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Headscratchers in Iron Man 2.

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    Air Force Tips for a Ground Fight 
  • In the climax, Rhodes gives Tony tips on the upcoming firefight. It makes sense considering Rhodes is a military man... but an Air Force man. An airman. Wouldn't it make more sense if he grilled Tony on the finer points of an aerial dog fight? How much ground combat has Rhodes experienced?
    • Rhodes is, at this point, nowhere near as well-acquainted with the armor as Tony is. Also, Iron man has in all likelihood seen a fair bit of combat between the first two films. We never really find out who is the more veteran of the two.
    • The point is why a fighter pilot is implying expertise in ground combat.
    • They weren't getting ready for an aerial dog fight. Why would Rhodes give Tony tips on something that wasn't going to be at all relevant?
    • The topic has nothing to do with aerial dog fights.
    • Except that the OP says that it would make more sense if Rhodes grilled Tony about aerial dog fights? I mean, the words are right there in the original post. That said, "Air Force" doesn't mean the only thing he's ever done is fly planes. Every branch of the military has sections that mimic other branches. There are Navy and Army aircraft in addition to Air Force. The Navy and the Air Force both have ground-based soldiers.
    • The OP mentioned a hypothetical situation that would make more sense than the scene presented but it was not the point. As for Rhodes having experience in ground combat, it is not that common for airmen to see ground combat, although not impossible. In fact, after the start of the Iraqi War, the US military sent in more airmen to support ground forces and found them to be woefully under-trained. So Rhodes really would not be the best person to talk to for ground combat tips.
    • Rhodes has experiences a lot, going by his performance on foot in the third movie. He's able to take on and survive multiple Extremis mooks even without his armor, and armed with nothing but a pistol.
    • Airmen still go through some form of Basic Training, as far as I know. Just because he's a pilot doesn't mean he's not also a trained ground combatant. One of the reasons America's military budget is so high is that our divisions have a lot of overlap... the Air Force has ground soldiers and vehicles, the Navy has pilots and planes, and so on and so on. Rhodey's quite possibly seen ground combat, but even if his experience was limited to Basic, that's two weeks more ground-based combat training than Tony has.
    • FWIW, in the comics Rhodes was a Marine aviator rather than USAF, and the Marines are famous for training all their personnel as riflemen first.
    • Aside from this not being related to the comics, but specifically the movie, I think the main answer to this can be concluded based on his interactions in the first movie. Rhodes is implied to be well rounded in many forms of combat based on his few scenes in the first movie. He is a trainer and liaison and really only becomes a true main combatant in the suit sometime after the second movie and before the third. And even then it seems to be implied that he is more of a body guard and "first responder" to the most troubled locations that threaten national security. All that said, his speech about tactics to Tony is basic stuff any military person would have learned in basic (and been retrained on over and over again through their career).
    • And not least, who else was there to give Tony any tactical advice at all? We had not yet seen Stark in a similar situation (about to be surrounded by superior numbers and firepower, on the defensive as opposed to attacking, most importantly he was in a team, not solo) and Rhodey, who knew his history, presumably knew he hadn't been in this situation either, so took a moment to plan.
    • Rhodey does have ground experience. It's a deleted scene (or part of the Director's Cut or Extended Edition, I can't remember which), but while Tony's MIA in the first movie, Rhodes apparently was out looking for him, which is why he was on the chopper that found Tony after his escape. Another USAF officer asks Rhodes why he's riding around in a chopper "with a bunch of snake-eaters" instead of admitting that Tony's dead. Presumably, he picked up a few things hanging out with Special Operations guys for the week or two Tony was in the cave. That, plus his USAF training, gives us the Colonel Badass that is Rhodey.

    Unconnected Chest Reactor 
  • In the trailer, Stark shows up at the expo in full armor, then the armor is removed to show him in a tuxedo that he had been wearing under the armor. That's fine, BUT... the Arc Reactor is clearly visible in the suit, when it should be covered by his tuxedo.
    • Suit with a glowing thing where the Arc reactor would normally be, for show. Simple. He is putting on a media show, after all.
    • The Arc Reactor also isn't visible on the Mark III suit: the torso understructure goes down first, then a larger chest section with the uni-beam, and then the chest armor. The arc reactor is buried behind an inch or two of equipment. This is probably true for the Mark IV, if that's what Tony's using in that scene. For short-term like how Tony used it, he might have had it running on backup batteries or able to draw power without the full link-up. The Mark V suit draws power without needing the arc reactor exposed too, so it might be an upgrade in his tech.
    • Considering the now obsolete Mark II has its own independent Arc Reactor, which I assume Tony installed after the near-death experience in the first film, it's safe to assume he installed an independent reactor in all subsequent suits.
    • Which we have now seen after the House Party Protocol in Iron Man 3, with multiple independently powered suits acting on their own as well as with Stark inside.
    • The illumination of the arc reactor seems to vary. In some scenes it is hidden, in others it is so bright it shows up through clothes. Presumably it has different power levels. When running a full iron man suit it would probably be bright enough to show even through a tuxedo.
    • Or perhaps for the presentation, Tony simply wore something underneath his tuxedo so the light of the arc reactor wouldn't ruin the presentation of the tuxedo.

    Catch That Helmet, Boss 
  • In the trailer, Tony is about to go the expo by jumping out of the plane. Pepper throws his helmet out, so that Tony apparently has to jump out, grab the falling helmet (using boot thrusters to catch up with it), then put it on before landing. What if he missed grabbing it? Even if she knew Tony could control the suit without the helmet to land safely, she still threw out an expensive piece of technology which may contain proprietary Start technology, AND which could have seriously injured someone on the ground if the helmet hit them.
    • She seems perfectly confident that Tony would be able to catch the helmet without any trouble. After all, this is a guy who flies a supersonic suit of powered armor to a media event. Spotting an catching a falling object the size of a beachball when he can stop on a dime in midair and punch out the control lever on an ejection seat shouldn't be too hard.
      • Besides, who's to say that they haven't practiced this before?
    • This isn't really a problem as that moment is omitted from the actual film, so Tony jumps out with helmet already on.
    • Which begs a whole new question: why does Iron Man need a plane?
    • Because he likes to sit down while traveling places?
    • Fridge Brilliance: Although Jarvis doesn't articulate it until later, it's possible Tony already suspected that using the suit was speeding up the palladium poisoning. He didn't want to fly it all the way from Malibu to New York when he has a perfectly good plane to use.
    • Alternate explanation: Someone in the military and/or civilian ground control in various parts of the country asked him to kindly stop flying around in his armor so much because he was a hazard to air traffic, so when possible he goes through most of a journey in a plane with a filed flight plan. (Or, more likely, someone asked Rhodey to ask him, and Rhodey figured out a way to ask him that actually got him to listen.)
    • Does it bother anybody else that this scene which is awesome, touching and fun doesn't actually happen in the movie?
    • Explained here. They thought it was more effective to reveal Tony's face for the first time at the Expo. I tend to disagree, but there you go.
    • Also your mileage may vary on whether throwing a vital part of someone's control systems out of the plane ahead of them is awesome, touching, and fun. Yes, Pepper probably didn't think she was putting him in any real danger, but it was still very dangerous. Sort of like when Steve's girlfriend shot at him in Captain America. To some people it just looks kind of cute and funny how she's pissed off and giving him a little hell... to other people that psychotic bitch shot at him because she's annoyed.
    • The deleted scene and ending of IM 1 shows that Tony can operate the suit fairly well without the helmet. Also, Jarvis was probably tracking the helmet, so he could direct the flight path.

    Ivan Is Psychic 
  • In the second film, how was Ivan so sure that Tony would be at the race? He didn't decide to drive until the last minute. I guess you could say that even if Tony wasn't driving he would likely be there anyway but it seems somewhat coincidental. Did I miss something here?
    • You did, though it was easy too: it's briefly - very briefly - mentioned Tony owns the racing team (What's the point of owning a racing team if you don't get to drive once in a while, if my memory isn't playing up). Attacking the place was likely to draw Tony out.
    • Ivan probably came hoping Tony would be there, because it'd be more humiliating for Stark to be defeated in front of millions of race-viewers around the world than anywhere else. Ivan got his confirmation that Tony was in attendance when the news broke on the big screens that Stark was actually driving.
    • Even if Stark hadn't been there personally, slicing the race car Stark Industries was sponsoring into scrap metal on live global television would've still been an effective way for Vanko to call out Stark and embarrass his company. He'd just have had to postpone fighting him until later, had Tony been elsewhere.

    One Iron Man to Save the World 
  • In the sequel, Iron Man is said to be a nuclear deterrent and is helping maintain world peace. Uh, how? How is one guy in a suit enough of a force to cause such an international back-off-from-all-fighting-ever? Sure he has good PR, but it's not like he's Dr Manhattan.
    • Uh, it's hyperbole designed to illustrate Tony's ego. While he's certainly effective at what he does, one of the film's recurring elements is Tony's inflated sense of self-worth getting in the way of logic.
    • Not to mention that with the suit's ability to show up at the doorstep of a world leader, Iron Man can basically be a cruise missile for hunting down anyone dumb enough to start a war on his watch. Traditionally, you deter somebody from starting a war by having the force available to destroy his army. Tony Stark cuts out the middleman; he has the force available to destroy you, personally, enough to keep any tinpot dictator in line.
    • Also, Tony makes it clear that he has no intention of making any more suits. If someone was to start a big enough war, he might change his mind. He is a deterrent because he can create lots of VERY powerful weapons if someone gives him a reason.
    • This, OP, is what Tony means by the term "nuclear deterrent". He's not saying he's a deterrent to nuclear proliferation, he is saying he's equivalent to the concept of nuclear deterrent, IE "Don't fuck around with us, we've got nukes."

    Malfunction THAT Badly? 
  • Two things about the Iron Man variant demos in the sequel bug me. I don't remember the Iranian one too well, but why did the Korean engineers try to get their mech walking with so much extra stuff without properly testing it? A giant robot like that shouldn't have been falling over if it was actually designed properly. As for the Hammer one, why did they give the suit the ability to turn its waist like that in the first place?
    • North Korea's military isn't exactly known for its cold logic in real life, so it stands to reason this would be intact in a fictional version of the world. Secondly, they didn't give the Hammer suit the ability to turn like that - the thing sparks and belches out a lot of grinding noises before it ends up mutilating itself (and the pilot).
    • Yeah, but WHY did it turn like that? There's no reason for it to have motors or robo-muscles to turn the waist like that. At most it'd make him turn at high speed and maybe sprain something. Of course, Rule of Funny and all that (or possibly Rule of Painful).
    • You do know it's possible for things to malfunction in ways that they aren't meant to do, right?
    • Yes, I know. I'm probably thinking too hard about this.
      • Actually, this might fall into Fridge Brilliance. When it comes to machinery that could cause operator injury, good engineering practice is to incorporate hard stops - that is, mechanical stops that physically will not allow the device to transit far enough to injure an operator. Hammer, being the careless, feckless nitwit he is, probably went with the easy route and simply configured the software with the limits - so-called soft stops - which is fine so long as the software is working properly and there isn't a mechanical failure. Hammer being Hammer, the suit probably suffered both - software limiter didn't kick in, possibly because of a servo overspeed leaping past the stop setpoint and not halting until it physically jammed or broke. (A DC overvoltage would cause that kind of failure, and given all the sparks and kludged power supply is likely the cause.) OSHA must just love Hammer.
    • Just had an idea about the Korean's robot. Maybe for the Koreans A.I. Is a Crapshoot, and it decided to kill everyone, but couldn't coordinate its legs properly and fell over. Of course, out of context, all we see is a large mecha falling over whilst spraying bullets everywhere. :D
    • You guys do realize that you're talking about a country led by a man who once kidnapped a South Korean film director and forced him to make a Godzilla rip-off under threat of death, right?

    Why does Tony Stark even bother with a heart? 
  • In the first movie, he had to create the arc reactor to keep a piece of shrapnel in it's place and prevent it from lodging deeper into his heart. Later presumably he kept the arc reactor around for the sake of convenience, because it both worked perfectly fine and was also capable of powering his Iron Man suit. However given the Palladium poisoning issue and the fact that all of his Iron Man suits are now powered by their own arc reactors as evidenced by Mr.War Machine well...stealing one, why doesn't the world's smartest man(capable of creating the Iron Man prototype IN A CAVE! WITH A BOX OF SCRAPS! as well as a home-made particle accelerator) with literally infinite resources solve the issue by designing/buying the world's most advanced artificial heart and undergoing an operation?
    • Forget an artificial heart: Why isn't he just using batteries? We know from the first movie that (A) you don't need that much power to run the electromagnet and (B) you don't need to have had chest-surgery to put on a powered suit. The proper Fridge Logic solution is to use a low-power safe solution in your chest, isolate the dirty reactor as part of the suit itself. Stark is egotistical, but egotistical enough to die because he likes having a glowy chest?
    • No, you do need a lot of power to run the electromagnet, as evidenced by the fact that they had to hook up a goddamn car battery to his chest to power the damn thing. If they could have used smaller batteries to power Stark's electromagnet, they would have. Unless Tony wants to spend the rest of his life lugging around a gigantic battery everywhere, he needs a powerful but miniaturized power supply - ergo, the Arc Reactor. The only reason he even built the reactor was to be mobile in the first place while still having a power source strong enough to power the magnet. And Tony is the kind of guy who would rather die than be handicapped into lugging a car battery everywhere he goes.
    • there are still about 50 flaws with that line of reasoning. The main one is that electricity travels through conductors; it doesn't need to be in his chest. Then of course there's that using the suit makes it worse, but again, he can just put another in the suit since IT DOES NOT NEED TO BE INSIDE HIM. This opens up a whole other can of worms in that his other suits had their own built-in reactors, so he both knew it could be done and had to want someone without an arc reactor in their chest (e.g., not him) to use them. What an Idiot Ball he was carrying that whole movie...
    • The last part does seem like a stretch — knowing that he was dying, you really would think Tony (for all his ego) would consider trading down until he could come up with a better, less fatal solution. It seems like an oversight.
    • No, its not an oversight, its a personality defect. Tony Stark is a massive pile of pride and contrariness. Yes, rationally, Stark could potentially use something else to power the electromagnet, but he won't because Tony Stark is not the sort to publicly and personally handicap himself like that. He would rather die than lug a car battery around for the rest of his life. That's just the kind of person he is.
    • He wouldn't have to lug a car battery around. He could have an arc reactor strapped to his upper arm, contained in an airtight case with unnoticeable wires running into the magnet in his chest. There is no reason for the reactor to be stored inside his body if doing so is threatening his life, except that the script needed the reactor to be killing him so they could fill an hour of dead time.
    • Wearing it outside his body makes it easy to steal, as noted below. If it's in his chest, it is difficult to remove without specialized tools like the one Stane had. If it's on his arm, any jerk can beat him over the head, cut it loose, and be gone in moments. Tony Stark is too paranoid about his technology to do something like that; this is a consistent part of his character.
    • In the comics, Tony eventually heals up enough that he can survive an operation to take out the shrapnel, so he has the arc reactor removed as well. But in the second movie, he has more pressing concerns, what with the thing keeping him alive being toxic to his body. This didn't just happen; it's been getting progressively worse by the start of the movie. Perhaps he'll be rid of the arc reactor by Iron Man 3. (Heck, they could even use this as an excuse to introduce Extremis to the movie continuity.)
    • In order to undergo the surgery needed to either remove the shrapnel or install a mechanical heart, Tony's got to both go under the knife and let someone else handle the Arc Reactor and remove it from his chest. We already know Tony absolutely refuses to let his technology potentially fall into others' hands, so letting some doctors handle the Arc Reactor while he's unconscious is simply not something he's going to let happen. There's too much of a risk of his tech being "misplaced" during surgery.
    • My memory of the comic book is that even there, Tony didn't choose surgery. He collapsed in public and so was rushed to hospital for surgery while unconscious.
    • The idea behind a mechanical heart taking over for his weak fleshy heart is just no good. No machine ever developed has the capability to take over for the human heart for very long. I mean we are talking about a machine that will need to beat nonstop for years on end with no realistic way of preforming maintenance Tony knows better than to even try. And as for undergoing surgery to remove the shrapnel. He probably can't find any doctors willing to preform such a risky surgery. They would have to root around 3 of the most important organs in the human body to find tiny slivers of metal and Tony probably didn't tell anybody about the Palladium poisoning so they have no reason to do such a surgery because Tony isn't in any danger from the slivers.
    • If a mechanical heart won't do, why not just get a real one? Heart transplants are performed every day, or heart/lung together if the shrapnel is widespread enough for adjacent organs to be a concern. Don't say that a billionaire can't bribe his way onto the top of the transplant waiting list in some country or other, or afford the anti-rejection meds afterwards.
    • You do realize that the whole arc of Iron Man is about Tony not putting himself ahead of others, right? As in, not cheating his way to a treatment that could and would save someone else's life. As in not benefiting directly from someone else's death. Could he? Yes, of course. But would Tony Stark do it after, you know, all of his character development about how he's not going to profit from suffering and death and how he's trying to atone? No.
      • A heart transplant also wouldn't help: the shrapnel is being carried towards his heart, it's not there yet. The whole point of the magnet is to keep the shrapnel from reaching his heart. Replacing his heart with someone else's doesn't solve the problem. . . the shrapnel's still inevitably on its way. Only removing the shrapnel itself would fix him.
    • No mechanical heart could possibly take over for his organic one. Especially not one personally designed by the guy who created a man-sized suit of armor granting him super strength, micro-sized thrusters capable of propelling that suit to supersonic speeds, a power source which puts out 3 gigajoules per second without generating lethal amounts of heat yet is smaller than a laptop battery, and an artificial intelligence so advanced it is capable of sarcasm.
    • It's all very well to say he wouldn't want to carry around an enormous battery or whatever. but given the choice between keeping the generator that is poisoning him by sitting in a socket in his chest, in a socket in his chest; and keeping it, say, in a pocket on his belt, why the hell doesn't he do the latter, for a while, until the kinks are worked out...
    • Aside from the fact that putting the reactor in his pocket would create a fail point (i.e. the wires running up to his chest, which could potentially get pulled out) it would also make it possible for someone to pickpocket the reactor from him. Tony's too paranoid about his tech for that to happen. Also, if he's in the Iron Man armor, the reactor's pretty much got to go in his chest, and he spends a lot of time in the armor - and as the movie shows, his blood toxicity builds up to lethal levels pretty quickly. There's also the simple fact that not a lot of people know about Tony's chest-reactor, and i would bet that, as paranoid as he is, he wants to keep it that way; lugging around the Arc Reactor in his pocket might set some people off as to what's really going on The reactor is small, but in the outfits Tony wears it would be pretty obvious, especially with the scrutiny he's under.
    • As of Iron Man 3, Tony actually did undergo surgery to remove the shrapnel once he overcame many of his personal issues surrounding the ethics and use of his technology. He could have done it at any time, but he decided that he was only comfortable doing it at that point.
    • Meta-wise, of course, having Stark replace his damaged heart before The Avengers would have spoiled the opportunity to see that dumb look on Loki's face when his scepter goes "clink" on the arc reactor, unable to affect or even reach Tony's heart.

