One of our team’s most memorable Comic-Con moments is from two years ago when Marvel Studios held a panel for Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger where they followed up the presentations by confirming and introducing the entire roster of heroes for The Avengers live onstage (photos and videos here). That year on the expo floor Marvel brought Asgard’s throne room in as the centerpiece for their booth along with plenty of other neat items from the films.

It is here where they also handed out beautiful Captain America and Thor posters. Last year they did something similar, handing out one-sheets for each member of The Avengers that could be combined together to form a wide banner. This year, they’re doing it again for Iron Man 3.

Our first look at this year’s Marvel Studios Comic-Con character poster comes from Entertainment Weekly and features Tony Stark surrounded by armed soldiers with his armor only partially on. The artwork is by Ryan Meinerding who’s worked as a visual development supervisor on a ton of big-budget heavily CG films including most Marvel Studios flicks, along with John Carter, Cowboys & Aliens and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Meinerding has also done plenty of concept work on previous Iron Man armor, Captain America suit and Asgardian armor designs. Click to enlarge:

Without knowing the context of which this moment takes place in the Iron Man 3 film, it’s hard to tell if this can be considered a minor spoiler; someone’s clearly trying to capture or take down Tony Stark and looking squarely at the protagonist, we see hints of the Extremis storyline from the comics where the film is drawing inspiration from. The pic COULD tie directly to a recent Iron Man 3 rumor we heard, which described a scenario similar to what we see here. Click the preceding link if you want to know more.

During The Avengers we witnessed the latest Mark VII Iron Man suit which could auto-attach itself to Stark and that appears to be happening in this scene as well, with some key differences. Compare the armor pieces in this art to the detailed Mark VII statue – there’s more gold in the armor here. Also note how there are only a few pieces and not the entire suit. Stark also isn’t wearing the bracelets from The Avengers so what we could be seeing is the Mark VIII armor which may or may not have to do with Extremis nanobot technology, fusing the armor to Stark, truly making he and Iron Man one and the same.

Check out the previous character posters from the last two Comic-cons:

Captain America and Thor Comic-Con 2010 Poster Art:

The Avengers Comic-Con 2011 Poster Art:

I have all of the posters from the last two years and I’ll be lining up for this as well. For all things Iron Man 3 and Comic-Con, be sure to bookmark Screen Rant’s Comic-Con 2012 page.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Source: EW