Iron Man 3 Set
Credit: FameFlynet Pictures

The Avengers is still reaping boy-band cash in theaters. But the all-seeing eye of the Internet has already shifted forward to 2013, when Marvel will release the Iron Man threequel and the Thor sequel. Earlier this month, Iron Man 3 officially signed James Badge Dale — better known as “the quietly heroic guy from The Pacific,” “the quietly paranoid guy from Rubicon,” and “the dude who got his hand chopped off on 24.” Official word was that Dale was playing Eric Savin, a soldier in the comic books who was fatally injured in combat, only to be resurrected by the magic of ’80s science into the cyborg anti-hero known as Coldblood. However, new photos taken from the set of Iron Man 3 indicate that this version of Savin will incorporate elements of another character. Check out the full-sized photo below:

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

You can see other photos here. Dale is modeling an Iron Man armor painted to resemble Captain America’s Stars-and-Stripes outfit. This version of the costume first appeared in the comic-verse a few years ago, when Norman Osborn — former Green Goblin, current politician — created his own team of Avengers. He cast himself as “The Iron Patriot,” the All-American robo-superhero, using a stolen suit of Stark armor.

Now, there’s no way Norman Osborn will appear in Iron Man 3. (As Nathan Adams points out over at Film School Rejects, the movie rights to Osborn’s character belong to Sony and its Spider-Man franchise.) But it’s easy to imagine how the Coldblood character will merge with the Iron Patriot. Just spitballing here, but I’m guessing that Dale’s character will follow Coldblood’s origin. He’s a good soldier who’s wounded in combat. But instead of being saved by magic cyborg science, he’ll be fixed up with a life-pumping Iron Man armor.

Following this theory, it would be a new version of Iron Man’s own origin story. Eric Savin is a Dark Mirror Sequel Villain, like Venom in Spider-Man 3 or Nuclear Man in Superman IV. (Dear God, I hope you can think of some better examples.) This notion of Savin fits with the Iron Man films’ intriguing fixation on the military-industrial complex — recall how Iron Man 2 offered a stealth debate about the ethics of nuclear deterrents and privatized defense spending. And also Russian Mickey Rourke.

Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich

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Iron Man
  • Movie
  • 125 minutes