Tales Of Suspense #61-62 (Iron Man)
Issue(s): Tales Of Suspense #61, Tales Of Suspense #62 (Iron Man stories only)
Later, Happy sneaks into Tony Stark's mansion, hoping to find some clues about Stark's whereabouts. Instead he finds Stark in bed, hiding his armor under the blankets.
This causes quite a stir with even the police and the press showing up. But the inquiry is brought to a halt when the Mandarin sends a UFO over to blow up Stark from space.
Stark of course survives as Iron Man, but he heads over to Asia to fight the Mandarin, and instead gets beat down by a giant "robot" and tied up again (we don't learn anything more about the giant).
Captured by the Mandarin, Iron Man employs the time-honored tradition of getting the villain to rant endlessly while the hero figures a way out of the mess he's in.
He gets the Mandarin to tell his origin story, which involves him being a young Chinese noble - a descendant of Ghengis Kahn (along with about 8% of the former Mongolian empire) - who lost his fortune to the Communists (it's not quite that explicit in this issue - his mansion is possessed due to his failure to pay taxes). He wanders around for a while refusing to do any sort of labor, and eventually finds an ancient alien spaceship that was piloted by an alien with a dragon-shaped appearance in a place called the Valley of Spirits.
The power source of the spaceship are the 10 rings that the Mandarin now uses.
The dragon/alien species (according to the log of one of them, Axonn-Karr), said to be from planet Maklu-4, will much later be revealed to be related to Fin Fang Foom (which was a really cool retcon, i think), but what i wonder about is that Foom's race must have had more than one spaceship, and therefore more sets of those ultra-powerful rings.
Iron Man eventually escapes in a bizarre scheme involving spinning around a lot to charge up his armor...
...and foils the Mandarin's plot to cause war between America and China thus allowing him to rule the world post-WWIII. He then hitches a ride home with some US Air Force pilots.
The Mandarin is a cool villain.
He's powerful, intelligent, and he's got a fairly unique motivation and a good origin. Unfortunately, he's been given the worst costume designs i've ever seen. Artists seem to recognize this as his costume is frequently changed, but it's never changed to anything good. He is also written too melodramatically, and between that and his hyper-nationalistic motivations (which make him interesting) it's inevitable that he'll sometimes come off a bit racist.
Along with this origin, it seemed like issue #62 was going to document the powers of all 10 rings, and while we get a bunch, it doesn't cover all of them. We see
Some kind of reflector or force beam:
A Gas Solidifier:
And his Black light:
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Takes place concurrently or prior to Avengers #11, where it is referenced that Iron Man is missing and presumed to be investigating the death of Tony Stark. Issue #62 ends with Iron Man as a passenger on a military jet, flying home. At the beginning of issue #61, it's said that Stark has been missing for "over a month".
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Masterworks: The Invincible Iron Man vol. 2, Marvel Collector's Item Classics #21
thing that always got me. Why the hell does the Mandarin lose to Iron man? With the power in all those rings he should be taking on the Avengers and Ff at the same time.
Posted by: kveto from prague | January 17, 2013 6:12 PM
Mandarin seems to be able to use the power of only one ring at any one time, so he may not be as powerful as the combined powers of the rings actually suggest. Has any comic documented simultaneous use of the rings?
The Mandarin is definitely one of the top villains of the Marvel Universe. He seems to have not gotten the recognition of foes like Dr Doom, the Kingpin, Red Skull, or Magneto. Maybe the new movie will change that.
Posted by: Chris | January 17, 2013 9:08 PM
Nah, he's a bigger joke than ever now.
Posted by: Gary Himes | October 2, 2013 11:26 PM
Admittedly even if he wasn't "THE" Mandarin, I liked Ben Kingsley's performance. It is ridiculous they'd just use this character to cover for AIM, though, but I think it's just the whole idea of creating a threat to hide the real one...or the weirdness outside comic books of super-villains like him dealing with Iron Man. (though sadly the idea of MODOK is probably just too cool for the movie-verse...but then again that's a lot of Jack Kirby's ideas)
Posted by: Ataru320 | October 3, 2013 8:50 AM
IIRC, the filmmakers couldn't come up with a way to portray the Mandarin on the screen without him looking like a Yellow Peril stereotype.
Posted by: Michael | October 3, 2013 7:42 PM
Both Fu Manchu and the Yellow Claw also claim descent from Genghis Khan. I did not like what they did with the Mandarin in the movie either.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | October 30, 2016 9:45 PM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|