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Old 05-28-2016, 10:54 PM   #51
The Overlord
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Default Re: Best Actors Worthy to play the "Real" Mandarin in Iron Man 4

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Originally Posted by 2002SpideyFan View Post
He's not that kind of a character. He has surrounded himself in an ancient Chinese aesthetic, which illustrates through his flagrant clothes and his environment, but that only gives him more individual characteristics. If you don't like that, there's always his businessman persona, which doesn't wear robes or headdresses of Chinese emperors. As for his outlook, his outlook revolves around his life mission of the complete subjugation of all existing authoritative /social /political layers because he is againt political environmentalism, because he was oppressed by the government in a past, which took away his pride and patrimony, so he declared war against them. I find it interesting and I think it contrasts quite well with what Iron Man represents.
With all this talk about Mandarin being a savage barbarian, its easy to see Mandarin representation Eastern "backwards superstition", while Iron Man presents "Western technological enlightenment ". Plus sometimes Mandarin is presented as just some scum bag who intentionally let his fiefdom go to waste, so he can spend his money himself and his schemes to develop his own body and kills, which removes any sympathetic origins he could have had and Mandarin rebelling against governments would fit in into the Asian barbarism, terrorist stereotype I mentioned before. That may not be their intention, but it seems like subtext that has been there since the beginning and the Mandarin has never really gotten rid of it, it makes Mandarin seem like a dated character from a bygone era, rather then anything relevant to modern day China US relations.

I also think the business man Mandarin is not much better, it seems like something that stokes xenophobic fears of "dishonest" Chinese business men who rig the world economy and steal American jobs, it really just makes the character more of a modern stereotype,
rather then one from the 30s.

The problem is Stan Lee created the Mandarin as a stereotypical Asian villain and that is part of the character's DNA, no matter how much future writers try to downplay that, that will always be part of the character. Really "The Mandarin" is the most stereotypical name you could give a Chinese villain.

Plus I think you are forgetting that China will soon be the biggest film market in the world and the mandarin is going to be a hard sell to that market, Marvel will not endanger access to that market just because some fanboys want to see Iron Man fight his usual archetypal nemesis, the world has changed since the 60s and Mandarin is just one of those villains that has been unable to change with it, that is why he has never been completely, successfully modernized as a character.

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Originally Posted by 2002SpideyFan View Post
He's been written as a compelling character quite a few times. And his characterization is wildly true to the character. It never was fundamentally changed when it would be inconsistent with the character. There are some variations that make emphasis more on his megalomania, and there are some that portray him as a more subtle, profound character with strong ideological outlook. But he's been a consistent character. John Byrne's Iron Man run, Hands of the Mandarin, Enter the Mandarin, Knauf's Iron Man run, maybe even some Fraction's stuff have a compelling Mandarin in it. But I think that the most compelling Mandarin was in John Byrne's run, since there he felt more like a human rather than an archetypal villain.



I think that problem was only present during the first encounters of Iron Man and the Mandarin. Writers back then weren't trying to be subtle or profound when it comes to the logical reasoning behind the villain and the hero. Even so, I think at first Mandarin and Iron Man were supposed to be an emblematic reflections of our society and political environment of the 60's. Iron Man was a rich democrat who used his resources and knowledge to help people and to make world a better place. He worked very close with the government and was a part of the industrial complex. Mandarin was an insurrectionist that believed in individual supremacy and rational individuality, who used all his resources and knowledge only to annihilate all the political/social/economical layers in order to subjugate authority and power from everyone who has it, thus making himself the only prevailing authority that there is. He was oppressed by the corrupt government, which took away his patrimony and dignity, so he antagonized the government as his prior target, and he tries to destroy political environmentalism and oppress the authorities. It's sort of like with the Joker and Batman. Order and logic versus chaos and irrationality. Though, Iron Man and Mandarin both are rationalists and idealists.
Except each writer did give a wildly different take on the character, Knauf wrote him as Ra's Al Ghul, believing that sacrificing most of the human race (him included) to improve a small percentage of humanity was necessary for the betterment of the human race, Fraction wrote him as Kim Jong Un, a boorish deluded bully who wants to destroy humanity for the giggles, Byrne wrote him a wizard who relies more on his rings then before and all of these takes don't mesh with the cliche written character he was back in the Silver Age.

