How does the Mandarin fit into Iron Man 2?

How does the Mandarin fit into<i> Iron Man 2</i>?

UPDATE! In what capacity will the villain be mentioned in the sequel? I'll give you a hint: it involves a ring and a weapons manufacturer. . .

I doubt there were any followers of Iron Man comics that didn't have a fangasm upon seeing the hero's greatest foe mentioned in his feature film debut. Not only was the Mandarin mentioned, but the limited backstory that was given made sense in the modernized telling.

Before I get into my hypothesis on how the ancient villain will appear in Iron Man 2, let me go over the details of what brought me to this point. First off, here are the three major mentions of the character from Iron Man:

1) The Ten Rings banner.

In the Marvel comics mythos, the Mandarin's personal weapons are his Ten Rings of Power that he wears simultaneously (one on each finger). Each ring has a different function (ice blasts, fire blasts, vortex control, etc.). Contrary to popular belief, the rings are not magical in nature but were created using alien technology. That's right, the Mandarin is a science-based villain through and through. The Mandarin's rings are the product of a dragon-like alien race from the planet Maklu-IV; whose technology surpasses Earth's exponentially. The rings’ functions cannot be explained or recreated by modern Earth science. explains it a bit further: 'The Mandarin learned how to utilize the rings for own personal use and make them respond to his personal commands. Over the years, the Mandarin’s mind has actually come to inhabit the rings so that now no one else can make use of them. The Mandarin can also now control the rings over large distances.'

Did Jon Favreau change this story to make The Ten Rings simply an international terrorist organization? I highly doubt that and here's why:

2) Raza, leader of a Ten Rings cell

In the film's novelization, Raza (the man responsible for Tony Stark's captivity) mentions “…the man whose ring I wear.” This, of course, is a reference that the ring on his right ring finger belongs to the Mandarin. One ring down, nine to go. Which leads to the third revelation. . .

3) Jon Favreau's take on the Mandarin

It appears that the Iron Man director doesn't want to showcase the Mandarin as a solitary villain, but incorporate his into the story as the puppeteer behind all of Stark's opposition. He has stated that his version of the Mandarin in the movie series "allows us to incorporate the whole pantheon of villains." What does that mean to me? To put it simply, the Mandarin will have a connection to every villain Tony Stark faces.

Favreau also had this to say, "I look at Mandarin more like how in 'Star Wars' you had the Emperor, but Darth Vader is the guy you want to see fight. Then you work your way to the time when lightning bolts are shooting out of the fingers and all that stuff could happen. But you can't have what happened in 'Return of the Jedi' happen in 'A New Hope'. You just can't do it."

In regards to Iron Man 2, Favreau told the LA Times that 'The Mandarin is still in the background pulling the strings.'

Now, onto my belief of how the Mandarin is incorporated into this year's sequel. Two words: Justin Hammer.

Anyone who thinks that Whiplash is the central villain in the film hasn't been paying attention. Hammer is Stark's biggest industrial competitor. Hammer is willing to work with the government when Tony isn't. Hammer finds a way to free Ivan/Whiplash and have him finalize the 'new and improved' Iron Man-style robots. Hammer creates droves of robots and only he has the authority outside the government to send them after Iron Man and War Machine.

That being established, what would make me believe that Justin Hammer has anything to do with the Mandarin. It was just a little thing that has appeared in every video for Iron Man 2. Hammer is always shown wearing a bulky ring on this pinky finger:

Check out the trailers and Comic Con '09 clips for yourself; every scene that Hammer appears throughout the progression of the film shows him wearing the same ring.

Don't forget to take into account Jon Favreau's attention to detail with these films and his way of putting emphasis on something that is easily overlooked (i.e. the repetition of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division in the first film). Where Raza would handle the Mandarin's need for soldiers, Hammer would be his ally in the technological world. Of course, this could just be an example of a rich industrialist wearing his favorite overpriced jewelry.

But the association makes perfect sense. . . at least to me.

I'd like to know your thoughts on the matter. Am I over thinking this similarity or is it a realistic assumption that Justin Hammer is the second of the Mandarin's henchmen that we are introduced to?

UPDATE: A few users have brought up a solid point that I completely overlooked. In the Iron Man movie novelization, Obediah Stane removed Ten Rings cell leader Raza's bejeweled ring and wore it for the rest of the story. Though the ring Stane wears in the film looks different from the ring Raza wears, it's safe to assume that they look very similar for a reason. Why this was left out of the film has yet to be revealed. Remember that the Iron Man 2 novelization is due out in the beginning of April, so keep your eyes open for more hints on this theory.
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Christuffer - 3/9/2010, 10:36 PM
But great point! I never saw any of this in the movie or the trailers.

