EXTREMIS: Possible Iron Man 3 Scenario
With word being that Shane Black's Iron Man 3 will be based on the Warren Ellis-written Extremis storyline, it seemed an appropriate time to take a look at that story. Plus you can check out the motion comic's trailer and music video.
The following is what Wikipedia has to say about it:
"Extremis" is a six-issue Iron Man story arc written by Warren Ellis with art by Adi Granov and published by Marvel Comics. The arc first appears in Iron Man (vol. 4) #1-#6. "Extremis" profoundly redefines the status quo for Iron Man, introducing a new origin story for Iron Man, the first since the character's creation, and increasing the power of Iron Man's armor significantly.
"Extremis" received mostly positive reviews, and is often listed as one of the best Iron Man stories. Elements of "Extremis" were adapted for the 2008 film Iron Man and the Iron Man: Armored Adventures episode "Extremis".
"Extremis" was the first Iron Man story arc after the "Disassembled" story lines (which ran through various Marvel comics, but mainly affected the Avengers), as well as the first story arc of the fourth volume of Iron Man overall.
The story was meant as a sort of "new start" for the character - to redefine him from his origins as an arms dealer, to the "test pilot for the future" Ellis intended him to be. The story rarely mentions any of Iron Man's past, and references to the rest of the Marvel universe are limited to brief, passing mentions of the Avengers and Fin Fang Foom. Warren Ellis admitted he had intentionally not read any Iron Man material besides the very earliest issues.
This is similar for Adi Granov. "My first official introduction to the character occurred a year prior to Extremis. [...] Upon reading the script, I realized how realistic Warren's approach was to the story. [...] When illustrating the book I wanted my art to mirror the realism in Warren's writing [...] I felt that Warren wrote a story that's a sort of techno-thriller action story and I wanted the art to reflect this. [...] I saw Iron Man as not just a superhero in a suit; rather he is a pilot or weapon. To me, the Iron Man armor is more akin to a jetfighter than it is to an outfit.
The story, which lasts about three to four days in comic book time, takes place at an undefined time between the founding of the New Avengers, and the Stamford catastrophe (which led to the Marvel Civil War).
Three men furtively enter a disused slaughterhouse in Bastrop, Texas, where two of them inject a willing third, whom they call "Mallen". This injection contains an experimental drug which makes him fall to the floor in immense pain. A bizarre physical change overtakes him; his horrified compatriots flee the room and lock him in.
In his Coney Island workshop/garage, Tony Stark is woken from fitful sleep to undertake his morning ritual of struggling to look himself in the mirror, before heading off for a scheduled interview with journalist John Pillinger (based closely, by Ellis' admission, on leftist filmmaker John Pilger). Pillinger discovers, in on- and off-camera conversation with Stark, that Stark's guilt is not chiefly for his history as a weapons designer (in flashback we see a younger Stark injured by a land mine of his own invention, the start of his Ellis-reworked origin story) but even more for the world-changing improvements he had hoped to fund with his weapons design, but which have yet to materialize. "Have you changed anything?" he asks Pillinger, and it's clear both men are anguished by the question.
The injected man's body, still lying in the Bastrop warehouse, is now covered completely in a bizarre layer of scar tissue.
Days later at Futurepharm Corporation offices in Austin, Texas, Dr. Aldrich Killian commits suicide at his computer, his note informing coworker Maya Hansen that he has stolen and "loosed" the company's immeasurably dangerous Extremis serum for some compelling but undisclosed purpose. Hansen phones Tony Stark, who is an old flame, and who speeds off to his private airport after taking the call on helmet-speaker flying high above New York State in his Iron Man suit.
Back in the Texas slaughterhouse, the two men return to find their companion—nearly normal again in appearance, although he has nearly punched holes in the locked metal door—is conscious and alive.
Stark arrives in Texas by private plane, ending a teleconference where he rejects calls from his company board to step down as CEO, saying they'll only restart weapons manufacture if he does. Arriving at Futurepharm he learns from Hansen only that the stolen project involves "robotic microsurgery" and they don't know who it's been given to, as they can't hack Killian's computer. Stark satellite-emails Killian's entire hard drive to be hacked by one of his contacts, and, to distract Maya, jets her to San Diego to talk with their old friend and teacher Sal Kennedy.
