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Iron Man

  • The soldiers in the opening scene are pathetic. They all run out of the Humvee like a bunch of lemmings when they get ambushed in a large open space by unseen assailants, and get gunned down. I'm not a military man, but isn't the smart thing to do is to keep moving any way possible? Especially if they're escorting someone like Tony Stark?
    • Isn't the first Humvee disabled by the roadside IED? Tony's Humvee can't exactly floor it and high-tail out of there without stopping to pick up the wounded first.
    • Also, in an ambush, the only more safe way to escape is the way you came - you can't be sure any other way isn't trapped too. Presumably they're being hit from all sides and in such a case, especially since other humvees have just been blown up, it would be wiser to get out and fight back so you don't get stuck in an iron coffin. Is it successful? Not really because it's just a well executed ambush. Ambushes usually favor the attacker in real life too.
      • It's actually standard doctrine in the Army and the Marine Corps that if you're caught in the middle of an ambush, you charge straight into it and destroy the ambushers.
      • That's not my what my research tells me. If you're on patrol, it's true. But if you're in a traveling convoy, the actual protocol is to just keep going and not risk getting more of your team killed.
      • This isn't as crazy and audacious a plan as it sounds. If the enemy ambushes you, it's a pretty safe bet that the spot you were ambushed on is the best place they can think of for shooting at you: they've got the high ground, they've got mortars and artillery pointed at the area, and they've probably wired the whole place to blow up. Starting a firefight on the ambush ground is a good way to get killed in a hurry; so is hunkering down in the middle of the ambush ground. So your options boil down to either running away or attacking the ambushers; either way you want to get out of the kill-zone as fast as you can.
      • Plus, in the US military's experience, the people ambushing them often have less firepower or troops that aren't as well trained at short range combat; they use ambushes because they need the advantage of surprise to offset their disadvantages. Take away the elements of surprise and superior position by getting in close with them, and suddenly they're less dangerous.
      • These guys are the Ten Rings, on a whole different league from the guys the US military tangles with, along with the fact that they've got Stark Tech backing them up, then they have the upper hand in that situation no matter what. The Army troopers wouldn't know that when they came under fire and would react like they always do to mujahadeen, not understanding how immensely outgunned they were.
    • Dismounting to get to cover is actually a reasonable tactic if you know where you're get shot at from and you can't move. A good example of this pops up in Generation Kill with the AA gun ambush on the Marines' convoy. In this movie, they know where the attack is coming from - the driver yells "Contact left!" as they are being attacked. Looking carefully at that scene again, it looks like Stark's Humvee was boxed in, with the humvees directly in front and behind destroyed and blocking escape. The humvee itself doesn't look like it has a topside machinegun turret, so the only way for the soldiers inside to return fire is to get out. The humvee itself provides almost no cover whatsoever anyway - 7.62mm fire can tear through unarmored Humvees, and a .50 caliber will shred armored ones. As long as they were inside, the soldiers were sitting ducks, so they had to get out to form a perimeter and repel the ambush. The problem was that the ambush was extremely well-done; within seconds the entire escort team was dead.
  • One thing I was never able to wrap my head around is the very concept of the arc reactor. I understand it produced an electric arc using palladium, but how the hell could it produce a practically unlimited supply of power? Nuclear fusion? Tapping into Earth's electromagnetic field? We're simply supposed to believe it works without knowing anything other than the name.
    • The Arc Reactor runs on Applied Phlebotinum. The science behind it is literally beyond anyone but Tony Stark's ability to understand.
      • Well, or Vanko.
    • "We're simply supposed to believe it works without knowing anything other than the name." Well, yeah. We are. A lot of sci-fi power sources are generally just "(insert funny/cool/technical-sounding name here) reactors." As the above troper pointed out, the Arc Reactor is Applied Phlebotinum. They don't need to explain how it works, so long as it works, and works consistently.
    • Its appearance was heavily based on the Tokamak design of real world nuclear fusion reactors, so you can believe it's nuclear fusion if you want.
      • Since palladium is known for its ability to purify or absorb hydrogen in large amounts, and hydrogen is the basis of fusion reactions, the arc reactor was almost certainly supposed to be some kind of Tokamak.
      • The Russian translation of the movie never uses the word ARC. They simply call it a "thermonuclear fusion" reactor. How you can make a tiny reactor that you can stick into your body is not explained.
      • Aaand people paying attention when Stark is leafing through his father's design notes for the arc reactor will get a clue as to its true origins: a tesseract otherwise known as a Cosmic Cube, which will be a key plot element in Captain America: The First Avenger. The Arc Reactor is a knock-off of a Reality Warper.
  • Speaking of which, considering how unique it was, why didn't Stane hand it over to his engineers to replicate instead of popping it into his suit for the sake of admiring it?
    • He didn't hand it over to his engineers because of the minor, insignificant problem that SHIELD is coming to arrest him for treason because Pepper just gave them the evidence of his plot to have Tony killed. Or did you miss the part where Stane found out that Pepper had copied the evidence from his computer, and then right afterward, the part where he is watching Pepper run off with a SHIELD agent to give him said evidence? It's slightly difficult to have your engineers analyze something while you're in prison awaiting an open-and-shut case for attempted murder and treason.
  • Okay Pepper activates the machine disabling Stane and Tony's respective suits. Stane falls backwards onto the machine causing a massive explosion that blows out the windows of the building below him so...shouldn't Pepper be dead? She was standing next to the machine and didn't have enough time to run away to a safe place before Stane falls back and goes boom. And what about the SHIELD agents who Stane took down earlier. They never left the building either. Shouldn't they be dead too?
    • About ten seconds pass between Pepper hitting the switch to overcharge the Arc Reactor and Stane toppling inside. That's enough time for her to turn and run the hell out of the building; when Stane falls down, Pepper is not visible at the console, so she's clearly gotten away by that point. The SHIELD agents were all inside the bunker where the Iron Monger was built, and were presumabely knocked unconscious or killed by Stane. If any survived, they would have been protected from the explosion inside the bunker.
    • Having rewatched that scene, right as Pepper hits the button, she turns and starts to run away. The time between that and when Stane falls gives her plenty of time to either get across the room to the Sector 16 bunker or out of the building.
    • There's a deleted scene on the DVD that takes place between Stane and Stark on the roof after their suits have been depowered. If it had been left in the final move, Pepper would have had another two or three minutes to make her escape.
  • Stark is the multi-billionaire genius CEO of a major US defense contractor and he's going to demonstrate his brand new ultimate weapon. So why on earth would he go all the way to a hostile, unstable country to do so? For that matter, why leave the US in the first place? I find it difficult to believe that he or at least his engineers have never heard of White Sands Missile Range or that there's nowhere else state-side for a demonstration.
    • It's a stunt. It looks good for Stark to visit the war zone, it looks good for him to show the weapons to actual field commanders (who, during a war, would be mainly found in the field), and it presumably increases his chance for a sale if the requests for his weapons come from both the bureaucrats and battlefield officers.
      • A deleted scene has Tony saying something like this.
    • Also, Stane. Remember, Stane wanted Tony to be taken out, and Tony himself is not exactly the paragon of orderly, prudent, well-thought-out action. It would have been child's play for Stane to convince Tony to run off to a hostile country just to show off his weapons, considering how completely reckless he is.
    • This troper thought he brought some samples to leave with the military, and was demonstrating how to use it for the commanders who were about to go out and use it.
    • Morale too - the soldiers clearly were pretty stoked about meeting him. And to add to the previous statements, in general, the military is loath to adapt new weapon technology because lives depend on it not just working... but working well, effective, and reliably. More so in the environment they're going to be using it in. Seeing not just a successful test launch but a working launch that does something is going to be a good sell.
  • Why was the first thing Tony Stark think when he was in captivity "Hey how about I build a powered suit and punch my way out of here" instead of the simpler "Hey how about I use all these explosives and electronics they gave me and blow my way out of here?" He did manage to make a land mine, it wouldn't be too hard to build more of those and kill off the entire first wave of terrorists, take their guns, and then do it again. Even if he sucked at shooting an actual gun, I assume he'd be able to simply stay back and launch the explosives they gave him from a crude launcher and act like a close range artillery piece, and he could also use that cool flame thrower he made in the Iron Man suit as a standalone piece. Then again we wouldn't have the Iron Man movie but still it just bugs me.
    • Because even if you do manage to blow your way out, you still need an escape plan once all the other explosives go off. The suit provided protection from bullets and shrapnel as well as a jetpack.
    • Because Stark needs to be mobile. Standing back and launching artillery at the terrorists and slowly advancing up the corridors is a good way to surrender the initiative to them, at which point the terrorists whip out something nasty, like tear gas, or set their own mines, etc. The only way he's going to have any advantage is to hit fast and hard and to be able to survive return fire, and get out of the cave before the enemy has time to really react. The only way to do that is with a suit of armor that can withstand that kind of damage.
    • Because it is AWESOME.
    • Think about it for a sec. You've been captured by a bunch of fanatical terrorists who freaking abushed you and filled you with shrapnel. They put a magnet into your chest so you wouldn't die a horrible death. They force you to make one of your own missiles so they can kill your own countrymen with it. And when you're trying to break your way out, you're smart enough to make anything you want. What would you make?
    • A small tracked vehicle. Far easier to engineer, armor and arm. Then again, this is Tony Stark we're talking about here - he has the mental age of a small child, so it's no surprise he thinks "Gundam!" instead.
      • Actually, constructing a tracked vehicle might be harder in these circumstances than a suit of power armor. Tony would need to manufacture an entire engine apparatus on top of creating wheels and tracks. The armor components are, for the most part, just reshaped metal plating and repurposed missile casings with powered joints - far easier to create, as all he's doing is modifying existing components and welding metal plates together. Also, wheels and tracks are not parts generally associated with missiles; Tony can pretend he's slapping together bullshit components to delay the Ten Rings and make them think he's stalling, as they've likely no idea what most of the components are that are going into the armor design, but if they see he's creating a wheel and track assembly and engine parts, they're going to recognize them and get very suspicious.
      • Another problem is that a vehicle wider than a man can potentially get stuck, as there are plenty of doors down there; tunnels are not known for their ease of movement for anything without legs and have inconsistent widths. A vehicle wouldn't be able to smash through doors without using explosives due to a lack of room to accelerate, and you're going to want to be cautious with explosives in an enclosed area like tunnels. However, something with sufficiently strong arms can smash down doors and pound through relatively narrow crevices in the tunnels.
      • Also something to consider. Nearly every combatant know that the easiest way to disable a tracked vehicle is to hit the treads themselves. A vehicle small enough to navigate the cave and do it quickly would likely have treads that could be damaged by small arms fire. Add to that the speed and maneuverability he needed, and that the only reliable 'map' they had of the cave system was counting footsteps as they were taken outside while blindfolded, and the suit was a better option.
  • Heres a minor one and it has Fridge Logic and Did Not Do the Research mixed in, but at one point in the escape, the closest the terrorists come to stopping Tony in his jalopy of an Iron Man suit at the begining is shooting him with a Browning 50 caliber machine gun-one of the biggest and most powerful machine guns ever and is a machine gun that can shoot through concrete walls. The only way to suspend disbelief that those rocket shells that Tony uses for armor in the begining (with some big pieces of cloth in between) is to explain or expect us to know that the armor is some of that great "scientific breakthru" Star Trek kind of armor and looks thin but is really strong. If THATS the case, then you have All There in the Manual.
    • Stark is able to build a supersonic jet engine powered by a reactor the size of a coaster and can design inch-thin armor plating that can deflect direct hits from tank shells. I think coming up with armor plating that can stand up to .50 caliber rounds is not an issue here with the demonstrated technical genius this guy has.
      • Well, let's look at the numbers. .50 BMG armor piercing can defeat 3/4" (19mm) of steel at 500 yards. However, they may not have been using AP ammunition, and Tony's suit may not have been made of steel.
    • Rephrasing for the sake of clarity: The OP was referring to the Mark I Iron Man suit, which was made in the oft-mentioned cave, with substandard parts - in other words, nothing that should stand up to the 50-cal.
      • Even the 5.56mm bullets in the terrorists' assault rifles would have punched through the steel used in the first armoured suit with little problem.
      • Tony makes a cold-fusion reactor WITH A BOX OF SCRAPS. Where exactly do you think he'd have problems refining/hardening the missiles' outer shell into something to make nigh-impenetrable armor out of?
      • They had somehow got their hands on the spare parts needed to make the Jericho missiles, and a missile going that fast needs a structure made with something strong to not break up or damage the internal components due to its own speed. Whatever it was it was stronger than steel rolled homogeneous armor, and that thickness was enough to survive non-AP .50 BMG rounds. AP or multi-purpose rounds would have probably teared through the armor, but the Ten Rings either didn't have them on hand or didn't think to use them.
  • Speaking of escaping, the terrorists have ASSAULT RIFLES. With SCOPES on them. And the iron suit had giant EYEHOLES. With over a dozen terrorists shooting at Tony, not one of them manages to hit him in one of the gaping holes? I went paintballing last week and even using the "spray-and-pray" technique, with a less accurate gun, from farther away, I shot four people in the mask. There's suspension of disbelief, but that's ridiculous.
    • Someone has never fired an assault rifle in a combat situation before. They're aiming at an inch-wide, moving target in the dark while panicking and fleeing. That would be a hard target to hit if you were target shooting, let alone against a moving target that is fighting back, in close quarters, in the dark, while your body is shaking from adrenaline and terror. Plus, Tony could have filled the eye slits with ballistic glass - just like tanks in real life are fitted.
    • There's also the fact that the Ten Rings seems to employ what appear to be lightly-trained soldiers who mostly seem to fire from the hips on full-auto - which, while deplorable, is actually commonplace enough. Asking these guys to hit a target as small as the eyeholes is probably too much.
    • Alternately, they're too well-trained: Most modern soldiers are trained to shoot at the center-of-mass (ie. torso). In the middle of a high stress combat situation, the training would kick in.
  • If Tony Stark can build a tiny, incredibly efficient, apparently free power source in a cave, from nothing, why is the huge arc reactor in the warehouse there at all? it's obvious Tony's been inventing new stuff, I.E. the Jericho missile, and not simply leaving the company stagnant, and has the ability to build one. it seems downright retarded that he didn't think to make his company millions more by creating what appears to be essentially portable nuclear power, with no radiation?
    • Who ever said Tony invented the Jericho missile? Did you see Stark Industries has a flipping army of engineers and Tony spends his days tinkering with his hot rods.
    • Duress. He had to figure out how to make a miniaturized arc reactor or die. He didn't need to before, because he was already rolling in money and saw no need to engineer one until he realized he would need to build one to survive. He might not have even realized he could miniaturize the arc reactor until he found the need to do so, and Stane himself said that arc reactor tech was useless and not cost effective, so I'm not surprised Tony didn't follow up on it until he realized he needed to.
      • Specifically, the Arc Reactor is a source of great power...at an apparently ridiculous cost (which is never shown of course). Presumably, it can generate a lot of power, but either a) costs a lot to make, or b) has a high megawatt/hour cost. Current power generation generally costs abut $5 a megawatt if I remember correctly. Assumption leads us to the fact that the Arc Reactor has a higher power generation cost, with the only advantage being totally clean (but not totally safe) power.
    • He obviously didn't figure out how to miniaturize it until after he was captured. That's why when he comes back, he decides he wants to move away from weapons manufacturing and develop the arc reactor more. And since it's smaller and more efficient, it consumes much less fuel, powering the first Iron Man suit with a urinal-cake-sized glob of phlebotinum. And as long as I'm here, energy is measured in kilowatt-hours, which I believe are about 8 cents each right now. Power is measured in kilowatts, or megawatts for the power plant itself. Nuclear aircraft carriers are apparently capable of putting out 200 MW of power, and Evangelions require something in that ballpark to operate.
      • And somehow that little Arc Reactor is putting out 3000MW.
      • Peak power, anyway. Might not last long at that output.
    • Maybe Tony could have made a smaller arc reactor years ago. But if he did, he would not have been able to work on other projects because minimizing would take up all his attention. Since he already had an arc reactor and his new projects were probably cooler, Tony didn't mention this so he could do what he wanted instead. It was only when he needed a smaller version that he used his previous knowledge.
      • Stane says that he and Tony agreed on this point before the capture: arc reactor technology is a "science project" put up to "keep the hippies happy". Before his epiphany, Tony was kind of a dick. We can presume he preferred to rest comfortably on the laurels of an awesome power generating source no-one else could replicate while his company designs enormously profitable variation-on-a-theme weapons technology for Uncle Sam. Also, once you've sold Virtually Infinite Power (TM) to the common man, what do you sell him next? Stark's running a business here.
    • Stane says that they "haven't had a breakthrough in thirty years" regarding Arc Reactor technology. Tony is thirty-odd years old. Which means that the last breakthrough was during Howard Stark's time; in other words, the big reactor was invented by Tony's father. It wasn't until Tony was forced to miniaturize the technology while in captivity that he improved on his father's work.
    • My idea was that Tony did little technical work for Stark Enterprises before his epyphany. He gallivanted around the world attracting the public eye, always flashy and handsome, presenting new weapons, partying like crazy and in general being an awesome PR person; he had great capacity for engineering and invention, but he preferred to use it on his hotrods than on his business. Then he found himself in danger, had to apply his technical skills to practical purposes, and achieved awesome results.
  • If the Power Sources that Stark uses to power his suits are in fact reactors why would the Mark 1 source only power the Mark 1 suit for fifteen minutes? If it generates enough power to power the suit for one second the reactor would power the suit until the reactor stopped working. Later in the movie JARVIS warns Tony that the reactor is at lower and lower power levels. Same problem.
    • There's also the fact that he uses the wrong units when describing the arc reactor to his assistant in the cave. He says its output is, if I recall correctly, "3 gigajoules per second". This only tells us how much power it puts out, not how much total potential energy it has. It may put out 3 gigajoules per second, but only for a few minutes. There's no way the assistant could deduce from this that it could power his heart for 50 lifetimes. In other news, according to That Other Wiki, one single joule is enough energy to lift a small apple 1 meter straight up.
    • 3 Gigajoules per second = 3 Gigawatts of Power. That is the power output of three large nuclear reactors. The problem is that the reactor is supposed to be a generator, not a battery. When the reactor "ran out" of power, it should have shut down completely and killed him unless he replaced it. Either it produces energy constantly or it stores it for later use, not both.
      • This is straying into WMG territory, but perhaps 3GW is the "safe" operating capacity for the Mk I reactor, and using it in the Mk III suit pushes it beyond those capabilities to the point that it temporarily burns out or runs low on fuel. Also, remember that Jarvis is the controlling intelligence for the suit's subsystems and has a programmed interest in prolonging Tony's life. Presumably once the reactor becomes drained or damaged enough to risk depowering the electromagnet, Jarvis automatically cuts all power to the rest of the suit to keep Tony from dying.
      • It was only draining so fast because of the sustained flight, the first reactor isn't as efficient as his newer one, and powered flight has to be a massive power drain, notice how quickly the energy drains when he flies straight up compared to when he was simply fighting on the ground.
    • Tony didn't say the Mark I reactor would power the Mark 1 suit for 15 minutes. He said it would power something "really big" (Read: The Mark III suit) for 15 minutes. The Mark III suit had a lot more going on, so it drained a lot more power from the smaller reactor.
      • I haven't seen the film recently, but note the fact that the Mark I is awesome for a little while, gets him out of the cave of scraps, and then crashes a couple miles out. 15 minutes is an alright estimate.
    • Unless the arc reactor is a free energy device, generators don't make energy out of nothing; it's got to be burning something, so it's not unreasonable to suppose that it's got a maximum total output based on some sort of fuel supply.
      • It IS a free energy device, isn't it? It's just so damn expensive and inefficient that nobody wants it. Then Tony built a good one. IN A CAVE! WITH A BOX OF SCRAPS!
      • It's burning arks, of course. Tony has access to that warehouse, and has been feeding little bits of the Ark of the Covenant into his reactor. We just didn't see that because there were no Nazis around for it to melt.
      • Tony Stark sneers at Nazi science! Wait, what?
    • I just thought I'd point out that the reactor DOES use a fuel source, and the "something big for fifteen minutes" line was obviously supposed to be a jokey exaggeration on the part of Tony Stark. He didn't literally mean exactly fifteen minutes...
      • Yes, I'm pretty sure the movie says somewhere that the arc reactor isn't a free energy device, it has some sort of fuel. And you can either use the fuel slowly to power an electromagnet, or quickly to power something really big. For fifteen minutes. IN A CAVE. Sorry, got distracted. As for the battery thing, I guess Tony's just really good at guessing how long it will last and never quite running low enough to have a heart attack.
      • The second movie answers this with the palladium cores Tony is burning through. Continuous usage of the Mk.III is burning them up faster. One can only imagine what the Mk.III did to a weaker core.
      • Not really. He says the core is ruined because of "neutron damage". The implication is that the palladium is being ruined by radiation from the reactor, hence the disintegrated palladium leaching into Tony's bloodstream. The new element is needed because it can withstand the radiation without disintegrating, and as an added bonus it provides a higher power output.
    • Between what we learn in the second movie and Captain America: The First Avenger, it is clear that however the Arc Reactor operates, it has something to do with Asgard tech and the Tessaract Cube. It may quite literally be running on Magitek.
  • Why did the terrorists force Stark to make them one of his missiles, when his company was already giving them all the Stark weaponry they wanted?
    • At the time Stark was kidnapped, Stark Industries was taking the very first advance orders for the Jericho, which was still in the 'prototype demonstrator' stage. Since Stane can't sell the Ten Rings things that aren't in the warehouse yet, it wasn't until months later that they were in production long enough to build up a large enough inventory that consignments could be "lost" from it. Remember, Stark spends three months in the cave, and there is at least three more months between Stark's return to America and the breaking news reports of Jericho missiles at Golmira.
    • There is also that 'make Stark build us a missile' is their backup backup plan. The first plan was 'The Ten Rings takes a contract from Stane to kill Tony Stark'. Upon discovering that it was Tony Stark himself that they were going to kill, the Ten Rings then left him alive and sent Stane a ransom videotape demanding more money. When Stane apparently told them to go screw, they were then left with a hostage that they couldn't make any more cash off of, yet was still too valuable to just get rid of. At this juncture, 'Make him build us his latest superweapon!' was probably the most coherent idea raised at the terrorist brainstorming session.
      • Terrorist brainstorming session would be an awesome name for a band.
  • "The Golmira atrocity?" "A modern-day descent into hell?" Seriously, they thought evacuating everyone from a small town and killing some of the men was going to shock everyone?
    • They weren't going to kill the men. They were going to conscript the men into their army as grunts, using their families in the village to ensure their compliance. The conscripted men (with modern weapons) then go forth to other villages, press-ganging more men in and leaving more unprotected villages in the expanding Ten Rings territory to ensure that units of their drafted army don't get frisky. (As you can always use units raised from one location to massacre villages at another location -- especially once you start factoring in local, regional, and tribal rivalries.) This is standard Third World warlord recruiting tactics. And if you can keep outside nations from intervening long enough, and/or have a modern weapons supplier and sufficient funding, you can actually go from 'Bunch of guys hiding in a cave' to 'Running your own nation'. As a historical example, see Castro's takeover of Cuba.
      • Doesn't that mean all the people Iron Man killed were forced soldiers? That's a bit... depressing.
        • Nah, he was hitting them early enough in the process that it was still the core group. Note that the leader of the goons at the village was the same fat bearded guy that was sub-boss of the team that was holding Stark prisoner.
        • There is no proof he actually kills the soldiers. He gravity-guns some of them around, and yeah, he sure as hell breaks some bones, but this being Hollywood it doesn't necessarily follow that they all die; others he fires guided darts at, but they could easily be tranquilizers. The only one who ends up properly dead is the leader - we don't get to see his departure of this world either, but it's implicit.
    • Personally, I think it's just one of those things where they couldn't show you REAL atrocity without getting this movie an R rating. It's still gotta stay marketable to kids. I just assumed all the really horrible stuff happens offscreen.
      • After all, this is Iron Man (with a PG-13 rating), not Rambo (which is rated R, and actually shows the terrible things the antagonists do to civilians).
      • Well, when you think about it from an in-universe perspective, there are certain things that just can't be shown on TV. How do you know the news agency didn't chose to explain the situation in word for a reason? Also one might argue that the REAL horrors are occurring too far deep for the cameras to go.
    • Did it shock everyone? I thought the main reason that Tony Stark ever found out was that they were his weapons.
    • This probably shows how horribly cynical I am, but personally this troper found the fact that a major news station and reporters from Brown would actually care enough to broadcast this (outside of a blip in the "international" section of a news website) to be the most unbelievable part of the movie.
      • Ditto. How many inhabitants did Gulmira have before the attack? A thousand? Two? The place seems to be little more than a shantytown. Nobody would care if the place got razed to the ground.
