Will Tony Stark Battle a SPIDER-MAN Villain in "Iron Man 3!?" (UPDATED)

There are pix, it’s been more-or-less confirmed and doesn’t seem like a HUGE story-spoiler, but just in case now’s your chance to look away…

ANSWER: …kinda, but not exactly. Made you look 😉

The buzz on “Iron Man 3” is that it’s going to be a bigger film, thematically and scale-wise, than the other two; but that the story is staying mainly in the realm of super-science/spy/espionage stuff all pertaining to high-tech weapons and especially other guys wearing weaponized exo-suits – with Guy Pierce playing the main villain (loosely culled from Warren Ellis’ “Extremis” story-arc) and Sir Ben Kingsley playing a master-schemer background heavy who may or may not end up being some version of The Mandarin.

Thus far there’ve been a handful of armor-clad hench-baddies announced, none of whom are big names, and the follow-up word was that – like Whiplash/Crimson-Dynamo in the last movie – there would be some character combination/overhaul going on. In any case, thanks to some “spy” pix snapped by The Superficial and confirmed by Latino Review (who’re apparently sitting on a MOUNTAIN of Marvel spoilers they just aren’t releasing yet) we now know at least one of the armored characters who’ll be popping up in some (presumably villainous) form:






Ladies and gentlemen… THE IRON PATRIOT.

Holy shit.

So what’s with the headline? Okay, short version: As part of the fallout from three successive Marvel Comics “event” miniseries – “Civil War,” “World War Hulk” and “Secret Invasion” – The Avengers wound up disbanded, exiled or turned to fugitives. Needing someone to run the government-backed version of The Avengers that had been established by Iron Man’s “side” at the end of “Civil War,” the Pentagon had the brilliant idea of placing things in the hands of a wealthy businessman who was also “reformed” supervillain who’d recently lucked into an act of press-friendly heroism during “Secret Invasion”… NORMAN OSBORN, aka THE GREEN GOBLIN.

Osborn (who’d already been managing a team of “rehabbed” villains as director The Thunderbolts) installed a group of fellow antagonists as the “real” Avengers using the now government-owned names and costumes of the originals, but figured that they also required the symbolism of Captain America and Iron Man for the public to trust them – his solution was to reconfigure one of Tony Stark’s spare suits with Cap’s colors and christen himself a new hero; “The Iron Patriot.”

Obviously, Osborn (who hasn’t even “officially” become part of the new Spider-Man movies yet) is not going to be in the suit in “Iron Man 3.” The spy pix confirm James Badge Dale, already announced as one of the heavies, is wearing it for these shots; so it seems he’s still a bad guy… but his purpose is unclear.

Here’s what intrigues me about this: The visual of a villain wearing what amounts to an even more ostentatious version of Captain America’s uniform (it’s probably too much to hope that Cap himself will show up as part of this) is “edgier” than we’ve come to expect from Marvel to begin with, and the specter of a stars-and-stripes clad villain in a movie set-in and partially-financed-by China raises a certain amount of “hmm…” potential. Iron Patriot’s original function was as a one-man (literal) “false flag” operation, and writer/director Shane Black has repeatedly invoked “Tom Clancy” as the angle the film’s story is working from – are we seeing the beginnings of the film’s plot? Maybe an attempt to start/avert a U.S./China war via a bad guy claiming to represent America?

I like this. I like it a lot.

UPDATED: Latino Review now thinks it might alternate be a similar-looking but less confusingly-backstoried character called “Detroit Steel.” If so, let me be the first to call possible-foul on using anyone named “Detroit” as a villain in these times – that place has suffered enough.

24 thoughts on “Will Tony Stark Battle a SPIDER-MAN Villain in "Iron Man 3!?" (UPDATED)

  1. Merrick_HLC says:

    Something to remember is Marvel movies do often combine aspects of different characters.

    The villain of Iron Man 2 was like a combination of Whiplash & Crimson Dynamo.

    So it could be they're using a similar to Iron Patriot armor for something else (Detroit Steel or not).

    Also a thought I had. It could just be the us government doing a suit (Maybe even redesigned War Machine?) for publicity reasons.
    Since the US trying very hard to get the suit was a big part of IM2


  2. Daniel R says:

    Is Sam Rockwell returning for Iron Man 3?
    If he is then I'm pretty sure its Detroit Steel. In the comics Detroit Steel is an armor designed by Hammer Industries (although in the comics its his daughter Justine Hammer) to be sold to the highest bidders as mercenaries.

