Originally Posted by MichaelChen
Disagree. The Mandarin's powers are that he is a brilliant schemer, mad scientist, and superhuman martial artist.
The rings are not his powers, and in fact they are kind of shark-jump-prone, even in the comics. They are kind of like venom for Bane. Bane started out as this genius strategist(could beat Ra's Al Ghul at Chess), martial artist, and athlete. Venom was just a tool that boosted him from having almost superhuman strength to slightly superhuman strength. Venom was nice, it was nifty, but it was way less than 10% of what made Bane dangerous. Yet later writers made Bane into the Hulk, a ****tard who completely revolved around venom. Bane jumped the shark because of writers focusing too much on venom.
The rings are a lot like that. You look in early stories, and the rings kind of suck. The most impressive thing they can do is kind of parlor tricks like create a bunch of illusions of Mandarin, which Mandarin uses as a distraction to karate-chop Iron Man because Iron Man doesn't know who to dodge. The karate-chop is the bread-n-butter of his personal attacks. And scheming and mad science are what he's about more than personal attacks anyway.
In fact, I'd note that what both Mandarin and Bane share is that serious portrayals of them dropped the most shark-jump-prone weapon in their arsenal. Movie Bane has no venom, so his strategy, martial-arts, and athleticism get to shine through. Movie Mandarin has no rings, so his scheming, mad science, and superhuman martial arts abilities shine through.
Does Mandarin also have the talents you mentioned? Yes. Is he most famous for his ten rings? Yes. The rings are a definitive power/weapon of the Mandarin. There are loads of brilliant schemers, mad scientists, and superhuman martial artists in the comics, but the Mandarin is the only guy with the ten rings.
For example, I could ask you who comes to mind when I say brilliant schemer and you could say a lot of characters. Same goes for Mad scientist and superhuman martial artist.
But when I say ten rings, you immediately think of the Mandarin. I'm not saying his ten rings define his character
, I'm saying that are they are synonymous when I think of the Mandarin. Reason being is he's the only character to have ten rings of power like that.