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The Mandarin


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,390


The Mandarin shouldn't need to conquer the world. The Mandarin won a long time ago. Thanks to things like Citizens United legalizing bribery, and gerrymandering allowing the control of state politics simply by corrupting the leadership of the one dominate party in each state, the Mandarin should have won via bribery and corruption a long time ago. The Mandarin should be the reason why laws with even 90% approval don't get passed when they conflict with the desires of rich corporations.

As such, trying to conquer the world outright should be portrayed as just a minor hobby of his. He already rules the world in every way that matters. Attempting to get that last little dollop of power via conquest is just for funsies.

Furthermore, since he's been at that hobby a long time, maybe it's time he got bored with it, and switched to hurting Stark in small, personal, disturbing ways. Creepy things, like stealing the ghostbuster gizmo Stark invented for the Nightstalkers, and modifying it to torture ghosts. And then digging up Howard Stark's bones, summoning his spirit, and torturing Howard Stark via technology stolen from Tony Stark.




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Leonard


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 2,015



...Your version of the character lacks all grandeur.



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America's Captain 

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Location: Bayville New Jersey
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 11,061


I like the perspective that the Mandarin has already won, but not in the particular ways you describe, which frankly just aren't fun.

I would present the Mandarin as having already won in the sense that he has already conquered in four areas:

1. He is unquestionably the world's greatest martial artist. He can fight Iron Man with his bare hands. 'Nuff said.

2. He can be presented as the supreme financial oligarch of the planet. I don't think he has quite been presented precisely like that, but Marvel has come pretty close. I would take it to the extreme and be explicit about it.

3. He can be presented as the supreme master of Chinese mystical arts. Again, I don't think he has been presented precisely like that, but he has been involved with mystical artifacts and such. I would take it to the extreme and be explicit about it.

4. He can be presented as the supreme master of Chinese military strategy. Take it to the extreme and be explicit about it.

Present it that he is already at the top. He is already the best.

Now imagine this beast coming after Tony.






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Reverend Meteor


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 10,065





    Quote:
    I like the perspective that the Mandarin has already won, but not in the particular ways you describe, which frankly just aren't fun.



    Quote:
    I would present the Mandarin as having already won in the sense that he has already conquered in four areas:



    Quote:
    1. He is unquestionably the world's greatest martial artist. He can fight Iron Man with his bare hands. 'Nuff said.


I think Shang Chi and Iron Fist would dispute that...


    Quote:
    2. He can be presented as the supreme financial oligarch of the planet. I don't think he has quite been presented precisely like that, but Marvel has come pretty close. I would take it to the extreme and be explicit about it.



    Quote:
    3. He can be presented as the supreme master of Chinese mystical arts. Again, I don't think he has been presented precisely like that, but he has been involved with mystical artifacts and such. I would take it to the extreme and be explicit about it.


Bad idea. Considering he's only half-Chinese. Making the guy who isn't fully Chinese the master of their mystical arts or their military expertise implies the full blooded Chinese aren't up to snuff.


    Quote:
    4. He can be presented as the supreme master of Chinese military strategy. Take it to the extreme and be explicit about it.





    Quote:
    Present it that he is already at the top. He is already the best.



    Quote:
    Now imagine this beast coming after Tony.







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America's Captain 

Maintainer

Location: Bayville New Jersey
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 11,061



    Quote:

      Quote:
      1. He is unquestionably the world's greatest martial artist. He can fight Iron Man with his bare hands. 'Nuff said.


    I think Shang Chi and Iron Fist would dispute that...


When they fight Iron Man with their bare hands, their dispute will carry more weight. Seriously, I hesitated to be so blunt in my statement, but I can't get around the plain fact of the Mandarin using karate chops to fight Iron Man to a standstill. This is the greatest display of martial arts supremacy ever depicted in a Marvel comic. It just is.


    Quote:
    Bad idea. Considering he's only half-Chinese. Making the guy who isn't fully Chinese the master of their mystical arts or their military expertise implies the full blooded Chinese aren't up to snuff.


Maybe the Legacy weirdness can reset the Mandarin so he isn't half English. I never understood why he was half English in the first place. Why not just make him fully Chinese? Weird decisions like that make me shake my head. It needs to be retconned. The Mandarin needs to be the ultimate Chinese warlord sorcerer. Either that or just don't use him any more.






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MysteryMan


Member Since: Fri Apr 28, 2017
Posts: 1,791



    Quote:

      Quote:

        Quote:
        1. He is unquestionably the world's greatest martial artist. He can fight Iron Man with his bare hands. 'Nuff said.



      Quote:
      I think Shang Chi and Iron Fist would dispute that...



    Quote:
    When they fight Iron Man with their bare hands, their dispute will carry more weight. Seriously, I hesitated to be so blunt in my statement, but I can't get around the plain fact of the Mandarin using karate chops to fight Iron Man to a standstill. This is the greatest display of martial arts supremacy ever depicted in a Marvel comic. It just is.



    Quote:

      Quote:
      Bad idea. Considering he's only half-Chinese. Making the guy who isn't fully Chinese the master of their mystical arts or their military expertise implies the full blooded Chinese aren't up to snuff.



    Quote:
    Maybe the Legacy weirdness can reset the Mandarin so he isn't half English. I never understood why he was half English in the first place. Why not just make him fully Chinese? Weird decisions like that make me shake my head. It needs to be retconned. The Mandarin needs to be the ultimate Chinese warlord sorcerer. Either that or just don't use him any more.


They cant make him full Chinese...because then he can not be a villain.


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Leonard


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 2,015



I have always found him the more interesting for it.



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America's Captain 

Maintainer

Location: Bayville New Jersey
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 11,061



    Quote:

    I have always found him the more interesting for it.


For being half English? What does it add to him? I was thinking maybe I missed an important story where his English heritage was a driving plot element. Did I? I definitely may have. Some sort of "Woe is me for I am accepted by neither side - but I shall have my comeuppance" type of tale?

In this thread I'm mostly concerned with the Mandarin as an archetype. I don't know how to think of a Chinese/English amalgamation in archetypal terms. Is there a way to do it? Has any writer done it?








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America's Captain 

Maintainer

Location: Bayville New Jersey
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 11,061



    Quote:
    They cant make him full Chinese...because then he can not be a villain.


I have the answer.

Chinese Iron Man! (He would be called "New" Iron Man because somehow that always works.)

Hey, DC has a Chinese Superman, so why not?

Chinese Iron Man could be the hero and the Mandarin could be the villain!

