The Centurions

The Fantastic Four
Rise of the Silver Surfer

Copyright 20th Century Fox – June 15, 2007

The movie opens out in space as a strange alien planet slowly fades away and implodes. A mysterious blue entity leaves the planet prior to its destruction, and is next seen flying through the atmosphere over Earth. At the same time, a number of strange circumstances unfold (the China Sea freezes over and the Sphinx is covered with snow).

A news reporter states that the FAA was forced to ground all flights as a result of these events. Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffud) watches the news from the airport and is disgusted because the news is more focused on his upcoming wedding to Sue Storm (Jessica Alba) than the strange events.

The Fantastic Four board the plane now cleared for flight. Ben Grimm (Michael Chiklis) is obviously uncomfortable crammed into a Coach seat. Johnny Storm (Chris Evans) suggests that the team get an endorsement and form their own private airline. He then leaves to fly himself back home as the Human Torch.

Back at the Baxter Building (the team’s headquarters), Sue and Reed discuss the details for their upcoming wedding. Johnny shows off his prototype new uniforms to the team (they are loaded with company logos and product placement). Johnny tries to snoop on Reed’s latest product while Reed explains that the global disturbances are being caused by a similar tyoeof cosmic radiation that originally gave the Fantastic Four their powers.

Johnny insists on throwing Reed a bachelor party. Reed is opposed to the idea, until Johnny blackmails him with the threat of telling Sue that Reed is spending more time researching disturbances than taking care of his end of the planning.

The mysterious entity passes over the nation of Latveria, and its residual energy frees Dr. Victor Von Doom (Julain McMahon) from his imprisonment.

Johnny takes Reed and Ben to a nightclub for Reed’s bachelor party. Reed and Ben are obviously uncomfortable (Reed because of his shyness, Ben because of his Thing powers).

A military force led by General Hagar (Andre Braugher) arrives at the Baxter Building to see Reed. Sue takes them to the club where they see Reed dancing (making full use of his Mr. Fantastic abilities) and Reed is embarassed.

Ben explains to Sue the history Reed has with General Hagar: Hagar had designed a new defense system several years ago, while Reed testified that the technology it called for was unreliable. General Hagar is concerned about the anomolies occurring worldwide, and shows the team sattelite photos of the mysterious entity. The generals’ assistant, Captain Frankie Raye shows the team photos of craters that have been appearing in the same spots as the entities appearance. Hagar asks for a way to track the mysterious entity, but Reed turns him down because his wedding is in a few days. Johnny flirts with Captain Raye as they leave, but she shoots him down.

Later on, Ben finds out that Reed has decided to build the tracking system for the general anyway. Ben (and Johnny, who flies in when Reed is building) both agree to keep quiet.

The next day is the date of Sue and Reed’s wedding! Hundreds of guests file in (including a cameo by Fantastic Four creator Stan Lee).

Sue discusses her future with Alicia Masters (Kerry Washington), Ben’s blind girlfriend. Susan realizes that she has a zit on her forehead, but is able to conceal it with her Invisible Woman abilities.

Reed finishes the satellite tracking system less than an hour before the wedding begins. He is happy to have finished the project, but once Ben points out that he is about to be married, Reed goes limp with shock.

Johnny comes in and has a brief discussion with Ben about his relationship with Alicia, at which point Ben almost breaks Johnny’s skull out of anger and embaressment.

Victor Von Doom begins to track the mysterious entity, trying to figure out the power that brought him back to life.

As Reed & Sue stand before the minister, Reed’s Palm Pilot goes off telling him that the sattelite tracker has come online. Sue is outraged that he lied to her. The entity then passes through New York City, causing a massive power outage and sending one of the news choppers covering the wedding flying towards the rooftop.

Sue uses her force field ability to block the chopper from hitting the guests. Ben jumps in and rips off the tail of the helicopter to prevent anyone from getting cut to pieces by the blades. As the entity passes overhead, Johnny shouts “Flame ON!” and gives chase.

The Human Torch follows the mysterious thing through the city and watches it pass through a building- thus getting his first look at The Silver Surfer (Doug Jones). Torch and Surfer begin an Ariel chase across half the country, but the Surfer ends it by grabbing Johnny by the throat and levitating him to the stratosphere, then sending Johnny flying back down to earth. Johnny is barely able to re-ignite his flame in time to stop crashing.

In space, the Silver Surfer contacts his master and awaits further orders.

Johnny describes the Silver Surfer to the team, who are skeptical at first. General Hagar orders Reed to find another way to track the Surfer.

Sue confronts Reed, worried that the two of them can never have a normal life if they continue to act as part-time superheroes. Sue is unsure if they can ever actually raise a family together.

Johnny, still dazed from his encounter with the Surfer, tries to fly but ends up falling off the building. Sue runs outside to check on him but when she touches his forehead Sue suddenly bursts into flames! Johnny shouts “Flame ON” but he only succeeds in turning invisible. Reed sees what has happened and runs outside. He suggests that Sue touch Johnny again, and they revert to their normal powers- though Sue is now naked after burning off her clothes.

Reed does a physical on them both and sees that Johnny’s molecules are in a state of flux, and that he may switch powers with any of them just by touch. Ben immediately takes advantage of this and grabs Johnny’s shoulder, turning him into the Thing! Johnny is appalled by his new appearance and grabs Ben, changing them both back.

Sue is still watching the news when she is joined by Reed. Reed announces that he has decided to give up being a hero once they are married. She is ecstatic, but Johnny overhears them and is angered.

Victor Von Doom calculates the next appearance of the Silver Surfer. He confronts the cosmic entity, suggesting a partnership between the two of them. The Surfer ignores Doom’s idea and blasts him with a burst of cosmic energy. Doom is angry, but then notices that the energy is restoring his normal organic appearance.

Johnny tells Ben about Reed & Sue’s plan to leave. Ben is mad but decides that something like this is something that they can’t argue with.

Reed points out that the Silver Surfer’s energy has been tracked to several other planets, which are now lifeless husks. They realize that 8 days after the Surfer’s appearance on any world, that planet dies. Reed gets the idea to track the Surfer using the coordinates of the craters he leaves behind.

En route the the newest spot (in London), Johnny confronts Reed & Sue about their decision and they argue.

The Surfer’s passing through causes The London Eye (London’s famous Ferris wheel) to be damaged, and many civilians are in danger. The Fantastic Four quickly rush to save them, with Johnny trying to chase the Surfer again. But Johnny accidentally collides with Reed and they switch powers. Ben & Sue almost let the Ferris wheel collapse before Reed gets the idea to use Human Torch’s power to weld it back into place. Reed sets back down and quickly reclaims his rightful power from Johnny, angry that Johnny’s recklessness almost killed a lot of people-including Sue.

General Hagar is outraged at the Fantastic Four’s failure. He has decided to get extra help: Victor Von Doom. Ben, outraged that their old foe is still alive, attacks. Reed convinces Ben to back off, and asks what Victor has to contribute.

Victor shows a recording of his previous encounter with the Silver Surfer. They observe that the Surfer’s energy attack originated from his board, and theorize that if they can divide him from the board the Surfer will be vulnerable.

