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View Poll Results: The Mandarin in Iron Man 3...
Love it! 92 36.51%
It's okay... 56 22.22%
Hate it! 104 41.27%
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Old 07-26-2013, 08:10 AM   #851
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Default Re: The Mandarin in Iron Man 3...Love it or hate it? - Part 1

Fu Manchu is that racist? I allways found him badass



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Old 07-26-2013, 08:10 AM   #852
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I was left wondering did Trevor kill that guy unknowingly,or was that faked,and the guy supposed to be in on it?(Like the VP)

I believe Trevanderin and he shook hands during the credits after the fake execution.

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Old 07-26-2013, 08:11 AM   #853
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Long time lurker. The Question inspired me to finally post this.

I really just wanted the guy I saw in the trailer.

I never cared for Iron Man comics back in the day (was more of an X-men guy) but I fell in love with the first two films and loved the villain we were presented in the trailer as well as the backstory Feige fed us about him being a former CIA or former military idealist who, in my head canon at least, was a scholar of warfare, collected related iconography(the poster with the UN helmet...etc), and founded the Ten Rings to misguidedly “teach”(read: get revenge upon) the country he felt had betrayed him.

I was really excited that we were going to get a true threatening villain that wasn’t another evil smart guy in a business suit. Oh well.
That's fair.

And honestly what you describe sounds like an interesting bad guy.

But what we got is actually a much more faithful adaptation of The Mandarin from the comics than what you describe. That's all I'm saying.

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Old 07-26-2013, 08:26 AM   #854
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That's fair.

And honestly what you describe sounds like an interesting bad guy.

But what we got is actually a much more faithful adaptation of The Mandarin from the comics than what you describe. That's all I'm saying.
I hear you.

Thanks for staying civil, btw. I've laughed to myself at more than a few heated exchanges about this movie.

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Old 07-26-2013, 09:26 AM   #855
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Or they could have put faith in the source material and give us the actual mandarin. Tony is afraid of "what's out there" and The Mandarin with his alien rings would have been a great way for Tony to face his fears instead of him getting panic attacks at every mention of the word New York or Aliens. O found this film a massive disappointment considering Iron Man 1 is my favourite superhero film. I'm surprised that it's the 2nd best IM film on the polls and I wonder if they get the pass simply because it's made by Marvel Studios...
Wow. Way to completely ignore what was written and just continue to blindly perpetuate the baseless "They didn't give us the real Mandarin!" argument...

And btw, if you (and some other very vocal fans) take SUCH issue with changing a few elements of a character from the source material, then you really must be just fuming about the following liberties that the MCU took...

- Tony was captured in Afghanistan instead of Vietnam

- Obadiah Stane didn't commit suicide

- Jarvis is now an AI instead of an actual human butler

- Bruce Banner is not inundated with gamma radiation from a bomb, but rather performs an experiment on himself

- No Rick Jones in Hulk's origin whatsoever

- Emil Blonsky is a Russian-born English soldier rather than a Russian/Yugoslavian spy

- Abomination is born of a combination of a super-soldier serum and Banner's blood rather than gamma exposure (and looks very dissimilar to the comic Abomination)

- Justin Hammer is now Tony's age instead of very old

- Whiplash's origin is completely unlike the original comic Whiplash, and he's more or less combined with Crimson Dynamo and is now Russian

- The Red Skull has a deformed face, rather than wearing a mask like his character originally did

- Bucky is no longer younger than Cap

- Thor's origin is very much changed, now not including Donald Blake

- The Destroyer is much weaker than it's comic version

- Odin now loses his eye in battle rather than sacrificing it for power and wisdom

- Nick Fury is now based on the African-American Ultimate version

- Hawkeye is now based largely on the Ultimate version


So, you have a huge problem with all of those changes in ethnicity and origin, right? I mean, you must...because those are the same things that were changed for the Mandarin. He's almost exactly the same with the exception of country of origin and jewelry.

I mean...I'm sure you wouldn't be that blatantly hypocritical, would you?

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Old 07-26-2013, 01:29 PM   #856
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I mean, heck, they di the exact same thing in Iron Man 2 when they gave Whiplash's powers to The Crimson Dynamo.
But nobody really cared about those characters so it was OK. (Sarcasm) No Crimson Dynamo die-hards were ripping up forums about his authenticity. And now all these Mandarin experts are popping out the woodwork. Because he is the only Iron Man foe truly recognizable. As Kaijun just exquisitely broke down, there is plenty of precedent for Marvel Studios adapting things with creative liberties to suit their new original stories.

I understand some people feel stiffed, especially considering what 12% said, the trailer was planting a lot of different assumptions in our head. But that's all they were, our own assumptions. You gotta let the movie take you on its own journey. (I might not agree with some changes made to that other big CBM that came out last month, but I can't say it was not interesting.) They took the essential elements of the character and crafted a villain that IS the Mandarin, and also suits a new original story.

