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View Poll Results: What makes The Mandarin? (choose several)
of Asian/Eastern descent 10 38.46%
non-specifically foreign (not of western descent) 4 15.38%
Deeply cultured appearance 9 34.62%
Descendant of Ghenghis Khan 4 15.38%
'Fu Manchu' mustache 2 7.69%
Any variety of facial hair 5 19.23%
Dirty/long fingernails 0 0%
Bad or large teeth 0 0%
Speaks in broken English 0 0%
Mysterious or often in the shadows 15 57.69%
Extremely wealthy 12 46.15%
Exceptional Fighter and Martial Artist 15 57.69%
Intimidating or frightening 11 42.31%
Intellectual/Intelligent 20 76.92%
Genius Scientist 11 42.31%
Tactical/strategic 19 73.08%
10 magic/alien rings (identical to powers in 616) 9 34.62%
10 powered rings (but a looser adaptation) 14 53.85%
10 rings as a metaphor (like the organization) 6 23.08%
Advanced earth tech (like an Iron Man type suit) 4 15.38%
Ties to dragon(s) e.g. Fin Fang Foom 4 15.38%
Other (please note in post) 3 11.54%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 26. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-08-2014, 05:16 PM   #1
pr0xyt0xin
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Default What makes The Mandarin?

I'd like to settle this once and for all. Because this film (and one-shot) has divided so many fans, it should be clarified what it is exactly that we are all clamoring for.

In the poll above, there's several traits that it could be argued have made up the character of The Mandarin throughout his time in the comics.

A. Some people believe that fire breathing, super powered, highly intellectual Aldrich Killian is enough to take up the mantle.
B. Others believe he should dress in robes, have tattoos, have an intimidating voice and mysterious demeanor, shoot the US President in the head more like "The Mandarin" from the trailers before discovering he was really Trevor Slattery.
C. Others still, believe that he should be adapted straight from the comics. That he should have magic rings, a fu manchu mustache and be of Asian/Eastern descent. These people find intriguing the clash of eastern and western cultures as well as the clash of magic and technology.

Each of these options have their merits, but most use the same ammo against one another in their debates. Either:

1. "All you want is a racist caricature of the Yellow Peril era that shoots lightning bolts out of his fingers at Tony Stark. No one even liked The Mandarin before 2013!"

-or-

2. "All we got was a nerd who got made fun of by the hero and turned into yet another uninteresting business man villain. It's Jim Carrey's Riddler all over again!"

Both of which are tired and (by my hypothesis) completely inaccurate.

Therefore I've compiled the list in the above poll. What does Mandarin need to be the Mandarin. The poll allows multiple answers so choose everything you think he needs to be the real mandarin.


Last edited by pr0xyt0xin; 02-08-2014 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 02-08-2014, 05:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: What makes The Mandarin?

I think I meant "Deeply cultured appearance" for option 3. A mod could change it if they felt like it.

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Old 02-08-2014, 05:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: What makes The Mandarin?

Don't you think you should put some of the characters' personality traits and motivations in the pole as well? Because that's been an aspect of the debates, too, wether or not Aldrich Killian has any right to be called The Mandarin if he has a similar personality and motivations, even through appearance-wise he's a huge departure, and wether or not the things Killian does have in common with the Mandarin of the comics are at all strong enough to be noteworthy.


Anyway, with that in mind one of the boxes I checked was "other." I think there's are specific defining aspects of The Mandarin's personality and motivations that really define him as who he is. He's got to start off as somebody who had nothing, who was at the bottom rung of society. He's got to be someone who felt he was entitled to something greater, and who felt that the powerful ruling class of his soccer denied him that greatness. He's got to be someone who took something very powerful that he did not create or earn in any way and claim it as his own. It can be the ten alien rings, but the specific nature is less important than the fact that this source of power is something he stumbled across and simply took without really having any right to it. He's got to be someone who used that thing he stole to create this huge terrorist/criminal/financial empire to undermine modern society and take the things he feels entitled to. He has to be someone who has, in a mad panicked attempt to run away from the nothing he used to be and towards the greatness he lists after, reinvented himself as this larger than life figure who justifies his crimes with a ****ed up philosophy blended from social darwinism and objectivism with a dash of divine right. Basically, he has to be a dark reflection of Tony Stark: Iron Man is someone who was born with everything, the most purely privileged person, who changed his views and became a better and more selfless person when he got a taste for what true suffering and loss is, and The Mandarin is someone who had absolutely nothing, who was neglected and despised by the world he lived in, and in his journey to acquire all of the things he never had, he transformed into a monster who is violently obsessed with escaping mediocrity.