    Mother Russia Makes Vanko STRONG!! 
  • Made of Iron aside, How the hell is Whiplash not in a wheelchair after getting repeatedly rammed into a guardrail with a Rolls-Royce? At least, have give him a limp or something! Broken ankle?
    • ....because, as you just pointed out, Made of Iron.
    • Well you can see bits of Vanko's power armor moving as he gets ready to fight back. My guess is that it absorbs and amplifies movement as needed, which I presume is what allows Tony to punch through walls and stuff.
    • Note earlier in the scene, how he doesn't remove his clothing. It just vaporizes off his powered up harness. It would not surprise if the electrical charge didn't just augment his strength and whips, but also provides protection.
    • The armor provides that according to one of the tie-in comics.
    • Rewatching the scene it seems heavily implied that Vanko was enhancing his body somehow rather than just creating a protective field, and that's why the parts of his early "armor" are strapped right against his skin. He displays almost superhuman strength as well as toughness during that fight... right up until Tony yanks the arc reactor off of his chest, whereupon he slumps, is clearly in pain, and actually starts bleeding a bit.

    Hire a Translator, Hammer 
  • It bugs me that Justin Hammer despite his massive wealth didn't simply bother to hire a translator to speak Russian to Vanko ,as even I had trouble understanding him at times, and it's not a smart move to not be able to communicate with the people working for you. Granted the man is an enormous idiot....but still.
    • Vanko can speak English well enough; he was just screwing with Hammer. Hammer either figured it out and refused to indulge him, didn't want anyone else (a translator) in on his secret, or just didn't care.
    • Also, Hammer offered to get a translator during their first meeting. After that went (apparently) so swimmingly, he probably just figured, "ah, what the hell, we can communicate; what do I need to drag a translator around for?"
    • Hiring a translator would require Hammer to bring an outside party with him to absorb all information being passed both directions between him and his escaped convict, who he broke out of jail and is holding against his will. That's an awful lot of felonies to hand knowledge of over to someone who, apparently unlike Hammer's security team, has no real reason not to immediately run to the Feds and send you to prison.
    • This also plays off of Hammer's boorish arrogance, he obviously believes he can rely on Translation by Volume if he needs it. Hammer is definitely from Eagle Land (Flavor 2).

    Just Shoot Vanko 
  • Why doesn't someone just shoot Vanko when he's rampaging on the Monaco racetrack? Lethal force is clearly justified, Vanko isn't wearing any armor, and surely there must be some sort of armed security force at such a high profile event.
    • It's a European event. Gun control is far tighter and armed guards aren't anywhere near as prolific as they are elsewhere - even in full blown riots you're unlikely to get more than tear gas and so forth.
    • What, were you expecting Instant Emergency Response? A SWAT team did arrive at the end of the fight, but from the start of the battle to the ending lasted a total of maybe five minutes. Getting a SWAT team on-site, through a crowd, when the only accessible roads are packed with either burning debris or screaming race cars, inside of five minutes, is really, really damn fast.
    • Its also worth pointing out that the Monaco racing event was not taking place inside a closed location. Its taking place in the actual streets of Monaco, across the entire city. Security response is going to be slowed down quite a bit; they can't deploy instantly to every location inside the city.
    • Any event full of people, especially if in a city and not in an enclosed location, is going to have armed patrols every which where, even in gun-controlled Europe. The whole terrorism thing? At the very least there'd be cops with pistols, and probably several snipers ready to take position very quickly indeed.
    • Considering the larger universe, it is entirely possible that the security units on patrol (we can see a few guys who look like armed guards) decided that jumping in on a confrontation between Iron Man and someone with Arc Reactor technology while armed with just pistols would just get them killed. They would have held back and tried to get the bystanders to safety and close off the track until a more heavily-armed response unit would arrive that would have an easier time dealing with Whiplash. This is, after all, a setting where the Incredible Hulk has been rampaging around, Captain America is a famous war hero, and of course, Iron Man is present. They're being clever and letting the superhero deal with it.
    • Somewhat related issue: Why didn't the race management centre abort the race, as soon as it was clear that Vanko was up to no good? (Or at the very least send out the safety car?) Even minutes after he started causing trouble, it seemed like all the racers behaved like everything was in order, only to suddenly encounter the nasty surprise of a car slicing guy in the middle of the street.
    • Who's to say they didn't? Half a metric ton of steel and carbon fibre moving at a third of the speed of sound doesn't stop on a dime, and even if they did hit the brakes immediately, there would have been a risk of a pile-up, which would in all likelihood have had worse consequences.
    • Besides, a 5,600 pound luxury car at a high rate of speed just hit him hard enough to crush the front end, smashing his (not even remotely armored) body into a concrete wall. It then backed up and did it again. Somehow, he is completely unfazed by this. If I were a bodyguard or security guy, I'd just assume he was freaking Superman and find something else to do.

  • The first Whiplash is not armored. We can actually see Vanko's skin through it. And we're supposed to believe there wasn't ONE person with a firearm in the crowd? No police snipers nearby monitoring the situation? No cops with submachine guns? Not even a civilian with a .22? All it'd have taken to disable, perhaps even kill Vanko was one bullet. As long as he's just walking along the track it's believable that nobody'd just shoot the crazy dude being a nuisance, but as soon as he breaks out the whips, and certainly when he starts slicing cars, bullets would start flying. He should have been reduced into a red mess of holes before Stark even came into the scene.
    • In Europe, firearms aren't that widespread, so realistically having police snipers overseeing a race is several different kinds of excessive (and I doubt anywhere in the world actually goes to that level of trouble). Same with cops with submachine guns; do you honestly think it's a smart idea to have automatic weapons in a very crowded public place? And again, Europe. Civilians aren't going to bring guns to a race car event. The only people at the scene who would have guns would be any of the actual police officers and not event security who were around, and they would have to get very close to Vanko in order to shoot at him and be certain they wouldn't miss and hit a civilian.
    • I'd also like to reiterate what was stated earlier in this article: This isn't our world. This is a world where Captain America appears in history books and where footage of the Hulk curb-stomping a crack military unit showed up on CNN. The Monaco Police Department are smart enough to not get into a fight with someone with ARC-reactor technology. They are more than happy to let Iron Man deal with the ultra-tech terrorist, focus on getting the civilians out of danger, and try to get SWAT- and army reinforcements.
    • Simplified. Shock and Awe. Which I always assumed was Vanko's point. He seemed to be on a suicide mission. No intent of living through it, and even if he did, he seemed resigned to be in prison after it all happened. His goal was to show the world that Tony Stark's father was a thief and that the technology was available right now to anyone with the ability to use it. The shock of the scene was due in part to the fact that the MCU is not a world full of super heroes. It is a world with very limited super beings. The first was Captain America, and even he was not widely known as anything but a pseudo-joke to the world. Then came Tony Stark and The Iron Man. And to a lesser degree The Hulk... Aside from SHIELD the world is not prepared for dealing with these super humans (even if it is "just a guy in a suit"). They react like anyone would to seeing such insanely overpowered displays. They freeze up and stare in awe and wonder (and probably no small amount of horror). Basically, by the time they might have responded (after initial shock of the scene wore off) Iron Man was already dealing with the situation.
    • I would also imagine that they have to get orders allowing them to fire and my guess would be that no higher ups would have been willing to give that order considering that there were civilians all around. Look at how long it takes real life teams to be given kill orders.

    Helmets Are Hardly Villainous 
  • Why does Vanko keep removing his helmet during his final showdown with Iron Man and War machine? And why isn't said uncovered face incinerated when they combine their powers to hit him with a blast powerful enough to severely damage the rest of his armor?
    • The helmet kept popping itself back on automatically in response to threats. As for the face...I dunno.
    • Vanko is out for revenge. He wants Stark to see him laughing at him. It's a way to mock Stark. Also, he is crazy.
    • He's homicidal. That's not the same as crazy. He's murderously angry about what he feels was an unjustified ruining of his father's life. It is very likely that the version of the events between Stark and Vanko that he's heard was very heavily colored in Vanko's favor, in which the Starks are devils who destroyed their future, stole their technology, and made a fortune while the Vanko's were shipped off to die in Siberia.
    • No, the better question is why the hell do Stark, Rhodes and Vanko keep opening their damned faceplates to monologue to their opponents? I haven't bothered counting but there must be more than a dozen times during the two movies where everything comes to a halt, faceplate pops open to reveal who is in the suit, they talk a bit, then the faceplate goes back down and they go back to punching each other. At least the filmmakers took the opportunity with Vanko to show that his suit automatically reseals the faceplate when threatened. Even so it seems like one Indiana Jones getting fed up with sword fights and just shooting the guy in the face would have made for a couple of drastically shorter movies.
    • It's harder to emphasize with a metal mask, which would lessen any emotional impact of anything they said.
    • The out-universe reason is to show the actor in the superhero suit. How many superhero movies do not have the hero unmask for the final battle. In Iron Man, Stane and Stark fight with no masks, in the first and second Spider-man movie (I haven't seen the third one), Parker unmasks for the final battle. Probably loads of other movies.
    • It is all because the actors want more face time, or the producers want more of the actor's faces on screen because they are paying big money for them, or a combo of both. The simple in universe example is that they all have HUGE egos and they want to show their opponent the face that is not afraid of them.

    The Radiation Poisoning 
  • What exactly was the arc-reactor doing to Tony? If it was just dumping palladium into his system, he could have used a chelating agent to deal with it quite effectively.
    • He build a revolutionary energy source in a cave with a box of scraps. We're not dealing with real-world science here.
    • Actually, if all it were doing was dumping common Palladium 107 into his system, it wouldn't be toxic to him. Likely, it was dumping small quantities of a radioactive Palladium isotope (remember the neutron damage; that would change the isotope) into his bloodstream. A chelating agent would help very little; he's still suffering radiation poisoning.
  • Speaking of radiation poisoning, how come Tony and Pepper weren't suffering from cancer after the massive exposure that must have resulted from being in the vicinity of the arc reactor explosion at the end of the first film?
    • The reactor itself doesn't generate lethal amounts of radiation.

    How Rhodey Gets Out 
  • How exactly does Rhodes get in and out of the Mark II suit? The film elegantly shows him either wearing it or out of it, but if Tony needs complex robotics to get in and out, how did Rhodes get into one already assembled in a showcase, and then back out of it in an airplane hanger?
    • For the showcase, it would be as simple as Rhodes walking down there and telling JARVIS to fire up the assembly. As for the aircraft hanger, I'm fairly certain that Tony would have designed (or redesigned) the later armor suits to be easily removed if he needed to get out of it. It is entirely conceivable that the United States Air Force could possibly have the resources to put together a similar machine in order to re-armor War Machine too. I mean it's not like they're a branch of the most well-funded military on the planet or anything.
    • I imagine him sitting sipping a drink around while someone hunts up a diamond cutter or a left-handed wrench or whatever.
    • They don't necessarily need complex tools to remove it. It would be idiotic of Stark to have not designed the suit to be removable by hand if need-be. He has trouble getting out of the Mark III because it was combat damaged, and judging by the design of the suitcase suit, it can probably be removed by hand, since its designed without flight systems, so he can't just zip home to get it removed.
    • Dude. In the very first movie, during the fight with Stane, we can see Tony stripping off pieces of the armor by hand! He even says "I have to get out of this thing" because he's losing power! So, yeah, I think Rhodes could get out of the armor without much trouble.
    • Watch the party scene closely. You can see a few cuts showing Rhodes was indeed using the same armor-assembly gear that Tony uses to don the suit. So, yeah, he likely did just walk down there and tell JARVIS to suit him up.
    • Better question, how did Rhodes POWER the Mk II? The Iron Man suits are supposedly powered by the arc reactor which is implanted in a socket in Tony's chest (not merely laid upon, as in Whiplash's suit), the same arc reactor powering the electromagnet keeping shrapnel away from his heart. Rhodes has no arc reactor implant to tap into, unless Tony wised up and started installing auxiliary reactors in the suits. So Rhodes managed to get into a suit (that wasn't fitted for him, and unlike a cloth uniform, Power Armor is rather unforgiving about not being just right to the length of your arms and legs.) in a hurry (without the right tools), and fight in it (despite never having worn it before and running it solely on its emergency power).
    • Um. In the scene where they're taking apart the War Machine armor, the Air Force guys are shown removing War Machine's Arc Reactor. Plus, when Tony flies the armor down into the expo, the machinery is shown removing Tony's armor completely, with an unmarked tuxedo underneath - pretty clear evidence that the individual suits each have their own reactors separate from the one Tony has in his chest.
    • That's not the issue. The issue is that the Mk II Armor would have had to have been refitted to hold the Arc Reactor within the chest plate rather than run it from the reactor already in the user's (In this case Tony's) chest. Why would Tony ever make a modification that would allow literally anyone to use one of his outdated pieces of tech when in almost every other instance before that, he's kept every single piece of his own tech and any knowledge thereof very close to his chest (literally)? The problem is less with Rhodey being able to use the suit, but why the suit was modified for his use in the first place.
    • Because Stark was going to give Rhodes the suit. You remember the part where Fury explicitly says that Tony could have stopped Rhodes from taking the suit if he wanted to, and the whole thing Stark has going through in the movie regarding continuing his legacy and passing on what he has to his friends? He wants Rhodes to have the suit, so naturally he's going to engineer the suit to carry the thing that's going to power it. I'm not sure how you missed this very important detail, considering that it is stated in the movie, is a central theme of the movie, and was discussed over and over and over on this page.
    • Yeah, when I first went through this page, I didn't actually see anything about Stark giving Rhodey the suit, and if I'm honest, I thought him not activated countermeasures against Rhodey was a way of emphasizing his incompetence with highly advanced, highly destructive technology, him losing his edge at what he does (Having the best Technology and being Iron Man) and how his whole life was degrading due to him... well dying... basically making it into a big What the Hell, Hero?? moment, leading to a triumphant revival. My bad on that one. I just read the scene wrong.
    • Also, as was pointed out above, we can clearly see the tools being used to fit Rhodes with the suit. Also note that the suit is heavily segmented with adjustable plating and fittings; I wouldn't put it past Tony to have programmed the assembly machines to automatically adjust the fitting for dimensions. Rhodes fires up the assembly gear, it scans his body and adjusts the suit to fit his frame, and presto. War Machine.
    • It may help that Robert Downey Jr and Don Cheadle are of exactly the same height (according to IMDB, 5 feet 8.5 inches, or 174 cm). Their body builds are not too different either; something meant for one of them would probably fit the other one almost perfectly.
    • Stark almost died fighting Obadiah Stane because his Arc Reactor was stolen from him and he had no other backups except the Mark I reactor, which didn't have the power to actually run the Iron Man armor very efficiently or for very long. Presumably, after that experience, he simply built backup Arc Reactors for his armory just in case another such occasion should arise. Rhodey was using one of those when he suited up in the Mark II.

    You Can Fly, You Can Fly, You Can Flllyyy... 
  • Why is it that during the final fight with the Hammeroids, Rhodes and Stark argue over who gets the high ground? Normally that would seem reasonable... but they can fly. Staying in the kill box to fight seems very stupid when you are fully capable of flying up ten feet.
    • It also decreases accuracy (repulsors are flight stabilizers, remember?) and increases likely collateral damage. The robots can also fly, and it's easier to shoot/punch them on the ground than in the air.
    • If they left the little atrium area, the Hammeroids would keep pursuing them, and there would be more collateral damage. They had to keep the fight there in that enclosed area. One of them would need to hold the high ground and fire while the other drew fire. Makes perfect tactical sense.
    • I wasn't talking about flying out of the area... I was just talking about the fact that they could float up 20 feet and attack if height was such a big deal. As for being less accurate, Rhodes has a mini gun firing tracer rounds, so it isn't too hard to aim, and Tony just killed all of them with lasers, which was as easy as pointing at them. Plus, they were about thirty feet away from the robots at most; accuracy wouldn't have been a huge deal, even if simply floating would negatively affect that.
    • The suits fly using the jets on their boots for propulsion and the repulsors on the gloves for stabilizers. All four limbs are used solely for the purpose of flying; this doesn't leave them with very many options for flight combat. If Iron Man could fight as effectively in the air as he does on the ground, he would have done that from the start instead of leading them on a massive chase through the city.
    • Hell, this is even shown very clearly when Tony kills the Hammeroid about to shoot the kid at the expo. He actually has to stop, land, face the drone, and then fire a repulsor shot to take it down. The only time we've seen him really fire any weapons while airborne was at that one point in the first movie, where he was firing a massive beam at the Jericho missiles - and in that case, he had to stop, stabilize, and fire a single shot with one hand while hanging very still in the air. And that was at a large, immobile target. Stark probably didn't fire while airborne because he can't.
    • Rhodes also is armed with a suit he's still relatively new at using and with new weapons systems he likely hasn't practiced much with. He'd have a much harder time fighting airborne than Tony anyway.
    • Flying up into the air is not taking the high ground, it is exposing yourself to attack from all sides. The high GROUND has cover.

