How ‘Iron Man 3′ May Help Launch ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

Published 2 years ago by , Updated June 13th, 2014 at 10:02 am,

Iron Man 3 Hall of Armor Art How Iron Man 3 May Help Launch Guardians of the Galaxy

A year and half ago we posed the question of whether or not Marvel Studios was going to delve into the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe after The Avengers. Rumors and reports combined with Easter eggs in the films released up until that point in time – along with certain happenings in Marvel Comics – strongly hinted that Guardians of the Galaxy was on the way, and Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige officially confirmed it at Comic-Con in the summer.

But little did we know that Marvel Studios may go cosmic immediately after The Avengers as fans prepare for Iron Man 3 and the beginning of Phase Two of the Marvel cinematic universe.

With Thor: The Dark World releasing this fall and promising to explore more of the nine realms and the culture of the many otherworldly Marvel races, it seemed the obvious choice to serve as a lead-in of sorts to next year’s introduction of the space-faring Guardians of the Galaxy, especially since Iron Man 3 promises to be more “grounded.” But moviegoers may actually get their first introduction, or at least a tease, of the Guardians as early as this May when Robert Downey Jr. suits up once again as billionaire industrialist Tony Stark.

What? Why? How?

Rumors from a few months ago have been rekindled thanks to some choice words by Robert Downey Jr. given in an exclusive interview with EW, and combined with the leak of an Iron Man 3 toy image featuring a Deep Space Suit, speculation and sources of Latino-Review lead us to believe Tony Stark will be going into space in Iron Man 3 to meet Earth’s first line of defense. Not only that, but Stark may appear in Guardians of the Galaxy as well.

Let’s examine the five pieces of evidence.

Marvel NOW Guardians of the Galaxy 001Cover 570x864 How Iron Man 3 May Help Launch Guardians of the Galaxy

1. Marvel NOW!

The first and most obvious clue is in the books, with Iron Man joining the Guardians of the Galaxy roster next month. The genius Guardians of the Galaxy relaunch by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning in 2008 (following Annihilation & Annihilation: Conquest) lasted 25 issues before Marvel Comics put an oddly timed end to it in 2010, only to have them show up in Avengers Assemble after The Avengers film hit theaters in the summer. The Guardians of the Galaxy return in February with a new look and some roster changes, highlighted by Tony Stark joining the team for the Marvel NOW! relaunch of the series by Brian Michael Bendis.

Bendis said the following about the new series in a Liveblog Q&A:

“It’s also a great place for you to hop on and see why we’re excited for these characters to be in a movie and why it’s as good a franchise as Marvel has.”

“Iron Man joins the team right from the get go, which is exciting and show that the Guardians are really the cosmic Avengers.”

Why would Tony Stark leave The Avengers and his other Earthly responsibilities to head into space? Bendis explains on

It’s more about that he’s a futurist, and he’s an explorer, and he’s a scientist, and an adventurer. You could certainty see Tony getting to a place in his mind where number one, he needs a vacation more than anyone on the planet. But number two, more like a working vacation, and thinking, you know what, I kind of hit a ceiling with my technology. I want to go out and explore some new stuff and see things from a new perspective, and really look at the Earth from a new perspective, and come back and see if that doesn’t help him break past whatever ceiling he’s hit with his work.And plus, we’re going to have some fun with Tony trying to live out his William Shatner/Captain Kirk space-girl fantasies. So Tony will come out here to be part of the Guardians, to explore the ideas that the Guardians had put in his head during AVENGERS ASSEMBLE, that the Earth is a very important part of the cosmic civilization for the next generation. So Tony literally needs to go out and look at it from their point of view to see what he can do to help. And so he gets to have space adventures, he gets to live the William Shatner/Captain Kirk, he gets to explore, he gets to invent, and Tony gets to see the world from a different perspective.

When Tony’s with the Avengers, he’s always top dog, alpha male, he’s always kind of in charge. Here, he’s going to be a fish way out of water. Even though he’s been to outer space a few times, this is living in outer space, which is a completely different thing. And basically living on a pirate ship!