I really really think you are right! It makes perfect sense.

Bravo my friend. Bravo

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MidKnight35 - 3/9/2010, 10:38 PM
Wow great insight Multi. Alot of points I never really thought about but now looking at them, I completely agree.
juggy4711 - 3/9/2010, 10:40 PM
That is a well thought out theory and one hell of an observation. I hope you're right because its genius.
JLAvenger23 - 3/9/2010, 10:43 PM
Excellent analysis, can't say anything else, great details and stuff!! Cool stuff!!
THEHAWK - 3/9/2010, 10:45 PM
Well...Hammer could be in the mob. The made men where gaudy pinkie rings.

Yeah, he is a member of the robot mob! The bastard!!

Duh duh duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhnnnnnnnnn
THEHAWK - 3/9/2010, 10:45 PM
But yeah, you idea sounds right to me.

HAWK out
Kajun - 3/9/2010, 10:45 PM
i like it
chasesuperremey - 3/9/2010, 10:46 PM
Yeah great job bringing that to light.
jjmeylar - 3/9/2010, 10:51 PM
Good point.
Lanceloco - 3/9/2010, 10:52 PM
Great Analysis. I diddn't catch the ring on Hammer's finger.

13ulletpr00f17 - 3/9/2010, 10:53 PM
yeah thats actually really cool...very well thought out!

i just looked up a picture of jeff bridges as Obadiah Stane in IM and hes got a ring on his right pinky as well...coincidence? maybe not!
Avenger53 - 3/9/2010, 10:54 PM
I still think it's interesting that in both trailers when Iron Man and War Machine are battling the Hammer Drones... they are in an Asian-style garden... COINCIDENCE? HMMMM????
Avenger53 - 3/9/2010, 11:09 PM

You're right! Stane does have a ring on his right pinky... but so does Hammer... would the Mandarin's minions wear rings on the same fingers or would each wear their ring on a different finger a la the sketch above?
STOOPUDR - 3/9/2010, 11:12 PM
Boy, I hope this is the story they use in the movie, or I am going to be disappointed now. Great idea, and well thought out and argured
theartofoneness - 3/9/2010, 11:16 PM
Good catch on that, fascinating read
TimJude72 - 3/9/2010, 11:21 PM
Great Points! I really think that you are right on this....

Does any one remember hearing about Fin Fang Foom being in this movie?

It seems to me that Fin Fang Foom was rumored to be in the movie very early on and if that's true it will support your points.
Joker1zero - 3/9/2010, 11:23 PM
I remember seeing Raza's gigantic ring in the first movie and I figured the leader of each terrorist cell held a ring and that when the time came, the Mandarin would bring them together to put them on. I like your theory and it makes sense.

@Avenger53 - I think they each wear the ring on the finger the Mandarin would wear them on if he had all ten on.
BryEL - 3/9/2010, 11:24 PM
@Tim - I bet Fin Fang Foom will be the Mandarin's secret weapon to fight against Tony.

@Poni - Damn, bro, if you're crazy, then I'm crazy too cause it all seems plausible. Great job.
Makiveli21 - 3/9/2010, 11:25 PM
wow awesome article multi! seriously one of the best ive read on this site. im so excited for this movie!!!!!
01 - 3/9/2010, 11:25 PM
I'll bite that...
AvengingAngel1022 - 3/9/2010, 11:27 PM
good observation multi
Joe6Pack74 - 3/9/2010, 11:32 PM
That is quite the theory and plausible. That could leave it open to 10 movies.
MercWitaMouth88 - 3/10/2010, 12:02 AM
wow those are sum great points. Hope everything u said was correct cause that would make a great series of movies.
thenumber12 - 3/10/2010, 12:12 AM
So, going on your logic, is it going to take another 8 films to see the Mandarin?
Internapse - 3/10/2010, 12:13 AM
Excellent post MultiPurposePoni!

A great read indeed.
cfho83 - 3/10/2010, 12:14 AM
great observation, man it all makes sense now, u are amazing, may i use this article for my site, my viewers would be so happy
Joker1zero - 3/10/2010, 12:16 AM
Haha. I don't think it'll take another 8 films to see the Mandarin. The film where we do see the Mandarin will probably have him going around collecting the 10 rings for most of the movie with him getting all of them for the Big Climax. Meanwhile, they could throw another villain in to keep the action going.
r0r5ch4ch84 - 3/10/2010, 12:20 AM
Oh, Justin Hammer, just like any real corporate tycoon is some silly little man who thinks he's the puppeteer when in reality is just another easily guided puppet. Be not fooled, my friend. Mr Hammer is most definitely one tool within The Mandarin's fist of deceit.
Wadey09 - 3/10/2010, 12:24 AM
i swear Multi you are a flippin genius!
thenumber12 - 3/10/2010, 12:29 AM
@ Multi: I agree with 8 more films haha, but do you think Hammer is going to have any type of powers due to the ring?

