Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Trending On Empire
The Future Of Film
The 100 Greatest Video Games
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Kevin Feige:
My Movie Life

The Marvel supremo's pick of the flicks
Want To Be An Empire Journalist?
Find out how here
Meet The Mandarin
A quick intro to Tony Stark’s big enemy in Iron Man 3

submit to reddit

With the release of the first Iron Man 3 trailer, you might be wondering just who this Mandarin chap is. In the film, he's played by Sir Ben Kingsley, Oscar winner and serious actor, so you'd be right to guess that there's some serious weight to this particular villain. So as we all digest the trailer and get excited about the film, here’s a handy guide to the Mandarin's comic book history. Of course, as with other Marvel universe movies, elements will undoubtedly be changed for the film, but read on to see if there are any clues to Tony Stark's future hidden in the Mandarin's past...

1 2 3
  1 of 3 Next
Meet The Mandarin |

The Mandarin first cropped up in Marvel’s Tales Of Suspense #50, published in 1964. As written by Stan Lee and illustrated by Don Heck, his real name has never been revealed - but we do know that he was raised by his aunt after his incredibly wealthy parents died. Every penny of the family fortune was spent training ol' Mandarin in science and combat - which came in handy when he went broke and was evicted from his ancestral pile. Cue a seething drive for revenge!

In the comics, at least, The Mandarin took some inspiration from one of his ancestors, Genghis Khan, and began exploring ways to make himself powerful. He exploited the remains of a dragon from Maklu IV and studied that planet’s science to fuel his dominance over local villagers. He eventually became so dangerous that the Chinese army couldn’t touch him.

With his technological obsession, the Mandarin naturally had run-ins with our hero, especially when he started trying to turn Stark-built weapons against the countries using them. This meant that he ultimately popped up on Iron Man’s radar and Tony began to investigate the new threat. The Mandarin became Stark’s archenemy as Iron Man tried to thwart his big plans for world domination.

In the comics, the Mandarin is a well-trained athlete and master martial artist. But his main weapon is one forged from Makluan science: ten rings on his fingers. They endow him with various handy powers, including flame blast, mind control, ice blast, cloaking black light, matter rearranger and levitating vortex beam. One of them is made of sweet, sweet milk chocolate (OK, so we're lying there).

1 2 3
1 of 3

Have Your Say
Register or login now to let us know what you think.

Your Comments

1 RE: Hollywood racism?
L: paulbarberella Don't be pathetic. Denzel Washington played a part originally played by Frank Sinatra in The Manchurian Candidate. Charlton Heston in The Omega Man was replaced by Will Smith in I Am Legend. And the late, great Michael Clarke Duncan played Kingpin in Daredevil who in the comics is a caucasian.? Those casting decisions are not less racist in any way. chip off your shoulder and know your facts and stop jumping on the race me started on hobbits and dwarves on those stupid Tolkien movies. For years - for DECADES - every short actor in the world had waited the serious adaptations of LOTR and The Hobbit, so they'd finaly had the chance to play something good in serious roles. And then what happened? Hollywood decided to cast norman sized actors on those roles which is just as insulting as use white actors with painted faces in black roles back in the silent era. More

Posted by Pelle on Tuesday November 6, 2012, 20:14

2 Hollywood racism?
Don't be pathetic. Denzel Washington played a part originally played by Frank Sinatra in The Manchurian Candidate. Charlton Heston in The Omega Man was replaced by Will Smith in I Am Legend. And the late, great Michael Clarke Duncan played Kingpin in Daredevil who in the comics is a caucasian. Get the chip off your shoulder and know your facts and stop jumping on the race thing. Ben Kingsley is a fantastic actor and he will bring massive gravitas to this role. More

Posted by paulbarberella on Thursday November 1, 2012, 16:01

3 Pelle...
1) Ben Kingsley, real name Krishna Pandit Bhanji, is half Indian. 2) They're specifically stated that he's not Chinese in the movie. So why would they cast a Chinese actor? It's not a direct adaptation of the comic. Jarvis is a computerised voice in the movies, for pete's sake! More

Posted by loafroaster on Thursday November 1, 2012, 15:37

4 Pure racism
Perfect example of Hollywood racism to cast white englishman as chinese. I want Yun-Fat Chow, Tony Leung or even Jackie Chan to play the part that was meant for they peolpe! More

Posted by Pelle on Wednesday October 31, 2012, 12:22

...Bob Genghis Khan,.. More

Posted by Rorcharch on Tuesday October 30, 2012, 13:40

6 Bill & Ted
Will Bill & Ted's Genghis Khan make a cameo?? More

Posted by Teddy Bear on Monday October 29, 2012, 22:23

You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list

The Future Of Film: The Streaming Services Will Be Major Studios
(Or how Hollywood will have to start worrying about Netflix)

The Empire Podcast #129: Liam Neeson Interview
Plus Max Irons, Sam Claflin, Douglas Booth, Holliday Grainger and Jessica Brown Findlay drop by to talk The Riot Club

The Future Of Film: We'll Be Watching Films In Virtual Reality
Immerse cinema aims to become the must-have experience for the filmgoers of the future

The Future Of Film: Cinema Will Cross The Uncanny Valley
The future of VFX, from believable digital humans to underwater mocap

The Future Of Film: There Will Be Another Indie Golden Age
Independent producers are growing from micro-budgets to something a lot bigger

Empire's Epic Interstellar Subscribers' Cover
The countdown begins to Christopher Nolan's sci-fi masterpiece

Shut Up, World! Gary Busey Is Talking!
Strap yourselves in and meet a true Hollywood original.

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)