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Posted by k4tzm4n (34903 posts) - - Show Bio

This week, I made the somewhat foolish decision to base our Comic Book Question of the Week about something quite controversial: The Mandarin's role in Iron Man 3. It's without question the biggest dividing force between fans in all of Marvel Studios' films, and understandably so. Tony Stark's arch-nemesis was teased in 2008's Iron Man and since then, a fair amount of fans have been anxiously awaiting an epic showdown between the two. Sir Ben Kingsley's a superb actor, so anticipation went through the roof. Except no one got what they were expecting. Kingsley was just a ruse so the true "Mandarian," Aldrich Killian (aka the dude who killed himself in the first issue of Warren Ellis' awesome story), could execute his plan from behind the spotlight. Some loved this twist and thought it was refreshing and brilliant. Others wanted to flip a table because it essentially destroyed who the character is and they were denied Iron Man's classic foe on the big screen. Over 360 Viners voted and the results are in. Did our community love or loathe it? Find out below.

Well, it turns out 43% of Viners disliked Iron Man 3's big surprise! 38% enjoyed it, and 19% simply didn't care. Look, it's clear this is a subject that'll generate debates which will likely either take a downward spiral or conclude with agreeing to disagree. At the end of the day, big changes to continuity is a subject we're never going to see eye-to-eye on. What's important is how we discuss said changes. It's far too often I see people trying to convince someone it is crap or it is brilliant. It's subjective, folks. Liking it doesn't mean the other person "doesn't get it." Hating it doesn't mean the person "doesn't know jack about comics." We're all passionate about these characters and we should let that shared love unite us, not divide us. I know calling for a civil discussion on the interwebs is all kinds of crazy, but let's shoot for the stars, alright?

Gregg Katzman is a freelance writer for Comic Vine and IGN Entertainment. This is the part where he shamelessly plugs his Google+ and Twitter page in hopes of getting a new follower or two.

#1 Edited by nerdork (4039 posts) - - Show Bio

Hooray for Ben Kingsley...and all other opinions are cool too!

First!

#2 Posted by SavageDragon (2252 posts) - - Show Bio

I was in the didnt care group. I wasnt dying to see the rings like some fans were and I thought it was funny and random. Overall yeah there was some stuff wrong with Iron Man 3 but there is always stuff wrong with every movie for each individual. For me it was better than 2 by a lot and at the same level or really close as 1. 7.5/10 for me.

#3 Posted by DarklyDreamingDeadpool (174 posts) - - Show Bio

the movie was ok at best, but it was a huge let down, not just because they raped the mandarin.

#4 Posted by Ironshinobi88 (1334 posts) - - Show Bio

Extremely let down.

#5 Posted by weaponx (1566 posts) - - Show Bio

the movie was ok at best, but it was a huge let down, not just because they changed the mandarin.

#6 Edited by AllStarSuperman (22963 posts) - - Show Bio

the movie was ok at best, but it was a huge let down, not just because they raped the mandarin.

I don't remember that scene?

#7 Posted by DarklyDreamingDeadpool (174 posts) - - Show Bio

@darklydreamingdeadpool said:

the movie was ok at best, but it was a huge let down, not just because they raped the mandarin.

I don't remember that scene?

no? well, you might watch it again? it happens right in the moment, when kingsley says his name is trevor and this is all a set up. that was the exact moment, shane black raped the mandarin in front of everyone so hard, i almost started to cry.

#8 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (34934 posts) - - Show Bio

The movie was a let down to me. It seems like they ruined a good character just for a joke and a joke that wasn't even funny at that.

#9 Posted by BR_Havoc (1339 posts) - - Show Bio

In all honesty they could not of had the Mandarin a big evil villain with out someone saying it was racist. So they made him a joke which I understood why they did it he was rather over the top in the comics.

#10 Posted by DarklyDreamingDeadpool (174 posts) - - Show Bio

@br_havoc said:

In all honesty they could not of had the Mandarin a big evil villain with out someone saying it was racist. So they made him a joke which I understood why they did it he was rather over the top in the comics.

ok, so it's racist that an asian guy is a bad villain? but it's ok if the guy is american, black, german and so on?

the only reason he's not an asian is, that marvel took chinese money.

#11 Edited by TommytheHitman (3438 posts) - - Show Bio

It was funny it's just... I didn't really like it. I'm a sucker with major changes like that.

#12 Posted by CptPanda29 (211 posts) - - Show Bio

The people have spoken!

#13 Posted by cyberchop979 (451 posts) - - Show Bio

i almost started to cry.

Bwah hah hah hah haaa....Oh, sorry, *snicker*, you were serious? My bad. (teehee).

