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Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
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The Mandarin

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 7,014
Subj: Re: The Mandarin's Living Ring: Iron Man #512 and upcoming issues
Posted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 06:18:30 pm EST (Viewed 212 times)
Reply Subj: Re: The Mandarin's Living Ring: Iron Man #512 and upcoming issues
Posted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 10:18:05 am EST (Viewed 332 times)

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Okay there's that, I had forgotten that connection. Still, how does making him an Kim analogue make for an interesting supervillain? Especially an arch-enemy for Iron Man? Kim was such a banal little boy, with no real philosophy that I know of. Can you imagine Kim in, lets say, "The Dark Knight"? The Joker there comes across as a kind of High Priest of Nihilism, with a very sharp contrast between his beliefs and Batman's, to the point where the whole thing is a kind of Nihilsm/Humanism debate conducted physically, operatically.

Come to think of it, that's why movie Red Skull fell flat for me. There was something so banal about his evil.

Heck, the reason why Fraction may have seemed to abandon the Kim analogue take is Kim was such a thin brat that there simply wasn't anything left to mine from him past the Annual.

Personally I prefer for the Mandarin to have more in common with Bane and Kraven The Hunter than Kim. I think he should have Kraven's basic philosophy but expressed in a much more ambitious way most of the time.

Leonard seems to want him to think like Doom at his grandest, and by extension like the Paradise Lost Satan. I don't agree, but I'd take it over Kim's utter banality.

Not Doom.

Something more ancient and dark, and as always you neglect the rings. You should not.

What was he before the rings? Nothing!

The Mandarin is not just Zhang Qan Qu*, the orphaned rich boy who was raised by his embittered aunt before he lost his possessions to the Communists. He's also a son of Kakaranathara, steeped in their technology and culture, changed by the rings of power. Unlike you so steadfastly support, he is not a human warlord. He may not be a human anything.

And this is why I actually do want to know more about those rings. And about Kakaranathara. Where did those rings come from? Not from the dragons - according to Century, they're destined to always fall into the hands of those who can the most damage with them. And what about the dragons? Were they really just a band of brigands and thrillseekers?
We know that Chen Hsu lives... he appeared in Marvel Team-up.

* In one of the animated Iron Man comics, his name was given as Zhang Chan. It's the only name I've ever read as given to him that sounds like it could be really Chinese apart from Zhang Tong. Unless his birth name should turn out to BE Zhang Tong I am sticking with this. Hey, it's better than Arnold Brock.

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