The viral campaign for next summer’s technically superior sequel, Iron Man 2, has kicked off and it is already making headlines…literally.

Superhero Hype was treated to an exclusive first offering from the folks behind the viral campaign, in the form of a mock press headline which details the “real-world” reaction to Tony Stark’s cavalier announcement that he is, in fact, the super hero known as Iron Man. MTV Splash Page managed to do some microscopic legwork deciphering the text of the faux news clip. Here are some of the choice quotes:

“Stunning the world’s press, amazing captains of industry, delighting a curious public and thrilling children the world over, Tony Stark, CEO of Stark Enterprises, announced this week that he was the man behind Iron Man,”

“The mysterious metal-clad behemoth that has battled terrorists, challenged natural disasters and rescued thousands of people around the world, had people guessing as to his true identity.”

There is additional text, but you’ll have to jump on over to Splash Page to know what it’s all about. Here’s a look at the viral headline itself:

(click image for larger version)

Yesterday I wrote that the one aspect of Iron Man 2 which has immediately jumped out at me is the (seemingly) cohesive nature of the story. The thought popped up when I saw the new Whiplash poster and noticed how all the newspaper clippings of Stark/Iron Man – which we also saw in those hi-res Iron Man 2 pics – were included in the Whiplash poster, hinting at the sort of ramifications Tony’s public exposure will have on the story of the second film.  This viral headline keeps in step with that theme, and has me officially interested in the puzzle the viral marketers will eventually piece together for us.

On that note: be sure to check back early next week – you never know when or where one of these viral promos is going to debut…

Iron Man 2 will be in theaters on May 7, 2010.

Sources: Superhero Hype & MTV Splash Page