Too bad Amadeus Cho is Korean. If he was Chinese he could be Iron Man too! And Thor! And Captain America! His action figures would have some amazing Transformer capability to switch between the identities. It's genius!

But OK, I guess that won't be happening, so the Mandarin has to be half English, because being a villain when you're English is perfectly fine. Maybe we could retcon away the Chinese half! He could be completely English. Raised in London. Went to Oxford. Was fascinated by feudal Chinese culture. Embarks on a mad course to bring feudalism back to China despite the staunch resistance of the brave Chinese government, military, and citizenry. Decides he needs the secrets of Tony Stark's technology to achieve his lunatic goals.









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MysteryMan


Member Since: Fri Apr 28, 2017
Posts: 1,791



    Quote:

      Quote:
      They cant make him full Chinese...because then he can not be a villain.



    Quote:
    I have the answer.



    Quote:
    Chinese Iron Man! (He would be called "New" Iron Man because somehow that always works.)



    Quote:
    Hey, DC has a Chinese Superman, so why not?



    Quote:
    Chinese Iron Man could be the hero and the Mandarin could be the villain!



    Quote:
    Too bad Amadeus Cho is Korean. If he was Chinese he could be Iron Man too! And Thor! And Captain America! His action figures would have some amazing Transformer capability to switch between the identities. It's genius!



    Quote:
    But OK, I guess that won't be happening, so the Mandarin has to be half English, because being a villain when you're English is perfectly fine. Maybe we could retcon away the Chinese half! He could be completely English. Raised in London. Went to Oxford. Was fascinated by feudal Chinese culture. Embarks on a mad course to bring feudalism back to China despite the staunch resistance of the brave Chinese government, military, and citizenry. Decides he needs the secrets of Tony Stark's technology to achieve his lunatic goals.



    Quote:



There ya go! perfect!


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MysteryMan


Member Since: Fri Apr 28, 2017
Posts: 1,791



    Quote:

      Quote:

      I have always found him the more interesting for it.



    Quote:
    For being half English? What does it add to him? I was thinking maybe I missed an important story where his English heritage was a driving plot element. Did I? I definitely may have. Some sort of "Woe is me for I am accepted by neither side - but I shall have my comeuppance" type of tale?



    Quote:
    In this thread I'm mostly concerned with the Mandarin as an archetype. I don't know how to think of a Chinese/English amalgamation in archetypal terms. Is there a way to do it? Has any writer done it?



    Quote:



Well it could be interesting. A combination of the best and worst of both Western and Eastern cultures. Leading to The Mandarin!!!!


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The Mandarin


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,390


I prefer to think of him not as a cultural amalgam, but as a cultural nihilist. In Stan Lee's origin, he begins by spending his father's money, money that could have been spent on making the lives of the people in his fiefdom better, on himself, on becoming a kind of super-soldier, on becoming the perfect predator. He doesn't spend that money becoming devoted to culture. The Mandarin is defined by his desire to spend other people's money in a rather crude, hypermasculine way. Once all the money is gone, he goes exploring like Christopher Columbus, finds alien resources, and enslaves the surrounding villages. The rings and alien tech thus become at once the gold Columbus enslaved the Taino to mine, and the guns used to do the enslaving.

So I think any mention of culture from him is just an attempt to play to his audience.

His audience is Chinese?
"I've always treasured the culture of the land of my birth."

His audience is British?
"My mother was British, and I've always had great affection for the land of the woman who birthed me."

His audience is American?
"China, England, and America may have their differences, but when history called, all three united to fight the evil of the Japanese. I am proud to be the child created by England and China uniting as one, as well as a student of American industry and ferocity."

His audience is Japanese?
"I've always admired the Japanese ability to combine modern science with traditional elegance. I myself am both a student of science and traditional martial arts. In fact, I have taken it upon myself to study karate extensively, as both a means of self-defense, and a wise path on which to live my life."

His audience is Mongolian?
"I've treasured above all else my Mongolian ancestry as a member of the Borjigin clan descended from the great Genghis Khan himself."

But when the audience is a helpless enemy, he says what he really believes.
"To know that you are superior, in mind, in body, in spirit, that is everything! To know that power is your birthright, to know that untold thousands exist on this world for no reason but to serve you, to channel their power through your empire, be it of land or of business, channeling it upward to fuel you, to fuel your glory!"

The Mandarin is a devious, savage, exploitative character who will do or say anything in order to spend other people's resources, money, labor, and inventions on himself becoming a better warrior/predator with ever more wealth, political power, and military power. Culture is just talk from him. If there is any genuine culture at all with him, it probably begins and ends with him thinking dragon statues and Asian art looks cool.







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IronBrian3


Member Since: Thu Nov 30, 2017
Posts: 6


I don't mean this in a bad way, but Citizens United isn't about legalized bribery. It is unfortunate that the propaganda about the case far exceeds it's reality.

Here is what the case is about:

In 2002, Congress passed and President Bush signed the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (aka McCain-Feingold). One of the provisions prevented campaign electioneering (paying for ads, pamphlets, et cetera) by third parties 30 days before a federal primary and 60 days before a federal election.

In 2008, a private citizen's group called Citizen's United wanted to show a film called Hillary: The Movie, which was critical of Hillary Clinton. The Clinton campaign threatened to file a complaint with the FEC because the showings were within 30 days of several primaries. In response, Citizen's United filed a complaint to clarify their right.

The Supreme Court ruled that the BCRA violated the First Amendment as to the 30 and 60 day limitation.

Bear in mind that the ruling is important as to the First Amendment. In oral arguments, the government admitted that they could stop a book publisher from publishing a book critical of a candidate. Flyers from non-profit organizations would equally be illegal.

There have been several incorrect statements made about the case.

For example, the ruling that corporations are people. Citizens United did not make that decision. Corporate personhood has been accepted since 1818 and in 1886, the Supreme Court stated that a corporation has the same protections as a person.

Or the ruling that money is speech. Again, not decided in Citizens United. That was decided in 1976.

Thus, it was really about whether a citizens group could have their speech restricted and the Court ruled no.


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The Mandarin


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,390



    Quote:
    I don't mean this in a bad way, but Citizens United isn't about legalized bribery. It is unfortunate that the propaganda about the case far exceeds it's reality.



    Quote:
    Here is what the case is about:



    Quote:
    In 2002, Congress passed and President Bush signed the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (aka McCain-Feingold). One of the provisions prevented campaign electioneering (paying for ads, pamphlets, et cetera) by third parties 30 days before a federal primary and 60 days before a federal election.



