Friday, May 3, 2013

The Mandarin - One Man's Revolution... - J.D. Coughlan

SET-UP: Germany, 1942. A younger Mandarin, just starting out on his road to world domination, has sought out the Red Skull with ideas of an alliance.

Panel 1: One of those mountain retreats the Nazis loved. The Mandarin and Red Skull sit on the veranda, talking casually, taking in the scenery, drinks on a small table between them. There are a couple of Nazi guards, nothing too intimidating. The Skull is, of course, in full mask and uniform. The Mandarin is dressed formally with subtle Chinese influences.

MANDARIN: I am afraid, Mr. Schmidt, that I have concluded an alliance between us would be impossible.

SKULL: Nonsense! You have power and influence I can use. And, aside from your Oriental heritage, we are quite similar.

Panel 2: Close on the Mandarin. He remains calm, as if talking to someone beneath him.

MANDARIN: No. No, we are not.

MANDARIN: You desire conquest. Dominion. I seek change, for the better.

Panel 3: Close on Red Skull. He glares angrily.

SKULL: One man's revolution is another man's hostile takeover.

Panel 4: The Mandarin, still calm, rises to leave. Red Skull gestures to the guards, who start to move towards Mandarin.

MANDARIN: Regardless of semantics, I shall take my leave...

SKULL: I don't think so, Mandarin.

Panel 5: The guards block Mandarin's exit. Red Skull stands up behind him, smug. The Mandarin remains calm.

MANDARIN: Mr. Schmidt, I realise that in western literature, we "Orientals" are often portrayed with a flair for the over-dramatic, but rest assured that I am not exaggerating in the slightest when I say...

Panel 6: Close on the Mandarin's clenched fist. His rings are glowing.

MANDARIN (O.P.): will let me leave.



  1. Nice choice of setting/antagonist. I like how you've contrasted their ideals through clashing their egos.

  2. Wonderful set up. A nice character piece having Skull and Mandarin bounce off of each other. Plus that last line is gold.

  3. Reminds me of that crossover when the Joker found out Red Skull was a Nazi and got all mad. Even criminal masterminds have a moral code.


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