or, “Proof Charisma is not a Dump Stat”
New York City:
Tony – I am the most totally awesome person ever. I am so awesome I am using my awesome technology and superhero status as a prop in my opening of the Stark Industries equivalent of the World’s Fair. It almost makes me forget I’m going to die. But hey, I’m still awesome.
Vanko, Sr – Son, before I die in a vodka-fueled raging depression, I want you to promise to destroy Tony Stark.
Vanko, Jr – I can do that for you.
[[Vanko, Sr dies]]
Vanko – Ok, if Tony Stark can build a totally awesome advancement in technology in a cave with scrap using the most primitive of blacksmithing instruments and a ten year old laptop, I can do it in a tiny Russian apartment with some handy blueprints, welding implements, and no computer at all. Also, I will have vodka.
Senator – The suit is a weapon. We want it.
Tony – You can’t have it. I have patent lawyers from hell.
Justin Hammer – As an expert in weapons, I can tell you that it will be only few short years before everyone has these suits, so we need this advancement now.
Tony – Then why don’t you develop it yourself? I built the prototype in a cave with scrap. How’s your R&D department doing?
Hammer – Shut up!
Tony – And that’s what I thought, loser.
Senator – Can Colonel Rhodes please stop this bickering and prove my point?
Rhodes – My report doesn’t support your point, but you don’t care about that. I completely support Tony’s right to his invention and I urge working with him through proper channels. Why can’t you just try to work with him?
Senator/Hammer – Because he’s a self-centered jerk.
Tony – That is totally true. And you guys are jerks too, so I’m taking my privately-owned suit, which no one will ever even come close to duplicating for like twenty years, and going home.
Tony’s Bachelor Pad:
Pepper – Tony, why are you giving away the company’s assets and wasting money on this Stark Expo?
Tony – You know, legacy.
Pepper – No, I don’t know and it’s making it really difficult for me to keep this company running.
Tony – Ok, I’ll make you the CEO and that should make it easier for you.
Pepper – And I’m tired of you not listening…I’m sorry, what?
Tony – Yeah, that’s definitely the way to go. What do you say, do you want to be CEO?
Pepper – Sure!
Tony’s Bachelor Pad, Later:
Pepper – Ok, the paperwork is all ready, Tony.
Tony – Who is the totally cute redhead assistant you got yourself?
Pepper – *frosty sigh* Her name is Natalie and she’s a potentially expensive sexual harassment lawsuit.
Tony – Whatever. If I haven’t been sued yet for sexual harassment, I’m not going to be. Hey, can you fight Happy? That would be awesome.
Natalie – Ok…
Happy – Aw, you’re so cute…
[[Natalie quickly uses some martial arts to immobilize the much larger Happy; Pepper is horrified]]
Tony – Can I have her?
Pepper – *frosty sigh* No. Sign here.
Tony – Look, it’s Justin Hammer.
Pepper – And that reporter you “gave an exclusive to” in the last movie.
Tony – Oh, yeah. [[disengages from Pepper]] Ok, I am still dying and the Grand Prix is just about to start. If I’m going to die anyway, I’m going to have some fun.
Hammer – So, I’m so totally awesome, way more than Tony Stark…
Hot Reporter – Yeah, yeah, but he’s going to race in the Grand Prix, so I’m going to cover that story.
Hammer – And I’ll, uh, just wait here…plotting my revenge against a guy that is just as disgustingly rich and totally self-centered as I am but for someone reason everyone likes anyway. What the hell does he have that I don’t?
Hot Reporter – Charisma, obviously. He’s got a charisma stat of like 20 and yours is maybe an 8 on a good day. Basically, you’re a weasel and he’s charming, handsome, and totally awesome.
Tony – *racing* I really am awesome.
Vanko – Yeah, not so much, capitalist pig. [[proceeds to reveal plasma whips and starts tearing up the track]]
Pepper – Happy! Get the case and get me down to that track!
Tony – Dude, you totally killed my buzz!
Vanko – And I’m totally going to kill you.
Happy – Not if I run you over first!
[[proceeds to smash Vanko into the fence with Pepper in the car buying Tony enough time to put on his portable Iron Man armor and he quickly defeats Vanko]]
Tony – So, your whips were good, but could use some improvement. Where did you get the technology?
Vanko – Your father stole it from my father.
Tony – What, really? I kind of doubt that. Anyway, you enjoy rotting in prison.
Vanko – Whatever. You’re the one in trouble now that I’ve shown the world you can be defeated.
Tony – Who’s going to try to take me out?
Hammer – Oh, I have an idea… [[proceeds to bust Vanko out of prison]] You seem to know your stuff. How about you work for me and get my suits up and running so I can show up that jerk Tony Stark?
