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The Mandarin

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,524
In Reply To
Happy Hogan 

Location: Northern Virginia
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 3,915
Subj: Re: Re-tooling the Mandarin
Posted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 at 04:36:59 pm EST (Viewed 200 times)
Reply Subj: Re-tooling the Mandarin
Posted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 at 03:44:38 pm EST (Viewed 215 times)

Previous Post

There have been a lot of threads here about what sort of villain the Mandarin should be.
As far as construcing a villain goes, I suggest watching this about Star Trek villain Gul Dukat: (spoilers for Star Trek DS9)

With all this in mind, in my own head the Mandarin should be shown to have as much in common with Tony Stark as possible.

First I would have him stop wearing his rings in battle. But this doesn't mean he should stop having them. In my scenario, he should be using the rings to create other weapons he would then use in battle. He should use the rings in conjunction with other materials (iron, maybe vibranium, maybe something else) to create swords, daggers, shields, even old school armor. Swords and other weapons were made by pounding, heating and quenching metal, something he can do with his rings. Doing all this would give the Mandarin an even more "old school" vibe. (Being old school is one of the Mandarin's best draws.)

If these weapons had other properties (energy projection for example) he would still be a good match for Iron Man. But more importantly for the purpose of changing the character, the weapons could be used by other fighters. That would make the Mandarin a supplier of weapons for a part of the super-villain world the same way Tony is now a supplier of weapons for other superheroes.

What are your thoughts on this?

I prefer for the rings to be essentially rogues-tools, high-tech versions of gas-bombs and caltrops and throwing sand in the other guys eyes. So I prefer that he keep them, but their power-levels should be kept a low-levels, doing things like creating illusionary Mandarins so the real Mandarin can cheapshot Iron Man with a karate-chop to the back, or a kick in the nuts.

Or creating a weak little tornado that Iron Man can beat by just rerouting power to the gyroscopes, but not before he's been spun around and made dizzy enough that Mandarin can cheapshot him with a karate-chop in the back, or a kick in the nuts.

Or creating ice that's just powerful enough that Iron Man can beat it by rerouting power to the heaters, but not before being trapped long enough for Mandarin to karate-chop him in the back, or kick him in the nuts.

The Mandarin is a schemer, a cheapshot-artist, and a savage, and the rings should compliment those things without rendering them superfluous.

I prefer for him to wear them in battle because they are visuals signifiers of what kind of person he is, as they are symbols of wealth, as well as evoking both pimp-bling and brass-knuckles.

He should not be using them to create weapons. All the weapons he has should be the result of thievery(especially from Stark), kidnapping and enslaving scientists, and enslaving peasant labor to build them. His weaponry should be rooted in his voracious exploitation, not in a plot-device.

There are numerous effective examples of him doing this, right from his first appearance redirecting missles, through the kidnapping of Stark to help invent the Dragon of Heaven, through his kidnapping of Maya Hanson.

To give an example of how I would like this sort of thing expanded: I play Mandarin on a roleplaying site, where one of my schemes was to steal a ghostbusters gizmo Stark invented for the Nightstalkers, modify it to torture souls and drain spiritual energy, and use it to torture Howard Stark's soul, and drain spiritual Chi from Falun Gong practitioners(destroying their souls) to charge up chi-batteries and sell them to the world as clean-energy, threatening Stark's place as an inventor of clean-energy-sources.

Thus, Mandarin steals Stark's invention, perverts it for something cruel, uses it to exploit a persecuted minority, and exploits all of the above to both profit personally, and hurt Stark on multiple levels. In the process, he even displays a fair bit of brilliance at blending science and mysticism, even if he needed Stark's utter creative brilliance as a base to work with.

I greatly prefer that to Mandarin waving his hand and the rings creating weaponry.

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