        • True, but having video is a novelty. That would get you on the air, although the idea that it would become well-known enough have a proper name is more than a bit overblown.
          • Plus, given the accent of the reporter, it was probably a Brand X version of either BBC America or al-Jazeera English. The latter would make the most sense given the region, and be available for Tony to watch if he had satellite TV.
    • And only five people died in the Boston massacre.
      • It wouldn't be the first time the media blew a relatively small and isolated incident completely out of proportion.
    • Okay they didn't show all that much of the news footage. But wasn't the REAL story the fact that a major US arms company seemed to be shipping these terrorists weapons right off the shelf made in the good ol' U.S. of A? That's what alerted Tony to the situation in the first place, did the news agencies simply not choose to report this? Also wouldn't this have a MASSIVE effect on Stark Industries' stock price? I kind of agree with the above tropers, it would probably be a waste of time to report on the whole situation from a news perspective if one didn't play up the "Stark Weapons" angle.
      • I don't see people screeching and hollering when modern day terrorists use weapons that are clearly being made by Fabrique Nationale, Colt, Raytheon, etc. The reason is simple: the black market. They can acquire these weapons via theft and purchasing them via the black market. As far as the military and the media is concerned, it's entirely reasonable and possible that the Ten Rings might have acquired Stark Industries weapons via theft. Stane could have easily explained it away by saying that the weapons were stolen.
      • Yes, but remember, post-epiphany-Tony's new bottom line was "ACCOUNTABILITY!!!!". That was why Christine Everhart got up in his grill about Golmira in the first place. Tony came back to the States with this whole changed outlook about his weapons and the military-industrial-complex. He came back to try and dissolve the system and make a difference. Then, Christine goes and sees that the same shit is happening. Remember, Christine was the one who called Tony out for his war-profiteering from the beginning, so she was probably a little sweet on the idea that her pestering might have helped reform the "biggest mass-murderer in US history". When she found out about Golmira, her ego was bruised because, in her mind, she bought into Tony's BS. And Tony, who genuinely wanted to make a better world, was none-too-thrilled about finding that despite his efforts, not a damn thing had changed.
  • Why is it that Tony Stark took MONTHS to learn how to safely maneuver in the Iron Man Suit, but Stane was expert immediately?
    • In the comics, Stane had an external remote computer support directing his suit's movement. It's easy to imagine arranging something similar in the film.
      • We don't have to imagine it. At the end of the fight, Stane says 'You've disabled my targeting computers!' and then repeatedly proves unable to hit a stationary Tony Stark at fifteen feet once reduced to manual-only controls. So we have on-screen evidence that Stane was using computer-augmented suit operation, although not an external computer this time.
    • Not to mention that all Stane does is fly his suit in a near-straight line, fire the cannons and missiles, and punch things. Plus, it looked like his suit was a self-contained cockpit, unlike Tony's suit, where the flight systems were directly controlled by his hands and feet. Stane just simply has to direct his suit to fly in a specific direction, and the computers would take care of it.
    • I think the bigger difference is that Stark was wearing his suit, so he'd be perfectly used to complex maneuvers such as walking and picking things up, where Stane had to be cooped up in the torso steering conventionally. Also, wasn't the only maneuver that Stark had trouble with flying? He even learned to do that fairly quickly.
    • Stane is The Dude. And The Dude abides.
    • One would have to assume that the process was used to work out bugs in the computer and mechanical systems. Something that never really occurred with Stane's outfit, thus making the above mentioned concern valid.
  • I always thought it was more that Tony took months to fine-tune the suit to work with the more sophisticated reactor. Aside from the boosters throwing him into the walls sometimes and a distinct lack of steering, he didn't really have many problems with it. (As well as that, he didn't really steer in the first suit, either--just blasted off and hoped for the best.)
    • Okay now take that same logic and apply it to Rhodey stealing the MK II in the sequel. At least Stane's was custom built for him, and he had all the time he wanted to work the kinks out before trying to take on Iron Man. Rhodey just seemed to be able to jump in Tony's suit and fight in it with no more difficulty than if he had borrowed Tony's gym clothes for a round in the boxing ring. (speaking of which, have you ever borrowed clothes from somebody that wasn't quite your size, then tried to do something strenous like fighting? Yeah, imagine the pinching from a suit of Power Armor.)
      • Tony and Rhodey were best buds. I can see him letting Rhodey take one of the older suits out for a spin if he'd asked for it. And they seem to be fairly intuitive anyway.
      • The suit was already fully constructed, so he didn't have to work out the kinks. He had from the time he suited up to the time he got upstairs to figure out basic movement, and he didn't really seem to have much else beyond that down. Remember when they went through the wall, and Rhodey hit the ground less than gracefully and rolled while Tony easily stopped his momentum using the stabilizers? And how shakey and uneven his hovering was when he came up through the hole in the floor, after throwing Tony? Aside from the one repulsor at the end, he didn't really seem to know how to use the weapons, and even that one repulsor came after he'd already worked out the hovering (remember, the repulsors are flight stabilizers). Rhodey was clearly still learning to operate the suit during the fight.
      • Note also that the suits seem to be self-adjusting and self-fitting when Stark is suiting up - the armor is very segmented and the panels and plates shift and lock in place while Stark is suiting up, which to me indicates that there's some kind of system in place that molds the armor's internal frame to match the wearer's body. Considering the tech already shown in Stark's basement, including a scanning device that already measures size, shape, and proportions (i.e. scanning the model of the Stark Expo) and the fact that Tony can wear different kinds of clothing underneath the same armor (i.e. tuxedos, tank-tops, bodygloves, etc) without the clothes being affected (hell, his tux doesn't even have any wrinkles on it!) it would be reasonable enough to conclude that Rhodes could walk in there and ask JARVIS to scan him and adjust the suit to fit his frame.
      • He would probably not need to adjust it to fit his frame. And he would know that, too.
      • And on the whole "best buds" thing, there's a line about how th suits have locks and such to prevent "unauthorized usage." Rhodey was clearly authorized to use the suit.
      • He was certainly authorized to use it, he just didn't know it. Remember Tony thinks he's dying and it's the same reason he appoints Pepper as CEO - he needs someone to replace him. If Rhodey had never been in the suit before, there's no reason he would find it unusual if he walked up to a suit, banged on the chest and yelled at it to "open up" a couple of times before JARVIS helpfully opened it up, prepared the suit for him and gave him some basic operating instructions. Tony wanted him in the suit so he would have made it as convenient as possible without going too far so as to make Rhodey suspicious that it could be some kind of trap. Hence he had the basic operation handed to him, but more complex things like weapons and flight he had to work out on his own once he was in the suit.
      • Think back to the first film, as well. Remember when Tony went to see Rhodey in the hangar to tell him about his new project, where Rhodey blew him off when he told him it wasn't a military project? The novelization explained that what Tony really wanted was for Rhodey to pilot the suit. He wanted somebody trustworthy to do it, and besides Pepper, Rhodey was pretty much the only person Tony fully trusted at that time. Rhodey was uninterested (though had he listened, he'd have probably jumped in based on the cool factor of the technology) so Tony piloted the suit himself. It's not unreasonable to assume that since Tony knew he was dying, he would have the forethought to believe the world still needed Iron Man. Being aware of what happened when his technology fell into the wrong hands before, he would only allow Rhodey to pilot his suits. Maybe it was Tony's drunkenness, but he didn't seem surprised at all to see Rhodey wearing the Mk II, and as stated above, Black Widow noted that nobody can pilot Tony's suits without his permission. And even though the film never said it, I can't imagine Tony had no killswitch or something for the Mk II if he really didn't want Rhodey to have the suit. He probably didn't figure he'd take it to Justin Hammer for weaponization, but if he didn't want Rhodey to have the suit, he probably wouldn't have made it out of the house with it.
  • Why did Stane try to have Tony killed in the first place? He was an absolute genius at weapons engineering and he didn't seem to display the slightest inclination to mess with the company's shadier dealings before the kidnapping.
    • Seizing an opportunity as it came by? Given his apparent position among Tony's heirs, killing Tony Stark at home makes Stane an obvious suspect no matter how subtle he is. On the other hand, Tony getting blown up by terrorists in Afghanistan leaves him entirely clean. And Tony probably doesn't go to Afghanistan very often, so, take the shot while you have it.
    • I guess Stane had a chip on his shoulder, and didn't like how Stark was pissing everyones good will down the drain with his womanising and stupid behaviour. Maybe he was offended that such talent should be wasted on someone so irresponsible.
    • There's a great shot at the beginning of the movie which sums up my answer to this; it's a magazine cover from when Tony took charge of the company from Stane after Stane acted as regent; Tony's front and centre, and Stane's been pushed clear into the background. Even in the staged pose, Stane doesn't look entirely happy about it. Yep -- simple, good-old-fashioned jealousy. Stane wanted to be top dog.
      • Speaking of those magazine covers, one of them uses a headline referring to Tony taking the "reigns". This editor fairly sure the expression is "taking the reins" - either someone made a proofreading slip-up in their big-budget movie, it's a really bad pun, or all instances of this phrase the editor has read or heard in her entire life have actually been wrong.
        • No, don't worry, you're correct. A lot of writers mix this one up, due to the two being homophones and having approximately the same meaning--taking control via steering instruments used to control horses vs. taking control via throne, crown, divine right and other royal paraphernalia. But it should be "reins," as in, "he took the reins of the business."
      • This is subtly indicated in the scene where Stane is playing the piano: the piece he's playing is by Salieri, a less-talented contemporary of Mozart who is believed by some to have poisoned him out of jealousy. (This isn't actually true, but it's the perception that matters. Stane saw himself as overshadowed by Tony, just as Salieri was overshadowed by Mozart.)
    • Also, Stane seems to like being evil just for the hell of it. I mean, his endgame plan was to murder a bunch of federal agents, then murder his boss, and kill a bunch of innocent civilians, in a way that he could not possibly cover up or attribute to anyone other than himself, while selling weapons to terrorists which have his company's name painted on them in big block letters leaving no doubt where they came from. I think it's safe to say that Stane is the kind of evil who just doesn't care if his plans make sense, so long as they're evil.
      • To quote another Marvel movie villain, "I like being bad it makes me happy"
      • To be fair, that that point, Stane's crimes were already exposed to SHIELD and Pepper had a flash drive filled with more than enough evidence to get him convicted of treason. He really had no other option BUT wreak mass mayhem.
      • I got the impression that Stane's plan at that point was to kill Tony and snatch the Arc Reactor from him, and use that as a bargaining chip to convince the military to sweep the whole thing under the rug, if he'd keep them supplied with Arc Reactor-powered supersoldier suits. When the SHIELD agents showed up, he obviously wasn't expecting them to arrive, and moved to defend himself from them. He didn't expect Tony to intervene at that moment either, which is what led to the chaotic battle in the street.
  • ... If most of the reason that Tony becomes an alcoholic later is because Stane takes control of the company, and by the end of the film Stane is dead- if they plan to develop that subplot in the next movie, won't they have to make something up entirely?
    • Arguably, he's already an alcoholic in THIS movie, they just haven't addressed it yet. Besides, it wouldn't be the first time filmmakers changes stuff from the comic book when they adapt it to the silver screen.
    • Tony was already downing alcohol in the first few scenes like a man dying of thirst, before he was kidnapped.
    • I don't think there's a single scene in the movie outside of the cave and a few workshop bits where Tony doesn't have some sort of alcoholic beverage in his hand.
    • Furthermore, "Demon In a Bottle" came out years before Stane was introduced. All Stane did in the comics was to learn about that weakness in Stark and drive him to drink again.
    • Yeah, it looks to me like Tony already has a drink problem. Tony's personality seems to be based largely on the Ultimate Marvel version, who at one point has the memorable line

 Black Widow: Is it really necessary to knock back so many vodkas before you fly that thing?

Iron Man: Absolutely. Who in their right mind would climb into it sober?

    • While Stane may no longer factor into the equation, it looks like the movie's writers decided to run with their own version of the storyline in the second film, replacing his dependency on alcohol with impulsive/self-destructive behavior in reaction to the fact that he was being poisoned by his own reactor. The themes are similar, but the Phlebotinum fueled version is slightly more Moral Guardian friendly than alcohol (even though it is PG 13). While the cause is different, the themes are similar in that Tony must rise above his own foibles and deal with his problems with the help of his friends and allies in order to save himself.
    • Alternately, it might be that once he's dying of Palladium poisoning, he's drinking even MORE than before. Perhaps it dulls the pain.
  • How, exactly, does the bad guy expect to go on a super-suit powered rampage through the middle of a city, kill Tony Stark, and then go on with his life as though nothing happened? A lot of people know exactly who is wearing that suit, so wouldn't he just end up in jail for murder once he takes it off?
    • Perhaps he stopped behaving rationally when he knew for a fact that agents of SHIELD were coming to arrest him anyway?
    • There's also that as far as Stane knows at the time, the 'lot of people' in question are Pepper, Agent Coulson and his squad, and nobody else. So, put on the suit, burn down the factory, kill Pepper and the SHIELD agents, then take the suit off once all the evidence is gone and blame everything on some runaway giant robot or psycho armored terrorist of unknown identity. Not bad for a villain improvising desperately on the spot. When it turns out that Tony Stark isn't actually dead after all, at this point Stane knows he's screwed. But by then we're already into the final fight scene, so, hey.
    • And if he kills Tony and the agents, maybe he could have gone underground and ran things from either another country or from afar?
      • Earlier on we hear Pepper say "Obadiah's gone insane!" it may not be the most in depth judgment, but it's good enough.
      • Someone says that about every villain ever; it doesn't actually mean he's had a psychotic episode and developed mental illness.
    • He saw the people looking through the area at the beginning. If they had a warrant, there were people in the police department who knew it was stark. His only sane choices would be to admit to everything and hope not to get punished too badly, or take a car and run. Using the suit would mean that he'd be punished worse if they detain him, there'd be more police (and national guard) there if he tries to run, and he could get killed while in the suit. The thing isn't invincible, after all.
      • They would not need a warrant -- not only does Pepper have the authority to let them in the building, but Stark Industries is a major defense contractor involved in highly classified research projects. The US government has a lot of oversight in such situations.
    • I also got another idea. Perhaps Stane was hoping that a sufficiently effective display of the Iron Monger suit might convince the government to ignore his indiscretions in favor of a steady supply of new power armors. You can bet that more than a few lawmakers and military personnel would take one look at that suit's abilities and consider sweeping Stane's crimes under the rug in exchange for the technology. The plan's batty, but then, so is Stane by that point.
      • Which is probably the only reason that this would work, seeing as the govenment officials wanted him for supplying weapons to the people they fight as well, a showing of the power he's willing to supply probably wouldn't get him any freedom. He'd have to be very batty to contemplate that. Though that would explain why he left that one guy alive at least. Very Very Batty.
    • My thought on the matter is this: Don't forget his rockets (up until they weren't working at the end). Basically, he kills Tony and the SHIELD agents, and there's no one immediately coming after him. It would take like an hour at least before the government figured out WTF was going on, and by then he could have flown out of US airspace, towards some Banana Republic.
      • Okay, lets' try and compress; Stane has been working his engineers for aaaages trying to build an armor that he can then sell on the black market, and he's even made sure this one has lots of computer assistance as opposed to Stark's fidgety force-feedback gear - any terrorist berk can use one. Except his toadies just keep saying, "Sorry, I can't build a Mini-Phlebotinum Reactor, because I am not Tony Stark!" Then Pepper uncovers evidence he's not only selling weapons to terrorists, he tried to have Stark killed! Stane then comes up with a desperate plan: steal Stark's life-support reactor to power the suit, then use the suit to trash the evidence, kill the witnesses and fly someplace where he can sell the damn thing. Suit working fine, agents dead, just gotta squish Pepper then fly away... "STAAAAAANE!" Time for the big Fight Scene!
    • I was under the impression that Obadiah was acting under panick and desperation. As soon as Pepper got away with the evidence, he was pretty much screwed. He also struck me as the greedy and obsessive kind, so there was no way he was going to just leave without the Iron Monger if he could just complete it and run away with it in one night (All he was really missing was the reactor, which he could steal from Tony... so he did). He was probably ready to run away with the suit and never look back, but then Pepper and the SHIELD agents showed up... well, you know the rest. The suit's not invincible, but I bet anyone would feel like they are if they ever got try it. :p
      • This. His plan was blown when Tony failed to die in the Middle East, but Tony came back with something pretty nifty, so he ran with it. And even then, his entire "plan" was "pay some terrorists to kill Tony". Stane's just a corrupt executive; he's not an evil supergenius. After Pepper found the evidence of his crimes and turned it over to S.H.I.E.L.D., the only option available to him was to run. He didn't really have a plan other than "Don't get arrested, don't get killed, and think of something when you're out of the danger zone." He could have done this without the Iron Monger, but he wouldn't get far with S.H.I.E.L.D. after him. He needed to leave the country. There are any number of countries that would probably be willing to take him in if 1) he had a bargaining chip that he could offer in exchange for sanctuary, and 2) he had the means to get there, since airports and borders would be watched. The Iron Monger provides both of these.
    • Or... a failed Magnificent Bastard plan. Had Stane defeated Tony in the climatic battle, he probably would have killed him. At that point, he could have spun a tale along the lines of: Tony was the one who authorized illegal sales and he was being blackmailed into providing assistance. Tony's 'capture' in Afghanistan was merely a ploy by Tony to arrange some terrorist plot involving the Iron Man suits. Stane, being oh so heroic, develops/steals/whatever the Iron Monger suit to stop Tony before he can accomplish his evil goal (and kill Stane for having such 'evidence').
    • Stane thinks Stark is dead, and everyone else who can incriminate him is handily in his reach. All he has to do is kill the SHIELD agents and kill Pepper. When he's done that, remember that the only irreplaceable part of the Iron Monger suit is the reactor: he can just take it (to be given to his tech staff later) and spin up any excuse story to the authorities, perhaps even self-destruct the Iron Monger, and only be delayed a few months in his plans.
  • When Tony Stark is captured by terrorists in Afghanistan, they demand that he manufacture a Jericho missile for them, right there in the cave. That would be impossible, as it would require precision tools that wouldn't exist outside of the manufacturing plant that originally made them. According to this troper's father, an electrical engineer, you can't even put together a cell phone by hand because things need to be aligned with microscopic precision.
    • This troper would like to point out that Tony was captured by terrorists in Afghanistan, not electrical engineers. As far as they were concerned, Tony Stark = head of Stark Industries, and Stark Industries = weapons manufacturer, therefore Tony Stark = weapons manufacturer.
    • It's possible- indeed probable- that they already had all the components requiring machine precision already assembled or salvaged and only needed the blueprints and assembly between them. They weren't exactly having him work with circuits. For that matter, this troper has entered a hardware company's board lab, where they can perform some modifications upon motherboards and other computer parts by hand, albeit in an environment of extreme cleanliness and with great care.
      • When they tell Stark that he has to assemble the weapon he points out what he will need and also requests two sets of precision tools. It is a line in the version of the movie I have on dvd.
    • Also, keep in mind that he doesn't actually build the missile. Whether he was actually able to in the first case is kind of a moot point.
    • And then there's the question of the leader never asking anything along the lines of "exactly what part of the Jericho missile requires a human-worn mechanical knee?"
      • That's exactly what happens in the scene where Raza (the bald leader of particular Ten Rings cell) demands to know what's going on, then tells Stark he has one more day to finish building the missile.
      • So you're saying that the proper response is to threaten to feed coals to his partner and tell him to hurry up? Rather than, I don't know, searching the room for evidence of that leg attachment? (Prior to Stark's arrival, that terrorist cell had apparently been mass producing Idiot Balls.)
      • Idiot Ball, sort of. Raza was smart enough to suspect something was up, but he probably assumed that Stark was just making random crap to stall for time. No idea why he thought imposing a time limit would suddenly change Stark's mind, however. Maybe "You have one day" was meant more as "I'd better see some tangible progress by tomorrow" and not "I'd better see a finished missile by tomorrow".
        • Yea, see, if This Troper saw someone working every day on a project (seeming to work at least) and then came in and found them with a mechanical knee thing the assumption would be "This jerkass is screwing around rather than making my missile" instead of the much less Occam friendly "This jerkass is building a robotic suit powered by his pacemaker with which to escape from my cave after defeating my entire garrison."
    • Maybe they realised he couldn't build an exact duplicate of the Jericho, just something that has the same effect.
    • Maybe for the ordinary plebes of electrical engineering, it is impossible, but this is Tony Stark. Stane himself pretty much points out just how outclassed everyone else is when he screams how Tony Stark is able to build technology in a cave with a box of scraps that a fully-equipped engineering team in a state-of-the-art laboratory cannot duplicate because the science does not yet exist to pull it off. That is how far beyond everyone else Tony Stark is when it comes to engineering.
      • Heck, near-impossible engineering is Tony Stark's superpower. Spiderman has spider powers, Wolverine regenerates from anything, HULK SMASH, and Tony Stark literally builds the impossible.
        • So Stark's a Spark?
          • Basically, yes.
    • For crying out loud the guy was able build something akin to a nuclear reactor the size of a fist.
      • Which he built IN A CAVE with A BOX OF SCRAPS.
    • In The Ultimates, which Iron Man is largely based off, Tony is so freakishly intelligent because due to a freak of genetics, he has neural tissue throughout his entire body, in a layer underneath his skin, not just in his brain. Humans may only use 10% of their brain, but when your brain is fifteen times the size of the next guy's thats a lot of extra brainpower. It's also mentioned that this causes Stark continual, burning pain as nurons are firing onto nerves through his body. He's a big drinker because Alcohol numbs the skin and therefore removes the pain.
    • No. It is 10% AT ANY ONE TIME. But if what you say is correct and he's using 10% of that at a time, then yeah, it'd probably provide a boost to intelligence.
      • I'm gonna be pedantic 'cause I really though TV Tropes would be above the myth: The brain uses ALL of its capacity, but MOST of it is NOT directed into the cognitive processes. They're the parts that constitute instinctual knowledge, emotions, memory, coordination, and a fuckton of other things that we wouldn't notice.
  • What exactly IS so great about a Jericho missile? It looked to me like a glorified cluster bomb. At least, I don't see why it's considered anything more than something a little more powerful, and at most, I don't think it fulfills any role a MOAB, BLU-82 "daisy cutter", or CBU-97 Sensor Fuzed Weapon couldn't fulfill (and the trend in weapons seems to be more precision to prevent civilian kills and collateral damage, generally not widespread, indiscriminate damage). Also, this might be a second question, but when they were describing the Jericho, they mentioned something about "repulsor technology". What exactly was that supposed to do? The missiles seemed to separate by simple wind resistance, and the missile seemed to be powered by a normal rocket.
    • Much more portable than previous weapons with the same kill power. Actualy, this troper is of the opinion (based upon the overpressure wave and the way the submunitions fly) that the device is a system to deliver very adavanced thermobaric explosives with pinpoint accuracy by the dozens. That seems like the sort of thing the military might want.
    • It nearly leveled a mountain and was able to be fired from a really pretty small launcher, allowing use in the field instead of having to call in a B-52. The repulsor technology was, presumably, the rocket driving the missile itself (repulsors are what the suit uses to fly, after all).
      • Yup. The ability to have firepower equivalent to an MLRS battery, but the launcher fits on a Humvee? That's worth buying.
      • Indeed. Also, from what we are shown, repulsor technology uses much less fuel and space than standard rockets. The repulsors on the Ironman suit fit on the hands and feet, add very little bulk, and are powered by electricity from the arc reactor.
      • That was the idea I got- because the propulsion systems in the mini-missiles take up so little space, they can carry very big payloads for their size.
    • I was under the impression that it was a terror weapon, and was mostly supposed to scare the enemy. As for the precision weapons, maybe he didn't like the idea of putting all your eggs in one basket, and decided to make weapons that would be effective for fighting a first-world country.
    • It is just a glorified cluster bomb. Most moviegoers don't know much about modern military tech. And since real high-tech armaments are all about stealth and accuracy -- not being seen and making a clean kill rather than a big kaboom -- they aren't very cinematic. So the movie dusted off some half-century-old armaments and played some dramatic music to make it cool.
      • I don't think very many cluster bombs have individually guided submunitions like the Jericho.
        • Actually, there IS one bomb currently in active use that utilises individually guided submunitions. It is essentially a single bomb that can decimate an entire armoured column.
        • The CBU-97 doesn't use high-ex charges though. It just uses kinetically-driven armor-piercing penetrators to hit targets from the top. The Jericho's submunitions are individually-guided explosives. It seems like a weapon well-suited for taking out a variety of targets (armor, infantry, reinforced structures) It could probably also be mounted on Predators or other UAVs. I can imagine how deadly a UAV equipped with its own lightweight cluster-munitions would be.