#14 Edited by DarklyDreamingDeadpool (174 posts) - - Show Bio

@cyberchop979: not really, but thanks. wanna hold me in your arms till it gets better?

#15 Edited by nerdork (4039 posts) - - Show Bio

@allstarsuperman said:

@darklydreamingdeadpool said:

the movie was ok at best, but it was a huge let down, not just because they raped the mandarin.

I don't remember that scene?

Its in the director's cut. Very graphic.

#16 Posted by BR_Havoc (1339 posts) - - Show Bio

@darklydreamingdeadpool: Not what I meant at all. What I was attempting to say is in today's world people are so over sensitive that people would take offense to anything that shows any culture in a negative light ,the whole terrorist tearing down the western world has become a stereotype that would bring some negative press to a movie that wanted to do nothing but entertain. Also Marvel wanted to make money overseas and China has now become a market to make some cash so that might of also been a reason they did not cast a Chinese actor.

#17 Posted by SimonM7 (107 posts) - - Show Bio

It didn't bother me terribly, because I have no investment in the Mandarin as a character. From a story perspective, I think they made it interesting in a way that a guy with magical rings wouldn't be, and I think it made the story relevant in a modern context. The truth is that a lot of war is fought on the level of perception, in the media, and I think the idea that this would happen is pretty scary, and resonates well as a plot point. If people are truly blaming the twist for ruining the movie, I feel like they don't appreciate what the twist meant, beyond "not magic rings" - as it was integral to the theme of fame/public persona vs anonymity.

However - I will concede, gladly, to the twist being a bummer if you love the Mandarin and you were excited by the mere prospect of having him in a movie. In that sense, I think this is an interesting "error" on Marvel's part, and one they should definitely take to heart moving forward. It's different from altering, or not quite "getting" a character, when you undermine it completely like this.

#18 Edited by AlKusanagi (651 posts) - - Show Bio

Okay, seriously, where are these die hard Mandarin fans? I've read Iron Man for 30 years and have never once given a rat's ass about him.

Even without the twist, at best he would have just been some schemer because, Fu-Manchu with magic rings would have been absolutely ridiculous in the reality they've created.

#19 Posted by Outside_85 (10239 posts) - - Show Bio

Sad sacrifice of something that was proving to be very interesting, for something that wasn't. Honestly I thought the pre-twist bits with the 'Mandarin' were terrific, it took the Ten Rings from IM1 and built up the supposed leader (which I didn't think were either of the two from IM1), who Stark then calls out, in a way promising the movies would come full circle... like DKR did. But no, that was just a ruse set up by a completely forgettable geek bad-guy... who was still butt-hurt 5-10 years after not getting his promised 1 on 1 time with Tony. Which makes me think Shane Black had watched the 2nd movie and thought; "Yeah, lets give Hammer superpowers so he can go up against Tony in his suit!"

#20 Posted by Xwraith (21371 posts) - - Show Bio

I personally think it's a symptom of comic book movies having to be "realistic", so a magic using villain is right out.

#21 Edited by doctor_bong_crosby (98 posts) - - Show Bio

Look, certainly everybody´s entitled to their own opinion but, for anybody who says the Mandarin couldn´t be an awesome antagonist without being a clichéd racial stereotype, I´d refer them to Byrne´s seldom discussed Iron Man run... .There, over many months and several issues he built up the Mandarin as a menace to be reckoned with, while at the same time elevating him to the same kind of presence and grandeur which you would expect from Marvel´s A-list villians, as well as expanding on his character and his backstory. For me, it´s the -so far- definite take on the Mandarin. Too bad none of the IM scribes who came after him ever expanded or followed up on the foundations Byrne created. The story´s called "The Dragonseed Saga".

#22 Posted by kriminal (657 posts) - - Show Bio

@darklydreamingdeadpool said:

the movie was ok at best, but it was a huge let down, not just because they raped the mandarin.

I don't remember that scene?

that was the twist. i guess you didnt get it

@xwraith said:

I personally think it's a symptom of comic book movies having to be "realistic", so a magic using villain is right out.

i dont think breathing fire is any more realistic. if thats what they went for they swung and missed

#23 Posted by Barkley (276 posts) - - Show Bio

movie still sucked.....I feel like I was robbed....

#24 Posted by Beast_in_the_Shadows (426 posts) - - Show Bio

I personally didn't mind it and see why they did it. Downey said he doesn't want to do anymore solo Iron Man films so they couldn't leave the Mandarin left open like that.

However, I feel they should have left a hint in the end that Kingsley was not "The Original" Mandarin. Something like saying that Killian based the character of the Mandarin on ancient lore he had read before. Then it turns out that the real Mandarin was operating in secret on the other side of the world until he gets word of a terrorist using his name. He then surfaces so the world knows who the Mandarin is and what his motives really are.