Perhaps at the end of The Avengers, Tony Stark got more than a look into deep space, but a look into his future and the endless possibilities his technical prowess could open his life to explore. Such a drastic departure for the Iron Man norm would certainly offer a new and unexplored character journey for Robert Downey Jr. to play with, should he choose to lock in long-term with Marvel Studios.


Continue to page 2 for Robert Downey Jr.’s hint and the Iron Man 3 ‘Deep Space Suit’ toy…


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  1. This new rumour of Iron Man cameo in Guardians of Galaxy along with Thanos as Avengers 2 villain only seems to lead Avengers 2 towards an inter-galactic battle climax…which we have already seen in Avengers…not exciting news…


    • @ Anubhav

      Yea you totally know what you’re talking about…

    • avengers had an intergalactic battle but it was kinda stuck in new york. this time around it could actually be up in space and potentially more epic. thats the difference here man.

    • we really didnt see an “inter-galactic battle climax”. Only a galactic battle ON THE STREETS OF NEW York.


    • This is the first time I am seeing the galaxy defined as between 34th and 59th streets.

      Did not know I was Doing intergalactic travel daily for the past 3 years. Awesome.

  2. Pre-Guardians, Pete has a ship named, “Ship” which has an AI. It could be that in the MCU, Tony builds the ship in space. The ship could be some background side project throughout the movie and then after the credits we see some unknown astronaut steal the ship. They don’t have to reveal the astronaut’s face cuz you know, they haven’t cast Pete yet.

    At the end of Thor 2 we can see Thanos come to Earth and blow up a car; Drax then is born.

    • Yeah, Thanos comes to Earth just to blow up a car and then leaves, he is so mischeivess

      • lol well that’s how Arthur Douglas becomes Drax. At the end credits scene for Thor 2, we can have Thanos’ ship enter Earth’s atmosphere to survey the area. We don’t need to see the ship leave Earth or the people in the car. The ship descends to some remote desert area and with one car driving down a lone road. Thanos blows up the car to leave no witnesses. That’s pretty much what happens in the comic book.

        • and he abducts his daughter, then it gets personal…. well kinda he was dead, but things are a little complicated

          • I wonder if they’ll go that deep in the story. I can see Drax believing Thanos killed Moondragon. Then if they make a squeal, they reveal that she is still alive. Or they don’t wait on that and just do that in the upcoming movie.

            If they cast a wrestler for Drax, hopefully it’ll be the dumb Drax. However I’d rather see the smart Drax.

  3. My idea? After Tony dropped the missle off into space and seeing outerspace for all its glory and mystery, he becomes anxious and builds the suit and goes off into space and finds the threat of Thanos and the Guardians

  4. Doesn’t Tony Stark become head of SHIELD?

    • NO, Maria Hill becomes the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the comics of course, but if Sam Jackson is only gonna fulfill his 9 pic deal, He is getting close to that now! unless he signs on for more, but now that they have intro’d MH I assume he is on his last 3 films or so

      • Tony does become director of SHIELD after the Civil War

        • If that becomes true they want to kill Captain America like in civil war story line

  5. Good article. I’m totally on board with Iron Man going cosmic. He’s been to space in Avengers, he’s high tech and his armor is almost a space suit anyway right?

  6. this is the most exciting news YET from Phase 2, this is only gonna get better as we start to see who fills out the cast of GOTG.
    any news on that yet @Rob Keyes?
    This is gonna be EPIC

    • Just the rumors, but surprisingly no casting reports in the last week or so. We’ll find out a ton on Guardians, Cap 2 and X-Men: DOFP very soon as they all enter production soon.

  7. don’t care for Iron Man 3 at all but if it’s going to include something regarding GotG than I’ll def think about looking into it.

  8. in reality, the most this ‘iron man in space’ mongering will amount to is a 1.5 minute post credits scene.

    damn you marvel!

