In this month's jam-packed, 202-page issue – out tomorrow, Thursday November 28 – Marvel's head honcho, Kevin Feige, talks exclusively to Empire about all things Iron Man 3, and here below are a few choice quotes to whet your appetite.
Previous interviews with Feige – including our very own Empire Podcast – have emphasised how Tony will be separated from his Avengers colleagues in the threequel, and again he's keen to follow that up, this time discussing how the extra-terrestrial bunfight in New York has affected the genius billionaire playboy philanthropist mentally:
"...when a portal is opened up in Manhattan and he's met Thor and The Hulk and the Chitauri are coming down on him, he realises that he doesn't know everything; we think that has had an effect on his psyche, and then his world is blown out from underneath him."
"Iron Man 3 doesn't feature any of the other Avengers, or Nick Fury showing up, or any of those world-blending conceits that the Phase One films had," Feige adds. "You have to keep in mind that Iron Man 3 had been in the works for almost a year, year and a half before The Avengers was released."
Then there's official word on Rhodey's new duds, the new and improved stars and stripes-emblazoned War Machine armour:
"The notion in the movie is that a red, white and blue suit is a bold statement, and it's meant to be. With Rhodey, he's very much the foil to Tony's eccentricities, and in this one you get to see this and be reminded of the trust and friendship between them in that great Shane Black buddy-cop fashion."
Not forgetting Tony's new (and yet also quite old) adversary, The Mandarin (as played by Sir Ben Kingsley), who many will have noted doesn't sound all that oriental in Iron Man 3's teaser trailer...
"If you look, there's not necessarily a definitive Mandarin storyline in the comics," says Feige. "So it was really about having an idea. In terms of the Fu Manchu stereotyping that was involved, we never had any interest in that."
This is just a tiniest slice of what's in the actual magazine, so be sure to check out all four pages of Iron Man 3 goodness in the latest issue – and for more details on that, take a look at this little sneak peek here, as well as the covers below.