Like the finer aspects of all things in the world of comics, the background villains of the Iron Man series really only reveal their secrets to the dedicated nitpickers out there watching the MCU. So when the same mysterious organization showed up in the recently released Ironheart #1, there was always going to be some explanation needed.
The Ten Rings is the group that initially kidnaps Tony Stark. They’re a multi-cell operation led by the Mandarin that influenced the more famous supervillains Obadiah Stane and Ivan Vanko; they're the folks who were mimicked in Iron Man 3 by Aldrich Killian and that fake Mandarin. But the organization — even as an MCU invention — has been lurking underneath everything this whole time. Where it’s really going to be fleshed out in the spotlight, it seems, is in the comics.
In Eve Ewing, Kevin Libranda, and Amy Reeder’s first issue of the Riri Williams-led comic, the baddie she faces down — Spider-Man’s Clash — gives her an emblem of the Ten Rings, like a business card. That emblem, with ten rings — each with a symbol inside — interlocking to form a circle, is almost an exact match to that of the terrorists’ flag in Iron Man.
Those symbols and rings reference the magical rings owned by the Mandarin (yes, he has magical rings), so it’s a good bet that he’s in charge of the terrorists in the comic, too. Or at least involved in some way. Looks like Ironheart shares more with Tony Stark than just a love of engineering and a wicked sense of humor.
She’ll look to fight the Ten Rings (or join them, or suss them out, or who knows what) as Ironheart continues its run. Its first issue is available in stores today.