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America's Captain 

Location: Bayville New Jersey
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 11,635
In Reply To
Reverend Meteor

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 11,423
Subj: Re: Re-tooling the Mandarin
Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 at 08:13:59 pm EST (Viewed 177 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Re-tooling the Mandarin
Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 at 04:44:46 pm EST (Viewed 189 times)

    The thing is, villainy actually HAS worked out for him, in that he's fabulously rich and even owns his own de facto country. It's easy to think of him as a failure since we see Stark foil his biggest schemes, but objectively he's a colossal success who periodically has his hobby ruined.

There's something to be said for this position but it all depends on what we mean by "success," Mandarin.

    In Born Again, Kingpin has basically won. His rule is unquestioned, he's fabulously rich and influential. So as a hobby, he destroys the life of someone who has occasionally annoyed him. He doesn't have some big grand scheme, because he's already won the big stuff. Ruining Daredevil's life is his version of building a ship in a bottle.

The Kingpin is definitely a success from any perspective, Mandarin. Daredevil is only alive because the Kingpin allows it. He could crush Daredevil at any time.

But of course the Kingpin benefits from having one of the weakest superheroes of all as his opponent. He also benefits by only really losing by being sent to prison and even that isn't a complete loss for him. Iron Man could physically smash the Kingpin's empire any time he wants. But could he win a conviction in court? Doubtful. The Kingpin covers his tracks too well. The only way to really beat the Kingpin is to kill him. Which Iron Man could definitely do. But he won't. Probably. Unless the Kingpin kills the wrong person. Kill Pepper, Kingpin. Go ahead. I dare you.

    I won't tolerate any "villain already won" poppycock without a time jump. You can't have a guy lose for decades and declare he's won all along. Nope not having it.

It all depends on what "won" means. The Mandarin has apparently beaten many, many foes. He just hasn't beaten the toughest one he has. But of course I think that's your point. Doctor Doom has beaten many, many foes. But he hasn't beaten the toughest one he has. Doctor Doom can't really declare himself a winner until Reed Richards is utterly humiliated at his feet, because that's what Doom wants. I'm pretty sure Doom could kill Reed (when Reed is on Earth) any time he wants. But Reed's death isn't and has never been the goal.

    If Marvel wants to turn Mandarin into A list villain then DO that by showing stuff as it happens. Don't just say he accomplished all this stuff off panel and that's why he's the best. The lazy villain taking credit for stuff always rankles me. Red Skull did that back around Cap #350 taking responsibility for almost every villain group Cap fought in a couple year period...super annoying. Or like when Red Skull tries to take credit for orchestrating Baron Zemo killing Bucky. Nuh uh that was Heinrich Zemo's kill and he planned it alone.

I don't think the Mandarin can ever be A-List because Iron Man (in the comics) isn't really A-List. In the movies he is. In the comics he's honorary A-List because of his film success. Iron Man's fans love him. I love him. But he doesn't have as many fans as, say, Spider-Man or Wolverine. Not in the comics.

To really make the Mandarin A-List, he needs to fight the Avengers single-handedly, I think. Fighting Iron Man will never elevate him because Iron Man himself isn't elevated.

    I think all it takes to catapult Mandy into top tier villainy is having him kill the right people. Pick someone (or a few someones) that Marvel can do without but still have their fans and let Mandarin kill them.

Perhaps, but not Iron Man characters. Killing Iron Man characters won't have enough punch for what apparently is the goal. However, you address that immediately below.

    Like let Mandarin slaughter the new Champions. They're useless. He needs something to build up his street cred.

Unfortunately he would probably kill Alpha Flight. Because Marvel likes to kill them, I think.

Maybe he could kill the real Nick Fury. Might as well since we'll never see him again otherwise.

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