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The Hands Of The Mandarin, Part One
Review and Media by Amazing Spidey

Episode #25 - The Hands Of The Mandarin, Part One
Original Airdate February 17, 1996

The Mandarin finally returns and creates an anti-technology field which renders Iron Man's armour useless! Forceworks must reunite to stop Iron Man's greatest enemy from declaring himself ruler!

Screenplay By: Doug Booth
Directed By: Dan Thompson
Music By: Keith Emmerson
Animation By: Koko Enterprises
Guest Starring: Robert Hayes as Iron Man/Tony Stark, Dorian Harewood as War Machine/Jim Rhodes, Jim Cummings as MODOK, Jennifer Hale as Spider-Woman, John Reilly as Hawkeye and Tony Ito as The Mandarin

Review: After an entire seasons worth of build up, we finally see the return of The Mandarin! It’s a slightly strange experience as it brings back a lot of useless characters from the first season, but thankfully, this doesn’t affect the quality of the episode.

This episode is actually far better than it has a right to be. Whilst the anti-technology fog was explained, I still find it a little cheesy but it didn’t really bring down the episode too much. The Heart of Darkness suffers from a similar situation, especially as it feeds on super powered people, and well… Hawkeye, Iron Man and War Machine don’t actually have superpowers to feed from.

Thankfully, these niggles are soon outshone by some fantastic scenes, particularly Iron Man and War Machine whooping Mandarin’s goons asses once again, only this time, it’s actually pretty to look at, thanks to some great storyboarding and timing. See what happens when a directing team keeps away from the brandy?

However, arguably the show’s finest moments occurs in this episode. After a particularly awesome fight scene, The Mandarin melts Iron Man’s mask away and finally learns his secret identity. Words are unable to describe how awesome this scene actually is, and it stands out as a definite highlight in the series. After an entire season of getting his behind kicked in the first season, it was awesome to see Mandarin come full circle, and completely and utterly destroy Iron Man. If The Mandarin ever does appear in the upcoming Iron Man movie, this is one scene I’d love to see done in live action. This particular scene certainly makes the whole ‘ring search’ segments at the end of each episode worth it. Basically, this scene makes an already thoroughly enjoyable episode that extra bit special. Better still, it was all topped in it's conclusion.