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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.
Ironman
Comics
Tony Stark is Megamind.
  • They are both highly intelligent.
  • Both are selfish on the outside but when they dig down deep they realize they are true heroes willing to risk everything to protect their city.
  • Both believe it's all about the presentation.
  • Both have facial hair on their chin.
  • Both fight using robot suits.
  • Both blast AC/DC songs while making entries over cities on their way to face a crisis.

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.
  • Well, if you're gonna be like that, technically Superman's only existed since 2005. And, since Birthright was unceremoniously retconned out, we don't know his origin.

Steve Fossett is Iron Man
When 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 entanglement
This 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.
  • Screw the laws of physics, I have money!

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 back
The 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 future
Confirmed 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.)
  • Rumours that the sequel will deal with Tony's alcoholism arc from the comics might support this theory.
  • This is a plot point for the comics' version of Tony, as well as the whole rationale for the introduction of War Machine. Keep in mind that War Machine is in the sequel.
  • Yes, he should do something sensible like Bruce Wayne, who dressed like a flying rodent and wandered the streets of his city beating fellow pedestrians to a pulp.
    • Bruce Wayne is also suffering from PTSD.
      • ...No. Batman's mind is working way too well for him to be suffering from PTSD. Also, he keeps his cool under gunfire, which someone with PTSD related to his parents being shot wouldn't be able to do. Bruce Wayne is managing his stress through meditation, regular exercise, ass-kicking, and volunteer work.
      Batman is as Psycho as the monsters he hunts, it's why he dresses as a bat, and why he's so obsessed about Gotham being 'his' turf even at the cost of the people he protects.
  • No flashbacks, or intense overreactions to related stimuli, or etc., so, no. If nothing else, strictly speaking it's not PTSD unless he's been suffering those symptoms for at least six months (or something like that). His "unstable" actions are probably a pretty normal response. And no, most people don't cope in that specific way, but coping by pouring everything into your passion or artform or hobby or whatever is a normal response to stress, and Tony's just happens to be engineering. Weapons engineering in particular.
  • Apparently confirmed as of Iron Man 3. He suffers panic attacks whenever the events of The Avengers are brought up, and he hasn't slept properly for an extended period of time— when he tries, he has tumultuous nightmares.

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?
  • Alternatively, Stark Industries is still part of the Super-Soldier Project. In the Ultimate Marvel universe, attempting to create the next big super-soldier serum knockoff is an industrial sector all its own, as, according to Ultimate Nick Fury, the next war will be fought with super-soldiers. The sequels will reveal Stark Industries has a secret genetic engineering lab (under cover of those enhanced crop projects Tony mentions when wooing that reporter), which will be the source of a bunch of supervillains for the movie Avengers to fight.
    • Possibly Jossed by The Incredible Hulk. In that movie, it's revealed what happened to the Weapon Plus program (the name appears on a canister), but Stark Industries may still have been involved...
      • The Stark logo was there because they made the cryogenic canister which held the serum.
      • The Wal*Mart Exclusive comic that came with the DVD reveals that Tony's father worked on "an alloy" for Project: Rebirth; Tony found an example of it and used it to strengthen the suit. The "final product" was lost.
      • Since Captain Americas shield can be seen veeeeeeery briefly in the background of Tony's lab, it's easy to assume that it was the product of his father's alloy. But the original formula must have been lost because, as we all know, Cap's shield is even more indestructible than Batman and Chuck Norris combined, which is why his suit could only be 'strengthened' rather than turning him into a walking pile of adamantium/steel alloy.
      • The Super-Soldier Project was Weapon-I under Weapon Plus in the comics.
    • Then again, Spiderman shows that the U.S. government is once again hiring private corporations to design super-soldiers - who knows whether they approached Stark Industries before the events of the film? Maybe Stark even worked with Norman Osborne, providing some inspiration for the Iron Man suit.
      • The Spidey films are non-canon (Sony still have the rights, so none of the Spider-Man characters can appear in the Marvel Movieverse flicks), but it's an intriguing idea nonetheless.
  • One of the trailers for the Captain America movie confirms that a "Mr. Stark" was indeed involved in and present during Steve's injection with the Super Serum.
    • And the actual movie shows that Howard Stark was very involved in the whole process, and made Cap's shield, and hung out with him quite a bit as well. (Which gets rid of the "Steve doesn't like Tony's dad" WMG.)

