This is why Robert Downey Jr. is always and forever THE BEST. And this is why Comic Con is so fun. Where else can RDJ roll into a crowd of six thousand plus, in character as Tony Stark, and rock the room like it’s the Stark Expo?

I called this. In my preview, I said—how do you top six Batmobiles (which Warner Brothers had on display outside Hall H)? By bringing in RDJ in the Iron Man armor?


That’s what they did. Granted, he couldn’t fly. But he had the right gauntlet from the Suit on, and if you know your comics, you know what that is. If you don’t, it still looks cool, right? It looks totally cool. RDJ IS Tony Stark. Watch the clip, then go watch the Stark Expo scene from Iron Man 2. The strut is the same!

So, about that armor, which I completely flipped for when I heard from my friends J and E, Comic Con regulars, that yes, it was Extremis. I tried to educate Lainey on Extremis and I think I failed horribly, because the comics were pretty dense, but the movie treatment seems to have distilled it down a little for easier consumption, so…

The Iron Man movies have been borrowing from the Extremis comics of the mid-aughts from the beginning. Extremis rewrote Tony Stark’s story, moving it into the present from its Cold War/Vietnam beginnings. The Afghanistan kidnapping, the Palladium poisoning, all the suit designs—they’re all from the Extremis story arc. And I was hoping really hard that Iron Man 3 was going to actually get into Extremis itself because as badass as Tony Stark is, Extremis kicks it up to the next level.

Basically, the armor is alive and is fused to Tony’s brain. It doesn’t require machines to put on and off, but responds to Tony directly, since it’s hardwired to his mind. The footage they screened at Comic Con included the Extremis armor going on for the first time and it was both frightening (it almost takes his head off) and funny (because it’s Tony Stark and he has a quip for everything). The consequences, though, are that Tony’s personality starts to change as the Extremis works on him. He gets aggressive and dangerous in a way he wasn’t before. It’s a great place to take a character like Tony Stark, especially as RDJ plays him. As funny as Tony can be, some of the best movie moments have been when RDJ drops the playboy act and we see the serious man underneath. That’s bound to come out a lot more in the Extremis story. Also, the Suit looks really cool.

As for other Marvel news—Edgar Wright screened the Ant Man test footage he shot several weeks and the fanboys loved it. My dislike of that character is directly proportional to my love of Wright, so I’m left completely meh by that project. Marvel confirmed that they will, in fact, make Guardians of the Galaxy before The Avengers 2, which is some space sh*t that will tie into the villain revealed in The Avengers stinger and will likely get off the ground in Thor 2, which is now officially called Thor: The Dark World. More exciting, though, is that Captain America: The Winter Soldier is coming in 2014. That’ll bring back Cap’s supposedly dead friend Bucky, and also (should) tie into Black Widow’s back story. So we should be seeing more from Scarlett Johansson, which after The Avengers, doesn’t bother me as much.

I keep watching this. Tony Stark. Always and forever.

(Lainey: RDJ is not the cliché)