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"The Ten Rings aren't your typical terrorists. They've raised secrecy to an art form. We still don't have the first clue what's really behind them."
Nick Fury to Phil Coulson[src]

The Ten Rings is a terrorist organization dedicated to destroying world peace by any means necessary. It is believed to be led by a mysterious man known as the Mandarin. When they attacked and abducted Tony Stark in Afghanistan, Stark secretly made a powerful suit of armor to escape, which gave him the superhero alias, Iron Man.

History

Foundation

"I'm talking about the Ten Rings."
"Come again?"
"The terrorist group historically associated with the Mandarin."
Jackson Norriss and Trevor Slattery[src]

The history of the Ten Rings is shrouded in mystery. Several members believed their leader, the Mandarin, had inspired generations of men since the Middle Ages, perhaps even further back in time, implying that the organization was hundreds of years old. Some even described the organization as "faith".[1]

All branches of the Ten Rings operated as individual cells, with every cell operating independently of each other. The leaders of each cell had no idea who anyone was in any other cell save for one contact. Each cell would receive money and weapons and as long as they received them and the leaders did not ask questions.[2]

Being a multinational organization, members of Ten Rings branches speak multiple languages, including: Arabic, Dari, English, Farsi, Hungarian, Mongolian, Pashto, Russian and Urdu.[3]

Kidnapping of Tony Stark

"Who are these people?"
"They are your loyal customers, sir. They call themselves the Ten Rings."
Tony Stark and Ho Yinsen[src]
Tony kidnapped

The Ten Rings capture Tony Stark.

By the beginning of the 21st century, the Ten Rings were operating mainly in Afghanistan. Stark Industries' second in command, Obadiah Stane sold weapons illegally to at least one cell to help them achieve their purposes, and later made a deal with them to attack and massacre a military convoy. The attack on the convoy stopped once they realized the convoy included Stark Industries' CEO Tony Stark on a business trip to Afghanistan. The cell took him prisoner, filmed a video informing Stane that he would need to pay them more to kill such a target, and meanwhile they attempted to force a captive Stark to build them a Jericho missile.

Raza mask

Raza finds the Iron Man suit

After weeks in captivity, Stark created a suit of armor powered by invention of a miniaturized arc reactor, rather than the weapon he was tasked to build, and successfully escaped. Stark upgraded the suit the following days after his return to the United States into the Iron Man armor, and attacked various camps of the Ten Rings, destroying their weapons from Stark Industries and their members. Days later in the desert, the Ten Rings found the remains of the armor Stark used to escape and rebuilt it in an attempt to learn his secrets and build an army of Iron Man suits. Ten Rings commander Raza proposed a deal with Obadiah Stane, he would give him the armor free of charge only if Stane supplied him with an army of Iron Soldiers. Stane refused, instead betraying and paralysing Raza and taking the suit for himself. Stane's men then executed the remaining Ten Rings soldiers, and possibly Raza.[4]

New Attacks

VankoTenRingsAgent2-IM2

Ivan Vanko meets with a Ten Rings Agent

"This strike is only Ten Rings' latest step in global destabilization. There will be more..."
Richard Frampton[src]

Some time after Tony Stark became Iron Man, S.H.I.E.L.D. began fighting the Ten Rings. On one occasion, S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury sent a team of U.S. Navy SEALs to board a ship controlled by the Ten Rings in the port of Aden. However, Iron Man suddenly appeared and attacked the terrorists. Though the Seals were outnumbered by the terrorists, Iron Man had no problems with killing all the terrorists and saving the Seals.[5] Some time later, a member of the Ten Rings aided Ivan Vanko to travel to Monaco in order to seek revenge on Stark.[6] Around the same time, S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Natasha Romanoff ruined one Ten Rings operation. She boarded the Ten Rings plane and caused its destruction. After that action, she was sent by Nick Fury to infiltrate Stark Industries under the guise of Natalie Rushman.[7]

500

War Machine battles the Ten Rings.

Soon, through various agents, the Ten Rings began buying parts of the Jericho missile from the Russian arms dealer Mikhail Fjodorov. When Fjodorov stopped delivering parts of the missile, the Ten Rings agent Richard Frampton hired an assassin named Sofia to kill him. Frampton and his men successfully assembled the missile, which they intended to detonate near the border between Russia and North Korea, which would greatly destabilize the world peace. However, Sofia was followed by S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Natasha Romanoff who infiltrated the launch area and destroyed the missile. Both Frampton and Sofia were killed in the explosion, while the remaining Ten Rings agents were arrested by Phil Coulson and his team.[8] After Tony Stark became a consultant to S.H.I.E.L.D., the Ten Rings set a trap for James Rhodes, a friend of Stark and pilot of a suit similar to Iron Man's, in order to take him and his suit, but failed. The soldiers of the Ten Rings informed their leader, the Mandarin, that they managed to scan the suit during the battle of Hong Kong and take enough information that would help them with their revenge on Tony Stark.[9]

Copy-Cat Terrorism

Mandarin big

Trevor Slattery portrays the Mandarin

"Custom-made terror threat."
"Yes! Yes! His think tank thinked it up, the pathology of the serial killer. The manipulation of Western iconography. Ready for another lesson? Blah blah blah. Of course, it was my performance that brought the Mandarin to life."
Tony Stark and Trevor Slattery[src]

After the battle of New York, Aldrich Killian, the founder of Advanced Idea Mechanics, needed to masquerade his failed experiments with the Extremis virus as terrorist attacks. His think tank co-opted the iconography of the Ten Rings for their deception.[10] Killian employed the failed actor Trevor Slattery to pose as the Mandarin and publicly take responsibility for those "terrorist attacks".[11] The real leaders of Ten Rings, an organization with religious beliefs going back thousands of years, were not happy with this impostor.[1]