Johnny and Ben spend the night at a bar, discussing the turn of events. Johnny asks Ben what he wants to do if the world is indeed coming to an end. Ben admits that part of him would want to go down fighting, but he mostly would want to spend his last moments with Alicia. Johnny agrees, apparently jealous that Ben has someone so special to him.

Reed has surrounded himself with databases, working around the clock to find the solution without Victor’s help. Sue comes in and reassures him, ordering Reed to relax. Sue mentions that Reed’s pulse must be overexerted, and the word “pulse” inspires Reed: he can create an energy pulse generated by a power field to divide the Surfer from his board. Reed requests some equipment from General Hagar to build the power field.

Sue confronts Victor about his intentions and his return. Meanwhile, Johnny flirts with Frankie again but she blows him off as a reckless jokester.

The Fantastic Four arrive at the newest coordinates and begin to set up the pulse generators. Ben has a humorous confrontation with a bear when setting up his section of the generator.

Susan is setting up her generator when the Silver Surfer appears in front of her. Sue approaches the Surfer, asking him why he is working to destroy the planet. The Surfer claims that he has no choice; that he is not the destroyer but merely a beacon.

General Harding spots the Surfer and opens fire. Silver Surfer merely swats down the missiles with his cosmic powers. Reed activates the pulse system, knocking the Surfer off his board (and in the process turning his body from bright silver to a dull, tarnished gray).

General Harding brings the Surfer and the board to a hideout in Siberia for further study. He places the Fantastic Four under “house arrest” until they are finished studying. Sue decides to go out and confront the Surfer. She asks him who the real destroyer is, and the Surfer responds (showing her an image) that the true destroyer is his master, a vast cosmic entity known by many names and forms which his people refer to as Galactus. The Silver Surfer explains that his service spares his homeworld from the destroyer. Surfer explains that he is compassionate towards Sue because she reminds him of his beloved.

Out in space, a vast cloud is shown moving towards Earth. The destroyer is drawing closer.

Victor is permitted to do tests on the board. He uses a special device to free the board from its confinement and bond with it. General Hager tries to stop him, but Doom blasts him with his new cosmic energy and vaporises the general.

The Fantastic Four escape from confinement, also freeing the Silver Surfer. Frankie is reluctant to let them leave, but Johnny pleads with her and he manages to convince her.

As they get outside, Reed summons his new invention- the FantastiCar, a flying hovercraft for the team. Reed, Sue, Ben and the Surfer climb in (Johnny flies along beside them). The Silver Surfer confesses his real name- Norrin Radd. He agrees to try and help them.

The Fantastic Four track Victor to Southeast China, and attack. They are able to lure him over the land, but must abandon the FantastiCar after he attacks it. Norrin confronts Doom, who fashions a javelin from the board’s energy and hurls it at him. Sue steps in front of Norrin, conjuring up a force field to protect them both, but the javelin passes right through the force field and impales Sue, mortally wounding her. Seeing no other option, Johnny suggests that all of the other team members transfer their powers to him. They argue, but Norrin points out that they have no other choice- Galactus has arrived, and is extending its tendrils into the planet to devour it.

Reed tells Johnny to aim for the remote emitter Doom is using to connect himself to the board. Ben, remembering his thought of going down fighting, takes control of a giant crane and uses it to attack Doom. The combined efforts of the team’s powers is successful and Doom crashes into the ocean, sinking out of sight.

Norrin re-connects with his board, and infuses Sue with a small part of his cosmic energy, restoring her to life. The Silver Surfer tells Reed to treasure every moment with Sue, and flies off to face the cosmic entity. He is joined midway by Johnny, who uses the last of his combined powers to give the Silver Surfer a boost into the cosmic storm.

In the heart of the cloud, Silver Surfer tells Galactus that he will no longer be a servent. Norrin Radd charges up a massive amount of cosmic energy and then releases a huge blast, stopping the cosmic entity by apparently destroying them both.

The Fantastic Four, including the revived Sue, are thrilled to see that the destruction of the planet has stopped but saddened by the loss of the Surfer. Johnny accidentally comes into contact with Ben, but is shocked to see that nothing happened. To everyone’s relief, Johnny’s second encounter with the Surfer has restored his powers to normal.

Sue reveals that she has decided against her past ideas and does not want to break up the team, since they just saved the world together. Reed agrees that they cannot run away from their responsibilities and that people do not have to be “Normal” to have a family. Reed also has an idea regarding the prospect of a wedding.

Sue and Reed decide to hold a Shinto-style wedding while they are still in China. They must rush through the ceremony when Reed’s pager alerts them of new danger. Sue tosses the bouquet to the women in the audience (including Frankie, who apparently has decided to pursue a relationship with Johnny). When it looks as if Frankie might catch the bouquet, Johnny “accidentally” sneezes and burns up the flowers.

The Fantastic Four boards their newly restored Fantasticar and speeds off to another adventure!!!

In a bonus scene partway through the credits, the Surfer and his board are seen floating through space. The Surfer appears to be dead after his encounter with Galactus. But suddenly the Surfer’s board turns and begins to move toward him.

’Nuff said.

The Invincible Ironman
Introducing Whiplash

Copyright Marvel Studios – 7 May 2010

The movie opens several months after the events in the first Iron Man movie. We are introduced to a man named Ivan Vanko. Ivan’s father Anton is slowly dying and telling Ivan his final wishes. Ivan thinks he should have the fame that Tony Stark is enjoying but Anton tells him to “ignore that garbage.” All Anton can give Ivan is his knowledge. Ivan takes a blueprint that has his father’s name on it, and also the name of Howard Stark, Tony Stark’s father. Ivan then sets about recreating the Arc reactor and begins building his own weaponized suit. Tony Stark has become a champion for world peace thanks to the Iron Man suit, and has practically solved the issue of world peace, or so he claims.

Six months after the end of the first movie, Tony Stark has used his Iron Man armor to bring about a negotiated peace treaty between the major super powers of the world, and his immense popularity with the general public is only furthered when he fulfills his father’s dream by reopening the “Stark Expo” in Queens, NY, to showcase all the latest inventions that will benefit the world. Tony fulfills this dream by flying into the expo in full Iron Man regalia, and making a flamboyant entrance to become the new symbol of world peace. Backstage, following his address, Tony does a quick test of his blood: the palladium he uses to power his chest arc reactor is slowly poisoning his body. After the event, Tony and Happy are leaving when they are approached by a woman who hands Tony a subpoena, summoning him to a Senate Armed Forces Committee hearing. Tony and Happy decide to take a road trip to Washington DC in Tony’s new Audi R8.

The next morning, during the Senate hearing, Tony’s usual brand of humor becomes the center of attention while completely ignoring the fact that the government has classified the Iron Man armor as a weapon. Colonel Rhodes presents the investigation into the events surrounding Iron Man’s creation, but Senator Stern, the committee chairman, takes his remarks out of context. Tony gives a rebuttal showing that he is Iron Man and will not part with his armor (likening handing himself over as being tantamount to indentured servitude), and proceeds to hack the committees computers to show that various “attempts” at copying Tony’s suit – from Iran, North Korea, and even Hammer Industries itself – are complete failures: North Korea’s is top heavy and collapses easily, Iran’s crashes into the ground and explodes, while Hammer’s suit turns around 180 degrees at the torso and severs its pilot’s spine. Tony still refuses to turn over the Iron Man armor to the government and walks out of the hearing.

