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This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
Iron Man 3
Random Guard: Seriously, I hate working here! They are so weird!

The Mandarin is a victim of Tony's war profiteering days.
  • He seems to share some ethnicity with the terrorists who captured Tony (of course, maybe not seeing as the Mandarin can be depicted as a hodge-podge of many cultures.) Assuming he is, though, he may be against the idea of Tony atoning for those days simply by becoming a superhero. In his mind, Tony still needs to pay.
    • Eh, feels like too much like it would be a retread of Vanko's storyline, honestly. We've had the bad guy who's out for revenge because the Stark family wronged him already. From a storytelling standpoint, it just seems redundant.
      • Jossed. The Mandarin is just a British actor.
      • Though technically not Jossed, if you believe Aldrich Killian is really the Mandarin. Just played very differently.
      • As said earlier Killian was in a way, but the real Mandarin first introduced/brought up in All Hail The King presumably isn't.
Pepper gets her own suit.
  • Might just be this troper's wishful thinking, but she is seen being in Tony's home in Malibu as it is destroyed, which could very well lead to her getting her own chest magnet, and eventually become Rescue from the comic storyline. The shot of her wearing a headband similar to Tony and touching an armor makes this likely.
    • There is a shot in the trailer that looks like Pepper is in immense pain, so it's possible that could happen. It could be too early though for Pepper to don the Rescue Armor. Instead, the Reactor will be installed only as a stepping-stone down the line.
      • The producers have already said they're kind-of looking to play around with the usual damsel-in-distress stuff with her character, here. We already know that Pepper dons the newest armour at least briefly in the film, and it's not like she's never been the sort not to get involved in Tony's battles. The producers have also suggested that whilst she might not specifically become Rescue, they are aware of that development.
    • Confirmed. Pepper does use the armor twice, once in a full suit, and once as one of the repulsors.
Bruce Banner will make a cameo.
  • When asked about this at Comic-Con they kinda danced around the question, which means "yes". However, Tony really should have invited him over from dinner on that day in Malibu...
    • HOLY COW!! The trailer shows a shot of a very large familiar proportioned fellow in Iron Man armor...
    • Jossed. Both Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige and Mark Ruffalo have confirmed that neither Bruce nor Hulk will make an appearance. Feige mentioned that post-Avengers and pre-Iron Man 3, Tony dropped Bruce off at the New York Port Authority. Furthermore, the large suit seen at the end of the second trailer is the famous Hulkbuster armor.
    • Nailed it. He shows up in The Stinger.
The Abusive Boyfriend aspects of the Sentient Armor arc will be kept in the story
  • As it says. Because the potential for (very, very) Black Comedy is immense.
    • Jossed. Jarvis shows no romantic interest in Tony or jealousy of Pepper.
The Mandarin has a stylized tattoo of Captain America's shield on the back of his neck because...
  • Given that he's a terrorist leader in this continuity, it would make sense he'd subvert symbols most associated with American superiority. Having a tattoo of Cap's shield with the star replaced with an anarchist's "A" probably adds to this.
    • Alternatively, given he isn't wearing the Rings, that's an imposter?
      • Spot on. It's just an actor.
    • And ultimately, neither the tattoo or Captain America himself are even brought up in the film, unfortunately.
Hawkeye will make an appearance
Coulson is the man with the Captain America tattoo
  • After being resurrected by the Mandarin, he was brainwashed because Mandarin knew how much it would hurt Tony to see Coulson alive and against him. Part of the plot will be to return Coulson to normal so they can set up the SHIELD series.
    • Jossed. Coulson does not appear in the film.
The scenes of the armor acting independently in the trailers are nightmares induced by Loki's mindstone tipped scepter
  • In Super Hero Squad (Which is technically Marvel Canon) Thanos used the mindstone to manipulate Hulk's dreams so Hulk would destroy the city. Now, a common guess is that Loki's scepter is infused with the mind stone (somehow) since he could out right control people when he wielded it. Loki attempted to use it on Stark, which did not work... at the time. It's finally made it's way to his brain, not as a method of outright control, but a seed that Thanos can use to take control later. In the mean time, Thanos is using this in to manipulate Tony Stark in subtler ways so he can't be at his best.
    • Nope.
Loki will make a cameo in Tony's nightmares
  • Seeing as Tony will be suffering from PTSD, if there are any nightmare sequences it seems only natural that the Trickster God would make an appearance (if only in flashback).