I wouldnt mind this movie giving a little chirp to the Mandarin at the end of the movie, like having him say something to hammer about how nice his ring is
thenumber12 - 3/10/2010, 12:37 AM
@Multi: Very cool, i never knew that. That would be pretty sweet if Mandarin was some how influencing Hammers actions
Jeri - 3/10/2010, 12:42 AM
Dude, I had close to these exact same thoughts. Honestly think its right on the money, couldn't agree more, your not over analyzing, your spot on.

Only I had thought he might be the main villain in the avengers, as opposed to IM3.

Suppose the use of Mandarin, Loki, Hulk and Fin Fang Foom in the avengers, as antagonists, with Mandarin, of course being, by far, the flag ship villain. Fin fang appearing something like: This version, as you had posted.

Fing Fang Foom, could, essentially be the same alien tech (as the rings), only fin fang is some kind of alien android/super weapon, hybrid tech, as you had said.

So, since the mix of crimson dynamo and whiplash has occurred in IM2, how about this, maybe a mix of Ultron (a main avengers villain) and that technological fin fang? I get giddy over the idea.

Ultron is one of the big avengers villains, connecting him to the mandarin by way of a morphing him with fin fang could lead into a sequel that, develops fin fang INTO Ultron, by way of Hank Pym, Aliens, W.E, its very open ended in all the right ways.

EDIT: Sorry, messed up the picture link.
Str8OuttaKrypton - 3/10/2010, 12:51 AM
Good Stuff bro!
mpk1988 - 3/10/2010, 1:34 AM
gr8 post man.. could someone check out on stane's ring??
Aztlan - 3/10/2010, 1:48 AM
Here the Stane's ring:

breakUbatman - 3/10/2010, 1:56 AM
Hmmm cool theory very similar to the Akatsuki from Naruto. It never occured to me at all but the Stane-Hammer ring does raise a few questions

"Akatsuki at any given time is composed of no more than ten primary members, all of whom were S-Class criminals of their own respective villages.

....Everyone also wears a ring with a kanji on different fingers depending on who the member is.

What seems to be most important, however, are their rings. In total, there are ten rings given to each of the ten main members of Akatsuki. The rings apparently signify one's membership and ring position, since when Orochimaru defected, he took his ring with him[9] and as such wasn't replaced.[10] The rings' exact purpose have not been revealed.
The ring positions of the members

The various rings are:[11]

* Right thumb: 零 (rei, "zero"); worn by Pain. Its color is dark gray
* Right index finger: 青 (Aoi, shō, "blue," "green"); worn by Deidara. Its color teal.
* Right middle finger: 白 (bya, "white"); worn by Konan. Its color is white.
* Right ring finger: 朱 (shu, "vermilion," "scarlet"); worn by Itachi Uchiha. Its color is red.
* Right little finger: 亥 (gai, "sign of the boar"); worn by Zetsu. Its color is green.
* Left little finger: 空 (kū, "sky," "void"); worn by Orochimaru. Its color is slate blue.
* Left ring finger: 南 (nan, "south"); worn by Kisame Hoshigaki. Its color is yellow.
* Left middle finger: 北 (hoku, "north"); worn by Kakuzu. Its color is dark green.
* Left index finger: 三 (san, "three"); worn by Hidan. Its color is orange. "
Roscoe182 - 3/10/2010, 1:58 AM
@Multi awesome article man really i would be shocked if you were wrong
ArmouredAvenger - 3/10/2010, 2:14 AM
Rhodey also wears a ring on his left hand in Iron-man. On two separate occasions it was on a different finger. It may just be a continuity error though. Its kind of similar to Stains.


ArmouredAvenger - 3/10/2010, 2:16 AM
Also after re-watching Iron-man tonight I noticed the two planes that were chasing him were code-named whiplash 1 $ 2. I know it means nothing but i found it kinda ironic and humorous.
TheSoulEater - 3/10/2010, 2:44 AM
Manderine SHOULD be Chow Yun Fat

Chow Yun Fat Sig Pictures, Images and Photos

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