The Mandarin is a male comic supervillain that features in Marvel Comics.
According to one account, his father was descended from Genghis Khan himself but had married beneath his status by being wedded to a high born Englishwoman. Upon his son's birth, his father died when an idol fell on him thus killing him whilst his mother died shortly afterwards of a broken heart. The orphaned child fell under the care of his fathers sister who resented the boy as he was heir to her brothers fortune and could not inherit it as a result. (Tales of Suspense v1 #62)
Whilst exploring the vessel, he found a helmet that contained a mental-impulse log from its pilot who was Axonn-Karr of Maklu-4 who claimed to be an explorer. From these recordings, he had learnt of the worlds the alien being had visited and his fate as his alien dragon-like form saw him being attacked by humans leading to him being mortally wounded with him dying in the process. Thus, the legend of dragons was said to had come to the lands of China with these stemming from Axonn-Karr and his vessel that had resided in the Valley of Spirits. whilst exploring the vessel, he came upon its power source that were ten gems that resided in ring-shaped constructs that the Mandarin took them for himself as he sought to use their power to become the master of Earth. He then set up his base at a nearby castle where he studied the science of Maklu-4 and went through the logs of the alien pilot as well as applied his newly developed knowledge on the rings. The Mandarin determined that each of the rings contained a separate power and he utilised them in dominating nearby villages through the use of the power of the mind control ring. (Tales of Suspense v1 #62)
He came to be the patron for a number of revolutionaries in the region. (Iron Man: Enter the Mandarin v1 #1)
The aged khan later came to be a prisoner deprived of his rings and kept at the An Hu Po State Psychiatric Facility where he was chained in his cell in the Nei Mongol Province in China. He remained in a meditative state where he spoke to no one when he was approached by a terrorist who broke into the site named Karim Mahwash Najeeb. Najeeb had brought with him the ten rings and offered them back to him in exchange for him joining their cause though he only received silence as a response. This led to Karim ordering his men to kill the old man as he was angered at being rebuffed but the Mandarin broke himself free under his own power where he killed the majority of the terrorists with one killing Najeeb as he supplicated himself to the Mandarin. (Iron Man v4 #16) He then proceeded to fuse the rings to his spine as he lacked hands to wield them and left the facility where he began to rebuild his power base over the next five months. (Iron Man v4 #17)
In the aftermath of his death, the Mandarin's rings were confiscated and placed in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Weapons Vault Omega alongside other dangerous weapons. (Iron Man v5 #20) The artificial intelligence of the rings was then upgraded leading to them developing sentience. (Iron Man v5 #28) This saw the majority escaping captivity in order to seek wielders whilst the Liar Ring remained behind to project a telepathic illusion to make everyone believe the rings remained in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s custody. (Iron Man v5 #20) Each of the rings sought out wielders to destabilise the planet and had a hatred of Tony Stark with them seeking users that sought revenge against him. This was until one came upon Malekith the Accursed who began claiming each of the rings for himself with him typically murdering the other ring wielders. (Iron Man v5 #23) This act threatened the plans of the rings who decided to unify their Mandarin wielders in fighting their common threat posed by the Dark Elf leading to them attacking him in his native realm. (Iron Man v5 #25) The other Mandarin wielders united in attacking Malekith who discarded the ring with these individuals looking to continue their own respective schemes. (Iron Man v5 #26) The Mandarins then began to work together where they embarked on their respective schemes against the world and also targeted Tony Stark. However, Iron Man had come to find their base of operations located underground and used a specially made Master Ring to shut down the rings that were contained with most of their users being apprehended. (Iron Man v5 #28)
Despite his seeming death, the Mandarin himself returned and formed into an alliance with Baron Zemo who was looking to turn the island of Bagalia into a sovereign state. To that end, as Tem Borjigen he was assigned as the country's foreign representative where he used his ruthless talents to convince ambassadors in the United Nation's to recognise the state. Those that refused were murdered by the Mandarin which brought some tension between him and Zemo who wanted to appear more legitimate. He later attended a press conference in New York as part of the efforts at getting Bagalia recognised where he was shot in the head by the Punisher armed with a sniper rifle with a bullet able to pierce his personal shield. (Punisher v12 #1)
Personality and attributes
On one occasion, he was referred to as the Master Khan. (Iron Man v4 #16) An identity he once used in order to operate in society was that of Tem Borjigin. (Iron Man v4 #18)
The Mandarin was said to had been a proud man as the blood of the Khan's resided in his veins. (Tales of Suspense v1 #62)
He was raised by his aunt who was his fathers sister where she taught him to hate the world the way she had hated everyone. She came to die the moment the family's fortune was stripped from them by the government thus leaving the Mandarin all alone in the world. Despite her death, he did not mourn for her as he had been taught not to shed tears as per his status as a nobleman. (Tales of Suspense v1 #62)
Powers and abilities