    Quote:
    In 2008, a private citizen's group called Citizen's United wanted to show a film called Hillary: The Movie, which was critical of Hillary Clinton. The Clinton campaign threatened to file a complaint with the FEC because the showings were within 30 days of several primaries. In response, Citizen's United filed a complaint to clarify their right.



    Quote:
    The Supreme Court ruled that the BCRA violated the First Amendment as to the 30 and 60 day limitation.



    Quote:
    Bear in mind that the ruling is important as to the First Amendment. In oral arguments, the government admitted that they could stop a book publisher from publishing a book critical of a candidate. Flyers from non-profit organizations would equally be illegal.


In theory you are correct. In practice: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens_United_v._FEC
A dissenting opinion by Justice Stevens[35] was joined by Justice Ginsburg, Justice Breyer, and Justice Sotomayor. To emphasize his unhappiness with the majority, Stevens read part of his 90-page dissent from the bench.[36] Stevens concurred in the Court's decision to sustain BCRA's disclosure provisions but dissented from the principal holding of the Court. He argued that the Court's ruling "threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the Nation. The path it has taken to reach its outcome will, I fear, do damage to this institution." He added: "A democracy cannot function effectively when its constituent members believe laws are being bought and sold."[37]

Stevens also argued that the Court addressed a question not raised by the litigants when it found BCRA §203 to be facially unconstitutional, and that the majority "changed the case to give themselves an opportunity to change the law".[28] He argued that the majority had expanded the scope beyond the questions presented by the appellant and that therefore a sufficient record for judging the case did not exist. Stevens argued that at a minimum the Court should have remanded the case for a fact-finding hearing, and that the majority did not consider other compilations of data, such as the Congressional record for justifying BCRA §203.

Stevens argued that the Court had long recognized that to deny Congress the power to safeguard against "the improper use of money to influence the result [of an election] is to deny to the nation in a vital particular the power of self protection".[38] After recognizing that in Buckley v. Valeo the Court had struck down portions of a broad prohibition of independent expenditures from any sources, Stevens argued that nevertheless Buckley recognized the legitimacy of "prophylactic" measures for limiting campaign spending and found the prevention of "corruption" to be a reasonable goal for legislation. Consequently, Stevens argued that Buckley left the door open for carefully tailored future regulation.[28] Although the majority echoed many of the arguments in First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, Stevens argued that the majority opinion contradicted the reasoning of other campaign finance cases – in particular, Austin v. Michigan State Chamber of Commerce and McConnell v. Federal Election Commission – and found it telling that the majority, when citing such cases, referenced mainly dissenting opinions.

Stevens argued that the majority failed to recognize the possibility for corruption outside strict quid pro quo exchanges. He referenced facts from a previous BCRA challenge to argue that, even if the exchange of votes for expenditures could not be shown, contributors gain favorable political access from such expenditures.[28] The majority, however, had considered access to be insufficient justification for limiting speech rights.

Stevens, responded that in the past, even when striking down a ban on corporate independent expenditures, the Court "never suggested that such quid pro quo debts must take the form of outright vote buying or bribes" (Bellotti). Buckley, he said, also acknowledged that large independent expenditures present the same dangers as quid pro quo arrangements, although Buckley struck down limits on such independent expenditures. Using the record from a previous BCRA §203 challenge, he argued that independent expenditures were sometimes a factor in gaining political access and concluded that large independent expenditures generate more influence than direct campaign contributions.[28] Furthermore, Stevens argued that corporations could threaten Representatives and Senators with negative advertising to gain unprecedented leverage. Stevens supported his argument by citing Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co.,[39] where the Court held that $3 million in independent expenditures in a judicial race raised sufficient questions about a judge's impartiality to require the judge to recuse himself in a future case involving the spender. Stevens argued that it was contradictory for the majority to ignore the same risks in legislative and executive elections, and argued that the majority opinion would exacerbate the problem presented in Caperton because of the number of states with judicial elections and increased spending in judicial races.

Second, Stevens argued that the majority did not place enough emphasis on the need to prevent the "appearance of corruption" in elections. Earlier cases, including Buckley and Bellotti, recognized the importance of public confidence in democracy. Stevens cited recent data indicating that 80% of the public view corporate independent expenditures as a method used to gain unfair legislative access.[28] Stevens predicted that if the public believes that corporations dominate elections, disaffected voters will stop participating.

Third, Stevens argued that the majority's decision failed to recognize the dangers of the corporate form. Austin held that the prevention of corruption, including the distorting influence of a dominant funding source, was a sufficient reason for regulating corporate independent expenditures. In defending Austin, Stevens argued that the unique qualities of corporations and other artificial legal entities made them dangerous to democratic elections. These legal entities, he argued, have perpetual life, the ability to amass large sums of money, limited liability, no ability to vote, no morality, no purpose outside profit-making, and no loyalty. Therefore, he argued, the courts should permit legislatures to regulate corporate participation in the political process.

Legal entities, Stevens wrote, are not "We the People" for whom our Constitution was established.[28] Therefore, he argued, they should not be given speech protections under the First Amendment. The First Amendment, he argued, protects individual self-expression, self-realization and the communication of ideas. Corporate spending is the "furthest from the core of political expression" protected by the Constitution, he argued, citing Federal Election Commission v. Beaumont,[40] and corporate spending on politics should be viewed as a business transaction designed by the officers or the boards of directors for no purpose other than profit-making. Stevens called corporate spending "more transactional than ideological". Stevens also pointed out that any member of a corporation may spend personal money on promoting a campaign because BCRA only prohibited the use of general treasury money.

Fourth, Stevens attacked the majority's central argument: that the prohibition of spending guards free speech and allows the general public to receive all available information. Relying on Austin, Stevens argued that corporations "unfairly influence" the electoral process with vast sums of money that few individuals can match, which distorts the public debate. Because a typical voter can only absorb so much information during a relevant election period, Stevens described "unfair corporate influence" as the potential to outspend others, to push others out of prime broadcasting spots and to dominate the "marketplace of ideas".[28] This process, he argued, puts disproportionate focus on this speech and gives the impression of widespread support regardless of actual support. Thus, this process marginalizes the speech of other individuals and groups.