      • Important to note: missiles and bombs are, in military parlance, not the same thing. Bombs are generally dropped and unpowered. Missiles (and their warheads of which there may be many and of which can generally be targeted individually) fly and are powered. As a weapon, Jericho works behind the same principle as the canceled nuclear rifle (a rifle that show a nuclear projectile - for very obvious reasons, the military abandoned the idea) - being able to deliver anti-material ability with precision and power within tactical range, avoiding the problems of someone shooting down a missile fired from 100 miles away, electronic countermeasures, and what have you. The benefit is not what the weapon goes boom with - the benefit (for terrorists) is being able to functionally have a fully guided multi-target weapon that can be put into the back of a van. This is not something you can ordinarily do as most if not all current weapons of similar destructiveness would -be- the size of the van.
      • Though, again, having that level of firepower easily available could still be a nice bonus for the conventional military. Weapons like the CBU-97 are heavy and don't carry that many submunitions; weapons that carry that many submunitions are heavy and don't have individual guidance. The Jericho would have greater multiple-target engagement capability than a CBU-97 (which only mounts ten smart bomblets), while being vastly more portable than anything that carried enough "dumb" submunitions to do the same job (like an MLRS rocket).
    • "Repulsor technology" is a reference to the fictional "Laser-guided particle beam emission" found in the comics. In the movie, this is what the "flight stabilizers" were. I assume that on the Jericho it would be, in my opinion, the relatively tiny rocket that propelled the bomb. Basically, it's a science fiction version of a miniature jet engine or laser beam (the term "repulsor" can be found in Star Wars and Star Trek as well as other scifi stories). It's actually a really nice small reference for those who are familiar with the comics.
    • When I first saw it, it seemed like it was designed as a kind of area denial weapon that was intended to collapse cave systems. This is something (I think) that is very difficult to do with modern munitions, and something that would be very useful in a place like Afghanistan.
    • I've wondered why Tony decided to set up three missiles when he only planned to use one. It would have been wise to set up one of them, and keep the other two in a secure vehicle, or vehicles; if the first didn't go off, they'd want to make sure what went wrong, and it would be kind of pointless to have the two backup missiles within a couple feet of the first, on the same launch platform.
      • Very Few weapons demonstrations only end with 1 test-fire. I could imagine him being asked to show a different way to fire it, such as lengthwise as opposed to a spread.
      • This is Tony Stark we're talking about here; If there was a problem with the first missile, he'd probably find it in three minutes, fix it in two, and be downing another scotch on the rocks before it finished launching, having fixed the whole damn thing with a cuff-link and a paper clip.
    • Basically, Repulsor Technology is a way of providing a small but fully functional propulsion system for an object. From the movie, we know that a miniaturized repulsor thruster is small enough to fit in the palm of a man's hand, and 4 of these things operating at 1% power is enough to lift a grown man, and at higher power levels they can propel said grown man, plus power armor, at supersonic speeds capable of outracing F-22 fighters. This means that the propulsion system on a Jericho missile is actually very tiny, as most space on a conventional rocket is taken up by fuel reserves and the part for burning the fuel. With the Jericho, a large amount of space can be freed up to store more things that go boom. Where modern cluster bombs or smart bombs capable of splitting into smaller components like the Jericho are indeed BOMBS which must be dropped from a height to hit a target effectively, the Jericho is essentially a smart cluster bomb-launching MISSILE, which gives you the effects of a cluster bomb capable of destroying entire mountain ranges without the complications calling in air strikes. Just fire and forget.
  • Why didn't Phil Coulson use the acronym "S.H.I.E.L.D." from the beginning?
    • Other then it would give away who thay are a bit soon, they aren't a very public group so while a layman would know the likes of the FBI, CIA, and NSA, Their responce to "S.H.I.E.L.D." whould be, "Who?"
    • I'd chalk it up to the Rule of Funny
      • Also, listen closely the first time he tries to introduce himself. I don't remember the whole name, but it starts with "Strategic Defense...". In other words, the acronym wouldn't have been "S.H.I.E.L.D." yet
        • Exactly. At one point, the guy even says "We're still working on the name". The whole thing is an in-joke.
        • But it is possible to pick it up the first time; at least, I did. The first one starts with 'Strategic Homeland...' something or other, prompting me to dwell on how annoyingly topical they were being - when I realized what it must be for.
          • This troper owns the movie (On Blu Ray, naturally), and worked it out to be 'Strategic Homeland Intelligence, Enforcement, and Logistics Division.' Still an in-joke, but of course close to what the original acronym of S.H.I.E.L.D. And of course this entire thing is more really one part Continuity Nod and one part Sequel Hook.
            • Actually I think the I stood for intervention, I'll check at some point using the subtitles
    • If I recall correctly, according to a tie-in comic it's because Nick Fury hadn't noticed it could be turned into an acronym and everyone else assumed he just preferred it that way
      • You recall correctly. The agent (I forget the name, but the one in the movie who keeps trying to get that appointment) slips and uses it around Fury. He starts to back-track but Fury cuts him off, saying that he likes it.
  • Why did Stane leave Stark alive after paralyzing him? Did he really think that Tony wouldn't have a backup reactor? Turns out he didn't, other than the inferior prototype, but why would Stane assume that?
    • Because that's the most clean way to go: Nobody saw Tony's arc reactor, but he (and Pepper) So, he hoped him to die from a heart attack, and police finding him dead. The authopsy would leave more questions about how could he had lived for months, than what killed him. Also. Even if he had a backup on his table (which he had) he would be too weak to get it. Stane's plan would have been perfect, if it wasn't for that meddlesome mr. nice robot arm.
    • Stane is a businessman, not an assassin. It's for the same reason he got Ten Rings to do the dirty deed, he's undoubtedly as hesitant to kill people personally as anyone else would be. If he used a gun for example it could well be tracked back to him. Once he got his suit that seems to go out the window, but then he was getting rather desperate there.
      • Even after he gets the suit, he's either (deep down) hesitant to kill Tony or an extremely poor shot. It could be the latter; without the targeting systems, those missiles could have been hard to control.
        • Maybe he truly cares for him as a friend.
          • I wonder what makes him more caring - ordering a hit to kill him, or leaving him without his only means of survival?
    • Also, Stane's aware that the reactor in Tony's chest is the only thing keeping him alive; presumably he just assumed that once he took it out, the paralysis would last long enough for Tony's wound to finish the job for him. Either the paralysis lasted for less time than Stane thought or Tony's made of stronger stuff.
      • On top of that, if all went as planned, Stane could have gotten away without anyone being able to easily prove that he was the killer. The paralysis weapon leaves no fingerprints or other obvious traces, and the extractor he used to take the reactor out of Tony's chest wouldn't be an easily identified murder weapon. If he'd stabbed or shot Tony, he'd be making things a lot simpler for the forensics people.
    • Besides, Tony wouldn't have had a backup. Remember, when he made the new reactor, he told Pepper to throw the first one away. Tony only survived because Pepper decided to do something really sweet for him instead.
    • "What, I'm going to leave him in peril with one inept guard and assume it all went according to plan." -Dr. Evil, mocking cruel and overly-complex assassination plans.
    • Stane doesn't like getting his hands dirty. It's one thing to order a hit on someone or to fire a missile at them, it's quite another to kill them personally and see their blood and life drain out.
  • Since the only known reactor was with Tony at all times, how in the world could Stane's engineers design a suit that could be powered by it? How did they test it without a power source? How did they make the suit so that the reactor snaps right into place, with the connectors fitting perfectly?
    • They designed it by working from the Mark I suit; since the same reactor works with both the Mark I and the Mark III, then if Stane's people could design a connector to match the original, it would also work with the new-and-improved model. Why they did that is a better question, yes.
  • I always assumed that they tested it using the arc reactor they already had...you know, the giant one right over their heads. Although they obviously would need a smaller one to actually use the suit in the field.
    • As far as the "why" goes, since the scientists he's got working on it can't create a power source they know exists, asking them to create an entirely new one seems a bit much. (They could probably test the suit by plugging it into the big reactor.)
    • Actually, this question has the simplest answer of any of these, and I'm amazed no one has thought of it yet. We know Tony's first suit was built from Stark weapons components, and the second one was probably mostly pre-existing components too, with custom parts being used only when necessary. In short: Tony had no reason to build a custom power socket and plug-ins to fit it when he could just use a pre-existing type.
  • When Stane removed the generator from Tony, why did Tony instantly start feeling the shrapnel's effects? The guy back in the terrorists' base said that it would take a week to kill him without the generator, and Tony appears to have been wearing it constantly. By the way, shrapnel doesn't work like that.
    • It might not have actually been killing him that quickly, but having a large hole in your chest with a bit of metal slowly digging into your heart presumably hurts like hell. As for shrapnel not working like that, that's probably something we'll have to ascribe to Comic Book Logic and move on.
    • I assume it was also a pace-maker, and they just forgot to mention it. Why else would he go into cardiac arrest? Having a large whole in your chest shouldn't feel any different whether or not there's an arc reactor in it, and a bit of metal slowly digging into your heart would be totally painless; your heart doesn't have the nerves required to feel pain.
    • It is a pace-maker - remember when Pepper helped Tony put in the new one? Tony explicitly says that he's being into cardiac arrest. Thus, no generator = bye bye Tony.
  • Ok, the Mark Zero prototype power source keeping Tony Stark alive was an electromagnet wired up to a car battery... given that they were working with scraps, Tony's plan required a fusion reactor anyway, and they had to save "The good stuff" for other parts of the mark one suit I can easily see wiring up a new electromagnet to the reactor. But when he had his pick of his entire companies equipment and was upgrading the reactor in the scene where he needs Pepper Potts hand, WHY didn't he replace the electromagnet with a Neodymium permanent magnet (which can be found in any modern starter motor on an engine). As a weapons designer he should know that "reliable" trumps "cool" in almost every situation (and yes I know that the guy's ego is more turbo-charged then his car, but this wasn't something anyone was ever going to see).
    • Congratulations, you know more about the subject than the writers. Alternatively, Rule of Cool.
    • The comic version was also a pacemaker, which this one may be too as he did go in to cardiac arrest after the first magnet was removed.
      • Fridge Brilliance time! Yisen called people with wounds like Tony's 'the walking dead', assume that he ment 'without treatment'. Now assume Yisen was to thoracic surgery what Tony was to Engineering and that he originally assumed Tony's wounds were un-treatable, until the terrorists told him to save Tony's life 'Or Else' and so Yisen comes-up with the idea of grafting a big honkin' Electromagnet to his patient's chest. Tony then designs the Mk.I replacement unit, including a pacemaker since while the electromagnet prevents the shrapnel from digging any deeper it's still done some damage to his heart. Eventually the electromagnet does do what forceps couldn't, which is why he asks Pepper not to put it back in after she accidentally yanks it out. BRILLIANT!
    • Heck, start down this line of reasoning and you'll end up asking why the guy with the vast fortune, sophisticated technical wizardry, and utterly awesome lab, the guy who can build ultra-sophisticated flying combat suits with magic energy sources while at gunpoint in a desert prison, can't devise a method that would allow a decent surgeon to get the shrapnel out of his heart and repair the damage. Surely you don't want to go there…
      • Sorry, I DID think of that even before you mentioned it. The key element missing is the "decent surgeon"... because the surgeon would see the reactor. Stark barely trusts Ms. Potts with all this, getting a surgeon in would have gone very much against the grain for him.
        • Not to mention an electromagnet is adjustable by changing the current. If bloodflow was putting a force on the shrapnel, you'd need to change to force keeping it in place.
      • Because the shrapnel was really irrelevant. "You're going to need a pacemaker." The reactor serves to power the pacemaker. Not to mention that someone as relatively paranoid as Tony Stark is probably not going to go under the knife and risk someone absconding with his reactor while he's unconscious.
        • There's a simple solution to that as well: Temporarily replace the reactor with a conventional battery and then go under the knife.
      • Stark wouldn't do that because it would require that the reactor be out of his sight for far too long. He doesn't want anybody getting a hold of his tech. That's the reason he wanted Pepper to destroy the Mk I reactor when he had her take it out.
      • One of the consistent aspects of Tony's character is paranoia. He's unwilling to allow Stane to even examine the device precisely because his company has a massive security leak somewhere and the only people he trusts with his reactor are himself and Pepper, and Pepper can't protect the reactor if someone tries to steal it from her by force. He's sure as hell not going to let himself be knocked out because of the ease by which anyone who wants the reactor can take it while he's out.
      • Designing machines and designing new surgical techniques are two very different skill sets.
    • 1. How do you know he DIDN'T replace the electromagnet with a permanent neodymium magnet? Just because he asked Pepper not to remove the elctromagnet doesn't mean he wanted to continue using it, perhaps he didn't want to remove the magnetic force and intended to power off the electromagnet after installing the new reactor (which looked quite a bit thicker than the old one, perhaps housing a magnet in the bottom). 2. Isn't the main advantage of an electromagnet in this case that the magnetic flux can be altered by altering the current? You can't do that with a neodymium magnet, using an electromagnet he could adjust the magnetic flux as needed. Perhaps the new reactor houses an electromagnet.
    • A permanent magnet may not be the best thing. A electromagnet can be timed to switch on with the pace maker. The objective was to keep the metal out of the heart. So the electromagnet/pacemaker comes on between beats of the heart.
    • Yet another, simpler explanation: an electromagnet can be much, much more powerful than any permanent magnet. You know that frog they levitated by applying a monstrous magnetic field to it? Try doing that with neodymiums...
  • How did Tony Stark not die at the end? The power generator got destroyed in his chest, and the only other one in existance got destroyed with Stane. How did he suddenly get a new one?
    • It doesn't need an arc reactor, it just needs power. The ambulance prob'bly hooked it up to a battery of some sort, and they most likely simply plugged him in once he got to the hospital. Once the rest of him healed up enough, he made another one while in his hospital bed.
      • And knowing Stark, he probably made it out of pieces of said bed.
      • Don't you mean out of SCRAPS! ...sorry.
    • His reactor wasn't destroyed in the fight. It flickered back to life as he lay collapsed- a sign that he took the reactor to its absolute limit, and had he took any more punishment he would have died.
      • Which I assumed meant that his armor was finally damaged enough that it wasn't drawing power anymore. Let's say there was only 0.01% power remaining for the full Mark Three. Tony collapses after the battle and his armor is so damaged it's become essentially a hollow shell around him. Suddenly the arc reactor only needs to power his heart. For all we know 0.01% power for the armor is 5% power for just keeping him alive. He now has a little time to hook up to a car battery or whatever.
      • Inidividual jetpacks in real life are made unfeasible solely by the upper limit for portable energy carried by the pack being at most 15 minutes worth of flight. A pacemaker runs on a tiny lithium battery for ages. One could easily assume that 0.01% of power that was able to fling a remarkably heavy suit of armor like a bumblebee all over the sky for hours on end would be enough to power the pacemaker for years.
  • Why, after meeting up with Agent Coulson and momentarily escaping Obidiah, does it take Pepper exactly the same amount of time to call Tony as it takes Obidiah to get across down and break into Stark's house? I can't seriously imagine Coulson physically preventing her from calling Tony the instant they leave the building, which is kind of what it should have taken to stop her warning him.
    • It's possible he just wasn't answering his phone for whatever reason, probably tweaking the Mark III suit. Also, if I remember correctly, Tony is checking his voice mail and hears Pepper's message when Stane shows up. Presumably, she called him much earlier, he ignored it, and only got around to checking it later.
      • It's a well known fact that Stane's "Beard of Eeeevill" allows him to teleport whenever it's convieneint to the plot.
    • Pepper was running off with Coulson to have her meeting with him and his S.H.I.E.L.D. buddies. By the time she was done, it was nighttime, which meant Stane would have had all the time he needed to get to Tony's house and off him.
  • When Tony starts feigning cooperation with the Ten Rings to build the Mark I suit, he tells them he needs "a welder; I don't care if it's acetylene or propane." I don't know about the propane one, but an acetylene torch can't weld. It's specifically a cutting torch, and trying to use it to weld would be incredibly dangerous and inaccurate at best. We do, in fact, see Tony using an acetylene torch later to cut metal. Whoever they got it from could've told them the distinction, as could the people who showed Robert Downey Jr. how to use it for that shot.
    • Possibly, Tony was testing the Ten Rings to see how technically knowledgeable they were. When none of them correct him on his deliberate(?) mistake about the acetylene 'welder', he then knows it's safe to really start bullshitting them.
    • Perhaps he simply used acetylene as a shortened form of the full name of 'oxy-acetylene'? You really can't do very much without both. If I remember correctly, the oxygen increases the temperature high enough to be useful, while the acetylene keeps the oxygen from burning up too fast to be useful. And judging by the bright blue flame it produces, Stark is using an oxy-acetylene torch to cut the metal.
      • Oxygen doesn't burn, I'm pretty sure an oxy-acetylene torch is just a hotter acetylene torch, since it has its own oxidant built-in. [Instead of relying on lower concentrations of atmospheric oxygen]
      • What chemistry class did you fail? Oxygen is one of the most flamable substances in existence. Fire cannot exist without it. Elemental Oxygen not burning I'll take, since it would be rather hard for it to release the energy of it's bonds when it isn't bonded, but Molecular Oxygen, which is what it almost invariably is (hence why it's nicknamed O2), has bonds, and rather energetic ones at that, to break.
        • Ummm... Energy is released when bonds form not when they are broken. And oxygen can't burn - burning is an exothermic reaction wherein a substance reacts with oxygen.
          • 1) Hi, I'd like you to meet my friend fission. 2) Oxygen will burn by itself, until it is (quickly) consumed. It doesn't need to react with ANY substance, which is a silly thing to say.
            • Ok, to clear up. Oxygen will not burn, the air is about 21% oxygen and has yet to burn up around us. Energy is released with the forming of bonds with oxygen, hence why burning fossil fuels produces CO 2, arranged like O-C-O. It is correctly called oxidisation. Finally, oxygen is not a fissile material, splitting it takes in energy, and nuclear fission (and fusion) are nothing to do with burning anyway. In conclusion, OXYGEN NEVER BURNS, burning is when a substance reacts with oxygen to produce heat and light. Oxygen does make an acetylene torch hotter because it allows the acetylene to burn faster. OK? Now drop it!
            • The crew of Apollo 1 might take exception to your claim that oxygen will not burn. The reason air doesn't burn up around us is because it's 3/4th nitrogen, which is inert. If you light a match and then put a jar over it the flame will go out because it will have expended all the oxygen. I wouldn't recommend trying to light a match in a room with 100% oxygen, though.
      • Nope. Oxygen isn't, itself, flammable. Concentrated oxygen helps things burn, certainly, but if you light a match in a room that's 100% oxygen, all you're going to get is...a lit match. Oxygen is not fuel.
        • A lit match that burns REALLY QUICKLY because there is more oxygen than usual to take part in the reaction. Hence Apollo I. The oxygen DID NOT BURN. The plastics and textiles involved in the electronics and finishes of the capsule burned. They burned at four times the speed and intensity that anybody was expecting, since the oxygen concentration was four times normal. This is the same effect exploited in an oxy-acetylene torch. Can you open just the acetylene valve and light the torch? Yes, but with only atmospheric oxygen to work with, the flame will be weak. Can you open just the oxygen valve and light the torch? Nope. Put em both together, though, and the pure oxygen reacts quickly with the pure acetylene, resulting in an intense fire.
    • You can easily weld with acetylene. It's not as familiar to the general public as electric arc welding nowadays, but any welder would be at least somewhat proficient at it. When you're using acetylene in a cutting torch all the acetylene is doing is heating up the metal enough that the introduction of oxygen (either from a cylinder or atmospheric air) will form iron oxide which can then melt with the heat of the flame. In any case asking for acetylene to weld with is a perfectly correct request.
  • Why didn't Tony wear a helmet to protect his head when testing his boosters? And why didn't he test the boosters on a dummy or something so he could find an appropriate power level without sending himself hurtling into a wall?
    • Rule of Funny. Really, the whole point behind that scene was to have Tony smacking his head against walls.
    • Also, don't forget that this is a character who is self-destructive, depressive, and an adrenaline junkie addict. As shown with the initial test flight scene and his disregard for Jarvis' warnings, Tony probably just didn't care that much.
    • This is big time Rule of Funny. Tony Stark went to MIT, if he ever took a Physics class he should know almost exactly how much power to run through the foot-rockets in order to hover. (Hint: 9.8N/kg of force).
      • While it's more Rule of funny than anything, the problem could have been that this prototype had poor control over the amount of power delivered to the legs. That is, he knew he needed 9.8N/kg of force, but accidentally delivered 50 or whatever.
      • Good point, actually I should retract my last statement. The 9.8N/kg works all well and good on the blackboard at MIT and in the notes in your notebook, but that doesn't mean it works in real life. What we saw with Tony's initial test runs was not unlike a lot of early American/Russian rocket tests. Suppose the rockets ALWAYS deliver the required force to hover, which is 9.8N/kg. Now suppose they are oriented at 89º above the horizontal instead of 90º. The math problem is just to decompose the vector and then you have the vertical force (which is less than what is needed) and the horizontal force (which is what you don't want). I don't feel like doing it right now, but the point is Tony needed something called a control system, it's a computer program that rights rockets and control surfaces so they don't spin out of control.
        • Possibly he was testing the amount of thrust he could output and took into account the weight of the suit BEFORE wearing it, I mean, if you're making a super suit, wouldn't you be too busy making it awesome and maybe let something slip?
        • As well, he would probably be testing the control systems and such when having to compensate for the natural movement of a person so they don't accidentally break his ankles when he twitches his leg while maintaining any given flight speed, attitude or what have you. Since he doesn't really have any point of reference, he has to test it on himself.
      • Yeah, so mechanical power is actually newton-meters per second, not newtons per kilogram. Additionally, newtons per kilogram is not a measurement of force but, as the units suggest, a measurement of force per kilogram.
        • True, but for achieving flight (or hovering) you need 9.8N of thrust per kilogram that you're trying to lift. It's accurate in this context.
  • The miniaturized Arc reactors are capable of providing, approximately, a stupid amount of energy. And yet, they use little wires and plastic connectors, which would undoubtedly melt in a split second if asked to deliver eleventy billion joules or whatever. Why not just remove the silly wires altogether? Having the reactors spring to life as they're rotated in the holes would have also been way cooler.
    • This troper would like to point out that cables leading out from a power source do NOT have to pull every last erg of power. Just pull whatever energy you need at the moment. Presumably the suit has additional contacts inside its connectors that attach the Reactor to the internals.
    • Maybe the battery was connected to some really powerful capacitor to just keep him alive, and the suit gets power from some other connection? I don't know- how did he hook the reactors up to the suits anyway? If they were just external suits, he'd have no way attatch them to his chest.
      • It occurs to me that when Stark puts on the suit to go to Gulmira you see very clearly a big metal ring with copper wire wrapped around it that starts rotating slowly over the reactor unit, which itself also substantially brightens once the suit is put on. The Arc reactor is clearly some type of plasma-based device, which is essentially a type of conductor and would have a magnetic field, so my impression was that the wiring helps control the reactor and the power is drawn off using the reactor as the primary side of a transformer, wirelessly.
    • The wire is clearly simply for the electromagnet keeping him alive: it goes in his body, and Tony has no other technical tidbits in himself. The suit obviously takes its power from some other connector - presumably the reactor's whole casing.
  • This one just bugged me for a while. How does Tony Stark get to Afghanistan when he busts up the whole Golmiyra Atrocity? Does he fly his suit around the world? Well I just bought the special edition DVD and there is a deleted scene that explains this. After he sees everything on TV about the atrocity he asks Pepper to ready his house in Dubai, UAE. He goes to have a party and leaves from there as Iron Man with a backdrop of fireworks. Thus proving that Tony Stark is REALLY bad at making up alibis "I wasn't in Afghanistan, I was a stone's throw away in Dubai."
    • You're right, Stark's alibis leave a lot to be desired. Remember when he was on his way back from kicking Ten Ring ass in Gulmira, and Rhodes asks him "What's that noise?". The man is a tech genius, but a shit liar.
    • What's the problem with flying the suit around the world? He's got the superadvanced reactor that can supposedly power the suit for, oh, approximately a million years, the thrusters let him fly above the speed of sound (much above, probably), and Jarvis can probably fly the suit in a straight line himself while Tony takes a nap. Or, y'know, watches a movie or something.
  • Fifty lifetimes? Wouldn't something three times more powerful than a nuclear reactor wired directly to a pacemaker make your heart explode?
    • Just because it can produce that much power doesn't mean its pumping that much power out all the time.