And the movie gets a "pass" from me because on top of (or aside from, depending on your point of view) the Mandarin, we have an actual character arc for Tony Stark, overcoming the mental repercussions of The Avengers, great additions to the cast with Kingsley and Pierce, a good plot, and inventive action sequences that are on par with the Avengers, with only 1 of the heroes.

Plus on top of all that, the movie answers the question, "without that suit what are you?" Still Iron Man. Just an extension of Tony Stark's very mind. I am disappointed so many fans gripe about the action scenes where Tony isn't suited up. They help prove that character point and were so well done and refreshing to see!


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Old 07-26-2013, 01:40 PM   #857
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But nobody really cared about those characters so it was OK. (Sarcasm) No Crimson Dynamo die-hards were ripping up forums about his authenticity. And now all these Mandarin experts are popping out the woodwork. Because he is the only Iron Man foe truly recognizable.

I understand some people feel stiffed, especially considering what 12% said, the trailer was planting a lot of different assumptions in our head. But that's all they were, our own assumptions. You gotta let the movie take you on its own journey (for better or worse I have some issues with). They took the essential elements of the character and crafted a villain that IS the Mandarin, and also suits a new original story.

And the movie gets a "pass" from me because on top of (or aside from, depending on your point of view) the Mandarin, we have an actual character arc for Tony Stark, overcoming the mental repercussions of The Avengers, great additions to the cast with Kingsley and Pierce, a good plot, and inventive action sequences that are on par with the Avengers, with only 1 of the heroes.

Plus on top of all that, the movie answers the question, "without that suit what are you?" Still Iron Man. Just an extension of Tony Stark's very mind. I am disappointed so many fans gripe about the action scenes where Tony isn't suited up. They help prove that character point and were so well done and refreshing to see!
This leads me to ask a question, though: From what I gathered in conversations on these boards, and I admit I may be wrong, but from what I gathered it seemed like nobody thought The Rings were going to be anything but symbolic when they thought Kingsley was playing the true Mandarin. I mean, all of the trailers suggested that he'd be using more conventional weaponry, and the rings were just an accessory. So I don't get why people are pissed that Killian's powers were from Extremis instead of the rings when right from the start it seemed like we wouldn't get the rings anyway.


Also, I agree about the non armor action scenes. Don't get my wrong, the armor is great, but seeing Tony play MacGuyver was SO fun.

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Old 07-26-2013, 02:02 PM   #858
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I remember watching the scene where the that extremis enhanced female was chasing after Tony thinking "man, this is intense boy is he in trouble" then it's like "oh yeah, he's a genius" impromptu bomb in the microwave, bam! Outta my face lady.

Oh, and he could've blasted her anytime but he saved that little surprise for later. Because he is a genius.

Had a huge grin after that!

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Old 07-26-2013, 04:15 PM   #859
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I honestly think they handled The Mandarin about as perfectly as one possibly could.

Here's the thing: The Mandarin in the comics is undeniably a racial caricature. He's probably the worst example of the Yellow Peril archetype that I've ever seen. He's worse than Fu Manchu, Fu Manchu actually has more heroic and likable qualities than The Mandarin. So if you have to adapt The Mandarin into a modern film and not be mind destroyingly racist, you have to address that. And the way they changed the character not only fixed that problem, but it also commented on the problem itself.

Think for a moment about who The Mandarin is as a person. He's the child of a former noble family in China who lost everything in the cultural revolution before he was born. He grew up bitter, believing that the Chines Government had denied him what he was entitled to by birthright. He became a loser and a bumb, and then entirely by accident stumbled across an alien spacecraft with ten magic rings inside. He used the rings' power to bring together his own guerrilla army and take back what he believed he was owed from the people who took it from him and from the world at large, and along the way adopted social darwinist philosophies that he used to justify his rise to power.

Think about that for a second. Remove his nationality, remove all of the details, and just think of the narrative and the story beats.

He was a bitter, down on his luck loser who believed he had been denied what he was entitled to by people in positions of power. Through sheer dumb luck, he stumbled across a source of enormous power. He did not create this power or earn it in any way, but he still took it for himself. He then used this power to create a criminal and terrorist organization with which he worked to amass political power and take back what he believed was owed to him, developing a philosophy of Social Darwinism along the way. His power source also gives him the ability to, when coupled with his martial arts skills, take on Iron Man in hand to hand combat without a suit of armor.

That describes Aldrich Killian perfectly. He calls himself The Mandarin, he has those dragon tattoos that evoke the imagery of The Mandarin, and he even fits the title of Mandarin, which means "advisor to the king," much better than the comics Mandarin as part of his MO is putting himself in such an advisory capacity where he can leverage political power and run things from behind the scenes.