I don't think I have gotten a good answer as to why he wants to take over the world, cause WW3 or do whatever he is doing this week, because it always changes, he goes from ideology to ideology, sometimes he is an evil ring obsessed wizard, sometimes he is another evil business man, sometimes he has an anti tech philosophy and sometimes he is tech obsessed mad scientist, I have no idea what his deal is.

Is he just an evil psychopath or does he have redeeming qualities, I don't know, because the writers write him as a well intentioned extremists in one story and a pure evil psychopath the next. He is more of an archetype then a character and he is not a good foil for Tony, because his personality changes all the time.

Its hard to argue that Mandarin is well defined character, when practically every adaption into other media writes him as a different character (Iron Man TAS wrote him as a white guy who got green skin after coming into contact with the rings, armored Adventures wrote him as an angry teen who wanted to avenge his mother, the Iron Man animated DTV turned him into Sauron from LOTR and we know what Iron Man 3 did, none of those seem like the same character, Joker and Mangeto never had this level of adaption change when translated to other media).

Other villains do not have such radically different takes on the same character in terms of adaptions.

Because Mandarin's origins as a racial stereotype, the writers try different things to get away from that and thus he becomes a different character each time he appears, he is forever tied to his unfortunate origins, he can never move past them and grow as a character, his over the top name is a reminder of those origins.

I think Mandarin was a flawed character from the beginning and is only considered Iron Man's arch enemy, because he was less lame (but more offensive) then most Iron Man's Silver Age enemies and due to archetypal reasons, because he is some over the top kung fu wizard, but those archetypal aspects hold him back as a character and tie him to his unfortunate past.

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Originally Posted by 2002SpideyFan View Post
But if you need less convoluted/metaphorical explanation, I think John Byrne gave the definitive answer as to why the Mandarin is Iron Man's arch-enemy. He wrote a two-part story in which he re-contextualized the origin of both Iron Man and the Mandarin, thus making the Mandarin the one who or
ganized captivity of Tony Stark and Yinsen in south Asian, thus he figuratively created his own enemy.
Shoe horning him into Iron Man's origin doesn't instantly make him compelling, what has he actually done to Tony Stark with any consequences, that is more imaginative ten simply shoe horning him into an existing story? it seems like Obadiah Stane and his son have done more to Tony in the comics. This also doesn't make Mandarin more compelling, it just makes his origin more convoluted.


Last edited by The Overlord; 05-29-2016 at 12:59 AM.
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Old 05-29-2016, 04:35 PM   #52
2002SpideyFan
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Default Re: Best Actors Worthy to play the "Real" Mandarin in Iron Man 4

Your first synopsis of his origin is not true to what was established in the comics. Have you actually read his origin? His origin not about him betraying something and then simply being obsessed with materialistic agenda, etc. It’s an opposite, and It’s actually very profound and emblematic. Mandarin was raised by a misanthropic and selfish aunt that inserted cynicism and antagonism into him. She raised him with a believe that he is entitled to subjugate ascendancy from everyone, thus becoming the only true ruler of all. Then he was oppressed by the ignorant government of his homeland and was deprived from his patrimony and legacy. So that's what led to his strong anti-governmental attitude, which will become a definitive motivation for his character for years. One of the most important things that some people seems to miss about Mandarin's origin, simply because they only see an origin about spaceship and power rings, is that it's an emblematic reflection of the political environment of the Chinese Communist Revolution. After China was taken by the ideology of communism, many noble and highborn figures were oppressed by the communist government. You can see that parallel in Bernardo Bertolucci's Last Emperor, which is probably the closet origin of the Mandarin that we'll ever see on film. Same premise, though, it's a biographical film. A highborn child that was raised isolated, is inserted with a believe that he is entitled for great deeds, but when political environment of his homeland changes, he gets oppressed by the government. All his wealth and legacy is taken, and now he's just a vagrant with no nobility and legacy. His origin is all about the escalation of yourself and your ideals. About unapologetic anarchism towards any social/political/legislative layer. It has nothing to do with terrorism, though, it is similiar, but, unlike straightforward terrorism, it’s more subtle and diversified.

