- Reckless, American... Your torture has not even begun, and you seem to want more of it... Are you not aware of that, Mister Stark? Or are you just being arrogant and stubborn, like you were back in your precious days as the playboy billionaire? Before you were playing hero... When I was already at power to make an empire kneel before me...
- -- The Mandarin
- -- The Mandarin
The mysterious man that would become the Mandarin was born within the small, crowded village of Habuquan in Inner Mongolia, China, where he spent his entire childhood doing forced labor until he was a young adult. Following both his parents' death due to being involved in a crossfire between the forces of the Communist Party of China and the anti-communist armed forces of the Kuomintang, the Mandarin killed several powerful members of the communist party in retaliation, who were partly responsible for the deaths of his parents, and delved into a life of crime during the Chinese Civil War. The rise of the communist revolution saw the Mandarin becoming a dangerous fugitive.
As a result to his rebellious status, the Mandarin was captured and had been taken in a Chinese prison for some time as an act of punishment for his committed war crimes. He has also been living without food or water for years, where he gradually and progressively learned to harness his own chi to augment his physical and mental capabilities, only through the basic use of an ancient mystical book he accidentally found inside his cell, along with other several books that he also read, finishing and learning all of its contents in a matter of months, without the need of any formal education. And even despite his weakening condition he was still able to kill all of his cellmates, who tried to murder him in his sleep, and several armed guards with his extraordinary martial arts prowess, which gave him the ultimate chance and opportunity to escape the prison.
In an attempt to commit a serious act of revenge upon the civilization that had taxed him, imprisoned him, tortured him, and rendered him homeless, he traveled to the the sacred Valley of Spirits and found the remains of a Makluan spacecraft. The Mandarin had only spent several months learning and mastering the nature behind the extraterrestrial Makluan technology and the Ten Power Rings he had unexpectedly found within the wreck of the alien spaceship.
The Ten Rings
With his newly-possessed hidden power and knowledge within his grasps, the Mandarin slowly grew into wealth and infamy within the criminal underworld of the Middle Eastern community, where he eventually gained followers from time to time, becoming the founder and leader of the Ten Rings, a powerful organization with religious beliefs going back thousands of years. Over the next few years, the Mandarin became a myth to his most of his followers throughout Asia and the Russian Far East, with only his most trusted men being aware that he really exists. The legend of the Mandarin would eventually reach the Western world during the present day, to the point where some impostors and saboteurs from different nations who tried on using his own title, only to fail miserably trying to challenge the real, deserving warrior to hold the title, only the Mandarin himself. By the beginning of the 21st century, the Ten Rings had become a rising international terrorist network.
At some point during the early 1990's, when an infant that would become Alex Su someday was born and abandoned by his own unknown parents at the deserted regions of Xinjiang, that newborn was taken into Afghanistan by the Mandarin and raised & trained him to be a highly-skilled war criminal with an unceasing hate towards the United States of America and the rest of modern Western civilization, where he later gained the rank of a lieutenant within the Ten Rings. His armor was based on similar technology to Tony Stark's Iron-Tech, his motivation on building his own suits began right after Stark fearlessly escaped his hostage situation in Afghanistan at the hands of the terrorists.
The Kidnapping of Tony Stark
In an attempt to unlock the true potential of the alien technological wonders he secretly wore as rings, the Mandarin assigned one of his lieutenants Raza meet with the secretly-diabolical Obadiah Stane in exchange for a deal with them to attack and massacre a military convoy, containing Tony Stark. Targeting the supply lines of the American weapon-manufacturing company Stark Industries to the American military forces stationed in Afghanistan, the Mandarin lured the company's CEO, genius inventor Tony Stark to the country through a discreet arms dealing they secretly made with Stane. The Mandarin intended to force Stark and his fellow prisoner, Ho Yinsen, in hopes of unlocking the secrets of his rings, once his men were able to successfully kidnap the former back to their base.
In the meantime, Raza had ordered Yinsen and Stark to build weapons for him. The technology they were given access to was instead put to use in the creation of an armored suit with which Stark escaped captivity after Yinsen sacrificed himself to buy him time to charge up the suit. The development of these events gave the impression the armored Stark was actually a bodyguard who had previously rescued Stark before taking on Raza and his whole camp. From a distance and remaining unnoticed, the Mandarin witnessed Stark's escape as Iron Man, but decided not to intervene, for he had finally found his true nemesis.
After the death of Raza's small faction caused by the traitorous decision of Stane himself, the other inferior leaders felt betrayed and anguished, with the exception of the Mandarin who already knew it was coming, and was even considerate over his actions, believing that Stane's actions would somehow help Tony Stark to progress and develop his emerging heroic persona by facing Stane, eventually leading to him on becoming Iron Man, proving the Mandarin's hypothesis and prediction.