This is the stuff that's really important to me, the stuff that makes The Mandarin a credible arch-enemy to Iron Man.

That's what I put for "other." I also checked "Deeply cultured appearance," "Mysterious or often in the shadows," "Extremely wealthy," "Exceptional Fighter and Martial Artist," "Intellectual/Intelligent," "Genius Scientist," "Tactical/strategic," "10 rings as a metaphor (like the organization)," "Ties to dragon(s) e.g. Fin Fang Foom."

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Old 02-08-2014, 08:19 PM   #4
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Default Re: What makes The Mandarin?

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He's got to start off as somebody who had nothing, who was at the bottom rung of society.
Wuh? The Mandarin was an aristocrat who spent all the money of his fiefdom, money he could have spent to make his people's lives better, and spent it on himself, to make himself the ultimate scientist/martial-artist/warrior. He'd didn't start off at the bottom rung of society, he spent his way into poverty.


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Old 02-08-2014, 08:22 PM   #5
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Wuh? The Mandarin was an aristocrat who spent all the money of his fiefdom, money he could have spent to make his people's lives better, and spent it on himself, to make himself the ultimate scientist/martial-artist/warrior. He'd didn't start off at the bottom rung of society, he spent his way into poverty. He's actually a lot like Black Mask.
No, that's not true. The Mandarin was, in the comics, the heir of an aristocratic family who lost everything and became social pariahs after the cultural revolution. At least, I'm pretty sure that's the case.

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Old 02-08-2014, 08:29 PM   #6
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Default Re: What makes The Mandarin?

I'm looking at his origin as I write this. He inherited their fortune and then spent it all turning himself into what is essentially a super-soldier. There is nothing about the revolution taking his family fortune. He spent it on himself, and then after he was in self-inflicted poverty the government evicted him for failure to pay his property taxes.

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Old 02-08-2014, 08:33 PM   #7
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Huh. You'e right. At least, wikipedia says you're right. Weird, I've thought it was the other way for years, I remember reading that in The Mandarin's first appearance when I was a little kid. Well, that happens, I guess.

Either way, that still works for the foil of Iron Man notion, just in a different manner.

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Old 02-09-2014, 12:38 AM   #8
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Default Re: What makes The Mandarin?

I prefer IM 3's version, and fortunately the One-Shot doesn't nullify what's come before. For me, it's the ability to control the masses through fear, which is what Killian managed.

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Old 02-09-2014, 07:40 AM   #9
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Default Re: What makes The Mandarin?

B all the way.

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Old 02-09-2014, 07:58 AM   #10
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Default Re: What makes The Mandarin?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pr0xyt0xin View Post
I'd like to settle this once and for all. Because this film (and one-shot) has divided so many fans, it should be clarified what it is exactly that we are all clamoring for.

In the poll above, there's several traits that it could be argued have made up the character of The Mandarin throughout his time in the comics.

A. Some people believe that fire breathing, super powered, highly intellectual Aldrich Killian is enough to take up the mantle.
B. Others believe he should dress in robes, have tattoos, have an intimidating voice and mysterious demeanor, shoot the US President in the head more like "The Mandarin" from the trailers before discovering he was really Trevor Slattery.
C. Others still, believe that he should be adapted straight from the comics. That he should have magic rings, a fu manchu mustache and be of Asian/Eastern descent. These people find intriguing the clash of eastern and western cultures as well as the clash of magic and technology.

