Dave Galanter
December 1st 1969 - December 12th 2020
He was loved.

Iron Man Message Board >> View Post
Post By
The Mandarin

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 6,537
In Reply To
America's Captain 

Location: Bayville New Jersey
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 12,139
Subj: Re: There is no precedent.
Posted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 at 12:04:10 pm EST (Viewed 273 times)
Reply Subj: Re: There is no precedent.
Posted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 at 10:15:31 pm EST (Viewed 311 times)


      Magneto is still Magneto. Doctor Doom is still Doctor Doom. Ultron is still Ultron. Red Skull is still Red Skull.


        I do not understand the need to divorce the Mandarin from his Chinese background. Do you people think there are no villains in China?

    The Mandarin did not appear in any of the three films. Kind of weird, no, since he's generally considered to be Iron Man's arch enemy? The reason he didn't appear is because he's Chinese. The lunatic dictators running China would not have allowed distribution of the film into their country if the villain was Chinese.

    So there are three choices: (1) forego distribution in China; (2) don't use the Mandarin; or (3) use the Mandarin but don't make him Chinese.

    Option (1) will never be selected. It represents lost profits. Option (2) was selected in the trilogy we've received. Option (3) remains available but certain obvious tweaks need to be made. The most obvious is to call this guy something other than "The Mandarin" as that name immediately evokes China, as it was of course meant to.

    Do you see a fourth option?

    My own opinion is that this guy does not need to be Chinese. He's not about China at all. He's not about being Chinese. He's not based on a Chinese legend or myth. He represents absolute narcissism with a barbarism fixation. He could be any ethnicity. The history of barbarism is available to anyone with internet access.

    So don't call him "The Mandarin." Don't talk about his ethnicity. Call him "The Man of Iron" or some other name if that name is better. Leave his ethnicity vague. Leave everything else the same. It all still works. The reason it all still works is because being Chinese has never been central to his character. Even in the earliest days, he wasn't working for China. He didn't care about China at all. He was contemptuous of its leadership.

    The purpose here is to allow this terrific villain to appear on the silver screen.

There are two things I think you can focus on about the character, neither of which are China-specific.

(1)Focus on how his aunt raised him to be a hateful super-soldier. That lends itself to both Angsty X-23 stuff, and angsty Roman Sionis/Penguin stuff. Very compelling, and not nationality specific at all. It does require referencing his family, but they are ethnic Mongol aristocrats and English aristocrats. Their nationality doesn't have to be mentioned beyond that.

(2)Focus on how his exploring paralleled Christopher Columbus with his enslaving the local villages, making the rings at once the gold Columbus enslaved the Taino to mine, and the guns he used to enslave them. There's nothing nation-specific about exploring and exploiting.

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