Mandarin - Phase 1
Portrayed by James Hong
|Known Aliases:||The Mandarin|
|Affiliations:||The 40K Triad|
|Introduction:||The 10th Kingdom|
A powerhouse in the Chinese underworld, the Mandarin frequently employs mystical means to get the edge on his competitors and achieve his goal of a new "Middle Kingdom" under his control.
Name: Zhang Tong
Aliases: The Mandarin
Affiliation: The 40K Triad
First appearance: March 21, 2007
Zhang Tong was born the son of a formerly wealthy Shanghaiese trader who had the misfortune of supporting Chaing Kai-Shek during the Communist Revolution in China. Stripped of his wealth, he was forced to flee to Taiwan and attempt to rebuild his position. His marriage to a wealthy English widow produced one son, Zhang, and started his slow return to wealth and power.
Zhang grew up surrounded by such things, and inherited his father's nationalistic zeal. He was a keen student of history, and ended up comparing the current Communist leaders to the Qing Dynesty in China, where a foriegn idea or leader held sway. When Zhang took over, he made great efforts to establish links to China, while at the same time, courting the Triads who spanned the world.
With his money, ruthless skill and shipping empire, Zhang clawed his way to the top of the fractuous Triads, and unified several different groups into a single entity. He instilled something that no other leader could do with the criminal bands; purpose. The Triads had been originally formed to work against the Manchus. Now they would work against the Communists and those who supported them, while enriching themselves in the process.
Zhang's interest in history and dedicated purchase and return to China of many cultural artifacts convinced the locals to allow him to finance a small archological dig in the Ling Valley, called the Valley of Spirits. He'd come into possession of a scroll that had hinted at a cache of rare artifacts dating almost two thousand years old, hidden there by the Manchu's. It was located, and as the majority of the pieces went into government control, Zhang secretly withheld his true prize; the ten rings of Qin Shi Huang. The rings contain the seals of the first seven kingdoms, and the name of the middle kingdom itself and Huang's own seal. When heated and branded to a person, it makes their will controled by the wearer of the rings.
Over the next year, Zhang has been using the rings to expand his power, and is starting to move into America, where he can target China's interests there. The weaker he can make the state, eventually, it will be ripe for yet another revolution. This one to bring around the true Middle Kingdom. His original plan to take over San Francisco was foiled by a mixed team of X-Force and X-Men, and he returned to China to lick his wounds and develop a new plan - to use the ancient dragon-spirit Fin Fang Foom to waylay cargo ships carrying valuable antiquities from China to Western museums. Again he was foiled, this time by the X-Men and Christian Kane. The Mandarin escaped, however, and his whereabouts are unknown.
In 2013, the Mandarin surfaced again, this time in Madripoor where he was targeted by X-Force as the holder of three bloodstones, belonging to Illyana Rasputin and lost during her ousting from Limbo. The stones were kept in three separate locations for safety - three X-Force teams retrieved the stones, but left the Mandarin where he was, time being a factor.
The Mandarin has some small magical ability, but his true power comes from the ten rings of Qin Shi Huang, which allow him to control the wills of others.
Socked by: Dex
PB: James Hong