Each of these options have their merits, but most use the same ammo against one another in their debates. Either:

1. "All you want is a racist caricature of the Yellow Peril era that shoots lightning bolts out of his fingers at Tony Stark. No one even liked The Mandarin before 2013!"

-or-

2. "All we got was a nerd who got made fun of by the hero and turned into yet another uninteresting business man villain. It's Jim Carrey's Riddler all over again!"

Both of which are tired and (by my hypothesis) completely inaccurate
.

Therefore I've compiled the list in the above poll. What does Mandarin need to be the Mandarin. The poll allows multiple answers so choose everything you think he needs to be the real mandarin.

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Old 02-09-2014, 09:07 AM   #11
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Default Re: What makes The Mandarin?

I'll wait for the fifth MCU Mandarin before deciding which interests me most.

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Old 02-09-2014, 09:47 AM   #12
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I'll wait for the fifth MCU Mandarin before deciding which interests me most.
Niiiice.

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Old 02-09-2014, 12:16 PM   #13
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Default Re: What makes The Mandarin?

I voted for 'Other' because I honestly have no set preconceived notions for how these characters should be translated. Heimdall is black and not related to Sif? Sure, if that's how Marvel says he is. Nick Fury is the mirror image of his Ultimates persona instead of his 616 one? Sure, if that's how Marvel says he is. Same goes for The Mandarin. The thing about IM3 was, I never got the feeling that Killian was The Mandarin. Killian was Killian, who either created or modified The Mandarin motif for his purposes and embodied it through Trevor. But that was never *The Mandarin* it was a facade.

Until that new poster mentioned it in the other thread I didn't even know The Mandarin was already established as existing in the MCU pre-IM3 by way of the prelude comics (which are 100% part of MCU canon). But now that I know it solidifies the new One-Shot as the further exploration of a pre-existing plan to me.

Still, I don't know what he looks like, or what his place in the grand scheme of things is. And I'm happy to wait for Marvel to show/tell me.

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Old 02-09-2014, 03:15 PM   #14
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Default Re: What makes The Mandarin?

I appreciate everyone's input. Mostly this is what I wanted to see (and wanted everyone else to see):



Truly a beautiful thing, is it not?

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Old 02-09-2014, 03:16 PM   #15
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Default Re: What makes The Mandarin?

Haha that pic alone was worth the poll. Bravo

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Old 02-09-2014, 03:24 PM   #16
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Default Re: What makes The Mandarin?

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Originally Posted by pr0xyt0xin View Post
I appreciate everyone's input. Mostly this is what I wanted to see (and wanted everyone else to see):



Truly a beautiful thing, is it not?
The demise of obvious, absurd racism has generally been a net positive for society.

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Old 02-09-2014, 06:15 PM   #17
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Default Re: What makes The Mandarin?

of Asian/Eastern descent

He's half-british/half mongol, so at least pure asianness isn't a defining trait.



non-specifically foreign (not of western descent)


Deeply cultured appearance
Eh, a lot of time he comes off rather crude, like a Mongol version of Tony Scarface Montana.



Descendant of Ghenghis Khan
Yes, this is almost always played up.



'Fu Manchu' mustache
Sometimes, though he's just as likely to have a devil-beard.



Any variety of facial hair


Dirty/long fingernails
Yes, most of the time.



Bad or large teeth
No, he only has large teeth in a few sixties appearances.



Speaks in broken English
Never. Even in his early sixties appearances he speaks perfect, if super-villainy, english.



Mysterious or often in the shadows
Eh, not really. There are a few occasions of this, but more often he's a big-budget action-villain declaring blatant war on civilization.



Extremely wealthy
Yes, he almost always has tremendous Bond-villain type resources.

Exceptional Fighter and Martial Artist
Yes, I'd say this is one of his biggest defining traits. He's an evil Iron Fist.






Intimidating or frightening
Yes, he's portrayed as a brutal and intimidating figure.



