Synopsis for “The Hands of the Mandarin!”
“Caught In the Clutches of the Hands of the Mandarin!”
The hugely egotistical and secretive Mandarin is at his lair somewhere deep in Red China when his servant informs him that four officers from the Red Chinese Army have come to discuss something with him. He allows the officers to enter the castle and asks why they have come. They desire that the Mandarin join forces with the Red Chinese government so they can menace the world together. They also want that the Mandarin share the secrets of his power rings. This outrages the Mandarin, who refuses and sends them on their way.
Back in the United States, Iron Man is requested by the Pentagon to go on a reconnaissance mission into Red China to find learn what he can about the mysterious Mandarin. Iron Man agrees and returns his office at Stark Industries to prepare for the trip. He has to cancel his appearance at an evening dinner for Stark Industries employees in order to go on this mission. When he tells Bill, the individual responsible for coordinating the dinner gala, Bill wonders out loud if it’s because Stark is too busy to hang around with “the little people.” Happy takes offense to this comment and socks Bill in the jaw. Stark steps in between the two and stops Happy, warning him never to do such a thing again, and that, as their boss, Stark employees are free to say whatever they want to him. Afterwards, Pepper heckles them for not noticing her sexy new makeover.
Later, Iron Man drops from a military airplane somewhere over Red China. Iron Man free falls most of the way to the ground, then uses his jet boots to land safely. He is spotted by the Mandarin’s lookouts, but they assume he has perished in the fall because they didn’t see a parachute open. Safely on the ground, Iron Man wanders up the hill towards the Mandarin’s castle, eventually encountering and defeating a group of the Mandarin’s security forces. He then takes to the air and flies upward and into the castle, where he encounters and avoids several traps triggered by the Mandarin, who is secretly watching him via a monitoring system.
The Mandarin attempts to subdue Iron Man using with a paralysis ray, which is deflected by Iron Man’s chest beam. The Mandarin then unleashes the wondrous powers of his ten rings. First he employs a blast of high-frequency sound waves, which Iron Man counters with sound waves of his own. The Mandarin follows up with a paralyzer ray that manages to completely immobilize Iron Man.
Meanwhile, back at Stark Industries, Pepper decides that she desperately needs to take a date to the employee’s dinner, so she reluctantly calls Happy, who assumes it is a sign that Pepper really likes him.
Back in China, Iron Man finally shakes off the effects of the Mandarin’s paralysis ray. The Mandarin electrifies the walls of the chamber to prevent Iron Man from escaping and moves in to engage him in hand-to-hand combat. Iron Man devises a plan requiring him to make some quick calculations on his armor’s built in slide-rule, then assumes the appropriate position to ensure that when the Mandarin strikes him, it would be at the right angle to cause him immense pain. Iron Man takes the opportunity to escape as the Mandarin lies writhing in agony on floor. He takes to the sky just in time to intercept the military jet that is scheduled to pick him up to take his newfound intelligence back to the Pentagon.
Anthony Stark returns to New York in time to attend his employee dinner party, where he meets up with Happy and Pepper.