Back at home, Tony is on JARVIS analyzing the latest prototypes and developments for the Iron Man suit, and Pepper enters and the two start having arguments about the future of Stark Industries. Tony is telling Pepper that he’s making more money off the company’s common stock than he ever did as CEO. He decides he’s had enough of being the CEO and wants to focus solely on developing Iron Man. He decides to appoint Pepper as the new CEO and she is stunned. The next day a lovely notary public enters to have Tony officially sign the company over to Pepper. Tony is undergoing fighting training with Happy and performs an illegal move on him, getting it confused with MMA. The notary’s name is Natalie Rushman, and he has Happy give her a boxing lesson, and while looking up her bio, Natalie performs a TKO on Happy, using a takedown that shows there’s a great deal more to her than there appears.

Tony heads to Monaco for some much needed R&R. At a pre-reception before the Monaco 500, where Stark Industries is sponsoring a driver, Tony’s greeted by his favorite “Vanity Fair” reporter Christine Everheart, who wants Pepper for the cover of the next issue which will introduce her as the new Stark Industries C.E.O. Justin Hammer also happens to be there. They also greet Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, who wants a panel at the Stark Expo to showcase his latest invention. In the bathroom, it’s learned that the palladium in Tony’s chest is slowly spreading, and his arc reactor can barely take the punishment. Tony decides that he’s going to be driving the Stark Industries car instead of the driver that was pre-selected.

Stark starts the race, but unbeknownst to him, Ivan Vanko has joined one of the race’s pit crews. Under his jump suit, Vanko wears a harness with two large energy whips powered by the arc reactor he’d built after his father died. Vanko uses the whips to stage a massive wreck and ambushes Tony. As Vanko is wrecking havoc on the track, Happy and Pepper rush to deliver the briefcase Happy carries with him to Tony. Vanko uses his electric whips to completely destroy the Rolls Royce Phantom that Happy and Pepper are in, and after repeated ramming attempts, Pepper finally manages to give Tony the briefcase. Tony activates the case which is a portable version of the Iron Man armor. After a furious battle, Tony is able to defeat Vanko by manually pulling out the Arc Reactor battery that powers his whips, crushing it after he has JARVIS analyze it. The police grab Vanko and take him into custody. The entire crowd is stunned at what they’ve just witnessed. Justin Hammer, however, believes that Vanko can be put to better use.

Stark confronts Vanko in prison and Vanko asks Tony what it feels like to be a dead man and that palladium in the chest is a very painful way to die. Stark tells Vanko that makes two of them.

Later, Hammer breaks Vanko out. He slips Vanko a meal consisting of chicken and mashed potatoes along with a note telling him to “enjoy the potatoes.” Vanko and another prisoner are given uniforms with the same identification. Vanko immediately kills the prisoner as well as a guard on his way out the door, and sets the explosive device contained in the potatoes and as he makes his escape, he’s bagged by two Hammer operatives and taken away. Hammer knows Vanko needs his resources to outdo Tony, and Vanko obliges. Hammer then hires Vanko to build armored suits based on existing designs. Vanko tells Hammer they are doing everything wrong.

On the plane back home, Tony and Pepper are watching the aftermath of the events that took place and are watching a rather angry Senator Stern unload his frustrations with Tony on The O’Reilly Factor. Stern is saying that Tony Stark lied to the Senate Armed Forces Committee, and that he’s in danger of being arrested on felony perjury charges: Stark had told the Senate that other countries, as well as Hammer Industries, were 20 years away from having anything that remotely resembled Iron Man, however Vanko surprised everyone by making an working copy of the Arc Reactor. Tony presents Pepper with a gourmet meal and is going to tell her the truth, but they have an awkward moment as Pepper knows that something is up and that Tony isn’t telling her the whole truth.

Back home, Tony is using JARVIS to conduct investigations into Ivan Vanko. He finds that Vanko’s father Anton Vanko was Howard Stark’s partner and one of the co founders of Stark Industries. Howard Stark found out that Vanko was conspiring to sell weapons to the Soviet Empire and had him arrested for treason and deported to Russia, where he was imprisoned. His son had been seeking revenge against the Stark empire ever since. While sitting in one of his hot rods in his basement, Tony nearly collapses and is discovered by Rhodes who tells him that this isn’t a good look for him. He shows Rhodey how the palladium is slowly poisoning him. Rhodes also tells him that he’s been battling with the Pentagon by stopping them from coming to his Malibu house and taking his suits to be used for weaponized purposes.

Tony is then preparing for what he believes will be his last birthday party. He asks Natalie what she would do if this were her last birthday party. Natalie responds that she’d do whatever she wanted with whoever she wanted to do it with. While at the party, Tony is extremely drunk and wearing the Iron Man suit and behaving recklessly with its weaponry. In the background, Pepper and Rhodes are discussing that he’s gone way off the deep end. Rhodes tells Pepper that he’s tired of dealing with the Pentagon and the Senate Armed Forces Committee. Rhodes, finally having enough of Tony’s antics, goes and dons one of the in-development Iron Man suits. He then challenges Tony to a fight, where Tony has the in-house DJ play some good background tunes. The battle ends in a stalemate and Rhodey flies off in the Mark II armor, delivering it to military authorities at Edwards Air Force Base. Justin Hammer is later invited to study the suit himself and provides them with advanced weapons to arm it with.

The next day, Tony is at the famous Los Angeles landmark doughnut shop Randy’s Doughnuts, sitting in the Iron Man suit atop the famous giant plastered doughnut. Disgraced and hungover, Tony is approached by SHIELD director Nick Fury, who tells Stark that despite the problems he’s having with the government and his drunken Iron Man antics, which are the least of his worries; Fury has an issue to deal with in the Southwest United States. Tony wonders if Fury and the “Avengers Initiative” is real, and Fury reassures Tony that it’s real, and that he knew Howard Stark very well, in fact Howard was one of the founding members of S.H.I.E.L.D., the agency he works for. They are joined by agent Phil Coulson and Natalie Rushman, whose real name is Natasha Romanoff, a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent planted in Stark Industries to monitor Tony himself. A hungover Tony is stunned at this revelation and fires Natalie/Natasha, but she then tells Tony that it’s none of his business and that he’s under investigation from S.H.I.E.L.D. , and she and agent Coulson are there to make sure Tony follows orders and doesn’t screw up. Fury and Natasha both mention Tony’s palladium poisoning; Tony replies that he’s investigated and tested every know element and every permutation of them with no success. Natasha injects Tony with a serum that slows the symptoms of his palladium poisoning significantly, giving him the time to find an alternate element to keep him alive.