  • Considering that Iron Monger was reverse-engineered from the Mark-1 suit (which was described in the comics as a "gas-guzzler") and looked incredibly heavy and over-gunned been just as short on power as Iron Man, even with the more advanced reactor powering it? I mean, yeah the old reactor wasn't designed to handle the Mark-3 suit, but the new reactor wasn't exactly designed for a suit like Iron Monger's either (not to mention the fact that tony must've used up a lot of energy flying to Afghanistan and back). That should've been an equal match.
    • The new reactor was significantly improved over the old one, and could put out a LOT more power.
    • Power is also not an indicator of capabilities. You could use a nuclear reactor to power a ping pong ball shooter and you'd still be shooting ping pong balls.
  • A tiny peeve of mine (you guys have pretty much covered everything): In the scene where Potts helps Stark swap out his reactor, it's made pretty clear that they're safe, sealed, hotswappable units that can be plugged in and out, as long as you know what you're doing. Yet the weird device Stane uses to steal it from the paralysed Stark seems to drill in and burn out the reactor. Couldn't he just unclick it and yank it out? Potts never saw the thing before her scene and she seemed to click it in herself.
    • Potts hooked up the reactor and slid it into place. Stane had to remove it. We don't see how the removal process works, as Tony had already detached his original reactor when Potts came in to help him. Removal appears to be different from insertion.
    • What he said. Plus, it seemed to me that Stane's patented Tony Stark Reactor Removal Tool (tm) had to burn through his shirt.
    • You ever change an automotive fuse? My car has a special little plastic tool (it's kind of like a staple remover crossed with a pair of pliers) for taking them out. It makes life so much easier, but you can slip fuses IN with your bare hands. Same basic concept. Just like an automotive fuse, there's a good reason to make it hard to remove, but no good reason to make it hard to insert.
  • Okay, so Tony found out that his weapons are being stolen by terrorists, and the first conclusion he comes to to combat this problem is to dress up in a suit and hunt down rather than...I dunno, tighten up security? Stane is selling weapons to the terrorists, but Tony doesn't know that, so why is his first idea to become a superhero?
    • Because Stane locked Tony out of the company, which is said very explicitly just one scene earlier. Tony can't "tighten security" because he has no control over Stark Industries, and no amount of tightening security is going to take the weapons out of the hands of men who already have them.
      • Also, Tony is that kind of guy. A more normal person would have called the FBI or something, but Tony is naturally secretive, addicted to thrills, and supremely arrogant about his own abilities. Give someone like that the means, motive, and opportunity to become a superhero rather than go to the government for help, and they will.
    • Actually, in the scene before the suit-up, Stane did pretty much say he was selling the weapons to terrorists when Tony confronted him with the picures of the Jericho in Afghanistan.
      • And if Tony goes to the cops, he has no real proof, and Stane sues him for defamation. Noice.
  • This is one that's been annoying me. Early in the movie, after they blow up the door to take out the guards, Yisen grabs a gun and runs into the hallway to buy some time while the MK 1 finishes booting up. He does this by blowing half his clip into the ceiling and running screaming towards a dozen or more heavily armed (and now well alerted) men. One would imagine he could have bought much more time by securing some cover and shooting anyone who came to investigate the explosion, as well as maybe not dying on the way out of the cave. Maybe the guys not a tactical genius, but it doesn't seem like he would need to be to realize this.
    • He's a fucking doctor, for God's sake. A doctor who wanted to die.
      • If he wanted to die that badly, I'm sure he could have worked out some way to do it with the mass of equipment he and Tony had been given to build a missle. All I'm saying is that he could have sold his life much more dearly then he did, buying more time for the suit to finish booting up, as well as forcing the Ten Rings Mooks into the cave (away from the heavy weapons outside) where the MK 1's flame throwers would have had a much greater advantage.
      • Repeat: Fucking. Doctor. One with no combat experience, no time to come up with a real plan, and holding a weapon he really doesn't have any idea how to manage. All he has time to think at that point is to come up with some way to delay the bad guys for a few minutes.
    • Maybe he just couldn't bring himself to shoot someone.
      • Being a doctor and all.
    • On a side note, the whole "doctor" thing isn't a very good argument when random Tropers can provide easy alternatives...I mean, being a doctor prevents him from staging a siege, not from common sense.
      • ...But each of these alternatives each end with the same thing; Kill the terrorists. He is a /doctor/. Presumably, he has sworn the Hippocratic Oath. Presumably, he doesn't want to kill the terrorists; Else he'd have at least short FORWARDS, AT THEM, which is indeed well within his capabilities.
      • Yes, tropers can provide easy alternatives ... while sitting in front of their computers in their homes in complete safety. Yisen had been through complete hell for god knows how long, and then thrust into really deep shit. I'd say we can cut him a break.
    • Also to consider that he needed to buy time. Confusing the hell out of the bad guys by acting like a suicidal manic, by creating enough noise and confusing that they couldn't tell how many guns the guy had (remember, they all knew Tony was building a weapon in the cave - it wouldn't be unreasonable of them to think that, if they were trying to escape, they'd be packing something good) would buy more time than getting to a choke point and letting the terrorists see that it's just one guy with an empty magazine ie something they can easily handle with a good shot, a grenade, or what have you. As well, Tony and Yisen had no idea if the suit would protect Tony or how long it would last as well as how much fighting he had to do. Presumably too, Yisen wanted to drive back the bad guys so that Tony could advance as far as he could without having use use to ammo or power as well as avoid the bad guys bringing out big guns and be prepared.
    • Not to mention, it's harder to aim than fire wildly. If he had tried to aim at soldiers who are TRAINED to kill him, he'd have lost, especially since the odds were stacked, by firing wildly he scared them off without a confrontation.
    • If Dr Yinsen had anything to do with the bomb at the door, that blew away those two mooks, then he probably wasn't thinking too much about the sanctity of life.
      • There's a difference between setting a trap and actively gunning someone down. In one case, the death happens out of view, and you don't have anything to do with pulling the trigger, so there's distance and a "buffer" between yourself and the act--if nothing else, you can tell yourself "I didn't pull the trigger. They were dumb enough to set it off, so it's their fault." Shooting someone, there's no such buffer--you pull the trigger, you make the decision to end someone's life. This latter thing is something that the military spends a lot of time on because your average human really does not want to kill another human being; someone like Yensin has no such training, so it would be very difficult for him to actually try and kill someone, even if it is in defense of his own life.
      • Indeed, after the mine goes off, Yinsen emerges from cover to regard the bodies and says "oh my goodness", sounding a bit sick to his stomach. It's possible he was repressing his trained urge to run over and check them for vital signs. He shakes it off quickly enough, but asking him to then start shooting people is a bit much.
    • Dammit, he's a doctor, not a commando.


  • I know having a large glowing light in your chest looks very cool, but surely both Stane and Stark would think not to expose their one and sole source of energy out in the open like that? One would think that if a single stray shot that hit the arc-generator would destroy it and render the suit useless, they would put some double armor on that spot rather than putting a weak lightbulb in there instead. It's especially annoying with Stane who seems to literally shove the reactor into the very front chest plate of his armor.
    • Stane's suit was a prototype designed to prove the concept, not a battle-ready model. Full tactical readiness wouldn't necessarily be paramount. As for Stark's suit, if the game of the film is cannon, the arc reactor needs to be exposed so Stark can use the Uni-beam. But just in case it isn't, some alternate theories: 1) To make removal, repair, and replacement easier. Stark's arc reactor is literally keeping him alive. If it starts having problems he doesn't want to be fumbling around with twelve layers of armor, he'll want to be able to pop it out quickly, fix it if he can, and plug in a spare if he can't (and I would definitely trust Tony Stark to have at least one spare arc reactor on hand somewhere). Also, the arc reactor puts out a huge amount of energy. What if it malfunctions and seems likely to explode? If you were Stark, wouldn't you want to be able to get that thing out of your chest as soon as possible? 2) There's no reason to believe a single stray shot would destroy the thing. The film doesn't say how much punishment the arc reactor itself can take, and even if it is fairly fragile there's no reason to assume that Stark hadn't installed some sort of protective force field somethingorother (or just a thick screen of bullet-proof glass) to protect it from stray shots.
      • Yes it can be used as a uni-beam, he even uses it on Obadiah in the film. Pay attention.
      • Uh. Stark didn't make backups. There was that one scene in the film, you know. The one where he was having cardac arrest!? (Apart from that I agree)
      • True, but that doesn't mean he couldn't plan ahead for when he would have backups ready.
    • For the mark one he had limited time and resources, for the mark two and three you do see some thing lowering over the reactor to cover it, for Stane his suit was based on the mark one and not designed for proper combat.
  • What kind of a name is "Obadiah" anyway? I know it's from the Bible, but it seems like a rather unconventional choice when perfectly common Biblical names like "John" and "Peter" are available. Is there some sort of symbolism in the name Obadiah that I'm not aware of or was "Obadiah" a much more popular name when Stan Lee was growing up?
    • Sounds cool. Comic books are like that.
      • The Other Wiki says his dad's name was Zebediah. Bad names run in his family.
      • Yes, this is overthinking it, but it could be easily explained by him coming from a family of very conservative religious folk. Some American religious subgroups are more likely to use Old Testament Biblical names based on Hebrew rather than NT names based on Greek or Aramaic(which is what John and Peter are). This Troper went to a conservative Christian college and knew two different girls named Tamar.
    • Also, it'd be "when Denny O'Neil was growing up", not Stan Lee.
      • No, Stan Lee definitely created Iron Man. Denny O'Neil just worked on Iron Man's book during the 80s.
        • No offense, but that's a moot point. The subject's about Obadiah's name and Stan Lee didn't create Obadian Stane, Denny O'Neil did.
    • Do you not know people with weird names, of the kind that make you think "what sort of twisted, evil mind would name their child like that" and cringe when you think of the abuse they've had to suffer in high school? In fact, new theory - Obadiah is evil because he was bullied in school!
  • Although Stane boasts his suit is "more advanced in every way" it looks far cruder than Tony's: it uses conventional weapons and rockets (albiet very small ones) instead of repulsors, and is so huge and bulky it blurs the line between power armor and a mecha, while the Mk III is small enough to fit around Tony's body, and accurate enough to not, y'know snap any of his bones.
    • It also caught up with Tony's suit while it had a head start, it was winning for the vast majority of the fight against Tony's suit, and it was more heavily armed. And being larger and "cruder" does not preclude the technology from being superior. Saying something being bigger means that it is less advanced is like saying an M1 Abrams is less advanced than a moped simply because it is larger. Quite simply, it is stronger, faster, tougher, more heavily armed, and in general, is superior in every way as a weapon to Stark's suit.
      • At the time, Tony's suit was being powered by the Mk I reactor, which can barely keep the suit running. It was unlikely that he was able to move at full speed without burning the thing out.
        • I think this is underemphasized. Note how when Obadiah wants to crush Tony with the SUV, and Tony wants to hit him with the chest repulsor, he has to divert all his energy just to fire it. Tony's suit is essentially running on fumes, and he can't do any of his fancy tricks or he'll, you know, die. If it had been powered by the advanced reactor, with full power to the repulsors, one can easily assume that Tony would have mopped the floor with Iron Monger.
      • Stane's not really the type to bluff. He's a ruthless businessman on the surface and much worse than that below it, you don't get to where he's gotten in life without being damned confident that whatever you've got will trump your rivals.
      • He's also angry, with a longstanding grudge against Stark, and all his Evil Plans have been foiled to the point where his only remaining option is to go on a berserk power-armored rampage and kill everyone who had any idea what he was doing. He's probably in the right mood to do some boasting about how much better his suit is.
      • Also, what with the reasons in the OP and the "icing problem", the film emphasizes that Stane is wrong. We actually have no reason to take him at face value; it's a classic villain boast, and everyone who posts here is Genre Savvy enough to know what happens when you say things like, "muahaha! There's no way you can stop me now!" etc.
    • It's also a demonstration of the differences in their personalities and styles: starting from the same point (the Mk1 armor), they both improved it; Tony's answer was to make it slimmer and more maneuverable, Obadiah's answer was to make it thicker and more heavily armed. Each man thought their way was the "right" way, so Stane looks at Stark's little red Corvette suit and sees only that Tony hasn't kept up with his advancements.
      • Exactly. Stane built a tank, Tony built a humvee. The humvee can drive circles around the tank, but in a head-on collision, the tank will crush the humvee.
      • It also speaks to the characterization of the relationship between Stane and Tony. Stane's suit is essentially a souped up version of the Mk I armor that was reverse engineered by his technicians. On the other hand, as we can see when he starts designing it, Tony basically took the design for the Mk I and stripped it down to its bare essentials and then apparently redesigning it from the ground up to build the Mk II and III. During this time, Stane has no inkling of what Tony is building in his basement/garage. At this point, Stane only assumes that Tony is fooling around. Furthermore, prior to their battle Stane had never seen the Mk III, much less seen it in action. Here's where characterization starts in. Consider when Tony announced his decision that Stark Industries would abandon weapons manufacturing, Stane doesn't really think that Tony's serious, because he's rarely (if ever) seen Tony actually serious or passionate about something. As long as he's known Tony, Tony has been a spoiled playboy who just happens to be a mechanical genius. From this previous experience, Stane, upon seeing the Mk III for the first time, Stane (probably thinking the same snide remarks that Jarvis made about Tony's choice of colors), assumes that what Tony essentially built is nothing more than a fancy toy. As far as he's concerned, it's a little man-sized hotrod. Naturally, he's going to think that the massive, much more powerful-looking (although it probably can assert more mechanical force than Tony's suit), armed with countless big guns is going to waste Stark's puny suit like its made of paper. In a sense, when it comes to comparisons, Stane is comparing them in the same way he's always compared Tony to himself. The master businessman/pragmatist vs a brilliant but eccentric tinkerer, whose suit he assumes is just full of gimmicks.
        • Point of real world reference. During World War II the basic cruiser wasn't much different in basic design concept from country to country. As the Cold War developed both the USA and USSR decided to design new, advanced classes of cruisers. USSR built a series of several huge (almost as long as a WWII era aircraft carrier), massive nuclear powered heavy cruisers bristling from bow to stern with all manner of heavy, brute force topside weaponry called the Kirov Class. The United States built smaller, sleeker, faster diesel turbine powered Cruisers with a load of internally carried precision guided munitions, seen from outside the ships look practically unarmed, and one of the most powerful and advanced Phased Array Radars ever designed as well as numerous electronic warfare systems called the Ticonderoga Class. When looking at early spy photos and intelligence reports the Americans considered the Soviet ships crude, the Soviets considered the American ships weak. So even given the exact same problem and starting from the same or similar points two people (or countries in this case) can come to radically different solutions that can be be valid. And turns out the Kirov was a lot more advanced and the Ticonderoga a lot more powerful then they each looked and in response the two countries actually responded to the mindsets the other country was using with the same mentality, with the United States recommissioning the older, more powerful but less sophisticated Iowa Class Battleships in response to the Kirov and the USSR designed the more technologically advanced but more conventional in design Slava and Kara class cruisers.
  • Here's a real head-scratcher- In the final portion of the fight between Tony and Obadiah, Obadiah crushes the face-plate to Tony's armor with just one hand. This begs the question, WHY didn't he crush Tony's head when he had the chance multiple times?
    • For the first portion of the fight, its pretty clear he was toying with Tony. He thought he had the upper hand ("My suit is superior to yours in every way!") It isn't until the end that Tony even begins to hold his own. Since Stane felt he had the upper hand for just about the whole fight, he's got no real reason to hurry things up and just crush Tony's head.
    • It is implied that Tony's suit loses much of its protective powers when it's unpowered (see for instance how he can survive a tank shell to the face without a scratch when the suit's running, but suffers obvious blunt trauma from a simple three-story fall after he kills its power). When Obadiah takes the helmet, it's obviously unpowered because it's removed from the suit, and thus much more vulnerable to damage.
  • The U.S. military's research budget is something over 200 billion a year, which tops the rest of the world combined. Stark Industries appears to have a large chunk of that, building missiles, small arms and what looks like the movies version of the Abrams tank and humvees. Stane is probably making a few tens of million tops selling weapons to terrorist groups (probably less, as it seems he just gave the 10 rings weapons). If it ever comes out that he's giving/selling these weapons to terrorists, Stark Industries is going to get shut down by the feds and Stane is going to Federal 'Pound me in the ass' Prison for Treason. Why the hell is someone depicted as a savvy businessman risking so much legitimate business for a few million?
    • Most of the money made is probably going either right back into Stark Industries or to Tony Stark, being the owner of the company. Stane might be a high-rolling CEO, but even he would likely have a limit on his salary. Making tens of millions selling weapons probably rolls back into his own personal pockets.
    • Also, by selling weapons to the other side, Stane can prolong the conflict AND escalate the grade of weapons that the US Military would want to bring to the field. It's win-win, so long as no-one ever finds out.
      • Unless... Stane was after an even bigger prize... Perhaps a ring?
    • Stane would be able to cover his tracks on the sales enough, claiming the weapons to be stolen. There would likely be little documentation to prove he was actually selling the weapons to them.
    • In fact, isn't treason a capital offense?
  • When Tony blasts off in his first suit, and crashes into a sand dune, how is he not turned into paste inside the suit? Padding and such only gets you so far; your internal structures are still subject to momentum. And he crashed hard. A few cuts and a bum arm is incredibly mild.
    • Because Tony is Made of Iron.
    • Soft Sand?
    • In the novelization, when the US military find him, Tony has a hard time explaining how me managed to suffer "blunt trauma injuries to 90% of his body."
  • Phew! I had to read through this whole section just to make sure that this one question wasn't asked. Now ignoring Rule of Cool, the fact that it is based off a comic book or any other meta answers, looking at it from a purely in story perspective; Why exactly did Tony build the Iron Man armor in the first place? Why did the man who swore he would never create another weapon, in the word of the villain of the story give the world its greatest weapon? What was going on in his head? If he had just focused on the Arc Reactor technology, he could have already taken a huge step towards redeeming himself for what he had done before? And while the Gulmira incident was tragic, and I won't deny that his actions probably saved many lives, it still seems like he went against his own edict of not building any more weapons.
    • He didn't want to build any weapons that could be used for the wrong purpose, hence why he wanted to shut down the company's weapon production. It's also why Tony is so protective of his technology; as far as he's concerned, the only one level-headed enough o use the tech for 'good' is himself.
      • "That's the way Dad did it, it's the way America does it, and it's worked out pretty well so far..."
    • A) The iron Man suit wasn't originally intended as a weapon; from the impression I got, he was just designing a new sort of flight/propulsion system that would work on a one-man level. Note that Stark is more interested in making the thing fly over making it fight. It isn't until the smashes the presumably bullet-proof windows to his lab that Tony even realizes how powerful a weapon he's just created. B) Stark is an engineer. He's going to design stuff, he's going to tinker with stuff, and he's going to go back over old designs he's built and improve upon them. Even if its just for personal use. And the Iron Man suit was built specifically for personal use; note how in the sequel, he's refusing to give out Iron Man technology to anyone - even his own government.
    • I'm pretty sure he intended the Iron Man to take out his own weapons in the hands of terrorists, so it's a case of Peace Through Superior Firepower
      • If he'd intended the suit for taking those weapons out of enemy hands, he would have done so right off the bat.
      • He did, as soon as he was finished testing and perfecting it. While the repulsors-as-beam-weapons were an unexpected development, he also loaded the suit up with mini-missiles and shoulder-bullets. The Golmira incident likely sped up his timeline; he was probably planning on adding heavier weaponry, then realized he didn't need to. At the same time, he had the Golmira broadcast on, and decided he was ready.
    • He never actually swore to no longer create weapons, he merely shut down the production of weapons by his company. Though drowned out by the reporters' questions, he completed his statement, saying that he planned to evaluate the company's direction to be consistent with "the highest good". He went on to find the leak (Stane) and plug it. Whether he resumed selling weapons or started the company on a new direction after that point is unclear, but it did give the opportunity for Justin Hammer to step in and replace him as the military's main supplier.
  • I am bugged by Tony's treatment of the miniature arc reactor. After he's done with the first one he just tells Pepper to throw it away? That technology could revolutionize the world and save millions of lives just running water purification devices alone.
    • Or it could be harnessed to power weapons systems. Tony's made it expressly clear, over and over and over and over and over again, across both movies, that Arc Reactor tech stays under his control because once it gets out, it is the catalyst for the next generation of weapons. If he starts using it for widespread civilian applications, its only going to be a matter of time (probably a matter of minutes) before it ends up in military hands, and then the cat's out of the bag. As Tony himself says to Rhodes, "this one stays with me."
    • Completely Missing the Point, here. The movie lays it out very clearly that Tony Stark does not want his tech falling into the wrong hands. That was the whole point behind the press conference where he shut down the weapons manufacturing, that was the whole point behind why he refused to give out the Arc Reactor to even his own in-house engineering teams, and that was why he went back to Golmira. Releasing Arc Reactor tech on the civilian market will result in that tech ending up in the hands of terrorists. Hell, for Tony, releasing that technology to the world when he's already seen what his less-advanced weapons designs can do in the wrong hands would be almost criminally negligent.
    • This still falls under the same problem as most tinker superheroes. The root problem of most problems in the world is lack of energy. This arc reactor would solve water problems, manufacturing problems and several food problems. Transports designed around them would solve personal vehicle issues and logistical issues in food deliveries around the world. This would also give you completely cheap space travel, opening a massive number of new fields of business. Terrorists fail in a world where they can't recruit, and its a lot harder to recruit where people are happy, well fed, well entertained, and have new frontiers to explore. Issues and terrorists would still exist, as there will always be unhappy people. But keeping this tech under wraps because "it can make weapons" is still the most ridiculous and contrived reason I've seen in cinema.
      • Not at all. Stark is holding onto his tech and keeping it to himself because that is entirely in-character for him. Stark has A) an egomanic complex and B) has been personally shown that his tech has been perverted by the enemies of his country to be turned against the very people he wants to protect, in a brutal display of force that mentally damaged him at a very fundamental level. He knows that this is due to a lack of security surrounding his tech. Ergo, he wants to keep his tech from being used for the wrong ends, but he knows that if his tech gets out, it will be used for ends he does not want. The only way to protect his technology, in his eyes, is to keep it to himself and refuse to let anyone else have it. Its not the most completely rational choice, but Tony Stark isn't a rational person. If you think this is contrived, then you're not understanding the character of Tony Stark and how his own ego and mental complexes effect his approach to his technology. Its his tech, and Tony believes he is the only person who can correctly use his technology. There's a reason why Rhodes has to beat some sense into Tony in the sequel and demonstrate to him that he is misusing his technology - and therefore proving to Tony that he is not the proper arbitrator of who can and cannot use that technology - before Tony will let him take the War Machine suit.
      • If you're treating Tony like he's some kind of enlightened techno-saint, you're pretty much missing the point behind the entire movie. Stark isn't a saint, he's a selfish, somewhat megalomaniacal, egocentric, and arrogant playboy who is convinced he's the only one who can correctly choose how to implement his technology and screw everyone else. This arrogant, self-absorbed approach to his tech is a major part of the Iron Man/Tony Stark character.
      • After Tony makes his "no more weapons" announcement, he tells Stane they should get back into the Arc Reactor business. It seems to me that his plan is to destroy his wayward weapons, plug his company's leaks, and gain a firm handle on how Stark Industries does business. After that is when he'll start wowing the world with his new technological breakthroughs, once he can control how and by whom they're used. He got a bit sidetracked with the whole Iron Man thing, but by the sequel he's done something that justifies spending money on a year-long expo. The movies are "Iron Man", not "Tony Stark Runs a Company", so that's not focused on.
      • The Avengers showed that Tony is working to make the Arc technology widespread, and in fact he's first seen unplugging the Stark Tower from the public electricity network to prove it could run on the energy provided by an Arc reactor. Just give him time to perfect the technology.
  • How can the Iron Monger fly? When we see its feet from the bottom it's clear they are flat plates on the bottom so where does the rocket exhaust come from? Also, how did Obidiah break the ice? Tony only did it by opening the flaps but I doubt that there is a big "deploy flaps" lever on the inside of the Iron Monger.
    • Rocket boots: Plates covering the thrusters when not in flight so thy aren't damaged and weight is properly distributed. Ice: Why wouldn't it have a "deploy flaps" lever? Why are you assuming that Stane's engineers are retarded when it comes to basic safety features?
      • Tony's suit, which was much lighter and more maneuverable , barely got back to normal in time (literally; he missed the road by centimetres!). Even if he could break the ice like Tony did, there is no way the Iron Monger could get back into flying mode like Iron Man did. Look at the take-off speed of Iron Monger and tell me it could do anything in free-fall.
        • Was just about to write a new post about this! This scene bugs me a bit, since it seems completely pointless. Tony flies as high as he can to make use of the fact that Stane's suit will ice up, which it does. Yet somehow Stane is able to get his 50 ton suit restarted and prevents it from crashing into the floor, when earlier Tony Stark in a much lighter suit had barely been able to do so. Stane's suit apparently suffered no damage whatsoever, and the fight continued as before. All Tony succeeded in doing was wasting some of his suit's power.
