Brian Truitt, USA TODAY
For Tony Stark, the brain is just as powerful as the blaster.
After saving the world alongside superhero pals Thor and Captain America in the box-office hit The Avengers, Robert Downey Jr.'s tech genius playboy in the Iron Man suit is back for his third solo big-screen adventure in Iron Man 3, directed by Shane Black and in theaters May 3.
The movie begins "Phase 2" of Marvel Studios' grand movie plan, continuing an epic story that will ultimately lead to The Avengers 2 in 2015.
Instead of getting his superhero mojo from a mythical land like Thor or Captain America's super-soldier serum, Tony Stark's super power is his intellect, according to Kevin Feige, Iron Man 3 producer and president of Marvel Studios. And he is going to need every bit of his mind for his latest situation.
Iron Man 3 picks up some months after The Avengers, with Tony and love interest Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) back and running Stark Industries. However, Tony is targeted by the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) - Iron Man's most iconic foe from the comics - and has a vast array of gadgets and weaponry wiped out.
"He basically loses all of his toys and is forced to just use his mind to rebuild and to face his biggest enemy," Feige says, resulting in the most advanced Iron Man suit yet.
"He's ultimately the engineering superhero. He's so charming and so flamboyant that sometimes you forget that's what he is: 'Hey, kids, learn this stuff and you can maybe build an Iron Man suit.'"