#25 Posted by goodlife313 (2 posts) - - Show Bio

@br_havoc and everyone who didn't care. Marvel took away a grand opportunity to a) further explain Thanos. B) lay more avenues to Tony running S.H.I.E.L.D C) to really explain how the suit is part of him and how he is basically a walking mainframe c) not let Shame Black spit in the face of everyfan who comes to the theatre to see what we've been collecting and reading for 30 years. The Extremis story arc was really important in IRON MAN's life. He had to go to great lengths to bring himself to kill in that. We all know the Extremis breaks the body all the way down and makes you what you really are. And they threw that all away so pepper Potts can be more than what she actually is.....wtf. Its clear that this movie was a way for the actors to get what they want and not the fans. as far as im concerned and if i was the other cast members of past/future Avengers movies i would want more money to cause it shouldnt have been called Iron Man it should have been called Tony Stark and the Suits. And as far as Mandarin is concerned i actually walked out for 20 mins to go smoke a joint cause when he said my name is Trevor... i thought the movie was over and we were watching gag reels. That was fucking ridiculous. He is Asian and Iron Mans biggest foe THATS IT. he didnt have to be a terrorist or anything sensitive. And you mean to tell me the president is being threatened but Fury doesn't care....F U Marvel, cause thats for sure what they said to fans when they let this farce of a film clear the cutting board.

#26 Posted by MaccyD (5110 posts) - - Show Bio

@xwraith: Avengers with aliens, evil gods and a magic cube says hello!

#27 Edited by Bonzi161 (45 posts) - - Show Bio

The twist here worked better than when they did it with Ra's in Batman.

#28 Posted by doctor_bong_crosby (98 posts) - - Show Bio

But the thing is, the Mandarin´s rings aren't magic... they´re supposed to be the product of a far advanced world´s technology... . Remember that quote about any science advanced enough appearing to be magic to people not advanced enough...?

And yes, I know if I think about realistically about it, the notion of ten small rings having all that power is silly, but then again, such is the case with most comic book science/technology.

#29 Posted by BR_Havoc (1339 posts) - - Show Bio

@goodlife313: Dude I get your point and I agree that Mandarin is Asian and he is a villain there is nothing wrong with sticking to source material. The only point I was making is that the world is incredibly over sensitive so anything that they could say is racist they will.

Was it what I wanted for Mandarin no but did I find Ben Kingsley funny in the role when he is a bumbling fool absolutely

#30 Edited by MaccyD (5110 posts) - - Show Bio

@goodlife313: They wanted S.H.I.E.L.D to be exclusive to Cap and Avengers films only it seems.

Also, the president is being threatened and Cap is nowhere to be seen as well, Captain America 2 better come up with a good story...

#31 Posted by Ninjablade09 (3193 posts) - - Show Bio

Cool.

#32 Posted by Mbecks14 (2029 posts) - - Show Bio

Didn't like the twist. It was kind of funny, but just way too silly. Which brings me back to my biggest problems with the movie in it's completely inconsistent tone and overly crowded plot.

the movie was ok at best, but it was a huge let down, not just because they raped the mandarin.

This.

#33 Posted by theTimeStreamer (2841 posts) - - Show Bio
#34 Posted by Watcherg6 (263 posts) - - Show Bio

@barkley: I somewhat feel the same, but i think i'm getting old

@jonny_anonymous: you can put 2 man bad guys in a movie, otherwise you get Batman and Robin. mandarin was a misdirect, if anything he was 2 people.

@allstarsuperman: LOL

@ironshinobi88: I do feel a bit of an extremeis let down, and now other suits, like one for the president

@savagedragon: Yea hear yea

@br_havoc: they COuldn't make him Asian.

#35 Posted by kalorama (40 posts) - - Show Bio

the movie was ok at best, but it was a huge let down, not just because they raped the mandarin.

But because he was a terrorist, it was legally classified as "enhanced interrogation."

#36 Edited by growup (523 posts) - - Show Bio

Okay, seriously, where are these die hard Mandarin fans? I've read Iron Man for 30 years and have never once given a rat's ass about him.

Even without the twist, at best he would have just been some schemer because, Fu-Manchu with magic rings would have been absolutely ridiculous in the reality they've created.

right on the money

#37 Edited by AWeekInGeekdom (230 posts) - - Show Bio

I personally didn't mind the change, I can understand why hardcore Mandarin fans would be up in arms but within the context of the story and how they wanted to present terror and war in the 21st century I thought it was pretty neat the supposed "real" Mandarin hid behind the media and presented a different escape goat for people to fear and hate. "He" was still there but just as a redesign and really, kudos to Sir Kingsley for delivering an amazing performance, I really wanted him to be the role all the way through but it didn't ruin the movie for us.

