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Posted by on Feb 3, 2013 in Culture, Diversions | 1 comment

Sunday Supervillainy – Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3, the latest episode in this successful movie franchise, hits cinemas around the end of April/start of May (May 3 in the US, a bit earlier in some places … such as the Philippines apparently). It has been getting a fair bit of advance publicity this week, especially with an ad slated for the Super Bowl.

While descriptions of the plot are still suitably vague (and who wants to read a slew of spoilers when cinematic release is still three months away?), it appears that Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man, is headed for a huge fall, literally and metaphorically, from which he’ll need to pick himself up in heroic style.

In the process, he is evidently going to come into conflict with his most iconic enemy from the 1960s comics: the Mandarin, played by Ben Kingsley. In his original manifestation, the Mandarin is an intellectually and physically formidable opponent, with superhuman skill in the martial arts – his blows can even shatter Iron Man’s armour – backing up his set of rings on each finger that each give him a different power. I look forward to seeing how the Mandarin is presented, and especially whether the moviemakers succeed in create a convincing villain, while avoiding the racial stereotyping that has made the Mandarin far less viable a character than 40 or 50 years ago.

Meanwhile, Marvel Studios are leading up to more movies in the universe of The Avengers. We are getting a new Thor movie in late 2013, followed by Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy (this one should be fun!) in August 2014, a sequel to The Avengers, and Ant-Man at the end of 2015.