Mandarin was the son of one of the wealthiest men in pre-revolutionary mainland China (who claimed to be a direct descendant of Genghis Khan) and an English noblewoman. Both parents died upon their son's birth, and he was raised by his aunt, who was embittered against the world. Every bit of the money he inherited from his parents was spent teaching him science and martial arts, consequently he was broke upon reaching adulthood. Unable to pay the taxes on his family estate, the Mandarin and his aunt were rendered homeless. His aunt died almost immediately thereafter, but he felt no grief for her thanks to his harsh quasi-military upbringing.
Hoping to find a means of avenging himself upon the civilization that had taxed him and rendered him homeless, the Mandarin explored the dreaded Valley of Spirits, where no one had set foot for centuries. There he found the skeleton and starship of Axonn-Karr, an intelligent dragonlike alien from the planet Maklu-4, who had come to Earth centuries ago and been killed by humans. Over the following years, the Mandarin reassembled the starship's extraordinarily advanced machinery within an ancient deserted castle which he found within the Valley of Spirits, and studied the Makluan science until he had mastered it. He also learned how to use the ten rings he found within the starship. The Mandarin then subjugated the villages around the valley, and, through his science, rapidly became a power that not even the Chinese Army could successfully challenge. He embarked on a long series of attempts to achieve world domination, all of which failed, usually due to the efforts of Iron Man.
The two met for the first time when Iron Man was sent to China at the request of the US military high command and the CIA. Among the Mandarin's earliest schemes was the sabotage and theft of American missiles and spy planes built by Tony Stark. To restore public confidence in his workmanship, Stark donned his Iron Man armor and flew to China to investigate. On three occasions in their early confrontations, the Mandarin managed to take Iron Man (or his alter ego Tony Stark) captive, but failed to kill him. Conversely, Iron Man thwarted the Mandarin's various schemes, but was unable to bring him to justice.
Mandarin tried desperately to prove that Tony Stark is Ironman. He received a Hulk android and kidnapped Janice Cord in order to see if Ironman would try and save her. Although the Mandarin's identity was concealed by a purple rag it was clear who he was because of his costume. Ironman was lead to a factory where he destroyed the robot. He then was kidnapped and his mask removed. The Mandarin saw that the face under the mask wasn't Tony's while at the same time seeing how Mr.Stark was giving a speech. Mandarin went into a rage allowing Iron Man (who had hidden his true face under another mask) to escape. Meanwhile, the Mandarin approached the robot Stark and broke him, at which momenent the real Iron Man entered and fought the Mandarin. In the middle of the fight, the Mandarin escaped with his aircraft, but was shot down and brought into custody.
Other of the Mandarin's early technological achievements were the launching of a small orbiting satellite whose "Death-ray" he aimed at Stark Industries, and the building of Ultimo, a 30-foot android possessing vast destructive powers. The Mandarin employed Ultimo four times without success.
The Mandarin's teleportation technology, derived from Makluan science, enabled him to kidnap people at will or teleport himself out of threatening situations. The Mandarin teleported Harold "Happy" Hogan, a friend and confidant of Iron Man, to his castle in China half a world away, precipitating his fifth encounter with Iron Man. Hogan had been wearing the Iron Man armor at the time to help protect his employer's secret identity, and the Mandarin mistook him for his true foe. Rescuing Hogan, Iron Man physically bested the Mandarin for the first time in personal combat and redirected the missiles that the Mandarin had launched at the Mandarin's castle, destroying it. The Mandarin escaped by means of his teleportational machinery, and materialized aboard his orbiting satellite. There he constructed a gemlike device capable of broadcasting "hate-rays" toward Earth, and assembled several superhuman allies to perform certain missions for him, Living Laser, the original Power Man, Swordsman, Enchantress, and Executioner. The Avengers managed to thwart the Mandarin's scheme and destroyed his satellite.
The Mandarin then established a base in China's Gobi Desert and turned his attentions to the Hulk for a time, hoping to make the dull-witted brute an accomplice. Two attempts at controlling the Hulk proved futile, however, including one where the Mandarin allied himself with the American criminal Sandman. The Hulk destroyed the Mandarin's desert base. When the Mandarin next attacked Iron Man, he employed an android in the Hulk's likeness rather than the real Hulk. The Mandarin then set up a makeshift base of operations in America, and attempted to publicly discredit Anthony Stark. Holding Iron Man captive for the fourth time, the Mandarin tried to learn if Iron Man was actually Stark, but Stark fooled him with a rubber mask over his own features. His plans thwarted, the Mandarin tried to kill Stark's current girlfriend Janice Cord but the Mandarin's betrothed Mei Ling saved her at the cost of her own life.
