Tony Stark is Megamind.
The "Armor Wars" Story Arc is actually a clever metaphor for nuclear proliferation.Tony Stark (the American) is a Super Hero, thanks to his Powered Armor (read: WMD. Which isn't that far off given its capabilities). At one point, a saboteur steals the tech behind that armor and distributes it to various supervillains (an analog to how the US's atomic secrets were leaked to China and the USSR). Tony doesn't like this, so he decides to unilaterally hunt down those with his tech. All goes well until he attacks certain heroes/villains who never had his tech to begin with (sound familiar?). One of those villains ends up defeating Iron Man, so to fight back he develops an even more powerful suit of armor (read: it's an arms race). Also, consider the fact that this story was written just a few years before the USSR collapsed and everybody had to worry about securing Russia's nukes, and that the original Silver Age version of the character was a Cold War weapons manufacturer.
The original Tony Stark has been dead since around 1994.Iron Man's Dork Age came in the early to mid-90s in something called "The Crossing", wherein he turned evil due to the influence of Immortus. He eventually sacrificed himself and was replaced with another Tony from another Earth — the ill-regarded "Teen Tony". It was this Tony that gave his life to defeat Onslaught. When "Heroes Return" occurred, a new Tony that was some sort of amalgam of the original, Teen and Heroes Reborn Tonys was created, and this is the man who went down another slippery slope in Civil War. However, the original Tony has been dead ever since, and the man known as Iron Man is not the "real" Tony Stark.
Steve Fossett is Iron ManWhen his plane crashed in the desert, he was captured by AIM, and he built a battlesuit to escape out of a box of scraps in a cave. Then he came back to civilization to work on the suit in hiding. He made everyone think he was dead to protect his identity. The writer of Marvel Adventures: Iron Man found out, and that comic is a whistle blow.
Tony's facial hair exists in a state of quantum entanglementThis theory is an attempt to reconcile how Tony can appear in separate comics with either the modern goatee or the retro 'stache. In a similar situation to Schrodinger's Cat, Tony simultaneously has a goatee and a mustache until the artist "observes" him.
Stark's escalating Character Derailment is at least partly the result of events in Neil Gaiman's run on The Eternals.Ikaris told Stark that The Golden One was basically God and also mentioned that it said it liked him. Who wouldn't go mad with power after being told God was on his side?
Whiplash's coming backThe film is popular, perhaps meriting bringing the villain of the film back into the comic. And once again, other people may get access to Powered Armor.
Iron Man's armor is a heironymous machine."Repulsor technology", "zero point generators", "micro transistorization" and "neuro-memetic telepresence" are all techno-babble smokescreens to cover up the fact that Stark is a telekinetic mutant who powers his armor with his own mind.
Tony Stark can actually see the futureConfirmed in the "New-universal" continuity, so it may be possible in the 616 as well. Film
Tony Stark is suffering from PTSD.At least initially. Okay, the whole PTSD thing is a cover story put about by Stane in order to force Tony out of control of the company; but Tony's actions at the press conference (and shortly afterwards) are quite unstable in many ways. Let's be honest: most people don't cope with stress by building a war suit and beating the snot out of terrorists. (Although if easy-build snap-together war suit kits become available, it may become a popular option.)
Tony came in contact with Optimus Prime at the Burger King where he picked up his Whopper coming home from Edwards AFB.Naturally, Pepper was ticked off at having to pose as Prime's driver to complete the transaction.
Stark Industries was part of the Super-Soldier Project.Tony's father was active during WWII and helped make the atomic bomb a reality and, given that genius apparently runs in the family, it seems possible he was involved in other secret projects the government was running at the time. With the Avengers movie being set up in the Sequel Hook, it's likely that Captain America will make an appearance, and his origin will naturally be addressed. Perhaps a recently-unfrozen Steve Rogers knew Tony's father during the war and bears ill will?
