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Grey Gargoyle

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
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In Reply To
The Mandarin

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,359
Subj: 1900 Boxer Rebellion & 1959 Tibetan Rebellion ...
Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 at 05:43:12 am EDT (Viewed 171 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Interestingly enough, a similar evolution also happened to Doom & Magneto ...
Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 at 08:51:13 pm EDT (Viewed 132 times)

    I think it's also because his origin has been forgotten rather than mined. Stan Lee created an excellent origin for him, but the most important part of it has been largely, bafflingly forgotten. Someone could, for example, have done a story similar what we're seeing now with Doom: a story of his early childhood. A story of a child becoming a monster. The result would be closer to guys like Kingpin, Roman Sionis, and Penguin than it is to Magneto or Doom, but it would be interesting in its own way.
    I think it was also a way to set up Mandarin as having parallels to the East India Trading Company, Christopher Columbus, and the evil of imperial exploration in general. Makluan even sounds a lot like Maluku, the site of a great deal of colonial evil. I've often thought that Mandarin's exploring, finding the spaceship, and exploiting/enslaving the natives had a Christopher Columbus vibe to it. The spacetech therefore becomes, metaphorically, both the gold Columbus sought to steal, and the guns he used to steal it. Which makes the natives metaphors for the Taíno.

    Those are the two elements that so many Mandarin stories seem to miss: the Mandarin's early story as an orphan raised to be an Übermensch predator, and his later story as a Christopher Columbus type. Instead stories tend to focus on the rings, which is the least interesting part of his origin.

Indeed, if you would want to modernize the concept of the character, that could be an interesting way to do it. \:\-\)
The comparison with Roman Sionis is interesting. Especially, with the first version of the character and not the "Black Skull" character that he became after.

About Stan Lee, I think that the creation of the Mandarin was inspired by both the surroundings of the 1900 Boxer Rebellion and the 1959 Tibetan uprising. He combined some aspects of the two different historical events to create the background of his character.

(currently, it is topical but, back then, in the 1960s, it would not have been)

The father of Mandarin seems to be a mandarin who belonged to the Manchu upper-class just before the fall of the Qing Empire.
That's probably why he was so proud to be a descendant of Genghis Khan, since the imperial Manchu clans (Aisin Gioro and Yehe Nara) considered themselves relatives to the imperial Borjigin clan of Genghis Khan. .
His mother seems to be a British noblewoman belonging to the upper-class of the British Empire.

It is unlikely that his martial arts expertise could directly come from the Kung-Fu Schools whose Han leaders became the main protagonists of the Boxer Rebellion and who were the centuries-old enemies of the Manchu upper-class. The Boxers were also adversaries of the Eight-Nation Alliance (Russia, Japan, British Empire, France, USA, Austria, Germany, Italy).
Instead, he may have learned them from a Manchu teacher, equivalent to Wu Quanyou or Wu Chien-ch'uan. Also, the House of Zaiyi, one of the royal families in the capital, employed a large number of boxing masters like Yang Luchan, for example.'uan

The 1959 Tibetan uprising was led by the Khampas. The Khampas come from Kham, currently mostly a Chinese province.
The Khampas were fierce warriors who managed to fight the Communist Chinese army from 1950s to 1970s.
These warriors were able to keep some parts of their territory outside of Beijing's control during the 1960s.
Thus, there were historical equivalents of the fictional "Mandarin's Valley of Spirits" on the frontier between China & Tibet.

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