Fury tells Tony some more detail about Anton Vanko’s relationship with Howard Stark and provides Tony with a chest of his father’s old artifacts that can hopefully be used to find a cure for his condition. Tony resists further attempts from S.H.I.E.L.D. interference, but Agent Coulson reassures Tony that he’s not going anywhere until Tony finds the answers that he’s seeking about his condition. Reviewing the film reels in the chest, Stark discovers a message from his father that leads him to the original 1974 diorama of the Stark Expo. He retrieves the diorama from his old office, now occupied by Pepper, and tries to reconcile with her. In reality, the diorama is a disguised diagram for the atomic structure of a new element that Howard couldn’t produce in his time but Tony may be able to with his advanced knowledge.

Stark performs a radical alteration of his home workshop and hand-builds a particle accelerator with the aid of his computer system, J.A.R.V.I.S. Stark synthesizes this new element, creating a new triangular chest arc reactor that cures his poisoning and is much more powerful than Stark’s earlier versions. Just before Tony completes the particle acceleration, Coulson tells him that he’s free to go and that S.H.I.E.L.D. has reassigned him to another case in New Mexico.

At Hammer Industries, Vanko has radically changed the design of Hammer’s suits: they are now automated drones. Despite what Vanko considers improvements, Hammer is displeased and imprisons Vanko in a small room with two guards while he takes the drones to the Stark Expo.

Hammer unveils his new military drones, captained by Rhodes in a heavily-weaponized version of the confiscated Mark II armor. Unfortunately, it is soon discovered that Vanko has programmed the drones, giving himself complete control. He also has control of Rhodes’ new armor, and Stark arrives just as they go on the attack. As Stark battles these remote-controlled enemies and tries to evade Rhodes, Happy Hogan and Romanoff race to Hammer’s Queens facility to stop Vanko. By the time they arrive, Vanko has already departed for the Expo in a new armored suit, an updated version of the harness he used when he attacked Tony in Monaco. Back at the Stark Expo, just as Hammer has finished his presentation, the drones attack the standing-room-only crowd and they begin to flee. Stark and Rhodes chase after the drones and destroy each and every one of them, while Agent Romanoff and Pepper have Justin Hammer arrested for harboring the fugitive Vanko.

Natasha is able to give Rhodes control of his armor again so that he and Stark can fight Vanko together. The two armored allies combine their powers and successfully destroy all the drones. Vanko then lands in the area, wearing a greatly updated armored suit with improved plasma energy whips. After a grueling battle, Stark has an idea for he and Rhodes to use a trick from their earlier battle during Stark’s birthday party, firing their energy repulsors to collide and create the same explosion with Vanko caught in the middle. The maneuver takes Vanko down, but Vanko’s armor and drones are revealed to have been equipped with self-destruct charges. As they begin to explode, Stark races to save Pepper, rescuing her at the last moment. After landing on a roof she quits her CEO position, and she finally gives Tony a kiss, to which they both find Rhodes sitting a few meters away. Tony finally tells Pepper the truth about his heart, upsetting her greatly. Stark tells Rhodes to leave, but Rhodes then claims he was there first, so they should get their “own roof” after Stark tries to defend himself.

At a debriefing, Fury informs Stark that while Stark is “unsuitable” for the “Avengers Initiative,” SHIELD wants Stark as a consultant. Stark agrees on the condition that Senator Stern personally present him and Col. Rhodes with their medals for bravery, however Senator Stern is less than amused when he presents Tony with his medal.

In a post-credits scene, SHIELD agent Coulson is seen driving to a remote impact crater in the New Mexico desert. He informs Fury over the phone that they’ve “found it”; in the crater is Mjolnir, the hammer of Thor.

’Nuff said.

Origins: The Wolverine

Copyright Marvel Studios – 1 May 2009

In 1845 in North-Western Territory, British North America, young James Howlett (Troye Sivan) sees his father John Howlett (Peter O’Brien) killed by his friend Victor Creed’s father, Thomas Logan (Aaron Jeffery). In an act of vengeance, James kills the elder Logan using bone claws which have grown out of his hands due to the stress of the incident. With his dying breath, Logan tells James that he is also his son. James runs out of the house, followed by Victor, who finds him and promises his younger brother that he’ll look out for him. James and Victor (Michael-James Olsen) run away, pursued by a torch-wielding mob.

In the years that follow, adult brothers James (Hugh Jackman) and Victor (Liev Schreiber) are seen fighting together in the American Civil War, World War I, World War II, and eventually the Vietnam War. Their regenerative powers keep them from being killed in the battlefield and they both age considerably slowly compared to non-mutants. James is forced to act as a check on Victor’s increasing rage and ferocity. In Vietnam, Victor kills a superior officer after being stopped from raping a girl, and James and Victor are sentenced to death by firing squad, though their unique regenerative abilities keep them alive.

While they are incarcerated, Major William Stryker (Danny Huston) approaches the two mutants and offers them membership in Team X, his elite group of mutants. The team consists of mutants Fred Dukes (Kevin Durand), who possesses super strength and invulnerability; John Wraith (, who can teleport; Chris Bradley (Dominic Monaghan), a.k.a. Bolt, who can control electricity and possesses telekinetic abilities; expert marksman Agent Zero (Daniel Henney); and mercenary Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds), an amazing swordsman who never stops talking. The brothers join the group and are sent to the team’s first mission: Invade the headquarters of a diamond trafficking operation in Lagos, Nigeria, to retrieve a meteorite. When Stryker asks the diamond smuggler about the source of the meteorite, the smuggler tells him that it came from a remote village further into Nigeria. The team goes there and Stryker and the team brutally interrogate the local people to learn where the meteorite was found. James is disgusted by the murders committed by his teammates and abandons the group over Victor’s persuasions and protests.

Six years afterward, James — now going by his last name, Logan — is a lumberjack living with his girlfriend Kayla Silverfox (Lynn Collins). Meanwhile, Victor hunts down and murders Bradley, who works at a circus; Victor mentions that Wade is already dead. Stryker locates Logan and claims that someone is killing members of the now-disbanded team. Stryker asks Logan for help, but is refused. Shortly after, Silverfox is murdered by Victor. Wolverine hunts down his half-brother, but is easily defeated. Stryker once again asks Logan for help, and Logan agrees. Stryker has Logan’s skeletal system reinforced with adamantium, a virtually indestructible metal retrieved from the meteorite source found by Team X in Nigeria. Before the procedure, Logan asks for his new dog tags to say “Wolverine,” a reference to a story that Kayla told him. After the procedure, Stryker orders Wolverine’s memory to be erased, but Wolverine overhears this and flees. Stryker orders Agent Zero to hunt him down and take his head off.

An elderly couple, Travis (Max Cullen) and Heather Hudson (Julia Blake), see Wolverine — who escaped in the buff — enter their barn. They’re wary but welcoming, giving him food and clothing, including a leather jacket of their son’s — and their son’s motorcycle. The next morning, both are shot dead by Zero. Wolverine takes out several HMMWVs, a helicopter and Zero himself, telling Stryker over Zero’s radio, that he’ll hunt him down. Stryker warns Wolverine that if he chooses to go after the answers he seeks, he won’t like what he finds.