    Again, Why Not Fly? 
  • Why is it that, when fighting Vanko in the final showdown, Tony and Rhodes attempt to punch him out? Vanko's only weapon seems to be his whips, which are clearly better in melee range than either of the heroes fists... so why didn't our heroes just use their guns? They shot him a bit, but flying and strafing would seem a lot more reasonable, though I suppose it's rule of cool in effect.
    • Tony tried to take off, and Vanko just pulled him back down. They try to get out of range, Vanko pulls them back in again. They try and shoot him, it bounces off. If Tony had tried his wrap-up trick again, Vanko would've had a counter to it.
    • They didn't attempt to fly, or at least not effectively. Again, they actually tried * punching* the guy multiple times, which had even less of an effect than their guns did. Even if flying away wasn't an option (which it was, their attempts to get away from him were half hearted), they could have at least used the repulsors to attack him, which clearly had a lot more of an effect than punching him.
    • No. Watch the fight scene again - at the very beginning, Tony lifts off and tries to fly overhead. Vanko grabs him and drags him down. He then shifts to Rhodes, and Tony is forced to jet-tackle him to get him off Rhodes. After Vanko throws him off again and hits Rhodes again, Tony has to start physically beating him with his fists to draw his attention away. Then they both get tangled up again. In other words, Tony couldn't take to the air after the first attempt - doing do would leave Rhodes open to attack and probably get him seriously injured or killed. Rhodes probably didn't try to fly because he wasn't all that well-versed in airborne combat while operating the multiple cannons on his suit. He's not as experienced at using the suit, so he stuck with what he knew.
    • Also, Vanko slices through Rhode's gatling gun near the beginning of the fight, leaving him with only his pistol, shotgun and assault rifle- none of which would have been able to punch through the standard Iron Man armor, let alone the much bulkier, heavier armor Vanko was wearing. The race track scene also clearly showed that Vanko's whips could deflect repulsor-ray blasts, thus rendering all of Rhodey's weapons ineffective. Tony relies on his repulsors for ranged combat much more the Rhodey in the first place, and had seemed to use up most of his additional weapons (such as the 360 laser blast) fighting the Hammeroids. The only other ranged weapon I can remember Tony using in the films was the anti-tank missile that he used in one scene in Iron Man- which considering how he had to stop and aim it relatively slowly in that scene, probably wouldn't have helped in the fast paced brawl the fight with Vanko became. So to summarize, they tried to get into melee range because their ranged weapons where all incapacitated or ineffective, whereas they probably thought that if they double-teamed him, they could simply overpower him in hand-to-hand.
    • "Fast paced brawl"-this adds a whole new level of brilliance to the scene in which the Ex-Wife does what it does. Note that Vanko makes no effort to dodge at all-he just stands there grinning as it goes through its agonizingly long fire up sequence. Why? Because he recognized the weapon as being Hammer-tech (he should...if he had time to install a remote override complete with combat controls, he had time to learn what weapons the suit carries), so knew that there was nothing to fear: it wouldn't work.
    • Even more brilliantly? Maybe while he was busy hacking/controlling the War Machine suit, he disabled the Ex-Wife.

    Whips Better 
  • As an aside to all that, why would Vanko build his own robot and not put in any guns, at all?
    • Aside from the fact that Vanko is insane, he's also irrational, insane, angry, insane, wants to hurt Tony Stark in a terribly personal way that is most likely aided by being able to do it with a melee weapon, plus he's insane, and if he wanted to just blow Stark up, he probably would have easily been able to blow him up or shoot him - but its personal and he wants it to be up close and personal. Also, a minor thing, but Vanko is insane.
    • "He was insane" is rarely a sufficient answer for anything. "He wanted to show off his own innovation" and "he wanted his revenge to be up close and personal" are much better reasons. And there's one pragmatic answer: why bother with guns at all? Sane or not, he's motivated by revenge against one individual. Said individual has Powered Armor making him Immune to Bullets. His whips would be more effective against Tony than guns. He could have had shoulder guns like War Machine and the fight at the end would have gone exactly the same way.
    • Bah. Insanity is a perfect explanation for irrational behavior.
    • Maybe when it's valid, but people throw it around for everything a villain ever does. Why didn't Vanko put guns in it? Because guns are tested and proven to be worthless against Iron Man. The whips, on the other hand, did serious damage to the Silver Centurion armor. For tearing up the Iron Man armor and its pilot, the whips are clearly superior weapons to trying to arm it with conventional firepower. That is a reason. Insanity is not.
    • There really is nothing to indicate that Vanko suffers from any psychiatric condition other than maybe psychopathy. He isn't even that irrational - he's vengeful, but he's got an extremely legitimate set of grievances against the Starks that's he's working out in a very bad - but effective - way.
    • Vanko loves the whips, and anything that's added to the suit will take away from the whips in one way or another.
    • Iron Man has shrugged off fire from a Vulcan 20mm Gatling cannon. It has shrugged off fire from Iron Monger's huge, possibly 30mm Gatling gun (and in that case, using a relatively thin pop-out shield/flight stabilizer thing in his arm). And it survived a direct hit from a FV 4201 Chieftain MBT's 120mm cannon (how, exactly, a tank managed to hit a tiny high-speed flying target is up for debate, I think - maybe a Stark product something the Mid-Range Munition made it to development in the Marvel movie universe?) which is designed to kill other tanks. Firearms are basically worthless against Iron Man armor.

    Capitalist Commie 
  • It was the height of the Cold War when the Howard Stark and the elder Mr. Vanko were working on the ARC reactor. Why in the world would the U.S. ever redeport a defector from the Soviet Union because he had Capitalist profit motives?
    • Because, as JARVIS says very clearly, and as the newspapers show very prominently in large, bold letters, Vanko was accused of spying. Howard Stark simply eliminated someone who was competition.
    • My interpretation was that, after Stark realized Vanko had selfish motivations, he framed him for something that would get him deported, IE the spying accusation. It does sort of fit in with Tony's description of his father as cold and calculating.
    • My interpretation is that after Stark refused to commercialize it, Vanko then tried to get rich by selling the arc reactor technology without Howard Stark's permission — which is spying. Specifically, industrial espionage. Or if he tried selling it back to the Soviet Union, espionage espionage. (The latter would also explain why he was merely sent to the gulag, not killed, as returned defectors usually are — if he turned double agent for the Soviets again then he's merely a failure, not a traitor.)
    • This is about how I read it. Nick Fury mentions that the Russians were mad at Anton for not being able to come up with the goods, so I get the impression that they had a thing set up.

    Mark II 
  • Okay I swear the Mark II suit was changed between films. In the first one, it was a sort of dull gold/beige color and in the second one, it's silver. Why the change?
    • You're mistaken. It was silver in the first one. Tony changed the armor alloy to take care of the icing problem.

    Hair down 

  • Black Widow taking her hair down to prep for a fight. If they wanted her to look all sexy they should have just done a Slipknot Ponytail. Because there's no way those long flowing locks aren't going to fall in her eyes and mouth when she's doing her thing, and even though she can deal with it, there's no point in purposely inhibiting yourself.
    • Perhaps the movie version of her is from the River Tam School of Badassery, where hair never gets in your face or eyes.
    • Long-haired girl here. We see Black Widow in a top and skirt, with her hair up. She gets into the back of the car and starts changing. Changing into what? Did she have her suit in the car? Or did she already have it on her person, and just need to remove, turn around, unfold, zip and unzip, and put it back on? Or, even if she already had a suit in the car, we see her incapacitate people with these little semi-circular zappy things... so either way, she either had stowed them in the back of that particular car, or she already had them with her. Like, perhaps, holding up part of her hairdo. Storing weapons in an updo is not at all unknown among women, and particularly curly hair like that (given it is never so curly again in any other MCU movie she's in, she probably had it done up that way on purpose) is well suited to the task.

    New Mexico license plate 

  • Why, in the post-credits scene, is Agent Coulson driving a vehicle with a standard New Mexico license plate on the front? New Mexico license plates only go on the back.
    • Maybe he gets a set of two plates because he just wants to? I know people with Kansas plates who use both a front and back plates almost solely because they're used to the Missouri two-plate laws.
    • SHIELD operates all over the world, including all over the U.S. Possibly it's standard practice to equip all of its cars with two plates because more states require two than don't, and also standard practice to swap out their vehicles' license plates for those of whichever state its agents happen to be driving through at the moment.


  • I know that this is easily the least of this film's violations of physics, but when Tony grabs Pepper and flies off with her at supersonic speed to Out Run The Fireball, how do her shoes stay on?
    • He upgraded her shoes. And her cell phone. And her hair clips. She drew the line at her clothes.

    Second bird 

  • What species is Vanko's second burd? Cockatiel?

    Fury and the new element 

  • Ok, so I'm curious as to how Fury even knew about the new element that Tony's father discovered. I mean I know SHIELD is famous for being all knowing and having its hands in every part of the Marvel Universe, but Howard Stark hid the formula pretty well, and if they knew about the element why didn't they try to synthesize it themselves?
    • Well, Howard helped found SHIELD, for starters. So he probably told them about it. The problem with synthesizing it themselves is that when he figured out the element was there, the technology simply didn't exist yet. Plus, you probably need someone who's as much of a genius as Tony, he of the cave and box of straps. If you need someone to build something impossible, he's your man.
    • It has been theorised that the element Stark creates is the same stuff that housed and amplified the dimension stone, better known as the tesseract, the same stuff Hydras' power batteries were made of, unable to be synthsied, but could be pulled from the tesseract.

    Drunk Stark 

  • At the party, everyone could clearly see that Stark was extremely drunk and began entertaining his guests with shooting whatever they tossed him. Wouldn't the guests be a bit more concerned that they could be hit if he missed the intended targets?
    • Not if they were drunk, too. Also, most of those guests probably didn't really comprehend the danger of Stark's suit; the kind of rich, hob-nobbing types who would be at that kind of a party generally don't comprehend just how dangerous weapons like that really are, especially when they look as relatively innocuous as a little glowey light in Stark's palm.

    Vanko and his father 

  • Why did Vanko not respond to his father calling his name until he used the diminutive?
    • He actually doesn't respond until his father starts coughing. He's clearly already pretty emotionally devastated by his father being in the process of dying and simultaneously exhausted by taking care of him. He's probably just standing there stewing in his misery and only goes to his father when he hears him actually being ill.

    Dying Vanko 

  • How did Vanko find out that Tony was dying anyways? Only SHIELD seemed to figure that out and they were observing him night and day, all Vanko could do was watch him on TV.
    • He looked had the reactor schematics. Being as clever as he is, he appears to have pieced together that wearing an Arc Reactor in your chest will get bad stuff in your veins. Remember: he's a damned good engineer and a genius on Tony's level. The fact that he pieced together that Tony was dying from simply knowing about the Arc Reactor's design and properties indicates as much.

    Live ammo 

  • Who puts live ammunition in drones intended for a public demonstration? I can understand why Vanko would, but why would Hammer be so stupid as to allow it, especially considering we can visibly see the missiles on the missile launchers ourselves?
    • Hammer's grenade launcher during his brief demonstration to Rhodey had visible grenades in it, but likely they were fakes. He may have assumed Vanko stuffed fakes in for show.
    • Why wouldn't Hammer allow live ammunition in the drones? On top of the fact that it looks better, he had probably intended to provide a more impressive demonstration of his drones by having them fire at targets a safe distance away from the people watching. The presentation went the way it did because Vanko told him that all he get the drones to do at the time was to salute. Once the Mark II fell into Hammer's hands, the game changed for him and he was able to alter the presentation plans to make War Machine the focus of the show. He probably kept the ammunition in at that point because A. it looked better and B. in his mind, it was absolutely no danger to the audience because his criminal Russian super-genius couldn't make good on his side of the agreement and the Hammer Drones were just a bunch of saluting statues with no other functioning components.


  • I just noticed something about the synthesis of the new element; as the laser moves towards the triangle, it cuts through everything it touches, even the thing holding the triangle in place - except a bunch of wires connected to the holder. What's up with that?
    • I've noticed that too. If you're looking for an out of universe explanation, probably what happened was that the prop people designed the set a certain way, and no one noticed until post production that the wires were in the way, at which point they could do a reshoot, do some very expensive C Ging to remove the wires, or just say "fuck it" and hope no one noticed... budgetary and/or time constraints may have necessitated the "fuck it" course of action. If you want an in-universe explanation, maybe Tony developed wires coated with a color of rubber that's at a particular light wavelength that it wouldn't get destroyed by his super laser?

    CEO switch = Free fall 
  • Why does Stark Industries go into free fall when Pepper is made CEO? Tony never seemed to take much interest in the day-to-day nitty-gritty details of actually running the company before; what was he doing that made everything run so smoothly before?
    • To quote an answer to another issue entirely above, it wouldn't be the first time the media blew something out of proportion. Stark Industries was already having problems. Pepper was a mess trying to get Tony to sort those problems out. Suddenly appointing a personal assistant to CEO, however, gives the media someone to blame and say, "Look, it's all HER fault!"
    • The way Pepper talks early on, it sounds like it was already starting to fall apart (high stock value notwithstanding) by the beginning of the movie. She just got thrown into a bad situation.

    Instant Sobriety 
  • Okay, did anyone else notice this? Tony is obviously rip-roarin' drunk at the party and is yelling in slurred language, staggering, and falling all over the place. Then War Machine comes in and hits him, and all of a sudden Tony is speaking with perfect clarity and fighting at 100% capacity. Now, I know the man has a high alcohol tolerance from all his drinking, but the movie made it * more* than obvious that he was completely blitzed. How the heck did he sober up within 5 seconds??
    • Hi there, welcome to adrenaline. People can sober up fast when the adrenaline starts pumping.
    • This. Tony was relaxed and enjoying himself at the party. Once he and Rhodey started fighting, it quickly became evident that despite being very, very drunk, Tony IS still the man who both designed and has had a great deal of experience piloting this armor. His judgment may be shot to hell and his reaction time may be sluggish at best, but he's still got a lot more experience in the suit than a guy who's never been in one before in his life.
    • And he wasn't fighting at full strength, or else Rhodes would have lost. He didn't even bother to activate the lockdown subroutines that would've turned the Mk II into a very shiny paperweight.
    • Someone didn't pay attention to the movie. He doesn't activate the lockdowns because he wants Rhodey to get the suit. In fact, he's very likely faking being drunk - the whole scene is set up to give the suit to Rhodey without making it obvious to anyone that he's doing so. Every time we've seen him in action after his epiphany he's always tried to avoid hurting anyone - even in his worst day he wouldn't just half-blindly fire his repulsors in the general direction of a crowd of people. Also notice how he hits the targets the guests launch in the air every time; you try doing that while drunk. The whole rest of the fight is just for scene, with Tony obviously letting Rhodey win - otherwise he wouldn't be punching his nigh-invulnerable armor, he'd be repulsoring it into scrap. Really, the only weird thing is how Rhodey is somehow convinced he's beaten Tony and gotten the suit against his will.
    • He's not faking — he's definitely drunk. Thing is, Tony can operate very well while drunk. Remember the first movie? Yensin tells Tony they met once, but that Tony doesn't remember it. Yensin remarks that if he had been that drunk, he wouldn't have been able to stand, but Tony was able to give a complete, detailed technical lecture while his blood was probably close to flammable.

    Whiplash Doesn't Equal an Iron Man 
  • The whole "suit" controversy that the movie's driven off of seems like a non-issue. What Vanko had in the beginning is not by any measure a suit along the lines of Stark's. It was not flight capable, had no weapons, and was not full-body. The concern was that similar technology would be used against the United States, with the counter-argument being the technology was too far away. Thing is, Whiplash Mark I is nothing more than energy-charged whips powered by a core in a similar place, and it would take scientists actually comparing the two cores to find they're even the same; at this point in the Marvel movieverse, more powerful tech is easily available than this. I know it's sort of vital to the plot and all, but it doesn't make much sense.
    • It makes perfect sense. The other suits countries were shown to had either fell over as soon as they stepped off the production line, killed the pilot or jammed up and destroyed themselves. Vanko's suit was proof that Stark's technology could be replicated and functional - perhaps not on the same scale, but when you're scared of other people lobbing tactical nukes around, even a small one is going to be cause for serious alarm.
    • There's also that Tony was running on the platform of 'Not only is my tech not remotely close to being duplicated by anyone else, but my suits are so powerful that I can kick the ass of anything that might threaten us, no sweat.' And then a guy out of nowhere visibly fucks him up on live worldwide TV using what is obviously a crude jury-rig, with Tony only barely pulling out the win. Not only is Tony dealing with the PR hit of arc reactor technology existing outside his control, but also with the impression that the Iron Man suit isn't remotely as unbeatable as he's been saying it is. Or, as Vanko put it, the entire point was to let people see God bleed.
    • As Stark himself points out, Vanko's reactor is very similar to his own; he even scans it with his own Iron Man suit's sensors and confirms it. And the fact is, even as crude as Vanko's suit is, it was still powerful - heating up a couple of whips like that to slice through metal (and to damage armor that can shrug off tank shells) is extremely impressive. If an ordinary individual can put together an Arc Reactor (as Vanko appeared to have) then to all appearances, the Arc Reactor tech is out of the bag. Also, don't forget that the Senator who's trying to get the Iron Man tech is, well, a politician, and anyone who has an inkling of how politics works understands that the moment someone shows weakness, political opponents will fall over them. As Vanko points out, there's blood in the water, and the sharks have come to feed.
    • Vanko is hardly an "ordinary individual." He's a scientifically-trained genius.
    • Reread what was written. Vanko appears to have been an ordinary individual who copied Stark's technology. Important difference, especially when we're dealing with perceptions in the first place.
    • Also, Vanko did not damage armor that could shrug off tank shells. He damaged "Iron Man Light", the armor made of relatively thin plates over a wire framework, light and small enough to be carried around as a suitcase. It was not made of the gold-titanium alloy either, and had no flight systems. I seriously doubt that Vanko would have been able to last more than fifteen seconds against MK III, IV or VI.
    • Stop trying to talk sense when you're talking about perceptions. Break it down to what the Monaco Prix audience saw, and no more. 1. Husky Russkie steps onto the track and starts chopping cars in half. (sure, we know that he's the son of the arc reactor's co-inventor and had the original blueprints to work with. In-world audience doesn't. They see what looks for all the world like a tattooed thug, not a physics genius.) 2. Iron Man suits up. Hooray! It's Iron Man, and that's all we know. If we see Iron Man, we assume he's brought his A-game. He can fit that badass Powered Armor in a suitcase? Wow, man! 3. Iron man gets fought to a standstill. He had just claimed that nobody could match him, no how—and it looks like he just got matched.
    • In a way Vanko has the same mentality as Rocky Balboa. He doesn't have to "beat" the champ, he just has to go the distance with him. He doesn't have to win, he has to prove himself a viable threat. He has to fight just enough so that him beating Stark seems "possible." He has to put a tiny kernel of doubt into the public's mind as to Stark's invincibility. I never got the impression that Vanko's original plan was to beat Stark. He probably figured Stark would defeat him, possibly even kill him. He just wanted to get in a few good shots. After being defeated he didn't seem too broken up about it.

