This time they mean business
Despite continued assurances that Iron Man 3 won’t be all that dark, every new round of promotional imagery points toward a more serious, edgier tone than we’ve seen from Tony Stark & Co. to date. Poor Lainey is going to have a heart attack, thinking something bad happens to Pepper because every new image shows her looking increasingly more sad/depressed. I’ve said since the first trailer was released—Iron Man 3 is going to be darker and more intense than anything we’ve seen from Marvel to date. It’s the nature of the story they’re telling, the Extremis arc, which is basically about taking all of Tony’s toys away and stuffing him down a deep, dark hole and then watching him claw his way back out. But they’re hardly going to kill off Pepper Potts. Dark for Marvel is still not going to be THAT much of a bummer. (Lainey: you promise?!?!? I love Pepper!) It’s just that we’re going to have to watch Tony suffer for a while before the ass-kicking begins.
Which is why, in the new posters and stills just released via Empire Magazine, everyone looks like Serious Business. I’ve really liked everything we’ve seen from Iron Man 3 thus far and I think emphasizing the tone shift up front is a good idea. It isn’t as dark as this advertising—the footage shown at Comic Con last summer was damn funny—but the stakes are definitely raised, post Avengers. Not only in the real world for the continuing movie franchise(s), but in Tony Stark’s world, too. Audiences might have felt ambushed if they went in expecting the usual savoir faire of Tony Stark only to find out the movie changes pace and tone. This way, people will be set up for that and then can walk away going, “Hey, that wasn’t that bad.”
Among the new images one thing leaps out at me—which might be mildly spoiler-ish, depending on if you consider something that’s been widely published in comics and cartoons for fifty years a spoiler—and that’s Tony wearing an AIM shirt. AIM (Advanced Idea Mechanics) is not a good organization, and they’re not real friendly to Tony. So why he’d be wearing their tee shirt, unless he’s being ironic (IRON-E, get it?) is intriguing. What kind of decisions is Tony making after the events of The Avengers? Does the fact that he’s proven to himself that he can cooperate with a team lead him to try forming other, perhaps ill-advised, alliances?
We’re two months away from Iron Man 3, and the start of summer movie season, which means this is just the beginning of the promotional onslaught. I wonder how sad Sad Pepper can get?
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