And, as I said, Mandarin isn’t a barbarian nor a terrorist. His whole agenda is based on his desire to re-govern China back into its pre-communist state. Because, as I said, after the Communist Revolution, he lost his nobility and patrimony. It’s a mash-up of anarchism and feudalism. He wants through anarchistic/rebellious methods change the geopolitical state of the world, and then he wants to manufacture his own system of society based on Epistemology of the east. And Mandarin isn't from 30's, as you've said. He was created in 1964. Just to clear things up for you.

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The problem is Stan Lee created the Mandarin as a stereotypical Asian villain and that is part of the character's DNA, no matter how much future writers try to downplay that, that will always be part of the character. Really "The Mandarin" is the most stereotypical name you could give a Chinese villain.
He was created at the times when America was in cold war with China. He was an indirect response to the times when he was created, but he was not an ultimate personification of those times, to the point when he has no personality and he simply embodies those old xenophobic fears. Kinda like Hulk was a response to fears about nuclear war, Iron Man was response to industrial complex. They were responses to those periods of time but their characters weren't embodiment of those fears. He was not the personification of xenophobia, unlike characters like Red Barbarian (early Iron Man villain) or Yellow Claw (an actual racist stereotype that has no redeeming qualities). Note that fact that many fans are clamoring for a Luke Cage series, despite that characters VERY stereotypical nature. In fact, many elements of Cage are borderline carictures, namely his "quest for white booty", noted by the fact that all of the women that he has been written as having had pre-marital sex with were white. Nevertheless, despite those things, the character still remains relevant and has following from the fans. Dr. Doom, Red Skull, Magneto aren’t subtle names as well. Stan Lee needed a name to a Chinese character, so he found that the Mandarin was a status of Chinese bureaucrats during imperial China. The name doesn’t have offensive nature behind itself, since it refers to something that actually existed. It is generic, but nothing offensive. “Yellow Claw”, “Egg Fu”, “The Claw”, those are the actual stereotypical names.

I don’t know what the rules of the Chinese movie-market has to do with this topic anyway. We were discussing the character himself and not the sensitivity of the Chinese censorship. And, to be fair, Chinese censorship, just like any censorship, (ironically) can go f*** itself. I have nothing against Chinese, since, as I've said on other topic, I'm a fan of their culture and their art, but their censorship is hypocritical and double standard. They say that they will not approve western films with an Asian bad guys because it's racist (because, apparently, comic book villains can either be Caucasian or middle-eastern), yet they approve racist trash of their own like Breakup Guru, which has a scene where an Asian guy is painted all in black, pretending to be aborigine. And that sh#t was officially released in China, and it’s a movie from 2015.



Yes, this is Asian guy painted all in black to look like black man.

So don’t defend Chinese censorship here, please, since it’s worse than defending Trump.

Many (ignorant) people like you believe that The Mandarin's motivation is a yellow peril-esque, "Oh, I kirr thee dumb white man and wape his Pepper. Then me go over to DC u-nee-vewse and team up wif Egg Fu." No.....god, no. The Mandarin's premise is complete and total untapped potential, and would have absolutely worked in story since Marvel Studios seemed content with getting in bed with China faster than a cheap ho wanting gas money. The Mandarin despises Communist China and wishes to regovern the country back into its pre-communist government and culture. This is why he dresses in the Feudal garb, from the long robe to the armor that he wears sometimes to fight Iron Man in sometimes. Thus, China would actually be seen in a benign manner, with Iron Man helping them take out this threat. This is also the basic plot of when Mandarin first appeared in the comics, in which China asked for Iron Man's help in trying to take this guy out. This ain't rocket science, Shane Black.

