Tony Stark used to think he was the hottest superhero around. Then he met up with a super soldier, a Norse god, and, as he put it, "a giant green rage monster." They had to band together to save the world from an alien invasion, but the battle -- and his near-death experience -- left him shaken and unmoored.
So how does he cope? Well, he builds new toys, of course.
The final theatrical trailer for this summer's "Iron Man 3" premiered exclusively on Yahoo! Movies on Tuesday morning, and it reveals that Tony Stark, played for the fourth time by Robert Downey Jr., has been busy indeed. Not only does he have a new technology that allows him to control his super-powered armored suit using only his mind, he's created a whole fleet of new suits, including one that looks bigger and badder than anything we've seen before.
The trailer finds a battered Tony Stark and his old pal James "Rhodey" Rhodes (Don Cheadle) in dire straits, as is their habit. "We do need backup," says Tony, to which Rhodey responds, "That's your department." Then two armored suits streak across the sky, followed closely by a pack of additional armors. They come to a stop and hover; seven in a row with many more flying up from behind. They vary in size, color, and even the shape of the glowing reactor in their chests. "There's my boys," Stark says like a proud papa.
The new suits arrive on the scene (Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Pictures)
Then we see something new. A suit smashes through a shipping container, sending steel barrels flying. It's blue and bulky with a rectangular light at its center. It runs like a linebacker about to sack the QB, and it looks more imposing than any of Tony's previous creations.
Tony Stark's heavy duty armor on a rampage (Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Pictures)
So what is it? That's not entirely clear. In recent comics, Tony Stark has developed a Heavy Duty Armor, an oversized, extra-fortified suit for when his regular one just won't do. But the squared-off head and massive shoulders of this suit are also reminiscent of an earlier suit known in the comics as "The Hulkbuster." That armor was actually an add-on to his existing suit that Tony designed in the event he ever ran afoul of Bruce Banner's alter ego (which, of course, he did). Word is that what you see in the trailer is not truly the Hulkbuster suit like the one in the comics, though it certainly does look well-equipped to take on all comers, green-skinned or not.
[Related: The Mandarin's origins explained]
The other big technological upgrade we see in the trailer is not just for Tony's suits, but the man himself. When his house comes under attack by the Mandarin (played by Ben Kingsley), you see Tony's suit assemble itself around him. That's because in "Iron Man 3," Stark develops tech that allows him to control his armor using just his mind.
Tony Stark calls his suit with his mind (Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Pictures)
MILD SPOILER ALERT: While you don't see it in the trailer, Tony is even able to command his suit to form onto someone else. When Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow) is blown backwards by rocket fire, Tony sends the armor to encase her before she slams into a wall. And when he gets dragged under water as his house slides into the ocean, his glove is able to detach from his hand and pull him to safety.
Tony will need all the new tricks at his disposal to take on the Mandarin, an international terrorist who makes his fight with Stark very personal. The Mandarin enlists genetic scientist Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) to conduct experiments on unwilling subjects, including Pepper. Tony does have Rhodey/War Machine, though, whose own suit gets an upgrade, a red-white-and-blue paint job, and the new name, Iron Patriot.
We'll see how it all comes together when "Iron Man 3" opens this year's summer movie season, blasting into theaters on May 3.