Wolverine locates former associates John Wraith and Fred Dukes (who is now massively obese from a guilt-driven eating disorder), seeking to learn the location of Stryker’s new laboratory. After beating Dukes in a boxing match, Wolverine learns the disbanded team had been capturing young mutants for Stryker. One of them, Remy LeBeau (Taylor Kitsch), also known as Gambit, escaped the island laboratory and knows its location. Dukes tells Logan that his brother Victor is actually working for Stryker, capturing and killing mutants for him. Meanwhile, Stryker captures a teenaged Scott Summers (Tim Pocock) with Victor’s aid.

Wolverine and Wraith locate Gambit in a New Orleans bar. Wolverine talks to Gambit while Wraith keeps watch outside, but Gambit suspects Wolverine was sent to recapture him and, using his ability to charge objects with kinetic energy, throws several playing cards at Wolverine that send him flying through a wall. Outside, Wolverine sees Victor has killed Wraith and taken a sample of his blood. Wolverine fights Victor, only to be interrupted by Gambit. Victor escapes, and after a brief struggle, Gambit agrees to take Wolverine to the Stryker’s secret mutant prison/laboratory.

The facility turns out to be Three Mile Island. Once there, Wolverine confronts Stryker and learns Silverfox is still alive; Victor faked her death with hydrochlorothiazide. She was keeping track of the mutant to free her sister, Emma Frost (Tahyna Valentina MacManus), who is also in the prison. Wolverine is devastated by this betrayal.

Now having no quarrel with Stryker, Wolverine departs. Victor, angered that Stryker let Wolverine go, demands the adamantium procedure. Stryker, however, tells him that he won’t survive the procedure and in an act of rage, Victor tries to kill Silverfox, her power of persuasion failing to influence Victor despite her physical contact with him. Wolverine hears Silverfox’s screams and attacks Victor. Finally having the chance to kill Victor, Wolverine chooses not to give in to his animal instincts and instead knocks him out. Silverfox shows Wolverine to the holding cells, and he frees the mutants there; among them are Emma Frost and Scott Summers.

Panicking, Stryker prematurely activates his newest creation, Weapon XI (Scott Adkins and Ryan Reynolds), a bald, pale-skinned and deformed Wade Wilson, lacking a mouth and with patterns on his skin marking his adamantium bone structure. As the rescue party approaches an exit, it is blocked by Weapon XI, who is under Stryker’s control. Wolverine tells them to find a new exit as two long blades extend from Weapon XI’s arms. The blades are similar to Wolverine’s claws, but more like katana swords, Wilson’s weapon of choice. Wolverine realizes that this monstrosity is actually Wade Wilson. “Looks like Stryker finally found a way to shut you up,” he quips.

Weapon XI, also called Deadpool, is a mutant Frankenstein’s monster, with the abilities of several of the killed and captured mutants: Summer’s optic blasts, Wraith’s teleportation, and Wolverine’s healing ability. During the escape, Silverfox is mortally wounded. The other mutants escape through the facility’s tunnels, guided by Scott who is unable to tell them how he knows the way out. Emerging from the tunnel, the party encounters a helicopter. Riding in the helicopter is a familiar figure: Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), who has guided them to safety and offers them a home at his school.

Meanwhile, the fight between Wolverine and Weapon XI moves to the top of one of the nuclear power plant’s cooling towers. Weapon XI overpowers and prepares to decapitate Wolverine, but Victor returns to aid his brother. Wolverine and Victor, now working together, are able to decapitate Weapon XI, sending its head, still firing optic blasts, down into the cooling tower. Wolverine coldly informs Victor that despite his help, their relationship is over. Victor reminds him that as brothers, they can never be finished, and jumps off the the cooling tower. The damage from the optic blasts causes the cooling tower to collapse, but Wolverine is rescued by Gambit.

Wolverine asks Gambit to ensure the prisoners are safe, while he returns to find Silverfox, who stayed behind because she was wounded. As he carries her to safety, Stryker shoots him in the back with an adamantium bullet. Wolverine charges Stryker to kill him but is shot in the head, knocking him unconscious.

Stryker approaches Silverfox and prepares to shoot her as well but she uses her powers of persuasion to order Stryker to first throw away the pistol and then walk away until his feet bleed. She then dies from her injuries. Gambit returns to assure Wolverine that the mutants are safe, but due to amnesia caused by the brain damage the adamantium bullets inflicted, Wolverine does not remember anything (this was Stryker’s intention, knowing that even the adamantium bullets could not kill Logan but will cause amnesia). Gambit tries to get Wolverine to come with him, but he declines. Gambit wishes Wolverine good luck before departing, and Wolverine flees the scene as the ambulances and police arrive.

The film has several additional scenes during and after the credits. The first of these scenes plays a few seconds into the credits, and depicts William Stryker walking down a road. Due to Silverfox’s order, the toes of his shoes are torn and bloody from walking for so long. A military vehicle drives up behind him and he is apprehended by military police for questioning about the death of General Munson. (Stryker murdered the general earlier in the film in order to protect his vendetta against mutants.)

Depending on which theater the movie was shown in, one of two possible endings then appears following the credits. In the first ending, Weapon XI’s hand reaches out from the rubble of the nuclear complex to touch his severed head. Deadpool’s mouth is now open and he says “Shhhhhhhh” to the audience. The second alternate ending shows Logan drinking at a bar in Japan. The bartender asks if he is drinking to forget; Logan replies that he’s drinking to remember.

’Nuff said.

The Fantastic Four
Introducing Doctor Doom

Copyright Marvel Studios – 8 July 2005

Reed Richards, a brilliant but timid and bankrupt scientist, is convinced that evolution can be triggered by clouds of cosmic energy, and has calculated that Earth is going to pass one of these clouds soon. Together with his friend and partner, the gruff yet gentle astronaut muscle-man Ben Grimm, Reed convinces his conceited MIT classmate Dr. Victor Von Doom, now CEO of his own enterprise, to allow him access to his privately-owned space station. Von Doom agrees in exchange for control over the experiment and a majority of the profits from whatever benefits it brings. He thus brings aboard Susan Storm, his shy, though assertive chief genetics researcher and a former lover of Reed’s with whom she had an acrimonious break-up, and her diametrically opposed brother Johnny, the maverick and hot-headed playboy pilot. The astronauts make it home intact; however, before long they begin to mutate, developing strange and amazing powers as a result of their exposure to the cloud! Reed is able to stretch like rubber; Sue can turn invisible and create force fields, especially when angered; Johnny can produce fire at supernova temperatures, and is able to fly; and Ben is transformed into “The Thing”, a large, rock-like creature with super strength. After Ben, brooding about his situation on the Brooklyn Bridge, inadvertently causes a major traffic pile-up whilst attempting to stop a man about to commit suicide, the four manage to use their powers to prevent any loss of life and to rescue a fire truck and its crew from falling off the bridge in a resulting explosion. The media dubs the team the ‘Fantastic Four’, and whilst Johnny eagerly embraces his powers and new life, Ben – the most heavily disfigured – particularly suffers from his transformation; his disfigurement has caused his fiancée to abandon him and has seen him shunned and feared by much of New York. Blaming himself, Reed vows to return Ben to his human form, and he, Sue and Ben work on a cure, constructing a healing chamber in Reed’s high tech Baxter Building loft-turned-laboratory. During this time, Reed and Susan begin to grow close once again, and Susan admits that she is not interested in Victor, but ended their relationship because Reed feared to commit, thinking only in terms of variables. Unknown to the others, however, Victor’s body is also mutating; he is turning into organic metal capable of absorbing and manipulating electrical energy known as Doctor Doom. As a result of the disastrous expedition, his company is going bankrupt and he is losing public stature; blaming Reed for his misfortunes, Victor swears revenge. And Reed, Ben, Susan, and Johnny must defeat Victor Von Doom and foil his evil plans once and for all.

