Release date: February 4, 2014
The story: Following the events of Iron Man 3, Trevor Slattery has become the most famous prisoner in America—if not the world. Everybody’s aware he’s not really the criminal mastermind known as The Mandarin, but he still commands respect among his fellow prisoners. While speaking with a filmmaker named Jackson Norriss for a documentary, Slattery explains some details about his actual backstory, most notably that he starred in a failed CBS pilot about a Russian cop working in Los Angeles. Then Norriss reveals the real purpose of his visit: The Ten Rings terrorist organization is real, as is The Mandarin, and they’re going to kill Slattery for ripping off their brand. The short ends with the Ten Rings breaking Slattery out of prison—though the “real” Mandarin never appears in person.
Noteworthy events: All Hail The King seems to be explicitly designed to appease comic-book fans who didn’t like Iron Man 3’s radical take on The Mandarin. At one point, Slattery even mentions people on message boards being very mean about his performance, which isn’t so much breaking the fourth wall as it is stepping out of the film entirely and acknowledging things happening in the real world. Thankfully for those angry fans, the end of the short makes it pretty clear that there’s a real Mandarin out there in the MCU. Also, the short takes place in Seagate Prison, which shows up again in Luke Cage.