Iron Man stills released Friday on Marvel.com point to the latest installment of the series delving deeper into the man underneath the armor, giving greater depth to the Tony Stark character than in any of the previous films.
The collection of stills from Iron Man 3 show Stark in a more vulnerable light, something Robert Downey Jr. hinted at in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.
“We try to take everything that would otherewise be two-dimensional or genre-esque, and try to take it literally. How would you feel if a wormhole opened in the sky and you saw things that no human had ever seen before?” he said. “We just looked at the practical realities of what life after Avengers would be like. And we end up coming back to the relationships.”
As Entertainment Weekly writer Anthony Breznican notes, the Iron Man stills show a contrast of strength and vulnerability. The destroyed mask of Tony Stark hints to harm, but also leads viewers to think more about the man inside the mask.
“There’s no doubt he’s a good guy, but like all those other iconic superheroes what does he stand for in a deeper sense? Who is Iron Man?
“I think Iron Man is the hard shell each of us presents to the world, and Tony, for all his charisma and bluster (which is its own kind of armor), is the fragile person inside, wondering if we have what it takes to be good: good human beings, good spouses, good parents, good neighbors. Not saving the whole world, per se — just our little corner of it.”
The Iron Man stills also give fans of the series a sneak into Rebecca Hall’s character, Dr. Maya Hansen. As E! Online notes, Hansen is a scientist and ex-lover of Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark character. She helps develop the Extremis virus, which links Stark’s mind and body to his metal as part of the military’s plan to make him a super-soldier.