    • Jossed. Loki does not appear in the film.
How they shoehorn Thanos into this...
  • It's highly unlikely that he would be a major plot point in this movie, much like how the first two Iron Man's didn't tie in with what came in the Avengers, but the post-credits likely would. Perhaps it'll be revealed that one of the Mandarin's rings has one of the Infinity Gems in it.
  • Or maybe the'll just add Arc Words like "Infinity" or "Death" Or Arc Numbers like Four or less likely Thirteen.
    • Jossed. Aside from several callbacks to several MCU films, this movie is pretty self-contained and doesn't really drop hints to Thanos, much less to future MCU movies.
Pepper is pregnant...and will miscarry.
  • Besides the fact that this has happened in the comics before, a look in the background of the trailer shot where Tony and Pep are blown back by the force of the explosion shows...a random giant stuffed rabbit in the background, with an unreadable nameplate around it's neck. A gift from Tony? This might also explain Tony's protection comment in the trailer (having a kid would turn his guilty instincts up to eleven), the scene where Pepper's in pain (she gets tortured and loses the baby then?), and what Pepper whispered to Tony during their scene in the Avengers (a stretch, but judging by his face it was something extremely shocking).
    • Well, Word of God from Paltrow was that the two hadn't slept together yet. Still, could have been later.
    • She said they hadn't slept together by the time of The Avengers. But that could have been his reward for "doing his homework".
    • Jossed.
Dr. Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) is the head of AIM... which works for the Mandarin
  • In the latest stills from the Empire magazine article, Tony is seen wearing a shirt with the letters "AIM." This could just be a mythology gag, but given its presence on the main star of the film, it's likely a piece of a larger plot element. So, if there's a professional logo on a shirt, AIM would seem to be a public group, not just a secretive terrorist group. Killian (a scientist) is your average Suit in all the stills seen so far. So he's probably the public Dragon for one of Mandarin's many corporate holdings.
    • Half-confirmed. Killian is the head of AIM... and the Mandarin is an actor who takes the heat for the bombings.
      • Jossed. In All Hail The King we learn of the real Mandarin and he wasn't controlling Killian and is very upset at how Killian treated his name.
Ezekiel Stane will appear as either The Dragon or the Bigger Bad
  • One of the toys promoting the movie had an updated Iron Monger figure. If that's not simply promotion, Zeke will come in to take his revenge on Tony Stark for what he did to his father.
    • Given the usual trend for trotting out action figures of characters that don't appear, this feels unlikely.
  • Jossed. No such character appears in the film.
The Mandarin will survive
  • And he'll be the Big Bad of Avengers 2.
    • Thanos has already been confirmed to be its Big Bad.
      • Jossed. As we learn in this film, there never really was a Mandarin. It was just a ruse set up by Killian.
      • However, given the properties of Extremis, it's entirely possible that Killian survived his apparent death. He did it once...
      • Killian died HOWEVER according to All Hail The King there is a real Mandarin around and he's very much alive so......confirmed.
      • The severed arm will grow into a new Killian!
      • It appears that the villain will be Scarlet Witch
      • Nope again.
Either Iron Man 4 or Amazing Spiderman 2 will be an adaptation of Secret Invasion
  • A shapeshifting subspecies of the Chitauri, maybe working for Thanos, maybe not, called the Skrulls, will infiltrate Earth governments, S.H.I.EL.D., et cetera, and Spiderman will team up with Iron Man (And possibly the other Avengers) to take them down. Just like in Secret Invasion, Norman Osborn will kill whoever is leading the Skrulls, and in the Stinger will become the head of S.H.I.E.L.D., order Rhody to hand over the War Machine armour, and become the Iron Patriot. This will lead into the final Amazing Spiderman movie (which won't be a crossover), which will focus on Spiderman fighting Norman Osborn in both his Iron Patriot and Green Goblin suits. Why else would they introduce the Chitauri (Who are the Ultimate 'verse's version of the Skrulls), but not give them their shapeshifting abilities, AND introduce the Iron Patriot armour, but not have Osborn wearing it, unless they both are huge Chekhov's Guns.
    • Unlikely to happen in Spider-Man, given it's not a franchise Disney actually own, movie-wise.
      • And Unlikely to happen in either since the Skrulls due to the oddities of licensing, are technically part of the Fantastic Four brand, and thus owned by Fox. (That's why the enemy aliens in Avengers weren't Skrulls.)
The thing that is pulling Tony into the water during the helicopter's attack on his house in the trailer is not a support cable
