Iron Man #241-242 (1989)

Mandarin returns as a cult leader—“Hands of the Mandarin.”

He gives various rings to members of the cult and engineers a battle with Iron Man for the corporate supremacy of Hong Kong by kidnapping Tony Stark’s lawyer, James Rhodes, and secretary Mrs. Arbogast.  If Iron Man wins a duel, the three live and Stark can have exclusive trade with Hong Kong.  If Iron Man loses, Stark International cannot expand into HK.

Yeah, it’s a ridiculously nonbinding way to explore corporate expansion, but in a world of flying armored bodyguards and magical ring cults, it’s a cool concept.

Of course Iron Man wins in the end.

At the very end of the issue, a female Stark International employee who is also a stalker shoots him because he won’t date her.  That will be the story next issue.

Creators: David Michelinie, Bob Layton, Denys Cowan
Grade: C+

For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.
And see my Ratings of Runs on comics here.

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