Stane had Tony's parents killed.This is based on absolutely nothing but a quick headline in the "Tony's backstory" montage at the beginning, which mentioned that Tony's parents were killed in an automobile accident. Automobile 'accidents' are notoriously easy ways to dispose of someone without making it look like you disposed of someone. It's immediately clear that Stane isn't the most ethically minded person around, and it's unlikely that he only recently decided to become an underhanded prick who sells weapons to bad people and arranges for people to die in ways that can't be connected back to him. He certainly has no qualms about offing Tony. Plus, there's something just a little bit sinister in the way Stane's always stressing how he and Howard were close and whether Howard would be proud of Tony or not. It's not difficult to imagine Stane deciding that Howard (who, although we know next to nothing about him, we can imagine via Tony's eventual moral awakening to be a bit more ethical) was being 'selfish' and needed to go. As for keeping Tony around: well, a wunderkind is pretty useful for coming up with all those lovely profitable weapons, especially if he's at an easily influenced and malleable age and you're his only father figure — until he starts getting in the way and you start getting sick of being in his shadow, of course... Stane never reveals this to Tony, but then, he's not an idiot; not only does he not want to give anyone any more rope to hang him with (okay, international weapons profiteering and treason are on a slightly higher level than a double murder; but it all adds up, especially with a confession to go with it), but he's probably Genre Savvy enough to know that being stupid enough to confess something like that is just going to give Tony the resolve he needs to kick Stane's ass all the way to Afghanistan and back.
Raza is alive and will become the Mandarin.A couple of times in the film, we see Raza fiddling with a ring on his finger. He talks about ruling Asia and mentions Genghis Khan, whom the comic's version of Mandarin claims to be descended from. He even calls his terrorist group the Ten Rings. In the end, it appears that he's killed by Stane, but we never see him die. No, what happened is, Stane just killed all his men and left him alive. Over the course of the next film, we'll see Raza gather the rest of the rings and become the Mandarin for either the climax of Iron Man 2 or for Iron Man 3.
All of Stan Lee's characters in the live action Marvel films are the same person
Tony Stark got good with the suit so quickly, not because of his 20th-level badassery, but because every powersuit skill had a basis in one of his pre-practiced "for Drama" skills.Example: When the Jericho missile goes off, he knows not only exactly how far away to be that the shock wave just barely reaches them, but also how to hop from the front of his feet to the back and lean back at just the correct angle. Everyone else is shown to be straining against the shock wave, but he manages to stay upright with his hand in his pockets the whole time without batting an eye. Why? He does this sort of thing all the time; he spent most of his free (before Iron Man) time between inventions practicing for his next big Crowning Moment of Subtle, and each such skill later made him that much better at each powersuit skill (in this case, stabilized free flight).
Jarvis is not an AI.He's never explicitly identified as such, and he delivers more sass than you'd expect from a computer program. Who's to say he isn't some guy sitting in a control room? Yes, Tony's trusting him with his secret, but he seems pretty casual about it, all told. And yes, Tony keeps him on some pretty crazy hours, but Jarvis is likely well recompensed and, after all, Tony seems to attract people who are willing to let their lives revolve around him.
Jarvis and the other systems are smart but not AI smart.Jarvis and the workshop robots are 'expert systems' not AIs. They aren't creative or free-thinking. We see Jarvis controlling armour suits in Iron Man 3 and they are supremely capable in combat, reading their surroundings and dealing with threats, but that's it. They couldn't knit a sweater or build a brick wall. They are programmed by Stark, to work incredibly well in very limited environments: running a house and laboratory, fighting a dozen human sized opponents, sweeping up. They may even be able to learn and adapt - in those limited environments. But they aren't AI yet. Jarvis' snark is programmed in, at Tony's whim. The clumsiness of the workshop bots is part of their learning. Tony tolerates that, and enjoys being angry at them, because they are his pets, and they don't answer back. Note: this WMG is supposed to answer the rather clever point about Misapplied Phlebotinum in YMMV. AI of the kind we see in the movie has bigger repercussions than flying power armour.
Stane is alive.Stane somehow survived the explosion of the arc reactor (Tony did, after all) and in Iron Man 2 will become the Mandarin's Dragon, and/or will become involved in the creation of some other Iron Man villains (Crimson Dynamo, Titanium Man).
Rhody is was severely injured between films and require skin graftsThe recovery process resulted in Rhodes getting thinner and his skin getting darker.
