Does The Mandarin Have A Captain America Tattoo In The ‘Iron Man 3’ Trailer?

You’ve checked out the (gob-smackingly awesome) “Iron Man 3” trailer already, right? Well, if you’re like us, you’ve probably been watching it non-stop, on a loop all morning. It was on the fifth or sixth watch that we noticed something weird on the back of The Mandarin’s neck (read more about Iron Man’s foe at MTV Splashpage), and if it’s what we think it is? He’s got a bigger mad-on for Tony Stark and his Avenging friends than we thought:

That looks like a Captain America shield, with an Avengers “A” in it to you? Us too. At first we thought it could be a tiny arc reactor, or a Matrix-style plug… But zooming in, it’s pretty clear that when we hear the Mandarin’s voice over in the trailer saying, “There are no heroes,” he’s not just targeting Iron Man; he’s just targeting him first. That spells bad news for the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe, huh?

What else could it mean? Well, with the Iron Man armor attacking Pepper Potts in bed, and somebody in star-spangled armor, we could be seeing the Mandarin not just trying to kill heroes, but to become them. To destroy them from the inside, rather than out. And if he survives Iron Man 3, maybe that means the Mandarin is gunning for Captain America, Thor, and SHIELD next.

Or maybe he just saw it in the store and thought it looked pretty sweet, who knows? Either way, we’ll know more when Iron Man 3 hits theaters on May 3, 2013.

Editor’s Crazy Theory Note: or is that Mandarin at all? Could it be Tony in disguise? Tony would definitely have an Avengers/Cap tat as a tribute to his friends…