Stevens referred to the majority's argument that "there is no such thing as too much speech" as "facile" and a "straw man" argument. He called it an incorrect statement of First Amendment law because the Court recognizes numerous exceptions to free speech, such as fighting words, obscenity restrictions, time, place and manner restrictions, etc. Throughout his dissent, Stevens said that the majority's "slogan" ignored the possibility that too much speech from one source could "drown out" other points of view.

Fifth, Stevens criticized the majority's fear that the government could use BCRA §203 to censor the media. The focus placed on this hypothetical fear made no sense to him because it did not relate to the facts of this case – if the government actually attempted to apply BCRA §203 to the media (and assuming that Citizens United could not constitute "media"), the Court could deal with the problem at that time. Stevens described the majority's supposed protection of the media as nothing more than posturing. According to him, it was the majority's new rule, announced in this case, that prohibited a law from distinguishing between "speakers" or funding sources. This new rule would be the only reason why media corporations could not be exempted from BCRA §203. In this, Stevens and the majority conceptualize the First Amendment's protection of "the press" quite differently. Stevens argues that the "Press" is an entity, which can be distinguished from other persons and entities which are not "press". The majority opinion viewed "freedom of the press" as an activity, applicable to all citizens or groups of citizens seeking to publish views.

Sixth, Stevens claimed that the majority failed to give proper deference to the legislature. Stevens predicted that this ruling would restrict the ability of the states to experiment with different methods for decreasing corruption in elections. According to Stevens, this ruling virtually ended those efforts, "declaring by fiat" that people will not "lose faith in our democracy".[28] Stevens argued that the majority's view of a self-serving legislature, passing campaign-spending laws to gain an advantage in retaining a seat, coupled with "strict scrutiny" of laws, would make it difficult for any campaign finance regulation to be upheld in future cases.

Seventh, Stevens argued that the majority opinion ignored the rights of shareholders. A series of cases protects individuals from legally compelled payment of union dues to support political speech.[41] Because shareholders invest money in corporations, Stevens argued that the law should likewise help to protect shareholders from funding speech that they oppose. The majority, however, argued that ownership of corporate stock was voluntary and that unhappy shareholders could simply sell off their shares if they did not agree with the corporation's speech. Stevens also argued that Political Action Committees (PACs), which allow individual members of a corporation to invest money in a separate fund, are an adequate substitute for general corporate speech and better protect shareholder rights. The majority, by contrast, had argued that most corporations are too small and lack the resources and raw number of shareholders and management staff necessary to maintain compliance, accounting and administrative costs of a PAC. In this dispute, the opposing views essentially discussed differing types of entities: Stevens focused his argument on large, publicly held corporations while the justices in the majority, particularly Justice Scalia's concurring opinion, placed an emphasis on small, closely held corporations and non-profits.

Stevens called the majority's faith in "corporate democracy" an unrealistic method for a shareholder to oppose political funding. A derivative suit is slow, inefficient, risky and potentially expensive. Likewise, shareholder meetings only happen a few times a year, not prior to every decision or transaction. Rather, the officers and boards control the day-to-day spending, including political spending. According to Stevens, the shareholders have few options, giving them "virtually nonexistent" recourse for opposing a corporation's political spending.[28] Furthermore, most shareholders use investment intermediaries, such as mutual funds or pensions, and by the time a shareholder may find out about a corporation's political spending and try to object, the damage is done and the shareholder has funded disfavored speech.

Stevens concluded his dissent by writing:

At bottom, the Court's opinion is thus a rejection of the common sense of the American people, who have recognized a need to prevent corporations from undermining self government since the founding, and who have fought against the distinctive corrupting potential of corporate electioneering since the days of Theodore Roosevelt. It is a strange time to repudiate that common sense. While American democracy is imperfect, few outside the majority of this Court would have thought its flaws included a dearth of corporate money in politics.[29]

History has proven his dissenting opinion painfully correct.



    Quote:
    There have been several incorrect statements made about the case.



    Quote:
    For example, the ruling that corporations are people. Citizens United did not make that decision. Corporate personhood has been accepted since 1818 and in 1886, the Supreme Court stated that a corporation has the same protections as a person.



    Quote:
    Or the ruling that money is speech. Again, not decided in Citizens United. That was decided in 1976.



    Quote:
    Thus, it was really about whether a citizens group could have their speech restricted and the Court ruled no.


I was being a bit simplistic when I put it all on Citizens United, I'll admit. It would be more accurate to say it was several decisions in combination with inherent American system design flaws that reached a kind of tipping point, and once that tipping point was crossed, democracy was drastically weakened, with politicians serving rich donors rather than the majority population. A fact that has been proven by studies that show that the majority population has almost no effect on laws, and the will of the extremely rich and corporations has massive effect. https://www.globalresearch.ca/its-official-scientific-study-shows-that-the-u-s-is-an-oligarchy-not-a-democracy/5377987 In other words, America is an oligarchy with limited democratic elements, not a democracy.







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Happy Hogan 

Manager

Location: Northern Virginia
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 3,889




    Quote:
    I prefer to think of him not as a cultural amalgam, but as a cultural nihilist. In Stan Lee's origin, he begins by spending his father's money, money that could have been spent on making the lives of the people in his fiefdom better, on himself, on becoming a kind of super-soldier, on becoming the perfect predator. He doesn't spend that money becoming devoted to culture. The Mandarin is defined by his desire to spend other people's money in a rather crude, hypermasculine way. Once all the money is gone, he goes exploring like Christopher Columbus, finds alien resources, and enslaves the surrounding villages. The rings and alien tech thus become at once the gold Columbus enslaved the Taino to mine, and the guns used to do the enslaving.


That doesn't quite fit for me. Calling him a cultural nihilist implies that he doesn't believe in any culture. He might have squandered his father's money, but he didn't do it to give himself more worldly pleasures, (like most villains would); he didn't do it to immediately acquire more weapons (like most warlords would). He did it to make himself better. (At least what he viewed as being better). From Stan's origin story he seemed to have a unique world view and worked to achieve it for himself.
Much like Heath Leger's Joker, the Mandarin Stan created seemed to have something he believed in and seemed to work to champion it.

If the current Iron Man writers could agree on what he believes in, and make that central to the character's story, the Mandarin would come across as a more fleshed out character.






The Mandarin


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,390


It's kind of piecemeal, but he seems to believe in a sort of social darwinism blended with a kind of monarchism. I mean, in the Knauf's run he talks about wanting a "meritocracy", but at the same time he's imagining two Mongol warriors fighting to the death. There's his "To know that you are superior, in mind, in body, in spirit, that is everything! To know that power is your birthright, to know that untold thousands exist on this world for no reason but to serve you, to channel their power through your empire, be it of land or of business, channeling it upward to fuel you, to fuel your glory!" speech in Busiek's run. Then there's the implication of his basically devouring his fiefdom to become a super-soldier in Stan Lee's origin story.