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Except each writer did give a wildly different take on the character, Knauf wrote him as Ra's Al Ghul, believing that sacrificing most of the human race (him included) to improve a small percentage of humanity was necessary for the betterment of the human race, Fraction wrote him as Kim Jong Un, a boorish deluded bully who wants to destroy humanity for the giggles, Byrne wrote him a wizard who relies more on his rings then before and all of these takes don't mesh with the cliche written character he was back in the Silver Age.
Except, not really. The entire Silver Age he was written as a anarchist who tries to cause geopolitical destabilization of the world in order to re-conceptualize the society as it is after all the nations will turn on each other. The only major differences were about HOW he's going to destabilize the world, but not about WHY. He's never been a wizard. He only had sorcerer esque traits because he was using the abstruse knowledge of the east, combining them with the technological knowledge of the west. It's how he created Ultimo in a first place. John Byrne’s take on the character didn’t changed him for a one bit. It mixed the peculiarity of the mystical elements with the scientific one, which was always the case with Mandarin’s powers, since they’re so ambivalent that they seem at first as magic. What makes John Byrne’s take so complex and definitive, is the fact that he exemplified all the key qualities and traits of the character that were always written in him, but were never fully exteriorized. How Mandarin can be a Ra’s Al Ghul type character if Mandarin came before Ra’s Al Ghul, and this whole "paradigm" of reshaping the world as it is was originally Mandarin's thing. Knauf didn’t wrote anything significantly new about the Mandarin. They didn’t created the new character. The simply took his essential characteristics from the past, and simply re-conceptualized them. They simply asked, what if the Mandarin was so corrupted by his paradigm and philosophy that it would overshadowed his life? Basically, what if his ideals were bigger than him. That is a new take on the character that still manages to be reminiscent to everything that was established earlier. Your basic point is that you’re presenting the fact that each time he uses different methods to achieve his goals as the example of his inconsistency as a character. His goals were always about those things I've mentioned. The only thing that was changing was the methodology and beliegerence of his actions, but the paradigm behind those actions is always consistent. It’s always been philosophy of social Darwinism, individual supremacy, rational individuality, and superintendence. The fact that you’re criticizing the fact that the character each time tries to take over the world with different methods is laughable. That’s the thing with the comics, isn’t it? That the writers come out with the different approaches when they are writing different characters.

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I don't think I have gotten a good answer as to why he wants to take over the world, cause WW3 or do whatever he is doing this week
Because he is an emblematic exemplification of such things as social Darwinism, individual supremacy, philosophy of rational individuality, and Epistemological views of the east, and he believes that the governments and authorities represent the decadence of society and world, so he desires to in order to reorganize himself as the only authority and wishes to re-conceptualize the world under his own paradigm. It’s not about the fact that he wants destroy the world for the sake of it. It’s the fact that he sees that as one of the options that’ll allow hypostatize his philosophical and theological desires.

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Is he just an evil psychopath or does he have redeeming qualities, I don't know, because the writers write him as a well intentioned extremists in one story and a pure evil psychopath the next. He is more of an archetype then a character and he is not a good foil for Tony, because his personality changes all the time.
Mandarin was always a consistent character with a consistent personification and clear attitude. His main characteristics were always the same. He is an √úbermensch-supremacist that wants to clean up world through methods of social Darwinism, and he has very strong anti-governmental attitude. Silver Age Mandarin wanted to sabotage all the nations of the world, thus provoking World War 3, so he can then built his own world on the remains of our world. Every new writer that worked with the character kept that concept in every incarnation. Mike Friedrich's Mandarin was like that, Bill Mantlo’s Mandarin was like that, Denny O’Neil’s Mandarin was like that, John Byrne’ Mandarin was like that (which is the best and the most definitive incarnation of the Mandarin), Len Kaminski’s Mandarin was like that, and Knaufs’s Mandarin was an epitome of social Darwinism. The reason why he’s a good foe for Tony Stark is because they’re an emblematical exemplifications of different philosophies and methods, which makes them work as an opposite sides to each other, instead of simply being driven by personal agenda against each other. Their conflict is both metaphorical and literal.