  9. When do you suppose we will see Carol Danvers?

  10. What I gathered from the first Iron Man 3 trailer was that after the events of the Avengers film, Tony feels less significant. He understands that there is a huge world out there he didnt even know about. That there are things that are bigger than him. He questions his existence after looking at the bigger picture. Its put him into a funk where he needs to know what his place in the world is and what else is out there. I think after the events of IM3, maybe in the end credits sequence after some type of tragedy (Happy or Pepper being killed), he decides to journey into outter space and comes across…THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. Great article by the way Rob.

    • I honestly could not see him leaving pepper behind in the event that Happy is the “big” death! The ONLY way I see him feeling like he has nothing left here is that pepper either dies or he leaves her because he does not want anything to happen to her and feels he needs to “get away” from the situation and goes to space!
      I have felt that she (pepper potts) was gonna die ever since Gweneth Paltrow said that she was not sure if pepper would appear in Avengers 2! That to me just spelled out peppers death because there is NO way she would leave tony’s side after everything they have been thru, so the best way to get rid of her chacter and a good story line was to have her killed by a bad guy.

  11. In addition to everything you guys have reported here, I’d also like that Iron Man being the first Avenger to come into contact with a Guardian and Thanos has precedent in the comics. Both Drax the Destroyer and Thanos first appeared in Iron Man #55, where Drax sent Iron Man a mental distress signal requesting he help him escape from Thanos’ imprisonment, which turns out to be a trap set by Thanos as he allowed Drax to contact Tony so he could deal with him directly.

    Obviously it won’t play out exactly like that in the MCU, but I think what has potential to happen is that Tony decides to go out into space after the events of IM3 to tackle his fears head on and experience a new frontier which he found himself as equally fascinated as he was scared by in the Avengers. Then, in the after credits scene we see him come into contact with either Thanos’ menions or one of the Guardians. Then we’ll get a follow up scene in GotG’s after credits that sets up A2.

    Speaking of that, another interesting nugget that SR didn’t mention in this article is a little bit of info Bleeding Cool dropped the other day. They talked to some of their reliable sources, who stated that Tony might not be as big as factor as people think he will be in A2.

    “Now, we don’t think Stark is going to pop up in Thor 2, and we don’t think he’ll pop up in Captain America 2 either but it’s a given that he’s going to be a core part of the Avengers 2 lineup, right?

    Well, we were taking this for granted. Until we were told not to, by somebody we can trust.

    Don’t take that for granted.

    …they said. Literally.

    We tried to clarify if this means he won’t be in the film, but we were told:

    That’s the wrong question.”

    So, I’m figuring that the real question is not whether Tony will be in A2, but how relevant he will be. It’s possible that something happens to him while in space that results in him being incapacitated or at least preoccupied in A2. Perhaps he gets captured by Thanos while in space?

    • Stay tuned for more on this. I wouldn’t count on that entirely.

      • I guess you’ve been asking around? :)

  12. And then maybe Avengers 3 will be about rescuing Tony Stark and fighting Thanos! And maybe there’ll be epic space battles between huge fleets of massive capital ships and cruisers firing blue lasers and missiles! Where the eff are the space battles in movies nowadays?!!

  13. Nice article Rob – the evidence approach works for me.
    HOWEVER….I’m pretty sure Kevin Feige didn’t say ‘Social Supreme’. LOL!

    The Eye of Agamotto doesn’t do Facebook!

  14. This seems to all lead up to the Infinity Gauntlet in which all of the Marvel Universe fights Thanos. My favorite comic book of all time of course.

    • not possible though.

      cant include FF, X-Men, ect.

      may be plausiable to have Ultron and Thanos in AV3 fighting The Avengers.


      no spiderman doe.


      Joss talked about rotating the roster for A2. so maybe no Black Window, no Hawkeye, enter Falcon and Ant-Man/Wasp(?).

  15. Well, another factor in favor. The villain in Guardians of the Galaxy is Basil Sandhurst, aks, the Controller. The Controller is an Iron Man villain. Now, it’s possible that they completely revamp the Controller (see the Mandarin).