#38 Posted by MadeinBangladesh (7978 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm dissapoint in you viners. Movie was awesome.

#39 Posted by DMC (1551 posts) - - Show Bio

Crap I forgot to vote!

Anyway.......I understand the reason for the twist and it's quite cleaver, but to do that to the Mandarin was a terrible idea. This move says to me that the Iron Man franchise has become too much about RDJ to the point where, seeing Iron Man fight his arch nemesis on the big screen doesn't work in RDJ's universe for some reason, even after fighting gods and aliens in Avengers.

Yes we did get Whiplash, which was fine, but why couldn't Marvel take the next step and push the suspension of belief even further? No high tech rings? Fine. I was still hoping that the build up for the Ten Rings (group/cult/order?) would pay of and we'd see a real threat to take on Iron Man. A threat that had prompted S.H.I.E.L.D to send Coulson to investigate Starks escape from them in IM1.

But the big bad behind the scenes had to be another manufacturer playing booth sides and some nobody named Aldrich Killian no less? But that's what you get in the Downey Universe once his buddy Shane Black became director.

I wonder what Favreau would have given us?

#40 Posted by jointron33 (1813 posts) - - Show Bio
#41 Edited by Cyborg6971 (193 posts) - - Show Bio

I've said this since I saw it. Even without the twist it's an average action movie and nothing more. Slightly better than 2, but not by much.

#42 Posted by KnightRise (4762 posts) - - Show Bio

I would have loved to see a legitmate Mandarin, but in a way we did get him. I still really liked the film.

#43 Edited by Cyborg6971 (193 posts) - - Show Bio

On an unrelated note. Some snoops found an easter egg in the last man of steel trailer. You can see a sign on a wall of a building reading Blaze comics.

#44 Edited by SpidermanWins (3963 posts) - - Show Bio

You guys do know that Aldrich Killian was the Mandarin right? (dragon tattoos, etc) There were two Mandarin: the fake Chinese one, and the real American one. So he was the main villain, a mastermind behind the Extremis virus and the terrorist attacks, he just wasn't the Mandarin advertised that resembled the one we know and love.

Also people need to understand that its ok for the cinematic universe's Mandarin to be different, regrettable, but acceptable and perfectly ok.

#45 Edited by TheMultiverse (147 posts) - - Show Bio

I thought it was hilarious at the time, but afterwards i was just completely confused. Then soon after that i became pretty shocked, and let down lol. However, i'm not going to pretend like i've ever read a book with Mandarin in it. I haven't. So i can't be that upset, but i can ask................What were they really thinking with that?

#46 Edited by RedheadedAtrocitus (6836 posts) - - Show Bio

I understand that Killian was actually the Mandarin, even if the concept smacked too much of AIM being like Mandarin International from the Ultimates Universe. It still doesn't take away the fact that I wanted Ben Kingsley to be the actual Mandarin and that the Ten Rings be actual rings of power and not ten interconnected terrorist groups to be in essence a front for what Killian and AIM were really up to. If anything it seems the concept was ripped off from Batman Begins with Ken Watanabe supposedly being Ra's al-Ghul when in truth it was Liam Neeson's character instead. Well okay, ripped off is a harsh word but the parallel exists nevertheless. I just wanted my Mandarin with the Ten Rings of Power to be the real control behind Killian and AIM and not the other way around. So I stay by my decision that the twist was still dumb.

#47 Edited by drgnx (3566 posts) - - Show Bio

I didn't care.

  • It was Funny!
  • It wasted what could have been an awesome version of the Mandarin and in that regards wasted Ben's talents.
  • Along with Iron-patriot actually being War Machine, it kept the "main enemies" down to 1, which, for better or worse, left only really 1 type of enemy when the trailer and leaked photo's indicated there could be up to 3.
#48 Edited by Dabee (2399 posts) - - Show Bio

I really like when there are twists. Otherwise, I would just know everything that's going to happen if I read the comic. It's the same thing with the Walking Dead. If it was exactly like the comic, I wouldn't ever be on the edge of my seat. I like not knowing what's going to happen.

#49 Posted by Om1kron (1151 posts) - - Show Bio

@br_havoc said:

In all honesty they could not of had the Mandarin a big evil villain with out someone saying it was racist. So they made him a joke which I understood why they did it he was rather over the top in the comics.

ok, so it's racist that an asian guy is a bad villain? but it's ok if the guy is american, black, german and so on?

the only reason he's not an asian is, that marvel took chinese money.

You work for marvel and are un-earthing this information? Or pulling deep from the black hole of your ass' imagination?

#50 Edited by TheMultiverse (147 posts) - - Show Bio

So to avoid being banned in China they made the Mandarin a joke character? hmmmm