The overall impression I get is that he believes in a sort of social darwninism, but it's not the racial sort one associate with the term. It's more like extreme Ayn Rand thinking, where building yourself into an utterly selfish predator who is perfect in mind, body, and spirit is goodness, and everything else is just food for the perfected.

If he were to write down his philosophy, I suspect it would sound a lot like the Sith Code.




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America's Captain 

Maintainer

Location: Bayville New Jersey
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 11,061



    Quote:
    In theory you are correct. In practice: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens_United_v._FEC
    A dissenting opinion by Justice Stevens[35] was joined by Justice Ginsburg, Justice Breyer, and Justice Sotomayor. To emphasize his unhappiness with the majority, Stevens read part of his 90-page dissent from the bench.[36] Stevens concurred in the Court's decision to sustain BCRA's disclosure provisions but dissented from the principal holding of the Court. He argued that the Court's ruling "threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the Nation. The path it has taken to reach its outcome will, I fear, do damage to this institution." He added: "A democracy cannot function effectively when its constituent members believe laws are being bought and sold."[37]


When you're quoting court briefs in detail to discuss a super-villain, I think you've taken your perspective too far.


    Quote:
    I was being a bit simplistic when I put it all on Citizens United, I'll admit. It would be more accurate to say it was several decisions in combination with inherent American system design flaws that reached a kind of tipping point, and once that tipping point was crossed, democracy was drastically weakened, with politicians serving rich donors rather than the majority population. A fact that has been proven by studies that show that the majority population has almost no effect on laws, and the will of the extremely rich and corporations has massive effect. https://www.globalresearch.ca/its-official-scientific-study-shows-that-the-u-s-is-an-oligarchy-not-a-democracy/5377987 In other words, America is an oligarchy with limited democratic elements, not a democracy.


This kind of conspiracy theory doesn't work in a comic because not all your readers will believe in this conspiracy. In fact most won't.

I honestly think you're moving in a very wrong direction. Super-villains are supposed to be FUN. You're not aiming for fun. You're aiming for some sort of political science essay which is the last thing any comic book reader wants to read.

Unfortunately, because somebody decided a Chinese villain was offensive to China (despite the fact that a Spanish villain isn't offensive to Spain, and a French villain isn't offensive to France - or maybe they are - are they?) we can no longer enjoy the original Mandarin, who was fun as all heck.

I say drop the guy. Give Iron Man a new arch enemy. Not every arch enemy has to be a Stan Lee creation.

I guess Titanium Man and the Crimson Dynamo are out of the question also. Tony original mythos was grounded in the cold war and the cold war is bad marketing nowadays.






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Reverend Meteor


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 10,065




    Quote:
    The Mandarin shouldn't need to conquer the world. The Mandarin won a long time ago. Thanks to things like Citizens United legalizing bribery, and gerrymandering allowing the control of state politics simply by corrupting the leadership of the one dominate party in each state, the Mandarin should have won via bribery and corruption a long time ago. The Mandarin should be the reason why laws with even 90% approval don't get passed when they conflict with the desires of rich corporations.


Ugh. So he's the guy in the story that gets to say I'm the reason the world sucks. I keep the metric system down and keep health care costs high. Just ugh.

I hate stories like that. They've been doing it during Mr. Robot (particularly this season when they hinted the Black Army from China put Trump in power)

The villain already won shtick doesn't work in stories set in the modern era IMO. The world is crap. We know that. We don't need a villain to take credit for making it that way from the shadows. It's just such lazy storytelling.

Now if it's a story set in the distant past, distant future, or somewhere in space a villain imposing their will like that looks impressive. But we already know the current world is shit. Some guy taking credit for all of it just seems dumb and has really been done to death.

(at least in Network Arthur Jensen made it more complicated than just one guy is running the world)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zI5hrcwU7Dk


    Quote:
    As such, trying to conquer the world outright should be portrayed as just a minor hobby of his. He already rules the world in every way that matters. Attempting to get that last little dollop of power via conquest is just for funsies.


It seems to ridiculous to give that to the Mandarin. The Kingpin maybe. Or Red Skull. Mandarin's *cough* a little further down the villain food chain.



    Quote:
    Furthermore, since he's been at that hobby a long time, maybe it's time he got bored with it, and switched to hurting Stark in small, personal, disturbing ways. Creepy things, like stealing the ghostbuster gizmo Stark invented for the Nightstalkers, and modifying it to torture ghosts. And then digging up Howard Stark's bones, summoning his spirit, and torturing Howard Stark via technology stolen from Tony Stark.






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The Mandarin


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,390



    Quote:
    When you're quoting court briefs in detail to discuss a super-villain, I think you've taken your perspective too far.

I wasn't. Brian shifted the discussion to something tangential and I responded. I probably should have responded in a PM to him, but ah well.




    Quote:
    I honestly think you're moving in a very wrong direction. Super-villains are supposed to be FUN. You're not aiming for fun. You're aiming for some sort of political science essay which is the last thing any comic book reader wants to read.


I'm actually not. Rather, I'm aiming for an extremely personal enemy. The political stuff is mostly just a plot-device to explain why The Mandarin has so much free time to devote to hurting Stark in personal ways. It's intended to be lead to something like Kingpin's torture of Daredevil. That story wasn't some long-winded speech on all of the political factors that allowed Kingpin to gain so much power. The political part was either explained in a few caption boxes, or implied. Rather, beginning with the premise that Daredevil was a peasant in Kingpin's kingdom, allowed for a story about one man torturing another for fun, and the man transcending that.

I'm also thinking of "Penguin, Pain and Prejudice", where Cobblepot possessing tremendous behind-the-scenes power is treated as a given, an implied background part of a very personal story.







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The Mandarin


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,390



    Quote:
    It seems to ridiculous to give that to the Mandarin. The Kingpin maybe. Or Red Skull. Mandarin's *cough* a little further down the villain food chain.


Every villain is down the food chain, until a story makes them not. Joker was a one-off villain, until he wasn't. Magneto was the forgettable villain of cancelled book, until he wasn't. Kingpin was a minor mobster villain in Spider-Man, very low on the food chain, until he wasn't. Really, the only guy who was created from day one with the intent to be a big deal was Doc Doom. Everyone else climbed up that food chain later, in some cases decades later.

