Fraction has absolutely no regard for what happened in Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and it really aggravates me. The Knaufs did such an incredible job bringing back the Mandarin, and I feel like it was all for nothing now.
Goes for me as well. The Knaufs take on Mandarin was brilliant. To be honest, it got me more excited for the character than I had ever been before. They made him scary and in your face, and that was very effective. This new Mandarin feels distant and detached from the events going on around him. He has no presence.
With all due respect to Layton and Kaminski, he Knaufs did have the best Mandarin. They took his power and cunning to a new level, evolving the character to the point where I think he really should have been. I always thought the biggest weakness of the Mandarin was that IM could never have a slug fest with him since a repulsor would have decapitated him. Extremis changed that and the panel where IM blasts him w/ the Silver Centurion was beautiful.