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Post By
Happy Hogan 
Manager

Location: Northern Virginia
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 3,889
In Reply To
The Mandarin

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,387
Subj: Re: Re-tooling the Mandarin
Posted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 at 10:21:57 pm EST (Viewed 149 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Re-tooling the Mandarin
Posted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 at 10:36:41 am EST (Viewed 150 times)




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      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.

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        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.

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          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.

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

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              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.

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      But they don't signify that he's smart. They don't signify that he's a warrior.



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    The rings don't have to signify those things, they just have to not get in the way of the abilities that DO signify those things. That's why you keep the rings weak. The rings are just high-tech versions of throwing dirt in the other guys eyes.



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    You signify that he's smart by displaying his political and economic deviousness. You also have him display his intelligence by modifying and mixing the inventions he's stolen with the science he's acquired from kidnapped scientists, and even a little ritual magic, and engineering the whole mess into something more lethal than the sum of its parts.



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    You signify that he's a warrior by emphasizing his superhuman mystic chi-channeling martial arts abilities.



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    The rings don't have to be a part of that, they just have to not get in the way, and you stop them from getting in the way by keeping them at a level where they don't render any of that superfluous. Byrne rendered all of that superfluous by making the rings so powerful that there was nothing he could acquire via deviousness and exploitation and engineering that could match what he could do with a wave of his hand. There was no combat feat that his mystic martial arts training could accomplish that wasn't dwarfed by what the rings could do. What Byrne did was a severe mistake. The rings should be Mysterio-In-A-Can, Byrne made them Silver-Surfer-In-A-Can.



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        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.

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          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.

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            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 made 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.

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              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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              That sounds too much like Green Lantern, who did it first.
        ....wuh?? What I described is a million miles from Green Lantern. I don't even know how you came to that conclusion.


\(creve\) OOPS!! Sorry about that! I think I read your reply too fast and responded to quickly. The misunderstanding was completely my fault. Please accept a humble "D'OH!!" from me. \(creve\)


Anyway, in my head, I wasn't thinking that the rings were creating construct weapons like in Green Lantern. I was thinking that before any battle, the weapons were being made by the Mandarin by taking and pounding the material like a blacksmith, shaping it with fine precision like a machinist, or working it like an iron worker; all with the aid of the rings.


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        I think someone in Iron Man's rouge gallery should be making weapons for the bad guys, and at the moment the best candidate for that is the Mandarin.



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    He should be making weapons, but he should be making them by stealing inventions(especially Stark's), kidnapping scientists, and mixing and modifying all of the above with his own genius. And he should be having slave labor construct the result. He should not be waving his hand and having the rings do all the work.


In my head, he would be doing most of the construction himself, with the rings, as he wouldn't want anyone else using them. Also, having him use slave labor brings him closer to the idea of the "yellow peril" I keep hoping that Marvel will move him away from.
BTW, in my own head, if Mandarin were making the weapons with the rings, he would also get to have a voice as to who was "worthy" to use them, increasing his influence among Marvel's warriors.


I tend to be of two minds concerning your thoughts on John Byrne's and others stories. On one hand, you've got a very good analogy about Joel Schumacher's and Robert Swenson's Bane taking a lot away from the greatness that was previously a great character. However, if the rings are sentient and out to get Stark, it would greatly add to the amount of powerful enemies Iron Man has. For quite a while I've been of the opinion that Iron Man needs a more powerful rouges gallery.

The trouble with all those stories is, they've been done, and have now been out there too long that they can't just be ignored. In my head, one of the reasons that the Mandarin would stop using the rings in battle is because he realized they had become too headstrong and were now loose cannons. Taking actions to assure that he's still in charge of the rings helping the process making him the hero of his own story.


But I'm just brainstorming here, since that's really all we can do anyway. I wouldn't be opposed to the idea of a story that explains away the fact that the rings "sentience" is actually a hoax. At least I wouldn't have a problem with it, as long as the story that did that introduced a few powerful characters to add to the rouges gallery.






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