Literally the only things he doesn't have in common with the comics Mandarin are his birth name, his nationality, his ethnicity, and the exact details of how his powers work. Everything about the character that defines the character is the same. Even his being a corporate CEO who secretly runs a terrorist organization is the same, as The Mandarin was doing that when he was revived in the Iron Man comics a few years ago.

They including all of the defining characteristics of who The Mandarin is as a person while removing the racist elements of the character. Not only did they remove them, but through the decoy character they actually commented on them. The decoy character was a mish mash of racist enemy "other" stereotypes used by the now Caucasian and American Mandarin to prey on white America's fears while also covering his tracks. They were able to keep everything that was good and interesting about the character while simultaneously criticize everything that was racist about the original version. It's pretty brilliant.

The notion that "Killian is the Mandarin like my dad was santa clause when I was a child" is total bunk. It only holds water if you think that The Mandarin's defining characteristic is being an east asian stereotype.

No one said Henri Ducard wasn't really Ra's Al Ghul when they did the exact same thing in Batman Begins.
A huge sticking point for me is that I don't see any reason why they couldn't have kept the character Chinese while removing the racially insensitive aspects from the comics. It just felt like an overly PC decision to me, motivated in part by the fear that a Chinese villain would've gotten the film banned in China.

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Old 07-26-2013, 05:01 PM   #860
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A huge sticking point for me is that I don't see any reason why they couldn't have kept the character Chinese while removing the racially insensitive aspects from the comics. It just felt like an overly PC decision to me, motivated in part by the fear that a Chinese villain would've gotten the film banned in China.
Just the very fact of having an East Asian supervillain who calls himself The Mandarin is super iffy. And that still wouldn't free the character of the history that's attached.

Chines market aside, I think they distanced themselves as far as they could from the problematic aspects of the source material while still keeping true to what the character is about. I don't see how that's a bad thing. And they effectively owned up to what's wrong with the character by turning a character who's a vilification of Asian culture into a white guy who vilifies Asian and Middle Eastern culture as part of his MO. I don't see how that's overly PC. That seems like the perfect amount of PC to me.

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Old 07-26-2013, 07:38 PM   #861
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What is it wasn't a lack of faith in the source material? What if it was that in the process of adapting it, making it all be Extremis just kept the story from being more complicated than it needed to be? I mean, The Rings still would have taken a lot of explaining and that could have made the film very clunky and unwieldy. Extremis streamlined everything while also serving multiple story purposes instead of just one.

The details of what The Mandarin's power source don't really matter, the fact that they're ten alien rings isn't really what's important about them. What's important about them is that they're something that he didn't earn or create, but he still took for himself, in contrast to Tony and his armor.

I mean, heck, they di the exact same thing in Iron Man 2 when they gave Whiplash's powers to The Crimson Dynamo.
Even though I have been very critical of Mandarin in this thread, I can see why some people would like him.

He is more of an archetype then a character, but it does give Tony a different type of enemy to fight and he gives Tony an excuse to travel to different places.

Although the twist was funny, it did take some of the energy out of the film, instead of fighting the leader of international terrorist group with followers around the world, he is dealing with another evil corporate guy from Miami. It might have been fun to see Iron Man go across the globe and fight a different type of villain. That made the movie seem smaller in scope.

However I do like that Tony had to use his head to solve the mystery of Mandarin.

So I am torn on this plot twist, it has its plus and minuses. I can see why people would like Mandarin and see him as a fun archetype, but he has a lot of baggage because of his yellow peril origins and really does not have enough of a defined personality and personal dynamics with Tony to be Tony`s arch nemesis.

I think Kevin Feige might be right, Mandarin is only considered Iron Man's arch nemesis because he appeared more often then other villains back in the Silver Age. Mandarin seemed to have been handed that role, rather then actually earning it.

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Old 07-26-2013, 07:45 PM   #862
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Even though I have been very critical of Mandarin in this thread, I can see why some people would like him.

He is more of an archetype then a character, but it does give Tony a different type of enemy to fight and he gives Tony an excuse to travel to different places.

Although the twist was funny, it did take some of the energy out of the film, instead of fighting the leader of international terrorist group with followers around the world, he is dealing with another evil corporate guy from Miami. It might have been fun to see Iron Man go across the globe and fight a different type of villain. That made the movie seem smaller in scope.

However I do like that Tony had to use his head to solve the mystery of Mandarin.

So I am torn on this plot twist, it has its plus and minuses. I can see why people would like Mandarin and see him as a fun archetype, but he has a lot of baggage because of his yellow peril origins and really does not have enough of a defined personality and personal dynamics with Tony to be Tony`s arch nemesis.

I think Kevin Feige might be right, Mandarin is only considered Iron Man's arch nemesis because he appeared more often then other villains back in the Silver Age. Mandarin seemed to have been handed that role, rather then actually earning it.
1: Killian was an evil corporate guy from Miami who was the leader of international terrorist group with followers around the world.