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.
  • If the movie meshes with the comics, then it was the fault of poorly-made brakes, with no connection to Stane at all; in fact, the first thing Tony did upon inheriting Stark Industries was to buy out the company that made the brakes and fix the flaw.
  • Tony's dad and Stane got along excellently; the whole source of animosity between Tony and Stane is that Tony's so different from his father.
    • Maybe so; but then again, Stane and Tony appear to get on excellently before Stane tries to have Tony whacked. Stane doesn't appear to be the kind of person who'd let friendship get in the way of profit. Furthermore, as mentioned above, one of the only real sources we have in the movie that indicate that Tony's dad and Stane got along famously is Stane himself; Tony's dad is for obvious reasons not available for comment and Stane's hardly going to tell Tony, "Hey, I actually hated your Dad and plotted to have him murdered. No offence, kid."
  • Nah. He just fired them.

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.

  • I cannot think of a single reason why Stane would let Raza live.
    • Stane likes humiliating people. Remember he didn't just let Raza live, he paralyzed him so he would have to listen to his men being slaughtered. Leaving Raza alive, in the middle of nowhere, completely alone, is probably a Fate Worse than Death, because now he has to get back to civilization with no army and either explain to the Mandarin just how bad he fucked up, or start from scratch with no backup. As far as Stane was concerned, he basically stapled a Burger King application to Raza's face.
  • Raza seems more like a henchman from the get go... and the Mandarin is known to give some of him more trusted servants one of his rings from time to time.
    • Raza is at best The Dragon to the Mandarin's Big Bad, and it will be revealed in the second movie (that they ARE working on) that Mandarin is pulling the strings of at least the Ten Rings and possibly even Stane. Stane probably wouldn't be fully aware of his manipulations though (if they exist).
    • Raza one point mentions, "the man who's ring I wear", meaning the Mandarin already exists and Raza was in some way working for him.
  • Raza survived only to be killed by the Mandarin.

  • Jossed. All Hail The King reveals that the REAL Mandarin is still out there, and has in fact existed for thousands of years. Thus, not Raza. Though since The Mandarin leads the Ten Rings, Raza clearly worked for him.

All of Stan Lee's characters in the live action Marvel films are the same person
  • Yes, but that would mean that in The Incredible Hulk, the Abomination managed to go crazy in New York without bringing in the Fantastic Four, Spider-man, Daredevil, or any local X-men. Also, that would mean Willie Lumpkin somehow got gamma poisoning in Milwaukee and is still able to pick up women in California.
    • There's also the problem that he was Willie Lumpkin in Fantastic Four 1, and Stan Lee trying to get into the Storm-Richards wedding in the sequel.
    • No, no, he is obviously traveling between dimensions. He knows a lot more than he lets on...
  • Time Lord. Duh.
    • No, The One Above All DUH.
  • Surely it would make more sense if there were separate Stans for each series of films? So there's a Spider-Man Stan, a Willie Lumpkin (who passes himself off as Stan), a Marvel movieverse Stan, an X-Men Stan... you get the idea.

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.
  • The novelisation explicitly mentions Jarvis being safe in his mainframe, but you're free to disregard the canonicity of the novelisation.
  • The "Avengers initiative" scene at the end looks more like a Hollywood AI losing power than some guy in a control room wondering WTF is going on.

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).
  • No, Stane abides. Which he no doubt does. Although he won't be back for the sequel - league finals.

Rhody is was severely injured between films and require skin grafts
The 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?
  • Dude, where have you been? He claimed so in that one meet the press thing the military did about Iron Man.
  • No, that press thing was just a stint to throw us off it was just like that time Harvey Dent said he was the Batman but he wasn't! But maybe you're on to something with the jerkass billionaire playboy idea... Hmm. Have we ever seen Bruce Wayne and Iron Man together?
    • And Peter Parker can never get photos of Superman! It's all so clear.
      • Yes, of course... BRUCE WAYNE IS TONY STARK!
      Obviously, they agreed to a corporate merger. It was cemented by Stark and Wayne by using the Dragon Ball Z fusion earrings. Ladies and Gentlemen: Toby Stayne!
      Would that make the actual Fusion Dance version of them be Brony Wark?
      Brony Wark?
    • Bruce and Tony are both genius billionaires with a penchant for fighting crime despite lacking innate superpowers. Given their intelligence and resources, swapping roles to further derail any suspicions of Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark being superheroes is another logical layer to obfuscate any further probing, as it would be obvious to the untrained observer that Tony Is Iron Man and Bruce is Batman. Bruce dons the Iron Man suit and Tony Stark defends Gotham as the Caped Crusader.
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.
  • The man builds an arc reactor (in a cave with a box of scraps no less), plugs it into his chest, builds the iron man suit and hunts down the people who got access to his weapons without him knowing about it and you're trying to tell me he's not crazy?
    • He's crazy in very different ways than Tesla. Certainly he doesn't have the phobias about touching or sex. And he's way too impulsive to have OCD.
      • Too impulsive? OCD manifests in different ways for different, or even the same people. Being compelled to stick screws up your nose is not the opposite of being compelled to arrange them all in the proper drawers. It's just a different, more socially-acceptable target.
    • That's not the kind of OCD Tesla had. And compulsive behavior of any kind is not impulsive, by definition, whether sloppy or neat.
      • It's not impulsive, but it does look that way from the outside.
      And again, Tesla's compulsions were not of that sort. They were repetitive and precise.
      Tony's madness/ocd may be different from Tesla's but that does not disprove the original WMG... or prove the initial description of being "minus the madness."
      • In Iron Man 2, a film of Howard Stark calls Tony 'His greatest creation'.

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.
  • A giant Dragon from space that talks!

The whole film is Tony's hallucination after the mine explodes.

Robert Downey, Jr. is Tony Stark
Because 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 mission
In 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 .
  • Hawkeye is confirmed to appear in The Avengers movie in 2012
    • He does make a cameo in Thor, and he is a SHIELD agent.

Howard Stark is Captain America
Howard 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.
  • Biggest problem with this: Captain America is a World War II veteran. Howard Stark probably wasn't even born by that point.
    • ...except Tony EXPLICITLY mentions that his father worked on the Manhattan Project. I would say there's potential in this theory!
      • Alright, I was mistaken about that bit. But that would still disqualify him as Captain America, for two reasons: A. It's sorta hard to be both fighting on the front lines in Europe and working full-time in a laboratory in the southwest United States at the same time, and B. Captain America was lost, frozen in a block of ice, right after the war, so he, you know, couldn't have created a multi-million dollar company, had a family, and then died publicly.
      • That's what they want you to think. See "Pre-Civil War Cap is already dead" below.
      • Clearly, 'working on the Manahattan Project' was Howard's cover to his family for being Captain America so they could be normal civvie genius millionaires; conversely, 'lost in a block of ice' was the government/public cover for what happened to cap when he demanded to have his happily ever after family retirement.
  • No. But he did work alongside him and designed a lot of the tech that made him who he is.

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...)
  • Captain America's real shield was lost along with him, but Howard did create it - out of Vibranium.
  • It was heavily implied in a scene in Captain America: The First Avenger where the elder Stark tinkered with some captured power, that the "new element" serving as a power source was based on the Asgardian power of the Cosmic Cube.

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.
  • Very no. It's Steve Rogers. But Bucky was in the movie, did grab Cap's shield at one point as a Mythology Gag, and they Never Found the Body so he might be back someday...
    • Captain America: The Winter Soldier. So, yes.

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...
  • Maybe it grew one after Tony shut down the weapons division.
  • Considering that the kid's helmet and other prop toys are all real Iron Man 2 merchandise, this could be spot-on.

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.
  • Tony's the nobody. Heartless are made of hearts, nobodies have no hearts. This does, of course, mean that the new chip is a Power Ring (note that it is open in the center).

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 Vanko
and 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 Vibranium
That 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.
  • He was the one who made Captain America's shield, but it was made of Vibranium - all of the Vibranium they had. However the original got lost along with Cap.

Tony is a descendant/distant relative of Sherlock Holmes.
You know it makes sense.
  • Actually, this makes a lot more sense than you probably think. Both Tony Stark and Sherlock Holmes are innovative and inventive geniuses who easily understand the concepts of technology that is incredibly advanced for the time period they live in (Stark's Power Armor and the wireless device in Sherlock Holmes, and if one takes in the written canon he's a prodigy in chemistry and one of the innovators of Forensic Science). Holmes's drug problems (eye surgery medicine used to be laced with Heroin) could have easily been a hereditary problem which passed down and evolved into Tony's alcoholism. On top of it all, both of them, plus Howard Stark, were workaholics who needed to keep their mind busy in one form or another otherwise they went nuts. Add to that their shared Deadpan Snarker and Jerk with a Heart of Gold personalities as well as both having Heterosexual Life-Partners (Holmes has Watson and Stark has Rhodey, respectively), a special pet (Gladstone and "Dummy"), That woman who is the one exception (Stark's never hit on Pepper and has yet to sleep with her, while Miss Adler is the only women/criminal to outsmart Holmes), and of course the fact that they look alike, makes it almost seem like this was intentionally planned from the start.

Vanko asking Hammer for his burd was a Secret Test of Character
Hammer 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 2
The 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 Witch
Scarlet 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.
  • The novelization has Tony actually name the new element Vibranium.

Dummy the robot was built because Tony wanted a little brother
  • Tony begged his dad for a little brother to play with and Howard answered absently "Build your own." So 8-year-old Tony built a robot to play catch and do other brotherly activities with.

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.
  • I feel really stupid for having put almost the same WMG on the WMG page for the overall Marvel Cinematic Universe without checking here first, though there is some minor differences in terminology (positing that the arc reactor was an attempt to reproduce the energy-generation with human technology rather than stating it as an attempt to build a new Cube, mostly - they have the Cosmic Cube, so strictly speaking they could just do what Hydra did but for non-military uses, but that has flaws). When one thinks about it, even the palladium-based arc reactor that Tony built after getting home could count as something greater, if only it was reproduced (that little thing seems to generate a lot of power for something that small), though of course Tony seems rather reluctant to do the sharing with the world bit.

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.
  • Maybe it can only destroy bunkers. Ivan is not a bunker
    • In point of fact, real life grenade launcher shells won't detonate until they're past a set distance. If the Ex-Wife is really as powerful as Hammer says it is, it's probably similar in that it doesn't arm itself until it's a safe distance away from whoever fired it.
      • That's actually a really good point. After hearing the Description Porn Hammer laid out for the Ex-Wife, you'd figure that Rhodey would know better than to try to use it at point blank range, Iron Man suit or not.

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 Universe
It 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.
  • There are Asgardians in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and they're nothing like those in Stargate at all...
    • Actually, Stargate-Thor's first "appearance" is as a hologram. In the hologram, he impersonates a large, powerful, blonde Norseman.

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 3
Ben 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.
  • But Justin Hammer is only around 40 years old in the movies (if we're going by Sam Rockwell's age, 43), so I don't know if Sasha would work. Maybe Justine. Ezekiel Stane would be awesome, though.
    • As the troper who posted the original WMG, fair point about Sasha. Having seen the trailer and read a few film mags, it looks like I may have been right about the rest. The trailer shows Pepper restrained in a lab, which may be when she gets fitted with an arc reactor, and we're getting Firepower and at least one other villain in Iron Man-style armour. Can't wait. And yes, Ezekiel Stane appearing in it would make my day.
  • Not quite confirmed in Iron Man 3. She does end up wearing the Iron Man armor briefly, and potentially as a Mythology Gag, she uses it for rescue purposes. But she doesn't actually get her own suit.

The Mandarin uses reverse-engineered Chitauri tech.
It'll be used as a stand-in for "tech taken from Fin Fang Foom".
  • Possibly jossed. It seems the tech predates the Chitauri invasion. It probably really is derived from FFF.

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.
  • Ref'd. Although he wasn't being hunted, Tony lost access to his suit and had to improvise a slapdash slew of weapons with which to confront "the Mandarin."

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 Foom
He'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 Stark
In the movie verse their song came first.
  • Well, Black Sabbath wouldn't actually be able to sue Tony since it was the media that labeled him Iron Man. He merely decided to own the name after the fact. Also, the term references two separate things. The band can't sue the man because the name wasn't based on nor intended to reference their song.

Howard Stark made a contract with Kyubey
While 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.
I can make your wish come true. All you have to do is make a contract with me.
Howard wished to 'find Steve' and so Kyubey brought him on board the ship. However, he was still comatose from the crash and the ice. Howard visited him in the hospital regularly between running Stark Industries and fighting witches. Kyubey says that all humankind's progress has been due to Magical Girls and this is where Howard makes the switch from Arms Dealer to Energy Baron by inventing a revolutionary new kind of energy; the arc reactor. Clean and renewable energy would push humans to greater heights but as the years passed Howard fell into despair. At the professional level he was 'limited by the technology of my time' and at the personal level Steve remained comatose. See, he wished to 'find' Steve instead of 'revive/safe' Steve and so by the time Tony Stark was born, all the boy knew was a cold and distant father. Eventually he turned into a warlock and was slain without a thought by another of Kyubey's clients.
  • Except Steve wasn't found in Howard's lifetime. Under the premise of this WMG, it would fit better if Kyubey was already trying to lure him and when Steve was going down in the plane, Howard desperately wished to save his life. Which, technically, did happen when Steve was frozen.

The fourth Iron Man film will come out in 2020
The 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.

JARVIS is built in part on Howard Stark's attempt to replicate ZOLA.
Howard has a history of trying to recreate interesting technology he comes in contact with: the cosmic cube led him to develop the arc reactor.
Guardians of the GalaxyWMG/Multi-Media FranchisesIron Man 3
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