Kennedy speaks about technological development in general, dubbing it the "creation of better hunters", and the two of them in particular, dubbing Hansen "the Edward Teller of biology" and Stark "the Dean Kamen of technology". They banter at length on the disappointments of great minds: Kamen, despite his many good works, is known primarily as the inventor of the Segway. Clive Sinclair revolutionized Britain's computer industry, but is remembered for the C5 - "A Segway with pedals". He laments that the epitaph for many such individuals is "Almost Useful", all three of them included.
Meanwhile, the three men from the slaughterhouse drive up in their van outside FBI headquarters in Houston, Texas, and the injection survivor gets out. While Kennedy harangues Tony and Maya on their military work and thus-far-failed promise, the survivor walks empty-handed into the FBI station, face distorted in a rictus of hate, and easily slaughters everyone he sees, armed or unarmed, many with his fists, many incinerated by flames in his breath.
Maya catches the story on the news, realizing that the terrorist—and his fifty casualties—must be her fault, and the result of her project, which she calls "Extremis." Tony calls for the plane to be ready to take them to Austin, and for his armor to be waiting there. Back in the van, the killer rejoins his confederates and tells them he's only started.
In flight back to Texas, Maya tells Stark that Extremis is a military nanotechnology serum, an attempt to recreate the Super-Soldier Serum, which interfaces with the brain's 'repair center' and directs the body to rebuild itself from scratch as if it were all wound tissue to be replaced. The design for the new body is programmable prior to injection and can involve superhuman abilities, giving it an (untested) military application. Maya had taken the military contract to fund and advance her anti-cancer research. Stark receives a call from his hacker friend and reveals that Killian has given Extremis to a local domestic militia.
He debriefs area police authorities with a transmission to Avengers Mansion before landing and, alone once more, donning his armor. Mallen is heading back to Bastrop in the van, and flashes back briefly to the death of his entire family before his eyes in an ATF raid on their house when he was young. Iron Man, tracking the van from above, disables the van and battles Mallen, but is roundly defeated by him, with civilian casualties. Mallen flees, leaving Stark trapped beneath a car with armor at zero power and flames approaching, but Stark saves himself and the car's passengers by raising his armor to 1% power on thermal energy from the flames.
Tony phones Maya and has her people airlift him to Futurepharm, where, in a private medical bay, she removes his armor, revealing his identity. His internal injuries from the fight are critical, and Tony has realized that the only way for him to survive them—and to upgrade his response time enough to defeat Mallen—is to undergo the Extremis process himself. He remarks that it's the second time he had to test a weapon in order to survive a deadly injury. Maya fears Stark won't survive the process, but Stark insists; she injects him with the serum and he convulses, falling into a coma.
While in his regenerative coma, Stark relives his origin story as Iron Man, starting with his first deadly injury—wounded by his own landmine in pre-Gulf-war Afghanistan, he wakes an Al Qaeda prisoner expected to manufacture their weapons. Fellow prisoner and experimental medical researcher Ho Yinsen informs him that the shrapnel is working into his heart and will soon kill him, so they develop a prototype Iron Man suit which magnetically keeps the shrapnel out of Stark's heart while arming him to free himself and eliminate his captors.
24 hours into his coma, the scablike cocoon which has enveloped him bursts and Stark awakes healed and newly fit. An internal control sheath for his Iron Man armor is now contained within his body to emerge on mental command. The sheath lets him "low jack" himself not only into his armor, but phone and computer and even global satellite networks. He unveils new suitcase-sized Iron Man Armor, which self-assembles around his body when thought-commanded. He sets off after Mallen.
Tapping into the SI satellite cluster, Iron Man finds Mallen heading towards Washington, DC. The two fight, but now it is Mallen who is outmatched and Stark pleads with Mallen to surrender, working hard not to kill Mallen while defending himself. Stark claims Mallen's story terrifies him because it so much like Stark's own, down to the fifty Al Quaeda he killed trying to free himself and his fellow prisoner in the first Iron Man armor. The difference is that Stark is trying to rise above killing and make a difference, whereas Mallen can't see the future. Mallen eventually gets the upper hand, and, declaring that he will kill the future anyway, begins to rip apart the metal of Stark's chest plate—either this action, or Stark in desperation, releases a bolt of energy which runs Mallen through—after which, as a mercy killing, Stark decapitates Mallen with repulsors.