2: There's one very simple, thematic element that I think makes The Mandarin worthy of being Iron Man's arch nemesis:

Tony Stark is a guy who one day realized that he'd been taking from the world that which he did not deserve, and then dedicated his life using things he built with his own mind and his own hands to give back to it.

The Mandarin is a guy who believes the world owes him everything, and uses something he did not create or earn but took for himself in order to take what he feels he's entitled to.


There's a nice character parallel there, and it was present in Iron Man 3.

Really, the only difference between Killian!Mandarin and Comics!Mandarin is a matter of aesthetics. Everything that defines who they are as people is the same.

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Old 07-26-2013, 08:12 PM   #863
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1: Killian was an evil corporate guy from Miami who was the leader of international terrorist group with followers around the world. .
Not really, that terrorist group was just a sham in the Third Movie, the terrorist attacks were not really intentional, but a by product of the Extremist virus to serve a political purpose except for the kidnapping of the President at the end. Its not like Killian had thousands of supports across the globe, his group is not Global because his organization is just a couple of Americans.

Plus my point stands, Iron Man didn't really go to a new exciting location in this movie, which could have been fun. It might have been fun for Iron Man to go to some location that is more exotic then Miami.

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2: There's one very simple, thematic element that I think makes The Mandarin worthy of being Iron Man's arch nemesis:

Tony Stark is a guy who one day realized that he'd been taking from the world that which he did not deserve, and then dedicated his life using things he built with his own mind and his own hands to give back to it.

The Mandarin is a guy who believes the world owes him everything, and uses something he did not create or earn but took for himself in order to take what he feels he's entitled to.
That's a little too simple, you can make the same comparison between Tony Stark and Obadiah Stane or Iron Man and Justin Hammer.

The way you describe Mandarin, he seems like a very generic one note bad guy, how many villains are not selfish or don't think the world owes them something. Its too basic, its the kind of theme that you can do almost any hero and villain, rather then Mandarin and Tony having a unique rivalry. Their rivalry is rather generic compared to other major heroes and villains. What you are describing is an archetypal bad guy, not a real character. That is why you can change Mandarin so much in this film, because he is just an archetype rather then a character.

Really how often is Mandarin consistently written, one story he is anti technology, the next that plot thread is just dropped, Knauf wrote him as Ra's Al Ghul style well intentioned extremist, while Fracation wrote him as a psychotic bully and Kim Jong Ill stand in.

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Old 07-26-2013, 08:24 PM   #864
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Not really, that terrorist group was just a sham in the Third Movie, the terrorist attacks were not really intentional, but a by product of the Extremist virus to serve a political purpose except for the kidnapping of the President at the end. Its not like Killian had thousands of supports across the globe, his group is not Global because his organization is just a couple of Americans.
Except the Ten Rings group has been carrying out terrorist attacks since the first film. The Extremis-caused bombings may have been coverups for failed experiments (although I read it as them being intentional after the first one, them taking advantage of unstable test subjects to deliberately cause bombings to manipulate the political climate) but it was a real terrorist organization.

And he did have operatives all over the world. There was an Extremis bombing in Iraq at the beginning of the film. Accident or not his people had to be there to make it happen. And let's not forget the Ten Rings cell from the first movie. Presumably they were working for Killian.

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Plus my point stands, Iron Man didn't really go to a new exciting location in this movie, which could have been fun. It might have been fun for Iron Man to go to some location that is more exotic then Miami.
I guess. I thought the small town was a pretty cool location myself.

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That's a little too simple, you can make the same comparison between Tony Stark and Obadiah Stane or Iron Man and Justin Hammer.
Simple, maybe. But I don't think it can be applied to Stane and Hammer. Stane and Hammer built their largely legitimate empires themselves, and they're not defined by a sense of entitlement and bitterness in quite the same way The Mandarin is. He's someone who was supposed to have everything but grew up with nothing, which stands in pretty stark (heh) contrast with Tony.

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The way you describe Mandarin, he seems like a very generic one note bad guy, how many villains are not selfish or don't think the world owes them something. Its too basic, its the kind of theme that you can do almost any hero and villain, rather then Mandarin and Tony having a unique rivalry. Their rivalry is rather generic compared to other major heroes and villains. What you are describing is an archetypal bad guy, not a real character. That is why you can change Mandarin so much in this film, because he is just an archetype rather then a character.
It's not James Joyce, but it's something to build off of that has some actual relevance to the characters and themes of Iron Man. Stripped of the racist nonsense, there are elements to the character that make him a foil for what Tony Stark is all about.

