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
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.)
Originally, 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.