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Omar Karindu

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,242
Subj: Re: The Mandarin's Living Ring: Iron Man #512 and upcoming issues
Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 at 08:01:27 pm EST (Viewed 30 times)
Reply Subj: The Mandarin's Living Ring: Iron Man #512 and upcoming issues
Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 at 06:36:51 pm EST (Viewed 381 times)

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Not an analysis of the issue, just a coincidence I noticed. It seems t me that many or most of the villains being revamped as Mandarin agents in this storyline are each a living counterpart to one of the Mandarin's rings. The Living Laser, Blizzard, Chemistro, and the proposed new Melter each suggest one of the Mandarin's ring powers.

The Mandarin did once have henchmen, each granted one ring, to do his bidding. They were called the apparent relation to the more infamous ninjas from Daredevil who also later worked with the Mandarin during the Acts of Venegance. With that in mind, what if that were really intended? Who among Iron Man's villains (loosely defined as a set) would fit the pattern? ( Entries with a "*" next to them are fromt he actual story or from interview comments by Fraction.)

Left Hand
Ice Blast: Blizzard*
Mento-Intensifier: The Controller
Electro-blast Ring: Crimson Dynamo (his forgotten original gimmick was that he could control electricity, hence the "Dynamo" part of the name).
Flame Blast Ring: Firebrand
White Light Ring: Living Laser*

Black Light Ring: An evil version of Darkstar or a resurrected Blackout, maybe???? Spymaster with a cloaking device? There's not really a good Iron Man villain for this one; for all the evil Darkforce users in the MU, few have fought Iron Man. Black Mamba met him once, but she's hardly in IM's class as a fighter.
Disintegration Beam Ring: The Melter* (Remember, his beam was originally supposed to melt matter without heating it up. Stark himself called the Melter's weapon a "matter dissolution ray" in a backup feature in Iron Man Annual #15)
Vortex Beam Ring: Cyclone??
Impact Beam Ring: Nitro
Matter-Rearranger Ring: Chemistro*

Who would you pick, if anyone?

I agree with your list... except for Vortex: I think that would be Whirlwind.

The issue wasn't too bad. By Fraction's standards, it was a positive high-flier. We got some reflection on Obadiah Stane (and some possible foreshadowing? Why DID Stane wear that goofy-ass jewel, anyway?) and open hostility between the Mandarin and Ezekiel. Also, more tech besides a "repulsor-powered" (whatever THAT means) car.
Also a nice second cover of "Cyber-Venom".

I have to say, the Mandarin is diminished in my eyes. The Knaufs tried to turn him into so much more than he was - tempered, yet still ruthless. Fraction has completely ignored this development, just as he apparently chooses to ignore the Mandarin having been altered by the Extremis process. Antagonizing a technological genius who is on a par with Iron Man himself and seeks chaos is stupid. Zeke altered his own physiology cybernetically. How long before he manages to disable the bomb? And being aristocratic is one thing, but now he's just being dumb. "This ring is called Daimonic"? A line like that I would have expected in a comic from 1974.

But, you know, somehow I suspect the rings are gonna get a revised origin, too. They're probably made from gems hacked out of the Holy Grail, or something. I am sure Fraction's version will make no more sense.

(Over in Thor, he sweeped Bor under the rug altogether, although HIS story was told less than three years ago - by a far more talented writer).

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