Also, this is precisely the scope Mandarin's been playing at for a long time. He was wielding tremendous behind the scenes political and economic power in the Knauf's run, and Busiek's run. This part isn't really new. Rather, this is about quickly and briefly establishing this with slightly more clarity for the new reader, and then moving on to very personal, painful attacks. Instead of, y'know, implying it as the background of a scheme to conquer the world or plunge it into war and chaos.






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America's Captain 

Maintainer

Location: Bayville New Jersey
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 11,061



    Quote:
    I'm actually not. Rather, I'm aiming for an extremely personal enemy. The political stuff is mostly just a plot-device to explain why The Mandarin has so much free time to devote to hurting Stark in personal ways. It's intended to be lead to something like Kingpin's torture of Daredevil. That story wasn't some long-winded speech on all of the political factors that allowed Kingpin to gain so much power. The political part was either explained in a few caption boxes, or implied. Rather, beginning with the premise that Daredevil was a peasant in Kingpin's kingdom, allowed for a story about one man torturing another for fun, and the man transcending that.


(Cathartic rant begins.) I hated that story. Yeah, I know, it's a classic, it redefined Daredevil, it was dramatic, it was a masterpiece. But it wasn't fun. It went too far. It was too depressing. It was too hard to look at. It made me too angry.

I don't need or want Waid/Samnee cartoonishness. But I also don't need or want Frank Miller sadomasochism. Another story (in another medium) that I hated was Stephen King's "Misery." (Cathartic rant ends.)

Nevertheless, I get what you're aiming at. I just don't think the target can be hit. By anyone. Not with a tainted character like the Mandarin. (Same holds true for the Titanium Man, whom I also used to love.) They both thrived in a context of the Cold War. People loved to watch Tony beat up those commies. Yeah, I know, the Mandarin was never a commie, but he was Chinese, and that was close enough. Of course he wanted to conquer the world. China was communist and all commies wanted to conquer the world. The only thing standing in their way was the good old US of A.

That's an important element that has been lost from Iron Man. He represented the best of American know-how and gumption. He might as well have been named Super-Capitalist. Despite the lack of the flag on his chest, he was more representative of the American ideal as it really existed in people's minds than Silver Age Steve Rogers ever was. Someone named Captain America should really have been a captain of industry. Tony was that character. But Marvel was marketing to young people and young people were breaking from the American ideal of the 1950s. Tony was shifted to a position more palatable to flower children and Beatniks, at least as Stan Lee believed them to be. That shift in overall aesthetic made the Mandarin and the Titanium Man poor fits even as far back as the late 60s. The Cold War was still a blizzard and grown-ups would still have welcomed Super-Capitalist. But grown-ups weren't the target market.

I would make the Mandarin and the Titanium Man global terrorists. The War on Terror is today's Cold War.

But never mind because - marketing. At least as far as the Mandarin is concerned. Chinese villains are a marketing nightmare so they must be eliminated.


    Quote:
    I'm also thinking of "Penguin, Pain and Prejudice", where Cobblepot possessing tremendous behind-the-scenes power is treated as a given, an implied background part of a very personal story.


You make me wish I had that read this story. Sounds awesome.






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The Mandarin


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,390



    Quote:
    I would make the Mandarin and the Titanium Man global terrorists. The War on Terror is today's Cold War.


No, we are already past that. The present enemy is the corporation. You can see that in Iron Man 3. You can see it in all of the Netflix superhero shows except Jessica Jones, where the villain is toxic-masculinity. Really, Ledger-Joker was the last time I can recall the supervillain-as-a-metaphor-for-terrorism angle played straight.

I also saw this in Star Wars the Last Jedi. The story takes a detour to inform us that the rich are getting richer by exploiting both the Rebels and the First Order. The traditional supervillain is disposed of halfway through the movie and the real villain turns out to be the creepy guy stalking Rey.

The exploitative corporation and the embodiment of toxic masculinity are the two stock villains of this era. This time will be remembered for that as much as the seventies were remembered for bell-bottoms.

I believe The Mandarin fits better in this era than he did in the one he was created in. As the embodiment of both rich exploitation, and toxic masculinity, he is the perfect villain for this era. He is, when you get right down to it, a rich exploiter who used exploitation to build himself into what the toxically hypermasculine mind would consider the perfect man.






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America's Captain 

Maintainer

Location: Bayville New Jersey
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 11,061



    Quote:
    It's kind of piecemeal, but he seems to believe in a sort of social darwinism blended with a kind of monarchism. I mean, in the Knauf's run he talks about wanting a "meritocracy", but at the same time he's imagining two Mongol warriors fighting to the death. There's his "To know that you are superior, in mind, in body, in spirit, that is everything! To know that power is your birthright, to know that untold thousands exist on this world for no reason but to serve you, to channel their power through your empire, be it of land or of business, channeling it upward to fuel you, to fuel your glory!" speech in Busiek's run. Then there's the implication of his basically devouring his fiefdom to become a super-soldier in Stan Lee's origin story.


Genghis Khan. That's what I get from all that, if I smooth out the rough edges and ignore inconsistencies.


    Quote:
    If he were to write down his philosophy, I suspect it would sound a lot like the Sith Code.


Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.


Yeah, I think that fits. Even the last line could be interpreted as chi.

I really wish we could have this guy in this, the Globalist Age of Comics.






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America's Captain 

Maintainer

Location: Bayville New Jersey
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 11,061



    Quote:
    No, we are already past that. The present enemy is the corporation. You can see that in Iron Man 3. You can see it in all of the Netflix superhero shows except Jessica Jones, where the villain is toxic-masculinity. Really, Ledger-Joker was the last time I can recall the supervillain-as-a-metaphor-for-terrorism angle played straight.


There's also the evil shadow government as seen in the Punisher Netflix series and also the show Scandal - but OK, yes, I see your point.


    Quote:
    I also saw this in Star Wars the Last Jedi. The story takes a detour to inform us that the rich are getting richer by exploiting both the Rebels and the First Order. The traditional supervillain is disposed of halfway through the movie and the real villain turns out to be the creepy guy stalking Rey.


Evil corporation, evil shadow government, hypermasculinity (we need Mahkismo to return) - OK. I generally can't tolerate the hypermasculinity angle (except in the case of Mahkismo because Thundra) but these would all work for the Titanium Man.

As for the top of the pyramid, Justin Hammer fit the evil corporation model. He's a space-popsicle right now so there's an opening for somebody else, and of course the Mandarin has already been played in that space.