Torn with anger and guilt at having once more had to kill, he returns to Futurepharm, at last to act on his realization that Aldrich Killian could not have opened the company vault alone, and that Maya must have helped steal and release Extremis in order to provide her project with a human test and prove its viability in combat—in this case, with Iron Man—and thereby save her military funding for the cancer research. Maya confesses to Stark and the troops he's brought with him to arrest her, but tells him that he's no better than her. He agrees, but says at least he's trying to be better than her, and because of that he'll be able to look himself in the mirror the next morning.
The story arc incorporates an updated origin for Iron Man. Tony Stark is a weapons designer whose weapons are being used against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan prior to the first Gulf War. During an inspection tour, one of Stark's own bombs detonates, sending a piece of shrapnel into his chest, nearly killing him. He is then captured by Afghan terrorists. As with the original origin story, Tony creates the armor with Dr. Ho Yinsen and escapes the terrorists, but Yinsen does not survive. [NOTE: This element of the storyline heavily influenced the first Iron Man film]
Extremis has been referred to as a "virus" constantly since the story. The verbatim description offered by its inventor Maya Hansen, goes: "...Extremis is a super-soldier solution. It's a bio-electronics package, fitted into a few billion graphite nanotubes and suspended in a carrier fluid. A magic bullet, like the original super-soldier serum—all fitted into a single injection. It hacks the body's repair center—the part of the brain that keeps a complete blue print of the human body. When we're injured, we refer to that area of the brain to heal properly. Extremis rewrites the repair center. In the first stage, the body essentially becomes an open wound. The normal human blueprint is being replaced with the Extremis blueprint, you see? The brain is being told the body is wrong. Extremis protocol dictates that the subject be placed on life support and intravenously fed nutrients at this point. For the next two or three days, the patient remains unconscious within a cocoon of scabs. (...) Extremis uses the nutrients and body mass to grow new organs. Better ones..."
Effects of the Extremis process, apart from the changes specific to Tony, included: greatly accelerated healing, an immensely boosted immune system, the generation of "new, improved organs" (Tony's cardiovascular and respiratory systems were greatly upgraded) and, as a side effect, increased aggressiveness. Tony had the super powers removed from the Extremis compiler, replacing them for the ability to interface directly with machines and his own armor, but Mallen retained these, so that he also possessed high-level super strength, super-speed, a high level of invulnerability, and the abilities to breathe fire and project electric arcs from his hands.[volume & issue needed]
As well as the obvious physical changes, Extremis also affected Stark on a mental level, allowing him to process information at light speed on a subconscious level to help him better cope with the direct technological link he now possessed to his armor, even as his standard thought processes remained at a human norm. As a result, his brain, taking in more information than he could consciously process, began to sublimate it into his unconscious mind, causing Stark to experience occasional hallucinations of particularly relevant information, manifesting as people whose deaths he felt personally responsible for—such as Captain America or Happy Hogan—making him aware of facts that he had noted subconsciously while not recognizing their relevance or existence on a conscious level (Such as that a member of the Initiative had lied about his powers or that Maya Hansen was actually alive after her death was faked). Doc Samson speculated that the hallucinations appeared because the excess information was filtered into the same place Stark subconsciously stored his guilt to stop himself facing it.[volume & issue needed]
During a subsequent story with the return of the Mandarin, who attempts to release Extremis on a large scale as part of his plan to 'reshape' the human race, it is revealed that Extremis can only be successfully used on people who possess a rare genetic sequence, found in only 2.5% of the human population; this percentage includes Tony Stark and Maya Hansen, but does not include the Mandarin. Anyone without this sequence who is exposed to Extremis will be killed by the system.[volume & issue needed]
During the 2010 "Stark: Disassembled" storyline, Tony was forced to erase portions of his memory in order to prevent Norman Osborn from gaining access to the list of people registered under the Superhuman Registration Act. These actions resulted in his falling into a persistent vegetative state, in which his brain was unable to even regulate the autonomic functions of his body. During this period, Stark's colleagues played a recorded holographic message from Tony, which revealed that when the extraterrestrial Skrulls invaded Earth during the 2008 "Secret Invasion" storyline, they attacked Tony's Extremis, permanently shutting it down. Stark's mind was 'rebooted' using information that he had saved when he first injected himself with Extremis, with the result that he lost all memory of the actions he had committed after receiving the Extremis upgrade, although he has spent time researching his activities between then and his restoration. Tony later discovered that his brain still had access to Extremis, which he began using again.