If you haven't seen it already, the Internet is abuzz with hype for the Iron Man 3 extended trailer. The tone is grittier than its previous two iterations — compared to the macho, brash Stark of Iron Man 1 and 2, Tony's besieged by insomnia, and his life (and more importantly, Pepper's) in danger from the sinister Mandarin.
Reactions on Twitter range from the emotionally ecstatic (most of them, but we'll spare you except for this one):
To wishful thinking:
And repeats of choice quotes:
Even Team Coco gets in on the excitement, but it's hard to say whether or not @ImDarrenOoi complied:
There's been some meaningful discussion since Ben Kingsley's confirmation as the Mandarin, which has the potential to offend vast swathes of the Asian American community, but seems as if it will be handled gracefully.
In the Mandarin's official backstory, he comes across an alien spaceship as a boy and masters the rings used to power the craft, then employs them in his plans for world domination. The Mandarin of Iron Man 3 is more rooted in real life — his rings are accoutrements and do not provide any supernatural powers, only symbolism and a shout-out to Marvel canon. ScreenRant breaks it down.
Tony Stark's archvillain started off as a racist caricature from a time when the Yellow Peril Fu Manchu villain was the norm, but given that IM3 is a collaboration project with China, this incarnation is less "yellow peril" than a "may have been an American, may have been a British National, someone who is out there doing field work, supervising atrocities for the intelligence community who went nuts in the field and became this sort of devotee of war tactics, and now has surrounded himself with a group of people over which he presides, and the only thing that unifies them is this hatred of America," says director Shane Black.
ScreenRant asks its users on their thoughts, and a commenter going by Eric Ravenscraft comments:
Whoa, pretty deep for an analysis only hours after the second trailer made its debut.
Some previous analysis on the character of the Mandarin comes from io9, which asked several Asian-Americans to weigh in with their thoughts.
Says Marjorie M. Liu, who has written for Marvel Comics: "What's amazing is that China through its economic might has succeeded in extracting from Hollywood what civil rights groups and Asian American petitions have been unable to: more respectful representations of its citizens. If only every minority group had a massive economy!"
Gene Yang, who published a critically-acclaimed graphic novel comic called "American Born Chinese" in 2006, weighed in as well. "My own take — and the point that we make in SHATTERED, which is an anthology that's all about upending and reinventing cliche images of Asian Americans — is that a good villain is not a bad thing. If Kingsley, a terrific actor, can bring authenticity, three-dimensionality, complexity, and that dark charisma that's central to a great bad guy's success to the role, then I'll be the first to cheer him on. If, on the other hand, the Mandarin ends up as another Fu Manchu manquee with no real backstory and nothing but lame buzzphrases to flesh out his character, then I'll boo louder than anyone."
Leave your own thoughts in the comments!