      And as noted Stark was adamant not a few days earlier that no one was even close to his technology. Sure Vanko couldn't take down Stark, but imagine what havoc he could bring down on a group of civilians, police, or standard soldiers? It's like saying that if a New York street gang developed a 1 megaton nuclear weapon, it wouldn't be a viable threat because it's not as big as the nuke's the military has.
    • Worried people don't need much to have their worried reinforced. Stark said no one was close to re-producing his tech. Then a random schlub appears out of nowhere with a similar-looking power source and a vaguely similar looking weapon. (A dangerous thing that glows...dangerously.) Sure, when you break it down and analyze the situation you can see the differences between Vanko's device and full-on Iron Man awesomeness. But in the political world, what people see is: Stark told us nothing like Iron Man was close. Five minutes later, we see a bad guy with something similar. Therefore, Stark was wrong. PANIC.
    • Likewise, no one is really worried about someone else creating ONE Iron Man analogue. They were worried about an army of them. Stark says it will be at least a decade (in which he will be improving his suit constantly) before someone has something similar and viable. A day later, a tattooed thug shows up with something that is clearly analogous to Iron Man and can counter Tony's repulsors. The average person would not require much prodding to imagine an army of Whiplashes and what they could do.
    • And to add to the worry, remember that the hardest part in the invention process is the first invention. Once someone shows it can be copied, it becomes a lot easier. Tony had predicted a decade before anyone caught up with him, but you'd see decent copies in a year if Vanko had chosen to give the tech to others on a widespread level.

    What Happened To The Burd(s)? 
  • I expect Vanko would have had someone to take care of his bird before hitting Monaco, since he hoped to kill Stark and probably expected to be killed (and if he was neutralized without being killed, he'd have been imprisoned for attempted murder, which he was). But was the bird Hammer brought actually Vanko's bird and Vanko was just trying to make things difficult for him, and did the guy who put the bird in the bag actually kill it, and not just stuff it in an uncomfortable, heavy sack? If he didn't kill the bird and was just holding it hostage, what happened to it after Vanko went rogue? Did he set it free, leave it in the sack, would it have been killed in the fight? And (not my Headscratcher, since I figured he was so intent on it because it was his bird, but a person who saw the film with me wanted to know if there were any better explanations) was he just giving Hammer a hard tie because he wanted his pet/friend back, or was there something important about the bird?
    • The bird definitely survives its sacking. You see it with Vanko when he's taking over the drones.
  • Why did a Russian man have a Cockatoo?
    • For the same reason an American, Chinese, or Canadian man would have a Cockatoo: Because he likes having a pet bird.
    • Russians can only have bear or dog! Big dog named Azor that drinks only vodka and Cossack blood!
      • To be fair, his bird DID drink Vodka in the opening scene.
    • Bear is not pet. Bear is horse. Bear is better horse.

  • Why didn't Stark put the chip that was to be made into Starkium closer to the accelerator's path, if he was intent on having it outside of the accelerator and flipping off the laws of physics to make the chip?
    • Because he (shockingly!) made an error when he put the reflector into the accelerator. Notice how he reacts when he sees the thing is about to start firing a beam in the wrong direction. He simply screwed up.
    • The real question should be why inserting the newly designed core into his chest instantly cured him of his Palladium poisoning. Given the fact that Stark essentially invented Vibranium (as it's defined in the novelization), that may have something to do with it, but I don't see how it completely reverses Stark's condition in just a few seconds.
    • It doesn't. Using the new core simply ends the poisoning process. Stark is getting those lithium injections from SHIELD which reduces the symptoms of the poisoning (including reducing the high-tech crossword puzzle being made out of his veins). Since his blood is no longer being poisoned, it gives his body the opportunity to flush out the palladium in his system.
    • You seem to have missed the part where immediately after popping in his brand new reactor, the "high-tech crossword puzzle" around his chest immediately disappeared as though someone was sucking the palladium out with a tube. While I buy the flushing it from the system as a legitimate reason for why the new reactor would help him, the movie shows him returning to full health the instant he pops the new core in...a little bit abrupt if you ask me.
    • Considering that Tony is able to build a Large Hadron Collidor out of spare parts, I'm fairly certain it's not beyond his means to design the new reactor to be able to flush the palladium out his blood system once the destroyed palladium cores stopped leaking into his body. Hell, he probably included a lithium injector or something similar in the design.
    • Rule of Cool

    You Can Feel Sorry For Vanko 
  • Is it wrong that I feel sorry for Vanko? I mean, he spent his whole life living in squalor, while his father told him every single day that they deserved better (which they kind of did, having pioneered an INCREDIBLE new technology). And the scene where he sits there and cries over his dying father just gets me every time.
    • In a sense, no, it is not wrong to feel some sympathy for Vanko, given his upbringing. There's nothing wrong with having a sympathetic villain. Just because he is the villain doesn't mean you can't feel sorry for him. What marks him as a villain is the choices he makes. He could have given his own country its own Iron Man, but instead chose to go on a personal quest for revenge, deciding to bring Stark down and clearly not caring about any unfortunate soul who happens to come between him and that.
    • He is very sympathetic in his motives and his grief (we were approaching The Wrestler levels of sadness in the opening), and if Papa Stark was still around I would have applauded if he wrung his neck like a plucked duck. But Tony is innocent of Vanko Sr.'s betrayal (he was a privileged child, but you don't pick your family), and all the poor race car drivers and prison guards and civilians at the expo he murdered pushes it beyond the edge.
    • I guess one can understand - if not approve - the murder of a few prison guards in order to escape. However, late in the movie one of the drones targets a kid standing a few meters away (the one wearing the Iron Man mask) and is about to kill him; only Tony's arrival saves him. Vanko's seeing all this through the drone's camera, and does not a thing to stop the cold-blooded murder of an innocent child. As far as I'm concerned, that's the moment when every shred of sympathy for Vanko evaporated.
    • Sympathy for Vanko's father can fluctuate based on how much you believe the legitimacy of the claims against him. There is the version of the story where Howard Stark framed Vanko to have him removed and steal the Arc Reactor technology for himself, and the version of the story where Vanko was a double agent and planning on stealing their technology for the Soviet Union. Neither of these two stories can actually be confirmed with the information we have, but ultimately, it's irrelevant. Regardless of what Howard Stark and Vanko Sr. may or may not be guilty of, Ivan Vanko and Tony Stark were both innocent parties to it. For this reason, it's very easy to sympathize with Ivan who, regardless of which story is actually correct, did everything in an effort to avenge what he perceived to be the wrongful persecution of his father and himself (because Ivan's life also suffered growing up in squalor as he did, in his mind, because of Howard Stark). Ultimately, both Tony and Ivan are caught up in their fathers' conflict, and what truly makes Ivan the villain of the piece is the fact that he instigated and perpetuated that conflict against Tony, who was no more a part of what went down between their fathers than Ivan himself was. Targeting Tony for his vengeance because Howard was no longer alive turns Ivan's plight from what would have been a righteous fury against the man perceived to have ruined his family, to a petty act of jealous spite. In the end, Ivan was simply a man coming from a lifetime of pain, self-destructively lashing out at the closest thing to what he considered an appropriate target for his rage. It's not hard to pity him, but that doesn't make him right.

    How Does Hammer Have Any Resources At All? 
  • It's clear from the outset that he is massively incompetent. His company's work seems to be nothing more than clumsy attempts to ape things Tony's company has already done. He's basically a total loser. How did he ever get anyone to invest in his company? By all rights, he should have run it into the ground years ago.
    • To be fair, he's an obnoxious twat but the technology he creates looks to be far superior to anything that isn't Stark Industries'. The only failures we see are the things he tries to copy - Ex Wife aside - but overall the weapons and munitions he supplies seem to be very high quality.
    • Also, he could be a lower bidder. Costs are important to the armed forces, and politicians find it easier to brag about lower costs than higher quality weaponry.
    • Hammer says that he only became a weapons contractor after Tony shut down Stark Industries' weapons division and left him an opening. I imagine Hammer got rich off other products before getting into the weapons business.
    • Justin Hammer, like Tony Stark himself, is not a company of one. Hammer himself is an obnoxious twat, but he's also a bureaucrat, not an engineer. At no point does he ever demonstrate any actual engineering knowledge and, in fact, very pointedly proves his ignorance when he is showing off the Ex-Wife, by using both the technical name for "RDX Burst" and the acronym in the same description, thereby proving he's just rattling off the paperwork he's been given on Hammer Industries products. He is, more than anything, a Marketing guy; flashy, showy, loves to make a strong impression, and eager to emphasize how amazing everything he has in his inventory is. That aside, apart from the Ex-Wife and their failed attempts at aping the Iron Man, everything that Hammer Industries constructs is pretty solid. Therefore, it can be reasoned that either a) Hammer Industries is largely a manufacturer of products engineered by other companies, with only a handful of their own products (such as the Ex-Wife or the Hammer Drones), or b) the Ex-Wife is a fluke and Hammertech is largely reliable on the whole, or c) the Ex-Wife was improperly used, hacked to malfunctions, or any other plausible reason as to why it misfired. Any way you look at it, the Ex-Wife's misfire doesn't have quite enough information given to condemn Hammer's entire product line over it, and "failure to adequately replicate the Iron Man" isn't really a show of incompetence either.
    • Tony and Rhodey's reaction to the failure of the Ex-Wife indicates that neither of them is surprised by it in the least. While Tony is often disdainful of other people, he seems like he'll usually own up to when something someone else has made is well-engineered (or he wouldn't own cars he hadn't designed himself). But the fact that Rhodey isn't surprised that the Ex-Wife failed to perform as badly as a ninety year old man with his mother in the next room indicates that it definitely isn't a matter of pride... Rhodey's in the military, has probably used Hammer's stuff before, and had it fail on him before. All evidence points to the idea that Hammertech is just not up to snuff, but is probably either cheap or Justin just knows the right asses to kiss. The fact that his stuff isn't very good reflects the whole of his character... he desperately, desperately wants to be Tony Stark, but he's not good at anything about being Tony Stark. He sucks at design, he sucks at charm, he sucks at presentation, probably the only thing he is particularly good at is working the system and his connections.
    • If Rhodey was expecting it to fail, why would he have talked it up before he fired it off? His sighing agreement with Tony doesn't mean he thinks all Hammertech stinks. He's just annoyed and a little embarrassed.
      • I'm honestly mystified by this nonsensical and continuing argument by people that Hammer must actually be a really competent weaponsmith and all the failures are totally someone else's fault. The movie makes a bloody running gag of Hammer's incompetence, the missile's failure is clearly part of this running gag. Rhodey talked it up because he was hoping it would work and thought it would make him look cool if it did, but when it didn't he wasn't surprised at all because Hammer's shit sucks giant infected donkey balls.

  • If they'd said a new stable isotope, everything would be fine, but no, they have to put half a proton in or something.
    • If you look closely at the holodisplay, it was Periodic Element 502, which is ridiculously above any near-stable elements we know of even if you count the expected but theoretical island of stability. It's an element, just one that they'd never been able to synthesize (except accidentally) and (because it is to be expected to be hugely unstable) never bothered trying. My problem is with how he made it.
    • Bah. Tony Stark sneers at the periodic table!
    • Honestly, I'm willing to ignore the actual displayed number for one simple reason: placing the discovered element in the island of stability would explain why Howard Stark knew about it but couldn't synthesize it. He was able to demonstrate its existence mathematically, but the technology didn't exist for him to actually prove it.
    • It looked like was a second island of stability, up there in the multiple hundreds where nobody but Stark Sr. ever bothered to even look at it, but forgot.
    • Was it Element 502 or was 502 the atomic weight? If it was the atomic weight it would still be far above the currently heaviest-known element - 294 for element 118 - but much more reasonable to claim it's around 60% heavier than the currently heaviest known, rather than 4x higher on the periodic chart than anything that's existed for more than a few nanoseconds. Regardless, the structure displayed was totally not an atomic nucleus. If anything it was a Buckyball made of some other element than Carbon. Which in my mind would be even easier to Handwave away than trying to claim a new element: Sure, we can't keep the higher weight elements stable for more than an hour or two at most, but if we knew how to arrange them into Buckyballs, then magically the crystal structure would make the element incredibly stable and produce all the Phlebotinum you needed to power the suit without Palladium!
    • Also, the element that Howard Stark discovered was apparently based on research into Asgard technology. So, he's literally discovered something outside of our understanding regarding the universe.
    • Actually, scientists now believe that protons and neutrons in a nucleus form orbitals similar to electron orbitals, but larger nuclei would be deformed. It's possible that Vibranium/Starknium's nucleus is so large that clumps of protons and neutrons have to be arranged into a lattice to maintain stability. (This is still bad science, but it's not ''as'' bad science.)

    How To Build a Mini-Reactor 
  • Fact One: Howard Stark and Anton Vanko worked together to design the Arc Reactor (interpretation: this is probably the "dead-end design" used at the Stark Industries complex, not the small fist-sized one.) Fact two: Anton Vanko kept a copy of the blueprints after being deported to the USSR. Fact three: Ivan Vanko built a miniature arc reactor, almost exactly like Tony's, but slightly flawed, in a matter of months (while living in squalor, too,) so he's at least as much of a genius despite having very limited resources. With that out of the way... we know from the first film that the miniature design is such a tremendous technological leap over the factory-sized one that even Stark's team of engineers can't replicate it. And Vanko was spurred into action by seeing Tony "out" himself as Iron Man at the press conference from the first movie's ending. All things considered, he could have built a miniature arc reactor any time he wanted. He just... didn't. Even with his father with one foot in the grave, both of them living in rock-bottom poverty, and the collapse of the Soviet Union allowing for more capitalist ventures to succeed. So why didn't he build one? He could have built his arc reactor years ago, sold it, and lived comfortably with his father —even better, Anton would have gotten revenge on Howard by getting rich of the reactor's design after all. But neither Anton nor Ivan even considered building one until Iron Man came into scene. They're really the definitive word in "Brilliant, but Lazy."
    • Ahem. Stated, very clearly and explicitly in the movie: "Arc Reactor tech was never cost-effective. We haven't had a major breakthrough in thirty years." The Vankos didn't improve on the Arc Reactor technology because, as far as they were aware, it couldn't be improved on. Then along comes Tony Stark, who does improve on the tech, proving that it can be developed into something more efficient - which likely resulted in Vanko going back over the design and trying to figure out how Stark pulled it off. Note that Vanko doesn't just whip up the new design in a matte of days like Tony did; it took him six months of work with a working blueprint and a rough understanding that the tech could be miniaturized, and he still ended up making an inferior design.
    • Also, wasn't Vanko Jr in prison as well. Maybe he was only released in time to see Vanko Sr snuff it shortly afterward.
    • Cost-effectiveness is important. If you need a power source that's small enough to carry in one hand, puts out immense amounts of power, and cost is no object, then you have the motivation to build the miniaturized arc reactor. If your goal is a fixed amount of power output but you've got plenty of space to work with, nobody will pay for your small-but-expensive solution if they can make a large-but-still-cheaper solution. The warehouse-sized arc reactor, with the hundreds of kilograms of very expensive refined palladium it must require, would give most civil engineers sticker shock.
    • Seems a little wobbly, but maybe seeing the mini-ark in Tony's chest inspired him, like the shape of it or the color of light it emitted clued him in on how it's done.
    • My question is where the hell a dead broke guy living in a scuzzy state-provided apartment with his Burd got enough palladium to build an arc reactor of *any* size.
    • Someone on the headscratchers page for the first movie said that 1.5 grams of Palladium costs about $25. According to this site, it's just a little under that. It was posited that the reason Tony was salvaging it from the missiles rather than just asking for some was to throw the Ten Rings off the trail of what he was doing, not because they wouldn't have been able to get any. The cost of the small amount necessary to build a single miniaturized arc reactor would not have been prohibitive to Vanko at all.

