New Iron Man 3 set pic reveals another Marvel villain connection

Iron Man 3 is shaping up to be positively packed with bad guys. Whispers of the Mandarin just refuse to go away, we caught a glimpse of what looks like the Iron Patriot on set and now some new set peeks hint that one of Marvel Comics' oldest evil organizations has a part to play.

These shots from the flick's North Carolina shoot aren't packed with action or anything, but check out the logo on that sign: Advanced Idea Mechanics. In the Marvel Universe that name goes back a long time, all the way back to Strange Tales #146 in July, 1966, when Stan Lee and Jack Kirby introduced it to comics. Unless the filmmakers went to all this trouble for a cameo moment, it looks like the legendary AIM will have a hand in Tony Stark's next adventure.

So, what is AIM? Basically, we're talking about an organization of evil geniuses who spend their days working on various bits of technological maliciousness that will help them control the world. Among their more notable creations is the Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing, or MODOK, Marvel's resident Evil Giant Head. It's doubtful that MODOK is about to make his debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (though think of the quips Downey could muster about that guy), but even a glance at AIM's comic book history reveals how it could easily connect to the shared universe Marvel's been building over the last half-decade.

For one thing, AIM started as a branch of HYDRA, the evil organization central to Captain America: The First Avenger, so we could be looking at a storytelling strategy to help bridge the almost seven-decade gap between Cap's early adventures and now. And speaking of HYDRA, AIM is also the organization responsible for the resurrection of the Red Skull, a villain we very much doubt is gone for good. (Plus, they helped create Red Hulk.)

So, will any of this make its way into Iron Man 3, and by extension Captain America 2 and even Avengers 2? Right now all we can do is keep following the clues, but these images are definitely food for thought.

Check out the set pics in detail below. Note the guards in uniforms and the decorated tree. Apparently, this time out we'll be celebrating Christmas with Tony and Pepper.

(Via Comic Book Movie)

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