The History of the Mandarin Rings Explained
The three ancient watches on the right hand started with the Vortex beam on the middle finger. One of the more random powers in the ring, it allowed the Mandarin to whip through the air like a tornado. He used it to beat opponents, lift heavy objects, or fly through the air.
On the ring finger was the decay beam, that’s exactly what it looks like. It was the Mandarin’s deadliest weapon and yet another that operated at the atomic level. Generally speaking, when used in a story, Iron Man always barely managed to get out of his way. That’s the problem with having an invincible super weapon; if it doesn’t save you all the time, you need to keep thinking about ways to make it less efficient in some way. Arbitrarily installing a 20-minute cooldown was one way to achieve this. Ensuring its owner was a megalomaniac who often gave up using his almighty rings in favor of karate was another.
Yes, the Mandarin chose to use karate against his armored opponent when they first met. Even better, an Iron Man pre-calculator used his armor’s built-in slide rule to determine the best angle to deflect the blow, causing the Mandarin maximum pain. Whether or not Sir Isaac Newton wanted to use calculus for these purposes, he would probably be delighted to see his work used in such practical applications.
The ring on the little finger was Blacklight, which likely used Darkforce to shroud opponents in pure darkness.