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Post By
Grey Gargoyle

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 17,676
In Reply To
The Mandarin

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 6,410
Subj: Re: I've never really gotten why people liked Iron Man (before the movies)
Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 at 06:37:20 am CST (Viewed 282 times)
Reply Subj: Re: I've never really gotten why people liked Iron Man (before the movies)
Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 at 05:34:34 pm CST (Viewed 295 times)

Previous Post

    I've always struggled with what that theme (or hook) is with Iron Man. Even his worst enemy the Mandarin...I really have zero understanding why out of all his enemies that one is somehow important. They're not overly similar or opposite. There isn't enough there for a strong comparison or contrast really.

The Iron Man and The Mandarin’s life-stories parallel each other, except the Mandarin’s is much more evil at every level.

Both Iron Man and Mandarin began as aristocrats. Iron Man was raised by parents who were cold and concerned with hardening him up and making him a real man.

The Mandarin was raised by an aunt who hated him, and raised him to be an evil super-soldier, obsessed with war and science and martial arts and political deviousness. He was raised to be the harshest possible version of what a “real man” is.

Iron Man squandered some of his fortune on wasteful, hedonistic things, but ultimately was responsible enough to keep his company afloat and keep the people under him employed and prosperous.

The Mandarin squandered every bit of wealth he inherited, bankrupting his estate to transform himself into a super-soldier. His estate became so bankrupt he couldn’t even afford to pay property taxes. As a result, the lives of everyone who depended on his estate was ruined.

Out of a desire to protect American soldiers with the best equipment and keep his company alive, Iron Man de facto supported American actions that were at least semi-colonial. It’s a stain on his conscience that he works every day to rectify.

The Mandarin explored new lands, discovered alien resources, and outright conquered, colonized, enslaved the native villages there so he could exploit the resources there, i.e. the alien technology and rings. He was pretty much colonialism-incarnate. He remains a proud conqueror and exploiter to this day.

In short, the Mandarin is an exaggeration of Stark’s worst traits.

Also, similar taste in facial hair & costumes.

When he used the Gene Kahn alias, the Mandarin looked like an evil Tony Stark.

In the same story, he was portrayed as a crime boss & the head of a workers' union, a populist using demagogy against Tony Stark.

So far, it has probably been one of his better & most successful plans.

I told you so. Calling himself Gene Kahn brings him luck ! (^_^')

Jim Lee's rendition of the Mandarin also had a similar dress code.

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