’Nuff said.

The Incredible Hulk
Introducing The Abomination

Copyright Marvel Studios – 13 June 2008

Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) is a scientist working to find a way to use gamma radiation to increase healing time in soldiers. One of his co-workers is Betty Ross (Liv Tyler), whose father, General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross (William Hurt), oversees the project. Upon subjecting himself to a gamma test, Banner transforms into a green-skinned, superhumanly powerful creature. He destroys the lab, injures Betty and Ross and escapes.

Several years later, he surfaces in Brazil, working at a local soft drink factory and living in a run-down favela. He trains with martial artists on how to control his gamma-irradiated anger, and communicates via encrypted e-mail with a man know as Mr. Blue about developing a cure. Ross has continued to search for him, believing that Banner is effectively the property of the United States government. Thanks to an accident at the factory where his blood drips into a bottle of soda and poisons a man in America (Stan Lee in a cameo), Ross tracks Banner to Brazil. He assembles a strike force led by a ruthless British soldier, Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth) and sends them after Banner. They chase Banner through the city and into the soft drink factory. Banner is also pursued by several hooligans who dislike him. When the hooligans attack Banner, he loses control of his anger and transforms into his green alter ego just as the strike team arrives. He makes quick work of the hooligans and strike team, then leaps his way out of Brazil.

Blonsky demands that Ross tell him the truth about Banner. Ross reveals that the goal of the program was not to develop new ways of treating injuries but to create an army of invincible super soldiers. Blonsky is intrigued and, recognizing that he is at the end of his career at age 39, asks to be given the super soldier formula himself. Ross agrees and Blonsky undergoes an extremely painful procedure.

Banner returns to the United States, in particular to a college town in Virginia. Betty still teaches there. Banner sneaks into a computer laboratory and downloads vital information about the experiments and his own physiognomy. That night, Betty and her new boyfriend, Leonard Samson (Ty Burrell) see Banner in a restaurant. Betty takes Banner home, but Samson contacts Ross. Banner plans to leave the next day but Ross’ forces attack him on campus. Banner transforms again, and witnesses to the battle dub him “the Hulk.” During the fight, Blonsky confronts Hulk and displays superhuman reflexes, but Hulk kicks Blonsky into a tree, shattering every bone in his body. Betty is nearly killed in a helicopter assault. Hulk rescues her and takes her to safety. During a rain storm, Hulk becomes scared of the thunder and hurls rocks at it. Betty calms him down. The next morning, she checks them into a motel and buys him new clothes. They decide to go to New York and meet Mr. Blue. On the way, Betty suggests that some of Banner’s personality remains when he is in Hulk form, but Banner angrily rejects this notion. He wants to be rid of the Hulk, not find a way to control it.

Ross is pleasantly surprised to see Blonsky has completely healed from his grievous injuries — more rapidly than a normal human man would. However, he doesn’t notice the bony spines beginning to protrude from Blonsky’s back.

Mr. Blue is really Samuel Sterns (Tim Blake Nelson), a professor at a college in New York City. He reveals to Banner that he has a procedure that might suppress the Hulk reaction but may not be potent enough to cure him. However, he wants to continue to study Banner so they can find a way to use his blood to cure countless diseases. Banner refuses to allow that, but agrees to undergo Sterns’ suppression procedure. It seems to work. However, Ross has tracked Banner to Sterns’ office. This time, Banner is successfully captured. Betty tells Ross that she no longer considers him her father. Blonsky confronts Sterns and asks to be exposed to Banner’s irradiated blood. Sterns warns him that the result could be “an abomination” but Blonsky insists. The result: Blonsky turns into an enormous, scaly beast, Abomination. He leaps from Sterns’ laboratory. In the chaos, some of Banner’s blood drips into an open wound on his forehead. His head begins to mutate.

Insane with power, Blonsky goes on a destructive rampage in Harlem. In the helicopter taking them to custody, Banner, Betty and Ross see television footage of the destruction. Banner believes he can now control the Hulk. He leaps from the helicopter and transforms into the Hulk just before he hits the ground. He and Abomination wage a fierce battle. Abomination knocks the helicopter with Ross and Betty in it from the sky. Just as Abomination is about to kill them, Hulk stops him and nearly strangles Abomination to death with heavy chains. Betty’s horrified reaction keeps Hulk from actually killing Abomination, however. Instead, he leaps away, eventually winding up in British Columbia. Weeks of meditation help Banner finally gain control of his alter ego, however the glimmer of the force inside him does appear in his eyes.

Ross sits in a bar, smoking his trademark cigars and drinking himself into a stupor. Billionaire industrialist Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) enters and suggests that a team he is putting together just might help Ross solve his Hulk problem.

’Nuff said.

The Invincible Ironman
Introducing The Ironmonger

Copyright Marvel Studios – 2 May 2008

A convoy of military Humvees drives across the Afghanistan desert. In one of them is billionaire weapons developer Tony Stark, riding with soldiers on duty. He is joking with some members of a convoy who seem to be genuinely amused by his persona and his flamboyant public image. Suddenly, the convoy is ambushed by unseen gunmen. The soldiers fight to defend themselves but are quickly killed. Tony flees the Humvee, taking refuge behind a large rock. Moments later, a missile lands nearby and explodes, but not before Tony sees the Stark Industries logo painted on it. Large amounts of shrapnel are lodged in Tony’s chest despite the body armor he wears. Tony is captured and recorded on video by a group of masked terrorists.

Las Vegas, 36 hours earlier

Tony Stark is about to receive the Apogee Award in Las Vegas. A presentation documents Tony’s life story: born the son of legendary weapons developer Howard Stark, Tony is a child prodigy who built his first circuit board when he was four years old, his first V8 engine when he was six, and graduated summa cum laude from MIT when he was 17. His parents were killed in a car accident in 1991, and when he was 21, he became CEO of Stark Industries, where he is to this day. Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes prepares to present Tony the award, but Tony is not in attendance. Tony’s right-hand man (and his father’s former partner) Obadiah Stane accepts the award in Tony’s stead. Rhodey later finds Tony partying in a casino. On his way out, a reporter named Christine Everhart approaches Stark with some questions regarding the ethics of his weapons business. Stark deflects her questions with some swift quips and the two end up spending the night together at Tony’s oceanfront house in Malibu.