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Its hard to argue that Mandarin is well defined character, when practically every adaption into other media writes him as a different character (Iron Man TAS wrote him as a white guy who got green skin after coming into contact with the rings, armored Adventures wrote him as an angry teen who wanted to avenge his mother, the Iron Man animated DTV turned him into Sauron from LOTR and we know what Iron Man 3 did, none of those seem like the same character, Joker and Mangeto never had this level of adaption change when translated to other media).
Characters are defined not by how they are represented in media, since media often changes many essential elements from the source material in order to tone down some of the things and make them less convoluted. That is not an argument. Spider-Man TAS changed the origin of the black suit. X-Men TAS changed so much stuff from the comics that I can’t even count. In 90’s animated show he wasn’t white. He was clearly an Asian. But his origin was changed from the elite nobleman to an archaeologist. As for his “green look’’, I’m not a fan of that also. But it has nothing to do with the fact that makers simply wanted to change the Mandarin. It was a common thing back then. He was “greenwashed” as bunch of others Asian esque villains, like Ming the Merciless and Dr. No.

Armored Adventures? That whole show retconned Iron Man’s history completely, barely making any connection to the comics, but the only change that you noticed in that show was the Mandarin?

“Joker and Mangeto never had this level of adaption change when translated to other media).” – you mean like the Joker from 2004 Batman animated series, when he was turned into some acrobatic harlequin (no poun intended)?

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Because Mandarin's origins as a racial stereotype, the writers try different things to get away from that and thus he becomes a different character each time he appears, he is forever tied to his unfortunate origins, he can never move past them and grow as a character, his over the top name is a reminder of those origins.
So it means that the characters like Luke Cage also can’t escape their stereotypical nature, so he is also bonded to that part of his origin and can’t escape it? Or, wait, it’s not true, since Luke Cage is now a very popular character among Marvel fans, and now he is getting his own show on Netflix. Wait, but wasn’t that guy a superb racist stereotype back in the 70’s? I would also say that his name is stereotypical, since “Cage” is a synonym to “Jail”. And as we know from stereotypes, black people always ended up in Jail. Which’s even more racist, considering the fact that Luke Cage got his superpowers in a JAIL. And, what is also racist, unlike vast majority of white superheroes, who are unselfish do-gooders, Luke Cage is a superhero for HIRE. He helps people only when they PAY HIM. So tell me, how can Luke Cage, who is a hero, work, while the Mandarin, who is a villain, can’t work, while they both share same stereotypical nature? And writers don’t really try to escape from his origin, since, if that was the case, they would completely retconned his visual and essential presence. What they do is that they simply try to write a good story with the Mandairn without fundamentally changing him. If writers are trying to get away from him, then why John Byrne’s Mandarin was so reminiscent to all the key trade-marks of the characters? He wore the Chinese esque clothes, had strong national pride, was against communists. Essential Mandarin. Why Len Kaminski’s Mandarin was the exact same thing? Kurt Busiek? Same thing. Knauf? Fraction? Fraction basically took the Silver Age mentality of the classic Mandarin and inserted it into a modern world. Salvador Larroca even kept long the fingernails of the character, despite the fact that it would've been better to get rid of them.