    Legal Basis For Seizure 
  • Here's something that's been bugging me. Does anyone know what if any legal basis there is for the U.S. Government seize the Iron Man armor from Stark at the beginning of the movie? I can kind of understand why they would have the legal impetus to do it after Tony started acting all unhinged because he was slowly being poisoned and started endangering random people, but I can't work out the legal reasoning behind it at the beginning of the movie. The tech is clearly Tony's private property, built with his own funds, so it's not like there's some financial reason the government can use to lay claim to the suit. As a weapon it clearly belongs to a class that has not yet been regulated (because it didn't before exist), so I'm not certain gun control laws apply to it.
    • That's the entire reason why Tony was Hauled Before A Senate Subcommittee in the first place. The entire point behind the subcommittee was to investigate and explore the dangers of and to attempt to acquire the suit. The fact that there is no legal precedent for such a thing is probably a major stumbling block here. If there was legal impetus to seize the suit, they would have already.
    • The US government considers some kinds of technology "born Secret" - no matter how it was developed, it's automatically government-owned classified technology, even if the government hasn't heard about it yet. It's a policy that was used when thermonuclear weapons were being developed and some civilians started guessing different methods for making them, and Tony's arc reactors seem to be tiny fusion reactors, so it applies. In the real world, all the Iron Man suits would have been seized by force without a subcommittee hearing the second anyone knew they were in Tony's basement.
    • Of course, seizing that technology - especially from your premier weapons contractor - is easier said than done. Especially when said weapons designer is more likely to destroy his tech than let it fall into your hands, has enough personal firepower to destroy an armed division by himself, and can simply fire his jets and be in international waters in a matter of minutes. And as Rhodes points out, the military is on the verge of seizing Stark's suits anyway. The hearing here is likely to convince Stark to hand over his tech peacefully before the military decides to seize it themselves.
    • Stark would just destroy the tech. He's not going to kill American soldiers ordered to seize his property (at least not while sober) and as powerful as the Iron Man suit is, it's no match for the rest of the US military.
    • They also might be worried about pissing Tony off, especially when he's already shown his capabilities. Seizing the suits could potentially result in massive property damage and loss of life. Also, antagonizing Stark might be a bad idea, considering both his reputed level of genius and his ability to engineer advanced technology; you don't want to kill or hurt him, you don't want to make him defect, and you don't want him to become so disillusioned that he refuses to make anything else. The government has every reason to try to convince Tony to hand over his technology peacefully and convince him to cooperate.
    • Stark is too patriotic to ever defect. In the first movie he had already decided to get out of the weapons business, so it's not like the government had much to fear on that front.
    • Stark would destroy the suits simply because, patriotic as he is, he doesn't trust his government with it. Stark enforces world peace, the U.S. gov't would act like "World Police" (more so than now) and generally take more than they give.
    • Stark would never have a chance to destroy the suits. A lot of the "Stark would fight back/destroy the suits" options here seem to be operating along the assumption that the government would give Stark a few hours notice, maybe wait outside his door while he goes inside to turn them over. If the government had proper impetus to classify the Iron Man as a dangerous nuclear weapon in civilian hands, there would be no subcommittee. Stark would be detained out of armor by a handful of federal agents while several more agents broke into his home and took the suits. There is a level of "dangerous weapon" above which the government does not ask, they take, and string you up on charges for possession. The Iron Man, if classified as a dangerous weapon, would be considered such and, thus, "Mr. Stark, please come with us," would be all the warning Tony would get. Rhodey flat out tells Tony this, and it's implied that the only reason this hasn't happened already is because COL Rhodes keeps vouching for him and bargaining for more time to find a less extreme solution.
    • Even if he had no advance warning, Stark is aware of the possibility. It's possible — and given his paranoia and the strength of his convictions, even likely — that he had some sort of Dead Man's Switch or remote-kill that he keeps on his person. The only reason Rhodes got away with the War Machine was because Tony wanted him to.
    • "JARVIS, initiate Clean Slate." No suits for the government!
    • A likely possibility. After Stane stole his reactor and created the Iron Monger Tony would become even more paranoid. Ivan put explosives in his suit. There's no reason to assume Tony hasn't done the same thing. Also, Pepper is shown talking with Stark Industry's legal division making the kind of 'private property' argument and saying something about having the best lawyers in the business. Even if the "Mr. Stark, please come with us," situation did happen I doubt a judge would look favorably on federal agents seizing private and intellectual property from a private citizen that recently stabilized East-West relations based solely on a weapon which doesn't violate any laws (because it is the first of its kind).
    • The Iron Man armor incorporates a wrist-mounted RPG. That, in and of itself, makes it illegal to own. A case could be made about the repulsors being first-of-its-kind technology, but Stark strapped actual military firepower to the Iron Man as well. This condemns the Iron Man as an illegal weapon even if the rest of it doesn't.
    • You're forgetting that Stark is not only (formerly) the government's premier weapons contractor, but he develops and works on much of the tech he provided personally, so he probably has "special permission" to own RPG's (which he probably builds himself because, let's face it, Tony only works with the best) because he's most likely already working on ways to miniaturize them for use by US troops. Even after he stops making them weapons the government is playing nice and trying to get him to cooperate in sharing his tech voluntarily because they know they can't just take it. Not only is Stark too powerful from a weapons standpoint, but it would also be a political nightmare for everyone involved except Stark who the public would see as an innocent victim of scary, heavy-handed, big brother government bullies.
    • Nick Fury might've been preventing the government from seizing the tech unless there's a viable public reason for it. Remember he was trying to see if Stark was right for the Avengers.
    • As already said, the Government tries the friendly way as they consider for sure the likely possibility that after the Iron Monger Incident Tony prepared for a stunt like an aggressive takeover. And let's say they did try the aggressive way and fail, meaning that he destroyed everything except one suit and escaped with it. And while the USA would be able to freeze a part of his money, he would be able to 'rescue' enough to stay very rich. In the eyes of the Government in that case the worst case scenario would be that Tony goes to China or Russia, is granted asylum there and starts inventing and producing technology for them and using his Iron Man technology for them. The next to worst case would be exactly the same thing, just with any other country instead of China or Russia. Let's say it would be Germany. While it isn't exactly a military force it is Europe's economic powerhouse and while granting Tony Asylum would sour the relations to the USA a lot, it would increase their economic and military power.
    • In a deleted scene we see military technician trying to take the MK-II armor off of Rhodey for modification, only to get sent flying back from an electric shock, prompting Rhodey to remind them that Tony likely took "some precautions" in developing it. In the first movie he even tells Jarvis to keep files of the MK-II onward on the private home server because he doesn't know who he can trust. From this we can conclude that Tony is prepared in the event of the government trying to sieze his property, and likely has kill protocols in place to burn out all the circuitry if he gives the word. If the government tried to sieze the suits, they'd have nothing but empty husks made from a metal composite that's already available. If he can't have it, he'll make sure nobody can have it.

    Vanko Drunkski 
  • Vanko is listed under Vodka Drunkenski, but as I recall, he never once seems to be actually intoxicated. Doesn't the trope imply alcoholism?
    • Yes, and I don't really recall Vanko drinking any more than a sip or two from a cup of unidentified liquid, or possibly (probably) two different cups.
    • Wasn't the first shot of him in the movie Vanko leaning against a door with a vodka bottle dangling from his hand?
    • Yes, but he seemed pretty sober to me.
    • What, are you kidding me? A jail-hardened Russian getting drunk after only one bottle of vodka? Please...

    Mystery of the Melon 
  • How did the girl at the party throw a watermelon that size at least six feet in the air?
    • Um...watermelons aren't that heavy.
    • They're pretty heavy.
    • This sounds like a job for science!
      • Assuming it's an average size watermelon (about 20lbs) it would need 16.5N of force to travel 6 ft. Which is totally doable given that woman's size, position, and technique of throw. For reference: 10N is the force of gravity at sea level for a 1kg object (about 2.2lbs). And she was drunk. And really playing to the crowd. And hanging out with Iron Man you guys.

    The Ex-Wife's failure 
  • Why does the Ex-Wife fail so spectacularly? Non of Hammer's other weapon enhancements to the Mach II failed to meet expectations.
    • Rule of Funny. Plus, I find it hard to believe you could really fit that much power into something the size of a novelty pen.
    • Stark did. First movie, suit's first flight. Look at the movie page's thumbnail image—how did the tank get that way? Yeah. Arm-mounted mini-missile not much larger than the Ex-Wife.
    • All of the other weapon enhancements were made by other companies, as Hammer explicitly states. The Ex-Wife was the only piece of added hardware made by his company, and was the only one to fail. Better question is where all the ammunition was kept to keep multiple machine guns firing during the majority of a several minute battle.
    • Also think about minimum arming distance for a different reason. With a warhead as supposedly powerful as the "Ex-Wife's" would you really want it going off that close to the launcher? It could have been a safety mechanism.
    • It's a "kinetic-kill" weapon. Means it requires significant velocity to do any damage, sort of like an air-dropped bunker buster. Not something that's mere feet from the user.
    • Violation of the Unspoken Plan Guarantee.
    • I like to think the Ex-wife either was a bluff, or merely wasn't designed to take down an armored target less then 50 feet from the launcher. Think about it. Something supposedly so powerful needs a minimum distance to arm, gotta build up speed to have any penetrating power (see Gyrojet guns at The Other Wiki) and... I don't know what else.
    • Other possibilities being the whole 'super tech vs normal tech' or 'super tech vs super tech built by normals'.
    • I doubt it'll happen, but I wanna see the Ex-Wife being used against an actual building. If you think about it, Stark built one of those; it blew up a tank in the first movie. Yeah, Stark's superpower is building improbable stuff; but that demonstrates something like the Ex-wife is actually possible in-world.
    • Fridge Brilliance: The Ex-Wife was, like everything else Hammertech produces, an attempt to copy already-existing Stark technology. And like all Hammertech, it was an abysmal failure at copying Stark technology.
    • When I first saw it, I was sure that Vanko had sabotaged it. He seemed pretty confident that it wasn't going to do anything. Though that's just a theory. It very well may be Hammer being an idiot.
    • Not a bad angle at all, but it is hard to tell sometimes when Hollywood is showing something that's supposed to be a mistake in-universe, and when it's just a mistake the movie's making. Though Rhodes, for his part in that scene, didn't actually veto any of the weapon options. Of course, there could be perfectly legitimate reasons for that!
    • Different weapons have different uses. Shotguns, assault rifles, and pistols have different uses in combat, so Rhodes takes them all for versatility's sake.
    • Exactly. Remember that the suit is presumably to be worn by Rhodes as he leads drones into battles that previously soldiers would have gone into. It would make perfect sense that an Air Force colonel would have a suit with more traditional weaponry. Also, I think part of it was that the general told Rhodes to have the suit armed. Rhodey really didn't want to, but since the general said it was an order to do so, Rhodey may have also wanted to annoy everyone else involved by insisting on the suit being armed to the teeth and somebody actually having to figure out how to make that happen.
    • The most likely immediate use for a suit like War Machine for the US military is going to be as a close-assault platform that would be used to clear out buildings filled with insurgents. In such a scenario, weapons like the grenade launcher and mini gun are actually overkill; room-clearing is shotgun and assault rifle work. The armament that Hammer loads War Machine with seems to be specifically designed for close-quarters assault work. The Ex-Wife is even intended as a bunker-buster first and foremost.
    • As in the comics, the actual name of the War Machine Armor is Variable Threat Response Battle Suit. Key word: variable. It's said from the beginning the suit is intended to provide a response in kind to whatever the enemy is using. Unarmored enemies at short range would get either the 12 gauge shotgun or the 9mm pistols depending on the possible collateral damage, enemies with a bulletproof vest would deal with the assault rifles, enemies at medium to long range would have to deal with either the assault rifles or the mini gun depending on their protection, if they're clustered or behind something they get the grenade launcher, big and armored things (like a tank or a bunker) deals with the Ex-Wife (or whatever replaced it, if the failure was due the design and not Rhodey firing it too near to the target), and something very armored at short range gets the repulsors.
    • Admittedly, most of these weapons do seem to do pretty well against the Hammer drones...which unfortunately raises more problems. "Did he kill an armored killbot with a machine pistol?"
    • As has been noted elsewhere, A) the Hammeroids were showroom models that were apparently rushed into production and weren't complete, and B) Hammer tech sucks.
    • Big guns, good. The smaller guns? More Dakka. 'nuff said.
    • Are we forgetting that the Air Force obviously upgraded the ammo? An F2000 by itself wouldn't have harmed a HAMMER Drone. With a much better ammo type, and at close range, AND probably with mechanical doo-dads that would have had a far more unpleasant effect on an organic target?

    HAMME Rspace 
  • Speaking of ammo, where does War Machine keep it? He's probably firing several thousand rounds during the chase and the ensuing fight(s), and the armor does not have some kind of giant ammo backpack, which it would need to be able to shoot that much.
    • Isn't it obvious? His armor is equipped with HAMMER Space.
    • Stolen, no doubt. Hammer tech sucks.
    • Comic book readers have wondered this exact thing.
    • It is nothing more than a convenient Hand Wave, but technically speaking it is possible that the weapons installed into the suit were not specifically the weapons Hammer presented but merely weapons of the same general type and caliber, in which case they could've used caseless ammunition and a launch system which required less space-intensive resources (perhaps rail guns instead of conventional guns, it's not like the suit wouldn't have power for that). Sure, it still would require a lot of space, but it would be possible to include enough storage space for the ammunition without giving Rhodes a supply track - an add-on backpack or increased in-armor storage would be enough for shorter fights, and considering the army was supposed to later get more of similar suits (or at least they thought so when they took the suit to Hammer), it's not like they wouldn't be able to re-supply them in combat because they would be operating as teams.

    Bust His Bunker 
  • Wasn't it borderline suicidal for Rhodes to even try the Ex-wife missile? It's a supposedly highly powerful missile that can, again, supposedly take out the "bunker under the bunker." Ivan was standing about thirty yards away from them. Using a missile designed to take out bunkers at that range would've killed all three of them if it actually worked.
    • The power of a bunker-buster comes from detonating inside a - relatively - enclosed space, combined with armor-piercing capability, and most people in bunkers won't be walking around in suits of armor that can withstand direct hits from tanks. The Ex-Wife wasn't nuclear-tipped, so the explosion itself wouldn't be anything the Iron Man suits couldn't handle, especially as the blast would be dispersed in all directions if it detonated, exposing the armors to only a fraction of the energy.
    • More likely, if the Ex-Wife had worked as advertised, it wouldn't have even exploded when it hit Vanko - it likely would have simply punched through his armor and continued on. That's what bunker-busters do - they're designed to penetrate armor and go deep down to blow up hardened targets. Against Vanko, it would have been like a very powerful and large armor-piercing round, and likely would have liquefied his body, continued on, hit the back wall of the garden area they were in, and then explode. And even if it exploded against Vanko's armor, the garden was very wide-open; the danger of a bunker-buster comes from the fact that bunkers are very enclosed and underground. The corridors and rooms channel the force of the blast, and the concussive shockwave collapses the tunnels and walls to bury the people inside. Not only are the Iron Man suits pretty resistant to concussive force, but they're in an open area that gives the blast space to escape. On the surface, in open air, the bunker-buster is going to have a fraction of the killing power it would have underground.
    • Maybe Rhodey hadn't actually read the instructions: as it was a "kinetic-kill, Side-winder vehicle with a secondary cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine RDX burst" weapon (and Hammer was obviously reading from the specs sheet, so he was saying exactly what the thing was supposed to do), Rhodey figured it would have at least penetrated Vanko's armor before exploding, and the armors would have protected him and Tony from the blast escaping the inside of the target (assuming it didn't explode after piercing him). This could also explain why it didn't work: when it hit Vanko it was still building up the speed it needed for the job and arming the warhead, and when it impacted far before it had the necessary speed it simply bounced on Vanko's armor, with safeties preventing the secondary RDX charge from detonating in Vanko's face.
    • That just creates another issue: Rhodey's a fighter pilot and a jet fighter's shortest-range missile has a minimum range of just under 1 kilometer. He should be entirely used to weapons that have a minimum range to be useful when fired.

    Oh Hai Ivan 
  • At one point, Vanko is on the phone with Hammer, who is playing golf with the Senator-dude. Hammer says Ivan's name right next to the Senator who is lining up for a putt. Having been in the news lately Ivan's name wouldn't be too far from the Senator's mind. Don't you think he would have at least looked over and asked, "who are you talking to?" Maybe the Senator knew Hammer was working with Vanko, but there's no indication that he's that evil.
    • Because there's more than one man in the world named "Ivan?" I mean, come on, its only a name possessed by about a million Russian men. What's the Senator supposed to do when he overhears Hammer chatting with one of his employees who has a common Russian name? Think that he's actually conversing with a murderous criminal who is supposed to be dead, with a body and uniform to confirm it?
    • Alternatively, given the fact that said Senator is revealed to be an member of Hydra in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, he might have been completely aware of who Hammer was talking to and was simply going along with it (if not clandestinely supporting it). Foreshadowing maybe...

    Assuming Direct Control 
  • At the end of the movie Ivan takes control of the drones. Understandable, he did make them after all. How on EARTH does he control War Machine. He didn't work on WM it was made by Hammer and the Military, not to mention it's a SUIT that has never been shown to operate autonomously (in the movies at least) otherwise surely Tony would've had an auto suit on stand by for things like the race track. Is this just a case of extreme hacker skills handwave? He's somehow able to remotely jack Rhodey's suit?
    • War Machine was being modified by Hammertech with weapons supplied by Hammertech. That means that Hammertech had to have installed the modified weapons and that would mean Hammertech software at least for targeting - probably more. I wouldn't put it past Hammertech to have completely replaced the OS - in which case, Vanko could have taken control.
    • Actually, when they bring Hammer in to upgrade the suit, before he starts laying out weapons, the first thing he does is talk about upgrading the software, before the military tells him, "We need more guns". And, since apparently Hammer people suck at software writing, and Vanko was clearly planning on making his own, who's to say they didn't steal the drone software to put in War Machine.