Returning to China, the Mandarin sought a means to increase his rings' power and learned of the legendary Eye of Yin, a talisman of power created by an ancient group of Chinese sorcerers. The Mandarin maneuvered the Royal Family of the Inhumans (who at the time lived in the nearby Himalayan Mountains of Tibet) into locating the idol for him. But before he could fully incorporate the Eye's power in his rings, Black Bolt overpowered him, stripped him of his ten rings, and hid them. Unable to find the rings, the Mandarin journeyed back to the "Valley of Spirits" and the ruins of the Makluan starship wherein he first acquired the rings. There he found a headband containing technology which enabled him to recover the rings. The Mandarin used his newfound power to restore his castle to its original state. The Unicorn, another frequent opponent of Iron Man, sought the Mandarin's aid in curing him of a progressive disease. The Mandarin and the Unicorn traveled to America to attack their common enemy Iron Man, but in the heat of battle, the Mandarin found that the headband had somehow exchanged his consciousness with that of the Unicorn. The Mandarin was forced to flee, desperate to rescue himself from the Unicorn's dying body.
When the Mandarin arrived at his castle in China, he found that it had been taken over by Yellow Claw, another Oriental mastermind. The Mandarin was forced to find another laboratory to try to restore his brain back to its rightful body. With the unwilling aid of the Japanese mutant Sunfire, the Mandarin restored his mind to its rightful body. In battle with Iron Man again, the Mandarin's interim headquarters was destroyed. The Mandarin then launched an attack on the Yellow Claw in an attempt to regain his own castle. The Mandarin was fatally injured when the Yellow Claw robot he had been battling exploded. As the Mandarin lay dying, he used the headband's mind-transferring capacities to transfer his consciousness into his ten rings. When the rings were confiscated by the Yellow Claw's power-hungry servant Loc Do, the Mandarin's consciousness entered Loc Do's body, permanently driving out Loc Do's. Using his Matter-Rearranger ring, the Mandarin transformed Loc Do's body into a younger duplicate of his original one.
The Mandarin returned to his castle, discovering that it had again been destroyed. After rebuilding it, the Mandarin attempted to capture Iron Man using his teleportation devices, but once again caught someone else clad in his armor. This time it was Michael O'Brien, who would later become a friend of Stark's. Iron Man flew to O'Brien's rescue, clad in an old set of armor, thwarted his attempt to bomb the United States, saved him, and for a second time bested the Mandarin in personal combat. Perhaps due to the effect of the Mandarin's mental domination ring on him, Iron Man did not take the Mandarin into custody, but permitted him to remain free to launch further threats against the world.
The Mandarin later schemed to transform the Vibranium mound in the African country of Wakanda into isotopic form that destroys the molecular cohesion of metals. He was thwarted by Iron Man and the Black Panther. Another plot involved attempting to destroy China's entire rice crop in order to provoke World War III, during which he encountered James Rhodes, during his custodianship of the Iron Man armor.
Later, while Anthony Stark was trying to set up a branch of Stark Enterprises in Hong Kong, Iron Man and the Mandarin came into conflict yet again. The Mandarin had taken the name of Zhang Tong, and had become a financial leader in Hong Kong. As Tong, he controlled a number of government officials and industry leaders of Hong Kong. The Mandarin thwarted all of Stark's attempts to set up a business branch, even resorting to murder. The Mandarin now employed a group of followers, called the Hand, to do his dirty work. While on missions for the Mandarin, members of the Hand were allowed to take one of the Mandarin's rings and use its powers. If the Hand member was captured, he would fanatically try to kill himself. If the Hand member was killed or knocked out, the ring would automatically teleport back to the Mandarin.
At one point, the mutant hero Psylocke passed through the mystic portal known as the Siege Perilous. The portal transformed Psylocke slightly and relocated her to an Asian shore, where she immediately encountered the Hand assassin Kwannon and the two somehow merged their minds/personalities. The Hand brought Psylocke to the Mandarin, who oversaw Psylocke's transformation into the Hand's ultimate assassin. Psylocke was eventually rescued by her X-Men teammates Wolverine and Jubilee, and Psylocke defeated the Mandarin, causing events which led to the Mandarin's exile from the Hand.
Sometime later, the Mandarin had discovered the Heart of Darkness, an orb of apparently mystic energy, which he used to turn back time in China. Iron Man, with his team Force Works and ally War Machine, broke his power, but not before the Mandarin discovered that Tony Stark was the man inside the Iron Man armor. Iron Man infected Mandarin with a techno-organic virus, and the orb, seeing him infected with technology, rejected the Mandarin and imploded. Iron Man believed him dead, but in reality the Mandarin was transported and transformed by the last flare of the orb's magic, turned into a janitor in the Hong Kong branch of Stark Enterprises.
