As with all the movies in the Marvel cinematic universe, “Iron Man 3” has strong ties to the pages that held the heroes before. In this case, Warren Ellis’ “Iron Man: Extremis” story line serves as the basis for the plot, but with one of Iron Man’s oldest foes, the Mandarin, thrown in to complicate matters.
But like the other Marvel movies, the newest adventure of Tony Stark deviates from the material in a number of ways, some more significant than others. We’ve taken a look at the five new characters and their comic book counterparts in a (mostly spoiler-free) look at the major changes in “Iron Man 3”:
The villain at the heart of “Iron Man 3” is nearly as old as the villain himself, but when the Mandarin debuted in 1964’s “Tales of Suspense #50,” he was a much different foe. A product of the Cold War, the comic book Mandarin was steeped in Chinese iconography, almost to the point of parody. The original Mandarin drew his powers from 10 rings he retrieved from an alien crash site. A reference to the weapon made its way into the first “Iron Man,” as the name of the terrorist organization that kidnaps Tony, but in “Iron Man 3,” the jewelry has lost all magical powers.
Guy Pearce’s villainous role in “Iron Man 3” probably involved the most invention on the part of writers Drew Pearce and Shane Black. In Warren Ellis’ “Extremis,” the story arc that influenced “Iron Man 3” the most, Killian doesn’t survive a single scene. Guilt-ridden after distributing the experimental tech to a militia group, the scientist takes his own life, and it’s certainly not a spoiler to say that a star like Pearce hangs around for longer than that.
Of the characters from the comic books and into “Iron Man 3,” Rebecca Hall’s Maya Hansen resembles her source material the most. In both Ellis’ run and “Iron Man 3,” Hansen developed the Extremis technology, which hacks into the brain’s wiring to enhance cell self-repair. An interesting detail from the comics that’s left out of the movie: Hansen and Killian originally developed the technology hoping to re-create the Super-Soldier Serum that turned Steve Rogers into Captain America.
When James Badge Dale joined the cast in the role of Savin, comic fans quickly found a connection to Lieutenant-Colonel Eric Savin, a.k.a. Coldblood-7. After driving his jeep over a landmine, Savin loses an arm and an eye, effectively turning him into a cyborg. The fervor over the shared named ended up fruitless, as the characters bear little resemblance.
The Iron Patriot
Depending on the context, the Iron Patriot can be two very different people. In the Marvel movie world, he’s James “Rhodey” Rhodes, Tony Stark’s military liaison, formerly known as War Machine. (He got a paint job.) If we’re talking about the comic books, then the Iron Patriot is the Iron Man-mimicking persona inhabited by Spider-Man foe Norman Osborn. In “Dark Avengers,” Osborn leads a team of other supervillains who resemble heroes.
Check out everything we’ve got on “Iron Man 3.”