    If it is Steel, then I think they might use him to coax Rhodey over to Tony's side. They wanted an excuse to make War Machine an Avenger, here it is.
    “You see what they wanna turn me into Tony, I might just have to take you up on you're offer and join you're little treehouse club”

    And yeah, they might have to reconfigure the name, but “Detroit Steel” is just the armor's name. Last I read the pilot was named Doug Johnson

    Then again, Steel is A LOT more elaborate then that in the comics. Overdesigned to a point of parody, that just looks like a painted over War Machine, which is what the Iron Patriot is.

    Anyway, liking things so far. There has to at least be a reference to Cap, amiright?
    “You know, I know someone who'd get really mad to see you wearing that.”

    I just REALLY want to see “Rescue” make an appearance.


  3. ANImaniac says:

    Color me interested.

    Also being from Detroit myself (as well as still living in the area) I can say with confidence that Detroit and Detroiters can take it, if it does turn out that this is Detroit Steel.
    Detroit itself often plays up its own ghetto dystopianess, Hell its unofficial motto used to be “Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten” they even sold T-shirt that said the same.


  4. Mack says:

    i don't think it really matters what this character is credited as since mickey rourke's character was never referred to as whiplash or the crimson dynamo, so i doubt this character will be named in film either, probably just a name drop in the credits


  5. MerelyAFan says:

    Definitely leaves me intrigued, though I too would love to see Justin Hammer back.

    Wait a minute Bob, no thinly veiled shot at Amazing Spider-Man? Are you feeling okay?


  6. Taylor says:

    Okay, here's my problem: Villain in Iron Man 1: Knockoff of the suit. Villain in Iron Man 2: Knockoffs of the suit. This Villain: Notice a pattern?


  7. Sanunes says:

    I really don't think it could be Normal Osborn with Sony owning the Spider-Man rights, so I am expecting a completely different approach to this suit being used, possibly different then what has been used in the comics over the years.


  8. Merrick_HLC says:

    @Taylor: Isn't that pretty true to the comics. I mean sure Iron Man was the hero who caught on, but outside of Mandarin (Who is a walking racist stereotype) most of Iron Mans enemies are either guys in power suits or evil businessmen or both.

    Unless they want to bring in maybe Fin Fang Foom.

    Truth is this may be a problem for many of the Marvel characters.

    Captain America's rogues gallery is pretty much fit of WW2 relics (Red Skull, Baron Zemo & their lackeys)

    Thor may fair better both because Loki is a pretty compelling character who can easily sustain a few movies before people tire of him, and having the Enchantress/Executioner, Absorbing Man & the Wrecking Crew are more different and potential movie fodder. (Plus it's easier to make him more 'cosmic' and fight other cosmic villains)


  9. Smashmatt202 says:

    Iron Patriot… AKA, NORMAN OSBORN?!

    I don't think they could do that… or if they did, it will be Iron Patriot, with no mention of Norman Osborn or his corporation.

    I DO recall that in the comics, the plans and specs to Iron Man's suit get stolen, sold to the Black Market, and thus up for grabs by anyone, thus upping Tony Stark's game, and forcing him to imporve on his technology and suit's capabilities. It's an interesting angle, and I like it.


  10. shibolena says:

    I posted the previous comment.

    One last thing, about something that I care a little more about. Norman osborn aka the green goblin is truly one of the best and most memorable villains to come out of the genre and medium(along with the likes of the joker.) He had a true character arc, and his ultimate, true, FINAL death(as far as I'm concerned anyway) had a lasting impact on the character of peter parker.

    I read the clone wars spiderman comics from the 90's, and for me, it's where I lost interest. Outside of the horrible writing in general, the resurrection of norman osborn was the penultimate “jump the shark” moment.

    Let me ask you a question. Ignore all the BS from star wars and in it's later years and just look at the orginial trilogy. Do you really think anyone would have bought it if they had made a sequel to star wars, and vader had survived somehow? No of course not. And not because its obvious he died. It was obvious green goblin died too, he got impaled on his own fucking glider for god's sake(as seen verbatim in the movie). It's becuase vader's death was the finale of a arc, both his and lukes. And bringing him back would basically be giving everyone who got invested in that story the finger. Same thing. Bringing GG back was basically saying it never mattered in the first place, and if that doesn't, then what the hell does? Nothing as far as I'm concerned. Expect the god that is continuity and I could care less. Continuity is a tool, not the end all be all of the writing process. And without a story or characters to care about, it means all of jack shit.

    So long story shit, yeah this iron patriot crap. Sounds like it's after his return, which means I could care less. And on this, I have zero doubt that anyone not part of the comic book fandom would agree with me. And if you think marvel would use osborn in this way even if they had the spiderman rights, you're in for a rude surprise. They're not that stupid.

    Norman osborn=Green Goblin, period. Nothing any of you say will ever change that for me.


