In the Iron Man movie we saw Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr., create a magnetic field wired to a suit that would keep a piece of shrapnel from an explosion from reaching his heart. There we watched as the suit was the only thing keeping Stark alive. In Iron Man 2, Stark took his technology to the next level after he discovered that the suit he created in the first film, was also killing him.
The palladium core in the arc reactor began slowly poisoning Stark until, that is, he discovered a new element (thanks to his father's research) that made his dependency on palladium obsolete. The new element allowed Stark to survive. Now that Stark's problems with the suit are out of the way, the next logical step for Stark would be to upgrade what he already has -- which is why Warren Ellis' IRON MAN: EXTREMIS story arc is the best story to adapt for an Iron Man 3 movie. So what is Extremis and will Warren Ellis' IRON MAN: EXTREMIS translate well to the big screen? More specifically, though, would it be a good story to adapt in 'Iron Man 3'? We say, absolutely. In fact, we really can't think of a better story.
So what is the extremis serum? The extremis serum is like a super soldier serum, and when taken, it increases the power of a human being significantly by interfering with the brain's "repair center." When an individual is injected, they are essentially rebuilt from the inside, they cocoon, and experience a sort of rebirth. When they awaken, their senses are heightened and they become virtually indestructible. In IRON MAN: EXTREMIS, Stark realizes the potential of the serum and he injects himself with it -- but not before manipulating its code, first. When Stark awakens, he is able to "low jack" himself into his armor, global satellites and even his cell phone. Stark explains to Maya (who developed the serum with the help of Dr. Killian) that he has stored the Iron Man suit sheath in his bones, and that he is now able to make it emerge and cover his entire body on mental command. The extremis serum not only makes Stark a more powerful hero, but it alters with his physiology, tying him even closer to technology.== TEASER ==
Obtaining a stronger, more powerful suit that is more closely aligned with his own biology is the perfect next step for Stark to make in Iron Man 3. In Iron Man we saw him build the suit, in Iron Man 2 we saw him fix the suit, and in Iron Man 3 we should see him improve on what he's already established.
Yet, this story isn't just about the technology. Yes, making a stronger, more powerful Iron Man suit makes sense for a third film. It seems like the natural progression for the character; but there is more than that. IRON MAN: EXTREMIS also deals with the mental and emotional repurcussions of Tony Stark being Tony Stark; and although these issues are less likely to be at the center of an 'Iron Man 3' movie, they are at the heart of the story and are what made IRON MAN: EXTREMIS so good. Sure it's cool that Tony Stark got a better suit; one that was more powerful that could be activated by merely thinking -- but there were deeper issues in this story arc that we haven't yet seen addressed in any of the Iron Man films.
In the first issue Tony has a conversation with the Mr. Pilinger, a documentarian. Pilinger brings up the fact that Stark is (according to some) an "arms dealer" because he has built and supplied weapons for the United States military. He goes on to mention that some of Stark's weapons have gotten into the wrong hands; namely, the unstable "Gulf region." It is in this scene that we see the influence of the first 'Iron Man movie script. Tony was in the Gulf when a land mine exploded and caused tremendous amount of damage to Stark's body, and led him to create the first Iron Man suit. We even see a flashback of this very scene in issue four after Stark injects himself with the serum. Ellis is bringing Stark full circle. The building of the suit was his first birth into becoming Iron Man; by injecting the serum and becoming a more powerful version of himself, he experiences a rebirth. Yet, there are some things he cannot change -- namely, his past.
Extremis also deals with Tony's emotional state. At the start of the first issue, just prior to Stark's interview with Pilinger; Tony can barely look at himself in the mirror. He hates himself for who he is and what he's done. He defends himself during his interview citing that the technology he's created has bettered society in some way, until he is countered by Pilinger with all the harm he's done to society. Pilinger asks Stark whether he believes that they have "painkilling drug pumps in Iraq," or if "and Afghan kid with his arms blown off by a landline is remotely impressed by an Iron Man suit." It's then that Tony becomes speechless. This scene is powerful because it reveals Tony Stark's true feelings of regret. He understands that his Stark Industries empire is built on developing weapons of mass destruction that have gone on to kill innocent lives; and he hates himself for that.
Even before Stark sits down for the very invasive interview, he can barely look himself in the mirror. This fact is indicative of his disappointment with himself. His actions from when he was a young weapons designer overshadow any philanthropic work he does with the Avengers. The only time he can look himself in the mirror is when he's preparing to save the world from destruction; in this case, Extremis.
The fact that Stark is technically an "arms dealer" is really not something we've seen in either of the Iron Man movies. There is a downside to being Tony Stark, and this is what makes him a relatable character -- it's what grounds him. He is a human being, he has made mistakes. And no amount of philanthropic work he does can wash all the blood off this hands. Now that would be some seriously awesome Iron Man movie.
What do you think, though? Do you think IRON MAN: EXTREMIS would make a good plot for Iron Man 3, or is there a different Iron Man story you would rather see?