    • Alternative interpretations: a) Stane doesn't have flaps and indeed drops like a stone, but Iron Monger is tough enough that it sustains no damage from the impact. b) He gets his power back before he hits the ground, points Iron Monger's feet down and just fires those humongous thrusters for all they're worth, which stops the fall.
          • From a filmmaking perspective, it's a Hope Spot. Tony pulls out the Chekhov's Gun, seemingly defeats Stane, and triumphantly floats in the air before running out of power and wobbling to earth. He starts to ditch the suit, then *gasp* Stane reappears good as new! It serves to up the tension by weakening Iron Man while also making him appear momentarily victorious.
        • Isn't that how Stane loses his targeting systems, or was that something else?
      • Stane loses his targeting systems when Tony rips out some wires from his suit.
  • What was the progress bar signifying for the MK 1 anyway? Tony said something about a power-up sequence, so was the MK 1 charging up or something? Why would that need a computer and what about the Arc Reactor?
    • The MK 1 was charging up. It had never had a power source beforehand, so they had to both hook up the Arc Reactor to it and initialize it; it probably does have an internal CPU, if only to handle power distribution.
    • Firmware upload. The suit must be controlled by at least one computer, which needs its operating system and software.
  • Why did Stark and Yinsen need to take apart those missiles to get palladium? Sure, palladium is expensive, but he only needed 1.5 grams of it, which costs around $25. Couldn't he have just told the 10 Rings people that he needed some palladium?
    • And is it readily available in Middle Of Nowhere, Afghanistan?
    • Also, keep in mind Stark would want the Ten Rings knowing as little as possible about what he's doing. Asking them to acquire palladium would be giving them an additional detail as to what he's doing, as opposed to them seeing him taking one small component out of a missile to make something.
  • Here's one: This troper liked the movie but had two serious issues w/ it: 1) How did Stark survive crashing into the sand dune even w/ the armor on? It looks as if he landed about 5+ miles from he started and he hit very hard. 2) When he returns to Afghanistan and engages the tank. The tank shoots first and hits him (which brings up the problem of hitting a man-sized target w/ a field artillery shell..but anyway) at a range of maybe 100 yards. Stark is neither killed nor even seriously injured by the shell's impact. Even if they fired an HE (high explosive round) rather than sabot round, wouldn't the small explosive charge and the kinetic impact of the shell have at least rendered him unconscious?
    • As for the first one...yeah, that's just comic book physics for you. As to the second one, he is wearing state of the art armor far better than anything else developed. Presumably it's got some killer shock absorbers.
    • There's a reason why we have Made of Iron as a trope. We can probably pass off Tony surviving such abuse while wearing his suits as a combination of this and Stark's ridiculous engineering capability. Any man-sized suit like the one Tony has must have good tech to compensate for sudden accelerations and decelerations, and those can translate into shock absorbers.
    • (which brings up the problem of hitting a man-sized target w/ a field artillery shell..but anyway) Yes, you can hit a man-sized target at that range with any modern tank's main gun, including potentially helicopters if they're not moving that fast. Most tanks can engage targets at 5,000+ meters. Stark was inside of five hundred when the tank shot him. Not to mention the Ten Rings were armed with Stark Industries weapons technology, which is a step above modern weaponry.
    • I simply got the feeling that the tank had Tony flying straight at it, so didn't have to compensate. They just put the suit at the centre of the reticle and let the shell go.
  • At the end of Stark's first flight, he hovers less than a meter above the roof of his home and kills the power. His suit falls through the roof, the floor below with the piano, and then smashes the car below that to actually stop. Because he was hovering, he had next to no momentum, so the force that made his suit fall through came almost entirely from the weight of his suit. I don't know the maths or physics (not that they apply, but even so), but wouldn't the suit have to be many, many tonnes to do that? and if so, how can he walk around in it without at least causing serious cracks in whatever he's walking over?
    • The Mark II was very heavy, compared with the later-model armor, probably due to being a prototype. We can readily assume that he lightened the later models so they can walk around without cracking weaker surfaces.
      • Even then, given the weaponry, these suits are all probably very very heavy. Even when the suit is just "walking around", there's probably still hidden thrusters somewhere running on "low" to stop the machine from wrecking floors.
  • What is that piano piece Stane plays when he brings Tony pizza from New York? I've heard it somewhere, but for the life of me I can't remember where.
    • I don't know the piece itself, but I've heard it's something by Salieri, to symbolize how Stane is the Salieri to Stark's Mozart.
      • A bit of research seems to indicate that the piece is the second movement (Larghetto) from Salieri's Concerto for piano and orchestra in C major.
  • Why did Tony tell Rhodes to keep the skies clear when going after Stane? He could have just said, "Just make sure they don't shoot me."
    • Two flying suits, with unknown and infinite possible trajectories, very hard to track via radar, and lots and LOTS of commercial flights in the area? Sounds like Tony was trying to avoid civilian casualties.
    • How are they going to differentiate the two? The Air Force is more likely to shoot down both of them.
      • Uh... maybe they can target the one that is three times the size of the other?
      • When you're dealing with aircraft, that's not very helpful. The fighters are just going to see two radar signatures. One might be smaller than the other, but they're not going to care.
    • Keep in mind that neither Tony nor Rhodes knows about Iron Monger or how big it is by that point. Tony can't say "Don't shoot at me" because as far as he knows by that point, he's going to the the only thing flying. Tony telling them to keep the skies clear is basically him just telling Rhodes to keep the Air Force from shooting him down, no matter what happens.
    • Also, did anyone consider that telling Rhodey to keep skies clear may be because Tony wants to protect the Air Force? Look at what happened when the Iron Man suit went up against to F22 fighters: it outperformed them in every way possible, and Tony was simply trying to escape them without hurting anybody. If he'd wanted to take those F22 jets out, he could have done so easily. If anything Stane is putting together is as capable as the Mark II or III, then any jets the Air Force puts up are going to be a winged Redshirt Army. Tony is just being Genre Savvy.
  • What does Tony do when he gets an itch while wearing the suit?
    • The same thing deep sea divers, astronauts, and EOD techs do. He deals with it.
    • The Stark Automated Scratch-That-Itch (tm).
  • How does Tony breathe in that suit?
    • ...by inhaling? The same way anyone breathes? It's not a completely sealed suit and it likely filters and traps incoming air, the same way your car's air conditioning system does.
  • Remember the beginning of the first movie, when the electromagnet in Tony's chest is run with a car battery? Why can't he start running it off a battery again when he gets radiation poisoning from the ARC reactor?
    • Because batteries are a)bulky, and b)not as versatile or adjustable as the AR.
    • The ARC reactor isn't just powering Tony's pacemaker/anti-shrapnelator/thing. It's also powering the Iron Man suit. A car battery couldn't do that. That, of course, does beg the question of why he doesn't build separate power sources for himself and the suit, but that does seem like exactly the kind of thing that would drive him crazy to do (he is Iron Man, Iron Man is the suit, he is the suit, it's a thing, etc. etc. has he mentioned lately that he doesn't like to be handed things?). Still not the smartest choice, but when has Tony ever made the smartest choice?
  • The soldiers that found Tony after he escape from the terrorists were sent there to rescue him, right? So why were they pointing their guns at him the whole time, even when he was hugging their CO?
    • They were sent to rescue him, but they couldn't be completely sure he was him, or he hadn't been compromised in some fashion. It's standard procedure in situations where a SWAT team is sent into a building to capture and cuff everyone, for example, and sort them out later.
    • If you look closely, they have their weapons shouldered, in move-to-engage position, but for the most part their weapons are not directly pointed at Tony. They're keeping an eye on the surroundings in case someone is pursuing him so they can quickly snap-to-target and open fire. Its a case of Shown Their Work; the director really did his research on military operations.
  • Does anybody else find it a little unsettling that Tony seems rather blase about the fact that his mentor and father's best friend turned out to be a monster, to the point that he was willing to kill him instead of negotiating with him, and that he shrugged off his death with "so how are we gonna pretend that he died?" He didn't even get a mention in Iron Man 2, which had a whole subplot dealing with the company's legacy. I know Tony isn't exactly an overly sentimental guy, but it came off as downright inhuman.
    • Not really. Tony is not the kind of character who dwells on these kinds of things, or at the very least, tries not to dwell on bad experiences when he can do something about it. Look at how he dealt with months of captivity by terrorists and the death of the doctor who saved him: he didn't dwell on it, he just hurled himself headlong into new work almost immediately after he got back. He didn't talk with anyone about it, even barely saying anything about what happened when he was at the press conference. Similarly, with Stane, he doesn't dwell on the betrayal, and instead hurls himself into another line of important work: enforcing peace around the world and progressing technology with his Expo. He refuses to mention any of it, instead focusing on his work to get past it. That's a consistent aspect of how his character handles things.
  • When Iron Man saves the falling pilot and flies away, why doesn't the other plane give chase? The plane can be seen in the background while Tony's talking to Rhodey, flying to the side. Did he just assume Iron Man was a good guy for activating the parachute?
    • Well, what do you expect him to do? The unidentified contact just saved your wingman's life, at the risk of its own, and spent the entire engagement trying to avoid combat. Its pretty damned obvious that whatever the contact was, it wasn't hostile, especially after is saved the life of one of the pilots who had been shooting at it. Pursuing the contact even after it has demonstrated obviously friendly intent would be idiotic.

Iron Man 2

  • In the trailer, Stark shows up at the expo in full armor, then the armor is removed to show him in a tuxedo that he had been wearing under the armor. That's fine, BUT... the Arc Reactor is clearly visible in the suit, when it should be covered by his tuxedo.
    • Suit with a glowing thing where the Arc reactor would normally be, for show. Simple. He is putting on a media show, after all.
    • The Arc Reactor also isn't visible on the Mark III suit: the torso understructure goes down first, then a larger chest section with the uni-beam, and then the chest armor. The arc reactor is buried behind an inch or two of equipment. This is probably true for the Mark IV, if that's what Tony's using in that scene. For short-term like how Tony used it, he might have had it running on backup batteries or able to draw power without the full link-up. The Mark V suit draws power without needing the arc reactor exposed too, so it might be an upgrade in his tech.
    • Considering the now obsolete Mark II has its own independent Arc Reactor, which I assume Tony installed after the near-death experience in the first film, it's safe to assume he installed an independent reactor in all subsequent suits.
  • In the trailer, Tony is about to go the expo by jumping out of the plane. Pepper throws his helmet out, so that Tony apperently has to jump out, grab the falling helmet (using boot thrusters to catch up with it), then put it on before landing. What if he missed grabbing it? Even if she knew Tony could control the suit without the helmet to land safely, she still through out an expensive piece of technology which may contain proprietary Start technology, AND which could have seriously injured someone on the ground if the helmet hit them.
    • She seems perfectly confident that Tony would be able to catch the helmet without any trouble. After all, this is a guy who flies a supersonic suit of powered armor to a media event. Spotting an catching a falling object the size of a beachball when he can stop on a dime in midair and punch out the control lever on an ejection seat shouldn't be too hard.
    • This isn't really a problem as that moment is ommitted from the actual film, so Tony jumps out with helmet already on.
    • Which begs a whole new question: why does Iron Man need a plane?
      • Because he likes to sit down while traveling places?
      • Fridge Brilliance: Although Jarvis doesn't articulate it until later, it's possible Tony already suspected that using the suit was speeding up the palladium poisoning. He didn't want to fly it all the way from Malibu to New York when he has a perfectly good plane to use.
    • Does it bother anybody else that this scene which is awesome, touching and fun doesn't actually happen in the movie?
      • Explained here. They thought it was more effective to reveal Tony's face for the first time at the Expo. I tend to disagree, but there you go.
  • In the second flim, how was Ivan so sure that Tony would be at the race? He didn't decide to drive until the last minute. I guess you could say that even if Tony wasn't driving he would likely be there anyway but it seems somewhat coincedental. Did I miss something here?
    • You did, though it was easy too: it's briefly - very briefly - mentioned Tony owns the racing team (What's the point of owning a racing team if you don't get to drive once in a while, if my memory isn't playing up). Attacking the place was likely to draw Tony out.
  • In the sequel, Iron Man is said to be a nuclear deterrent and is helping maintain world peace. Uh, how? How is one guy in a suit enough of a force to cause such an international back-off-from-all-fighting-ever? Sure he has good PR, but it's not like he's Dr Manhattan.
    • Uh, it's hypberbole designed to illustrate Tony's ego. While he's certainly effective at what he does, one of the film's reccurring elements is Tony's inflated sense of self-worth getting in the way of logic.
    • Not to mention that with the suit's ability to show up at the doorstep of a world leader, Iron Man can basically be a cruise missile for hunting down anyone dumb enough to start a war on his watch. Traditionally, you deter somebody from starting a war by having the force available to destroy his army. Tony Stark cuts out the middleman; he has the force available to destroy you, personally, enough to keep any tinpot dictator in line.
    • Also, Tony makes it clear that he has no intention of making any more suits. If someone was to start a big enough war, he might change his mind. He is a deterrent because he can create lots of VERY powerfull weapons if someone gives him a reason.
  • Two things about the Iron Man variant demos in the sequel bug me. I don't remember the Iranian one too well, but why did the Korean engineers try to get their mech walking with so much extra stuff without properly testing it? A giant robot like that shouldn't have been falling over if it was actually designed properly. As for the Hammer one, why did they give the suit the ability to turn its waist like that in the first place?
    • North Korea's military isn't exactly known for its cold logic in real life, so it stands to reason this would be intact in a fictional version of the world. Secondly, they didn't give the Hammer suit the ability to turn like that - the thing sparks and belches out a lot of grinding noises before it ends up mutilating itself (and the pilot).
    • Yeah, but WHY did it turn like that? There's no reason for it to have motors or robo-muscles to turn the waist like that. At most it'd make him turn at high speed and maybe sprain something. Of course, Rule of Funny and all that (or possibly Rule of Painful).
      • You do know it's possible for things to malfunction in ways that they aren't meant to do, right?
      • Yes, I know. I'm probably thinking too hard about this.
    • Just had an idea about the Korean's robot. Maybe for the Koreans AI Is a Crapshoot, and it decided to kill everyone, but couldn't coordinate its legs properly and fell over. Of course, out of context, all we see is a large mecha falling over whilst spraying bullets everywhere. :D
      • You guys do realize that you're talking about a country led by a man who once kidnapped a South Korean film director and forced him to make a Godzilla rip-off under threat of death, right?
  • Why does Tony Stark even bother with a heart? In the first movie, he had to create the arc reactor to keep a piece of sharpnel in it's place and prevent it from lodging deeper into his heart. Later presumably he kept the arc reactor around for the sake of convenience, because it both worked perfectly fine and was also capable of powering his Iron Man suit. However given the Palladium poisoning issue and the fact that all of his Iron Man suits are now powered by their own arc reactors as evidenced my Mr.War Machine well...stealing one, why doesn't the world's smartest man(capable of creating the Iron Man prototype in a cave with a box of scraps as well as a home-made particle accelerator) with literally infinite resources solve the issue by designing/buying the world's most advanced artificial heart and undergoing an operation?
    • Forget an artificial heart: Why isn't he just using batteries? We know from the first movie that (A) you don't need that much power to run the electromagnet and (B) you don't need to have had chest-surgery to put on a powered suit. The proper Fridge Logic solution is to use a low-power safe solution in your chest, isolate the dirty reactor as part of the suit itself. Stark is egotistical, but egotistical enough to die because he likes having a glowy chest?
      • No, you do need a lot of power to run the electromagnet, as evidenced by the fact that they had to hook up a goddamn car battery to his chest to power the damn thing. If they could have used smaller batteries to power Stark's electromagnet, they would have. Unless Tony wants to spend the rest of his life lugging around a gigantic battery everywhere, he needs a powerful but miniaturized power supply - ergo, the Arc Reactor. The only reason he even built the reactor was to be mobile in the first place while still having a power source strong enough to power the magnet. And Tony is the kind of guy who would rather die than be handicapped into lugging a car battery everywhere he goes.
        • there are still about 50 flaws with that line of reasoning. The main one is that electricity travels through conductors; it doesn't need to be in his chest. Then of course there's that using the suit makes it worse, but again, he can just put another in the suit since IT DOES NOT NEED TO BE INSIDE HIM. This opens up a whole other can of worms in that his other suits had their own built-in reactors, so he both knew it could be done and had to want someone without an arc reactor in their chest (e.g., not him) to use them. What an Idiot Ball he was carrying that whole movie...
      • The last part does seem like a stretch -- knowing that he was dying, you really would think Tony (for all his ego) would consider trading down until he could come up with a better, less fatal solution. It seems like an oversight.
      • No, its not an oversight, its a personality defect. Tony Stark is a massive pile of pride and contrariness. Yes, rationally, Stark could potentially use something else to power the electromagnet, but he won't because Tony Stark is not the sort to publically and personally handicap himself like that. He would rather die than lug a car battery around for the rest of his life. That's just the kind of person he is.
        • He wouldn't have to lug a car battery around. He could have an arc reactor strapped to his upper arm, contained in an airtight case with unnoticable wires running into the magnet in his chest. There is no reason for the reactor to be stored inside his body if doing so is threatening his life, except that the script needed the reactor to be killing him so they could fill an hour of dead time.
      • Wearing it outside his body makes it easy to steal, as noted below. If it's in his chest, it is difficult to remove without specialized tools like the one Stane had. If it's on his arm, any jerk can beat him over the head, cut it loose, and be gone in moments. Tony Stark is too paranoid about his technology to do something like that; this is a consistent part of his character.
    • In the comics, Tony eventually heals up enough that he can survive an operation to take out the shrapnel, so he has the arc reactor removed as well. But in the second movie, he has more pressing concerns, what with the thing keeping him alive being toxic to his body. This didn't just happen; it's been getting progressively worse by the start of the movie. Perhaps he'll be rid of the arc reactor by Iron Man 3. (Heck, they could even use this as an excuse to introduce Extremis to the movie continuity.)
    • In order to undergo the surgery needed to either remove the shrapnel or install a mechanical heart, Tony's got to both go under the knife and let someone else handle the Arc Reactor and remove it from his chest. We already know Tony absolutely refuses to let his technology potentially fall into others' hands, so letting some doctors handle the Arc Reactor while he's unconscious is simply not something he's going to let happen. There's too much of a risk of his tech being "misplaced" during surgery.
      • My memory of the comic book is that even there, Tony didn't choose surgery. He collapsed in public and so was rushed to hospital for surgery while unconscious.
    • The idea behind a mechanical heart taking over for his weak fleshy heart is just no good. No machine ever developed has the capability to take over for the human heart for very long. I mean we are talking about a machine that will need to beat nonstop for years on end with no realistic way of preforming maintenance Tony knows better than to even try. And as for undergoing surgery to remove the shrapnel He probably can't find any doctors willing to preform such a risky surgery. They would have to root around 3 of the most important organs in the human body to find tiny slivers of metal and Tony probably didn't tell anybody about the Palladium poisoning so they have no reason to do such a surgery because Tony isn't in any danger from the slivers.
    • It's all very well to say he wouldn't want to carry around an enormous battery or whatever. but given the choice between keeping the generator that is poisoning him by sitting in a socket in his chest, in a socket in his chest; and keeping it, say, in a pocket on his belt, why the hell doesn't he do the latter, for a while, until the kinks are worked out...
      • Aside from the fact that putting the reactor in his pocket would create a fail point (i.e. the wires running up to his chest, which could potentially get pulled out) it would also make it possible for someone to pickpocket the reactor from him. Tony's too paranoid about his tech for that to happen. Also, if he's in the Iron Man armor, the reactor's pretty much got to go in his chest, and he spends a lot of time in the armor - and as the movie shows, his blood toxicity builds up to lethal levels pretty quickly. There's also the simple fact that not a lot of people know about Tony's chest-reactor, and i would bet that, as paranoid as he is, he wants to keep it that way; lugging around the Arc Reactor in his pocket might set some people off as to what's really going on The reactor is small, but in the outfits Tony wears it would be pretty obvious, especially with the scrutiny he's under.
  • Made of Iron aside, How the hell is Whiplash not in a wheelchair after getting repeatedly rammed into a guardrail with a Rolls-Royce? At least, have give him a limp or something! Brokren ankle?
    • ....because, as you just pointed out, Made of Iron.
    • Well you can see bits of Vanko's power armor moving as he gets ready to fight back. My guess is that it absorbs and amplifies movement as needed, which I presume is what allows Tony to punch through walls and stuff.
      • Note earlier in the scene, how he doesn't remove his clothing. It just vaporizes off his powered up harness. It would not surprise if the electrical charge didn't just augment his strength and whips, but also provides protection.
        • The armour provides that according to one of the tie-in comics.
  • It bugs me that Justin Hammer despite his massive wealth didn't simply bother to hire a translator to speak Russian to Vanko ,as even I had trouble understanding him at times, and it's not a smart move to not be able to communicate with the people working for you. Granted the man is an enormous idiot....but still.
    • Vanko can speak English well enough; he was just screwing with Hammer. Hammer either figured it out and refused to indulge him, didn't want anyone else (a translator) in on his secret, or just didn't care.
    • Also, Hammer offered to get a translator during their first meeting. After that went (apparently) so swimmingly, he probably just figured, "ah, what the hell, we can communicate; what do I need to drag a translator around for?"
  • Why doesn't someone just shoot Vanko when he's rampaging on the Monacco racetrack? Lethal force is clearly justified, Vanko isn't wearing any armor, and surely there must be some sort of armed security force at such a high profile event.
    • It's a European event. Gun control is far tighter and armed guards aren't anywhere near as prolific as they are elsewhere - even in fullblown riots you're unlikely to get more than tear gas and so forth.
    • What, were you expecting Instant Emergency Response? A SWAT team did arrive at the end of the fight, but from the start of the battle to the ending lasted a total of maybe five minutes. Getting a SWAT team on-site, through a crowd, when the only accessible roads are packed with either burning debris or screaming race cars, inside of five minutes, is really, really damn fast.
      • Its also worth pointing out that the Monaco racing event was not taking place inside a closed location. Its taking place in the actual streets of Monaco, across the entire city. Security response is going to be slowed down quite a bit; they can't deploy instantly to every location inside the city.
      • Are you freaking kidding? Any event full of people, especially if in a city and not in an enclosed location, is going to have armed patrols every which where, even in gun-controlled Europe. The whole terrorism thing, y'know? At the very least there'd be cops with pistols, and probably several snipers ready to take position very quickly indeed.
      • Considering the larger universe, it is entirely possible that the security units on patrol (we can see a few guys who look like armed guards) decided that jumping in on a confrontation between Iron Man and someone with Arc Reactor technology while armed with just pistols would just get them killed. They would have held back and tried to get the bystanders to safety and close off the track until a more heavily-armed response unit would arrive that would have an easier time dealing with Whiplash. This is, after all, a setting where the Incredible Hulk has been rampaging around, Captain America is a famous war hero, and of course, Iron Man is present. They're being Genre Savvy and letting the superhero deal with it.
    • Somewhat related issue: Why didn't the race management centre abort the race, as soon as it was clear that Vanko was up to no good? (Or at the very least send out the safety car?) Even minutes after he started causing trouble, it seemed like all the racers behaved like everything was in order, only to suddenly encounter the nasty surprise of a car slicing guy in the middle of the street.
  • Why does Vanko keep removing his helmet during his final showdown with Iron Man and Warmachine? And why isn't said uncovered face incinerated when they combine their powers to hit him with a blast powerful enough to severely damage the rest of his armor?
    • The helmet kept popping itself back on automatically in response to threats. As for the face...I dunno.
    • Vanko is out for revenge. He wants Stark to see him laughing at him. It's a way to mock Stark. Also, he is crazy.
      • He's homicidal. That's not the same as crazy. He's murderously angry about what he feels was an unjustified ruining of his father's life. It is very likely that the version of the events between Stark and Vanko that he's heard was very heavily colored in Vanko's favor, in which the Starks are devils who destroyed their future, stole their technology, and made a fortune while the Vankos were shipped off to die in Siberia.
    • No, the better question is why the hell do Stark, Rhodes and Vanko keep opening their damned faceplates to talk monologue to their opponents? I haven't bothered counting but there must be more than a dozen times during the two movies where everything comes to a halt, faceplate pops open to reveal who is in the suit, they talk a bit, then the faceplate goes back down and they go back to punching each other. At least the filmmakers took the opportunity with Vanko to show that his suit automatically reseals the faceplate when threatened. Even so it seems like one Indiana Jones getting fed up with swordfights and just shooting the guy in the face would have made for a couple of drastically shorter movies.