Eventually, Mandarin's memories returned to him and instead of trying to crush technology, Mandarin believed that the feudal system of yesterday had merely been transformed into the capitalism of today. Mandarin set into motion plans to create a giant flying fortress called the Dragon of Heaven through which he could conquer Russia and eventually the world. During this time, Iron Man reappeared after being believed dead in a battle against the psychic menace Onslaught. The Mandarin initiated a series of attacks on Iron Man, cumulating in a battle in the Dragon of Heaven. Mandarin's primary purpose was not conquering Russia, but to test Iron Man and prove him worthy as a foe and to justify Mandarin's own thoughts on capitalism. Iron Man successfully destroyed the Dragon.
An aged man named Khan was found by Karim Mahwash Najeeb in a psychiatric ward, chained and meditating. Najeeb presented him with new rings and asked the Mandarin to join his cause. He was met with silence. Najeeb then ordered his men to shoot the old man. The Mandarin freed himself, with one of Najeeb's men supplicating to him. He accepted the rings; revealing his original rings had been grafted into him.
As Tem Borjigin, he ran the Prometheus Corporation. As part of his manipulations, he provided terrorist groups with bio-weapons. Maya Hansen's death was faked so she could work on Extremis projects for him. The Mandarin coerced Cooper Roth to work for him in order to save Roth's mother. He also influenced Secretary Kooning to oppose Tony Stark's investigations in the Omaha area.
Alliance with Ezekiel Stane
The Mandarin, who was revealed to be Sasha Hammer's father, next freed Ezekiel Stane from prison, so they could work together to destroy Tony Stark. Their first move was to obligate Blizzard to freeze the Abu Dhabi desalinization plants. Later they used a photo of the Iron Man armor in short cut at the Daily Bugle and made it look like the hero was drunk. Also, Ezekiel planned along with Mandarin to use classic villains of the Armored Avenger against him, such as Chemistro, Living Laser and Mauler.
With the help of Mandarin and Justine Hammer, the General Babbage forced Stark to use a special attachment to his armor, which could turn it off whenever he wanted. After faking War Machine's death and having Pepper in a crisis, Tony left Mandarin and Hammer win this battle, only to start playing with his own rules.
In a plan apparently made with Captain America, Tony quit being Iron Man, giving General Babbage what he wanted. He had to take his armor out of his system, although he gave Rhodey Rhodes a new armor to take his place, after he helped Rhodey to fake his death. After Spymaster infiltrated Stark Resilient and attacked many of its members, Stark decided no longer be part of that company, to keep his friends safe from Mandarin, who remotely managed to control Stark and make him his prisoner and force him to build Titanomech along Ezekiel Stane. After Mandarin used 3 of his ring to power the first Titanomech, Tony started a plan with Ezekiel, he convinced super villains Whirlwind, Blizzard and Living Laser to join him in a rebellion with the final purpose of defeat the Mandarin, and managed to use the technology in his body to help Resilient to find him, using microbots known as the Swarm, which tracked the repulsor technology of Tony's body. Resilient asked for help to the Triumph Division and the Dynasty to help Tony defeat the Mandarin and his Titanomech. After Tim Cababa managed to reactivate the Extremis virus inside Stark's body, Tony created a link with the Swarm, and use them as bombs to destroy Mandarin's weapons, who in the end was killed by Stane.
The Mandarin's Technological Achievements:
- Interceptor Ray: This ray could supposedly catch anything that moves, regardless of speed, and return it to the Mandarin's Castle within the hour. This device was used by the Mandarin in Tales of Suspense #54 and Tales of Suspense #55 to interfere with the US Military's use of Stark Industries new Observer Missiles in Vietnam. The Ray was destroyed by Iron Man in Tales of Suspense #55.
- Killer Satellite: This orbiting satellite could project powerful blasts of laser energy against targets on the Earth's surface. It was used to attempt to destroy Tony Stark's private estate in Tales of Suspense #61.
- Jet Car: This sleek hover vehicle was utilized by the Mandarin in Tales of Suspense #62.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
The Mandarin possesses superhuman physical prowess. The Mandarin can survive for years without food and water by living on stored Chi.
|Power Grid |
The Mandarin is a superb athlete with tremendous skill in the various Oriental martial arts. The Mandarin is one of the world's greatest scientific geniuses. Not only has he made himself into an authority on Makluan science, but he has also built upon this knowledge by making further discoveries based upon it.The Mandarin is extremely knowledgeable on ancient history, specifically that of Asia and China.
EquipmentFormerly a forcefield generator in costume; formerly possessed the Heart of Darkness and the Eye of Yin
TransportationTeleportation via his rings or other technologies.
Makluan Power Rings; The Mandarin can psionically activate these for a variety of effects.
- 184 Appearances of Mandarin (Earth-616)
- 23 Images featuring Mandarin (Earth-616)
- 20 Quotations by or about Mandarin (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Mandarin (Earth-616)
- Fan-Art Gallery: Mandarin (Earth-616)
- Characters killed by Mandarin
Technology sub-page: Mandarin/Technology
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