Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness Trailer May Feature Superior Iron Man, But Who Is That?

With Super Bowl LVI come and gone, we've finally had a look at the official trailer for the forthcoming MCU entry "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness." It promises to be a massive, reality-spanning entry that will include multiple character variants (already confirmed with multiple Doctor Strange and Scarlet Witch Doppelgängers), monsters, and almost certainly the Illuminati, a secret organization joined by some of the world's most powerful heroes to shape the superhuman world and protect reality from major threats. The trailer has a lot going on (and if the marketing campaign for "Spider-Man: No Way Home" is any indicator, we can expect a ton of surprises), and the film itself is easily one of the year's most exciting superhero properties. 

One element of the trailer that has Marvel fans buzzing involves a not-so-little fight between one Scarlet Witch and a mysterious combatant (around the 1:30 mark). Who is this mysterious, powerful force? It's hard to say for certain given the quick, high-octane footage, but new comments from comic writer Tom Taylor give credence to the theory that we may be looking at the MCU introduction of Superior Iron Man, a Tony Stark variant that's a major threat in Marvel lore. But who, exactly, is this Superior Iron Man?

Wither Superior Iron Man?

In the trailer, we see both a host of curious multiversal threats along with Doctor Strange in trouble. He's plagued by nightmares, and his actions in "Spider-Man: No Way Home" have come to have consequences for our favorite Doctor-turned-mystical master.

In the course of a two-minute-plus trailer, we see him get lectured by Wong and Baron Mordo before being brought before a tribunal of sorts (the aforementioned Illuminati, perhaps?), and then all Hell breaks loose. The rest of the trailer is high-octane action, but one notable moment sees a mysterious, powerful, positively glowing figure break through a wall to attack one variant of Wanda. The figure has an orange energetic glow, blue beams coming from their hands, and what appears to be armor with silver elements to it. 

Certainly, there was internet debate over who exactly is that masked person (with some positing the character is a version of Monica Rambeau), but "Superior Iron Man" scribe Tom Taylor has ventured a guess that the powerful figure is a variant of Tony Stark himself known as "Superior Iron Man." That version of Tony sported Endo-Sym armor that, to be honest, really looks like the character visage from the trailer, and is supposed to glow red-orange when Stark is angered. Taylor even noted that the armor for said version of Iron Man traditionally boasts larger hips in the design. While claiming no insider knowledge about the film, Taylor's interpretation is certainly plausible in terms of the character's look and power.

Superior Iron Man Has Ego For Days

While Tony Stark's many iterations have always been heroic characters that fight against their weaknesses and vices to become a hero, his Superior Iron Man variant showcases the villainy he's capable of if those better intentions fall away. The year 2014 saw a major "AXIS" comic arc in a reality where Scarlet Witch and Doctor Doom cast an inversion spell that accidentally reverses the morality of everyone who participated in a major battle against a vastly overpowered Red Skull. The spell makes heroes of villains and vice versa, but when its effects are reversed the newly villainous Tony Stark shields himself, permanently unleashing a megalomaniac variant of Iron Man on that world.

Tony tricks much of the world into using an evolved Extremis virus (disguised as an app that gives users control over their appearance), causing significant unrest and essentially addicting much of the world to Tony's technology (and subsequent extortion). He proceeds to blackmail the U.S. government, pursues a media monopoly to build a corporate empire, and then creates the Endo-Sym armor. That armor derives from a liquid smart-metal that bonds to Tony much like a Symbiote bonds to its host (capabilities derived from elements Tony extracted from a Symbiote, in fact). It boasts no electronics, and can even detach from its user and move to other bodies while being mentally controlled by its user. This chilling effect gives Tony the ability to essentially move a target around like a puppet, an eerie ability that makes this version of Tony as unsettling as he is powerful. 

Ultimately, Superior Iron Man died in the comics in a way that importantly ties to Marvel's Illuminati. Before the second "Secret Wars" event made major changes to the Marvel Universe, the Illuminati attempted to handle a variety of multiversal threats that bled into central Marvel reality (sound familiar?). Just as they faced a final multiversal threat, there was a final battle between Superior Iron Man and an older Steve Rogers, where a Helicarrier crashed into the pair. If this is the powerful character we see in the trailer, our heroes have a lot more to worry about than they expected.

But will any of this be reflected in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness"? We'll know when the film arrives on May 6, 2022.