Originally Posted by cherokeesam
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And, like I said, those of you who are mad about Mandarin getting nerfed and "INO'ed" in this movie are pretty well justified. But again, Mandarin was never going to work "as is." Not a chance in hell, and Marvel knew it. Not only would you piss off all the Asian-Americans in the audience ---- and pretty much anybody else who'd see a Fu Manchu stereotype as a very bad idea for 21st century Hollywood --- but trying to bring him into a movie that's supposed to be a genuine trailblazer in Hollywood-Chinese film relations? China obviously never would've allowed that.
I'm all for comic book canon and authenticity and all that jazz (probably far moreso than a lot of people even on these boards), but I really can't bring myself to shed a tear over a character like Mandarin getting the INO treatment. In the comic books, he's a character who should've been buried in the dustbin of Bad Ol' Day history many decades ago and forgotten about, and the attempts to modernize his image over the years have only served to pander to new Asian stereotypes instead.
And as for his status as being Tony's "archenemy": that's overblown, too. Fact is, Iron Man has always had one of the crappiest rogues' gallery of any Marvel character, and it's always been an in-joke even with Stan Lee and us die-hard Marvelphiles. Mandarin might have more appearances than any of the other Iron Man enemies, but that's not nearly the same thing as saying he was an iconic Marvel villain. Nobody ever picked Mandarin for "all-star" villain teams like Masters of Evil; he's practically non-existent in Marvel Comics outside the pages of Iron Man titles. Trying to put Mandy in the same boat as truly iconic supervillains as Lex Luthor or Loki or The Joker ain't even close.
If Marvel were in step with what you're saying, why would they include him at all? You're painting a picture of a cartoonish stereotype that can't work in modern times. First of all, I totally agree that early Mandarin was horribly racist. However, if they thought he couldn't be updated, they wouldn't use him. They wouldn't tease his arrival for three movies. If they truly thought that he wasn't the iconic Iron Man enemy, then why go to all that trouble over three films just to set up a third act plot twist
? It doesn't make sense.
I think we can all agree that evil China-man with the fu manchu beard wasn't going to cut it. Strip all that away, though ,and you're left with a villain of Asian decent (could be Indian, Mongolian, Afghan, Chinese...whatever) who has powerful rings that can challenge the likes of Iron Man. That's it. If you can't craft a new image for that villain in modern times, then you have no business making superhero movies.
Parts 1 and 2 of my appearance on The Hodgepodge Podcast
to discuss Thor, The Walking Dead, and all things CBM: