Comic-Con: Tony Stark Wheels Out His New Ride

Who wins in a fight between Batman and Iron Man? It’s a question comic book fans have debated for decades — and one the studios seem determined to settle this weekend at Comic-Con.

After days of guerrilla marketing promoting the Batman sequel “The Dark Knight,” Marvel returned fire Saturday morning. Hours before a major press event for Fox’s Kevin Bacon film “Death Sentence,” a sleek gray Audi R8 was parked on the sidewalk just a few feet from the entrance to the hotel hosting the “Sentence” event. The license plate on the car read “STARK 4.”

If you were among the comics-savvy (and who at the Con isn’t?), you’d immediately join the throngs who peeked in its windows, posed with it, and nodded in approval as others whispered “It’s from ’Iron Man’!” If not, you’d likely stroll right past and assume a very wealthy man had a plum valet spot at the Omni Hotel.

The moment became truly surreal when a fan in a homemade Iron Man costume made a beeline for the vehicle, giving our cameras the opportunity to capture the zany scene.

With no signage whatsoever, the move counters all the irreverent “Dark Knight” skywriting, Web sites and doctored dollar bills. And for fans, it’s pretty cool to simply look at this stuff and pretend that Tony Stark or the Joker really are walking among us.