I don't think it's quite as basic or generic as you describe. I mean, it's simple, and the character doesn't have that much going for him I'll be the first to admit it, but there's being selfish and there's being defined by a sense of bitterness and entitlement your whole life. I mean, yes, of course you could describe most villains as being in some way selfish or entitled. It's far from unique, and even the backstory is pretty standard. But given the hero who he arches and what his whole deal is pertaining to inhereted wealth and his own past as an entitled selfish ass, the whole point of who Tony Stark is as a character is a meditation on wealth and selfishness, well that's where get get a neat contrast. The kind of contrast that's perfect for arch enemies. And with the contrast of The Mandarin having taken something he didn't earn to gain power and Tony building the source of his power himself, I think there's something there worth working with, an equal-yet-opposites thing that, while underdeveloped, could be pretty darn interesting if it was given more meat to it.

I'm not saying The Mandarin is great, I'm just saying there's the groundwork there for something that could be pretty cool, and it makes sense why he'd be used as a foil for Tony.

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Really how often is Mandarin consistently written, one story he is anti technology, the next that plot thread is just dropped, Knauf wrote him as Ra's Al Ghul style well intentioned extremist, while Fracation wrote him as a psychotic bully and Kim Jong Ill stand in.
You're right, the character doesn't have a good publication history. All I'm saying is that there's something you could work with as a basic framework that works.

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Old 07-26-2013, 09:16 PM   #865
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Except the Ten Rings group has been carrying out terrorist attacks since the first film. The Extremis-caused bombings may have been coverups for failed experiments (although I read it as them being intentional after the first one, them taking advantage of unstable test subjects to deliberately cause bombings to manipulate the political climate) but it was a real terrorist organization.

And he did have operatives all over the world. There was an Extremis bombing in Iraq at the beginning of the film. Accident or not his people had to be there to make it happen. And let's not forget the Ten Rings cell from the first movie. Presumably they were working for Killian.
Terrorists are non state actors who use violence to achieve political aims, criminals are non state actors who use violence for monetary reasons, Killian was more of a criminal then a terrorist, it might be fun to see Tony fight a political fanatic, rather then just another slimy corporate guy. Killain didn't have a global network of terrorists, just a few American operatives in the right place, at the right time. The Extremist bombing in Iraq was likely just an accidental explosion due to a solider been exposed to Extremist on an American base, its not like actually Iraqis are working for him.

It doesn't make sense to assume that the Ten Rings organization from the first film has anything to do with Killian, otherwise why would Killain be trying to over Afghanistan like Raza was trying to do. That doesn't jive with Killian's motives in this movie, he has no reason to care about who runs Afghanistan, it doesn't serve his interests more likely is that the group from the first movie was a real terrorist group, but they were wiped out by Stane and Killian simply took that group's name and used it for his own purposes. Killain was a bit of a paper tiger, he used smoke and mirrors to make himself seem more dangerous and powerful then he actually was, that was the point of the fake Mandarin.


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I guess. I thought the small town was a pretty cool location myself.
I just think it could been fun to have Tony go on a real globe hopping adventure, rather then just staying in America. It does seem like after the reveal, the scope of the movie shrank.

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Simple, maybe. But I don't think it can be applied to Stane and Hammer. Stane and Hammer built their largely legitimate empires themselves, and they're not defined by a sense of entitlement and bitterness in quite the same way The Mandarin is. He's someone who was supposed to have everything but grew up with nothing, which stands in pretty stark (heh) contrast with Tony..
Its a pretty an obvious contrast and really most Tony Stark vs. Mandarin stories seem to boil to Mandarin trying to take over the world and Tony stark stopping. There is no real interesting personal dynamics between the two: Batman created Joker, Magneto and Xavier used to be friends torn apart, Dr. Doom blames Reed Richards for his ruined face and seeks to prove that he is Richards superior. Compared that Mandarin just shows up one day, out of the blue, trying to over the world and Iron Man deciding to stop him. Mandarin doesn't even have consistent motives, ideological or even a personality. Ra's Al Ghul had a way better build up in his first appearance then Mandarin did.


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It's not James Joyce, but it's something to build off of that has some actual relevance to the characters and themes of Iron Man. Stripped of the racist nonsense, there are elements to the character that make him a foil for what Tony Stark is all about.

I don't think it's quite as basic or generic as you describe. I mean, it's simple, and the character doesn't have that much going for him I'll be the first to admit it, but there's being selfish and there's being defined by a sense of bitterness and entitlement your whole life. And with the contrast of The Mandarin having taken something he didn't earn to gain power and Tony building the source of his power himself, and the whole point of who Tony Stark is as a character is a meditation on wealth and selfishness, I think there's something there worth working with, an equal-yet-opposites thing that, while underdeveloped, could be pretty darn interesting if it was given more meat to it.

