|For other uses, see Mandarin (disambiguation)|
The Mandarin is a powerful terrorist, who serves as the leader of the Ten Rings, an international terrorist organization. His identity is currently unknown. Though many believed that the Mandarin was just a hoax invented by the scientist Aldrich Killian, the Mandarin is actually quite real.
The Mandarin's past is shrouded in mystery, but his followers described him as an ancient warrior-king that has inspired generations of men since the Middle Ages, perhaps even further back in time. His name was an ancient Chinese war mantle, meaning "adviser to the King".
The Ten Rings
- "I understand you failed to obtain the War Machine Armor. Explain why you should leave this room alive."
"I-It's true, Mandarin. We did not succeed in capturing Rhodes. However, the conflict served its purpose. Our hidden agents analyzed the armor with every imaginable scanning device. The data we collected is invaluable."
- ―Mandarin and Ten Rings agent.
The Mandarin became the leader of the Ten Rings, an organization with religious beliefs going back thousands of years. Over the years, the Mandarin became a myth to his followers, with only his most trusted men being aware that he really exists. The legend of the Mandarin would eventually reach the Western world.
By the beginning of the 21st century, the Ten Rings had become an international terrorist network. They kidnapped the American billionaire inventor Tony Stark, whom they attempted to force into making them advanced new weapons. However, he made a suit of armor and escaped, eventually becoming a superhero called Iron Man.
Over the next year, the Ten Rings suffered numerous defeats at the hands of Iron Man, who became their greatest enemy. Their chance for revenge came when Stark became a consultant to S.H.I.E.L.D.. Temporarily retiring from his role of Iron Man, Stark made a new battle suit for his friend, Colonel James Rhodes of the U.S. Air Force, who would fight the terrorist threats around the world. The Mandarin sent his men to capture Rhodes and his armor.
A few months later, Rhodes was victorious in all of his battles with the Ten Rings. However, during those conflicts, the Ten Rings successfully scanned Rhodes' armor with all possible devices, thus obtaining invaluable information. Later, a Ten Rings agent gave his report to the Mandarin. Though the Mandarin originally wanted to kill him for failing to obtain the armor, the agent said that with the information they stole the Ten Rings have all they need to destroy Iron Man.
The Stolen Name
Six months after their last conflict with James Rhodes, the Ten Rings were dormant, but something forced them to come back into action. Many terrorist attacks happened around the world, and after every attack, the hacked TV signals would show broadcasts of a man claiming to be the Mandarin. The impostor would constantly declare that these attacks were "another lesson" for the American people.
Coincidentally, it was Tony Stark who learned the truth behind the fake Mandarin. The impostor was actually Trevor Slattery, a British actor who was employed by the scientist Aldrich Killian who wanted to manipulate the War on Terror through his use of the Extremis virus. Thanks to Stark, Rhodes and Pepper Potts, Killian was killed and Slattery was arrested.
However, the Mandarin was not willing to allow Slattery to get away so easily and understands that he has a right to know. Time later, the Mandarin ordered his loyal agent Jackson Norriss to break Slattery out of the Seagate Prison. Disguised as a documentary maker, Norriss successfully infiltrated the prison and captured Slattery.
Behind the Scenes
- Kevin Feige revealed in an interview that early drafts of Iron Man depicted the Mandarin as a younger individual (a contemporary to Tony Stark) who would have business dealings with Stark Industries. Though this idea was eventually omitted to further push Obadiah Stane as the main antagonist of the film as opposed to the Mandarin, some of the traits for the character were incorporated into Aldrich Killian in Iron Man 3.