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Nightmare Fuel / Iron Man 3

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This drug is supposed to make you stronger. That is, if it works.
Tony: You experience things, and then they're over. I can't sleep, and when I do I have nightmares.

Nightmare fuel in Iron Man 3.

  • The Battle for Manhattan is in-universe Nightmare Fuel for Tony: The words 'wormhole' and 'New York' cause anxiety attacks, and it's been months since he's been able to sleep without horrible nightmares.
    • In the Malibu catastrophe, we see Tony, in full armor, being dragged to the depths with a support cable wrapped around his throat. Imagine it: you're trapped undersea in the remnants of your home. You aren't sure where your girlfriend is or if she even survived. Your armor (and life support) are running on a power source that, if it wasn't damaged in the attack, is not infinite. If that source fails, your armor's systems are shot and you're left to wonder what'll kill you first - the shrapnel now coursing its way to your heart or the rapidly approaching asphyxia. This is all, of course, assuming the suit hasn't been breached, leaving you to drown in your own custom-made metal coffin, or crushed by the still falling wreckage of your home. Even if he survives all that, take into consideration that the depths of the ocean bear a remarkable resemblance to the cold, black expanse that is outer space... Tony is now reliving his near-death experience from The Avengers.
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    • Pepper and Tony are woken up by the self-moving armor.
  • President Ellis' situation. Live on TV across the country, the Mandarin asked Ellis to pick up a call from the Mandarin on his cell phone within half a minute, otherwise he'd shoot a captive. The President overrides his advisors and picks it up, where a phone can be heard ringing for a good ten seconds. The Mandarin shoots the captive anyway, live. Lucky us movie-watchers get a nice discretion shot, but the rest of TV-watching America and the stunned President cop a faceful.
    • Luckily, the credits show that the shooting was faked.
  • Carbon shadows are all that are left of the victims of the bombings. This is also what happened to individuals who were in the immediate vicinity of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings.
  • What Extremis does to you, especially if you can't control the heat your body puts out.
  • The Extremis soldiers are all horrifying with their volcanic veins and ruthlessness. In particular are Brandt (who has animalistic movements at times in her fight with Tony) and Savin (who can survive explosions and is willing to put a kid in harm's way if it means he accomplishes his task).
    • In line with most other MCU kills, Brandt's gas explosion death at Tony's hands is conclusive but seems free of on-screen carnage - until Tony glances around afterwards, and sees her intact but unnaturally contorted corpse resting on the power lines above the street.
    • Extremis is addictive and its users are advised to "keep it in control". They're lost people with broken bodies who went from feeling betrayed, ignored and rejected to superhuman on the grace of their new boss (an experience he shared with them, but to an even greater degree). He's their only chance of keeping what they've regained. Of course they'd follow him to hell and back. Killian is, in the simplest terms, a drug dealer targeting the vulnerable to hand out superpowers that come with an explosive killswitch.
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  • Aldrich Killian himself. He is a Mad Scientist who can effortlessly plan at least fifty terrorist attacks and take advantage of public hysteria. And there's the fact that he was able to steal the identity of one of the world's top terrorists and get away with it.
  • Killian and Savin try to cook Rhodey out of the Iron Patriot armor.
  • Killian after he survives a point blank explosion within one of the Iron Man suits. He's been using his power full throttle through the fight with Tony and this attack reduces his skin to burning right off his body. It's a wonder he's moving by that point.
  • The scream Tony lets out before crashing into the Tennessee wilderness. It's not one of the comical "This didn't go well" screams from previous ones. This is a "Shit, I'm going to crash and die" scream.
  • Most of what happens to Pepper in the climax: kidnapped by Killian, injected with Extremis (which may or may not blow her up, and leaves her in horrible pain in the meantime), thrown through the air from an explosion, and then left gasping and terrified on a piece of debris, with nothing between her and a huge drop into a fiery inferno. Then she falls into said inferno. Thankfully, she survived.
    • Of course, how she survived and her ensuing rampage as a result of it isn't exactly pleasant, either.
    Pepper: ...oh my god... that was really violent!
  • The attendants of Air Force One falling out of the sky.
  • Watching Tony's bots slide into the ocean. They are dredged up, eventually.
  • Killian's intended fate for President Ellis: Trap him in the Iron Patriot armor, chain him up in an oil tanker, and "give him a Viking funeral" i.e. burn him alive.
  • A minor one: Killian snapping the neck of a hotel employee when he goes to kidnap Pepper.
  • More fridge horror: the vice president's daughter has a short stump of a leg. Considering Killian used Extremis on people with deformed limbs before, like Brandt, it hits you that Extremis was gonna be used on a little girl.
  • While the Extremis can even regenerate limbs, it is not with the kind of speed you see with Wolverine, which means you get to see the wounds with no Gory Discretion Shot and a burning effect, making them look demonic. The page image of Killian is just one example.
    • Brandt's Nightmare Face after she walks through a fire started by Tony, especially due taking far more damage than her boss. Sweet dreams.
    • Savin as well, after getting half of his face caved in after taking a shot from Tony's repulsor cannon to the face.

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