Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Origin of the Mandarin

Season: 1
Episode Number: 2c
Season Episode Number: 2c
Production Number:


Voices: John Vernon (Iron Man), Peg Dixon (Pepper Potts), Paul Soles (Happy Hogan), Bernard Cowan (Mandarin, Narrator), (Chinese General) (Pilot 1), (Pilot 2).

Plot: With Iron Man in captivity, the Mandarin recounts the day he found his mystical rings.

Review (Warning! Spoilers!): Ah yes, the classic "death trap/reveal the plot" storyline that was well used in the sixties and parodied these days. It even seemed forced and contrived back then. This chapter takes the Mandarin's origin story from Tales of Suspense #62, however, they leave out quite a bit. There is no mention about his family history as descendants of Genghis Khan, or the history behind the rings. They basically boil his whole story down to 90 seconds: The Mandarin found rings on a fallen space ship and now he uses them to gain power.

The end of this chapter borrows a scene from Tales of Suspense #63 in which Tony is found to be alive and well. This subplot of Happy and Pepper suspicious of Iron Man and investigating Tony's death is better played out in the comics. The storyline lasts a few issues long and goes into more detail about Happy and Pepper's relationship and how Tony's death affects it.

It doesn't seem to be to important in this episode. In fact, by the time chapter three rolls around, I forgot that Tony "died" because I am much more into the Mandarin's story. And then they tack on that final sequence to resolve the issue, but it may have been better if they had left the whole subplot out all together.

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