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New Escapist Column! On Why the Mandarin from “Iron Man 3” Remains One of the Best Marvel Villains…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. With the release of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings next week, it seemed like a good opportunity to take a look back at Iron Man 3, and that movie’s attempt to update the Mandarin for the twenty-first century.

Long treated as Tony Stark’s arch-nemesis, the Mandarin is a complicated character with a very troubled history. The character is built around yellow peril stereotypes, and is easily recognisable as a classic Fu Manchu archetype. Part of what made Iron Man 3 so compelling and so interesting was the way in which the film wasn’t just built around the Mandarin as a character, but instead explored and interrogated the concept. It was a film about how pop culture, film and television, creates images of foreign enemies in service of the politic demands of the moment. Iron Man 3 explores that idea brilliantly.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.