Classic Comic Cover Corner – Tales of Suspense #50

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Every Sunday morning we showcase a classic comic cover, complete with compelling commentary, for your cordial contemplation. It’s the Classic Comic Cover Corner!

Tales of Suspense #50 – February 1964

Cover Art by Jack Kirby

Tales of Suspense #50
Tales of Suspense #50 – February 1964

With the new Iron Man 3 film opening in theaters this next Friday (May 3, 2013) we thought it only appropriate that we showcase the comic cover that introduced the world to the Mandarin for the very first time, Tales of Suspense #50.

Of course, the Mandarin is the lead villain in the upcoming Iron Man movie, but his screen persona appears to be vastly different from his comic book origins. When he first appeared in this Tales of Suspense Iron Man story he was an oriental man with martial arts expertise and ten different power-rings that could do things like produce an ice-blast or a disintegration ray (the worst of all rays – by the way.)

Tales of Suspense #50Originally, the Mandarin was a Chinese Communist who was after Tony Stark’s weapons, but in the new film his character (as portrayed by the very good veteran actor Ben Kingsley)  has an ethnicity that is more generic in nature; and instead of wearing power rings he is the leader of a terrorist group called “The Ten Rings.”

I don’t think I’m down with changing a character’s Chinese heritage just to ensure you can still capture the Chinese box-office. But if a more financially successful film means more first-rate comic book themed movies are made, then I’m okay with that – and I’m certainly excited about the new Iron Man film.

Be sure to return to NERDVANA on Friday, May 3, 2013, for our full review of  Iron Man 3.

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About the author

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Bob Leeper

Bob Leeper is the co-owner and manager of "Arizona’s Pop Culture and Alternative Art Network," Evermore Nevermore. He is the co-creator of the pop culture events Steampunk Street and ENCREDICON, and is a member of the Phoenix Film Critics Society. He also curates the Facebook fan site The Arizona Cave – AZ Fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and is one of the few brave and bold fans of Jar Jar Binks.

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