  • It is Fin Fang Foom. What better way to modernise him than to make him a Ctuthulu-esque Eldritch Abomination sleeping in the ocean near Tony's house. The character is already associated with the Mandarin (In the comics Mandarin's rings are technology made by Fin Fang Foom's race), perhaps the Mandarin's attacks on Tony are just a smokescreen, an excuse for blowing up his house to allow Fin Fang Foom to wake up.
Nice idea, but Jossed. It is just a support cable, nothing more.
The blond man (Not sure what the actor's name is) in this trailer is Norman Osborn
  • The Iron Patriot armour is appearing, this can't just be a coincidence. He mentions being elected in the trailer, perhaps he's referring to his election as the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. He also has a kind of ominous-ness surrounding him, perhaps he is working with (and will betray) the Mandarin. It would be a nice echo of the first movie, and tying in with the above two WMGs, perhaps he betrays Mandarin by killing Fin Fang Foom, which gives him enough popularity for the second or third Spiderman movie adapting the events of Dark Reign.
    • Osborn would unfortunately fall under the ownership of Sony, and unless they've worked things out with Disney, it ain't happening, just like we're not likely to see the Avengers versus Galactus anytime soon.
    • That blond man appears to be the President of the United States.
    • Actually, it's possible that's Killian.
      • Killian is the man in that trailer who says that the whole world will be watching to an unknown person in a dark room. He's definitely not the guy (who we first hear after the Marvel and Paramount logos appear) talking about being elected on the platform of defending America from the Mandarin.
The Iron Patriot will be hijacked by the villains
  • Either Coldblood or Firepower will steal the Iron Patriot and use it to attack Air Force One. The evidence for this is that the armor lands awkwardly in the trailer, indicating an inexperienced pilot. Also, Rhodey doesn't seem to be helping Stark out with the falling victims in the Super Bowl trailer. This will force Rhodey to revert to the standard War Machine colors by the end of the movie.
    • A brief shot in the new trailer shows an unknown person trying to cut their way through the armor, perhaps lending more credence to this WMG.
    • Confirmed. Eric Savin (Coldblood) steals the Iron Patriot armor and kidnaps the President aboard Air Force One.
The President of the United States is related to an established character in the Marvel Universe
  • Perhaps he's the Wasp's father (making him President Van Dyne)?
    • Kinda odd to joss myself, but it turns out the President's last name is "Ellis", and it looks doubtful that President Ellis is related to a Marvel Universe character.
The Iron Legion is not remotely controlled, but is rather made up of volunteers, one of whom will be Pepper.
  • There was one scene in the second trailer which showed some people in harnesses, which looked like they were about to have ARC reactors put in them by surgeons. Also, Pepper is in a similar harness.
    • I would assume that the people in harnesses aren't volunteers that have offered to assist Tony, but rather "test subjects" for Extremis procedures. Some LEGO toys tying into Iron Man 3 also feature Minifigures of so-called "Extremis Soldiers", so I'd be inclined to think that they're the "test subjects" from the trailer.
      • Jossed. They are just Extremis soldiers.
    • Jossed as a whole. The suits are all controlled by Jarvis.
More Phase Two weaponry will be shown.
  • For those unclear, Phase Two of S.H.I.E.L.D's plan in The Avengers was to develop weaponry to fight any potential invaders, like the Chitauri, or malevolent Asgardians like Loki. Stark is shown wielding alien looking guns in the second trailer.
    • Jossed. That's just a machine pistol and a Iron Man repulsor.
The scene where the Mark XVLII wakes up Pepper and Tony is a Nightmare Sequence.
  • Tony explictly states that he has nightmares, so it's not unsurprising that the film would have at least ONE of Tony's night terrors.
    • The theory is jossed, but the reason isn't. A nightmare scene does appear, but it's of the events in New York. The suit appearing is just Tony instinctivly calling for it in his sleep.
The destruction of his Malibu mansion will force Tony to move to the Stark Tower, which is where he'll live in future Iron Man and Avengers sequels.
  • Having said mansion be blown up in a magnificent manner seems like an easy way to justify Tony permanently making Stark Tower his new place of residence.
    • Also, Tony decamping to New York will mean no more superheroes in the L.A. area, which will allow The Pride to kick their operations up a notch...
The reason Tony is undergoing surgery is to put an implant in his body that controls the Mark 42 armor.
  • The cinematic universe has played loose with realism, but they're not crazy enough to say that the armor is controlled by magic.
    • Jossed. He does implant himself, but the real reason for the surgery is to remove the shrapnel in his heart.

"Trevor" is just a persona assumed by the real Mandarin
  • The Mandarin's existence as the leader of the Ten Rings is a secret even to many of its own members. The Ten Rings group became interested in the applications of the Extremis project for creating living suicide bombers and coding their soldiers to become even more fanatical. The Mandarin himself decided to infiltrate Aldritch's organisation by assuming the identity of a British stage actor, a persona he effortlessly mastered. He easily fooled Aldritch with his powers of deception supplemented by hypnotic suggestion of his Mento-Intensifier ring. He subtly manipulated Aldritch, not only becoming The Man Behind the Man to The Man Behind the Man but announcing his presence to the world while simultaneously clouding his existence and identity. Thanks to the Mandarin, Aldritch went much further than he would have, threatening the President himself - one of the Mandarins many agendas in his manipulation of AIM. When Aldritch's plan went belly-up and "Trevor" was arrested, the Mandarin was later sprung or cleared of charges thanks to his many connections. Only time will tell whether he determines Extremis to be worth its many complications.
    • Well, he was remarkably calm and unphased while having a gun shoved into his face by Tony and later Rhodes. although the many drugs he was flying on might have had something to do with that.
    • Jossed. The real Mandarin exists he's just not Trevor or Killian.

The Mandarin is not Trevor Slattery... nor is he Aldrich Killian.
In fact, he's still out there. The "true" Mandarin simply set up both Trevor and Killian and set forward the events of the film involving Extremis to not only see how Killian's formula can be used for his own purposes, but to also get a closer look at Iron Man, find out his weaknesses and to use said weaknesses against Tony Stark when he does decide to strike against Iron Man. In order to accomplish this, he simply manipulated Killian to act as a figurehead for him to draw Tony out, in exchange for a chance to bring down the man that humiliated him in Switzerland back in 1999. This elaborate plan included hiring a British stage actor to portray the Mandarin in order to conceal his true activities. Now that Killian is dead and Trevor has been taken into custody, the world thinks that the threat of the Ten Rings and the Mandarin has been silenced, but they couldn't be anymore wrong.
  • Well, Maya does talk about someone called "the Master" when speaking with Killian, even though she seems to already know about the whole Mandarin scam involving Trevor.
  • One of the Mandarin's rings is short range mind control. Killian might have thought he was the Mandarin without ever knowing he was just a pawn.
  • As of All Hail The King this is indeed confirmed.

Pepper gets to keep Extremis and will make a small appearance in Avengers 2, to help them out.
This movie is driven by Tony's fears for Pepper. Just because he destroys all of his suits and gets rid of the arc reactor in his chest doesn't mean that people won't want to attack him any more. What could be better for Tony's peace of mind and PTSD, and Pepper's safety than her retention of the Extremis virus? Tony just says something like, 'We fixed Pepper.' That's way too short an explanation for something that took most of the movie to build up to. That line could mean that Pepper's learnt to control the effects of Extremis, or Extremis has been made dormant for serious situations only. Also, I can't shake this mental image of Iron Man and Pepper, back-to-back, dealing out some serious pain to whoever wants it - Iron Man meticulously taking out baddies with his repulsors, and Pepper with her burning hands, whirling like a dervish. Oh, and just imagine Black Widow teaching Pepper some of her skills - since the Extremis powers are internal for the most part, and revealed as per the user's discretion, Pepper would be the queen of the Wounded Gazelle Gambit, drawing morons in with her pretty looks and then giving them blood and thunder to chew on. I would seriously blow a mental gasket if this actually came to pass. Pretty please, Marvel..
  • It's unclear whether she keeps her Extremis-based abilities or not, though it could've been made deliberately vague to serve as a potential plot hook for a future movie. If she doesn't keep her powers, she could still get a custom Iron Man suit (she does have one in the comics, under the codename of Rescue)... but if she keeps her Extremis powers, including the Playing with Fire aspect, she could always become the MCU Firestar.
Maya survived.
Rule one of working for a maniac: Never give him all your secrets. She'd created a more advanced version of Extremis, and used it on herself. When he shot her, he didn't even check the body. In the confusion that followed she ran away; since Killian had turned against her, and she had no real grudge against Tony, there was no reason for her to stick around, much less fight anybody.
  • Alternatively, she could have injected herself with Extremis after being shot, when no one was looking. It seems to be a long-running tradition for fatally wounded scientists to inject themselves with their own experimental super-serum, although such things rarely end well.
Tony's proximity to Thanos after entering the wormhole is the direct cause of his anxiety and depression.
It's not just the experience itself that caused him to be traumatized... I'm speculating that merely being within a few light years of Thanos causes madness. Hence Loki's decent into Axe Craziness after the events of Thor, and Tony's mental health issues in this film... when he went through that wormhole, wherever it was, was just too close.

Captain America was sent to find the Mandarin
He isn't in this movie because during the Mandarin's reign of terror, he was busy scouring the Middle East for the man... Turns out, of course that this was completely the wrong place to look.
  • Funnily enough, Iron Patriot ended up doing this. Close enough, right?
Trevor Slattery knew exactly what he was doing.
He wasn't really The Mandarin and was not the Mastermind but merely an unscrupulous actor with no compunctions about working for terrorists. He was merely Obfuscating Stupidity when caught to avoid a harsh sentence, and may yet be set up to take over the role in real life and become the real Mandarin.
Tony Stark kicked alcoholism sometime between The Avengers and this movie
He's frequently shown drinking in his earlier films, but not really in this one (he even turns down a beer)... Perhaps after the events of New York he started drinking even more than usual, realized he had a problem, and quit cold turkey... which was not good for his emotional state, hence anxiety, trouble sleeping, and nightmares (all symptoms of alcohol withdrawals).
  • He is seen drinking a glass of wine at one point in the film, though...
After Operation: Clean Slate, Tony takes Harley's suggestion and runs with it.
He'll make a stealth-mode Iron Man suit and, since Tony had the shrapnel pieces removed, it will run on something new he'll create just for the occasion. The new element he made in Iron Man 2 will make an appearance, since it will no longer be needed to power his miniature arc reactor. His new suit might also be more heat resistant on account of the effects of Extremis' extreme heat.

Harley will return as Tony's successor.
Ok, this franchise seems to be avoiding Comic Book Time, and the actors are getting older. Furthermore, they seem to want to rotate between heroes, to keep them fresh (ie Iron Man 4 doesn't appear to be a top priority, now that they've done three). My theory is that Tony will be brought back for one more trilogy, during which time we'll see Harley grow up, and become a genius on his own. The final movie in the second trilogy will take its queues from Batman Beyond, as Tony tries to deal with his age, and eventually realizes he's no longer as young as he once was...and in a desperate moment, when all seems lost, Harley puts on his own armor, and comes to save the day. After which he becomes the new Iron Man, with Tony being given a role as his mission controller.
  • Even better, he could become Tony's sidekick and the MCU version of Iron Lad.

Killian discovered the general physiological basis of human superpowers.
The mechanics of Extremis, as described by Killian, rely on existing structures in how the brain and genome work. The benefits of Extremis come from these, not from the nanites themselves. And transformation dependent on psychological state? Is consistent with how prior superhuman creation methods have worked.

Aldrich Killian is going to be rebuilt... as MODOK.
Because why not?
  • Exactly this happens in the IM 3 video game. He's a Mechanized Organism Designed Only for Killian and his consciousness takes over Stark Industries.

Tony will find a way to make future suits of armor more heat resistant.
Because that proved to be a weakpoint in this film. So Tony will not only find a way to resist high tempurature, but also to use it to power up the suit, like with Thor's lightning.

Bruce Banner is helping Tony out with Pepper's Extremis
. They're science bros; after all. Plus; biological energy amplication is exactly the kind of doctor he is.
  • Yes, Tony knew enough to impress Maya; but he is Not That Kind of Doctor. Fortunately, his good friends with someone who is. He also has the habit of narrating his life to Bruce while they're hanging out after research.

Tony deliberately crashed the Mark XLII into the pole during the final showdown to throw Killian off guard.
Tony tried fighting Killian straight up and he tore through his armors, Tony also knows that the Mark XLII has glitches and could have problems suiting up on him, time which Killian wouldn't give him. Knowing this, and how arrogant Killian is, Tony deliberately made it crash and break into pieces to make Killian think he'd won. Then, when Killian jumps down, Tony lures him in and then BAM! Throw the pieces of the suit on Killian when he's off guard and blows it up. Tony's a really smart guy, and outwitting an opponent like that would be right up his alley.

Harley is a little girl.
  • True, she'd have kind of a husky voice and a tomboyish fashion sense, but she's already an up-and-coming bb Tony, and it's nice to think of Tony recognizing that a love of classic rock, engineering, and ridiculous cars (that Harley won't be able to drive for years) crosses gender lines.
    • During an adventure when she's older, she is transported into another universe... There, she finds true love with a monstrous clown and becomes known to the world as Harley Quinn!

Harley is Tony's kid.
Harley did say they had a connection. We never see his mom and his dad could have just been a father figure or a guy who found out that Harley wasn't his and left because of that.
  • He could possibly be Maya's kid.
    • It might work if he's 13.
      • This Troper read somewhere that he's 10.
      • Maya may not be his mom, but he still could be Tony's son from another fling.

Tony had an ulterior motive for removing his arc reactor.
  • Sure, he gave reasons as Iron Man being a cocoon, but realize how glitchy the Mark 42 was. After some consideration, one realizes...having a giant magnet in your body couldn't possibly help with the signal those chips were sending out. Tony realized it, and knowing he doesn't need that arc reactor to power his suits, since Iron Patriot is self-powered, he had the magnet taken out to remove any potential interference with the chips' signal. Mark 43 is gonna work just fine.

After completing his prison sentence, Trevor will be given his own talk show
Since I found the man oddly lovable (probably because of Sir Ben Kingsley's hilarious performance), I'd like to speculate things turn out okay for him. Since his role in the conspiracy ended up being relatively minor, and his defense council will successfully argue that he was largely unaware of what was happening, he will be given a short prison sentence, during which time he gets his substance abuse issues under control. Upon his release, he will find himself to be a major celebrity, and MTV will swiftly offer him his own trashy talk show, called Man to Mandarin. The show proves to be a big hit, featuring guests such as Ozzy Osbourne, Anne Hathaway and Thor, and Trevor at last finds the success he's been waiting for.
  • Seriously, I hope someone at Marvel reads this and makes it happen.
  • While this is a joke, unless somehow Trevor survives his encounter with the real Mandarin this won't happen.
Killian is somehow working with Thanos

Bruce Banner helped Tony fix Pepper's Extremis…with a blood transfusion.
. Tying into, but adding a sensational twist to, comics mythos… creating the new spinoff franchise.

After the AI malfunctions in some way,or tony gets help from Hank Pym/Ant Man, J.A.R.V.I.S will take command of one or more of the Iron Man suits (Possibly the War Machine model) and attempt to kill his maker. Unlike the comic version of Hank Pym, Stark has already shown that he is capable of advanced robotics, and the plot no longer needs Ant Man's involvement to begin the rise of the insane AI that is Ultron, possibly resulting in him being the villain of Avengers 3.
  • Supported if for no other reason that he sounded miffed at Operation: Clean Slate but also because he’s surprisingly autonomous and frighteningly intelligent.
  • Imagine the film Literature\Demon Seed here J.A.R.V.I.S takes control of Tony Stark's house and torments Tony and Pepper, while he has the abused robotic armature assistant work on a body for itself in the form of Ultron.
  • Because of this teaser trailer , this theory is looking very likely.

Ben Kingsley's character was actually the Iron Man villain known as the Actor
. Who totally exists in the comic books.
  • And therefore Aldrich is not Mandarin, he's actually Fing Fang Foom. That is, he is 100% human, just his character corresponds to that one in comics.

The message "Tony Stark will return" does not mean what we think.
It doesn't mean Tony is done as Iron Man. It's symbolic of the fact that, as Tony keeps reminding us, he IS Iron Man.

The reason for the no guns rule is ...
The Master shot Extremis Marvin in the face he went home.

Tony injected himself with Extremis.
After correcting the flaws in the Extremis virus in order to prevent Pepper from having problems, he dosed himself with it as he did in the Extremis arc of the comics. This is how he was able to have the arc reactor and shrapnel removed from his chest.
  • Building on it...

Stark will have the comic-book styled Extremis armor in Avengers 2 and Pepper will be Rescue.
He's blown up all the armors to start fresh, but how do you top a modular armor that can be subconsciously summoned and remotely controlled? Combine it with Extremis. Extremis exudes the body-suit through his pores, armor is summoned via still implanted chips and the subconscious link is expanded to full-fledged tech-telepathy. "I. Am. Iron Man.", indeed. This would remove the need for Jarvis, who could then be a wing-man to a cured Pepper, who is now nigh-invulnerable and already has experience saving Tony and Maya. Because it would be AWESOME!

Am I the only one who would love to see that?
  • Buy now and you get a free copy of "No, Tony. Tony, No." an autobiography by Pepper Potts.

Killian, Ben Kingsley's character, and AIM were all just unknowing pawns of...
...the REAL Mandarin! (Didn't Trevor say he had surgery done on him? Perhaps to make him resemble the original)
  • If so then Raza got those rings from the REAL Mandarin, unless he was also tricked into believing he exists.
  • Jossed. The real Mandarin is very mad that his name was tarnished and misused according to All Hail The King.

Killian's plot to get even with Tony is simply a small part of a larger scheme by Thanos to destroy each of The Avengers individually.
During the scene where Killian is giving his presentation to Pepper, he accidentally brings up "The Universe". This is may be hinting at his higher allegiance. It will be revealed in Avengers 2 that all of the villains of Phase 2 had some connection to Thanos.

The Extremis formula is an intermediate step between the Captain America and Hulk formulas.

Let's start with the Hulk. It's been theorized that where he gets all his mass from is from a mass-energy conversion, an actual property of gamma rays. In this article (in the section about Hulk's mass), the author theorizes that he gets the power to do so from the sun, which provides 1.7 x 1017 watts of energy, enough that in he could transform in about two and a half minutes. But why does the Hulk take in solar power? Well, Extremis is first shown in Iron Man 3 to have been tested on a plant, and maybe even partially extracted from it. And the Hulk's skin is green. Perhaps the reason why is because he's able to photosynthesize, and thus absorb solar energy.

Now, back to Extremis. If it's created from the same plant that the Hulk's formula was, they may share similar origins in the original Captain America formula. Given as the details of that were classified, Maya was probably not intending to recreate Captain America, but may have simply made a parallel discovery, although improved because Extremis users display greater healing powers.