    Is Rhodey's Concern Reasonable? 
  • Was another else bothered by Rhodey's Character Development? Even ignoring the actor swap (I MUCH preferred the first Rhodes over the second one), he becomes a pretty substantial jerk, acting nothing like he did in the first one. He was also completely out of line at the party. Taking the suit to get the guests to leave was one thing, but actually initiating a fight with Tony (who was roaring drunk) was wayyyyyyy out of line, especially when 1) it's Tony's house, 2)it's Tony's suit (which Rhodes STOLE; TWICE) and 3)the ensuing battle did WAY more damage than Tony would have done by himself, even if inebriated. Sure he was mad, but his actions are completely unjustifiable and unforgivable. I liked Rhodes in the first movie, but I absolutely hate him in the second.
    • Tony is shitfaced drunk in what is essentially a weapon of mass destruction. If someone was drunk at the wheels of a tank or a jet, you'd be justified in stopping them, let alone a supersonic war machine that quite literally cannot be stopped by any modern weapons system. Tony is showing ridiculous levels of irresponsibility by parading around shitfaced while wearing the most powerful weapon in history - and he consciously made the choice to do that. It would be irresponsible of Rhodes to not stop him. Rhodes was acting in response to Tony's suicidal, destructive tendencies. This is especially important, as Tony Stark has been arguing that he is the only one responsible enough to use his technology, yet he then starts stomping around in it while ridiculously inebriated. That's not the behavior of the kind of person who's entrusted to enforce world peace. Also, he didn't steal the technology; as Nick Fury points out a scene later, Tony could have easily prevented Rhodes from taking his suit, but he didn't. He wanted Rhodes to take the suit.
    • Watch the party scene again: Stark randomly fires off a beam that could have killed somebody while drunk. And you're seriously going to call Rhodes on stepping in and literally beating some sense into Tony for being that damned irresponsible with his flying suit of indestructibility? And more importantly, Tony is the one who starts the fight int he first place. Rhodes walks in, runs the guests out, and tells Tony that he's acting irresponsible and to shut off his suit. Tony's response is to turn around, tell the DJ to turn up the music so he can "beat my buddy's ass." Rhodes grabs Tony and demands he shut off his suit, and then Tony starts with the violence. in other words, Rhodes makes the - entirely reasonable - demand that Tony stop being an irresponsible jerk with his suit, and Tony responds to this by attacking him. In this case, Stark is definitely the instigator of the fight, and Rhodes was perfectly in the right to stop him.
    • Also remember that Rhodes is Stark's best friend. Despite being very pissed at him at that moment, the last thing Rhodey probably wants to see is Tony hurt himself, live with guilt of hurting someone else, or forcing an incident that will leave the government no choice but to step in and take the Iron Man Tech by force. Look at how the incident goes. First thing Rhodey does is order all the partygoers, i.e. all the potential innocent bystanders and potential witnesses, out of the area. He then orders Stark to shut down the suit. He then attempts to restrain Stark. It's, within the realms of a comic book movie about two suits of powered armor, a fairly fair representation of escalation of force. It's not like he swopped in and knocked Tony across the room as his first choice. And remember Rhodes is a high ranking military official and in his report to the Senate Committee says that he sees the benefits of Iron Man to national security. He's a soldier and a patriot and doesn't want the United States to loose the strategic advantage of Iron Man or Stark's genius. It's one part "This is for your own good buddy", one part "Straighten up Soldier!", and one part "What the hell hero?"
    • Don't forget that the entire reason why SHIELD intervenes here is because Tony Stark himself is getting out of control. It's a major part of the movie, and it's why Nick Fury himself rolls in and talks to Stark face-to-face and why they confine his to his home until he can shape up. Tony is self-destructive and everyone else is worried that he's going to implode and kill many innocents in the process.
    • Of course Tony was being completely irresponsible with the suit, no one's arguing that. It's just that once Rhodey showed up in the other suit and everyone fled, the danger was pretty much gone. No danger of anyone getting hurt, and no drunk crowd egging him on and throwing watermelons for him to blast. Things pretty much ended at that point, yet Rhodey kept pushing him. The entire fight could've been avoided if Rhodey had just left after that point, sparing Tony's house from being blown up and his suit being stolen (which was a total dick move on Rhodey's part which also led to his technology falling in the wrong hands). Of course, if that stuff didn't happen, then the last half of the movie sorta wouldn't exist, but I still think that Rhodey was a much bigger jerkass than was EVER hinted at in the first movie.
    • Stark is still drunk and he's still wearing his suit, and he's already proven that he is not worthy of possessing the suit and his self-declared position as a one-man peacekeeper. Remember that the entire platform on which Tony is maintaining that he keep sole possession of his technology is that he is the only one responsible enough to use it. And yet here he is, parading around in an unstoppable war machine while piss drunk. That isn't the behavior of the kind of person that you entrust to possess a flying super powered weapons system. It doesn't matter that the guests had left; the moment Tony Stark decided to get into his suit while completely shitfaced, he proved he was incapable of using his suit responsibly. That was why Rhodes physically intervened, demanded he shut the suit down, and took it afterwards. More importantly, as Nick Fury notes in the diner scene, Tony let Rhodes leave with the suit, precisely because he realized how out of control and self-destructive he was. That's why later on, SHIELD forces Tony into house arrest until he got over his suicidal, self-destructive urges and began acting like the responsible man he was supposed to be. Stark's own actions led to Rhodes doing what was necessary to prevent a suicidal and irresponsible man from misusing the technology.
    • Another reason is that, before entering the party, Rhodey is on the phone with his superiors, personally assuring them that it won't be necessary to intervene to get Tony to co-operate. As he tells Pepper when he sees how Tony's acting, he stuck his neck out for him.

    Strawman Government? 
  • The major premise of this movie has always bugged me: Tony Stark is an alcoholic, lecherous and possibly emotionally disturbed, person. Why would the government be seen as the "villain" for not wanting such an obvious human train wreck to have weapon in the possession that could destroy a small city?
    • Who said they were the "villain"? If anything, the concerns of the government are presented as perfectly reasonable in the movie, especially as Stark continues to cause more and more damage due to his self-destructive nature. Its just that since Stark is the main character, and the Senator is opposed to him, he's presented as an obstacle, not necessarily as a villain. There's a reason why we have concepts like the Hero Antagonist. Just because you stand in opposition to the hero doesn't mean you're a villain.
    • For one thing, because they're trying to take something that isn't theirs. It strikes right at the heart of the average American's fear of getting eminent domained right out of the house they've lived in for years. For another, because Tony's drinking (the only one of Tony's problems that could have possibly justified taking the Iron Man suit away from him) didn't get out of control until much later in the movie. At that point the government had given up trying to take the suit by force and had started trying to persuade him to share the technology with the military (that's why Rhodey came over to talk to Tony at his house, IIRC).
    • From what I saw, the drive to take the Iron Man armor away was politically motivated. When the politician brings in Rhodes to the hearing, he asks Rhodes to quote very specific passages that he obviously chose to favor his argument. Rhodes repeatedly points this out. When Tony Stark shows the hearing samples of the failure of other nations to create powered armor, he quickly asks that they turn it off. The villainy of the government lies in this man's efforts to get the armor turned over to him.
    • Also, note that the Senator is shown golfing with Hammer later on in the movie, and talking business. It is implied that part of his motivation is his apparent business dealings with Hammer.
    • 1) Tony Stark in the movies is not an alcoholic. He is shown actually drunk all of once, and may or may not be faking it. 2) Him being a lech means that he shouldn't be allowed to own weaponry? Slut-shaming much? 3) Emotionally disturbed? ... Accurate. 4) If the government was trying to tell Tony he couldn't fly around in his suit, at the very least over American airspace or any airspace controlled by them, that would be one thing. They're not. They're saying "Give us that suit that you designed, invented, and built. For free. It's ours now, because we want it." They didn't design it, they didn't build it, they didn't buy it from him, it's Tony's property and they can go fuck themselves.
    • Also, Senator Stern, the guy spearheading the push to take the Iron Man suit, is a HYDRA agent, which kind of makes the whole thing look a hell of a lot more unpalatable in hindsight.
    • We don't know he's a HYDRA Agent until Cap 2. Which I think they added specifically to negate any valid point from this movie.
    • That's debatable, even if Stern wasn't planned to be a HYDRA agent when this movie first came out, his actions throughout the movie show that his concerns over the Iron Man suit weren't really motivated by any actual care for the public. For instance, as mentioned above, Stern asks Rhodes to read specific passages from his report that favor his arguments, so Stern had already negated most of the valid points before the reveal that he was a HYDRA agent.

    Not So Instant Pilot 
  • Would it have killed them to have shown a brief montage of Stark training or using the suit to explain why (and how) he's become so proficient w/ the armor?
    • Yeah, its not like they showed him practicing with the thruster system, which is the most complex part of the suit that he'd doubtless need to work on.
    • So (and no sarcasm as it really rather pointless to be sarcastic about it) hovering around inside a building for a few minutes actually makes it possible for someone to: 1) Fly across the Earth in an armored suit that has neither stabilizing wings nor that is aerodynamically built? 20 Engage armed opponents, including a tank? 3)Fly through a densely packed urban area avoiding and chasing drones? 4) Fly through an opening in a ceiling and land exactly on a mark on a stage? W/ staggering, stumbling, etc? A brief montage would have made that a little easier to believe?
    • Why do we need a montage for all of that? In the first movie, Tony Stark spent three months preparing his new suit. It can safely be assumed that he was practicing with the suit, as evidence by, y'know, the fact that they showed him testing it. In the second movie, six more months have passed. Again, we can safely assume that Stark has been practicing with his suit.
    • Don't forget that Tony was also programming the suit's OS, along with its controls, and he has JARVIS installed on the suit's computers as well, which would doubtless be a big help in making flight a whole lot easier for Tony. JARVIS does appear to handle a lot of the more complicated aspects of the suit's flight.
    • They should have faded to black, that's how you know more time has passed on a montage.

    Your Suit Gets a Ticket 
  • Wouldn't Stark be looking at a DUI for flying the suit while impaired?
    • He never flies the suit while drunk in the movie. The only time he operates the suit while not sober results in Rhodes beating the crap out of him and relieving him of his technology, and SHIELD putting him under house arrest.
    • Do DUI laws even apply to flying power-armor?
    • Yes, it's illegal to fly any aircraft under the influence. Although I'm not sure what category of aircraft power armor actually is...
    • Well, yeah, that's kinda my point. The Iron Man armor is quite literally unlike any other piece of technology on the face of the Earth. What would it be classified as under US law? It's very likely the Iron Man armor falls into a crack between vehicle classifications. And even if it doesn't, Tony Stark's high-priced lawyers could easily tie the case up in court for years arguing that it does. Regardless, even if Tony did fly the suit while drunk (and I don't remember him doing that), he didn't hurt anybody or damage anything other than his own personal property while drunk in the Iron Man armor. And he wasn't pulled over in mid-flight for a field sobriety test. So, no one was hurt, nothing was damaged, and he wasn't caught in the act. That's a pretty poor basis for a DUI charge.
    • DUI doesn't depend on who was hurt or whether anything was damaged. Both of those are completely irrelevant to such a charge, and DUI is a crime to prevent hurting or damaging people or things. He may not have been "pulled over," but he's clearly drunk at the party, in the suit, which means he's intoxicated operating a vehicle and using weapons. Even if there isn't a specific classification for what, exactly, the suit is, it is clearly both an aircraft and a weapon, and lawyers or not, it's not going to be difficult to show it's dangerous to do that.
    • That's a pretty big stretch. By that logic, you could charge someone with a DUI just for sitting in a car after they've had a few drinks. Which is why I question whether DUI laws even apply to the Iron Man armor. It's not a motor vehicle or an aircraft in the traditional sense of the term. Do DUI laws even apply to it? We don't know. Additionally, Tony was operating the armor on his own property, meaning he has a lot more latitude in what he can do with it, just as you have a lot more latitude in what you can do with your car on your own property (for instance, you don't need car insurance or even a license to drive a car on your own property). And the fact that Tony was not caught in the act can't simply be blithely dismissed. Even if Tony was technically guilty of a DUI, he wasn't caught. And a DUI is the kind of charge that you really do need to be caught doing in order to be charged with it. Finally, even if DUI laws apply to the Iron Man armor, even if Tony had been caught in the act, the fact that no one was hurt means at most he'd be looking at a misdemeanor, which a team of high-priced lawyers could easily knock down to community service.
    • You can charge someone with a DUI just for sitting in a car after they've had a few drinks, as long as they're in the driver's seat (and in some states, they may need to have the keys in the ignition). The whole point of the Iron Man system is that it's a life support machine (a pacemaker with an add-on Mobility Enhancement Device) on Tim Taylor Technology. The suit is not a car, the suit is not a gun, for someone's sake the suit is no an aircraft. It can be divided into these parts: 1: Repulsors, 2: Computers, 3: Arc reactor, 4: Exoskeleton and motive system. The computers are nothing new, unless you count Jarvis. The exoskeleton and motive system are good, but they're just pieces of metal and the electric motors/hydraulics/etc. used to control them, and as long as Tony doesn't try to drive it down a public street it's not breaking any vehicular laws (other than no-fly zones, if he doesn't plan ahead for that). The important things are the arc reactor and the repulsors. The miniaturized arc reactor is nuclear power, but it is cold nuclear power, and as far as anyone but Tony knows it is still clean energy (based on the full-sized, perfectly functional arc reactor), and the repulsors are, again, something totally new and have yet to be graded as weapons (or even to be determined weapons, since other tools like a wrecking ball or a bolt gun are just as or more deadly but generally do not count as weapons beyond "Improvised Weapon" status). That is the entire point of the second movie: That the Iron Man system is currently unregulated and a potential security threat to the United States and civilization in general, and they need to decide whether to ask politely for it and leave Tony alone if he refuses or demand it and send the tanks after him if he refuses. Whether Tony gets a drunk driving ticket or not depends on whether or not the courts decide that riding the Iron man suit at altitude is considered driving or flying (newfangled repulsory-thingies are technically neither flying not jet propulsion until they are deemed so), and they haven't gotten around to that molehill because of the mountain they need to flatten first.
    • And like all other crimes, being charged with a DUI is entirely dependent on one thing: GETTING CAUGHT. I want to meet the traffic cop or FAA inspector with the balls to issue a DUI summons to Iron Man, even before it became known that this vigilante who spends his days beating criminals to a pulp with his titanium-encrusted hands was really one of the richest, most influential men in the world.
    • Common law (which is what most of the US uses) is about the adaptive interpretation of statutes and precedent. Sure, there might not have been a law on the books saying, "It is a felony to fly an arc-reactor powered suit across state lines," or whatever, but plenty of laws, even if they don't explicitly prohibit a given behavior, can be reasonable be interpreted to prohibit that behavior. Judges are always applying laws in novel ways. Saying that Iron Man isn't committing a DUI because the suit doesn't run on gasoline won't go far with most judges - it's like saying that the Fourth Amendment doesn't provide at least some right against the search of your computer by the government since it's not "papers." Also, as an entirely separate matter, this is the MARVEL UNIVERSE. Even if studio contracts mean that Spider-Man doesn't exist here, this IS the same universe that features the Hulk and Thor and Captain America. It's almost impossible to think that there aren't going to be laws on the books related to superhuman behavior one way or another.
    • Sounds like this Headscratcher may have to wait to be resolved until some idiot in Real Life gets busted for using a wing suit while drunk, and we find out how the legal system deals with it.

    Give the Inferior Suit 
  • Why was Rhodes given the silver armor? it's established that Stark gave him access to a suit to be a successor, so why give him an outdated one? A shot of the old suits is shown when Jarvis is introduced in the sequel, and there are 2 gold and titanium ones. Assuming Stark is wearing the latest one at the party, where is the other one?
    • Judging by its performance, the suit Rhodes used has the same specs as the current Iron Man armor. We can safely assume that Tony upgraded the Mark II suit to equal his current model, though likely without the extra weaponry. The only real difference between the two was the icing issue anyway, and Tony could easily have that fixed via automated assembly.
    • If you watch the opening where Jarvis showed the 4 suits, Mk 1 was a reproduction (and besides, who would want that?), Mk 3 was battle damaged after the events of the first movie, presumably, Tony didn't repair it and just created Mk 4. During the party, he was wearing it. The Mk 5 (suitcase armor) was damaged and even if it wasn't it was most likely some where else. meaning, the only viable option for Rhodey was the Mk 2
    • Because he didn't? "Tony gave Rhodes one of his suits" is, by all indications, an elaborate piece of fanon. It's frequently cited on this very page, but at no point does the movie even suggest such a thing. The one point that is commonly alluded to, Fury's remarks that it shouldn't have been possible for Rhodey to take the suit, is actually taken woefully out of context; when Fury brings it up, he's sarcastically chiding Stark for his irresponsibility shortly before placing him under house arrest. "He just TOOK it? Little brother just walks in and TAKES your suit? Is that even possible?" With Widow chiming in, "Not according to HIM, sir," emphasis on Stark. They're not hinting that Tony deliberately gave Rhodey a suit, they're chewing him out over the fact that, just a day or two ago, Tony went before a Senate committee saying nobody but him could possibly have access to an Iron Man suit, and now Rhodey just walked in, beat the shit out of Stark, and took an Iron Man suit. They're telling him that his comments at the subcommittee were so full of shit that it's now bleeding out of every orifice, not congratulating him for a clever ploy, but the fanbase has latched onto a very bizarre interpretation that actively contradicts Stark's entire character, as well as his actions both immediately before (verbally and then physically attacking Rhodey for wearing one of his armors) and after (demanding Rhodey return the War Machine once the battle is over, to which Rhodey refuses and flies away). All indications of Stark's behavior says no, Tony NEVER wanted to give Rhodey a suit, and Rhodey just happened to pick the silver one.
    • Actually, Widow says that Stark's suits and facility have countermeasures against illegal use of his suits. She's not saying that Stark "said no one can do that", she (who btw has had access to stark's house for months at this point, being his personal entourage etc) is explicitly saying that Stark's facility and suits won't allow anyone to pilot them who Stark hasn't ok'd.
    • Not so sure on that. I think both interpretations have merit, but the idea of Tony giving Rhodes the suit is definitely not "fanon." It is strongly indicated that Tony really wanted to give Rhodes the suit, but that the brawl between them was how it eventually broke down. It fits with his characterization up to that point in the movie, where he's been deliberately working on his legacy. Remember that at that point in the story, Tony is fatalistic and convinced he will die soon, so he is giving Pepper total control over his company and working heavily on creating new technology for the future. When Tony and Rhodes are fighting, Tony repeatedly makes accusations about Rhodes taking the suit, and repeatedly challenges him regarding the suit. "Now put that thing back where you found it before someone gets hurt," "Sorry, but iron Man doesn't have a sidekick," and especially "You think you have what it takes to wear that suit? (...) You want to be the War Machine, take the shot!" Does that sound like the dialogue of someone who is actively trying to prevent someone from taking the suit, or the dialogue of someone challenging someone to take the suit from him? And Tony was in full control of his faculties while fighting Rhodes (accurately plugging a moving target while using a mirror as your only reference is not something that you can do while anywhere near as piss-drunk as Tony was apparently during that scene) so if he had wanted to take the suit back, he easily could have just taken control of it remotely and shut it down. And upon rewatching the scene in question with Fury, Fury's own words: "You've been very busy. You made your girl your CEO, you're giving away all your stuff, and you let your friend fly away with your suit!" Then Tony rebuffs him by saying it was taken, and then Fury responds by rebuffing him. "He just took it? You're Iron Man and he just took it? Little brother just walked in, kicked your ass, and took your suit. Is that right?" And then Romanov replies by saying that "According to Stark Industries database guidelines, there are redundancies in place to prevent unauthorized use." The entire scene reads like Fury is making it clear that Tony let Rhodes take the suit, and his accusations are a rebuff against the claim that the suit was stolen. And immediately after that, they start discussing the Stark legacy. I don't see how that scene can be anything but a clear statement that Stark let Rhodes take the suit, especially when they lead into it by talking about all the other stuff Tony is doing regarding his legacy. Coupled with the dialogue during the fight with Rhodes and the rest of the material in the first half of the movie, it's clear that Tony gave Rhodes the suit.
    • Another point to consider is that Tony Stark was dying, and he handed Stark International to Pepper because he did not want it to die with him. It isn't much unlikely that, if he had plans for Stark International, then he should had also plans for Iron Man. Someone should inherit the suits and continue doing the Iron Man work, and Jim Rhodes was the most logical option. Then, it also becomes logical that he built a model for someone without an arc reactor in the chest, and gave him the rights to wear a suit (have in mind that JARVIS did not warn Stark that Rhodes was taking the suit). But surely the plan was that Rhodes took it after Stark's death, and things changed with Stark drunk scene, and then the discovery that saved his life.
    • One point in favor of "Stark wanted Rhodey to have a suit" theory is that in the first movie, Stark all but explicitly offered Rhodey the suit before he ever built it. When he visits Rhodey at the Air Force base to speak to him, he's asking Rhodey to ditch the USAF and come in on him with something — he doesn't say it outright, but it's not hard to read between the lines that Stark initially wants Rhodey to be in the suit, not him.

