10 things that don’t make sense about the Iron Man trilogy

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While Iron Man may have been the movie that kicked off the MCU, its trilogy just doesn’t make sense. Iron Man, Iron Man 2, and Iron man 3 are relatively popular films, but the original Iron Man has a significantly better reputation than either of its two suites. There are quite a few missteps fans will allow in a comic book movie.

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After all, these movies take place in a world where superheroes exist – a few inaccuracies or weird plot points can be excused along the way. However, there are things that, frankly, just don’t make sense in the original. Iron Man trilogy in the MCU.


ten Tony Stark survives the initial explosion

Tony Stark with a black eye in Iron Man armor

The whole story of Iron Man’s creation hinges on Tony Stark having the Arc Reactor implanted in his chest, and that power helps fuel his Iron Man suits. It is also this arc reactor that keeps him alive and keeps shrapnel away from his heart. However, Tony Stark does not get the Arc Reactor in its final form placed in his chest. Instead, a very primitive electromagnet is created in captivity by Yinsen for Tony while they were in prison, held by the Ten Rings.

Tony Stark had been injured in a missile explosion, and that electromagnet is apparently the only thing stopping the shards from killing him. It doesn’t really make logical and medical sense – and, beyond that, it’s obsolete by the end of the trilogy. There are many inconsistencies in Tony’s Arc Reactor and health throughout the trilogy.

9 Stark Industries doesn’t start new work right away

First Iron Man film, after Tony Stark realizes the terrible destruction for which Stark Industries is responsible, he chooses to stop all production by the company. This, of course, scandalizes the company and the board – as Tony Stark has chosen to stop making weapons, and that’s a big part of what Stark Industries produces, they’re unhappy with his choices.

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Obadiah Stane is particularly irritated by this, confronting Tony Stark about it on numerous occasions. Despite Tony stopping producing guns and starting secretly producing Iron Man nonsense, the company never makes him push anything else. That seems like a lot of license to give to someone who isn’t technically in charge of Stark Industries at this point.

8 Tony Stark suffers no fallout for being a murderer

Obadiah Stane Jeff Bridges

The first villain Tony Stark has to face fully is Obadiah Stane. Obadiah was like a father or uncle to Tony, especially after Tony’s own father, Howard Stark, and his mother, Maria, were killed. Later in life, Obadiah turns on Tony, and the two have a huge, climactic showdown against each other. Obadiah Stane uses his own costume to fight Tony Stark, and they fight against each other until Tony Stark and Pepper Potts work together to shock Obadiah Stane.

Not only do they overload his costume, but he and the costume then fall into the reactor as it explodes, killing him instantly. It could be seen as a self-defense fight, but an argument could also be made to exaggerate. Tony confesses to being Iron Man on TV the next day, and therefore confesses to the murder, but suffers no repercussions for it.

7 The arc reactor can be duplicated at will

Part of what makes Obadiah Stane so angry about Tony Stark’s Arc Reactor is that he can’t duplicate it. Even the best scientists in the world, who work for Obadiah Stane and Stark Industries, fail to replicate what Tony Stark and Yinsen were able to create. Tony Stark’s new miniature arc reactor in his chest is so unique that even the best of the best can’t do it again.

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However, in Iron Man 2, Ivan Vanko is able to reproduce the miniature arc reactor. Despite the fact that the whole plot Obadiah Stane struggles with is that the Arc Reactor cannot be copied, the Arc Reactor is copied in the very next film in the trilogy.

6 Ivan Vanko climbs on the race track

There are quite a few holes in the plot Iron Man 2, but there is also a very carefully sewn plot patch. This film clearly shows how Ivan Vanko and Tony Stark both got to compete in the Monaco Grand Prix. No fan could watch the movie and say it doesn’t make sense for these two men to be at this event.

However, the question is not how Ivan Vanko can attend the Monaco Grand Prix; fans were more confused as to how Ivan Vanko brought his new Whiplash technology to the event. More than that, he was able to bring this amazing technology with him and then managed to get on the track.

5 No one is watching who Natalie Rushman is

Black Widow Iron Man 2

Tony Stark completely derails in The Iron Man 2. As he becomes more and more reckless, he appoints more and more people to take care of the responsibilities he once held. Of course, he chooses Pepper Potts, once his assistant and eventually his wife, to take over the management of Stark Industries. As Tony, Pepper, and the public all know, she does the CEO job for him anyway.

Additionally, Tony realizes that he has to replace Pepper as an assistant, and so he chooses an employee from Stark Industries to take the job. This woman, Natalie Rushman, is later revealed to be Natasha Romanoff, aka the Black Widow. The fact that anybody picks up that, Pepper included, is amazing at this point in Stark’s tech growth chart.

4 The new element was not invented by anyone else

As Tony Stark slowly dies of palladium poisoning caused by his arc reactor – the very thing meant to keep him alive – he tries to find a replacement. There isn’t, at least he thinks so. Tony soon discovers that his father, Howard, left a hidden message for his son in a diorama he made at the 1974 Stark Expo.

RELATED: 10 Ways Iron Man Ruined Tony Stark’s Life

In this hidden message, Tony is able to discover a new synthetic element at his atomic level. Tony creates the element using JARVIS, replaces the palladium in his chest, and lives to fight the bad guys another day. The question remains: how did no one discover this element in the decades since Howard Stark decided to hide this information?

3 SHIELD no longer wants Tony Stark as a hero

Tony Stark after the snap in Infinity War

Much like Nick Fury himself, Tony Stark is somewhat placed in the role of consultant to the Avengers. Earlier in the franchise, Tony Stark led the Avengers as the Iron Man superhero, and he would never want to step down from that position.

However, SHIELD believes Tony Stark’s difficult personality makes him ineligible to continue in this role, and he’s only used as a consultant instead. Of course, all of this makes Tony Stark a vigilante, as he would never voluntarily stop fighting as Iron Man, something Avengers: Endgame proves.

2 Tony Stark does not use backup batteries

Iron Man armor in Iron Man 3

One of the world’s greatest scientific and creative minds that the MCU has built is Tony Stark. He is functionally capable of creating life, and did so when he brought Ultron to life. With this extreme level of skill, it would seem almost obvious that Tony Stark would keep alternate energy sources in his suits or on his person.

However, in Iron Man 3, When Tony Stark uses an experimental prototype of a new Iron Man suit to escape an attack from the Mandarin, the suit does not have enough power to continuously function. Instead, he crashes and dies completely, and Tony Stark has absolutely no tech to use. While that’s an interesting plot point, it doesn’t really make sense as something he would let happen.

1 Mandarin was not really Mandarin

The Mandarin is a popular villain in Marvel Comics. One of Iron Man’s main villains, the Mandarin was created by Stan Lee and Don Heck in February 1964. Since then, this dynamic supervillain has appeared countless times in Marvel Comics; that, and the fact that the Ten Rings Marvel keeps mentioning also have to do with the Mandarin, led fans to believe he would play an important role in Iron Man 3.

Despite this, it was revealed in Iron man 3 that Mandarin wasn’t even real. Instead, he was an actor playing the Mandarin role, while the film’s real villain, Aldrich Killian, actually commits all the bad deeds. It’s an interesting story – but it doesn’t really make sense, because Mandarin is actually a real guy, not a character.

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