'Iron Man 3' Villain Coldblood: Who Is He?

The news that "Rubicon" actor James Badge Dale has been cast as Coldblood in the upcoming "Iron Man 3" requires a little backstory on his deal.

There are a few things you can infer from Coldblood’s name — namely, that his blood is cold, either because he’s a cyborg or because he wasn’t loved enough as a child. But otherwise, the inclusion of the relatively minor Marvel character into the "Iron Man" movies mythos is a little surprising. Coldblood isn’t the type of character who warrants much adaptive consideration — in fact, he hasn’t gotten much attention on any front.

Back in 1989, Coldblood was introduced as Coldblood-7, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army transformed into a cyborg following an accident with a land mine. After taking his revenge on the military overlords who led him to his human death, Coldblood-7 worked as a mercenary for hire, interacting with characters like Havok, Silver Sable and Deathlok. His moral compass came and went, as is the case with hired guns, but in general, he was presented as a tough cookie willing to do the tough jobs.

At least that was the case whenever he was being featured. Coldblood’s most recently heralded appearance was during the "Civil War" storyline, in which he fought on the side of Captain America and the anti-Superhuman Registration Act heroes. But his inclusion in that story didn’t say much — if anything, he was there because he was an existing character, and could add scope to a universe-spanning story. As this Marvel.com profile dryly notes, "How he was captured isn’t revealed, but his mechanical arm seems to be replaced with one that looks like a normal hand." Translation: We do with Coldblood what we want, when we want.

So what does this mean for his filmic prospects? If advance word on the "Iron Man 3" script is to be believed, it’s going to partially involve the "Extremis" storyline from the comics — the one where Tony is forced to deal with a biological compound that gives its users extreme strength, invulnerability, and mental prowess. (The way Extremis rewrites the nervous system of its user is meant to parallel Tony’s technological modifications, if the symbolism wasn’t obvious.)

Depending on what elements of "Extremis" are adapted, that means we could see a lot of newly-created supervillains looking to take a crack at the infamous Iron Man — one of which could be Coldblood, tweaked in the film to fit the situation. Maybe he’s an early Extremis user, or maybe he’ll stick to being a cyborg, one who was commissioned following the one-man-army arms race that ensued after the Iron Man technology came to light.

Because of how much there is to fit into a typical comic book movie, and because this could be the last straight-up "Iron Man" film for a while, Coldblood’s story will probably be greatly condensed for time’s sake. At any rate, it seems likely that they’ll fight for a little bit, if only to eventually demonstrate that Iron Man doesn’t go down so easily. Which he doesn’t, cold blood or not.

Tell us what you think of Coldblood's "Iron Man 3" involvement in the comments section below or hit us up on Twitter!