    Widow's Bad Advice 
  • If Black Widow was aware of Stark's condition, and was an agent of SHIELD, wasn't it a bit stupid of her to just tell him to cut loose? No "well, who says it is (your last birthday)? I think you might want to talk to someone, you remember Nick Fury? He has some stuff for you, it might be the difference you need"?
    • Arguably, that was the point. Black Widow wanted Tony to do what he did in order to make it clear to him just how far he was falling. If she'd approached him before he wrecked his house and got into a brawl with his friend, he might have blown Nick Fury off. It isn't until Rhodes attacks him and takes his suit that he realizes how far he's gone, and is wiling to hear Fury out. It's cold and manipulative, but that's within SHIELD's methodology, and it works.
    • It was a test. Tony had main options - do something stupid and safe (get rip roaringly drunk and party his ass off) or something stupid and dangerous (what he did). One shows he has a serious issue with self control, the other doesn't. She was evaluating him for SHIELD, to test his fitness for the Avengers Initiative. Hard to think of a test more illuminating than that.
    • Both good points. It is quite lucky that nobody was killed though.
    • Or she's just kind of a bitch and did it knowing she'd be able to slam him for it on her report.
    • Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. He asked her for some advice and she gave it. At no point did she tell him to get piss drunk and then operate a weapon of mass destruction, and when he does, she seems to be just as flustered by it as everyone else. She probably just expected him to get drunk and nail Pepper or something.
    • That certainly would've been my choice. Her "do whatever I want with whoever I wanted" made me expect that Tony was about to do something wildly romantic, but then of course he had to go be a Jerkass- which was the point of his character arc. But Natasha's advice in no way compelled Stark to do what he did, it was his own character that led him there. Maybe he didn't want to break Pepper's heart by romancing her and then dying on her??
      • Tony already tried to do something wildly romantic before ever having the well poisoned by Natasha. He practically begged Pepper to blow off the party and go somewhere with him so they could be alone together, where he presumably would have worked up the courage to tell her. Pepper blew him off, which probably largely contributed to him feeling like he was alone and had nothing better to do than make an ass of himself at the party.

    Reactor For Rhodey 
  • How did Rhodes get into the Mark II suit without getting an arc reactor jammed into his chest and leaving a gaping hole there?
    • If you'd bothered to read the rest of this page, you'd see that somewhere we talked about exactly this. Obviously, Stark modified the design.
    • It is even clearly shown when Rhodes is extracting the Arc Reactor from the War Machine suit that the design was modified.
    • Note that the original suit did not jam an arc reactor into the operator's chest either. It ran off Tony's reactor that was already in his chest. The newer designs operate with their own discrete reactors contained in the chest plate; when the reactor is being extracted from the Mark II suit, the reactor is housed in a mount in the chest plate.

    Why Not Market JARVIS? 
  • So, Stark has a stable, sapient, useful and friendly AI... why do we (or in-universe, the US Government) care about anything else he's designed? More importantly why does everyone in-universe not focus on this?
    • Is JARVIS really sapient? He doesn't seem to have a will of his own.
    • And who's to say he hasn't already sold a (presumably less advanced) version of JARVIS to the government? They'd probably use him for top secret, highly sensitive military/ covert operations, so the general public wouldn't know about it (and random houseguests of Tony's probably don't know how smart JARVIS is, on that front- he really only acts like a person when it's just Tony there).
    • Don't be surprised if there's a "Dum Dum" or "Clay Quartermain" A.I. in the Avengers movie
    • JARVIS is not for sale because Tony Stark is useless.
    • Tony has clearly allowed less fully personality-endowed versions of his AI to be used at least by government agencies. The AI in Nick Fury's car in Winter Soldier is obviously roughly JARVIS-level just without the personality to snark. Probably you just need a "high-tech secret agency" level computer to run one.

    The "Invincible" Iron Man? 
  • Why is it that prior to Vanko everyone thought the Iron Man suits were invincible? The weapons and armor are advanced, sure, but not total game changers—it's the mini-arc reactor that's the real accomplishment. In the 1st movie, two F-22s are treated as a viable threat to the Mark III and Stane's Iron Monger had clearly beaten the Mark III in combat (though how much the public knew about that one is debatable). The reactor allows you to bring a large amount of firepower to an area quickly in a small package, but the armor itself is proven to have limits.
    • Several reasons. Most importantly, a new weapons system doesn't have to be invincible to be a game changer. Battles can be won or lost based on incredibly minor advantages. A radar that has a range of only a few miles more then the enemies gives you a decisive advantage. You don't have to invent a radar that can see a million miles to have the drop on an enemy whose radar only sees 100 miles. You only need a radar that can see 101 miles. Secondly, it's a matter of perception. War is as much psychological as it is military. As much, maybe even more so, then the Iron Man tech being powerful, it's new. If you know how to fight a fighter jet or tank or aircraft carrier, you don't usually have to rethink your entire strategy to fight a slightly more powerful fighter jet or tank or aircraft carrier. But they don't teach "Anti-Powered-Armor-Suit" warfare at West Point. It's not just fighting a new weapon, it's fighting a whole new kind of weapons platform. Also, there's logistics. The Iron Man armor is practically 100% self contained. Jets need fuel, tanks need ammo, vehicles need parts. The Iron Man suit needs no fuel (from a tactical perspective, that is), doesn't use ammo for its primary weapons, doesn't need roads or runways or a support crew or whatnot. It takes a half day of maintenance to keep certain military aircraft in the air for an hour. Wars have been won by disrupting supply lines and destroying fuel refineries more often then they've been won by destroying the enemy's forces. The Iron Man armor is instantly deployable, virtually logistics free, packed to the gills with advanced weapons. No, it's hardly invincible, the two F-22 Raptors probably were a viable threat to it, but you can be a game changer at a level a lot lower then invincible.
    • The only reason the [F-22s] were even a threat to the Mark III was because Tony was not trying to shoot them down. Even then, he took a missile, multiple hits from the fighter's guns, and a direct collision without it being more than an inconvenience, and this was after taking a direct hit from a tank. If he'd wanted to, Tony could have swatted both fighters from the sky without any issue. That alone would be a pretty impressive weapon, even without factoring in all the other capabilities the suits have. With such a suit available, one could launch a special forces raid from anywhere on the globe with hours' notice to anywhere else, with firepower equivalent to both a bomber squadron and a tank battalion. No conventional force can deal with something like that without both armor and arc reactors of their own.
    • Well, exactly how much damage the Iron Man Armor could take is never directly stated in the film, but at the end of the day it's still just a physical object. Apply enough force to an object and it will take damage, that's simple physics. Yeah, maybe it could shrug off a few modern Air to Air missiles and machine gun rounds from a jet, but sooner or later, if enough firepower gets thrown at the Iron Man armor, something would have to give.
    • Given the amount of firepower Iron Man has taken hits from, you'd probably need something along the lines of 30 top of the line tanks firing at one simultaneously to actually take down a suit of Iron man armor. Of course now you run into the problem of getting that much firepower in place long enough to do such a thing, without any of said tanks being reduced to scrap metal. Plus, you have to make sure that the suit stays in one place so you can shoot it. Basically, throw enough firepower at an Iron man suit and the armor will go down, the trick is being able to hit it with that much firepower in the first place! If you don't consider that a game changer, then I have to ask: what the hell do you consider to be a game changer?!
    • It's still shrugged off a direct hit from a modern, probably Stark Industries-designed tank. That pretty much establishes it as the most durable aircraft in the world, and it is capable of matching/exceeding an F-22 in air-to-air combat. In terms of speed, durability, and versatility, it's probably the best weapon in the world by far. Sure, if you throw enough firepower at it, the armor will likely go down, but with its sheer range, speed, and durability, it can pretty much engage and disengage at will. Now imagine entire squadrons of these things.
    • The Iron Man suit isn't a game changer?! That one piece of equipment has obsoleted every other weapon platform on the planet. Granted, it can't deliver indirect fire, but that's pretty much it. It is more heavily armored than a tank, more maneuverable than a helicopter, faster than a fighter jet, can perform all infantry duties, is capable of destroying pretty much any target encountered in a modern war and has a near-infinite ammo supply for at least one weapon (repulsors). How in the name of all things good and holy is that not a game changer?
      • Agreed. The very first version of the suit built and equipped for actual combat is capable of taking down a heavily-armed war band and completely decimating it with almost no effort. It gets shot by a tank and gets up, destroys the tank, and walks away. And that was Tony's first serious effort, without refining or further polishing. It's also human sized and thus nearly invisible to most detection until it's already on you. Any nation that had a hundred or so of the things would only be held back from conquering the world by 1) its own ethics and 2) the threat of getting nuked if they didn't call their Iron Army off. Tony's comparison of it to a nuclear deterrent is not at all unwarranted.
    • I'm just going to point out that Iron Man didn't straight up tank that air-to-air missile, he deployed flares. It was an indirect hit at best. He also made significant effort to avoid taking direct fire from the F-22's guns, and what (glancing) hits did get through seemed to cause significant damage, though it was hard to tell. He deployed flaps as soon as he took those glancing hits and realized dodging wasn't going to cut it, he was clearly scared of the Raptor's firepower. He was risking his life to save the guy with the failed parachute, if the other F-22 had opened up on him... So no. No 30 top of the line tanks. I'd say 5 could do, assuming the target was standing still. Or 2-3 landing multiple hits in succession. Also, who says the Ten Rings - AKA, terrorist/warlord - tank was top-of-the-line? As I've heard from folks with an interest in this stuff, last-generation weapons tend to get straight-up no-sold by more modern stuff, especially where it comes to armor. You try taking a WWII era missile launcher to a modern-day American tank. See how good you end up looking.
      • None of this negates its logistical advantages, or versatility ones. An army of 100 Iron Men would certainly be something to be scared of, and a significant military threat. But 100 Iron Men vs. 50 F-22 Raptors? Yeah, my money's on the Raptors. Especially with range taken into account, a realistic Raptor could snipe an Iron Man suit from over the horizon.
      • note This kinda changes with later generation suits with cluster-anti-amour missiles and light-armor-shredding laser beams, but... that could be argued to be more "Stark weapons are awesome" and less "Iron Man is awesome" since if you can fit such big booms into such tiny missiles... imagine what could be fit onto a jet-mounted missile? Oh wait, we don't have to. Stark showed us. Jericho. Tell me that couldn't kill a shoddy Iron Man knockoff (if all the blasts were focused on him). Whiplash vs. a Jericho-mounted F22? Yeah... your whips can only save you from one sub-munition, buddy. And that's if they're not proximity-detonated.
    • Ok, maybe 30 top of the line tanks was a bit too much, but when you have to resort to anti-tank level weapons at minimum to have a chance at hurting what is essentially an infantry suit, that's already basically invincible. And that's not even getting into the problem of actually hitting the suit, since it can move pretty damn quickly when it wants to, not to mention flares and possible jamming tech that could be installed as well. In regards to the 100 suits vs 50 Raptors... I somehow doubt the Raptors would win, but I'm not an expert in military tech, so I can't say for sure. That said, does 'over the horizon' mean with the auto cannons or just missiles, because if it's just the latter, I have a hard time believing that the Iron Man suits wouldn't notice that in advance. But perhaps you're correct, and the Raptors would ultimately win, they'll still take casualties in that battle, far more than the brass would like. Bottom line, yes, if you throw enough firepower at the suit, it will fall, but the fact that you have to use weapons meant for destroying armored vehicles at an infantry sized target, with high probabilities of missing, combined with the fact that the suit is equipped with such an array of deadly weapons and is so versatile in mission profile... well it's a small wonder that the militaries of the world would be drooling over it. TL;DR: Yes, conventional military technology could destroy an Iron Man suit, but it sure as hell wouldn't be an easy task.
    • I meant missiles, and that's true enough. F-22s are air-superiority fighters designed to have stealth out the wazzu, but yeah, missiles could still be seen coming. But all I'm saying is, just making "a suit" doesn't make magic, a lot of "magic" goes into the Iron Man suit - repulsors, the Arc Reactor, those shoulder-snipers, the anti-tank missiles, the lasers... all different bits of hilariously OP Starktech. None of which is unique to an Iron Man suit. All of those weapons could be mounted on something else - imagine an F-22 with those laser beams. I guess all I'm saying is what Stark's already said - he isn't Iron Man because he has the suit, he's Iron Man because he is Iron Man. He made all the tech, and he can keep doing it. You saw Hammer and Korea's hilarious fails at matching him, and Vanko's... not so hilarious narrow failure. Meanwhile his suits keep getting stronger and stronger in leaps and bounds.
    • Also, public perception. That is all. Ordinary-ass civilians won't be calculating the estimated utilities and lethalities of all of Iron Man's weapons - if they even have the (mis)fortune to (be in a situation where they would) see them all in use - they'll be too busy going "holy crap, it's Iron Man". And with both Tony's deliberate secrecy and the simple fact that only so many people have seen the Iron Man armor in action, no-one would even know if that is all the weapons even if they did. All Iron Man's "average" opponent or witness sees is Iron Man showing up (preferably while epic music is blaring), blasting the crap out of everything with a seemingly endless Hyperspace Arsenal, barely taking any (visible) damage or being slowed down even if he does, and then flying off just as quickly. Only the audience gets to see the funny scenes of him struggling to get his armor off while Pepper worries about him. And as we've just seen above, even with more rational analysis, the suits are still... impressive. It's all too easy for something "mundane" but cool/awesome to "suffer" Memetic Mutation that takes it to godlike levels. Doubtless it's happening in-universe too.

    No Birthday Alcohol For You! 
  • Why do Rhodes and Pepper get so uppity about Tony's birthday party? Can't they let the guy get wasted for one night, just for his birthday?
    • Somehow, I don't think it's just the fact that he was drunk that bothered them. More like, he was presenting a huge danger to himself and others by wearing his super powered exoskeleton while completely smashed. If he were just drunk and partying, it would've been one thing. They might've been disappointed, but I doubt they would've sent anyone home early. But, well. He was wearing the Iron Man suit, which presented an enormous risk to everyone's safety. They had every right to be "uppity".
    • Yeah, it's quite clear that the issue isn't just Tony being drunk, it's Tony being drunk while tromping around in the single most advanced weapons system in the world. Once he gets to the point where he's firing off his repulsors into the air, it's quite clear that things are out of hand.
    • It goes even deeper than this. Rhodey had just done everything he could to prevent the government from trying to seize Tony Stark's Iron Man suits. They probably gave Rhodes a ton of reasons, such as Stark's instability. Rhodey had just stuck his neck out for Tony, and Tony's totally plastered in his Iron Man suit in a house full of people. All Rhodey's effort instantly went out of the window. He (and Pepper also, since she's trying to run Stark Industries and Tony's antics aren't helping) SHOULD be upset at Tony's behavior.

    Exosuit Expense 
  • What did the Air Force expect to be able to do with the suits if they got them from Stark without his support? The F-22 Raptors that Stark flew circles around were commissioned in 1981, first flown in 1997, and finally introduced in 2005. What, are they so desperately preparing for the inevitable great global conflict of 2034 that meeting Stark's demands to track down the Ten Rings isn't an option?
    • Because the Air Force wasn't demanding the suit. The government in general was. And where in the bloody blazes did this "demand to track down the Ten Rings"? come from? The Ten Rings weren't even mentioned in the second movie at all.
      And to be honest, using the F-22's development cycle is really inaccurate. The F-22 had such a lengthy development cycle because partway through the Berlin Wall fell and the need for a new air superiority fighter - and thus the money going into researching it and the urgency of producing it - went down the crapper. The development teams and contractors could afford to sit back, soak up government money, and fine-tune the design. If there was ever a pressing need to crank out Arc Reactors and Iron Man suits, the US military could speed up the process immensely by cutting through the tape and putting fires under the contractors' asses.
    • Note that the development cycle for a new weapons platform can be greatly extended when you have to pretty much design the entire system from scratch, using new technologies. With the Stark suits, they already have both a working model of the suit to study and a working example of the technology that powers it. Reverse-engineering Stark's designs would be dramatically easier than building something to match it from scratch.
    • Also note that a substantial part of the underlying technology in the Stark suits is already developed and available. The Hammeroids didn't spring fully-formed from Justin Hammer's brow. They're crap compared with Tony's suit, but they're still working humanoid war machines, minus the unfortunate tendency to break their wearers' backs. The development cycle will be greatly reduced compared with the F-22's hilarious history of screw ups.

    Long Yesterday 
  • Rhodey mentions someone having the arc reactor technology yesterday, referring to Vanko. Unless they decided to go for non sequential storytelling with no indication the time line is a bit tight. In the "day" between the attack and that conversation, Vanko is hauled away, locked up, gets a visit from Tony, gets busted out in a prison break staged by Hammer involving the bribing of multiple guards and finding a prisoner with similar enough build, hair and skin tone to pass for Vanko's corpse, and is flown to one of Hammer's hangars where they have a whole dinner before that scene. Someone should have caught that scene and shuffled it to earlier or had Rhodey say something like "last week" which I would have bought.
    • Or he could be speaking metaphorically and not literally. Kind of how the phrase "I want this yesterday" works. remember that in context, Rhodes says that Tony was banking on no one else having the technology for years to come.
    • Most probably that, as Vanko's reactor is in the hands of the French government.
    • What bits and pieces of it remains after Tony crushed it with his armored hands, you mean.