I'm not saying The Mandarin is great, I'm just saying there's the groundwork there for something that could be pretty cool, and it makes sense why he'd be used as a foil for Tony.
But again, you are not describing a character, you are describing an archetype. That's the problem here, Tony Stark is a pretty well arounded character, with virtues and flaws that make seem like a real person, while Mandarin is a rather board archetype, his back story seems to a change a lot (some retellings of his origins have him losing his fortune due to the Chinese revolution and other times he loses his fortunes due to spending it all on material arts and scientific training.) So its hard for them to have a interesting rivalry, when Mandarin often just is written as a stock villain to fit whatever whim the writer has that week.

An arch nemesis needs more then a rather shallow parallel between him and the hero, the dynamic should be more intense, more personal, then other villains, I don't see that between Tony Stark and Mandarin, generally. Many of the really personal Iron Man stories, Demon in a Bottle, Armor Wars, etc, don't even involve Mandarin. It seems like Justin Hammer, Obadiah Stane and Zeke Stane have done more to hurt Tony then Mandarin has.


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You're right, the character doesn't have a good publication history. All I'm saying is that there's something you could work with as a basic framework that works.
Sure, but you don't have a arch nemesis, at least not yet. Knauf's Mandarin was close to a version of the character that could have been Tony's arch nemesis, but Fracation seemed to ignore all that and took Mandarin is a far less interesting direction.

In conclusion, I am not saying the twist was bad, but I do see why some people didn't like it and I do think it shrunk the scope of the movie. That's why I am conflicted about this twist, I think I would be upset if I thought Mandarin was a dynamic character and didn't have a lot baggage in regards to his racist silver age portrayal. Maybe Killian as the Mandarin is the best compromise they could have made.


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Old 07-26-2013, 10:01 PM   #866
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Terrorists are non state actors who use violence to achieve political aims, criminals are non state actors who use violence for monetary reasons, Killian was more of a criminal then a terrorist, it might be fun to see Tony fight a political fanatic, rather then just another slimy corporate guy.
He still used terrorist tactics, he committed acts of terrorism, and the Ten Rings organization still operated like a terrorist organization.

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Killain didn't have a global network of terrorists, just a few American operatives in the right place, at the right time. The Extremist bombing in Iraq was likely just an accidental explosion due to a solider been exposed to Extremist on an American base, its not like actually Iraqis are working for him.
If the explosion in Iraq was an accident. We know the first Extremis explosion was an accident, but after that it's a little less clear. I got the feeling that they sent the test subjects they knew were going to fail to specific locations to create terrorist bombings that they could then capitalize on.

Also, if you have operatives in the right place at the right time in different places around the world, then that means you have followers around the world. Just because they may not be native to the region they're in at the time doesn't change the fact that they follow you, and they're all around the world.

So Killian did lead a terrorist organization with followers all around the world.

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It doesn't make sense to assume that the Ten Rings organization from the first film has anything to do with Killian, otherwise why would Killain be trying to over Afghanistan like Raza was trying to do. That doesn't jive with Killian's motives in this movie, he has no reason to care about who runs Afghanistan, it doesn't serve his interests more likely is that the group from the first movie was a real terrorist group, but they were wiped out by Stane and Killian simply took that group's name and used it for his own purposes. Killain was a bit of a paper tiger, he used smoke and mirrors to make himself seem more dangerous and powerful then he actually was, that was the point of the fake Mandarin.
The fact that Killian said "it was always me, right from the beginning" pretty strongly implies that the Ten Rings organization from Iron Man 1 was founded by Killian, and he was the leader the whole time. They never state that the Ten Rings from the first film have nothing to do with him, so I see no reason to assume that's the case.

And Raza's motive completely jives with Killian's motives. Killian's motives were to perpetuate the war on terror indefinitely so he could make a profit off of his military contracts and leverage political power for himself. Raza trying to take over Afganistan creates a new boogeyman that the military will buy weapons from Killian to fight, and if Raza succeeds then the Afghani Head of State works for him, so now he has an entire country in his pocket. Killian being in charge of the Ten Rings from the very beginning makes perfect sense.


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Its a pretty an obvious contrast and really most Tony Stark vs. Mandarin stories seem to boil to Mandarin trying to take over the world and Tony stark stopping. There is no real interesting personal dynamics between the two: Batman created Joker, Magneto and Xavier used to be friends torn apart, Dr. Doom blames Reed Richards for his ruined face and seeks to prove that he is Richards superior. Compared that Mandarin just shows up one day, out of the blue, trying to over the world and Iron Man deciding to stop him. Mandarin doesn't even have consistent motives, ideological or even a personality. Ra's Al Ghul had a way better build up in his first appearance then Mandarin did.
I'm not disagreeing with you. I'm just saying that there's actually something there to work with that kind of justifies him being Tony's arch, at least potentially.

