The Mandarin is a collection of lies, stories, myths, and legends. But two things are true: He wears, upon each finger, an alien weapon of unimaginable power…and he’s going to kill Tony Stark. Is he a violent street crook born in a brothel? The scion of an aristocratic dynasty? Was his father was a petty criminal or an ambassador? Was his mother a British noblewoman, or maybe a dragon-chasing wastrel lost in the underbelly of the world? He’s a murderer, a businessman, an artist, a terrorist, a hero. And this is the story of his life.

WRITER: Matt Fraction
PENCILS: Salvador Larroca & Carmine Di Giandomenico

Price: $4.99
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 10.8%


JoeCom07/01/10NoRead Review
JdRavnos07/01/10NoRead Review
Jedimasterrob200107/01/10NoRead Review
zombox06/30/10NoRead Review
Avg Rating: 4.0
Users who pulled this comic:


  1. Are people buying this in Digital or Print or both? 


  2. Print.

  3. Does anybody know what the digital pricing will be?  

  4. I think this is going to be a good issue.  Matt Fraction was talking about it on Word Balloon a long time ago, prior to issue #25 coming out.  It is supposed to be the definitive Mandarin origin story.  Other than the animated direct-to-dvd Iron Man movie they made a couple of years ago and the Marvel Alliance game, I have had no exposure to the Iron Man’s supposed biggest baddy.  


  5. Funky.

    Print only.

  6. Price wise. The issue will be split into three sections for the digital version at $1.99 each so it will be more expensive than the print version, which makes it difficult, even for someone with an Ipad, to justify picking up the digital copy instead. 

  7. What is this ‘digital’? Haha! Print!

  8. Digital art looks better than printed art.  Much larger, better colors, more vibrant, a better read on many levels.

    I’ll buy the cheaper version.  Prefer digital though.

  9. Print. I like the smell of the ink.

  10. The digital version costs more. WTF Marvel? WTF

  11. Print.

  12. Can’t fit digital in my longbox.

  13. I would get the digital if I had the means of viewing it, ie an ipad, but I dont so I will ahve to continue filling my house with dead trees.

  14. I’m debating the iPad version as I’m starting to get really sick of having floppies around. That said if this book is $6 and the print version is $5 I might go ahead and get it in print

  15. I’m checking on an iPod touch and I don’t seem to see it in the Marvel store.  Is this an iPad only thing?  I was entertaining the idea of purchasing this in a digital format, but if that’s the case I’ll probably just pass.  Also, $6?!  Are you kidding me?

  16. Well I just checked it’s 3 parts at 1.99 a piece so more than the print version

  17. If you look at it as $2/22 pages it makes sense, but the fact that the print cost less is bothersome.  So far I think DC is doing a better job with the day and date releases, but not by much.  That aside, I really enjoyed this book. 


  18. Ugh.  I hate hate hate the idea of paying more money for a version of this that costs them less to produce.  Where is the logic in that?  I really don’t want to support that, yet I suspect whatever Marvel ends up doing about pricing is unlikely to be determined by my $6.  I think I’m going to end up paying $6 for this digitally and hating myself…but I’m going to try to hold off until I see it in my LCS tonight.

  19. I enjoyed this story. 🙂

  20. Wow. This was a big, plodding dud of an issue. Essentially, Inglorious Basterds in reverse, it did absolutely nothing for me. The art was decent, but at times Mandarian barely looked the same panel-to-panel. In certain places, classic Mandarin was indistinguishable from Hawkeye. However, the writing was all over the place. Mandarian’s characterization is decidedly uneven and doesn’t mesh with the tack taken as recently as 2 years ago with the character. He seems more like Ming the Merciless. The swap-out angle doesn’t arise naturally from the script nor does the relationship between the director and his assistant. Really just not a pleasant read. 2/5

    I know we’ll never get an answer – and it’s not actual complaint – but when did the Mandarian unfuse the rings from his spinal column? 😉  

  21. Holy crap. This is pick of the month. I can’t wait to read this again. Could literally not put it down. I would put this on par with the kind of writing Brubaker did on the Books of Doom series from a ways back. Way to make a villain who should be the major presence in Iron Man’s title that much more real and terrifying. And the art is great to boot.

     Definitely worth the price of admission in any format.

  22. Came close to being my pick of the week, but it was just pipped out by GL. Great though, art was enjoyable even if it was a little muddled in places, story was great (and probably no doubt based on certain real life events) even if the pacing seemed to drop a little in places, but overall definitely definitely worth $4.99

  23. I don’t know shit about the Mandarian, and I thought this was awesome. I agree with some of Prax’s comments like the problem with the relationship between director and assistant, but I was definitely sympathetic to the director and thought the issue established a definite threat for Iron Man.

    5/5 and pick of the week. 

    Is this the same artist as the one who idd Magneto Testament?

    Iron Man still hasn’t shot or punched anything in like 10 issues.

    This is the worst weak of comics I’ve had since I started collecting single issues about 2.5 years ago. Gotham City Sirens, Luke Cage and Marvel Zombies 5 kinda sucked.

  24. This is a long ass story and I wasn’t able to get into it.  Read a few pages and couldn’t be bothered so I started skimming it, looking at the pictures and reading bits here and there.  Sorry, just couldn’t pull me in.  I enjoyed reading through the big HC of Iron Man but between this and the last couple of issues I think its time to drop the singles and catch up in a big chunk at some point if I feel the need.

  25. Holy fucking shit was this amazing!

  26. This was decent, but it wasn’t anywhere near as good as Cap, Doomwar or Secret Avengers.


  27. This was awesome.  Great read – it was a treat to get such a full story in a single floppy – they could have easily dragged this out for 6 issues – glad it was a one in done.  Kick ass story, great art.  Had me hooked all the way through even though I was dead tired Wednesday night.

  28. I enjoyed the heck outta this. Mandarin is a cruel and brutal yet ultimately pathetic villain in this. I wanted to reach into the comic and kill him myself.

  29. I loved this issue. Great engaging story with a very sad ending. Also, an inventive way to clean up the Mandarin’s continuity. PS: I purchased the digital version (despite being annoyed at the price hike) because I want to support the move to digital comics. That being said, they gotta do better on the prices for day-and-date.

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