Originally Posted by Ant-manic
yeah but he's all Stark's got. he's the only Iron Man villain with the potential to be on the Red Skull or Loki's level. and ruthlessness shouldn't be an ethnic stereotype. if we're just talking about his look, that can change. nothing says that he has to wear a long flowing robe or a long mustache. he just has to be asian and be someone who could believabl kick Iron Man's rear. maybe he could, phenotypically, look asian but be a mishmash of several conquerors/generals of several cultures (like Serpentor). and you balance it out by having chinese heroes in the movie; alongside Tony.
I think a Chinese villain will be a hard sell in Mainland China no matter what and was created as a Yellow Peril villain, so its been hard for him to completely remove that element from him.
I could get beyond that, if I thought Mandarin was an interesting character, but he isn't. Whenever people here talk about the Mandarin, they always talk about archetypical stuff, his fighting ability or scientific genius, but they never talk deeper character stuff: Why does he want to talk over the world? What kind of moral boundaries does he have if any? Does he have a sense of honor or is he just a pure evil monster? Why is he Iron Man's arch nemesis instead of any other hero out there?
That is the big problem with Mandarin, he has no consistent personality, is it hard for him to be an effective foil for Iron Man. Sometimes he is anti technology and sometimes he isn't, sometimes he has a noble foe with a sense of honor, other times he is a pure evil monster. So what is the Mandarin exactly?
He is such an archetype, that I can make him into a Captain America foe and barely change anything. I find there is no real interesting dynamic between Iron Man and Mandarin and they have been at this for 50 years, you think they could have given their rivalry some sort of depth or emotional resonance.
At least guys like Ra's Al Ghul and Magneto have a consistent ideology they use to justify their quests for world domination, I have no idea what Mandarin's deal is and why he wants to take over the world.
I think Spymaster has managed to hurt Tony more when killed happy Hogan.
The writers really try harder with this guy, he already has a few strikes against him due his dubious origins, so changing his personality story to story is not helping him.