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But again, you are not describing a character, you are describing an archetype. That's the problem here, Tony Stark is a pretty well arounded character, with virtues and flaws that make seem like a real person, while Mandarin is a rather board archetype, his back story seems to a change a lot (some retellings of his origins have him losing his fortune due to the Chinese revolution and other times he loses his fortunes due to spending it all on material arts and scientific training.) So its hard for them to have a interesting rivalry, when Mandarin often just is written as a stock villain to fit whatever whim the writer has that week.

An arch nemesis needs more then a rather shallow parallel between him and the hero, the dynamic should be more intense, more personal, then other villains, I don't see that between Tony Stark and Mandarin, generally. Many of the really personal Iron Man stories, Demon in a Bottle, Armor Wars, etc, don't even involve Mandarin. It seems like Justin Hammer, Obadiah Stane and Zeke Stane have done more to hurt Tony then Mandarin has.




Sure, but you don't have a arch nemesis, at least not yet. Knauf's Mandarin was close to a version of the character that could have been Tony's arch nemesis, but Fracation seemed to ignore all that and took Mandarin is a far less interesting direction.
You're right, but you're not really refuting anything I said. I didn't say he was a deep or well rounded character or that his enmity toward The Mandarin was particularly epic or nuanced. I just said that there was a neat contrast there, the kind of contrast that arch enemy relationships are built on, so it kind of makes sense and someone could do a lot to flesh him and their relationship out a lot more.

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In conclusion, I am not saying the twist was bad, but I do see why some people didn't like it and I do think it shrunk the scope of the movie. That's why I am conflicted about this twist, I think I would be upset if I thought Mandarin was a dynamic character and didn't have a lot baggage in regards to his racist silver age portrayal. Maybe Killian as the Mandarin is the best compromise they could have made.
I think Killian and The Mandarin was a pretty big improvement.

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Old 07-27-2013, 12:05 AM   #867
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He still used terrorist tactics, he committed acts of terrorism, and the Ten Rings organization still operated like a terrorist organization.
Except he has no real political goals, he is just another slimy corporate guy.

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If the explosion in Iraq was an accident. We know the first Extremis explosion was an accident, but after that it's a little less clear. I got the feeling that they sent the test subjects they knew were going to fail to specific locations to create terrorist bombings that they could then capitalize on.
I assumed that the test subjects often just randomly explode and being that most of them are in the military, they hit military targets and Killian uses the Mandarin to take credit for them. The Chinese Theater attack seemed more like a accident then something deliberate.

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Also, if you have operatives in the right place at the right time in different places around the world, then that means you have followers around the world. Just because they may not be native to the region they're in at the time doesn't change the fact that they follow you, and they're all around the world.


So Killian did lead a terrorist organization with followers all around the world.
Except its not really a global terrorist group if its just the same group of Americans, now is it?

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The fact that Killian said "it was always me, right from the beginning" pretty strongly implies that the Ten Rings organization from Iron Man 1 was founded by Killian, and he was the leader the whole time. They never state that the Ten Rings from the first film have nothing to do with him, so I see no reason to assume that's the case.
I think you are reaching with that quote, that could just mean he was responsible for the trouble at the beginning of Iron Man 3, nothing suggests that he had any direct involvement with the events Iron Man 1. There was no indication that the Ten Rings were working for anyone in Iron Man 1.

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And Raza's motive completely jives with Killian's motives. Killian's motives were to perpetuate the war on terror indefinitely so he could make a profit off of his military contracts and leverage political power for himself. Raza trying to take over Afganistan creates a new boogeyman that the military will buy weapons from Killian to fight, and if Raza succeeds then the Afghani Head of State works for him, so now he has an entire country in his pocket. Killian being in charge of the Ten Rings from the very beginning makes perfect sense.
Except we don't even know how established Killian or AIM was back in 2008, I think you are making too much out of one quote, that can read in more then one way. If Killian was still working on Extremist virus in 208, he wouldn't have had super weapons to sell to the government yet.



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I'm not disagreeing with you. I'm just saying that there's actually something there to work with that kind of justifies him being Tony's arch, at least potentially.
But there is a difference between potentially being an arch nemesis and actually being an arch nemesis. I have just a problem with the idea that is often put forward that Mandarin is Iron Man arch nemesis, because that is not really reflected in the stories.


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You're right, but you're not really refuting anything I said. I didn't say he was a deep or well rounded character or that his enmity toward The Mandarin was particularly epic or nuanced. I just said that there was a neat contrast there, the kind of contrast that arch enemy relationships are built on, so it kind of makes sense and someone could do a lot to flesh him and their relationship out a lot more.
I don't find that contrast in of itself interesting, its okay I guess, but not really that interesting on its own.


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I think Killian and The Mandarin was a pretty big improvement.
He was okay, he was menacing enough, but I did think his motives were a bit weak, he was mad at Tony for blowing him off in 1999, even though Tony made it pretty clear early in the conservation that he wasn't really interested in Killian's proposal. Killian seemed a bit too much like Buddy from the Incredibles. I think I liked Obadiah Stane as the best villain in the series, though I think Iron Man greatly out shinned his villains in the movies.