Tony Stark is really Iron Man.I've got it! Iron Man is supposedly an employee of Stark Enterprises but no evidence of this has ever been really seen - he's never seen following Stark even though he's supposed to be Stark's bodyguard, and on the rare occasions they are seen in the same room, Iron Man never speaks, so it could easily be anyone wearing the same armour. Stark has numerous times supposedly fired Iron Man but it doesn't stop Iron Man from appearing even though he should be out of funding and Stark always welcomes him back with open arms in the end. What more evidence do you need?
Tony Stark is the power source for his armor.His power is not his inventive genius, it's his ability to make the arc reactor work better by producing more power than it should.
Tony Stark is a clone of Nikola Tesla.Minus the madness, of course.
Fin Fang Foom will make it into the movies somehow.Let's face it, Iron Man doesn't have the most interesting rogue's gallery. What he DOES have however, is a giant Dragon from space. This is an opportunity to good to pass up.
The whole film is Tony's hallucination after the mine explodes.
Robert Downey, Jr. is Tony StarkBecause honestly, have you ever seen a more perfect choice/portrayal of any role, ever? When the IM movie was greenlit, an experiment was conducted (make up your own theories as to what) to literally bring the character of Anthony Edward Stark off the pages of a comic book and into a living, breathing, flesh-based organism. The real Downey sadly died of an OD around the time he was reported in the news as "going to prison," and they chose a form impeccably similar to his to pass off for Tony's "actor."
Clint Barton wasn't in Iron Man 2 , because he was on a missionIn Iron Man 2 Black Widow is not a russian Spy but a S.H.I.E.L.D shadow operative. Why ? Because in this universe Fury recruits from the best. A former marine sniper , raised in the circus and having a history of petty theft. Clint Barton is saved from years in the Stockade and becomes a SHIELD Special Operative. Called Hawkeye for his aiming skills he takes after the Ultimate Hawkeye using two handguns and a Sniper rifle he calls ' the Longbow' . As a Mythology Gag one time he will have to use an actual bow and arrow and be surprised how natural it feels. He , former Fighter Pilot and transport officer Sam' Falcon' Wilson, Undercover and recon Expert 'Mockingbird' and Logistics and tactical Commander Dum Dum Dugan along with the Widow will end up Captain Americas support team in the 2012 film .
Howard Stark is Captain AmericaHoward was one of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s founding members, and Captain America's shield has been seen in both films (albeit way more explicitly in Iron Man 2). He would have had the knowledge and technology to develop the super-soldier serum and create his signature shield.
The second movie is like the second act of a "Behind the Music" special.Or the third, if you go by commercial breaks. The part just before the band gets back together. Anyway, someone floated this on io9.
This is a movie about a rock star going through the pains of stardom, realizing being a rock star doesn't make you immortal and freaking out and trashing the hotel room as a result. It's about the just-peaked star becoming self-destructive and the friends and staff around him being worried about it.
Vanko sends Tony his burd.He takes it, puts it in a Hammer box, and leaves it with the company mail. It's delivered the next day, and Tony is a little freaked out by it and the accompanying note before trying to pawn it off on Pepper. "I can't handle a bird! I can't even handle a cactus!" Something like this. *cough* Alternately, it becomes a supervillain and seeks revenge.
The 'unknown element' is based on Captain America's shield.Howard Stark had an absolute unshakeable conviction that the element he needed existed/could exist and an exact structural formula for that element — but he couldn't make any himself. This isn't likely if he's just working on pure theory: theory can potentially be wrong until it's tested by experiment, and any decent scientist knows this. But it does make sense if the reason Howard Stark is so adamantly convinced that his wonder element actually exists (and could derive its exact structural formula) is because he already had a sample of it to analyze. It is just that he didn't create it (i.e., it was found or made by accident) and he can't make any more of it with the technology of his era. Now, in the Marvelverse, what's the first thing that comes to mind when you think "lump of supreme wonder-metal that was created by accident and nobody's ever been able to make another one"? Answer: Captain America's shield. Which just happens to be in the very same trunk of stuff that Howard Stark hid his element formula in. (Note that as near this troper could tell, Cap's shield was not incomplete, it was merely disassembled — all the separate ring segments had been separated from each other and the centerpiece. As if somebody had been trying to reverse-engineer it...)