The next morning, Christine is awakened by a voice on a computer monitor. It’s J.A.R.V.I.S., the artificially intelligent program responsible for running Tony’s house and his research lab. As Christine leaves the house, she’s greeted by Tony’s human assistant, Virginia “Pepper” Potts. Pepper helps Tony catch up on some business before Tony heads out to the airport where his plane awaits. In flight, Tony talks with Rhodey. Rhodey is unhappy about Tony’s lax attitude, and Tony tries to get his old friend to relax. Before long they are drunk and leering at the flight attendants.

Tony arrives at a military outpost in Afghanistan to demonstrate his company’s latest project: the Jericho, an advanced super-missile system. After the demonstration, Tony gets a phone call from Obadiah and they are both pleased that the demonstration went well. Tony goes off with the convoy, which brings us to the convoy ambush at the start of the movie.

Much later, Tony regains consciousness in a cave. His chest is hooked up to a strange device. Another captive, Dr. Ho Yinsen, explains that he operated on Tony but was unable to remove all of the shrapnel. Yinsen created a device — essentially an electromagnet powered by a car battery — that will keep the remaining fragments from shifting and causing further damage to his heart. The terrorists who captured Tony and Yinsen enter the room. Yinsen translates; they want Tony to build them a Jericho missile. Tony refuses and they torture him by dunking his head in water.

Hours later, the terrorists, whose group is called the the Ten Rings, show off a huge stockpile of weapons — all made by Stark Industries. Tony appears to give in and starts building the missile, but he has other plans. With Yinsen’s help, and using palladium collected from his weapons, Tony constructs a tiny version of an arc reactor, streamlined from a much bigger design used at his company’s headquarters. The power output is enough to run Stark’s heart for “fifty lifetimes… or something much bigger for about 15 minutes.” It will also be enough to keep the shrapnel in Tony’s heart from shifting any further and killing him.

Tony designs a way out for himself and Yinsen: an armored suit powered by the arc reactor that he will wear and use to defeat the terrorists. Midway through construction, the head of the Ten Rings, Raza, arrives and threatens to torture Yinsen, angry because he thinks Stark is not working on the Jericho as they wanted. Tony bargains for Yinsen’s life, saying he makes a good assistant. Raza gives them one more day to finish.

Working furiously overnight, Tony completes his project. Yinsen straps Tony into the completed armored suit, telling him the way out of the cave. They set off a bomb inside the cell door as a distraction for the guards as Tony powers up his suit. Yinsen realizes that they will not have enough time. He grabs a gun and runs off to distract the surviving guards.

Tony, fully powered, muscles his way through the cave. The guards try to stop him but his suit easily deflects their weapon fire and he beats them off or kills them. He also fires one of the suit’s missiles at Raza himself, who is flung out of sight by the blast. Halfway out of the cavern, Stark finds Yinsen, mortally wounded. Yinsen reveals that this was his plan, sacrificing himself so Tony could escape — Yinsen’s family is already dead and he will now see them again in the afterlife. Tony tearfully thanks Yinsen for saving him. Yinsen’s last words to Stark are not to waste his second chance at life.

Tony turns his suit on the remaining terrorists, igniting flame-throwers and firing missiles. He destroys their stockpile of weapons, but some of their larger-caliber weaponry begins to damage his suit. He uses a rudimentary jet-pack to launch himself out of the valley. Not long after firing, his jet-pack fails and he survives a crash in the desert. Stark leaves the suit behind and hikes through the desert until a couple of US helicopters fly overhead. A group of soldiers, led by Rhodey, come across Tony. Rhodey is overjoyed to find that his friend is alive.

Tony is quickly flown back to the United States. Upon his arrival at Edwards Air Force Base, Pepper wants Tony to receive medical treatment, but Tony says that there are only two things he wants: an American cheeseburger and a company press conference. So Tony appears before a group of reporters and, clearly humbled and no longer the arrogant CEO he was before his capture, announces that he intends to shut down Stark Industries’ weapons manufacturing division immediately. At the same time, Pepper is approached by Agent Phil Coulson the from Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement & Logistic Division. They want to talk to Tony about his capture. Pepper schedules an appointment for them.

That evening, Obadiah Stane confronts Tony about his actions, furious. Obadiah knows that the stock value for their company (and, by extension, their financial status) is going to take a serious drop because of this announcement. Tony wants Stark Industries to move forward with arc reactor technology, but Obadiah thinks that the arc reactor is nothing but a publicity stunt. Through the conversation, Tony ends up revealing his prosthetic power-heart to Obadiah but refuses to allow the device to be studied for production. Stane convinces Tony to lie low for a while so the company can sort things out.

Pepper watches Jim Cramer deliver a scathing news segment on Mad Money on the declining value of Stark Industries when Tony asks for her help. He’s created an upgraded and much more powerful mini arc reactor, the Mark II chest piece, but can’t install it into his chest without someone to help — his assisting robot, Dummy, tried to insert the arc reactor but failed. Pepper accidentally yanks out the cords for the old reactor too soon, putting Tony on the verge of cardiac arrest. They manage to complete the process in time. Tony tells Pepper to destroy the old model since he’s not a sentimental person.

Tony visits Rhodes and asks for help with a new private project. Rhodey does not agree with Tony’s approach; he thinks Tony is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder because of his capture and needs time to recover.

Tony turns to his other best friend — JARVIS — for help. Tony’s plan is revealed to be an upgrade to his armored suit (referred to as Mark II; the suit from the terrorist cave was Mark I). Tony, studying a 3D CGI-mapped image of the Mark I, discards many of the components, streamlining the design.

Meanwhile, Raza, having survived his battle with Stark and the Mark I, searches the desert, gathering all fragments of the Mark I suit that Tony left behind.

Tony decides that the first thing he has to do is to perfect the armor’s flight system. Since the leg-mounted jets proved too unstable, he creates repulsors for the feet and arm-mounted stabilizers for balance. Pepper comes in when he is testing the stabilizers and they find that it also creates a powerful repulsion beam that could also be used as a weapon. Pepper leaves a paper-wrapped box on Tony’s desk as a gift.

Obadiah visits Tony and reveals that the board of directors has filed an injunction to gain control of Stark Industries. Tony isn’t worried; he still maintains controlling interest in Stark Industries.

After several failed and painful attempts, Tony perfects his flight system, and is delighted at the prospect of flying.

The Mark II armored suit is soon finished. It looks like a heavily-streamlined version of Tony’s Mark I armor. Tony connects with JARVIS to monitor the progress in the suit. Against JARVIS’s advice, Tony takes it out for a test flight, and he is thrilled by the suit’s functionality. Tony pushes the limit for high-atmosphere flying, but at such great heights the freezing air causes the suit to become coated with ice and his power supply shuts down. Tony is barely able to reactivate his thrusters in time to avoid crashing into the ground. Stark returns home, but the armor is so heavy that it smashes through three floors of the house. As Tony recovers from his crash landing, he opens the box that Pepper left behind earlier; inside is the Mark I arc reactor, encased as a trophy with the message, “Proof That Tony Stark Has a Heart.”

Tony analyzes more data and decides to rebuild the suit using gold titanium from an old project to solve the icing and weight problems. He instructs JARVIS to add some hot-rod red trim to the next suit, codenamed Mark III, then leaves to attend his annual benefit dinner while the new suit is being assembled and painted.

