The Mandarin was once considered to be Iron Man’s archnemesis. He recently ran afoul of another Marvel character, the Punisher, and was killed, but now someone else has risen up to take his place.
SPOILERS for The Punisher #4 by Matthew Rosenberg, Szymon Kudranski, and Antonio Fabela follow.
Over the last year or so of Punisher stories, Frank Castle has gone through some changes. He was tricked by the evil Steve Rogers into working for Hydra, then recruited by Nick Fury to steal the War Machine armor and help overthrow a dictator.
Frank was reluctant to give up the War Machine armor once he’d gotten used to it. In order to exact some revenge on those who used and manipulated him, he decided to use the armor to take out the evil Steve Rogers, aka the Supreme Commander. He managed to foil Hydra’s attempt to free the Supreme Commander, but Iron Man and the Avengers stopped the Punisher from killing the evil Cap. James Rhodes, recently brought back to life, was able to talk Frank into turning over the armor.
But losing the War Machine armor didn’t mean Frank had forgotten about Hydra. Frank decided to make the terrorist organization his prime target. With the Supreme Commander imprisoned, his friend Baron Zemo took over command of Hydra. Zemo had made an alliance with Roxxon CEO Dario Agger and the Mandarin to manipulate the United Nations into officially recognizing the government of Bagalia, a country controlled by Hydra, the Punisher killed the Mandarin in front of the entire United Nations.
Since then, the Punisher has been on the run with a bounty on his head. He briefly teamed up with Daredevil to fight off some Hand ninjas and a multitude of other henchmen, but Daredevil then tricked the Punisher, turning him over to the police. Nick Fury and a squad of soldiers showed up to take the Punisher into custody, but this turned out to be a ruse. Nick Fury was actually the Chameleon and his soldiers were criminals after the bounty, including Frank’s old enemy Jigsaw.
Frank managed to fight his way out of that situation and headed straight for a Hydra orientation presentation. He opened fire on everyone inside. The group leader at this event was Garron Winslow, the Mandarin’s former assistant. He managed to sneak out of the room and get to his car, only to return with the rings of the Mandarin equipped and ready for battle.
Will Garron be able to live up to his mentor’s mantle? Fans will have to wait until next issue to find out.2comments
What do you think of this new Mandarin? Let us know in the comments!
The Punisher #4 is on sale now.