Originally Posted by Norek
That was my point earlier - people citing prequel comics, external sources, featurettes and interviews with directors as a proof to something that happened in the movie. I don't care if it's considered canon, these comics should not be necessary to understand important plot points and tie loose ends that aren't addressed in the movies.
As it stands, there's no definitive proof that Mandarillian has any affiliation with the Ten Rings organization from IM1. He never implies or refers to that in the movie, for all we know, he could've just adopted their looks and name in order to make his farce going. Since Trevor is just an actor, and it's all fake, it is certainly possible that he has nothing to do with what Stane and Raza did in IM1. There's enough stuff in the movies alone that's ambiguous and allows for different interpretations.
I've yet to see someone bring a definitive proof FROM THE MOVIES that the Ten Rings organization as we see it in IM3 is not an adopted thing to complement a farce (as the Trevor Mandarin), and exist, and is a creation by Killian that's real, and he was pulling the strings ever since IM1 and was watching from the shadows as Tony built the Mark 1 in the cave, and later when Stane got everyone shot.
I'm not asking for prequel comic references or director quotes, I'm asking for a solid proof from the movies.
For once, I'm in agreement with Norek.
Yeah, it's *possible* that Shane's intent was for Killian's Mandarin persona to have developed as far back as IM1, but until he or Feige or Favreau or RDJ says so specifically, I think that proponents of that concept are just using circumstantial evidence at this point.
Yeah, the IM3 prequel comic shows Killian definitely running Ten Rings hands-on today (2013), but that comic gives no indication about how long he's been there, or even when "The Mandarin" (in any form) became their big boss. And as Spider-Fan says, the Feige quote about "coming out of the shadows" is most likely in reference to the evolution of the character *within* IM3, not spread out over the course of three and a half movies.
To me, Killian pulling the strings on IM1 and IM2 just doesn't make sense. There's nothing in IM3 that suggests that Killian is motivated by revenge or hatred against Tony Stark. Yeah, Tony dumped him on that fateful night in 1999, but Killian's emotional arc basically went from self-
loathing (despairing that he was never going to amount to anything, that no one was ever going to listen to his brilliance, that he was always going to be a physical and emotional cripple) to a life-changing event when Maya Hansen introduced him to Extremis.
It's hard to know what Killian was up to in 2008 and 2010, and how far along the scheme had gotten by then, but it's even harder to believe that a man whose life had turned around completely and had become enormously successful would feel the need to act on a grudge against a snub that was almost a decade in his past.
The simpler and more logical explanation is that Killian never really thought he would cross paths with Tony Stark again after 1999, and was content with knowing that he had turned his life around for the better. An alliance with Ten Rings came about merely as a need to create a cover story for the accidental test-subject explosions. We don't know *exactly* when that alliance or the explosions started happening, but IM3 tends to indicate that it's a fairly recent development, not something that's been going on since 2008.