Characters Appearing: Century, Chu Lo Yan, Deluge, Foundry (Avatars), Iron Man, Lich, Mandarin, Old Woman, Q'Wake, Recorder (Starstealth), Scarlet Witch, Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter), USAgent, War Machine, Warfist
Iron Man #311
Issue(s): Iron Man #311
This is part of the recasting of Mandarin as an anti-technology villain. He's also always had the quasi-mystical flair of the Fu Manchu archetype. But his original powers were established pretty early on as being derived from the (super-)science of an alien race. So i guess the idea is to distance him from that.
I also think it's funny whenever i see references to feng-shui in comics, since i think of it as a scam that interior decorators pull on yuppies. Imagine being able to rearrange your furniture just so and cause all technology in the area to shut down.
The Mandarin demonstrates his power by turning a servant into another Avatar named Turmoil. But, weirdly, Turmoil never appears again outside of the scene where he's created. Seems like a minor communication misfire between books. At least have him appear in group scenes with the other Avatars.
The semi-big news of the issue is Mandarin unmasking Iron Man and learning - or really confirming - that he's Tony Stark.
It's not that big a moment since we've seen Mandarin suspect this many times over the years.
Mandarin says that it's fitting that Stark is Iron Man, since they represent polar opposites (the yin and yang) of technology and "mystic purity". But as noted above, that's a new development.
Also in this issue, War Machine and Century continue to fight the samurais of the guy who set himself up as a "warlord" (a former politician named Chu Lo Yan who is said to be a direct descendant from Pu Yi, the last emperor of China). But they learn that the warlord has no love for the Mandarin, so they call a truce.
Additionally, as we saw in the last chapter, Force Works are about to crash their Pegasus into the Mandarin's headquarters. Their arrival causes the Mandarin to decide to stop playing with Tony Stark and just kill him already.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: This is part three of Hands of the Mandarin. Part four is in Force Works #7, but we once again have to get through some concurrent Marvel Comics Presents stories first.
Crossover: Hands of the Mandarin
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Hands of the Mandarin TPB
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