less than he does... The Emperor's clothes are there, strange as they might be, and the choice of clothing/expression is deliberate in this case. There's a propaganda element to his leadership. He lies and tells the truth at the same time... He uses politician-like double speak and manipulates differently than Loki. Loki manipulates and tricks. How you express things dictates how your message/lesson is received. He works like an experienced deceptive leader. Mandarin truly leads and deceives, gets the news on his side unknowingly. Genghis Khan was always on the lookout for spies, controlled his own expansive spy networks, and killed off those who would betray him. Mandarin still found the rings but he read and understood their symbols/inscriptions as teachings about how to build an unstoppable Empire. As a former archaeologist he understands a lot about many different cultures and takes inspiration from many events of the past. He holds views about Atlantis that are different from most archaeologists. Mocked by AIM because of this... which adds humor to the Mandarin indirectly, where there would be virtually none. We know Atlantis exists in Marvel which makes some of his lessons funny, though those around don't know what he's talking about and it's funny that way too... AIM thinks Mandi is just some fanatic leader who looks like a terrorist and knows how to talk. Good for appearances when they shoot their videos Osama style. It's funny that Mandarin is half-right and acts as an Oracle when he says that soon technology will even allow us to find Atlantis. Some of AIM think they have Mandi on a leash. Shield already knows Atlantis exists. So he's right that Shield is hiding things. He claims lineage to many cultures/Empires. He has his own views on the past. Knows all about Shield, Captain America & Red Skull as someone interested in digging things up from the past. Has powerful allies hidden in the wings...
Last edited by LokiDionysos; 12-29-2012 at 08:16 AM.