  11. Redd the Sock says:

    I've said for a while that barring Mandarin or Tony's drinking problem, the most likly movie plot is the aromor wars: where Tony's aromor specs get hijacked and he goes full vigilante to stop anyone that got a hold of them. I could see this as the US government's version, especially if there's some connection to the shadow councel from Avengers. (an Iron Man under their control)


  12. Popcorn Dave says:

    Hi Bob, just letting you know, in the mobile version of this blog it's showing the Iron Patriot picture as a thumbnail, so people browsing on their phone don't get a choice whether to see it or not. I dunno how much control you have over the layout but yeah.. that might annoy some people who are trying to avoid spoilers.

    Anyway, unless the flag thing leads to a crossover with Captain America I can't really get excited about yet another ripoff Iron Man suit. Is Iron Man's rogues gallery really so weak? I know about the yellow peril problems, but there was a touch of “scary foreigner” about Ras Al Ghul and he works well enough in modern Batman. Would it be so hard to reinvent Iron Man's Asian foes into something less offensive? I guess this is the flipside of “staying true to the comics”.


  13. Ralphael says:

    Holy shit. How many times do you guys have to say the phrase “Color me _______”

    Bob said it once and now every other post has some asshole commenting with that phrase.

    Fucking sheep. Get your own material.


  14. alan_ferrett says:

    Ah…. Bob and the boys:
    Comics spoilers –
    In recent iron man you have a joining of three groups – Hammer's daughter, Stane's Son (who invents a biotech suit) and the Mandarin. The Mandarin, who was joined to the Extremis event via the sub-system's creator, during the “Director of Sheild” Ironman era. Hammer's Daughter and Stane are lovers. Hammer's daughter and wife create Detroit steel during a time when Ironman is distrusted.

    All the current pieces, none of the messy who owns what issues, and still heaps to work with.


  15. Rob says:

    I think the Osborn/Iron Patriot idea is cool, but too far out for audiences. I think this is probably Tony Stark giving a YAY USA demonstration…


  16. Anonymous says:

    When I saw this, I was rather intrigued by this. While I'll agree with folks that Marvel Studios is focusing more on Iron Man knock-offs and less on the other villains old Shell Head tackles (I.E. Blizzard, and Living Laser for example), maybe we need to think big picture (no pun intended).

    Think what has happened after the end of both Iron Man 2 and Avengers. The US government may still have control of the War Machine armor and the country is dealing with the invasion in NYC. Both the government, the security council (the bosses Fury had to report to), and every politician will want a better safeguard than a wise-cracking genius billionaire and his wacky pals. So the government is definitely going to mas produce Iron Man suits or reverse engineer its tech to better defend itself. While the director says its based on the Extremis story, this may have a bit of Armor Wars tossed in; leaving Tony to take back his tech so it will not be abused by any side.

    This is just speculation at my end and, right now, we've barely scratched the surface as to what awaits us in Iron Man 3. All we can do is wait for further info to come down the pipe.


  17. Anonymous says:

    Color me shutupRaphael. (Crayola is working on it)

    I really like the “false flag” concept!

    And I don't mind Iron Man fighting other suited guys. They are basically robot fighting.


  18. Rob says:

    Hey Bob, I'm wondering (seeing a pattern here) You often talk about contemporary comics as something you don't read and have time for, yet you post this entire piece on Iron Patriot, and similar stories in other cases. Do you speed-read up? Thought EttM and TBP, TGO etc. etc. would keep you too busy for that…


  19. Deimos Masque says:

    I will point out since I didn't see anyone else do it, that Latino Review also confirmed that the Dark Knight Rises was going to have Robin, Eddie Murphy no Robin Williams was going to play the Riddler and that Billy Zane was going to be the new Superman.

    So take this picture for what it is.


  20. KevinCV says:

    @Rob That's possibly why there's the encyclopedia known as “The MARVEL Wikia”.

    Hell, most of my knowledge of “Doctor Who” -particularly the classic series and it's rather checkered history- is gleaned from a similar encyclopedia known as “The TARDIS Wikia”.

    The advent of the internet has provided us with the means to document everything there is know -and then some- about anything, and compile it into an online encyclopedia that anyone can read and/or contribute to.

    Therefore, it's not that unreasonable that Bob looked it up online and read a blow-by-blow synopsis of what happened in any particular storyline. Hell, that's how I found out about several highly regarded episodes of classic “Doctor Who”. Particularly “Genesis of the Daleks”.


  21. Anonymous says:

    I really, REALLY want to see Jeffrey Combs play the Leader in a Marvel film, he both sounds and looks the part. Never gonna happen though.


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