“Iron Man 3” for the most part stood on its own, without a lot of overt references to the other Marvel movies – except for that post-credits scene and mentions of the Avengers and Thor.
But the Shane Black movie did have some Marvel Easter eggs, references to the comics and the other movies.
Here they are:
Ho Yinsen, the scientist who helps Tony create the Iron Man armor in the original movie – and dies at the hands of the Ten Rings terrorists – comes up to self-absorbed Tony in the Switzerland flashback scenes in “Iron Man 3.” Actor Shaun Toub played the part in both movies.
Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee almost always has a cameo in big-screen adaptations of the comics. In “Iron Man 3,” he is glimpsed holding up a “10” sign during the Miss Chattanooga pageant.
One of the – potentially – most interesting Easter eggs was the inclusion of AIM (Advanced Idea Mechanics) in the movie. In “Iron Man 3,” AIM was an organization founded by bad guy Alrich Killian. In the books, AIM has a long history as one of the most significant criminal and terrorist organizations in the Marvel universe, dating to the 1960s. At the top of this entry, you even see Tony Stark sporting an AIM shirt. Here’s hoping these classic bad guys pop up in other Marvel movies.
In the movie, the character Ellen Brandt is the Extremis guinea pig who throws Tony around a Tennessee town. Various websites note that her character in Marvel comics is an AIM operative with links to Man-Thing and Dr. Strange.
In the movie, Rhodey’s War Machine is renamed Iron Patriot by the president. But in the comics, Iron Patriot was the guise taken by Spider-Man villain Norman Osborn in recent years, particularly when he led a villainous version of the Avengers.
More of an in-joke than an Easter egg: At some point Tony tells a little glasses-wearing kid, “I loved you in ‘A Christmas Story.'” Peter Billingsley, who played Ralphie in that holiday classic, grew up to be a producer and bit player in “Iron Man.”
And one that puzzles me: Where was Mandarin’s tattoo, as seen in trailers for the movie, of the Captain America shield with an “A” in the center? I’ve only seen the movie once so far but I didn’t catch the tattoo or the shot above, although it’s common for elements from trailers to miss the final cut of a feature film. Producers have said the Mandarin character – and his allies – adopted a variety of evocative images to get their messages across. We saw a lot of such savvy in the Mandarin’s videos. But we didn’t see the tattoo, unless I missed it. Did anyone else notice it?