At the charity event, Tony meets with Agent Coulson, who still wants to learn about Tony’s incident. Tony leaves to dance with Pepper and they share a moment together in the moonlight.

Christine, the reporter Tony slept with prior to leaving for Afghanistan, shows him photographs of his weapons being used by a terrorist group the previous day in the remote Afghan town of Gulmira, Yinsen’s home village. Tony confronts Obadiah on the matter, and Obadiah reveals that he is the one who filed the injunction against Tony. Obadiah calls himself an “iron monger,” and has no qualms about selling Stark Industries weapons to both sides of the conflict. Tony returns home, furious. While there he watches news reports of the worsening situation in the Gulmira region. He tests modifications to his hand repulsors, turning them into a weapon and blasting out several glass panes. When the new suit is completed it is fitted to his body by an automated robotic system. Stark flies off to Gulmira at hypersonic speed, determined to right his company’s wrongs.

In Gulmira, terrorists are rounding up civilians for capture and execution when Tony shows up. His Mark III armor is more than a match for them. Within seconds, he defeats the first group of terrorists, using his advanced weapons to take out several without any innocent casualties. He leaves the group’s leader, Raza’s chief lieutenant, alive and defenseless for the villagers to take their revenge on.

While flying to find his weapons, Iron Man is shot down by a tank shell. When he gets up, a second shell barely misses him. He responds by shooting a mini-missile at the tank, destroying it. Using the palm repulsors he designed, he destroys the captured Jericho missiles. After they are demolished, Raza arrives in time to see Tony fly off.

CENTCOM at Edwards Air Force Base detects Tony in flight, mistaking him for a rogue drone. Col. Rhodes is asked about the status of any new developments. He contacts Tony, who claims that he knows nothing about what is happening. In the meantime, Tony is confronted by two F-22 Raptors. He tries to outrun the jets but they are too much for him. Tony calls Rhodes and reveals that he is responsible for the “unidentified craft.” Rhodey is furious about Tony sending in unauthorized equipment, and horrified when Tony explains that the “equipment” is actually himself in his new invention. Iron Man is hit by one fighter jet, sending him flying into the wing of the second jet. The pilot is forced to eject, but his parachute fails to open. Iron Man, still under fire, flies in and deploys the parachute in time to rescue the pilot. Tony convinces Rhodey to pass off what happened with the jets as a “training exercise.”

After Tony arrives back at home, Pepper catches him removing the battle-damaged Iron Man armor. The removal is not going as well as the assembly and Tony quips that Pepper has seen him in situations that were much worse.

Meanwhile, Stane pays a visit to the Ten Rings’ camp. He paid the Ten Rings members to capture and kill Tony, but they realized who Tony was and had demanded a much higher price when they made their tape. Using a high-powered sonic device that induces temporary paralysis, Stane immobilizes Raza and takes the remnants of the Mark I armor they have gathered. Stane then has his men execute everyone in the camp.

Tony tries to talk Pepper into helping him, believing that nothing else matters but saving the people who he put in harm’s way. Pepper is moved by Tony’s dedication, and agrees. She goes into Obadiah’s office with a flash drive programmed to copy files from the computer. As Pepper sifts through stored files, she finds a video from the terrorists proving that Obadiah was responsible for Tony’s capture. Obadiah comes into the office and sees her at the computer, but Pepper manages to hide what she is really doing. She leaves the office, but as soon as he powers up the computer, Obadiah realizes what she was up to. On the way out, Pepper sees Agent Coulson and tells him he can have his interview immediately so that he accompanies her safely out of the building.

Obadiah meets with his team of developers who are working on his own armored suit based on the Mark I. They have rebuilt the components, but they cannot miniaturize Stark’s arc reactor. Stane is furious, angrily telling one of them, “Tony Stark was able to build this in a cave! WITH A BOX OF SCRAPS!”, then realizes that he has one other option.

Stane arrives at Tony’s house and paralyzes him with the sonic weapon. Obadiah yanks out the the Mark II chest piece from Tony’s chest, taunting him about how it will be the flagship invention in a new era of weaponry. After he leaves, Tony realizes that he has only one hope for survival — the preserved arc reactor that Pepper gave him as a gift. He gets the power source installed just as Rhodey arrives. Rhodey informs him that five agents have gone to arrest Obadiah, but Tony knows that is not nearly enough manpower.

Rhodey watches Tony suit up, awestruck at the Iron Man armor. Rhodey asks if there’s anything Tony needs, Tony asks him to “keep the skies clear.” As Tony flies away, Rhodey spots the silver-colored prototype suit, the Mark II… then shakes his head and mumbles “Next time.”

Pepper, Coulson and several other agents arrive at Obadiah’s research facility. They spot the Mark I armor and a storage location where something else was kept. Just then, a gigantic robotic suit comes to life and attacks them — it’s Obadiah’s counterpart suit, code-named the Iron Monger, powered by the chest piece he stole from Tony.

While Tony flies towards the research facility, JARVIS warns him that he has only about half power in the suit because the older chest piece wasn’t designed power the Mark III during sustained flight.

Tony arrives just as Obadiah is about to execute Pepper. The two ironclad warriors begin a huge, brawling battle that spills into the streets near Stark Industries. Tony flies into the upper atmosphere, drawing Obadiah along with him. Obadiah struggles but before long begins to freeze up — his suit has the same icing problem that Tony’s Mark II had. Obadiah begins to fall back to Earth, leaving Tony hovering above. The older arc reactor begins to lose power rapidly and Tony falls back to Earth, landing on top of his factory, running on auxiliary backup power.

Back on the ground, Obadiah attacks Tony again. Tony evades Obadiah long enough to instruct Pepper to overload the building’s arc reactor, which will generate a shock wave strong enough to disable Obadiah’s suit. Pepper is hesitant, believing that Tony could also be killed. Tony manages to keep fighting while she builds up power to the reactor. The reactor releases its shock wave, knocking out the Iron Monger suit, which falls into the reactor, killing Stane and destroying the reactor. Stark’s original mini arc reactor sparks back to life, allowing Tony to survive.

Days later, Rhodey holds a press conference about the incident with the two “robots.” Tony is impressed with the name the newspapers come up with, “Iron Man,” and plans to adopt it. Agent Coulson has released cover stories about the death of Obadiah (who will die in a small plane crash while Tony is supposedly elsewhere) and the “truth” about Iron Man (who will be referred to as Stark’s bodyguard). Pepper thanks Coulson but cannot remember the full name of the group he belongs to. Coulson tells them to call it “S.H.I.E.L.D.” and says that they will be in touch again.

Tony goes before the reporters once more, and prepares to comply with the cover story. But, as he begins talking, he throws away his notes and declares “I am Iron Man.” The press goes into a frenzy.

Much later (after the credits), Tony returns home to find a mysterious man in black telling him that as Iron Man, Tony has become part of a larger universe. Tony asks who the man is. He turns around and introduces himself: Nick Fury, director of S.H.I.E.L.D. He’s come to talk with Tony about an upcoming project known as the The Avengers Initiative.

’Nuff said.


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