To tell you the truth, a lot of the times, movies can ruin my interest to the story to the point I won't try to read the original novels, comic books. Fantastic Four's movies did their job and pretty much zeros my motives, drives to get to know the characters. Maybe except Silver Surfer and Dr. Doom. But see? I still haven't gotten to read any of their comic books.
Iron Man's movies didn't have a substantial villain that really binds the film well, Iron Man himself was portrayed as an very interesting character but his enemies was somehow lacking abit. I understand the origin story has to have a kick-starting villain that explains and carves the beginning for Iron Man. But the second film has no excuse on that department.
I just finish reading issue #500 of Iron Man where there's a story arch of how Stark failed to defeat Mandarin in the future, when Mandarin first came into the panel and it's the first time I saw this villain, long nails, wearing a robe, he looked like someone from a different time. With the same engineered arc reactor, heart device installed on his chest. He looked like someone from another time and was a tyrant who's talented at using people who has talents. A tyrant.
In this apocalyptic future scene, Tony Stark has a bunch of plugs with IV/cable cords hanging from him, everywhere. I imagined it must be a mind affecting device.
My guess is Tony was forced to built himself into a drone so Mandarin can use him properly. Mandarin also mentioned Tony is basically a mechanics who was there to do maintainance on the devices that's prolonging Mandarin's life.
Mandarin seems like one of the better villains Iron Man has. They really should have use him on the first movie. There must be some other great villains he has and I'm glad I jumped onto reading Iron Man.