Intellectual/Intelligent
Yes



Genius Scientist
Yup



Tactical/strategic
About half the time. He's just as likely to just get a big gizmo and blast away with it.



10 magic/alien rings (identical to powers in 616)
Even in the 616 there are often stories where the rings are downplayed in favor of his scientific, tactical, and martial arts abilities. While he usually uses them at least once a story, the rings define him less than one might expect. He's not Sinestro.



10 powered rings (but a looser adaptation)






Advanced earth tech (like an Iron Man type suit)
Almost never uses armor. I can think of maybe one time in fifty years. He does use advanced earth-tech in a lot of his schemes, however.





Ties to dragon(s) e.g. Fin Fang Foom
Was only important in one story in fifty years.

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Old 02-09-2014, 06:54 PM   #18
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Default Re: What makes The Mandarin?

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of Asian/Eastern descent

Deeply cultured appearance

Descendant of Ghenghis Khan

Any variety of facial hair

Mysterious or often in the shadows

Extremely wealthy

Exceptional Fighter and Martial Artist

Intimidating or frightening

Intellectual/Intelligent

Genius Scientist

Tactical/strategic

Advanced earth tech



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Old 02-09-2014, 06:57 PM   #19
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Default Re: What makes The Mandarin?

He's basically an Asian Ra's Al Ghul

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Old 02-09-2014, 07:07 PM   #20
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To be honest,this guy (from the Shadow)always reminded me of how a live action Mandarin should look.

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Old 02-09-2014, 07:12 PM   #21
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To be honest,this guy (from the Shadow)always reminded me of how a live action Mandarin should look.
Ditto. Just watched the new blu-ray again last night. He's just an awesome villain. Embracing Asian lineage wrapped in mysticism does not a racist caricature make.

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Old 02-09-2014, 07:21 PM   #22
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Default Re: What makes The Mandarin?

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He's basically an Asian Ra's Al Ghul
Ra's AL Ghul is Asian.

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Ditto. Just watched the new blu-ray again last night. He's just an awesome villain. Embracing Asian lineage wrapped in mysticism does not a racist caricature make.
In what way is guy from The Shadow not a racist caricature? He was a pretty standard old world-y mystical Asian stereotype. He didn't know how Taxi cabs work, for crying out loud. Also, how is he an awesome villain? I mean, I love that movie, but the bad guy is pretty bland.

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Old 02-09-2014, 07:38 PM   #23
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In what way is guy from The Shadow not a racist caricature?
Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany's is a racist caricature. His character accentuated the most aesthetically derogatory aspects of the culture in an effort to generate a laugh. Shiwan is simply Asian. That's it. He's an Asian villain.

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He was a pretty standard old world-y mystical Asian stereotype. He didn't know how Taxi cabs work, for crying out loud.
There weren't any taxi cabs in Tibet pre-World War 1. That's why he didn't know what they were. You're just making up problems now.

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Also, how is he an awesome villain? I mean, I love that movie, but the bad guy is pretty bland.
The fact I remember Shiwan so well compared to all the other villains we've gotten in supehero movies over the years mean's he was anything but bland. He was the antithesis to Lamont Cranston. And he scared the heck out of me when I was a kid. Stane in IM1 was bland. Red Skull in Cap 1 was bland. Hammer in IM2 was bland. Killian in IM3 was bland. Zod in Man of Steel was bland. Bland, to me, means unmemorable and cookie cutter.

If he was bland to you then that's your opinion and you're entitled to it. But you also think any villain with ethnic aesthetics is a racist caricature so we'll just agree to disagree on all these things.

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Old 02-09-2014, 08:12 PM   #24
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Default Re: What makes The Mandarin?

Eh, the thing about Ra's is he always comes across as so professional and classy. The Mandarin has a rage to him, this almost Tony Montana-ish vibe to him that makes him almost the opposite of Ra's in a lot of ways.

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Old 02-09-2014, 08:33 PM   #25
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Default Re: What makes The Mandarin?

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Ra's AL Ghul is Asian.
I thought he was European?

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