For other uses, see Mandarin (disambiguation)
"There's somebody who wants to meet you."
"Do I know him?"
"No. You took his name and now he wants it back."
Jackson Norriss and Trevor Slattery[src]

The Mandarin is an extremely powerful, legendary, and nearly mythical terrorist leader and anarchist who is the founder and the supreme leader of the Ten Rings.


Early Life

Legendary Warrior

"He was a warrior-king. Inspired generations of men through the Middle Ages, perhaps even further back in time."
Jackson Norriss to Trevor Slattery[src]

The Mandarin's past is shrouded in mystery, but his followers described him as an ancient warrior-king that has inspired generations of men since the Middle Ages, perhaps even further back in time.[1] His name was an ancient Chinese war mantle, meaning "advisor to the King".[2]

The Ten Rings

Expanding Operations

The Mandarin became the leader of the Ten Rings, an organization with religious beliefs going back thousands of years.[3] Over the years, the Mandarin became a myth to his followers, with only his most trusted men being aware that he really exists. The legend of the Mandarin would eventually reach the Western world.[1]

By the beginning of the 21st century, the Ten Rings had become an international terrorist network. In 2009, they bought illegal Stark Industries weapons from Obadiah Stane, who made a deal with them to ambush a military convoy in order to get rid of Tony Stark, who was on a business trip to Afghanistan. Said and done, the Ten Rings kidnapped Stark, whom they imprisoned on their base and attempted to force into making them advanced new weapons along with Ho Yinsen. However, Stark made a suit of armor and escaped.[4]

Battle of Hong Kong

"I understand you failed to obtain the War Machine Armor. Explain why you should leave this room alive."
"I-It's true, Mandarin. We did not succeed in capturing Rhodes. However, the conflict served its purpose. Our hidden agents analyzed the armor with every imaginable scanning device. The data we collected is invaluable."
―Mandarin and Ten Rings agent.[src]

Over the next year, the Ten Rings suffered numerous defeats at the hands of Iron Man, who had became their greatest enemy.[5][6] Their chance for revenge came when Stark became a consultant to S.H.I.E.L.D.. Temporarily retiring from his role of Iron Man, Stark made a new battle suit for James Rhodes who would fight the terrorist threats around the world. The Mandarin sent his men to capture Rhodes and his armor.

A few months later, Rhodes was victorious in all of his battles with the Ten Rings. However, during those conflicts, the Ten Rings successfully scanned Rhodes' armor with all possible devices, thus obtaining invaluable information. Later, a Ten Rings agent gave his report to the Mandarin. Though the Mandarin originally wanted to kill him for failing to obtain the armor, the agent said that with the information they stole the Ten Rings have all they need to destroy Iron Man.[7]

2012 Copycat Attacks

What If... Coulson
"This is not okay!"
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Six months after their last conflict with James Rhodes, the Ten Rings were dormant, but something forced them to come back into action. Many terrorist attacks happened around the world, and after every attack, the hacked TV signals would show broadcasts of a man claiming to be the Mandarin. Following a rise in attacks in the United States, the impostor would constantly declare that these attacks were "another lesson" for the American people.[2] The one behind the attacks was the A.I.M. CEO Aldrich Killian, who had built his idea from legends he had heard, unaware that the Mandarin was quite real.[8]

Coincidentally, it was Tony Stark who learned the truth behind the fake Mandarin and Killian's plans. The impostor was actually Trevor Slattery, a British actor who was employed by Killian himself in an attempt to take over the United States of America through his use of the Extremis virus, an advanced form of genetic manipulation created by Maya Hansen. Thanks to Stark, Rhodes and Pepper Potts, Killian was killed while trying to execute President Matthew Ellis and Slattery was arrested.[2]

Kidnapping of Trevor Slattery

"I'm talking about the Ten Rings."
"Come again?"
"The terrorist group historically associated with the Mandarin. Officially they're dormant, but evidence suggests that they're becoming more active."
Jackson Norriss and Trevor Slattery[src]

However, the Mandarin was not willing to allow Trevor Slattery to get away so easily and understood that he had a right to know. Sometime later, the Mandarin ordered his loyal agent Jackson Norriss to break Slattery out of the Seagate Prison. Disguised as a documentary filmmaker, Norriss successfully infiltrated the prison and abducted Slattery into the Mandarin's custody.[1]


A ruthless and calculating terrorist, the Mandarin leads the Ten Rings with an iron fist, threatening his subordinates with death if they didn't accomplish his orders, like when one of his agents failed in obtaining the War Machine Armor. Nevertheless, the Mandarin isn't extremely cruel with his men: when his agent told him that he had got valuable information surrounding War Machine's battle suit, the Mandarin simply spared him, demonstrating that he accepts any kind of useful progress on his plans.

Having his style of leadership, the Mandarin has demonstrated that he doesn't like to be imitated, being willing to punish those who dare to impersonate him for their purposes. When the Mandarin fiasco engineered by Aldrich Killian incriminated the Ten Rings from Extremis-caused explosions and had Trevor Slattery posing as the Mandarin himself, the Mandarin resented them enough even after Killian died to the point of sending one of his most loyal agents to the Seagate Penitentiary to abduct Slattery for as of yet unknown purposes.

Powers and Abilities


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Other Equipment

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Behind the Scenes


External Links

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