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. Killian employed the failed actor Trevor Slattery to pose as the Mandarin and publicly take responsibility for those "terrorist attacks". The real leaders of Ten Rings, especially the mighty Mandarin himself, were not so happy with this impostor.
After the Battle on the Norco, the conclusion event of Aldrich Killian's War, he destroyed all of his first generation armors with the Clean Slate Protocol. He later faced the real Mandarin and once again the Ten Rings, who indirectly had Aldrich killed for stealing his name as the Mandarin, who apparently perished under the hands of an Extremis-enhanced Pepper Potts. In reality, Killian's whereabouts were cleared later on behind the scenes, revealing that he barely survived his apparent death against Potts, and somehow was abducted by a group of agents sent by the Mandarin, in order to deliver the former to the leaders for his painful punishment.
A Deadly Punishment
After he was handed over to the leaders, Aldrich Killian was brutally tortured for ten straight months all because he stole their master's sacred name, and by the end of the tenth month, the Mandarin himself came to visit his impostor face-to-face, only to remind him not to mess with his title and diabolical reputation and tell him that Killian's imitation of him was nothing more than a pale and humiliating attempt of his character. After the Mandarin had told Killian everything that he wanted to say to his impostor, the former killed him painfully and mercilessly using his powerful rings, killing Killian slowly but surely with his own hands, dissolving him headfirst as he melted to death.
The First, True Encounter
Some time later after the Battle of Norco, 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. Proving that the Mandarin and his loyal followers were an unstoppable force to be reckon with, Slattery's disappearance was only detected by the entire crew of Seagate Prison, several days later after the events of Ultron Offensive, which was almost two years since Killian's War, instantly attracting Stark's attention after finding out about Slattery's abduction. Following this discovery, the Iron Man decided to track down the current in order to rescue Slattery and find out who was the mastermind behind his disappearance.
Iron Man then infiltrated one of the Ten Rings' bases in Mongolia and subsequently rescued Slattery from the deathly hands of the Mandarin. The Iron Avenger and the Mandarin briefly fought into a brutal clash but the former was still defeated during his first, true encounter with the leader, due to the Mandarin's power of possessing the mysterious power and nature given by the Ten Rings, although he manages to escape with Slattery, and death itself, one more time, and manages to stay alive after almost getting tormentingly tortured by the holder of the Ten Rings.
The Mandarin would eventually become one of Stark's most recognizable and most ruthless foes, even more powerful than Tony himself and several of his allies for that matter, in some occasions. Stark was shocked and surprised, after thinking all this time, the Mandarin was just an alias made up by Killian and Slater, but upon learning Trevor Slattery's kidnapping from his prison by Norriss. Tony was proven wrong, as the truth of the Mandarin's existence has become all too well known to everyone involved in his schemes.
A Son's Rebellion
Forced to choose his allegiance between the Ten Rings and the Liberators at the last second, the Mandarin's adoptive son, Alex Su, unhesitatingly chose the Liberators for the sake of achieving his personal ambitions of overpowering and killing Tony Stark, which led to him and his newfound teammates brutally slaughtering his own crew and former teammates with his own bulky armor, and destroying the Afghan base in the process. Despite having no energy source at all to power up its suit's repulsor-based weapons, its superhuman strength and durability were still proven to be powerful enough to take on a fleet of army by hand. Due to his unexpected betrayal, the terrorists' base in Afghanistan was close to being destroyed and dismantled for the next few years.
These horrific actions of betrayal perpetuated by Su and the Liberators solely disappointed and saddened the founder and mastermind of the Ten Rings, the Mandarin himself, who was also revealed to be his adoptive father. Hearing about his son and former prodigy's betrayal, Mandarin bitterly but surely pointed out Su's fate, and was certain that Su's ignorance, impatience and thirst for revenge towards Stark would be the death of him, instead of satisfying him, at some point, later on during the final days of Ultimate War.
Searching for Knowledge
Three months prior to the Global Superhuman War, the Mandarin temporarily had left his secret base of operations and the Ten Rings without most of his followers knowing his whereabouts, secretly handing his authorities over the rest of the organization's closest leaders while he was not around, in searching for more answers regarding the undiscovered secrets to the Makluan Power Rings, and to gain more knowledge about Makluan technology that he has yet to learn. In his first steps to his quest, the Mandarin journeyed back to the cave of the "Valley of Spirits" and the ruins of the Makluan starship wherein he first acquired the rings. There, he tried to find more tech that would help him learn more about Makluan tech, but didn't find anything new but the same type of tech he used to recreate then.