      • It's harder to emphasize with a metal mask, which would lessen any emotional impact of anything they said.
    • The out-universe reason is to show the actor in the superhero suit. How many superhero movies do not have the hero unmask for the final battle. In Iron Man, Stane and Stark fight with no masks, in the first and second Spider-man movie (I haven't seen the third one), Parker unmasks for the final battle. Probably loads of other movies I care not to mention.
  • What exactly was the arc-reactor doing to Tony? If it was just dumping palladium into his system, he could have used a chelating agent to deal with it quite effectively.
    • He build a revolutionary energy source in a cave with a box of scraps. We're not dealing with real-world science here.
    • Actually, if all it were doing was dumping common Palladium 107 into his system, it wouldn't be toxic to him. Likely, it was dumping small quantities of a radioactive Palladium isotope (remember the neutron damage; that would change the isotope) into his bloodstream. A chelating agent would help very little; he's still suffering radiation poisoning.
  • Speaking of radiation poisoning, how come Tony and Pepper weren't suffering from cancer after the massive exposure that must have resulted from being in the vicinity of the arc reactor explosion at the end of the first film?
    • The reactor itself doesn't generate lethal amounts of radiation.
  • How exactly does Rhodes get in and out of the Mark II suit? The film elegantly shows him either wearing it or out of it, but if Tony needs complex robotics to get in and out, how did Rhodes get into one already assembled in a showcase, and then back out of it in an airplane hanger?
    • For the showcase, it would be as simple as Rhodes walking down there and telling JARVIS to fire up the assembly. As for the aircraft hanger, I'm fairly certain that Tony would have designed (or redesigned) the later armor suits to be easily removed if he needed to get out of it. It is entirely conceivable that the United States Air Force could possibly have the resources to put together a similar machine in order to re-armor War Machine too. I mean, its not like they're a branch of the most well-funded military on the planet or anything.
      • I imagine him sitting sipping a drink around while someone hunts up a diamond cutter or a left-handed wrench or whatever.
      • They don't necessarily need complex tools to remove it. It would be idiotic of Stark to have not designed the suit to be removable by hand if need-be. He has trouble getting out of the Mark III because it was combat damaged, and judging by the design of the suitcase suit, it can probably be removed by hand, since its designed without flight systems, so he can't just zip home to get it removed.
    • Dude. In the very first movie, during the fight with Stane, we can see Tony stripping off pieces of the armor by hand! He even says "I have to get out of this thing" because he's losing power! So, yeah, I think Rhodes could get out of the armor without much trouble.
    • Watch the party scene closely. You can see a few cuts showing Rhodes was indeed using the same armor-assembly gear that Tony uses to don the suit. So, yeah, he likely did just walk down there and tell JARVIS to suit him up.
    • Better question, how did Rhodes POWER the Mk II? The Iron Man suits are supposedly powered by the arc reactor which is implanted in a socket in Tony's chest (not merely laid upon, as in Whiplash's suit), the same arc reactor powering the electromagnet keeping shrapnel away from his heart. Rhodes has no arc reactor implant to tap into, unless Tony wised up and started installing auxiliary reactors in the suits. So Rhodes managed to get into a suit (that wasn't fitted for him, and unlike a cloth uniform, Power Armor is rather unforgiving about not being just right to the length of your arms and legs.) in a hurry (without the right tools), and fight in it (despite never having worn it before and running it solely on its emergency power).
      • Um. In the scene where they're taking apart the War Machine armor, the Air Force guys are shown removing War Machine's Arc Reactor. Plus, when Tony flies the armor down into the expo, the machinery is shown removing Tony's armor completely, with an unmarked tuxedo underneath - pretty clear evidence that the individual suits each have their own reactors seperate from the one Tony has in his chest.
      • That's not the issue. The issue is that the Mk II Armour would have had to have been refitted to hold the Arc Reactor within the chestplate rather than run it from the reactor already in the user's (In this case Tony's) chest. Why would Tony ever make a modifcation that would allow literally anyone to use one of his outdated pieces of tech when in almost every other instance before that, he's kept every single piece of his own tech and any knowledge thereof very close to his chest (literally)? The problem is less with Rhodey being able to use the suit, but why the suit was modified for his use in the first place.
        • Because Stark was going to give Rhodes the suit. You remember the part where Fury explicitly says that Tony could have stopped Rhodes from taking the suit if he wanted to, and the whole thing Stark has going through in the movie regarding continuing his legacy and passing on what he has to his friends? He wants Rhodes to have the suit, so naturally he's going to engineer the suit to carry the thing that's going to power it. I'm not sure how you missed this very important detail, considering that it is stated in the movie, is a central theme of the movie, and was discussed over and over and over on this page.
        • Yeah, when I first went through this page, I didn't actually see anything about Stark giving Rhodey the suit, and if I'm honest, I thought him not activated countermeasures against Rhodey was a way of emphasizing his incompetance with highly advanced, highly destructive technology, him losing his edge at what he does (Having the best Technology and being Iron Man) and how his whole life was degrading due to him... well dying... basically making it into a big What the Hell, Hero?? moment, leading to a triumphant revival. My bad on that one. I just read the scene wrong.
      • Also, as was pointed out above, we can clearly see the tools being used to fit Rhodes with the suit. Also note that the suit is heavily segmented with adjustable plating and fittings; I wouldn't put it past Tony to have programmed the assembly machines to automatically adjust the fitting for dismensions. Rhodes fires up the assembly gear, it scans his body and adjusts the suit to fit his frame, and presto. War Machine.
      • It may help that Robert Downey Jr and Don Cheadle are of exactly the same height (according to IMDB, 5 feet 8.5 inches, or 174 cm). Their body builds are not too different either; something meant for one of them would probably fit the other one almost perfectly.
  • Why is it that during the final fight with the Hammeroids, Rhodes and Stark argue over who gets the high ground? Normally that would seem reasonable... but they can fly. Staying in the killbox to fight seems very stupid when you are fully capable of flying up ten feet.
    • It also decreases accuracy (repulsors are flight stabilizers, remember?) and increases likely collateral damage. The robots can also fly, and it's easier to shoot/punch them on the ground than in the air.
    • If they left the little atrium area, the Hammeroids would keep pursuing them, and there would be more collateral damage. They had to keep the fight there in that enclosed area. One of them would need to hold the high ground and fire while the other drew fire. Makes perfect tactical sense.
      • I wasn't talking about flying out of the area... I was just talking about the fact that they could float up 20 feet and attack if height was such a big deal. As for being less accurate, Rhodes has a minigun firing tracer rounds, so it isn't too hard to aim, and Tony just killed all of them with lasers, which was as easy as pointing at them. Plus, they were about thirty feet away from the robots at most; accuracy wouldn't have been a huge deal, even if simply floating would negatively affect that.
        • The suits fly using the jets on their boots for propulsion and the repulsors on the gloves for stabilizers. All four limbs are used solely for the purpose of flying; this doesn't leave them with very many options for flight combat. If Iron Man could fight as effectively in the air as he does on the ground, he would have done that from the start instead of leading them on a massive chase through the city.
        • Hell, this is even shown very clearly when Tony kills the Hammeroid about to shoot the kid at the expo. He actually has to stop, land, face the drone, and then fire a repulsor shot to take it down. The only time we've seen him really fire any weapons while airborne was at that one point in the first movie, where he was firing a massive beam at the Jericho missiles - and in that case, he had to stop, stabilize, and fire a single shot with one hand while hanging very still in the air. And that was at a large, immobile target. Stark probably didn't fire while airborne because he can't.
        • Rhodes also is armed with a suit he's still relatively knew at using and with new weapons systems he likely hasn't practiced much with. He'd have a much harder time fighting airborne than Tony anyway.
    • Flying up into the air is not taking the high ground, it is exposing yourself to attack from all sides. The high GROUND has cover.
  • Why is it that, when fighting Vanko in the final showdown, Tony and Rhodes attempt to punch him out? Vanko's only weapon seems to be his whips, which are clearly better in melee range than either of the heroes fists... so why didn't our heroes just use their guns? They shot him a bit, but flying and strafing would seem a lot more reasonable, though I suppose it's rule of cool in effect.
    • Tony tried to take off, and Vanko just pulled him back down. They try to get out of range, Vanko pulls them back in again. They try and shoot him, it bounces off. If Tony had tried his wrap-up trick again, Vanko would've had a counter to it.
      • They didn't attempt to fly, or at least not effectively. Again, they actually tried * punching* the guy multiple times, which had even less of an effect than their guns did. Even if flying away wasn't an option (which it was, their attempts to get away from him were half hearted), they could have at least used the repulsors to attack him, which clearly had a lot more of an effect than punching him.
      • No. Watch the fight scene again - at the very beginning, Tony lifts off and tries to fly overhead. Vanko grabs him and drags him down. He then shifts to Rhodes, and Tony is forced to jet-tackle him to get him off Rhodes. After Vanko throws him off again and hits Rhodes again, Tony has to start physically beating him with his fists to draw his attention away. Then they both get tangled up again. In other words, Tony couldn't take to the air after the first attempt - doing do would leave Rhodes open to attack and probably get him seriously injured or killed. Rhodes probably didn't try to fly because he wasn't all that well-versed in airborne combat while operating the multiple cannons on his suit. He's not as experienced at using the suit, so he stuck with what he knew.
      • Also, Vanko slices through Rhode's gatling gun near the beggining of the fight, leaving him with only his pistol, shotgun and assault rifle- none of which would have been able to punch through the standard Iron Man armour, let alone the much bulkier, heavier armour Vanko was wearing. The race track scene also clearly showed that Vanko's whips could deflect repulsor-ray blasts, thus rendering all of Rhodie's weapons ineffective. Tony relies on his repulsors for ranged combat much more the Rhodie in the first place, and had seemed to use up most of his additional weapons (such as the 360 laser blast) fighting the Hammeroids. The only other ranged weapon I can remember Tony using in the films was the anti-tank missle that he used in one scene in Iron Man 1- which considering how he had to stop and aim it relatively slowly in that scene, probably wouldn't have helped in the fast paced brawl the fight with Vanko became. So to summarise, they tried to get into melee range because their ranged weapons where all incapacitated or ineffective, whereas they probably thought that if they double-teamed him, they could simply overpower him in hand-to-hand.
        • "Fast paced brawl"-this adds a whole new level of brilliance to the scene in which the Ex-Wife does what it does. Note that Vanko makes no effort to dodge at all-he just stands there grinning as it goes through its agonizingly long fire up sequence. Why? Because he recognized the weapon as being Hammer-tech (he should...if he had time to install a remote override complete with combat controls, he had time to learn what weapons the suit carries), so knew that there was nothing to fear: it wouldn't work.
      • Even more brilliantly? Maybe while he was busy hacking/controlling the War Machine suit, he disabled the Ex-Wife.
  • As an aside to all that, why would Vanko build his own robot and not put in any guns, at all?
    • Aside from the fact that Vanko is insane, he's also irrational, insane, angry, insane, wants to hurt Tony Stark in a terribly personal way that is most likely aided by being able to do it with a melee weapon, plus he's insane, and if he wanted to just blow Stark up, he probably would have easily been able to blow him up or shoot him - but its personal and he wants it to be up close and personal. Also, a minor thing, but Vanko is insane.
    • "He was insane" is rarely a sufficient answer for anything. "He wanted to show off his own innovation" and "he wanted his revenge to be up close and personal" are much better reasons. And there's one pragmatic answer: why bother with guns at all? Sane or not, he's motivated by revenge against one individual. Said individual has Powered Armor making him Immune to Bullets. His whips would be more effective against Tony than guns. He could have had shoulder guns like War Machine and the fight at the end would have gone exactly the same way.
      • Bah. Insanity is a perfect explanation for irrational behavior.
        • Maybe when it's valid, but people throw it around for everything a villain ever does. Why didn't Vanko put guns in it? Because guns are tested and proven to be worthless against Iron Man. The whips, on the other hand, did serious damage to the Silver Centurion armor. For tearing up the Iron Man armor and its pilot, the whips are clearly superior weapons to trying to arm it with conventional firepower. That is a reason. Insanity is not.
        • There really is nothing to indicate that Vanko suffers from any psychiatric condition other than maybe psychopathy. He isn't even that irrational - he's vengeful, but he's got an extremely legitimate set of grievances against the Starks that's he's working out in a very bad - but effective - way.
        • Vanko loves the whips, and anything that's added to the suit will take away from the whips in one way or another.
  • It was the height of the Cold War when the Howard Stark and the elder Mr. Vanko were working on the ARC reactor. Why in the world would the U.S. ever redeport a defector from the Soviet Union because he had Capitalist profit motives?
    • Because, as JARVIS says very clearly, and as the newspapers show very promienently in large, bold letters, Vanko was accused of spying. Howard Stark simply eliminated someone who was competition.
    • My interpretation was that, after Stark realized Vanko had selfish motivations, he framed him for something that would get him deported, IE the spying accusation. It does sort of fit in with Tony's description of his father as cold and calculating.
    • My interpretation is that after Stark refused to commercialize it, Vanko then tried to get rich by selling the arc reactor technology without Howard Stark's permission -- which is spying. Specifically, industrial espionage. Or if he tried selling it back to the Soviet Union, espionage espionage. (The latter would also explain why he was merely sent to the gulag, not killed, as returned defectors usually are -- if he turned double agent for the Soviets again then he's merely a failure, not a traitor.)
      • This is about how I read it. Nick Fury mentions that the Russians were mad at Anton for not being able to come up with the goods, so I get the impression that they had a thing set up.
  • Okay I swear the Mark II suit was changed between films. In the first one, it was a sort of dull gold/beige colour and in the second one, it's silver. Why the change?
    • You're mistaken. It was silver in the first one. Tony changed the armor alloy to take care of the icing problem.
  • Why does Stark Industries go into freefall when Pepper is made CEO? Tony never seemed to take much interest in the day-to-day nitty-gritty details of actually running the company before; what was he doing that made everything run so smoothly before?
    • To quote an answer to another issue entirely above, it wouldn't be the first time the media blew something out of proportion. Stark Industries was already having problems. Pepper was a mess trying to get Tony to sort those problems out. Suddenly appointing a personal assistant to CEO, however, gives the media someone to blame and say, "Look, it's all HER fault!"
    • The way Pepper talks early on, it sounds like it was already starting to fall apart (high stock value notwithstanding) by the beginning of the movie. She just got thrown into a bad situation.
  • Okay, did anyone else notice this? Tony is obviously rip-roarin' drunk at the party and is yelling in slurred language, staggering, and falling all over the place. Then War Machine comes in and hits him, and all of a sudden Tony is speaking with perfect clarity and fighting at 100% capacity. Now, I know the man has a high alcohol tolerance from all his drinking, but the movie made it * more* than obvious that he was completely blitzed. How the heck did he sober up within 5 seconds??
    • Hi there, welcome to adrenaline. People can sober up fast when the adrenaline starts pumping.
      • This. Tony was relaxed and enjoying himself at the party. Once he and Rhodey started fighting, it quickly became evident that despite being very, very drunk, Tony IS still the man who both designed and has had a great deal of experience piloting this armor. His judgment may be shot to hell and his reaction time may be sluggish at best, but he's still got a lot more experience in the suit than a guy who's never been in one before in his life.
    • And he wasn't fighting at full strength, or else Rhodes would have lost. He didn't even bother to activate the lockdown subroutines that would've turned the Mk II into a very shiny paperweight.
      • Someone didn't pay attention to the movie. He doesn't activate the lockdowns because he wants Rhodey to get the suit. In fact, he's very likely faking being drunk - the whole scene is set up to give the suit to Rhodey without making it obvious to anyone that he's doing so. Every time we've seen him in action after his epiphany he's always tried to avoid hurting anyone - even in his worst day he wouldn't just half-blindly fire his repulsors in the general direction of a crowd of people. Also notice how he hits the targets the guests launch in the air every time; you try doing that while drunk. The whole rest of the fight is just for scene, with Tony obviously letting Rhodey win - otherwise he wouldn't be punching his nigh-invulnerable armor, he'd be repulsoring it into scrap. Really, the only weird thing is how Rhodey is somehow convinced he's beaten Tony and gotten the suit against his will.
  • The whole "suit" controversy that the movie's driven off of seems like a non-issue. What Venko had in the beginning is not by any measure a suit along the lines of Stark's. It was not flight capable, had no weapons, and was not full-body. The concern was that similar technology would be used against the United States, with the counter-argument being the technology was too far away. Thing is, Whiplash Mark I is nothing more than energy-charged whips powered by a core in a similar place, and it would take scientists actually comparing the two cores to find they're even the same; at this point in the Marvel movieverse, more powerful tech is easily available than this. I know it's sort of vital to the plot and all, but it doesn't make much sense.
    • It makes perfect sense. The other suits countries were shown to had either fell over as soon as they stepped off the production line, killed the pilot or jammed up and destroyed themselves. Vanko's suit was proof that Stark's technology could be replicated and functional - perhaps not on the same scale, but when you're scared of other people lobbing tactical nukes around, even a small one is going to be cause for serious alarm.
    • There's also that Tony was running on the platform of 'Not only is my tech not remotely close to being duplicated by anyone else, but my suits are so powerful that I can kick the ass of anything that might threaten us, no sweat.' And then a guy out of nowhere visibly fucks him up on live worldwide TV using what is obviously a crude jury-rig, with Tony only barely pulling out the win. Not only is Tony dealing with the PR hit of arc reactor technology existing outside his control, but also with the impression that the Iron Man suit isn't remotely as unbeatable as he's been saying it is. Or, as Vanko put it, the entire point was to let people see God bleed.
    • As Stark himself points out, Vanko's reactor is very similar to his own; he even scans it with his own Iron Man suit's sensors and confirms it. And the fact is, even as crude as Vanko's suit is, it was still powerful - heating up a couple of whips like that to slice through metal (and to damage armor that can shrug off tank shells) is extremely impressive. If an ordinary individual can put together an Arc Reactor (as Vanko appeared to have) then to all appearances, the Arc Reactor tech is out of the bag. Also, don't forget that the Senator who's trying to get the Iron Man tech is, well, a politician, and anyone who has an inkling of how politics works understands that the moment someone shows weakness, political opponents will fall over them. As Vanko points out, there's blood in the water, and the sharks have come to feed.
      • Vanko is hardly an "ordinary individual." He's a scientifically-trained genius.
      • Reread what was written. Vanko appears to have been an ordinary individual who copied Stark's technology. Important difference, especially when we're dealing with perceptions in the first place.
      • Also, Vanko did not damage armor that could shrug off tank shells. He damaged "Iron Man Light", the armor made of relatively thin plates over a wire framework, light and small enough to be carried around as a suitcase. It was not made of the gold-titanium alloy either, and had no flight systems. I seriously doubt that Vanko would have been able to last more than fifteen seconds against MK III, IV or VI.
        • Stop trying to talk sense when you're talking about perceptions. Break it down to what the Monaco Prix audience saw, and no more. 1. Husky Russkie steps onto the track and starts chopping cars in half. (sure, we know that he's the son of the arc reactor's co-inventor and had the original blueprints to work with. In-world audience doesn't. They see what looks for all the world like a tattooed thug, not a physics genius.) 2. Iron Man suits up. Hooray! It's Iron Man, and that's all we know. If we see Iron Man, we assume he's brought his A-game. He can fit that Badass Powered Armor in a suitcase? Wow, man! 3. Iron man gets fought to a standstill. He had just claimed that nobody could match him, no how--and it looks like he just got matched.
        • In a way Vanko has the same mentality as Rocky Balboa. He doesn't have to "beat" the champ, he just has to go the distance with him. He doesn't have to win, he has to prove himself a viable threat. He has to fight just enough so that him beating Stark seems "possible." He has to put a tiny kernel of doubt into the public's mind as to Stark's invincibility. I never got the impression that Vanko's original plan was to beat Stark. He probably figured Stark would defeat him, possibly even kill him. He just wanted to get in a few good shots. After being defeated he didn't seem too broken up about it.
          And as noted Stark was adamant not a few days earlier that no one was even close to his technology. Sure Vanko couldn't take down Stark, but imagine what havoc he could bring down on a group of civilians, police, or standard soldiers? It's like saying that if a New York street gang developed a 1 megaton nuclear weapon, it wouldn't be a viable threat because it's not as big as the nuke's the military has.
    • Worried people don't need much to have their worried reinforced. Stark said no one was close to re-producing his tech. Then a random schlub appears out of nowhere with a similar-looking power source and a vaguely similar looking weapon. (A dangerous thing that glows...dangerously.) Sure, when you break it down and analyze the situation you can see the differences between Vanko's device and full-on Iron Man awesomeness. But in the political world, what people see is: Stark told us nothing like Iron Man was close. Five minutes later, we see a bad guy with something similar. Therefore, Stark was wrong. PANIC.
    • Likewise, no one is really worried about someone else creating ONE Iron Man analogue. They were worried about an army of them. Stark says it will be at least a decade (in which he will be improving his suit constantly) before someone has something similar and viable. A day later, a tatooed thug shows up with something that is clearly analagous to Iron Man and can counter Tony's repulsors. The average person would not require much prodding to imagine an army of Whiplashes and what they could do.
    • My main peeve with that scene: the first Whiplash is not armored. We can actually see Vanko's skin through it. And we're supposed to believe there wasn't ONE person with a firearm in the crowd? No police snipers nearby monitoring the situation? No cops with submachine guns? Not even a civilian with a .22? All it'd have taken to disable, perhaps even kill Vanko was one bullet. As long as he's just walking along the track it's believable that nobody'd just shoot the crazy dude being a nuisance, but as soon as he breaks out the whips, and certainly when he starts slicing cars, bullets would start flying. He should have been reduced into a red mess of holes before Stark even came into the scene.
      • I'm going to guess the above troper is American. In Europe, firearms aren't that widespread, so realistically having police snipers overseeing a race is several different kinds of excessive (and I doubt anywhere in the world actually goes to that level of trouble). Same with cops with submachine guns; do you honestly think it's a smart idea to have automatic weapons in a very crowded public place? And again, Europe. Civillians aren't going to bring guns to a race car event. The only people at the scene who would have guns would be any of the actual police officers and not event security who were around, and they would have to get very close to Vanko in order to shoot at him and be certain they wouldn't miss and hit a civillian.
  • What Happened To The Bird(s)? I expect Vanko would have had someone to take care of his bird before hitting Monacco, since he hoped to kill Stark and probably expected to be killed (and if he was neutralized without being killed, he'd have been imprisoned for attempted murder, which he was). But was the bird Hammer brought actually Vanko's bird and Vanko was just trying to make things difficult for him, and did the guy who put the bird in the bag actually kill it, and not just stuff it in an uncomfortable, heavy sack? If he didn't kill the bird and was just holding it hostage, what happened to it after Vanko went rogue? Did he set it free, leave it in the sack, would it have been killed in the fight? And (not my Just Bugs Me, since I figure he was so intent on it because it was his bird, but a person who saw the film with me wanted to know if there were any better explanations) was he just giving Hammer a hard tie because he wanted his pet/friend back, or was there something important about the bird?
    • The bird definitely survives its sacking. You see it with Vanko when he's taking over the drones.
  • Why did a Russian man have a Cockatoo?
    • For the same reason an American, Chinese, or Canadian man would have a Cockatoo: Because he likes having a pet bird.
      • Russians can only have bear or dog! Big dog named Azor that drinks only vodka and Cossack blood!
        • Bear is not pet. Bear is horse. Bear is better horse.
  • Why didn't Stark put the chip that was to be made into Starkium closer to the accelerator's path, if he was intent on having it outside of the accelerator and flipping off the laws of physics to make the chip?
    • Because he (shockingly!) made an error when he put the reflector into the accelerator. Notice how he reacts when he sees the thing is about to start firing a beam in the wrong direction. He simply screwed up.
    • The real question should be why inserting the newly designed core into his chest instantly cured him of his Palladium poisoning. Given the fact that Stark essentially invented Vibranium (as it's defined in the novelization), that may have something to do with it, but I don't see how it completely reverses Stark's condition in just a few seconds.
      • It doesn't. Using the new core simply ends the poisoning process. Stark is getting those lithium injections from SHIELD which reduces the symptoms of the poisoning (including reducing the high-tech crossword puzzle being made out of his veins). Since his blood is no longer being poisoned, it gives his body the opportunity to flush out the palladium in his system.
        • You seem to have missed the part where immediately after popping in his brand new reactor, the "high-tech crossword puzzle" around his chest immediately disappeared as though someone was sucking the palladium out with a tube. While I buy the flushing it from the system as a legitimate reason for why the new reactor would help him, the movie shows him returning to full health the instant he pops the new core in...a little bit abrupt if you ask me.