The only Captain America in the movie continuity will be Bucky Barnes.Pre-Civil War Cap is already dead. Bucky is discovered by S.H.I.E.L.D. in their investigations of Vanko's laboratories and allies (the same investigation where one of the Avengers adopts his bird), and in finding out that his mentor has been dead for decades (possibly at or shortly after the end of WWII, possibly twenty years ago after living a long, fulfilling life and having a brilliant yet impulsive son) takes up the Shield. The Avengers' Initiative was based on an idea the original Captain had that he was unable to carry out before his death, mostly because Nick Fury was really the only other available superhero of the time.
Hammer will be a supervillain in Iron Man 3.Either Played for Laughs when the hammertech fails horribly, or having bought some shiny new toys from someone who can actually engineer (or both).
North Korea and Iran weren't building Iron Man ripoffs, they were building Metal Gears.Both are too large and non-humanoid to be power armor. Get a good look at the NK - it looks like a bastardized REX/Gekko hybrid. (The Iranian MG's going too fast to see.)
Vanko's Bird was behind everything.The bird was previously owned by Vanko's father, who taught it intelligence, and eventually all of his knowledge, up to and including arc reactor technology. The Bird gained some sort of telepathy through becoming so intelligent, and controlled Vanko like a puppet while he built his machines. Vanko could only build a few rudimentary machines on memory without the Bird's presence, since the Bird was feeding him the instructions. Vanko claimed that the bird given to him was "not my burd," but this was just to mess with Hammer. The Bird now has a secret identity as "Not His Bird."
Stark Industries cut a toy deal with Hasbro.Where else would all the fun RP toys come from? It's not like Stark Industries has a toy division...
The kid was rewarded for blasting away a Hammeroid.Congratulations kid, have this burd.
Tony Stark became a Heartless.Or a being that can switch his hearts out at will. When Stane took away his reactor near the end of the first film, he was briefly a weak Heartless until his heart could be restored thanks to the intervention of his close friend and love interest. However, he was not complete as his Nobody, Stane, and his giant Heartless helper Iron Monger, still had his heart. But thanks to the explosions rendering that heart somewhat unretrievable, Tony has had to improvise and create new hearts for himself later...and his body continues to reject the ones he makes, still wanting his real heart back.
The Burd joins SHIELD.It built an arc reactor IN A CHEAP APARTMENT, WITH A VENGEFUL RUSSIAN. I think it's SHIELD-worthy. When it's bored with R&D, it can hang out with Hughen and Munin while they nannycam Thor (once he joins the MCU).
Howard Stark and Anton Vanko were best of friends; hence, Howard named his son after Vankoand the break between Vanko and Papa Stark wasn't due to a disagreement about making money from arc reactor technology. As a co-inventor Howard Stark would've had the right to license the technology for free even without Vanko's assent. No, Nick Fury knows the real story, but the real story doesn't paint either man in the best light, and so he made something up to get Tony out of his depression.
The element that Howard Stark discovered isn't just something random, it is VibraniumThat is why Howard Stark had Captain America's shield, he was the one who originally made it, but could not make it into the one we know and love because he did not have the technology to create Vibranium yet.
Tony is a descendant/distant relative of Sherlock Holmes.You know it makes sense.
Vanko asking Hammer for his burd was a Secret Test of CharacterHammer failing to get him the "right" burd proved either his ineptitude or his dishonesty. Either way, Vanko knew that a.) he could easily manipulate Hammer to get his revenge on Stark and b.) he really ought to because Hammer would only keep Vanko around as long as he was useful to him.
Vanko survived the end of Iron Man 2The self destruct of the drone arc reactors had a time delay much more than long enough to allow Iron Man to escape. A poor means to kill Tony... unless it wasn't meant to kill him. Instead, the delayed detonation was meant to drive away Iron Man, giving Vanko a chance to escape from the site, leaving behind his armor to destroy itself. A stretch, yes, given the on screen time interval between Tony and Rhodie fleeing the site and the explosions happening... but just this side of possible. After all, we *don't* see a body, or see him specifically engulfed in an explosion ala Stane. *hat tip to the Fridge Logic editor who first posted the idea*
Rhodeys new look is because of Scarlet WitchScarlet Witch had one of her Meltdowns that rewrote reality and lead to the timeline where X-Men: First Class was the origin of the X-Men, Reality reverted back to normal sort of and Rhodey ended up with a new look.