I still think the best version of the Mandarin, was the one written by Knauf, that Mandarin was willing to sacrifice his life for his ideals, to me that is more interesting then the stereotypical selfish entitled bad guy.

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Old 07-27-2013, 08:21 AM   #868
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Except he has no real political goals, he is just another slimy corporate guy.
You don't think assassinating the President and replacing him with a guy who's loyal to you is a political goal?

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I assumed that the test subjects often just randomly explode and being that most of them are in the military, they hit military targets and Killian uses the Mandarin to take credit for them. The Chinese Theater attack seemed more like a accident then something deliberate.
Okay.

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Except its not really a global terrorist group if its just the same group of Americans, now is it?
It is if they operate all around the world.

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I think you are reaching with that quote, that could just mean he was responsible for the trouble at the beginning of Iron Man 3, nothing suggests that he had any direct involvement with the events Iron Man 1. There was no indication that the Ten Rings were working for anyone in Iron Man 1.
That doesn't sound like the kind of quote that just refers to the events of this film, it sounds like the kind of quote that's meant toe tie the events of this film to those of the previous films. There would be no reason to have it in there except to make it clear to the audience that the Ten Rings was always Killian.

And there is something to suggest that Killian was involved with the events of Iron Man 1: Killian is the leader of the Ten Rings and the Ten Rings were in Iron Man 1. They never say that the Ten Rings in Iron man 1 and the Ten Rings in Iron Man 3 aren't related so why assume that they aren't?

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Except we don't even know how established Killian or AIM was back in 2008, I think you are making too much out of one quote, that can read in more then one way. If Killian was still working on Extremist virus in 208, he wouldn't have had super weapons to sell to the government yet.
He never sold Extremis to the government. By Iron Man 3 he was still keeping Extremis for himself and the people he wanted to be loyal to him. But AIM did other stuff for the government.

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I still think the best version of the Mandarin, was the one written by Knauf, that Mandarin was willing to sacrifice his life for his ideals, to me that is more interesting then the stereotypical selfish entitled bad guy.
I don't see how that's more interesting. It's not any less of a stereotype or an archetype.

Also, I don't see how that means he isn't selfish. I read that as him wanting to die a glorious death that changed the world forever so people would always remember and venerate him, not genuine altruism.

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Old 07-28-2013, 06:05 PM   #869
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Just the very fact of having an East Asian supervillain who calls himself The Mandarin is super iffy. And that still wouldn't free the character of the history that's attached.
Maybe I'm insensitive, but that in itself doesn't strike me as crossing a line. Granted, they would've had to have been careful, but I just can't help but feel that as long as they didn't engage in blatant stereotyping that they could've gotten away with keeping the character Chinese.

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Old 07-28-2013, 06:24 PM   #870
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There's really only two scenarios for the onscreen murder of the Roxxon Oil exec:

1) The exec was an actor, too (or a real Roxxon exec who was in the employ of AIM, and was pretending to be a hostage), and Trevor knew that, and was shooting blanks.
2) The exec was real, and the murder was real, and Trevor (...if that's his real name after all....) had no qualms about blowing his brains out. In which case, the whole drunken actor charade he put on for Tony (and, apparently, the courts) was just a ruse.
He was an actor.

During the end credits montage, when Ben Kingsley's credit gets featured, the Roxon exec gets up off the floor and he shakes hands with Trevor.

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Old 07-30-2013, 04:58 AM   #871
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Also, I don't see how that means he isn't selfish. I read that as him wanting to die a glorious death that changed the world forever so people would always remember and venerate him, not genuine altruism.
Yeah, that's how I read it as well: he wanted to do one last grand act in the name of the social darwinism that he's always stood for, then it's off to Valhalla or Stovokor or whatever Mongol barbarian asswhuper heaven is called, while the remaining population praised him forever for showing them the light and purging the world of the weak.

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Old 08-04-2013, 11:29 PM   #872
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Default Re: The Mandarin in Iron Man 3...Love it or hate it? - Part 1

HATE it! The Mandarin twist was completely stupid. It was as if in "The Dark Knight" Michael Jai White's character turned out to be the Joker and Ledger was revealed to be just a broken down actor pretending to be The Joker. Completely unacceptable.

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Old 08-05-2013, 05:17 AM   #873
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:24 PM   #874
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When asked how the Ten Rings fit into Iron Man 3, Drew Pearce responded, “As far as I’m concerned: real terrorist group. Current status unknown. Co-opted by Killian’s think tank as Mandarin material.”

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Old 08-06-2013, 12:05 AM   #875
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Default Re: The Mandarin in Iron Man 3...Love it or hate it? - Part 1

i hated it

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