        • Considering that Tony is able to build a Large Hadron Collidor out of spare parts, I'm fairly certain its not beyond his means to design the new reactor to be able to flush out his blood system of the palladium once the destroyed palladium cores stop leaking into his body. Hell, he probably included a lithium injector or something similar in the design.
        • Rule of Cool
  • Black Widow taking her hair down to prep for a fight. If they wanted her to look all sexy they should have just done a Slipknot Ponytail. Because there's no way those long flowing locks aren't going to fall in her eyes and mouth when she's doing her thing, and even though she can deal with it, there's no point in purposely inhibiting yourself.
    • Perhaps the movie version of her is from the River Tam School of Badassery, where hair never gets in your face or eyes.
  • Why, in the post-credits scene, is Agent Coulson driving a vehicle with a standard New Mexico license plate on the front? New Mexico license plates only go on the back.
    • Maybe he gets a set of two plates because he just wants to? I know people with Kansas plates who use both a front and back plates almost soleley because they're used to the Missouri two-plate laws.
  • Is it wrong that I feel sorry for Vanko? I mean, he spent his whole life living in squalor, while his father told him every single day that they deserved better (which they kind of did, having pioneered an INCREDIBLE new technology). And the scene where he sits there and cries over his dying father just gets me every time.
    • In a sense, no, it is not wrong to feel some sympathy for Vanko, given his upbringing. There's nothing wrong with having a sympathetic villain. Just because he is the villain doesn't mean you can't feel sorry for him. What marks him as a villain is the choices he makes. He could have given his own country its own Iron Man, but instead chose to go on a personal quest for revenge, deciding to bring Stark down and clearly not caring about any unfortunate soul who happens to come between him and that.
      • He is very sympathetic in his motives and his grief (we were approaching The Wrestler levels of sadness in the opening), and if Papa Stark was still around I would have applauded if he wrung his neck like a plucked duck. But Tony is innocent of Vanko Sr.'s betrayal (he was a privileged child, but you don't pick your family), and all the poor race car drivers and prison guards and civilians at the expo he murdered pushes it beyond the edge.
      • I guess one can understand - if not approve - the murder of a few prison guards in order to escape. However, late in the movie one of the drones targets a kid standing a few metres away (the one wearing the Iron Man mask) and is about to kill him; only Tony's arrival saves him. Vanko's seeing all this through the drone's camera, and does not a thing to stop the cold-blooded murder of an innocent child. As far as I'm concerned, that's the moment when every shred of sympathy for Vanko evaporated.
  • My question is how Hammer has any resources at all? It's clear from the outset that he is massively incompetent. His company's work seems to be nothing more than clumsy attempts to ape things Tony's company has already done. He's basically a total loser. How did he ever get anyone to invest in his company? By all rights, he should have run it into the ground years ago.
    • To be fair, he's an obnoxious twat but the technology he creates looks to be far superior to anything that isn't Stark Industries'. The only failures we see are the things he tries to copy - Ex Wife aside - but overall the weapons and munitions he supplies seem to be very high quality.
    • Also, he could be a lower bidder. Costs are important to the armed forces, and politicians find it easier to brag about lower costs than higher quality weaponry.
  • ELEMENTS DON'T WORK LIKE THAT. If they'd said a new stable isotope, everything would be fine, but no, they have to put half a proton in or something.
    • If you look closely at the holodisplay, it was Periodic Element 502, which is ridiculously above any near-stable elements we know of even if you count the expected but theoretical island of stability. It's an element, just one that they'd never been able to synthesize (except accidentally) and (because it is to be expected to be hugely unstable) never bothered trying. My problem is with how he made it.
    • Bah. Tony Stark sneers at the periodic table!
    • Honestly, I'm willing to ignore the actual displayed number for one simple reason: placing the discovered element in the island of stability would explain why Howard Stark knew about it but couldn't synthesize it. He was able to demonstrate its existence mathematically, but the technology didn't exist for him to actually prove it.
      • Sorry, I (the troper who brought up the number) meant to say that I figured it was a second island of stability, up there in the multiple hundreds where nobody but Stark Sr. ever bothered to even look at it, but forgot.
    • Was it Element 502 or was 502 the atomic weight? If it was the atomic weight it would still be far above the currently heaviest-known element - 294 for element 118 - but much more reasonable to claim it's around 60% heavier than the currently heaviest known, rather than 4x higher on the periodic chart than anything that's existed for more than a few nanoseconds. Regardless, the structure displayed was totally not an atomic nucleus. If anything it was a Buckyball made of some other element than Carbon. Which in my mind would be even easier to Handwave away than trying to claim a new element: Sure, we can't keep the higher weight elements stable for more than an hour or two at most, but if we knew how to arrange them into Buckyballs, then magically the crystal structure would make the element incredibly stable and produce all the Phlebotinum you needed to power the suit without Palladium!
    • Also, the element that Howard Stark discovered was apparently based on research into Asgard technology. So, he's literally discovered something outside of our understanding regarding the universe.
  • Fact One: Howard Stark and Anton Vanko worked together to design the Arc Reactor (interpretation: this is probably the "dead-end design" used at the Stark Industries complex, not the small fist-sized one.) Fact two: Anton Vanko kept a copy of the blueprints after being deported to the USSR. Fact three: Ivan Vanko built a miniature arc reactor, almost exactly like Tony's, but slightly flawed, in a matter of months (while living in squalor, too,) so he's at least as much of a genius despite having very limited resources. With that out of the way... we know from the first film that the miniature design is such a tremendous technological leap over the factory-sized one that even Stark's team of engineers can't replicate it. And Vanko was spurred into action by seeing Tony "out" himself as Iron Man at the press conference from the first movie's ending. All things considered, he could have built a miniature arc reactor any time he wanted. He just... didn't. Even with his father with one foot in the grave, both of them living in rock-bottom poverty, and the collapse of the Soviet Union allowing for more capitalist ventures to succeed. So why didn't he build one? He could have built his arc reactor years ago, sold it, and lived comfortably with his father --even better, Anton would have gotten revenge on Howard by getting rich of the reactor's design after all. But neither Anton nor Ivan even considered building one until Iron Man came into scene. They're really the definitive word in "Brilliant but Lazy."
    • Ahem. Stated, very clearly and explicitly in the movie: "Arc Reactor tech was never cost-effective. We haven't had a major breakthrough in thirty years." The Vankos didn't improve on the Arc Reactor technology because, as far as they were aware, it couldn't be improved on. Then along comes Tony Stark, who does improve on the tech, proving that it can be developed into something more efficient - which likely resulted in Vanko going back over the design and trying to figure out how Stark pulled it off. Note that Vanko doesn't just whip up the new design in a matte rof days like Tony did; it took him six months of work with a working blueprint and a rough understanding that the tech could be miniaturized, and he still ended up making an inferior design.
    • Also, wasn't Vanko Jr in prison as well. Maybe he was only released in time to see Vanko Sr snuff it shortly afterward.
      • Cost-effectiveness is important. If you need a power source that's small enough to carry in one hand, puts out immense amounts of power, and cost is no object, then you have the motivation to build the miniaturized arc reactor. If your goal is a fixed amount of power output but you've got plenty of space to work with, nobody will pay for your small-but-expensive solution if they can make a large-but-still-cheaper solution. The warehouse-sized arc reactor, with the hundreds of kilograms of very expensive refined palladium it must require, would give most civil engineers sticker shock.
    • Seems a little wobbly, but maybe seeing the mini-ark in Tony's chest inspired him, like the shape of it or the colour of light it emitted clued him in on how it's done.
  • Here's something that's been bugging me. Does anyone know what if any legal basis there is for the U.S. Government seize the Iron Man armor from Stark at the beginning of the movie? I can kind of understand why they would have the legal impetus to do it after Tony started acting all unhinged because he was slowly being poisoned and started endangering random people, but I can't work out the legal reasoning behind it at the beginning of the movie. The tech is clearly Tony's private property, built with his own funds, so it's not like there's some financial reason the government can use to lay claim to the suit. As a weapon it clearly belongs to a class that has not yet been regulated (because it didn't before exist), so I'm not certain gun control laws apply to it.
    • That's the entire reason why Tony was Hauled Before a Senate Subcommittee in the first place. The entire point behind the subcommittee was to investigate and explore the dangers of and to attempt to acquire the suit. The fact that there is no legal precedent for such a thing is probably a major stumbling block here. If there was legal impetus to seize the suit, they would have already.
    • The US government considers some kinds of technology "born Secret" - no matter how it was developed, it's automatically government-owned classified technology, even if the government hasn't heard about it yet. It's a policy that was used when thermonuclear weapons were being developed and some civilians started guessing different methods for making them, and Tony's arc reactors seem to be tiny fusion reactors, so it applies. In the real world, all the Iron Man suits would have been siezed by force without a subcommittee hearing the second anyone knew they were in Tony's basement.
      • Of course, seizing that technology - especially from your premier weapons contractor - is easier said than done. Especially when said weapons designer is more likely to destroy his tech than let it fall into your hands, has enough personal firepower to destroy an armed division by himself, and can simply fire his jets and be in international waters in a matter of minutes. And as Rhodes points out, the military is on the verge of seizing Stark's suits anyway. The hearing here is likely to convince Stark to hand over his tech peacefully before the military decides to seize it themselves.
        • Stark would just destroy the tech. He's not going to kill American soldiers ordered to seize his property (at least not while sober) and as powerful as the Iron Man suit is, it's no match for the rest of the US military.
      • They also might be worried about pissing Tony off, especally when he's already shown his capabilities. Seizing the suits could potentially result in massive property damage and loss of life. Also, antagonizing Stark might be a bad idea, considering both his reputed level of genius and his ability to engineer advanced technology; you don't want to kill or hurt him, you don't want to make him defect, and you don't want him to become so disillusioned that he refuses to make anything else. The government has every reason to try to convince Tony to hand over his technology peacefully and convince him to cooperate.
        • Stark is too patriotic to ever defect. In the first movie he had already decided to get out of the weapons business, so it's not like the government had much to fear on that front.
        • Stark would destroy the suits simply because, patriotic as he is, he doesn't trust his government with it. Stark enforces world peace, the U.S. gov't would act like "World Police" (moreso than now) and generally take more than they give.
  • Venko is listed under Vodka Drunkenski, but as I recall, he never once seems to be actually intoxicated. Doesn't the trope imply alcoholism?
    • Yes, and I don't really recall Vanko drinking any more than a sip or two from a cup of unidentified liquid, or possibly (probably) two different cups.
    • Wasn't the first shot of him in the movie Vanko leaning against a door with a vodka bottle dangling from his hand?
      • Yes, but he seemed pretty sober to me.
    • What, are you kidding me? A jail-hardened Russian getting drunk after only one bottle of vodka? Please...
  • How did the girl at the party throw a watermelon that size at least six feet in the air?
    • Um...watemelons aren't that heavy.
      • They're pretty heavy.
        • This sounds like a job for science!
  • Why does the Ex-Wife fail so spectacularly? Non of Hammer's other weapon enhancements to the Mach II failed to meet expectations.
    • Rule of Funny. Plus, I find it hard to believe you could really fit that much power into something the size of a novelty pen.
      • Stark did. First movie, suit's first flight. Look at the movie page's thumbnail image--how did the tank get that way? Yeah. Arm-mounted mini-missile not much larger than the Ex-Wife.
      • All of the other weapon enhancements were made by other companies, as Hammer explicitly states. The Ex-Wife was the only piece of added hardware made by his company, and was the only one to fail. Better question is where all the ammunition was kept to keep multiple machine guns firing during the majority of a several minute battle.
      • Also think about minimum arming distance for a different reason. With a warhead as supposedly powerful as the "Ex-Wife's" would you really want it going off that close to the launcher? It could have been a safety mechanism.
    • Violation of the Unspoken Plan Guarantee.
    • I like to think the Ex-wife either was a bluff, or merely wasn't designed to take down an armored target less then 50 feet from the launcher. Think about it. Something supposedly so powerful needs a minimum distance to arm, gotta build up speed to have any penetrating power (see Gyrojet guns at The Other Wiki)and... I don't know what else.
      • Other possibilities being the whole 'supertech vs normal tech' or 'supertech vs supertech built by normals'.
      • I doubt it'll happen, but I wanna see the Ex-Wife being used against an actual building. If you think about it, Stark built one of those; it blew up a tank in the first movie. Yeah, Stark's superpower is building improbable stuff; but that demonstrates something like the Ex-wife is actually possible in-world.
    • Fridge Brilliance: The Ex-Wife was, like everything else Hammertech produces, an attempt to copy already-existing Stark technology. And like all Hammertech, it was an abysmal failure at copying Stark technology.
  • I know that this is easily the least of this film's violations of physics, but when Tony grabs Pepper and flies off with her at supersonic speed to Outrun the Fireball, how do her shoes stay on?
    • He upgraded her shoes. And her cell phone. And her hair clips. She drew the line at her clothes.
  • What species is Vanko's second burd? Cockatiel?
  • Ok, so I'm curious as to how Fury even knew about the new element that Tony's father discovered. I mean I know SHIELD is famous for being all knowing and having its hands in every part of the Marvel Universe, but Howard Stark hid the formula pretty well, and if they knew about the element why didn't they try to synthesize it themselves?
    • Well, Howard helped found SHIELD, for starters. So he probably told them about it. The problem with synthesizing it themselves is that when he figured out the element was there, the technology simply didn't exist yet. Plus, you probably need someone who's as much of a genius as Tony, he of the cave and box of straps. If you need someone to build something impossible, he's your man.
  • Maybe it's just me, but most of Hammer's proposed weapons upgrades to the War Machine armor don't actually seem that impressive—or even sound, considering the platform. Heavier weapons like the minigun, grenade launcher, or even the shotgun system, sure. But...a 9mm pistol? A 5.56 assault rifle, on a suit that's already equiped with a machine gun (firing a different caliber)? Especially considering the Stark-original weapons systems (repulsor beams, rockets) that it's already equipped with, it seems like strapping squirrel rifles onto a tank.
    • That's the whole point. Hammer is strapping squirrel guns onto a tank, but he's making it out like he's supplying the Holy Grail of firepower. In case you didn't notice, Hammer is the Grand Poobah of Bullshit. Pay attention to Rhodes' expression during the whole speech, too - he's thoroughly unimpressed with what Hammer is offering. Then, for fun, when Hammer asks what pieces of marvelous firepower are to be added to the suit, Rhodes responds "All of it.", and Hammer has a moment where he's dumbstruck by having to actually try to make all that bullshit work.
    • Not a bad angle at all, but it is hard to tell sometimes when Hollywood is showing something that's supposed to be a mistake in-universe, and when it's just a mistake the movie's making. Though Rhodes, for his part in that scene, didn't actually veto any of the weapon options. Of course, there could be perfectly legitimate reasons for that!
      • Different weapons have different uses. Shotguns, assault rifles, and pistols have different uses in combat, so Rhodes takes them all for versatility's sake.
      • Exactly. Remember that the suit is presumably to be worn by Rhodes as he leads drones into battles that previously soldiers would have gone into. It would make perfect sense that an Air Force colonel would have a suit with more traditional weaponry. Also, I think part of it was that the general told Rhodes to have the suit armed. Rhodey really didn't want to, but since the general said it was an order to do so, Rhodey may have also wanted to annoy everyone else involved by insisting on the suit being armed to the teeth and somebody actually having to figure out how to make that happen.
      • The most likely immediate use for a suit like War Machine for the US military is going to be as a close-assault platform that would be used to clear out buildings filled with insurgents. In such a scenario, weapons like the grenade launcher and minigun are actually overkill; room-clearing is shotgun and assault rifle work. The armament that Hammer loads War Machine with seems to be specifically designed for close-quarters assault work. The Ex-Wife is even intended as a bunker-buster first and foremost.
      • As in the comics, the actual name of the War Machine Armor is Variable Threat Response Battle Suit. Key word: variable. It's said from the beginning the suit is intended to provide a response in kind to whatever the enemy is using. Unarmored enemies at short range would get either the 12 gauge shotgun or the 9mm pistols depending on the possible collateral damage, enemies with a bulletproof vest would deal with the assault rifles, enemies at medium to long range would have to deal with either the assault rifles or the minigun depending on their protection, if they're clustered or behind something they get the grenade launcher, big and armored things (like a tank or a bunker) deals with the Ex-Wife (or whatever replaced it, if the failure was due the design and not Rhodey firing it too near to the target), and something very armored at short range gets the repulsors.
    • Admittedly, most of these weapons do seem to do pretty well against the Hammer drones...which unfortunately raises more problems. "Did he kill an armored killbot with a machine pistol?"
      • As has been noted elsewhere, A) the Hammeroids were showroom models that were apparently rushed into production and weren't complete, and B) Hammer tech sucks.
    • Big guns, good. The smaller guns? More Dakka. 'nuff said.
      • Are we forgetting that the Air Force obviously upgraded the ammo? An F2000 by itself wouldn't have harmed a HAMMER Drone. With a much better ammo type, and at close range, AND probably with mechanical doo-dads that would have had a far more unpleasant effect on an organic target?
  • Speaking of ammo, where does War Machine keep it? He's probably firing several thousand rounds during the chase and the ensuing fight(s), and the armor does not have some kind of giant ammo backpack, which it would need to be able to shoot that much.
    • Isn't it obvious? His armor is equipped with HAMMER Space.
      • Stolen, no doubt. Hammer tech sucks.
      • Comic book readers have wondered this exact thing.
  • Wasn't it borderline suicidal for Rhodes to even try the Ex-wife missile? It's a supposedly highly powerful missile that can again, supposedly take out the "bunker under the bunker." Ivan was standing about thirty yards away from them. Using a missile designed to take out bunkers at that range would've killed all three of them if it actually worked.
    • The power of a bunker-buster comes from detonating inside a - relatively - enclosed space, combined with armor-piercing capability, and most people in bunkers won't be walking around in suits of armor that can withstand direct hits from tanks. The Ex-Wife wasn't nuclear-tipped, so the explosion itself wouldn't be anything the Iron Man suits couldn't handle, especially as the blast would be dispersed in all directions if it detonated, exposing the armors to only a fraction of the energy.
    • More likely, if the Ex-Wife had worked as advertised, it wouldn't have even exploded when it hit Vanko - it likely would have simply punched through his armor and continued on. That's what bunker-busters do - they're designed to penetrate armor and go deep down to blow up hardened targets. Against Vanko, it would have been like a very powerful and large armor-piercing round, and likely would have liquefied his body, continued on, hit the back wall of the garden area they were in, and then explode. And even if it exploded against Vanko's armor, the garden was very wide-open; the danger of a bunker-buster comes from the fact that bunkers are very enclosed and underground. The corridors and rooms channel the force of the blast, and the concussive shockwave collapses the tunnels and walls to bury the people inside. Not only are the Iron Man suits pretty resistant to concussive force, but they're in an open area that gives the blast space to escape. On the surface, in open air, the bunker-buster is going to have a fraction of the killing power it would have underground.
    • Maybe Rhodey hadn't actually read the instructions: as it was a "kinetic-kill, Side-winder vehicle with a secondary cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine RDX burst" weapon (and Hammer was obviously reading from the specs sheet, so he was saying exactly what the thing was supposed to do), Rhodey figured it would have at least penetrated Vanko's armor before exploding, and the armors would have protected him and Tony from the blast escaping the inside of the target (assuming it didn't explode after piercing him). This could also explain why it didn't work: when it hit Vanko it was still building up the speed it needed for the job and arming the warhead, and when it impacted far before it had the necessary speed it simply bounced on Vanko's armor, with safeties preventing the secondary RDX charge from detonating in Vanko's face.
  • At one point, Vanko is on the phone with Hammer, who is playing golf with the Senator-dude. Hammer says Ivan's name right next to the Senator who is lining up for a putt. Having been in the news lately Ivan's name wouldn't be too far from the Senator's mind. Don't you think he would have at least looked over and asked, "who are you talking to?" Maybe the Senator knew Hammer was working with Vanko, but there's no indication that he's that evil.
    • Because there's more than one man in the world named "Ivan?" I mean, come on, its only a name possessed by about a million Russian men. What's the Senator supposed to do when he overhears Hammer chatting with one of his employees who has a common Russian name? Think that he's actually conversing with a murderous criminal who is supposed to be dead, with a body and uniform to confirm it?
  • At the end of the movie Ivan takes control of the drones. Understandable, he did make them after all. How on EARTH does he control War Machine. He didn't work on WM it was made by Hammer and the Military, not to mention it's a SUIT that has never been shown to operate autonomously (in the movies at least) otherwise surely Tony would've had an auto suit on stand by for things like the race track. Is this just a case of extreme hacker skills handwave? He's somehow able to remotely jack Rhodey's suit?
    • War Machine was being modified by Hammertech with weapons supplied by Hammertech. That means that Hammertech had to have installed the modified weapons and that would mean Hammertech software at least for targeting - probably more. I wouldn't put it past Hammertech to have completely replaced the OS - in which case, Vanko could have taken control.
      • Actually, when they bring Hammer in to upgrade the suit, before he starts laying out weapons, the first thing he does is talk about upgrading the software, before the military tells him, "We need more guns". And, since apparently Hammer people suck at software writing, and Vanko was clearly planning on making his own, who's to say they didn't steal the drone software to put in War Machine.
  • At the party, everyone could clearly see that Stark was extremely drunk and began entertaining his guests with shooting whatever they tossed him. Wouldn't the guests be a bit more concerned that they could be hit if he missed the intended targets?
    • Not if they were drunk, too. Also, most of those guests probably didn't really comprehend the danger of Stark's suit; the kind of rich, hob-nobbing types who would be at that kind of a party generally don't comprehend just how dangerous weapons like that really are, especially when they look as relatively innocuous as a little glowey light in Stark's palm.
  • Was another else bothered by Rhodey's Character Development? Even ignoring the actor swap (I MUCH preferred the first Rhodes over the second one), he becomes a pretty substantial jerk, acting nothing like he did in the first one. He was also completely out of line at the party. Taking the suit to get the guests to leave was one thing, but actually initiating a fight with Tony (who was roaring drunk) was wayyyyyyy out of line, especially when 1) it's Tony's house, 2)it's Tony's suit (which Rhodes STOLE; TWICE) and 3)the ensuing battle did WAY more damage than Tony would have done by himself, even if inebriated. Sure he was mad, but his actions are completely unjustifiable and unforgivable. I liked Rhodes in the first movie, but I absolutely hate him in the second.
    • Tony is shitfaced drunk in what is essentially a weapon of mass destruction. If someone was drunk at the wheels of a tank or a jet, you'd be justified in stopping them, let alone a supersonic war machine that quite literally cannot be stopped by any modern weapons system. Tony is showing ridiculous levels of irresponsibility by parading around shitfaced while wearing the most powerful weapon in history - and he consciously made the choice to do that. It would be irresponsible of Rhodes to not stop him. Rhodes was acting in response to Tony's suicidal, destructive tendencies. This is especially important, as Tony Stark has been arguing that he is the only one responsible enough to use his technology, yet he then starts stomping around in it while ridiculously inebriated. That's not the behavior of the kind of person who's entrusted to enforce world peace. Also, he didn't steal the technology; as Nick Fury points out a scene later, Tony could have easily prevented Rhodes from taking his suit, but he didn't. He wanted Rhodes to take the suit.
    • Watch the party scene again: Stark randomly fires off a beam that could have killed somebody while drunk. And you're seriously going to call Rhodes on stepping in and literally beating some sense into Tony for being that damned irresponsible with his flying suit of indestructablity? And more importantly, Tony is the one who starts the fight int he first place. Rhodes walks in, runs the guests out, and tells Tony that he's acting irresponsible and to shut off his suit. Tony's response is to turn around, tell the DJ to turn up the music so he can "beat my buddy's ass." Rhodes grabs Tony and demands he shut off his suit, and then Tony starts with the violence. in other words, Rhodes makes the - entirely reasonable - demand that Toiny stop being an irresponsible jerk with his suit, and Tony responds to this by attacking him. In this case, Stark is definitely the instigator of the fight, and Rhodes was perfectly in the right to stop him.
    • Also remember that Rhodes is Stark's best friend. Despite being very pissed at him at that moment, the last thing Rhody probably wants to see is Tony hurt himself, live with guilt of hurting someone else, or forcing an incident that will leave the government no choice but to step in and take the Iron Man Tech by force. Look at how the incident goes. First thing Rhody does is order all the partygoers, i.e. all the potential innocent bystanders and potential witnesses, out of the area. He then orders Stark to shut down the suit. He then attempts to restrain Stark. It's, within the realms of a comic book movie about two suits of powered armor, a fairly fair representation of escalation of force. It's not like he swopped in and knocked Tony across the room as his first choice. And remember Rhodes is a high ranking military official and in his report to the Senate Committe says that he sees the benefits of Iron Man to national security. He's a soldier and a patriot and doesn't want the United States to loose the strategic advantage of Iron Man or Stark's genius. It's one part "This is for your own good buddy", one part "Straighten up Soldier!", and one part "What the hell hero?"