Back to Hulk. What is the main weapon Extremis users receive from their formula? Heat abilities. Who is the Hulk's hottest foe? (No, not Caiera.) Red Hulk, who displays similar powers of extreme heat and strength. Might it be that Red Hulk may appear in a sequel, through a fusion of Hulk's formula and Extremis? And, on the mention of Planet Hulk, might the plant origins of Banner's abilities be reason for why his blood causes plants to grow again on Sakaar, if Marvel Studios adapts a theatrical film of Planet Hulk? One can theorize.
  • I for one would pay all the money to see a Planet Hulk movie starring Mark Ruffalo and a World War Hulk version of Avengers 4.

Harley Keener will grow up to be a S.H.I.E.L.D. scientist.
Because why not?

Trevor really is The Mandarin
. Think about it: Obfuscating Stupidity, he lets himself get captured by the military and put on trial - where he is taken to a supermax facility - where he operates his terrorist operations from behind bars, on American soil, using his contacts he made from working with the Vice-President — in the name of the REAL Ten Rings.
  • This seems possible, now that Ben Kingsley has said he was working on a secret Marvel project.
  • After his behavior when Tony found him? So much for dignity.
  • Jossed. However in All Hail The King the real Mandarin takes Trevor from prison.

Telepresence/House Party/Iron Legion is Tony's experimentation with Vanko's drone technology.

One of the women in the Afghanistan sweatshop is the mother of Sooraya Qadir (AKA Dust) of the X-Men.

The REAL Mandarin has absolutely nothing to do with Aldrich, Trevor, or A.I.M.
Killian was just using the recent activity of the Ten Rings (see tie-in comic) and the rumors of their leader (see Word of God from Favreau on the first movie) to his advantage. wh\\When the real Mandarin finds out, he will give Killian a Curb-Stomp Battle and emerge from the shadows to repair his reputation.
  • As of All Hail The King Confirmed!

Another Mandarin theory: Mandarin is a title and Legacy Character, given to the leader of the Ten Rings
Killian was merely their current leader, having used AIM's resources to take over at some point between the films, and as such, he was the Mandarin. The Mandarin is usually hidden in shadows, but Killian decided to take over the title in order to have something for his fake terror leader. With his death, another will rise (possibly Raza), and take the role of Mandarin.
  • The Mandarin being a Legacy Character has been used in a number of continuities (most notably the animated movie and most recent animated series). Also, All Hail the King indicates that the real Mandarin was around during the days of ancient China. That said, it's confirmed that he's not Killian or Trevor.

Building on the WMG above, becoming the new Mandarin requires a Klingon Promotion...
And Trevor will end up getting the job when he accidentally kills the current Mandarin somehow. He'll be forced to bumble through it until he finally comes into his own as a true supervillain... kind of like the plot of The Santa Clause.

Tony did not throw away the Arc reactor.
  • During the middle of the movie, he described to Harley "the thing in his chest" as an electromagnet. It was apparently never clear as to what Tony threw on the sea, since the same never had that distinctive glow as before. And the fact that the later incarnations of the Arc Reactor (The second, palladium-powered version from the first movie, up to the Vibranium-powered one from the second) were quite slimmer compared to the one on Tony's hand at the end of the movie.

Tony's real issue is undiagnosed hypoglycemia.
Tony's issues (anxiety and not being able to think straight) were actually caused by his blood sugar crashing. Throughout the previous movies, Tony had much more of a food focus than the other Avengers (thinking of getting a burger as soon as he was back in the US, eating blueberries on the helicarrier, suggesting schawarma right after almost dying). Now that he's dating Pepper, she wants him to eat healthier (he mentions eating gluten-free waffles) and made him cut out the snacking, not realizing that was actually an unconscious coping mechanism for his blood sugar issues.

The real Mandarin just wants Trevor's autograph.
The real reason the Mandarin had Trevor broken out of prison was so they could meet face to face. He's actually a pretty amicable fellow (for a terrorist mastermind). He probably thought that Trevor's rendition of him was brilliant as hell and wants the chance to say so in person.
Iron ManWMG/Multi-Media FranchisesThor
The AvengersWMG/Marvel Cinematic UniverseThor: The Dark World
Iron ManWMG/FILMThor

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