'Iron Man 2: The Novel' Declassified

Get a sneak peek at what the upcoming novelization tells us about the sequel.

A single drug store in New York City once held all of Tony Stark's deepest secrets. That's not a thinly veiled dig at the heroic Iron Man's frequent reliance on pain relievers to cure his hangovers — it's simply a true statement. MTV News discovered a single copy of "Iron Man 2: The Novel," the book by Alexander Irvine based on the screenplay for the upcoming superhero sequel, at a local Manhattan pharmacy last week, days in advance of its planned March 30 release.

While the events of the "Iron Man 2" novel aren't necessarily a picture-perfect representation of what moviegoers will see when Robert Downey Jr. reprises his role as Stark on May 7, the book nonetheless offers plenty of insight into what the creative minds at Marvel have in store when ol' Shellhead returns to the big screen. To whet your appetites, MTV has declassified some of the most compelling aspects of the novel that have us excited for the Armored Avenger's forthcoming theatrical return — but beware of some minor spoilers.

Tony's New Toys

By now, fans who have watched the trailers for "Iron Man 2" know that Tony Stark has a few new technological tricks up his sleeve, including the much-discussed briefcase armor. But that's not the only addition to the multi-billionaire hero's arsenal — for instance, Tony has also created a slick piece of technology called the Tech Ball that can wrap itself around a person's hand to form a rudimentary gauntlet.

Secrets of the Armor

Beyond the briefcase armor, Tony's new Mark VI design and James "Rhodey" Rhodes' War Machine upgrade, there is more sophisticated armor that has yet to be unveiled in "Iron Man 2." But don't expect Stark and Rhodey to have all the fun — they aren't the only main characters getting in on the armored action.

Birthday Bash

Nobody throws a party like Tony Stark, who just so happens to celebrate his own birthday over the course of "Iron Man 2." The party is filled with all of the booze and babes that one would expect from such a high-profile affair, but things get out of control when Tony outfits those same booze-filled babes with his signature technology. It's not all laughs, however, as the drunken celebration ends with a climactic confrontation between Tony and one of his closest allies.

Upgraded Roles

In addition to several new characters, there are some familiar faces spending more time in the spotlight in "Iron Man 2." Samuel L. Jackson makes an extended return as Nick Fury at the story's midpoint, offering a helpful dose of advice to Tony when the beleaguered hero needs it the most. Happy Hogan, Tony's bodyguard and buddy played by director Jon Favreau, also scores more screen time in a few pulse-pounding action sequences.

Ring Bearers

While Whiplash is the central villain in "Iron Man 2," other bad guys are lurking in the shadows. The novel reintroduces the Ten Rings, a secretive organization with apparent ties to the Mandarin, Tony Stark's greatest nemesis in Marvel's comic book series. The ringed villain himself doesn't make an appearance within the novel, but there are clear references made to a certain Mongolian member of the crime syndicate. It's likely a plot thread waiting to be explored in an eventual "Iron Man 3."

Check out everything we've got on "Iron Man 2."

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