Kidnapping of Trevor Slattery

Marvel One-shot All-Hail-the-King 001

Trevor Slattery discusses the Ten Rings

"There's somebody who wants to meet you."
"Do I know him?"
"No. You took his name and now he wants it back."
"Ahh. No, sorry, I still don't get it."
Jackson Norriss and Trevor Slattery[src]

After the battle on the Norco and the death of Aldrich Killian, Trevor Slattery was arrested and incarcerated at Seagate Prison. The Mandarin decided to meet him in person and take back his name. He sent a Ten Rings agent, Jackson Norriss, disguised as a documentarian, that went to the prison, seemingly to make an interview with Slattery. However, Norriss' real intention was to kidnap Slattery so the Mandarin himself could punish him for stealing his name.

NorrissSlattery-AHTK

Jackson Norriss threatens Trevor Slattery.

During the interview, when Norriss told Slattery that the Ten Rings organization is real, Slattery didn't believe him. Then, Norriss suddenly took a pistol hidden in his camera and killed the prison guards in the room. Though Slattery tried to threaten Norriss with a pistol from one of the dead guards, Norriss easily disarmed him. Norriss then notified his colleagues about the situation via a Walkie-Talkie Wristwatch and ordered them to attack the prison. As Slattery stared in disbelief, Norriss told him that someone wants to meet him.[1]

Interest in Pym Technologies

Ant-Man 10 Rings 4

A Ten Rings Agent fights Ant-Man

A member of the Ten Rings was present at the Pym Technologies Headquarters when Darren Cross presented the Yellowjacket Suit to potential buyers. Working alongside Mitchell Carson's HYDRA cell, the agent drew his gun to execute Hank Pym and soon engaged in a fight with Ant-Man who had broken free of his cage to save Pym. Despite attempting to shoot the hero, the agent was quickly defeated and knocked unconscious. He was later killed when the Pym Technologies Headquarters imploded.[12]

Members

Name Position Status
Mandarin Leader Alive
Raza Hamidmi Al-Wazar Commander Deceased
Abu Bakar Militant Unknown
Ahmed Militant Deceased
Omar Militant Deceased
Richard Frampton Operative Deceased
Jackson Norriss Operative Alive
HYDRA Buyer Operative Deceased
Agent Operative Alive
Naib Operative Alive
Cordo Gaines Partner Alive

Paraphernalia

Weapons

Since the Ten Rings was one of the most powerful terrorist organizations in the world, their members were equipped with all types of military weapons, even experimental ones. Anything that could be stolen or bought on the black market would eventually find its way to the terrorists' arsenal. All sorts of rifles, machine guns, handguns, heavy weapons, and even tanks, were used by the Ten Rings.

  • Heckler & Koch USP: Pistol seen at the Ten Rings Camp in Afghanistan.
  • Heckler & Koch UMP45: Submachine gun seen at the Ten Rings Camp in Afghanistan.
  • Heckler & Koch G36KV: Carbine seen at the Ten Rings Camp in Afghanistan.
  • Heckler & Koch G36K: Carbine seen at the Ten Rings Camp in Afghanistan.
  • Heckler & Koch G36C: Subcarbine seen at the Ten Rings Camp in Afghanistan.
  • Heckler & Koch AG36: Underbarrel 40mm grenade launcher attachment, seen mounted on G36K carbines.
  • SIG SG 552: Assault rifle seen at the Ten Rings Camp in Afghanistan.
  • Colt M4A1: Carbine seen at the Ten Rings Camp in Afghanistan.
  • M26 MASS: Seen as an underbarrel shotgun attachment on M4A1 carbines.
  • M203: Seen as an underbarrel grenade launcher attachment on M4A1 carbines; fires 40mm grenades.
  • IMI Galil MAR: Assault rifle seen at the Ten Rings Camp in Afghanistan.
  • Browning M2: Machine gun seen at the Ten Rings Camp in Afghanistan.
  • FGM-148 Javelin: Missile launcher seen at the Ten Rings Camp in Afghanistan.
  • BGM-71 TOW: Missile launcher seen at the Ten Rings Camp in Afghanistan.
  • Magnum Research Micro Eagle: Compact pistol seen used by Ten Rings agent Jackson Norriss
  • Stark Industries Fragmentation Shell: A timed-fuse detonated shell which relies on the fragmentation of its casing to kill. The wounds inflicted by the fragmented barbs can take about a week to reach the vital organs. In Afghanistan, casualties struck by this shell are colloquially known as the "walking dead" due to its effects.
  • Jericho Missile: A powerful cluster bomb which has a massive area of effect by spreading the smaller munitions apart with Stark Industries proprietary repulsor technology.

Vehicles

As one of the dominant factions in Afghanistan, the Ten Rings needed rugged, reliable vehicles for combat and transport.

  • AM General M-35: The main transport truck used by the Ten Rings.
  • 1982 Toyota Truck: A technical used to escort Obadiah Stane and his private security contractors to the Ten Rings Camp in Afghanistan.
  • M1 Abrams: A modified tank used by Ten Rings insurgents to shoot Iron Man out of the sky after he rescued the Afghan villagers.

Appearances

Appearances for Ten Rings

In chronological order:

Trivia

  • Jon Favreau has stated that the Ten Rings work for the Mandarin. The name of the organization is a homage to Mandarin's ten magical rings in Marvel Comics.

References

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