Unfortunately the evil corporation feels very dated to me. I know it still pops up but when it does it feels dated to me. That's because the evil corporation has existed as a theme since at least the 70s. It adds paraphernalia in various media. For example, cyberpunk almost always involves an evil corporation sitting behind a super-computer.

Marvel's 1999 books were heavily into the evil corporation theme. Especially Spider-Man 1999.

Deathlok has always had an evil corporation theme.

It just bores me at this point. But I agree, it's an available approach.

One thing this thread has made clear to me is the essential similarities between the Kingpin and the Mandarin. The Kingpin, after all, has never been described as having super powers, yet he fought Spider-Man with his bare hands, just as the Mandarin fought Iron Man with his bare hands. The Kingpin was able to do this because, like the Mandarin, he had developed himself through training. Both villains had dedicated themselves fanatically to accumulating and consolidating wealth and power through brutality. Both are sadists.

I would vote for the Mandarin as a crime lord. Sure, that theme is even more dated than the evil corporation, but if crime lords are good enough for Batman then they're good enough, period. More to the point, crime lords can expand into evil corporation territory easily, and can also expand into shadow government territory easily. Crime lords can go in any evil direction you could name. Mad scientist? Certainly. The crime lord can easily have a mad scientist in his employ. Vampires? Absolutely. Crime lords can easily have human trafficking rackets designed to feed vampires. Space aliens? Of course. Space aliens can be crime lords themselves or can be part of any racket or can be trying to manipulate the crime lord.





    Quote:
    The exploitative corporation and the embodiment of toxic masculinity are the two stock villains of this era. This time will be remembered for that as much as the seventies were remembered for bell-bottoms.



    Quote:
    I believe The Mandarin fits better in this era than he did in the one he was created in. As the embodiment of both rich exploitation, and toxic masculinity, he is the perfect villain for this era. He is, when you get right down to it, a rich exploiter who used exploitation to build himself into what the toxically hypermasculine mind would consider the perfect man.








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Happy Hogan






    Quote:

      Quote:
      No, we are already past that. The present enemy is the corporation. You can see that in Iron Man 3. You can see it in all of the Netflix superhero shows except Jessica Jones, where the villain is toxic-masculinity. Really, Ledger-Joker was the last time I can recall the supervillain-as-a-metaphor-for-terrorism angle played straight.



    Quote:
    There's also the evil shadow government as seen in the Punisher Netflix series and also the show Scandal - but OK, yes, I see your point.



    Quote:

      Quote:
      I also saw this in Star Wars the Last Jedi. The story takes a detour to inform us that the rich are getting richer by exploiting both the Rebels and the First Order. The traditional supervillain is disposed of halfway through the movie and the real villain turns out to be the creepy guy stalking Rey.



    Quote:
    Evil corporation, evil shadow government, hypermasculinity (we need Mahkismo to return) - OK. I generally can't tolerate the hypermasculinity angle (except in the case of Mahkismo because Thundra) but these would all work for the Titanium Man.


I don't have a problem with the hyper-masculinity angle, but that shouldn't be his most defining trait. It would be similar to having being a clown be the most defining trait of the Joker.



    Quote:
    As for the top of the pyramid, Justin Hammer fit the evil corporation model. He's a space-popsicle right now so there's an opening for somebody else, and of course the Mandarin has already been played in that space.



    Quote:
    Unfortunately the evil corporation feels very dated to me. I know it still pops up but when it does it feels dated to me. That's because the evil corporation has existed as a theme since at least the 70s. It adds paraphernalia in various media. For example, cyberpunk almost always involves an evil corporation sitting behind a super-computer.



    Quote:
    Marvel's 1999 books were heavily into the evil corporation theme. Especially Spider-Man 1999.



    Quote:
    Deathlok has always had an evil corporation theme.



    Quote:
    It just bores me at this point. But I agree, it's an available approach.


I disagree. I don't have a problem with evil corporations (in stories) but I don't see it as a good fit for the Mandarin. Also being pro-capitalist (or pro-communist for that matter) would probably play against his already established hyper-masculinity. He probably thinks of both systems contributing to making mankind to soft.



    Quote:
    One thing this thread has made clear to me is the essential similarities between the Kingpin and the Mandarin. The Kingpin, after all, has never been described as having super powers, yet he fought Spider-Man with his bare hands, just as the Mandarin fought Iron Man with his bare hands. The Kingpin was able to do this because, like the Mandarin, he had developed himself through training. Both villains had dedicated themselves fanatically to accumulating and consolidating wealth and power through brutality. Both are sadists.


Before Frank Miller stole the Kingpin for Daredevil, he was thought of as having superhuman strength and durability. In my own head cannon, the Mandarin also should be thought of having something superhuman. (Maybe he had something before finding the rings, maybe it comes from the rings.)

By the way, I've never been a fan of the Frank Miller trope of having people with no superpowers performing superhuman feats.


    Quote:
    I would vote for the Mandarin as a crime lord. Sure, that theme is even more dated than the evil corporation, but if crime lords are good enough for Batman then they're good enough, period. More to the point, crime lords can expand into evil corporation territory easily, and can also expand into shadow government territory easily. Crime lords can go in any evil direction you could name. Mad scientist? Certainly. The crime lord can easily have a mad scientist in his employ. Vampires? Absolutely. Crime lords can easily have human trafficking rackets designed to feed vampires. Space aliens? Of course. Space aliens can be crime lords themselves or can be part of any racket or can be trying to manipulate the crime lord.


But to my knowledge he's never been a crime lord. And making him one now would make him too much like too many other villains. I don't have a problem with re-tooling his concept, but the aim of that should be to show how he's not like all the other villains we've seen.

So if he becomes a crime lord, at the very least his "business" as a crime lord should be as unique as possible. Not just another Kingpin, and please not just another yellow peril.





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The Mandarin


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,390



    Quote:


      Quote:

        Quote:
        No, we are already past that. The present enemy is the corporation. You can see that in Iron Man 3. You can see it in all of the Netflix superhero shows except Jessica Jones, where the villain is toxic-masculinity. Really, Ledger-Joker was the last time I can recall the supervillain-as-a-metaphor-for-terrorism angle played straight.

      Quote:

        Quote:
        There's also the evil shadow government as seen in the Punisher Netflix series and also the show Scandal - but OK, yes, I see your point.

