Iron Patriot is going to be in "Iron Man 3." Photos of the red, white and blue suit on set were revealed yesterday, and there’s no other way to spin the news: The Iron Man we know isn’t going to be the only Iron Man around. But who is the Iron Patriot, and what does his apparent inclusion mean for the next "Iron Man" movie?
The Iron Patriot suit wasn’t created until a few years ago, at the conclusion of Marvel’s "Secret Invasion" storyline. (It originally appeared in an image teasing an aftermath to the "Civil War" story, but ended up just being a cool picture.) After Norman Osborn (who you know as the Green Goblin) was suddenly given jurisdiction over S.H.I.E.L.D. (it’s a long story), he needed a way to everyone forget about the time he couldn’t stop dropping people off bridges. As he got settled into being the most powerful man in the country, Osborn started wearing a specially modified copy of the Iron Man outfit so that he’d have a patriotic public face to justify his increasingly fear-mongering tactics. (Because, obviously, Americans are suckers for anything that looks like a flag.) Eventually, Osborn got deposed because he’s insane, and the Iron Patriot suit went into retirement.
The photos from the "Iron Man 3" set reveal everything and nothing at the same time. James Badge Dale, the guy wearing the Iron Patriot suit, was originally announced as Coldblood, who we wrote a little about a few weeks ago. Seeing as how the two characters bear little-to-no relation to each other outside from being published by Marvel, it means the movie’s writers are taking the liberty to move things around as they see fit. Furthermore, Iron Patriot had no connection to the "Extremis" storyline, so it’s unclear how things will tie in on that end.
But if you’ll allow us to indulge in a little bit of free associative speculation: In "Iron Man 2," we saw Tony Stark clash with the U.S. government when he refused to hand over the Iron Man technology to the state. If Uncle Sam has somehow gotten ahold of Iron Man in the new movie, then a patriotic rebrand would be the first item on the docket in order to slowly turn the propaganda tide against Stark. (Second item: Customizing a suit for President Obama, who I’m sure would love to roll up to the G8 summit in that thing.)
It’s obviously very early in the production cycle, and any number of things could change. But at the very least, it means that the studio isn’t afraid to throw a few curveballs our way.