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Post By
Omar Karindu

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,242
In Reply To
Leonard

Subj: Re: The Mandarin's Living Ring: Iron Man #512 and upcoming issues
Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 at 10:42:21 pm EST (Viewed 302 times)
Reply 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)

Previous Post

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).

It's somewhat irritating to me that Fraction's take on the Mandarin as a Kim Jong-Il (Jong-Un, now?) type has been largely jettisoned here in favor of "generic megalomaniac." Additionally, the question of his relationship with Justine Hammer -- which seems really uncharacteristic, since he didn't just add her to his harem and doesn't seem interested in his own daughter's existence -- remains unexplored. (Zeke is finally mentioning his father as more than a token motivator, but that's about it.)

We already see the seeds of the villains' defeat being set up, of course, since not only are the Mandarin's Minions all unwilling servants, but the Hammers haven't worked out that the other Detroit Steel would have been resurrected like everyone else in Paris. Do they not watch the news?

Perhaps the silliest bit for me in all of this is the idea that the Living Laser: a) needed to be "upgraded" to move at the speed of light, when he's done that before in other comics; and b) can somehow have a bomb implanted in him and be threatened by that despite not having a solid physical form. How exactly do you perform surgery on a bunch of photons, or threaten to blow them up?




- Omar Karindu
"For your information, I don't have an ego. My Facebook photo is a landscape."
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