The element in the blueprints Howard passed down to Tony was vibranium, and the Captain America shield shown was a prototype from him trying to recreate the element.It was comfirmed in Captain America: The First Avenger that Howard Stark designed Steve's shield, and that it was indeed made of vibranium - all the vibranium they had, actually. But the original shield was lost alongside Cap, so their entire supply of it was gone after that. But since Howard made the shield, he had probably been studying the element in an attempt to figure out how to create more of it. The shield we see in Stark's lab could have been a test model he was trying to use to recreate it, since he didn't have the original anymore. There's a pretty good chance that that was the element in the blueprints he passed down to Tony.
Dummy the robot was built because Tony wanted a little brother
The arc reactor is the product of an attempt to build a new Cosmic Cube.According to Nick Fury, Howard Stark always derided the arc reactor as "unfinished technology" and "the stepping stone to something greater." Even Tony acknowledges it as having been terribly inefficient before he started working on it. Whatever this something greater is, it would supposedly dwarf the energy output of nuclear reactors in the same way they outshine batteries. It makes even more sense when you remember that Howard Stark did a lot of work in WWII that showed concern for more than the bottom line: he secretly flew two Allied agents over enemy airspace for a rescue mission, allowed the world's only vibranium sample to be carried into battle for propaganda purposes, and personally experimented on a fragment of the Cosmic Cube recovered from HYDRA. Having witnessed the Cube's power and the ridiculous technological advantage it offered HYDRA, Howard would conversely understand how useful the Cosmic Cube could be if it was applied peacefully and shared with the world.
The "Ex-Wife" actually isn't worthless.It just needs a bigger gun. While the movie does play up Hammer's inability to match Tony Stark, it seems like too much of a stretch to assume that the "Ex-Wife" was never actually tested, as testing would have revealed if the shell really was as worthless as what was shown on screen (as opposed to saying they just constructed it and assumed any simulations were the same as actual results). The reason it failed utterly is that the launcher built into the War Machine suit wasn't big enough and didn't have the proper fire power to make the shell effective. Put it in an actual cannon or a proper launcher and it will be just as devastating as advertised.
Natasha and Happy hook up later.Hilarity Ensues when he learns that she goes by the name Black Widow...
Iron Man is actually set in the Stargate UniverseIt happens back in the time of the Ancients, before they got all their awesome tech. The Arc reactor is a primitive ZPM. Think about it: small, cylindrical, energy source with phenomenal amounts of power stored inside. Tony will eventually make larger, yellow versions and return to the cylinder shape instead of the triangle.
Tony Stark is actually a Heterodyne.It makes perfect sense! "The technology they need hasn't been invented yet"- "A strong Heterodyne will take about two hours to truly warp the laws of physics." Clearly, it's not that the tech hasn't been invented, it's just that they aren't Sparks. Howard Heterodyne's breakthrough device was actually a dimension warper. Everyone in Mechanicsburg thought it had killed him, when really, it just dumped him in the 1940s Marvel Cinematic Universe. He was probably still in the Madness Place when he first encountered people, and so said something unintelligeable including "Howard" and "Spark", which they misheard as "Stark", and assumed that was his name. He quickly realized that as the only Spark, he'd probably live a good bit longer there than back home. We've seen what the nursery looked like, it's no wonder he never went back. The reason he was less into the weapons than Tony is that he saw a chance to get away from all of it, so he could just invent stuff, be famous, rich, etc. Tony, on the other hand, didn't have the experience with the insanity of the Heterodyne family, so he didn't have any real reason to not make that stuff until the movie.
Rhodes in the Iron Man film is Paul from Hotel Rwanda.The horrors Paul witnessed motivated him to move to America, join the Air Force, and eventually become the superhero War Machine.