    "I've discovered an element with an atomic weight of 504..." 
  • So apparently Howard Stark discovered an element that could replace palladium (though he never actually synthesized this element), and he communicates the secret of this element...via the layout of the Stark Expo. Um, why didn't he just write it down? Like, with all his other notes and stuff.
    • Because he didn't want anyone but Tony to find it. That would be why he left what amounts to a riddle with clues that won't be moving around, rather than a note that might be lost or stolen.
    • This. He specifically wanted his son to be the one to develop it, so he left the actual key to developing the new element in a place that only his son might be able to figure out. It is also probable that he didn't want someone else to develop the technology; the Stark line has a thing for not letting anyone but themselves have access to their own tech.
    • Howard Stark has firsthand experience with what happens when the wrong people get access to hyper advanced technology. AND a second example afterwards whom he had to "export" back to Russia. He would have every reason to cover up his discovers until someone he trusts, like his son, finds it.

    Replacement Burd 
  • A minor thing about the bird. So, Vanko wants his bird, but Hammer gets a different bird. One can presume Vanko made sure his bird was well-fed, so he must have felt it would still be alive. Why wouldn't Hammer actually make the effort to get it? Vanko clearly told him exactly what species of bird it was, and presumably where to find it. Vanko is his one and only source of super-tech, and at this point he hasn't done anything to annoy Hammer. It's like he's trying to alienate him for no good reason.
    • For the obvious reason: Hammer's a moron.
    • Specifically, Hammer's a moron and he assumes Vanko is also a moron who can't tell the difference between one bird and another. This also may prove the turning point when Vanko decided that he was going to screw Hammer completely over. In the dinner scene, when Ivan first requests his bird, Hammer promised that he would do anything Vanko asked, up to and including fetching the bird. And then he didn't. It may have been then that Vanko decided that Hammer either couldn't or wouldn't keep any promises, so he'd just fleece Hammer for all he was worth and leave him holding the bag.
    • Heck, for all we know, Vanko's original bird died, escaped, or got stolen in his absence. Cockatoos are valuable, fairly sneaky, and as susceptible to disease or injury as any other parrot (i.e. pretty fragile).

    Obvious Bomb Timer 
  • So, Vanko's final move was to make all the Hammeroids self-destruct... with an incredibly obvious and visible timer? Why didn't he just make all of them blow up instantaneously? Or at least not use a timer that's indicated by a bright red light? Vanko knows Iron Man can fly, so using a timer like that gives Stark ample time to realize what's going on and get out of harm's way.
    • They have to build to overload. It's not a bomb, it's a reactor rigged to explode, which means it needs time to build up to critical mass. As for the light, perhaps that's a safety feature he had to design in and couldn't override.
    • Because a movie bomb has to be an Incredibly Obvious Bomb.

    You Lose 

  • What exactly was Vanko getting at when he told Stark "You Lose"?
    • He failed to kill Stark. The extremely obvious, unusually prolonged countdown sequence (seemed like thirty seconds or so) allowed not only for Tony and Rhodey to easily escape, but also even enough time for Stark to quickly find Pepper and jet her to safety as well.
    • He failed to destroy Stark’s Expo. All the explosions appear do some damage to the expo here and there but they don’t utterly destroy it. Where’s the satisfaction in that? If I were Vanko, I’d have gone for the big one and blown the whole damn thing into a crater – I mean if an arc reactor can generate such a crazy amount of energy, couldn’t it be deliberately engineered to cause mass destruction?
    • He didn’t even destroy Stark’s reputation, since in attacking the expo through Hammer’s technology he’s simply made Iron Man appear even more a hero in the eyes of the world. Hell, the very next day Stark is awarded with a medal for heroism.
    • So in the end, Tony Stark and his girlfriend are alive and well, the expo has a few craters but it’s still there, and everyone still loves Iron Man! Was all this simply a poorly-planned scheme? Or was Vanko really satisfied with such a petty vengeance? Remember that the guy’s supposed to be a genius and has had ample time to plan this epic vengeance. How did Tony Stark lose here?
    • Honestly, Vanko thought he was going to kill Tony with his bomb. That's it. Really, the big point he made was earlier in the film when he burst the bubble on the Arc Reactor. Anything beyond that point was a bonus as far as Vanko was concerned.
    • Can anyone spell Villainous BSoD? I knew you could.
    • Vanko didn't know that Tony had switched to the new model arc reactor, curing him of the palladium poisoning. To him, he forced Tony into killing himself by over-exertion in one last, drawn out battle. The bombs were probably his way of denying Tony emotional closure; he kills himself so Tony doesn't get the satisfaction of bringing him in before he dies.
    • Remember, to Vanko's mind, he won in that first fight when he showed the world that the Invincible Iron Man wasn't. It was the equivalent of Leonidas making Xerxes bleed... he didn't manage to kill him, but he'd showed everyone that he wasn't a god. In this last fight, Vanko's not only fought two Iron Man suits to a near standstill by the end, but he's shown the world (in his mind) that yes, these suits are a threat to you, they're coming sooner than you think, it's just a technological terror and not a superhero. Plus he probably thought the explosion would get them both.

    One Man To Prepare the Expo 
  • Why was Hammer so surprised about Vanko allegedly not being able to fully functional Hammer Drones in time for the big event at the Stark Expo? He didn't start until the Expo began, and it ran what, one, maybe two weeks? For one man, no matter how brilliant, to take a totally unfamiliar and catastrophically non-functioning piece of equipment and get it working enough to make a simple demonstration like all those synchronized perfect salutes in that time frame is actually quite an accomplishment. The Ten Ring guys in the first movie can be excused for not understanding engineering reality, but Hammer's a Defense Contractor. Weapons Engineering is the core of his business. He should know better.
    • Hammer is a corporate CEO with no knowledge or understanding of actual defense manufacturing. He knows how to make business deals, and he knows how to set deadlines, but does not appear to have ever been in an engineering line himself and, as such, is completely unrealistic in his expectations. Vanko is a genius like Stark, therefore Vanko can solve all of his problems and build him anything he wants in a matter of days. Unfortunately, real-world corporate executives make high-dollar decisions based on unrealistic expectations and ignorance like this all the time.
    • The Stark Expo was a year-long event, though Hammer rushed development because he wanted to upstage Tony right now, not in twelve months time.
    • Keep in mind that, in spite of what he told Hammer, Vanko HAD taken those totally unfamiliar and catastrophically non-functioning pieces of equipment and got them working well enough to REMOTELY FLY THEM AROUND THE EXPO WITH FULLY FUNCTIONING WEAPONS TO CAUSE CHAOS AND KILL IRON MAN. He must've been working tirelessly the whole time and asking for a hell of a lot of equipment and supplies to shove into the robots. After watching him working day-and-night almost non-stop on every single one of the suits. After all that hard work and knowing what kind of genius Vanko was, in addition to not being very knowledgeable of the engineering side of things in the first place, Hammer had every reason to believe Vanko was screwing around and not fulfilling his side of the deal. There's also the question as to whether Vanko was truly working alone the whole time. Sure, he didn't have any accomplices who knew what he was doing, but having engineers working under him and helping him construct the Hammer Drones wouldn't be giving much away. The Drones, after all, were designed to be weaponized robots in armor, and Vanko could shrug off any lack of progress in problems on the software side of things. If he truly didn't have anyone helping him, then surely that was by his own request, which would only make it even more infuriating for Hammer, since he likely offered him the help of engineers and Vanko himself refused and promised to take care of things.

    Spare Reactor For Rhodey 
  • When Rhodes puts on the Mk II (silver colored) suit to fight Tony at the party, where does he get the arc reactor to power it? We see that Tony has spare palladium cores, but the possibility of a spare reactor is not mentioned or hinted at. And also, since he does not have the cavity in his chest to house the arc reactor that Tony does, and since the suit was designed to fit Tony, how can there be enough room to fit it in the chest piece?
    • It's hinted several times in the film that Tony intended Rhodes to take over for him in some manner. Also, keep in mind what happened in the last film—Tony nearly died because he didn't have a back-up Arc Reactor. So there's plenty of plausible reason for him to refit the suit to fit someone else, and to have more arc reactors.
    • Yes, that seems reasonable, though seeing as the Mk II served as little more than a test bed for the flight systems of the Mk III in the first film, personally I would have preferred to see Rhodes get into another suit (even though I presume that the Iron Man suit Tony is in is supposed to be the same one as he first film, there are numerous differences which suggest it is a newer version, but that's neither here nor there).

    No Armor fight 
  • Was the whole Iron Man / War Machine fight really needed? Stark could have ended it with just 4 words: "Mark II, shut down". Even if he actually gave a suit to Rhodes (if he did that, there are other folders for that), he would have surely kept admin privileges.
    • That's exactly the point Fury and Black Widow make. The implication is that Stark let him take the armor. And the fight wasn't about that. Stark, in his drunken state, was willing and ready to fight him straight up.
    • Or Tony was faking it because he knew Rhodes wouldn't believe him if he just handed the thing over. If Tony just said "Here, I won't be Iron Man like you're wanting me to be, but you take this suit and have fun", which would be a complete 180 from his prior behavior, Rhodey would have been just a tad suspicious and started asking a lot of questions that Tony just didn't want to answer. Letting him think he effectively stole the suit and had to fight to do it worked a lot better. Though it's sort of an unattractive comparison (and my apologies to Rhodes), think of it like someone trying to get a loyal tame animal to run off because it's being freed, often they have to give it a smack to make it think it's not loved anymore. Tony was sort of doing the equivalent by punching Rhodey in the face and saying "Screw you, 'buddy'!" to make him think their friendship was over and that his only option for getting an Iron Man suit back in action and defending America was to take the Mark II and fly off with it.

    Merely Attaching Guns 
  • Maybe it's just me, but most of Hammer's proposed weapons upgrades to the War Machine armor don't actually seem that impressive—or even sound, considering the platform. Heavier weapons like the mini gun, grenade launcher, or even the shotgun system, sure. But...a 9mm pistol? A 5.56 assault rifle, on a suit that's already equipped with a machine gun (firing a different caliber)? Especially considering the Stark-original weapons systems (repulsor beams, rockets) that it's already equipped with, it seems like strapping squirrel rifles onto a tank.
    • That's the whole point. Hammer is strapping squirrel guns onto a tank, but he's making it out like he's supplying the Holy Grail of firepower. In case you didn't notice, Hammer is the Grand Poobah of Bullshit. Pay attention to Rhodes' expression during the whole speech, too - he's thoroughly unimpressed with what Hammer is offering. Then, for fun, when Hammer asks what pieces of marvelous firepower are to be added to the suit, Rhodes responds "All of it.", and Hammer has a moment where he's dumbstruck by having to actually try to make all that bullshit work.
    • Anyone in the military, let alone the head of a defense company, ought to have known that there was nothing special about the weapons that Hammer was presenting (does he even own the rights to that stuff?). Those are basically the sort of weapons that you'd equip ordinary soldiers with. Rhodes' expression seemed to me more like mild interest when he should have been saying "What the hell is this crap?" out loud. Not even Justin Hammer can get away with that much bullshit, and he would never have been taken seriously as a defense contractor again. Maybe the writers just didn't do their homework on this?
    • Sure, the weapons Hammer is showing are essentially what they'd equip ordinary soldiers with... except they're going to be hands-free and strapped to a suit of super-resilient, strength enhancing, FLYING armor. The suit Rhodes acquires from Tony doesn't even NEED any weapon upgrades in the first place, but the military gave Rhodes and order and Hammer's their primary contractor. So they suit it up with a full range of tactical weapons. Rhodes doesn't CARE that all he's getting is ordinary infantry gear, because he's getting it strapped to a robotic super suit. Iron Man with a hand gun is STILL Iron Man, after all.
    • So then why does Hammer even need to be there for that little presentation? If the military is just going to arm the War Machine suit with bog-standard guns, they can just grab a few out of the warehouse and strap them on.
    • Presumably they were expecting Hammer to bring whatever passes for his A-game. The only even vaguely non-standard weapon he brought was the Ex-Wife, and we all know how that turned out. Hammer did say that he was going to "upgrade" the suit's software, if memory serves, presumably so that it could function without JARVIS. They may have also been planning for him to either reverse-engineer the suit or come up with a way for it to be easily donned or removed (see the above Headscratcher about how Rhodey gets out of the suit) without a large automated apparatus like Tony has been using.

    Armor made of feather-light metals? 
  • The briefcase folds out into a suit. Fair enough on the folding, but shouldn't it weigh hundreds of pounds? How can Happy be carting/tossing it around so easily? It doesn't even look as heavy as a suitcase.
    • It clearly is a lighter suit of armor. You can see in all the damage it was taking and how the plating is a lot thinner across nearly the entire suit.
    • Yeah, I get that it's lighter I just don't see how it can be that light. Look how easily they toss it around, it can't weigh more than 20 pounds as a briefcase. Even if it's a stripped-down version of the suit, it would have to be heavier than that.
    • Why? This is the MCU. Tony Stark is running around with a next-generation power generator stuck in his chest and there's flying aircraft carriers, but an extremely lightweight suit of armor in a compact case is so hard to believe?
    • A significant portion of the Iron Man suits' durability and damage resistance is implied to come from being powered. There may be some sort of structural integrity field in effect, thus Tony could (and for the suitcase armor, does) make one out of extremely lightweight materials, but once its arc reactor goes online, it's still bulletproof.
    Stark Expo 
  • If Stark Expo lasts all-year long it means that in the movie it started during January, shouldn't New York be in winter for then?
    • I am not sure if a month was ever stated but a year long expo could for example start in June as well and go one year from there, lasting until 31th of May.

    Build Time 
  • When did Vanko build his suit? He could corrupt the 'Droids pretty subtly, but did he make his suit in the few hours it took Tony to fly across the country to New York?
    • Considering Tony was able to have the Mark II suit created automatically within five hours (without further streamlining the creation process), it wouldn't take Vanko very long to do the same.

    Tony's Diet 
  • Exactly how the frell does Tony Stark stay in such great shape while apparently living off nothing but cheeseburgers, donuts, pizza, shawarmas and alcohol? Yeah, he works out a lot, but still.
  • It is most likely that he moderates. Sure when we see him on screen he's eating that stuff but off screen he probably eats pretty good. Keep in mind the times we've seen him eat junk food are occasions such as shutting down his company's weapon division, having fought his best friend who took one of his high tech supersuits(and is dying on top of that), and then wanting to celebrate after fending off an alien invasion. That or perhaps in addition to the Iron Man suit Tony created ONE HELL of a dieting pill.

    Why the new element? 
  • Howard found a new element to replace palladium in the arc reactor. Why? Arc reactors weren't small enough to wear until Stark actually built one (IN A CAVE... oh, you know). Palladium poisoning obviously isn't an issue with the building-sized reactor that powers Stark Tower. So what's the purpose of the element? Howard is solving a problem that wouldn't exist for decades.
    • He didn't research it specifically to stop the poisoning. He researched it because it'd be a cleaner, more powerful way to generate energy.

    Where did Vanko get the palladium? 
  • When Tony built his first reactor (IN A CAVE, WITH A BOX OF SCRAPS!!), he needed to cannibalize 11 missiles to obtain 1.2g of palladium. So where did Vanko get his, considering he was part of the Russian underground?
    • This one's covered under "How to Build a Mini-Reactor".

    Radiation and battery 

  • Remember the beginning of the first movie, when the electromagnet in Tony's chest is run with a car battery? Why can't he start running it off a battery again when he gets radiation poisoning from the ARC reactor?
    • Because batteries are a)bulky, and b)not as versatile or adjustable as the AR.
    • The ARC reactor isn't just powering Tony's pacemaker/anti-shrapnelator/thing. It's also powering the Iron Man suit. A car battery couldn't do that. That, of course, does beg the question of why he doesn't build separate power sources for himself and the suit, but that does seem like exactly the kind of thing that would drive him crazy to do (he is Iron Man, Iron Man is the suit, he is the suit, it's a thing, etc. etc. has he mentioned lately that he doesn't like to be handed things?). Still not the smartest choice, but when has Tony ever made the smartest choice?

    Privatising World Peace 

  • We all know that in spite of the reasons our leaders give, most real-world wars are really basically about resources (Somebody has some, somebody else wants them, the somebody else decides to just take them). The thing is that arc reactor technology has the potential to be a game changer on that front. From what we see in the films they produce ridiculous quantities of power from a package you can hold in your hand with little in the way of negative consequences in the form of pollution (especially after Tony creates the replacement for palladium!). Never mind weapons tech, what about the civilian applications for this thing? Imagine every home with a "de-tuned" reactor in its basement, capable of putting out a megawatt or two, providing as much power as any single household could ever need. You'd no longer need a power distribution grid, all those copper wires and transmission towers could be torn down, along with all the wind farms, oil rigs, power plants, etc etc. Pollution and global warming would become a thing of the past. You could use the effectively limitless power to desalinate vast amounts of seawater and turn the desert into arable land. Everybody would have the resources to have whatever they wanted. Congratulations, you've just eliminated the biggest cause of wars there is. Why is this possibility not even discussed?
    • Because Stark isn't going to give away his tech on that kind of scale. He doesn't want anybody else to have his reactors, while this is suggesting that everybody have it.
    • Because, as Reed Richards was in Fox films, Tony Stark is useless.

     New Element, just add water... 

  • So Tony rediscovers a new element that will replace palladium, which people have dubbed "Starkanium" (It’s probably tesseract casing element, which Howard had some of after Cap retrieved it), but after being told it was impossible to make, Tony sets up some sort of array in five minutes and makes it. How did he know EXACTLY how to make Starkanium?
    • He saw that Howard had left him a map — the element's structure hidden in the design of the symposium he got a model of.

     Natasha Has Access to Tony's Vitals? 

  • Right after Rhodey gets control of his armor back, Natasha chimes in on the radio and congratulates Tony on his vitals looking better and him not being in the process of dying anymore. She's sitting in Vanko's lab at the moment, who presumably didn't have any sort of information link to the Iron Man suit itself. How can she tell he's not just running on the now-outdated arc reactor to stop Vanko before dying?
    • Could be looking at War Machine's sensor readings from when it was target locked on Tony.

     Natasha at Vanko's computer 

     Mystery gun 

  • In between Hammer introducing the pistol and the shotgun, a silver gun appears on the table out of nowhere with no introduction or even a mention and remains there for the rest of the presentation. Was this just a mistake by the filmmakers or deliberately omitted?


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