Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Modern Mandarin & Dreadnought
Let's get this out of the way, I don't know anything about the dreadnaught and I don't really care about the minimate. It's nice enough, but I'm very much, "Whatever," about the figure.
No, I got this set because... well it was on sale... but also because it has the Mandarin and 1) I'm trying to get a few of Iron Man's rogues gallery as minimates which is difficult since I have no real idea who any of them are except for the biggies like this guy, 2) as you know by now, I've got a thing about Asian action figures, even ones as over-the-top fu-manchu in design as this one, and 3) if you do a list of the "Big Bads" of the Marvel universe, the ones that can be said to be of the "top tier" then the Mandarin would be... forgotten until someone said, hey who are the top Iron Man villains.
Seriously, everyone forgets about this guy until the idea of an Iron Man is brought up. And then it's like, oh yea, you should have the Mandarin in there. Seriously, most people don't even know what his powers are. He has 10 rings he recovered from an alien spacecraft. Each ring has control over a different power, essentially giving him energy powers and control over matter. That might explain why he's not used that much. It's not exactly easy to sum up what he can do in one breath. Every time you bring him back you've got a page of exposition where you explain that he can use psychic powers, use fire, lightning, whirlwinds, electromagnetic powers, dark void energy, disintigration, molecular rearranging, ice blasts, and all-purpose energy powers. Essentially you've got to say "He's a wizard" but then try to explain why he doesn't just turn Iron Man into a cat because by spelling out the rules of what he can't do. BORING!
But dude looks like a classic yellow peril villain in minimate form. So that's a purchase.
He comes with a robe, which is essentially a solid piece of plastic that restrict movement. Fortunately you can take the robe off and reveal his toned torso (because now it's racist to depict one of the most prominent minority supervillains as sickly or weak). Also, somehow being shirtless is more mystic than having a shirt. Something to do with the visual symbolism of uncivilized savages being more in tune with the unknown... Look, the whole approach to the dude is racist, okay. Just accept it and be sad for what it means to American society. (I'm Asian, I get to make these remarks.)