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Mandarin

Real Name: Unrevealed
Occupation: Would Be Conqueror
Identity: The Mandarin's real name is not known to anyone alive today.
Legal Status: Usually considered to be an enemy of the state in the People's Republic of China. Wanted by legal authorities in the rest of the world.
Former Aliases: Gene Kahn
Place of Birth: Unrevealed village in mainland China before the Communist Revolution
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: None
Group Affiliation: Former ally of the Sandman, employer of the Swordsman, Power Man, Living Laser, Enchantress, Executioner, and Unicorn
Base of Operations: The "Palace of the Star Dragon" in the "Valley of Spirits," somewhere in the People's Republic of China
First Appearance: TALES OF SUSPENSE #50

History: The Mandarin is 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 soon after their son's birth, and he was raised by his father's sister, who was embittered against the world. He displayed scientific aptitude at an early age and used his inheritance for education in various sciences in China and abroad. As an adult he became a high government official, or mandarin, and became renowned throughout China for his administrative brilliance.

However, with the success of mainland China's Communist revolution, the Mandarin was deprived of his position, his palace, and his wealth. Hoping to find a means of restoring himself to a position of power, the Mandarin explored the forbidding "Valley of Spirits," where no one had dared set foot for centuries. There he found the skeleton and starship of Axonn-Karr, an intelligent dragon-like alien from the planet Maklu-4, who had come to Earth centuries ago and died. Over the following years the Mandarin studied Makluan science until he had mastered it. He also learned how to use the ten rings he found within the starship which were apparently its propulsion source, among other things. 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 then embarked on a long series of attempts to achieve world domination.

The Mandarin saw technology as the surest means to achieve his goals. Over the years, he would frequently attempt to turn various nations' missiles and weapons against them. Among the Mandarin's earliest schemes was the sabotage and theft of American missiles and spy planes built by Anthony Stark. To restore public confidence in his workmanship, Stark donned his Iron Man armor and flew to China to investigate. Iron Man soon became the Mandarin's principal opponent in his plans for world domination. 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. Other of the Mandarin's early technological achievements was 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 would employ 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, the Living Laser, the original Power Man, the Swordsman, the Enchantress, and the 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 the 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 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 the 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 by his teleportation devices, but once again caught someone else clad in his armor. This time it was Michael O'Brien, later to 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 involve turning the Vibranium mound in the African country of Wakanda into the isotope that destroys the molecular cohesion of metals, and an attempt to destroy China's entire rice crop in an attempt to provoke war. In the second of these plots, the Mandarin encountered James Rhodes, during his custodianship of the Iron Man armor.

More Later, while Stark was trying to set up a branch of Stark Enterprises in Hong Kong, Iron Man and the Mandarin came into conflict. 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. When on a mission, a Hand member was 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 Jubliee, and Psylocke defeated the Mandarin, causing events which led to Mandarin's exile from the Hand.

Somehow, 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. Mandarin staged his own death as Iron Man escaped.

Height: 6 ft. 2 in.
Weight: 215 lbs.
Eyes: Blue-black
Hair: Black

Strength Level: The Mandarin possesses the normal human strength of a man of his physical age, height, and build who engages in intensive regular exercise.

Known Superhuman Powers: None

Abilities: 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. Although the Mandarin has no natural superhuman powers of his own, he is a superb athlete with tremendous skill in the various Oriental martial arts. Through repeated practice he has toughened all the striking surfaces of his body, especially his hands, which are covered with thick callus. Without artificial aids he can split wood, cinderblock, or even mild steel with a blow of his hand. When he surrounds himself with a thin but intense protective force field, he can even split Iron Man's magnetic-beam reenforced alloy armor with repeated blows of his hand.

Weapons: The principal personal weapons of the Mandarin are the ten rings which he wears on his fingers. The rings' operations cannot be explained by contemporary Earth science, but it is known that they served as near-limitless energy sources for the warpdrive engines of the starship of Axonn-Karr, a dragon-like alien of the Makluan race. The Mandarin learned how to convert the rings to his personal uses, and to make them respond to his mental commands. The fingers on which he wears each ring, and the known functions for which he uses each ring, are given below.


Mandarin's Rings and Their Abilities

LEFT HAND

Left Pinky Ring

LITTLE FINGER: "Ice Blast" - The ring emits waves of cold which can be used to stun an opponent. The ring usually causes the air in the path of its blast to turn to ice, and can lower an object's temperature to nearly absolute zero.

 

Left Ring Finger Ring

RING FINGER: "Mento-Intensifier" - The ring magnifies the wearer's own psionic energy, allowing him to place one or more people under his mental control and to transmit orders to them mentally. This ring can affect only one person at a time and only at a distance of ten feet.

 

Left Middle Ring

MIDDLE FINGER: "Electro-Blast" - The ring emits electricity in amounts and intensities mentally determined by the wearer. The maximum voltage attainable is not known.

 

Left Index Ring

INDEX FINGER: "Flame Blast" - The ring emits infrared radiation, or heat, at intensities mentally determined by the wearer. Usually the heat produces flame through incandescing the molecules in the air in the path of the blast. The heat beam can be used to trigger chemical explosions. The maximum amount of heat it can generate is not known.

 

Left Thumb Ring

THUMB: "White Light" - This ring can emit various forms of energy along the electromagnetic spectrum.

Left HandLeft Hand

 

 

 

Right HandRight Hand

 

 

 

Left Middle Ring Close-Up

RIGHT HAND

Right Pinky Ring

LITTLE FINGER: "Black Light" - The ring can create an area of absolute blackness that seems to absorb all light used within it. Although "black light" is a term used to refer to ultraviolet radiation, the darkness created by the ring is probably a form of the "darkforce" used by Cloak, Darkstar, and the Shroud.

Right Ring Finger Ring

RING FINGER: "Disintegration Beam" - The ring emits a beam of energy that destroys all Ponds between the atoms and molecules of the object it strikes. This ring needs twenty minutes to recharge after use.

Right Middle Ring

MIDDLE FINGER: "Vortex Beam" - The ring causes the air to move about at high speed in a vortex. The vortex can be used as an offensive weapon, as a means of levitating objects, or as a means of propelling the ring's wearer through the air.

Right Index Ring

INDEX FINGER: "Impact Beam" - This ring can project various forms of energy, most frequently that of fast neutrons with the concussive force of 350 pounds of TNT. The ring has also been used to project intense sonic vibrations and to create magnetic waves to attract or repel objects. The ring may be capable of emitting other forms of energy as well.

Right Thumb Ring

THUMB: "Matter Rearranger" - This ring can rearrange the atoms and molecules of a substance, or speed up or slow down their movement, so as to produce various effects. The ring has been used to condense water vapor in the air to liquid water, to solidify gasses, and to create lethal poison gas from the air. The ring cannot transmute elements, nor can it rearrange the atoms and molecules of Iron Man's magnetic-beam reinforced armor.


Over the years the Mandarin has established a strong psionic link with his rings, which was made many times stronger during the period in which his mind / spirit actually inhabited them. One result is that no one who wears the rings other than the Mandarin himself can command them. The Mandarin can now command the rings even when they are separated from him by vast distances, and mentally monitor events taking place around a ring that has been separated from him.

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