The Mandarin Revealed (UPDATED!)

UPDATED: The “uncropped” version of the poster-image at Empire shows more details, discussed after the jump.

Love, love, LOVE this poster of Ben Kingsley as “Iron Man 3’s” big bad. The series has REALLY lacked for truly iconic heavies; and this guy just instantly looks like a great, unique, smug-yet-cool badass in the vintage-007 sense – EXACTLY the right tone. So fucking cool.

As mentioned above the uncropped still from which the poster was apparently made, viewable HERE on Empire, shows the detail that he’s using an Iron Man helmet as a footrest and that blue decoration to his right is a bullet-ridden blue military helmet that he’s using as an incense-holder.

The immediate assumption by a lot of folks is that this is Captain America’s WWII-era helmet, which leads back to that Cap-esque tattoo on the back of the guy’s neck in the first trailer. I’m sure the connection is intentional in terms of getting audiences talking (and probably making Marvel marketing very happy), but on closer inspection it looks like A.) there’s actually another one up on the wall and B.) it looks to me more likely that they’re U.N. Peackeeper helmets – probably “trophies” along with the dog-tags also decorating the place.

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