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Subj: Interestingly enough, a similar evolution also happened to Doom & Magneto ...
Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 at 04:11:14 am EDT (Viewed 104 times)
Reply Subj: Cunning, savagery, and exploitation vs creativity, cool determination, and justice
Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 at 09:26:14 am EDT (Viewed 86 times)
Quote:It transformed Mandarin from being the embodiment of deviousness, savagery, and exploition into being one of those regal cosmic types who float around slowly looking down their noses at people, and do everything with a casual handwave.
Interestingly enough, I think that it also happened to Doom & Magneto.
Silver Age Doom & Magneto were devious, savage & exploitative.
Slowly but certainly, post-Silver Age, they evolved into regal types who float around slowly looking down their noses at people, and do everything with a casual handwave.
During the 1980s Secret Wars, Doom was turned into a guy able to siphon cosmic energy from Galactus and to fight the Beyonder to a standstill.
Magneto's power level was amplified to the point that he was a living embodiment of "the unified field theory that states all energy is the same" (thus not far from cosmic level).
For the last decades, they have been turned into "men of honor" who do nearly as much good as they do bad, misunderstood antiheroes who are worshipped by their own kind (the Latverians, the Mutants) ...
If fans would read again the first appearances of Doom & Magneto, neither were trustworthy persons, especially compared to Namor.
Still, you are totally right that, in the case of the Mandarin, for the last decades, the rings have had a tendancy to overshadow their bearer.
I suspect that many writers want to write their Marvel version of the Lord of the Rings and use the unlucky Mandarin character as a template ...
I am fine with the Silver Age power level of the rings, except perhaps the "Poison Gas Ring".
For this ring, I think that the later explanation that it is a "Matter Rearranger Ring" might be a bit better.
To begin with, the rings were used by Axonn-Karr in connection with the technology of his starship.
So, IMO, the "Poison Gas Ring" might be the ring which allowed control to the inner environment of the starship and which allowed his bearer to survive toxic environments when Axonn-Karr was exploring planets.
In the mind of Stan Lee, the rings & the ship were probably only a mean for an end : explaining why Mandarin has had access to such high levels of technology.
Not taking into account the contradictory explanations about the rings, they could have been some kind of terraforming tools (which would explain the specific rings for cold, heat, electricity, matter rearranging ...) or they could be tools to repair the ship, or like Mandarin guessed, they could be its main powersource (like the Arc Reactor technology of the MCU).
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