However, as the Mandarin searches deeper within the ship, he finally found something valuable located within one of the ship's compartment, revealing to be a series of countless ancient texts about the Makluan history and more information about its technology. For the next three years, the Mandarin had spent his time inside the cave of the valley reading and fully learning all the sacred texts, only relying in his stored Chi, a feat which surprisingly would have take for an average, or even a single intellectual, person to finish these text in a matter of ten years. Unbeknownst to the Mandarin, half of his de-facto leaders became reckless and weren't careful after their participation during the Ultimate War.
An Unwelcoming Return
Since his three-year stay in the Valley of Spirits, the Mandarin eventually finished his autodidacticism on the Makluan race and culture, now satisfied with the knowledge that he gained in the meantime, and decided to return back to his current main headquarters in a secret temple, located at a small island near Hong Kong, China. As he arrived, he felt that the atmosphere seemed to odd ever since he left, feeling that there was something missing, especially some of his followers. By the time he came to meet with the de-facto leaders, he only met Li, Taki, June, who were three of his most powerful but least trustworthy commanders, since their cruel history with the Westerns has only made their motivations within the Ten Rings too personal. Even the three were surprised to see the Mandarin's unexpected arrival.
The Mandarin had asked the three what happened to the rest of their five other fellow commanders, only to be responded by Li that the three were reluctantly killed after betraying the sacred oath and ideologies of the Ten Rings, due to their decisions to negotiate with the Movement Alliance that started the Ultimate War in the first place, three years ago. Despite the three's convincing explanation, the Mandarin noticed that June was observably nervous, seeing her slightly sweat during their short meeting, with him being confident that something was going on within the three, meaning there's a secret that they're hiding. Deciding to have a wander beneath the headquarters's secret dungeons, he unexpectedly hears noises as he wanders the dungeon halls.
Punishable by Death
Hearing the soft cries, the Mandarin investigated, where he finally finds the oppressed leader Mei barely alive, along of the four missing de-factos' corpse around her, inside one of the cells. The Mandarin tried to comfort her and asked her a few questions to why she and the others were down there, Mei suddenly went into a serious shock as she falls into the ground, dead just as well along the rest, much to the Mandarin's dismay. As the Mandarin turns behind him, he sees Li, Taki, and June, who revealed to be true initiators responsible for participating during the Ultimate War and the assassination of the five leaders, who remained loyal to the Mandarin even during his three years of disappearance.
In response to their intention to take over the Ten Rings by themselves, the Mandarin fought back using his mystic rings while he defended himself from the powerful advanced weapons the three had recently acquired. In the conclusion to the three's attempt to assassinate their founder and superior, their efforts had still prevailed after discovering that the Mandarin's rings were no match to any of their technologically-advanced weapons. One by one, the Mandarin brutally murdered the three traitors, starting with Taki who was killed by his own weapon after the former had turned it against him, followed by Li whom the Mandarin had slowly impaled with a metal staff, and ended with June, who was devoured by the Dragon of Heaven, the Mandarin's newly-invented mechanical dragon (made out of Makluan tech) living beneath the pit of the temple, despite her pleas of surrendering.
In the aftermath of his followers' betrayal, the Mandarin eventually reassigned the new de-facto leaders whom he currently trusts, now that he has truly showed to his followers of how much powerful and fearful he can be once someone even dares to challenge his might and power. Along with it, the Mandarin now claims that he has finally obtain enough information he and the Ten Rings would be needing to destroy the Iron Man & his heroic allies, having to gain so much knowledge not even the standard intellectual could not bear, but has decided not to engage their ultimate plan to conquer the continent just as yet, in the meantime.
Powers and Abilities
Chi Manipulation: The Mandarin possesses superhuman physical powers. The Mandarin can survive for years without food and water by living on stored Chi.
- Nervous System Control
- Enhanced Speed & Reflexes
- Energy Generation
- Heightened Awareness
- Enhanced Senses
- Environmental Adaptation
- Enhanced Healing
|Power Grid |
- Martial Arts
- Super-Genius Intelligence
- Master Prescient
- Expert Investigator
- Master Manipulator
- Class 15+
- Various Makluan-powered technology
- Dragon of Heaven
- Interceptor Ray
- Makluan-powered suits
- Killer Satellite
- Replicated Stark technology
- Modified Iron Man Armors
- Modified Iron Man Armors
- Jet-powered Vehicles
- Makluan Power Rings
- Various Makluan-based weapons
- Ten Rings Arsenal
- Military grade armaments
- Various classified firearms
- Stark Industries Fragmentation Shell
- Jericho Missile
- Stark Technology armament
- No special notes.
- ↑ Modern Comics: Iron Man Vol 1 10
- No trivia.
- Appearances of Mandarin (Earth-61615)
- Character Gallery: Mandarin (Earth-61615)
- Quotations by Mandarin (Earth-61615)
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