Two more months till Iron Man 3. It’s already my favorite movie of the year, to borrow Lainey’s line. And now, with two months to go, Marvel has released the final trailer, giving us our best look yet at the next phase in Marvel’s master plan. How does it look?


We get a clear look at how the new suit works (in short: awesomely), we get a better view on the destruction of Tony’s white palace in Malibu, we have Pepper in a power suit and Guy Pearce’s snaky looking Aldrich Killian and for the first time, Ben Kinglsey actually seems menacing as The Mandarin. Maybe it’s the threatening background music, but I didn’t laugh at him here, not even when he put on those 1970s style sunglasses. It occurred to me that they’ve designed The Mandarin—obviously no longer Chinese, as he is in the comics—to look like an amalgam of all of America’s historical antagonists. He’s basically everyone we’ve ever been to war with rolled into one dude. And sh*t. That is scary.

Now for some spoilers. Look away, if you’re a delicate flower that can’t handle broad plot points.

Drew McWeeny from Hitfix got to sit down with RDJ, Marvel chief Kevin Feige and Iron Man 3 director Shane Black and talk about the movie after seeing a partial cut. You can read his whole report here, but the part relevant to us is WHAT HAPPENS TO PEPPER, obviously. (Lainey: OBVIOUSLY.)

First, as I thought from the beginning, we will get to see Pepper don the armor. Not her armor, but Tony sends his suit after her, and we’ll get to see Pepper’s first flight. This is a big deal, not only because we will now usher in the era of Gywneth Paltrow, Proper Superhero (oh my God, she is going to be so deliciously insufferable), but because this is part of the developing conversation about female superheroes and sexism. As I wrote yesterday, Wonder Woman is a problem because she is so inherently sexist. Then Karen emailed to point out—correctly—that the specific problem is that ridiculous, T&A glorifying costume. But Pepper Potts is basically who Wonder Woman should be. She’s a self-possessed, self-actualized woman who is beautiful without being objectified and when she suits up, she wears the same damn thing her male counterpart does. The prospect of Pepper in a suit is one of the most exciting aspects of Iron Man 3.

But then there are The Troubles. Marvel has only picked up the most useful aspects of the Extremis storyline (the new suit, primarily, and Aldrich Killian), but the foundation of that story was always Tony Stark getting torn down before rebuilding once again. Part of the tear down? Pepper leaves him. Or, she’s going to leave him, but then he ends up leaving her as a protective measure. So no, Pepper isn’t going to die (yet she is running around in her bra—wha…at?), but, well. It’s not an easy road. They’ve been setting us up for that all along.

“There’s my boys.”