In his youth to adulthood, much of his fortune was used to teach him the sciences of the world and the art of warfare along with the crafts of villainy. (Tales of Suspense v1 #62) He was noted for his intelligence but also for his seeming superhuman strength. He had been trained in a number of martial arts among which included Karate. (Tales of Suspense v1 #50)
From the Maklu-4 spacecraft, he discovered ten small rings that contained gems within them which had powered the vessel allowing it to travel cross galaxies. Each were said to contain unlimited energy where each had a separate power. (Tales of Suspense v1 #62) These power rings each represented a different mighty weapon and thus contained a different power. (Tales of Suspense v1 #50) Among the rings included:
- Incandescence Ring : the incandescence ring contained the miniature heart of a star that could scorch the air around it. (Invincible Iron Man Annual v1 #1) The incinerator was a portal to the heart of a star with its abilities ranging from simple fire projection to solar flare emission. (Iron Man v5 #23) With this power, the user could generate a solar flare and an electromagnetic pulse as a side effect. (Iron Man v5 #20)
- Remaker Ring : it shattered and re-imagined the relationship of matter on a subatomic level. (Invincible Iron Man Annual v1 #1) This gave it the capacity to operate functionally as alchemy by freely remaking any substance subatomically. (Iron Man v5 #23)
- Liar Ring : able to create world upon world of illusionary fables that were able impossible to escape but could also affect the wearer. (Invincible Iron Man Annual v1 #1) These operated by crafting telepathic illusions that could fool organic beings such as humans though not artificial intelligences. (Iron Man v5 #20)
- Lightning Ring : created directable electrical atmospheric discharge. (Invincible Iron Man Annual v1 #1) The ring could tap into electrostatic energies on a planetary scale. It could generate an electron purge that used all available ring energy to negate an attack and took five seconds to recharge. (Iron Man v5 #23)
- Zero Ring : forms a beam of nothingness from the cold of outer space which also created a deafening boom as the vacuum was filled. (Invincible Iron Man Annual v1 #1)
- Nightbringer Ring : manipulated a malleable darklight of darkness. (Invincible Iron Man Annual v1 #1)
- Influence Beam Ring : created various forces that caused a body to undergo change. (Invincible Iron Man Annual v1 #1)
- Daimonic Beam Ring : utilising the irresistible urge that propelled into the unknown. (Invincible Iron Man Annual v1 #1)
- Spin Beam Ring : deaccelerated time around the user and made it appear the wearer was operating as superspeed. (Invincible Iron Man Annual v1 #1)
- Spectral Beam Ring : winded up and warped the air itself with it able to appear ghostly or disappear entirely. (Invincible Iron Man Annual v1 #1) This allowed it to disguise itself by warping the surrounding environment. At high power, it could generate a single shot disintegrated beam making it useful as part of an assassin suite of tool. (Iron Man v5 #23)
It was said that the rings were not truly rings but that they took on the shape of something understood by the user in that they were something that could be worn. They were actually vessels that contained the essence of long-dead warriors of cosmic legend that were trapped in a phantasmal state contained in a form of a hard drive. As a result, the user became a vessel for their flesh as they sought to means of resurrection. (Invincible Iron Man v1 #522) Each ring also contained a quarantined Makluanian artificial intelligence weapon for when they were separated from their wielder. Their programming was to analyse the situation on a planetary scale and attempt to influence it to something more favourable to general cosmic principles. (Iron Man v5 #28) They were able to engage in time dilation where they slowed reality running for their user to give them time to make their decisions. A ring could also run the nervous system of a host in order to fulfil desired functions with maximum efficiency. Reaction speed, however, did not allow the user faster reflexes thus meaning that they could respond to an attack but not evade them. (Iron Man v5 #20) A virtual communication nexus for the ring sentience's existed in a place called the Ring of Rings. (Iron Man v5 20.INH)
After losing his hands, he was once known to had fused the rings directly into his spine. (Iron Man v4 #17)
At one point, he made use of a giant highly advanced and heavily armed dragon-themed aircraft called the Dragon of Heaven. (Iron Man v3 #9)
- The Mandarin was created by Stan Lee and Don Heck where he made his first appearance in Tales of Suspense v1 #50 (February, 1964).
- In Agents of Atlas v1 #6 (2007), it was said that the Mandarin was likely a descendant of the Khan's alongside Fu Manchu.
In other media
- In The Marvel Super Heroes, the Mandarin appeared in the Iron Man segments of the animated television series where he was voiced by actor Henry Ramer.
- In Iron Man, the Mandarin appeared as the primary antagonist of the 1990s animated television series where he was voiced by actor Ed Gilbert in Season 1 and by actor Robert Ito in Season 2.
- In Iron Man: Armored Adventures, Gene Khan appeared in the setting of the animated television series where he was voiced by actor Vincent Tong.
- In The Invincible Iron Man, the Mandarin appeared as the primary antagonist in the setting of the animated film where he was voiced by actor Fred Tatasciore.
- In Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, the Mandarin appeared as a boss antagonist in the setting of the video game where he was voiced by actor James Sie.
- In Marvel: Avengers Alliance, the Mandarin appeared in the setting of the Facebook video game.
- In Marvel Heroes, the Mandarin appeared in the setting of the MMORPG video game where he was voiced again by actor Fred Tatasciore.
- Tales of Suspense v1:
- Iron Man v1:
- Avengers v1:
- Iron Man: Enter the Mandarin v1:
- Iron Man v4:
- Invincible Iron Man v1:
- Punisher v12: