The President: Friend or Foe?
Tony Stark has had a long and complicated history with the US government, being ordered to turn over his Iron Man to military authorities in Iron Man 2. Stark ultimately refused, but Colonel James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) did it anyway. With the President shown so prominently in the second trailer, we can't help but wonder if Stark's rescue of New York City in The Avengers (2012) did little to get the military on his side. That's assuming that the President's pledge to protect the country is related to a private citizen owning a personal armory of attack aircraft, and not an impending attack from The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) himself. Since The Mandarin seems to be focused solely on Stark, we're inclined to think it's the former, but anything's possible. If the Commander-in-chief still has doubts about Tony's intentions, hopefully his daring rescue of the Air Force One attack will straighten him out.
The Iron Patriot
The Iron Patriot's new paint scheme has been public for some time now, but the reasons for it aren't completely clear. Iron Man 2 ended with Rhodey seeming to adopt the role of both a Colonel and the War Machine, but his new star-spangled duds imply public appearances more than active duty. It's possible Rhodey's friendship with Stark, and his key role within the military make him a target for The Mandarin alongside the Iron Man. But the way he - and his superiors - have put the suit to use deserves some explanation. He was a no-show in The Avengers, after all - but apparently, there is an explanation for that. Whether acting as Tony's sidekick, or a public deterrent to America's enemies (like escorting Air Force One), Rhodey's role in the plot remains murky. He's apparently next to Tony at the film's climax, but the path he took to get there is uncharted thus far.
The Mandarin's Men
Those familiar with the "Extremis" comic book story line that Iron Man 3 will be adapting won't be surprised to see Dr. Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) apparently up to no good, injecting several subjects with what can be assumed to be a strand of the same nanovirus. But up to now, it was assumed Killian's role would be a minor one in the grand scheme. Mainly, because that's what Pearce claimed. The actor has been known to mislead in the past, and his position implied in the footage (as squarely on the villain side) has us thinking he and his discovery will be playing a much larger part. If these test subjects are being injected with Extremis as well, then to what end? Will they make up the army Stark will needs reinforcements to fight? Set photos have hinted at an Iron Patriot hijacking, certainly explaining Rhodey saluting the President with his mask closed. Tony just might have his hands full.
Wasp/Extremis Connection?When the first Iron Man 3 trailer landed, the mysterious redhead seemingly forcing herself onto the billionaire playboy caught our eye. Questions were soon answered, as the crimson-haired woman was revealed to be actress Stephanie Szostak, billed as 'Bethany Cabe.' Her name being listed prominently in the movie's synopsis convinced us she'd be playing a major role, and undergoing a medical procedure at the hands of Dr. Killian confirms that (and fits with her comic book origins as War Machine). If she is in fact playing Wasp, how does Extremis fit? Will ability to shrink, grow wings, and fire energy be granted by the virus? Originally set to appear in The Avengers, Wasp's introduction seems inevitable. Extremis may be a plausible explanation for her abilities, and would make those rumors of a shocking post-credits reveal more plausible. All speculation, but really, how many redheads can there be in this movie?
What's the Problem With Pepper?
Now established as a happy couple, it's been no secret that Tony will be doing everything in his power to protect Pepper Potts. Given the rumored deaths awaiting some of Stark's friends, it's not hard to grasp his sense of urgency. Yet despite his best efforts, it's clear Pepper won't just be involved in The Mandarin's attack on Stark's coastal mansion, but will wind up locked in the same contraption as Dr. Killian's other test subjects. Will he succeed in injecting Pepper with Extremis as well? It would offer the chance to see her suit up in the RESCUE Armor (as she did in the comics), but we have to think Tony would wish to keep her safe, not weaponized. The later shot of Pepper undressed, confused, and back-lit by a fiery blaze leads us to believe that she'll escape death narrowly at some point, but whether that's before or after Dr. Killian's dastardly procedure is anyone's guess.
Bare Knuckles vs. ArmorIf you were watching the trailer closely, there's a good chance one shot in particular had your eyebrows raised a moment after realizing what you'd just witnessed: a man wrestling a suit of armor. For reasons that shouldn't need further explanation, Tony, Rhodey, or anyone in a metal suit shouldn't really be trading blows with an unarmored human for fear of killing them. So what's going on here? If the fearless fist-fighter is Dr. Aldrich Killian - he seems to be the only main male character we've seen with hair and build to match - then how is he not being crushed? A grueling fitness regime? Or has his own experimentation with Extremis granted him superstrength? If that's the case, will Pepper, and possibly Wasp, be imbued with the same power? We don't yet know what the film's take on Extremis's side effects will be, but as comic book fans, this fight has us scratching our heads for a few reasons.
The Iron Legion
It's the unveiling every Iron Man fan was waiting for: confirmation that Tony Stark hadn't just spent his time designing suit after suit following his Avengers near-death experience, but would send them all into battle simultaneously. While we predicted many of the suits that were ultimately revealed (and still hold out hope of seeing a few more of our favorites), exactly who or what they're being called to fight is a complete mystery. The Mandarin's forces haven't been discussed, with little more than speculation to go on. The same can be said for the true nature of this Iron Legion. It's been assumed that they're psychically controlled by Tony himself, but whether the same can be said of The Mandarin's army, and how the ensuing fight will take place (and what role Pepper, Rhodey, and Dr. Killian will have in it) are open to predictions.
ConclusionThose are the moments that most stood out to us, but be sure to leave your own theories in the comments. To get your Iron Man 3 fix, be sure to check out:
- How Iron Man 3 May Launch Guardians of the Galaxy
- Unofficial Iron Man 3 Armor Guide
- 6 Iron Man Armors We Want To See
- 4 Comic Books To Prepare You For The Movie