        Quote:

          Quote:

            Quote:
            I also saw this in Star Wars the Last Jedi. The story takes a detour to inform us that the rich are getting richer by exploiting both the Rebels and the First Order. The traditional supervillain is disposed of halfway through the movie and the real villain turns out to be the creepy guy stalking Rey.

          Quote:

            Quote:
            Evil corporation, evil shadow government, hypermasculinity (we need Mahkismo to return) - OK. I generally can't tolerate the hypermasculinity angle (except in the case of Mahkismo because Thundra) but these would all work for the Titanium Man.



    Quote:
    I don't have a problem with the hyper-masculinity angle, but that shouldn't be his most defining trait. It would be similar to having being a clown be the most defining trait of the Joker.



    Quote:


      Quote:
      As for the top of the pyramid, Justin Hammer fit the evil corporation model. He's a space-popsicle right now so there's an opening for somebody else, and of course the Mandarin has already been played in that space.

      Quote:

        Quote:
        Unfortunately the evil corporation feels very dated to me. I know it still pops up but when it does it feels dated to me. That's because the evil corporation has existed as a theme since at least the 70s. It adds paraphernalia in various media. For example, cyberpunk almost always involves an evil corporation sitting behind a super-computer.

        Quote:

          Quote:
          Marvel's 1999 books were heavily into the evil corporation theme. Especially Spider-Man 1999.

          Quote:

            Quote:
            Deathlok has always had an evil corporation theme.

            Quote:

              Quote:
              It just bores me at this point. But I agree, it's an available approach.



    Quote:
    I disagree. I don't have a problem with evil corporations (in stories) but I don't see it as a good fit for the Mandarin. Also being pro-capitalist or pro-communist would probably play against his already established hyper-masculinity. He probably thinks of both systems contributing to making mankind to soft.


I always try to go back to Stan Lee's origin for him when thinking about this. He spent money that could have been spent improving the lives of his fiefdom's people on himself. Then he, in very Christopher Columbus like fashion, explores, loots what he explores, and enslaves the natives surrounding the resources he finds, using the very resources of their land to exploit them. The philosophy implied by this loosely resembles something like Ayn Rand, but it's much uglier and more blatantly evil.

To put it another way, I don't think he cares whether a particular system is making everyone else soft. He is not soft, and the systems others follow are only relevant insofar as he can manipulate them to his own benefit. In other words, he cares about such things in exactly the same way a lion cares about what time of day a deer visits the watering hole.

What would you consider Christopher Columbus' philosophy when he was demanding that the Taino mine gold for him, and chopping off their hands and making them wear their hands around their necks whenever one of them failed to mine enough gold? Could such a mindset even be summed up by any of the major philosophical systems?


    Quote:


      Quote:
      One thing this thread has made clear to me is the essential similarities between the Kingpin and the Mandarin. The Kingpin, after all, has never been described as having super powers, yet he fought Spider-Man with his bare hands, just as the Mandarin fought Iron Man with his bare hands. The Kingpin was able to do this because, like the Mandarin, he had developed himself through training. Both villains had dedicated themselves fanatically to accumulating and consolidating wealth and power through brutality. Both are sadists.



    Quote:
    Before Frank Miller stole the Kingpin for Daredevil, he was thought of as having superhuman strength and durability. In my own head cannon, the Mandarin also should be thought of having something superhuman.

Yes, it's been stated outright by Stark that the Mandarin has superhuman strength. Stark says that the Mandarin is a "savage, super-strong fighter." The karate-chops are also called "savage" more than once, and Stark says that the karate might have "shattered my armor if I made one wrong move!" The Mandarin's intelligence and savagery both get played up by Stan Lee a lot. The rings in the early days don't seem very powerful, mostly doing things to temporarily get Iron Man off-balance or incapacitate him briefly. Illusions that allow him to get in cheapshots/sucker-punches with the karate, ice-beams to halt his movements temporarily but not cold enough to kill him, etc. Stuff that's more devious than powerful, kind of like movie Loki's illusions. Indeed, he uses illusions exactly the way movie Loki does, as a way to set up a sneak attack. He just tends to sneak attack with karate instead of stabbing the other guy in the back.



He does things like stealing control off Stark's weapons, enslaving people. And of course his origin story is hugely exploitative.

The overall impression I get is a character who is intended to be devious, savage, and exploitative.



    Quote:

      Quote:
      I would vote for the Mandarin as a crime lord. Sure, that theme is even more dated than the evil corporation, but if crime lords are good enough for Batman then they're good enough, period. More to the point, crime lords can expand into evil corporation territory easily, and can also expand into shadow government territory easily. Crime lords can go in any evil direction you could name. Mad scientist? Certainly. The crime lord can easily have a mad scientist in his employ. Vampires? Absolutely. Crime lords can easily have human trafficking rackets designed to feed vampires. Space aliens? Of course. Space aliens can be crime lords themselves or can be part of any racket or can be trying to manipulate the crime lord.



    Quote:
    But to my knowledge he's never been a crime lord. And making him one now would make him too much like too many other villains. I don;t have a problem with re-tooling his concept, but the aim of that should be to show how he's not like all the other villains we've seen.

He's actually been outright called a crimelord in at least two issues that I can recall. Though it's generally been utterly vague what these crimes where supposed to be. In my headcanon, it would be weapon-smuggling. Going by those books, though, he's a crimelord because he... stands around with some thugs being a crimelord? That version of him would get along well with Jack Sparrow, who's a pirate because he stands around being a pirate.


    Quote:
    So if he becomes a crime lord, at the very least his "business" as a crime lord should be as unique as possible. Not just another Kingpin, and please not just another yellow peril.



    Quote:








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Happy Hogan 

Manager

Location: Northern Virginia
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 3,889




    Quote:


      Quote:
      But to my knowledge he's never been a crime lord. And making him one now would make him too much like too many other villains. I don't have a problem with re-tooling his concept, but the aim of that should be to show how he's not like all the other villains we've seen.

    He's actually been outright called a crimelord in at least two issues that I can recall. Though it's generally been utterly vague what these crimes where supposed to be. In my headcanon, it would be weapon-smuggling. Going by those books, though, he's a crimelord because he... stands around with some thugs being a crimelord? That version of him would get along well with Jack Sparrow, who's a pirate because he stands around being a pirate.


Thanks for the clarification. It's still hard for me to think of him as a crimelord if I don't know what sort of crime he runs. I agree that connecting him with weapons is a step in the right direction, (it fits better than most other crimelord jobs that come to mind) but for all we know he's a drug dealer.





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