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Iron Man vs. The Mandarin vs. Racism

May 2, 2013

Iron Man 3Surefire blockbuster Iron Man 3 gets the summer movie season going when it’s released tonight. The villain who will try to take down Tony Stark this time: The Mandarin, an original character from comic books of the 1960s. Fortunately, the blatantly racist, stereotypically Asian elements of the character have been toned down for the movies (and he’s played by Sir Ben Kingsley).

Here are couple other questionable—and offensive—comic book characters:

Shamrock. In 1982, Marvel debuted this redheaded Irish heroine. Her super powers: she could harness the spiritual energy of Irish people killed in “the Troubles” and summon “the luck of the Irish.”

Egg Fu. This “yellowface” villain originally appeared in Wonder Woman comics. He’s a gigantic, sentient—and yellow—egg who wears a Fu Manchu mustache and works as a spy for the Chinese government. He first popped up in the ‘60s, but a couple of years ago was reintroduced under the less offensive name “Chang Tzu.”

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