Originally Posted by Senator Pleasury
The very fact that the pre-twist Mandarin was taken so seriously is precisely why the twist was a joke when it shouldn't have been at all.
The Twist wasn't a "joke," it was a statement. About the way we invent boogeymen to justify/hide the truth about the real bad guys (see: Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Muamar Ghadafi, et al.) The Mandarin from the comics was the "joke." Always has been.