Top 6 Possible Candidates For IRON MAN 3's Supporting Villain
With all signs pointing to Mandarin as the armored avenger's new foe, and sources indicating another villain in the mix, I give my list of the likely suspects it could be...
From the casting of Sir Ben Kingsley, to the recent announcement of the film being co-produced in China, it seems evident that the "racist caricature" of Iron Man lore may be making an appearance after all. Speculation has already arisen on how Marvel will adapt The Mandarin onto the big screen, but thanks to Hollywood Reporter we know there will be another villain in the film. Despite the likely chance that Iron Man's nemesis will appear in the sequel, we still have no clue on who the other villain set to appear is. So without further ado, here are my top 6 personal choices on who this second mysterious villain could be:
No. 6: Fin Fang Foom
Out of everyone on the list, Fin Fang Foom is probably the hardest to adapt on the big screen. Most people know Foom as a dragon with purple pants, yet he is integral to the Iron Man Mythos. His race were responsible for the Ten Power Rings, and he himself was Mandarin's greatest ally (only to betray him later on for his own ambitions). A similar image by the same artist (who was the films' conceptual designer) popped as an easter egg in the first of the trilogy already. Perhaps this easter egg is a hint of what's to come, or concept art for the future. Using Foom has its benefits since he could be another way for Marvel to expand the cosmic side of the cinematic universe that has been seen in Thor and the upcoming Avengers. With the possibilities of CGI, and comic history with the Mandarin, Foom could be a fantastic adversary to the third installment of the franchise. However there are doubts in his appearance...his name for example. I sincerely doubt audiences would fear a monster with such a ridiculous name. There is also the notion that Shane wants "real world villains", and if he gets his way the alien dragon's chances will get a lot slimmer.
No. 5: Spymaster
Infamous for being a catalyst to the Armour wars, Spymaster is definitely a prime candidate. Instead of relying on hi tech weapons or suits, he is a master at hand-to-hand combat and has a few gadgets to get the job done. He is a master thief, a saboteur, an industrial spy and a world-class assassin. Spymaster may be a "real world" villain that Iron Man could face. There have been multiple characters that have assumed the identity, but Nathan Lemon seems the most obvious choice. The reason I say this is because of multiple story lines are used with him being hired by Mandarin to assassinate Black Widow or Iron Man. A similar situation could crop up in the next film. Nathan Lemon is definitely the one of the most realistic villains of Iron Man's rogues, and can easily be brought on screen. But the problem is that this villain may be too realistic. Sure he can have a cool costume, but when potential candidates have much more interesting powers he isn't all that impressive. It's also hard to see how he can be involved in an Extremis-inspired story line, since Spymaster isn't really interested about nano-bombs or terrorist endeavors. His skills set and abilities are more than enough for a #5 spot.
No. 4: Ezekiel Stane
With the final showdowns in both Iron Man 1 and 2 being between two or more men in armor, it seems unlikely we'll get a large majority of Tony Stark's rogues gallery. Titanium Man, Crimson Dynamo and man more will not likely be used for a simple reason: we've seen it before. Audiences want to see something new, and Obadiah's son can provide that. This guy is essentially a younger, stronger, crueler Tony Stark. He is often described as "the future", and his quest for vengeance and superiority over Iron Man will set a great relationship. Their similarities as characters, along with the history of Ezekiel's father provide a great dynamic and rounding conclusion to the Ten Ring Arc in the films by having them pitted against one another. Ezekiel, while he does wear a suit, provides a refreshing enemy for the films not only through his characterization, but his "bio-upgrades" too. Recent comics have made the son of Stane more and more into a an organic analogue to the Iron Man suit.Since the extremis story line is the main source of inspiration for the new film, his powers may originate from the virus instead Not only that but Ezekiel has also had a strong alliance with The Mandarin. Nevertheless, Ezekiel would be another suited villain, and his appearance would leave audiences wondering why Obadiah's son was never mentioned in the previous films. If it weren't for these concerns, I'm sure Ezekiel could have been higher on the list.
No. 3: Madame Masque
I've heard many comic book fans call Madame Masque and her relationship with Tony Stark the equivalent of Catwoman and Batman. Whitney Frost is the recurring love interest for Iron Man, and has a long history with him. Member of the Maggia, a plane accident scarred her face forcing her to hide under the golden mask she has worn ever since. She has deep feelings for the armored avenger who saw past her scarred face, but comes to conflict with him and her criminal career. Her father in the comics is Count Nefaraia and her allegiances with Maggia, yet Marvel may adapt this with Mandarin and the Ten Rings Organisation instead, like how she became Stane's daughter in the recent series.She possesses no superpowers but has a vast assortment of hi-tech weaponry, and is a strategic genius in battle. She is also skilled in hand-to-hand combat and firearms. Her criminal and terrorist activities make her the prime "real villain" Shane Black wants, but has an interesting and complex relationship with the protagonist that makes her a sympathetic and tragic character who's dynamic with Iron Man would add to their conflict. Her role as a Femme Fatale would serve interesting as a love triangle in the movie, since Tony and Pepper are a couple now and her involvement could cause some changes. Its these qualities of her character that just make her higher than Ezekiel and Spymaster. The only problem with her is explaining a golden mask of all things, and perhaps there being too many Femme Fatales in one film if Maria Hill or Black Widow join the growing cast.
No. 2: Mallen
Mallen is the central antagonist to the Extremis story line: the pivotal reason why he makes the no. 1 spot! But even with the notion that he was a major character in the story tat Iron Man 3 will be based on, there are multiple reasons for his position. Mallen, like the Ghost, is a man bent on vengeance after the FBI kill his parents, which causes him to take the Virus. The Extremis story line focused heavily on the technological future, which makes Mallen a prefect foil for Stark. But that's not all, his motives and connection to the Extremis make him suitable as secondary villain to Manderin. His abilities are also impressive for the cinema, as his super strength, electricity attacks, and various other powers mean he would be a sight to see for the film. A human that can stand his ground against two walking armories would make a fantastic battle. The origin for the villain is also much more convincing than gamma rays or spider bites, so his powers are arguably not as unrealistic as they appear. Mallen however isn't a greatly recognizable villain and never has appeared outside his story (death is a slight handicap). It was a close call but I personally believe the most likely villain for the sequel will be...
No. 1: The Ghost
Personally, The Ghost is my favorite for the sequel. A victim of people like Tony stark, The Ghost is paranoid criminal bent on destroying corporatism in the world. His loathing for everything Iron Man represents makes him a dangerous villain for the next film. He also isn't really wearing armor like War Machine or Iron Monger, but rather a suit with the ability to make him fly, turn invisible and make any object or himself intangible. He is a master hacker, and has a brilliant mind, making him a match for Iron man both physically and mentally. His motivations mirror The Mandarin's goals which make him perfect for a secondary villain. Fight scenes with him would be creative and interesting as his wide variety of powers make him a match for Star and Rhodes. One of the biggest things going for him however is his popularity. I am confident in believing Ghost is one of the most popular villains of Iron Man's rogues (though that isn't that great a feat) and is one of the fan-favourites to appear. We all know how Marvel like to please their fans, and Ghost could be the next way they can do that. I'm not entirely sure how he can fit into the movie like Mallen or Masque, but The Ghost is who I suspect will join the Mandarin.
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