      • Don't forget that the entire reason why SHIELD intervenes here is because Tony Stark himself is getting out of control. It's a major part of the movie, and it's why Nick Fury himself rolls in and talks to Stark face-to-face and why they confine his to his home until he can shape up. Tony is self-destructive and everyone else is worried that he's going to implode and kill many innocents in the process.
    • Of course Tony was being completely irresponsible with the suit, no one's arguing that. It's just that once Rhodey showed up in the other suit and everyone fled, the danger was pretty much gone. No danger of anyone getting hurt, and no drunk crowd egging him on and throwing watermelons for him to blast. Things pretty much ended at that point, yet Rhodey kept pushing him. The entire fight could've been avoided if Rhodey had just left after that point, sparing Tony's house from being blown up and his suit being stolen (which was a total dick move on Rhodey's part which also led to his technology falling in the wrong hands). Of course, if that stuff didn't happen, then the last half of the movie sorta wouldn't exist, but I still think that Rhodey was a much bigger jerkass than was EVER hinted at in the first movie.
      • Stark is still drunk and he's still wearing his suit, and he's already proven that he is not worthy of possessing the suit and his self-declared position as a one-man peacekeeper. Remember that the entire platform on which Tony is maintaining that he keep sole possession of his technology is that he is the only one responsible enough to use it. And yet here he is, parading around in an unstoppable war machine while piss drunk. That isn't the behavior of the kind of person that you entrust to possess a flying superpowered weapons system. It doesn't matter that the guests had left; the moment Tony Stark decided to get into his suit while completely shitfaced, he proved he was incapable of using his suit responsibly. That was why Rhodes physically intervened, demanded he shut the suit down, and took it afterwards. More importantly, as Nick Fury notes in the diner scene, Tony let Rhodes leave with the suit, precisely because he realized how out of control and self-destructive he was. That's why later on, SHIELD forces Tony into house arrest until he got over his suicidal, self-destructive urges and began acting like the responsible man he was supposed to be. Stark's own actions led to Rhodes doing what was necessary to prevent a suicidal and irresponsible man from misusing the technology.
    • Another reason is that, before entering the party, Rhodey is on the phone with his superiors, personally assuring them that it won't be necessary to intervene to get Tony to co-operate. As he tells Pepper when he sees how Tony's acting, he stuck his neck out for him.
  • The major premise of this movie has always bugged this troper: Tony Stark is an alcoholic, lecherous and possibly emotionally disturbed, person. Why would the government be seen as the "villain" for not wanting such an obvious human train wreck to have weapon in the possession that could destroy a small city?
    • Who said they were the "villain"? If anything, the concerns of the government are presented as perfectly reasonable in the movie, especially as Stark continues to cause more and more damage due to his self-destructive nature. Its just that since Stark is the main character, and the Senator is opposed to him, he's presented as an obstacle, not necessarily as a villain. There's a reason why we have concepts like the Hero Antagonist. Just because you stand in opposition to the hero doesn't mean you're a villain.
    • For one thing, because they're trying to take something that isn't theirs. It strikes right at the heart of the average American's fear of getting eminent domained right out of the house they've lived in for years. For another, because Tony's drinking (the only one of Tony's problems that could have possibly justified taking the Iron Man suit away from him) didn't get out of control until much later in the movie. At that point the government had given up trying to take the suit by force and had started trying to persuade him to share the technology with the military (that's why Rhodey came over to talk to Tony at his house, IIRC).
    • From what I saw, the drive to take the Iron Man armour away was politically motivated. When the politician brings in Rhodes to the hearing, he asks Rhodes to quote very specific passages that he obviously chose to favour his argument. Rhodes repeatedly points this out. When Tony Stark shows the hearing samples of the failure of other nations to create powered armor, he quickly asks that they turn it off. The villainy of the government lies in this man's efforts to get the armour turned over to him.
    • Also, note that the Senator is shown golfing with Hammer later on in the movie, and talking business. It is implied that part of his motivation is his apparent business dealings with Hammer.
  • Would it have killed them to have shown a brief montage of Stark training or using the suit to explain why (and how) he's become so proficient w/ the armor?
    • Yeah, its not like they showed him practicing with the thruster system, which is the most complex part of the suit that he'd doubtless need to work on.
    • So (and no sarcasm as it really rather pointless to be sarcastic about it) hovering around inside a building for a few minutes actually makes it possible for someone to: 1) Fly across the Earth in an armored suit that has neither stabilizing wings nor that is aerodynamically built? 20 Engage armed opponents,including a tank? 3)Fly through a densely packed urban area avoiding and chasing drones? 4) Fly through an opening in a ceiling and land exactly on a mark on a stage? W/ staggering,stumbling,etc? A brief montage would have made that a little easier to believe?
    • Why do we need a montage for all of that? In the first movie, Tony Stark spent three months preparing his new suit. It can safely be assumed that he was practicing with the suit, as evidence by, y'know, the fact that they showed him testing it. In the second movie, six more months have passed. Again, we can safely assume that Stark has been practicing with his suit.
      • Don't forget that Tony was also programming the suit's OS, along with its controls, and he has JARVIS installed on the suit's computers as well, which would doubtless be a big help in making flight a whole lot easier for Tony. JARVIS does appear to handle a lot of the more complicated aspects of the suit's flight.
    • They should have faded to black, that's how you know more time has passed on a montage.
  • Wouldn't Stark be looking at a DUI for flying the suit while impaired?
    • He never flies the suit while drunk in the movie. The only time he operates the suit while not sober results in Rhodes beating the crap out of him and relieving him of his technology, and SHIELD putting him under house arrest.
    • Do DUI laws even apply to flying power-armor?
      • Yes, it's illegal to fly any aircraft under the influence. Although I'm not sure what category of aircraft power armour actually is...
      • Well, yeah, that's kinda my point. The Iron Man armor is quite literally unlike any other piece of technology on the face of the Earth. What would it be classified as under US law? It's very likely the Iron Man armor falls into a crack between vehicle classifications. And even if it doesn't, Tony Stark's high-priced lawyers could easily tie the case up in court for years arguing that it does. Regardless, even if Tony did fly the suit while drunk (and I don't remember him doing that), he didn't hurt anybody or damage anything other than his own personal property while drunk in the Iron Man armor. And he wasn't pulled over in mid-flight for a field sobriety test. So, no one was hurt, nothing was damaged, and he wasn't caught in the act. That's a pretty poor basis for a DUI charge.
      • DUI doesn't depend on who was hurt or whether anything was damaged. Both of those are completely irrelevant to such a charge, and DUI is a crime to prevent hurting or damaging people or things. He may not have been "pulled over," but he's clearly drunk at the party, in the suit, which means he's intoxicated operating a vehicle and using weapons. Even if there isn't a specific classification for what, exactly, the suit is, it is clearly both an aircraft and a weapon, and lawyers or not, it's not going to be difficult to show it's dangerous to do that.
      • That's a pretty big stretch. By that logic, you could charge someone with a DUI just for sitting in a car after they've had a few drinks. Which is why I question whether DUI laws even apply to the Iron Man armor. It's not a motor vehicle or an aircraft in the traditional sense of the term. Do DUI laws even apply to it? We don't know. Additionally, Tony was operating the armor on his own property, meaning he has a lot more latitude in what he can do with it, just as you have a lot more latitude in what you can do with your car on your own property (for instance, you don't need car insurance or even a license to drive a car on your own property). And the fact that Tony was not caught in the act can't simply be blithely dismissed. Even if Tony was technically guilty of a DUI, he wasn't caught. And a DUI is the kind of charge that you really do need to be caught doing in order to be charged with it. Finally, even if DUI laws apply to the Iron Man armor, even if Tony had been caught in the act, the fact that no one was hurt means at most he'd be looking at a misdemeanor, which a team of high-priced lawyers could easily knock down to community service.
        • You can charge someone with a DUI just for sitting in a car after they've had a few drinks, as long as they're in the driver's seat (and in some states, they may need to have the keys in the ignition). The whole point of the Iron Man system is that it's a life support machine (a pacemaker with an add-on Mobility Enhancement Device) on Tim Taylor Technology. The suit is not a car, the suit is not a gun, for someone's sake the suit is no an aircraft. It can be divided into these parts: 1: Repulsors, 2: Computers, 3: Arc reactor, 4: Exoskeleton and motive system. The computers are nothing new, unless you count {{Voice with an Internet Connection Jarvis]]. The exoskeleton and motive system are good, but they're just pieces of metal and the electric motors/hydraulics/etc. used to control them, and as long as Tony doesn't try to drive it down a public street it's not breaking any vehicular laws (other than no-fly zones, if he doesn't plan ahead for that). The important things are the arc reactor and the repulsors. The miniaturized arc reactor is nuclear power, but it is cold nuclear power, and as far as anyone but Tony knows it is still clean energy (based on the full-sized, perfectly functional arc reactor), and the repulsors are, again, something totally new and have yet to be graded as weapons (or even to be determined weapons, since other tools like a wrecking ball or a bolt gun are just as or more deadly but generally do not count as weapons beyond "Improvised Weapon" status). That is the entire point of the second movie: That the Iron Man system is currently unregulated and a potential security threat to the United States and civilization in general, and they need to decide whether to ask politely for it and leave Tony alone if he refuses or demand it and send the tanks after him if he refuses. Whether Tony gets a drunk driving ticket or not depends on whether or not the courts decide that riding the Iron man suit at altitude is considered driving or flying (newfangled repulsory-thingies are technically neither flying not jet propulsion until they are deemed so), and they haven't gotten around to that molehill because of the mountain they need to flatten first.
        • And like all other crimes, being charged with a DUI is entirely dependent on one thing: GETTING CAUGHT. I want to meet the traffic cop or FAA inspector with the balls to issue a DUI summons to Iron Man, even before it became known that this vigilante who spends his days beating criminals to a pulp with his titanium-encrusted hands was really one of the richest, most influential men in the world.
    • Common law (which is what most of the US uses) is about the adaptive interpretation of statutes and precedent. Sure, there might not have been a law on the books saying, "It is a felony to fly an arc-reactor powered suit across state lines," or whatever, but plenty of laws, even if they don't explicitly prohibit a given behavior, can be reasonable be interpreted to prohibit that behavior. Judges are always applying laws in novel ways. Saying that Iron Man isn't committing a DUI because the suit doesn't run on gasoline won't go far with most judges - it's like saying that the Fourth Amendment doesn't provide at least some right against the search of your computer by the government since it's not "papers." Also, as an entirely separate matter, this is the MARVEL UNIVERSE. Even if studio contracts mean that Spider-Man doesn't exist here, this IS the same universe that features the Hulk and Thor and Captain America. It's almost impossible to think that there aren't going to be laws on the books related to superhuman behavior one way or another.
  • Why was Rhodes given the silver armour? it's established that Stark gave him access to a suit to be a successor, so why give him an outdated one? A shot of the old suits is shown when Jarvis is introduced in the sequel, and there are 2 gold and titanium ones. Assuming Stark is wearing the latest one at the party, where is the other one?
    • Judging by its performance, the suit Rhodes used has the same specs as the current Iron Man armor. We can safely assume that Tony upgraded the Mark II suit to equal his current model, though likely without the extra weaponry. The only real difference between the two was the icing issue anyway, and Tony could easily have that fixed via automated assembly.
    • If you watch the opening where Jarvis showed the 4 suits, Mk 1 was a reproduction (and besides, who would want that?), Mk 3 was battle damaged after the events of the first movie, presumably, Tony didn't repair it and just created Mk 4. During the party, he was wearing it. The Mk 5 (suitcase armor) was damaged and even if it wasn't it was most likely some where else. meaning, the only viable option for Rhody was the Mk 2
  • If Black Widow was aware of Stark's condition, and was an agent of SHIELD, wasn't it a bit stupid of her to just tell him to cut loose? No "well, who says it is (your last birthday)? I think you might want to talk to someone, you remember Nick Fury? He has some stuff for you, it might be the difference you need"?
    • Arguably, that was the point. Black Widow wanted Tony to do what he did in order to make it clear to him just how far he was falling. If she'd approached him before he wrecked his house and got into a brawl with his friend, he might have blown Nick Fury off. It isn't until Rhodes attacks him and takes his suit that he realizes how far he's gone, and is wiling to hear Fury out. It's cold and manipulative, but that's within SHIELD's methodology, and it works.
    • It was a test. Tony had main options - do something stupid and safe (get rip roaringly drunk and party his ass off) or something stupid and dangerous (what he did). One shows he has a serious issue with self control, the other doesn't. She was evaluating him for SHIELD, to test his fitness for the Avengers Iniative. Hard to think of a test more illuminating than that.
      • Both good points. It is quite lucky that nobody was killed though.
  • I just noticed something about the synthesis of the new element; as the laser moves towards the triangle, it cuts through everything it touches, even the thing holding the triangle in place - except a bunch of wires connected to the holder. What's up with that?
  • How did Rhodes get into the Mark II suit without getting an arc reactor jammed into his chest and leaving a gaping hole there?
    • If you'd bothered to read the rest of this page, you'd see that somewhere we talked about exactly this. Obviously, Stark modified the design.
    • It is even clearly shown when Rhodes is extracting the Arc Reactor from the War Machine suit that the design was modified.
    • Note that the original suit did not jam an arc reactor into the operator's chest either. It ran off Tony's reactor that was already in his chest. The newer designs operate with their own discrete reactors contained in the chestplate; when the reactor is being extracted from the Mark II suit, the reactor is housed in a mount in the chestplate.
  • So, Stark has a stable, sapient, useful and friendly AI... why do we (or in-universe, the US Government) care about anything else he's designed? More importantly why does everyone in-universe not focus on this?
    • Is JARVIS really sapient? He doesn't seem to have a will of his own.
    • And who's to say he hasn't already sold a (presumably less advanced) version of JARVIS to the government? They'd probably use him for top secret, highly sensitive military/ covert operations, so the general public wouldn't know about it (and random houseguests of Tony's probably don't know how smart JARVIS is, on that front- he really only acts like a person when it's just Tony there).
    • Don't be suprised if there's a "Dum Dum" or "Clay Quartermain" A.I. in the Avengers movie
  • Why is it that prior to Vanko everyone thought the Iron Man suits were invincible? The weapons and armor are advanced, sure, but not total game changers—it's the mini-arc reactor that's the real accomplishment. In the 1st movie, two F-22s are treated as a viable threat to the Mark III and Stane's Iron Monger had clearly beaten the Mark III in combat (though how much the public knew about that one is debatable). The reactor allows you to bring a large amount of firepower to an area quickly in a small package, but the armor itself is proven to have limits.
    • Several reasons. Most importantly, a new weapons system doesn't have to be invincible to be a game changer. Battles can be won or lost based on incredibly minor advantages. A radar that has a range of only a few miles more then the enemies gives you a decisive advantage. You don't have to invent a radar that can see a million miles to have the drop on an enemy whose radar only sees 100 miles. You only need a radar that can see 101 miles. Secondly, it's a matter of perception. War is as much psychological as it is military. As much, maybe even more so, then the Iron Man tech being powerful, it's new. If you know how to fight a fighter jet or tank or aircraft carrier, you don't usually have to rethink your entire strategy to fight a slightly more powerful fighter jet or tank or aircraft carrier. But they don't teach "Anti-Powered-Armor-Suit" warfare at West Point. It's not just fighting a new weapon, it's fighting a whole new kind of weapons platform. Also, there's logistics. The Iron Man armor is practically 100% self contained. Jets need fuel, tanks need ammo, vehicles need parts. The Iron Man suit needs no fuel (from a tactical perspective, that is), doesn't use ammo for its primary weapons, doesn't need roads or runways or a support crew or whatnot. It takes a half day of maintenance to keep certain military aircraft in the air for an hour. Wars have been won by disrupting supply lines and destroying fuel refineries more often then they've been won by destroying the enemy's forces. The Iron Man armor is instantly deployable, virtually logistics free, packed to the gills with advanced weapons. No, it's hardly invincible, the two F-22 Raptors probably were a viable threat to it, but you can be a game changer at a level a lot lower then invincible.
    • The only reason the [F-22s] were even a threat to the Mark III was because Tony was not trying to shoot them down. Even then, he took a missile, multiple hits from the fighter's guns, and a direct collision without it being more than an inconvenience, and this was after taking a direct hit from a tank. If he'd wanted to, Tony could have swatted both fighters from the sky without any issue. That alone would be a pretty impressive weapon, even without factoring in all the other capabilities the suits have. With such a suit available, one could launch a special forces raid from anywhere on the globe with hours' notice to anywhere else, with firepower equivalent to both a bomber squadron and a tank battalion. No conventional force can deal with something like that without both armor and arc reactors of their own.
    • Well, exactly how much damage the Iron Man Armor could take is never directly stated in the film, but at the end of the day it's still just a physical object. Apply enough force to an object and it will take damage, that's simple physics. Yeah, maybe it could shrug off a few modern Air to Air missiles and machine gun rounds from a jet, but sooner or later, if enough firepower gets thrown at the Iron Man armor, something would have to give.
      • It's still shrugged off a direct hit from a modern, probably Stark Industries-designed tank. That pretty much establishes it as the most durable aircraft in the world, and it is capable of matching/exceeding an F-22 in air-to-air combat. In terms of speed, durability, and versatility, it's probably the best weapon in the world by far. Sure, if you throw enough firepower at it, the armor will likely go down, but with its sheer range, speed, and durability, it can pretty much engage and disengage at will. Now imagine entire squadrons of these things.
  • Why do Rhodes and Pepper get so uppity about Tony's birthday party? Can't they let the guy get wasted for one night, just for his birthday?
    • Somehow, I don't think it's just the fact that he was drunk that bothered them. More like, he was presenting a huge danger to himself and others by wearing his superpowered exoskeleton while completely smashed. If he were just drunk and partying, it would've been one thing. They might've been disappointed, but I doubt they would've sent anyone home early. But, well. He was wearing the Iron Man suit, which presented an enormous risk to everyone's safety. They had every right to be "uppity".
    • Yeah, it's quite clear that the issue isn't just Tony being drunk, it's Tony being drunk while tromping around in the single most advanced weapons system in the world. Once he gets to the point where he's firing off his repulsors into the air, it's quite clear that things are out of hand.
  • What did the Air Force expect to be able to do with the suits if they got them from Stark without his support? The F-22 Raptors that Stark flew circles around were commissioned in 1981, first flown in 1997, and finally introduced in 2005. What, are they so desperately preparing for the inevitable great global conflict of 2034 that meeting Stark's demands to track down the Ten Rings isn't an option?
    • Because the Air Force wasn't demanding the suit. The government in general was. And where in the bloody blazes did this "demand to track down the Ten Rings"? come from? The Ten Rings weren't even mentioned in the second movie at all.
      And to be honest, using the F-22's development cycle is really inaccurate. The F-22 had such a lengthy development cycle because partway through the Berlin Wall fell and the need for a new air superiority fighter - and thus the money going into researching it and the urgency of producing it - went down the crapper. The development teams and contractors could afford to sit back, soak up government money, and fine-tune the design. If there was ever a pressing need to crank out Arc Reactors and Iron Man suits, the US military could speed up the process immensely by cutting through the tape and putting fires under the contractors' asses.
    • Note that the development cycle for a new weapons platform can be greatly extended when you have to pretty much design the entire system from scratch, using new technologies. With the Stark suits, they already have both a working model of the suit to study and a working example of the technology that powers it. Reverse-engineering Stark's designs would be dramatically easier than building something to match it from scratch.
    • Also note that a substantial part of the underlying technology in the Stark suits is already developed and available. The Hammeroids didn't spring fully-formed from Justin Hammer's brow. They're crap compared with Tony's suit, but they're still working humanoid war machines, minus the unfortunate tendency to break their wearers' backs. The development cycle will be greatly reduced compared with the F-22's hilarious history of screwups.
  • Rhodey mentions someone having the arc reactor technology yesterday, referring to Vanko. Unless they decided to go for non sequential storytelling with no indication the time line is a bit tight. In the "day" between the attack and that conversation, Vanko is hauled away, locked up, gets a visit from Tony, gets busted out in a prison break staged by Hammer involving the bribing of multiple guards and finding a prisoner with similar enough build, hair and skin tone to pass for Vanko's corpse, and is flown to one of Hammer's hangars where they have a whole dinner before that scene. Someone should have caught that scene and shuffled it to earlier or had Rhodey say something like "last week" which I would have bought.
    • Or he could be speaking metaphorically and not literally. Kind of how the phrase "I want this yesterday" works. remember that in context, Rhodes says that Tony was banking on no one else having the technology for years to come.
      • Most probably that, as Vanko's reactor is in the hands of the French governement.
      • What bits and pieces of it remains after Tony crushed it with his armored hands, you mean.
  • So apparently Howard Stark discovered an element that could replace palladium (though he never actually synthesized this element), and he communicates the secret of this element...via the layout of the Stark Expo. Um, why didn't he just write it down? Like, with all his other notes and stuff. "I've discovered an element with an atomic weight of 504..."
    • Because he didn't want anyone but Tony to find it. That would be why he left what amounts to a riddle with clues that won't be moving around, rather than a note that might be lost or stolen.
    • This. He specifically wanted his son to be the one to develop it, so he left the actual key to developing the new element in a place that only his son might be able to figure out. It is also probable that he didn't want someone else to develop the technology; the Stark line has a thing for not letting anyone but themselves have access to their own tech.
    • Howard Stark has firsthand experience with what happens when the wrong people get access to hyperadvanced technology. He would have every reason to cover up his discovers until someone he trusts, like his son, finds it.
  • A minor thing about the bird. So, Vanko wants his bird, but Hammer gets a different bird. One can presume Vanko made sure his bird was well-fed, so he must have felt it would still be alive. Why wouldn't Hammer actually make the effort to get it? Vanko clearly told him exactly what species of bird it was, and presumably where to find it. Vanko is his one and only source of super-tech, and at this point he hasn't done anything to annoy Hammer. It's like he's trying to alienate him for no good reason.
  • So, Vanko's final move was to make all the Hammeroids self-destruct... with an incredibly obvious and visible timer? Why didn't he just make all of them blow up instantaneously? Or at least not use a timer that's indicated by a bright red light? Vanko knows Iron Man can fly, so using a timer like that gives Stark ample time to realize what's going on and get out of harm's way.
    • They have to build to overload. It's not a bomb, it's a reactor rigged to explode, which means it needs time to build up to critical mass. As for the light, perhaps that's a safety feature he had to design in and couldn't override.
  • What exactly was Vanko getting at when he told Stark "You Lose"?
    • He failed to kill Stark. The extremely obvious, unusually prolonged countdown sequence (seemed like thirty seconds or so) allowed not only for Tony and Rhodey to easily escape, but also even enough time for Stark to quickly find Pepper and jet her to safety as well.
    • He failed to destroy Stark’s Expo. All the explosions appear do some damage to the expo here and there but they don’t utterly destroy it. Where’s the satisfaction in that? If I were Vanko, I’d have gone for the big one and blown the whole damn thing into a crater – I mean if an arc reactor can generate such a crazy amount of energy, couldn’t it be deliberately engineered to cause mass destruction?
    • He didn’t even destroy Stark’s reputation, since in attacking the expo through Hammer’s technology he’s simply made Iron Man appear even more a hero in the eyes of the world. Hell, the very next day Stark is awarded with a medal for heroism.
    • So in the end, Tony Stark and his girlfriend are alive and well, the expo has a few craters but it’s still there, and everyone still loves Iron Man! Was all this simply a poorly-planned scheme? Or was Vanko really satisfied with such a petty vengeance? Remember that the guy’s supposed to be a genius and has had ample time to plan this epic vengeance. How did Tony Stark lose here?
      • Honestly, Vanko thought he was going to kill Tony with his bomb. That's it. Really, the big point he made was earlier in the film when he burst the bubble on the Arc Reactor. Anything beyond that point was a bonus as far as Vanko was concerned.
  • Why did Vanko not respond to his father calling his name until he used the diminutive?
  • How did Vanko find out that Tony was dying anyways? Only SHIELD seemed to figure that out and they were observing him night and day, all Vanko could do was watch him on TV.
    • He looked had the reactor schematics. Being as clever as he is, he appears to have pieced together that wearing an Arc Reactor in your chest will get bad stuff in your veins. Remember: he's a damned good engineer and a genius on Tony's level. The fact that he pieced together that Tony was dying from simply knowing about the Arc Reactor's design and properties indicates as much.

The comics

  • If Tony ever has to wear the Iron Man armour for a stretch of several hours, what does he do if he needs to use the bathroom?
    • The same thing astronauts and EOD techs do. The armor has a bladder.
    • Iron Man 2 offers an explanation.
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