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Because Mandarin's origins as a racial stereotype, the writers try different things to get away from that and thus he becomes a different character each time he appears, he is forever tied to his unfortunate origins, he can never move past them and grow as a character, his over the top name is a reminder of those origins.
More offensive? Hm… Have you heard of Red Barbarian, or Yellow Claw? As I said, the reason why Mandarin is Iron Man's arch-enemy, is because they're emblematic exemplifications of different views and attitudes. Iron Man represents idealism, Mandarin pessimism. Iron Man wants to supplement the world through his resources and knowledge, Mandarin sees modern society as a epitome of decadency, so the only supplementation that it deserves is a complete eradication. And, as I've provided Luke Cage as an example that prove your argument about racial sensetivity wrong, I don't think I need to prove anything, since Luke Cage examplifies the character whose was created as a racial represantation of the specific ethnic group but who managed to escape from his stereotypical nature.


Last edited by 2002SpideyFan; 06-23-2016 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 05-30-2016, 05:05 AM   #53
2002SpideyFan
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Default Re: Best Actors Worthy to play the "Real" Mandarin in Iron Man 4

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Shoe horning him into Iron Man's origin doesn't instantly make him compelling, what has he actually done to Tony Stark with any consequences, that is more imaginative ten simply shoe horning him into an existing story? it seems like Obadiah Stane and his son have done more to Tony in the comics. This also doesn't make Mandarin more compelling, it just makes his origin more convoluted.
And how does it make his origin more convoluted? It’s actually gives a strong thematic emphasis to the reason behind conflict of Iron Man and him. Ezekiel Stane didn’t really do that much damage, to be fair. The same concept was done few years earlier in the early 2000’s, when the character of the Temujin first appeared. It was basically a same thing. A son of a well-known Iron Man villain suddenly appeared out of nowhere and he seeks revenge on Iron Man. Though, Temujin actually was an interesting character, unlike Ezekil, since he wasn’t really fighting for his father, but more was fighting his legacy. And he did something really bad for Tony Stark. He organized the murderer of Stark’s beloved women, Rumiko Fujikawa. Unfortunately, that story was forgotten after the series was rebooted with Warren Elli’s Extremis arc. Also, didn’t Lex Luthor had three or more version of his origin? At first he was a corny mad scientist whose motivation was about him being pissed at Superman because he was responsible for his baldness, then there was John Byrne’s take, which portrayed him as a subtle businessman, and then there is Birthright origin. And I'm not even talking about the fact that Luthor recently changes sides from good to bad. The fact that the Mandarin wasn’t as often used as some other major villains is actually what makes him the most consistent out of all. Didn’t DC recently retconned the whole goddamn character of The Joker in the Rebirth, when it was revealed that the Joker is not a single person but a three different people? So what? That means that the Joker is a sh#t character because someone decided to do a retarded retcon with his character? Also, Scot Snyder's Joker was, what, immortal or something? That's consistent. How many origins of the Joker there's been? Killing Joker is the most well-known, but even that contradicts with other versions. So how can those character work, despite the fact that their origins aren't consistent at all, yet Mandarin definitely looks more consistent? And there was no “shoe horning” of that concept. That was a clever re-contextualizing of the already established origin that actually made sense and had thematic integrity to it. The shoe horning is more similar to this awful recent Iron Man run by Gillen, when an entire origin of Tony Stark was retconned, when he was turned into some kind of genetically modified space mcgufiin, where his whole brilliancy came from the fact that he was modified by the aliens and wasn't simply a smart man. That is a shoe horned concept that makes no sense, and that contradicts everything about previous origin of the character.

Anyway, you simply don't like the character. That's your problem. You can't even objectively look at him. Your points are this: "MANDARIN IS RACIST YELLOW PERIL YELLOWFACE MR YUNIOSHI FU MANCHU STEREOTYPE HE ISN'T CONSISTENT BLABLABLABLABLABLABLA". If you don't like the character, that's fine. But don't act as if he doesn't deserve any credit, because he does.


Last edited by 2002SpideyFan; 05-30-2016 at 07:20 AM.
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