One of the more entertaining activities of the 2012 has been to construct the entirety of Iron Man 3’s plot solely by the plot spoilers that continue to leak from the set of the upcoming Marvel film.  Today, we’ve got another tidbit on the film’s villain, one that links it back to the first Iron Man, very much in the same vein that elements of the villains in The Dark Knight Rises ties back into Batman Begins.

WARNING:  SPOILERS AHOY!

After getting wind of the presence of the Iron Patriot, four Iron Man megavillains working together (including Iron Man’s arch nemesis the Mandarin), 47 Iron Men fighting together, and hearing about the destruction of Tony Stark’s bachelor pad, we now have info (via the dogged Latino Review, which is like spoiler central) that the Mandarin was behind the events of Iron Man 1.

First off, dig this image from Iron Man 1, when Tony Stark was kidnapped by a terrorist organization (forcing him to build the first Iron Man suit in order to escape)—see that banner in the background with ten rings on it?  That’s a reference to The Ten Rings, the name of the organization run by Mandarin in the comics (wherein the Mandarin wears ten magical rings upon his fingers).  Further, a scene left out of Iron Man 2 featured a member of the Ten Rings handing off fake documentation to the villain Whiplash.

Now, pictures of the Iron Man 3 crew ballcaps have leaked, and, wouldn’t you know it, look at the symbol that adorns the hats:

That’s right, the Ten Rings.  If that hat is any indication, Mandarin was pulling the strings throughout the Iron Man series all along and, in a way, was inadvertently responsible for Stark creating the Iron Man suit and persona in the first place.  But we’ll have to wait until May 3, 2013 to be sure.

What do you think of the Iron Man 3 news?

Source: Latino Review (via Cinema Blend)