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Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
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The Mandarin

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 6,420
Subj: Re: Shang-Chi/Mandarin news
Posted: Thu May 07, 2020 at 07:10:53 am CDT (Viewed 72 times)
Reply Subj: Shang-Chi/Mandarin news
Posted: Wed May 06, 2020 at 12:44:54 pm CDT (Viewed 141 times)

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The whole idea of movie Shang being an orphan raised to be a super-soldier actually ties in more to The Mandarin's comic origin than Shang's comicbook origin. The Mandarin's parents died, then he was raised to be a super-soldier. His aunt squandered all of his inheritance on his training because she hated the world.

So if movie Shang's an orphan given to a group to train into a super-soldier, it stands to reason that Mandarin in this universe began the same way and became the master of the group that trained him. A fairly logical extrapolation of his comicbook origin. In the comics, we're not really told who his aunt paid to train Mandarin to be a super-soldier, only that it cost ever bit of his wealth. In this universe, we are likely to find out that the school that Mandarin was sent to was The Ten Rings.

If so, that's actually rather clever. It fills in gaps left vague in the original comic. In the comic, every bit of his wealth is squandered training him to be the perfect warrior, then he wanders off and just happens to stumble on the rings.

He effectively has two origins, one as a super-soldier trained from birth, and a second as a really lucky wanderer.

What if those two origins were linked together in the movie? He is trained by the Ten Rings, so named after the legendary actual rings. The cult has a rumor that these rings exist. So it trains people, sometimes just to bolster its numbers, sometimes because someone pays them to do it, and the best of them rise to leadership. The cult has searched for the actual ten rings, but only the current leader, the Mandarin, has managed to put all the clues together and actually found them.

In other words, Mandarin's origin as a super-soldier trained from birth is what resulted in him having the clues that allowed him to find the ten rings. That's, actually really clever of the movie writers.

So yeah, if Shang is an orphan trained to be a super-soldier in this world, it was done to give him parallels to The Mandarin.

I do like the idea that Mandarin's origin has essentially eaten Shang's.

Only the Mandarin could have found the rings. It wasn't luck that led him to the Valley of Spirits, but daring; the valley wasn't a secret, it was taboo. A taboo he cheerfully defied. In a sense he had been training his whole life to find the Makluan ship.

So to me that was always part of it.

I am guessing they are going to play it that 'the Mandarin' is simply the title of the head of Ten Rings.
Like Ten Rings started out as an agency created by the Emperor to finance research into the legend (Full name: "His Divine Majesty the immortal Enperor's honorable and most accomplished department to accomodate investigations into the existence and location of the Ten Rings of Power". Obviously the head of the department originally was an officious pencil pusher, hence the title; but over the centuries, it evolved and adapted until it was something very much like the Hand.

You could even, in the MCU, play it so that the Hand started out as a breakaway band of rogues who intended to take the Rings for themselves, not the Emperor.

And now, the Mandarin is not a well-dressed, pompous writer of poetry and administrator, but a well-dressed master of assassins.

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