Pepper Potts will become Rescue in Iron Man 3Ben Kingsley is confirmed to play Mandarin and the first two films show the defeat of Hammer and Stane, so why not work in Ezekiel Stane and Justine and Sasha Hammer while they're at it? Given that Word of God says Iron Man 3 will deal with the Extremis arc which Mandarin had nothing to do with, maybe Ezekiel Stane will be the guy who the Extremis virus is leaked to, allowing him to compete with Iron Man in the climactic fight. After all, 'Stark Resilient' is the logical choice for a Mandarin-based plot, given the stuff about Stark working on renewable energy in Avengers. Logically, if Zeke and Sasha are in the film Pepper should get injured and become reliant on an arc reactor during the course of the story. If all this is happening, Rule of Cool dictates that Detroit Steel should put in an appearance as well, possibly with Sasha wearing the armour.
The Mandarin uses reverse-engineered Chitauri tech.It'll be used as a stand-in for "tech taken from Fin Fang Foom".
Tony Stark will be framed by the Mandarin for serious crimes.The Mandarin hacks into Stark's newest armor and goes on a rampage with it, killing and/or severely injuring several people. A manhunt goes out for Tony Stark, leading to the military blowing up his house as shown in the trailer. Tony is forced to go on the run and stop the Mandarin, without having access to his usual rescources.
Raza, the Ten Rings leader from the first film, is the Mandarin's son.In the first film, Raza is similar to the Mandarin in some notable ways; he speaks of Genghis Khan, who the Mandarin claims ancestry from, and how he wishes to rule Asia, and wears a rather ornate ring, that is either the same or similar to one of the rings worn by Mandarin himself in the trailer. These similarities are intentional, because Raza is going to be revealed to be the Mandarin's son, and the humiliating defeats Raza suffered in the first film, from both Tony Stark and Obadiah Stane, is why Mandarin is taking such an active role in avenging them. As to whether Raza himself will appear, I don't know, but if it turns out he IS Mandarin's son, then he probably will at some point.
Fin Fang Foom is going to appear.The Cinematic Universe has proven they're willing to go along with the more fantastical elements of the Marvel universe, and Mandarin has a connection to him in the comics, so it's possible that he will appear in the film, perhaps serving as a Bigger Bad to Mandarin, who doesn't appear to be as much of a fighter in this film. Since a big fight scene at the end between the hero and villain is necessary, it won't be Mandarin that Tony fights, but rather Fin Fang Foom. Comic Book Movies Don't Use Codenames may or may not be in effect though, regarding his name as "Fin Fang Foom" DOES sound a bit too hokey for the Cinematic Universe. He may only be referred to as "The Dragon" or maybe even "The Makluan", after his planet of origin. It'll be even more awesome if they manage to keep his role in the film a secret, and out of the trailers...or at least the first wave.
Rhodey saw action with the Mk II before he brought it to the military.On his way to see Stark, Rhodes is clearly fielding calls from people desperate to have Iron Man back on duty. There is something out there. He leaves with the Mk II in order to deal with it himself. Bringing it to the military is an afterthought. It is "fully mission capable".
The Mandarin is Fin Fang FoomHe's just saving his energy by turning human and not having to waste his time killing idiots trying to dragon slay.
Justin Hammer is a Robosexual.On what planet are a bunch of robot drones better than cheerleaders? I mean, yeah, the drones are cool, but...
Black Sabbath sued Tony StarkIn the movie verse their song came first.
Howard Stark made a contract with KyubeyWhile Howard was a grown man at the time, Kyubey saw great poetential in him; He's connected to all the MCU avengers except Bruce Banner and stands at the head of the cutting of military R&D. This would give him a great karmic destiny which could be transformed into a great deal of energy. Thus, Kyubey decided to make an exception. He waited for Howard's time moment of greatest vulnerability and appeared when Howard was looking for Steve Rogers in the Artic.
The fourth Iron Man film will come out in 2020The villain of the piece should be obvious from this. Arno will either have the same relationship to Tony as the comics or be Howard's great nephew, but will have a similar level of genius. He'll be trying to take over Stark Enterprises (either feeling it's his right if Pepper's still in charge or just because he thinks he's better than Tony otherwise) and make his own armour. Tony will redeem him by the end of the film allowing Tony and Downey to retire from the starring role in future Iron Man films, with Arno as the lead.