Amazing Adventures #3-4 (Inhumans)
Issue(s): Amazing Adventures #3, Amazing Adventures #4 (Inhumans stories only)
This story features the Inhumans facing off against the Mandarin, a villain that Kirby had never used before outside the the Fantastic Four wedding issue that featured just about every hero and villain.
The plot is a little bit redundant, in my opinion, with the Mandarin seeking an artifact from an ancient civilization that just happens to be near the Inhumans' Great Refuge. It might have been streamlined by making the Great Refuge the area the Mandarin was targeting; after all, they are an ancient civilization, a point that even the Mandarin makes.
Anyway, the Inhumans drive off the Mandarin's goons...
...and even think they kill the Mandarin...
...but it turns out to be a Manda-bots.
They then get curious (sometimes i like to pretend that Black Bolt is actually a robot secretly controlled by Medusa)...
...and investigate the ancient ruins themselves and find the Eye of Yin ("Anything can happen now!" is such classic Kirby dialogue) ...
...which the real Mandarin then steals and threatens to use it to blow up the moon, among other things.
The Inhumans confront him...
...and eventually defeat him and remove his rings, leaving them behind in the ruins.
I'm a little less annoyed by this than i used to be now that i know that the Inhumans were essentially meant to be a new super-hero team during Marve's aborted expansion in the 60s, but it's still weird seeing the Inhuman Royal Family always being the ones to investigate things, defend the borders of the Refuge, etc. They've got a whole civilization full of super-powered folks. Don't they have soldiers? Should the king really be putting his life on the line every day?
The Mandarin is always a somewhat problematic character but Kirby's treatment of him is no better or worse than what we've seen before.
He's certainly got the right power level to be a threat for the Inhumans.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Masterworks: The Inhumans vol. 1
In that last panel, the Mandarin's rings look way too much like the plastic zoetrope rings given out by kids' doctor's offices way back then.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | February 16, 2013 4:37 PM
you guys are slightly critical on this series, I believe ;) I think the villains not originated by Kirby, like Kraven in the Ka-Zar series and Mandarin here, look great!
Posted by: George Gordon | June 12, 2014 8:54 PM
The last scan makes me think of the cover of Green Lantern #10 in 1962
Posted by: Silverbird | July 31, 2014 12:04 PM
Can Mandarin mass produce working copies of his rings for all those multiple copies of his robot testers? He originally obtained the rings from a space ship that crash landed on earth in Tales of Suspense #50. I always thought they were supposed to be unique.
Kirby's Mandarin's racial-stereotype face reminds me a lot of the Yellow Claw.
Posted by: Holt | October 9, 2017 11:04 PM
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