Vanko – Sure.
Hammer – Wow, that seems almost too easy. And here I thought working with a prison-hardened psychotic genius might somehow get me in trouble.
Tony’s Bachelor Pad:
Tony – Damn, I am still dying and can’t figure out an element to replace the palladium in my artificial heart. Well, tonight’s my birthday party. Time to have some fun.
[[shows up at his party drunk and in the Iron Man suit]]
Pepper – Tony, what the hell is wrong with you? Don’t worry, Rhody, I’ll get this sorted.
Rhodes – Look, I’ve stood by Tony and his right to keep his armor to himself, but I can’t stand by when he’s being so irresponsible with it. It is a weapon and right now he’s completely drunk and using it to blow up watermelons. This is the final straw. [[dons an unfinished Iron Man armor]] Tony, stand down.
Tony – So you’re trying to steal my tech after all. You suck.
Pepper – This party is over people, everyone out!
[[Tony and Rhodes fight until the pad is blown up and Rhodes takes off with the War Machine armor]]
Tony – So, yeah, that went well…
General – Weaponize this thing.
Rhodes – I would argue it’s already a weapon or you wouldn’t have asked me to steal it.
General – Weaponize it more.
Hammer – I can help with that!
Ultimate Nick Fury – Tony, you can’t drown in self-pity. You need to figure out a way to save yourself.
Tony – What makes you think I can do that?
UNF – I knew your father, and he thought you were the best one to further his legacy.
Tony – You knew my dad? Hey, did he steal any tech from Vanko Sr?
UNF – No, Vanko Sr wanted to make weapons and got himself deported and then arrested for selling Soviet secrets.
Tony – Oh, well, it’s good to know my dad didn’t screw over Vanko Sr. Hey, why is Natalie here in a black, leather and totally hot catsuit?
Natalie – I’m a SHIELD agent named Natasha Romanoff who was assigned to monitor you. While this would be a good point to say my codename *cough*Black Widow*cough* so everyone really knows who I am and not just the fanboys/girls, I am not going to until the sequel. And for your own safety, we’re going to isolate you until you start behaving like a mature adult.
Tony – That could take a while.
Natalie – No kidding.
Tony – Hey, you’re the agent from the first movie who kept bothering me.
Coulson – Yes, and if you try to leave I will taser you into semi-consciousness.
Tony – Er, well, how nice. I’d better get to work… [[reviews his father’s notes and old newsreels concerning the Start Expo, which shows Tony is a lot like his father; also, the notes stop with a drawing of a cube which seems really out-of-place with the advanced equations in the rest of the notes]]
Howard Stark (via movie reel) – Hey, Tony, I don’t know when you’ll ever see this, but I want you to know that I’ve given you the key to future technology. This is my legacy to you and you’re the only one who can carry it out, if you can figure out the totally obvious clue to what I mean when I say “key to the future.”
Tony – Well, that was touching. I’m getting out of here. [[leaves]] Huh, given all the threats from the SHIELD guys I thought that would be a lot harder.
Stark Industries Headquarters:
Tony – Pepper, I have something important to tell you.
Pepper – I don’t want to hear it. You’ve made it much more difficult for me to run this company, the lawyers are balking on getting the stolen armor back, and your drunken display does not endear you to me. I’m just not going to take this anymore. [[leaves in a huff]]
Natalie – You had better get back to the isolation facility or I will knock you unconscious and have you dragged back. [[leaves in a huff]]
Tony – And that went well. Hey, the original model for the Stark Expo with the caption, “Key to the future.” That’s like what my dad said. Oh, I totally get it! [[takes the whole model to his bachelor pad and uses the model to devise a new element and starts machining]]
Coulson – I would taze you like I said, but I’ve got a more important matter in New Mexico.
Tony – Fine by me. Hey, hand me that thing.
Coulson – [[picks up a half-finished shield with a star on it]] Do you know what this is?
Tony – Obviously a clue to one of the characters in the sequel initiative.
Coulson – I was going to say, a prototype Captain America shield, but I guess that waits until the next movie.
Tony – Whatever. I just need to use it to prop up this part of my homemade particle accelerator.
[[Tony manages to produce a new element using only the high tech tools he has lying around in his basement, which is slightly more plausible than building the original Iron Man suit]]
Tony – Damn, I am awesome. And I’m not going to die! Life is going pretty well.
Hammer – You turned my suits into robots and that really makes me mad. I’m firing you and having these guys beat you up because I need to prove I’m not a powerless, unlikable weasel. [[leaves]]
Vanko – Sure, that’s going to go well for them. [[soon the guards are dead and Vanko is free to roam the facility so he calls up Tony]] Hey, remember me? I’m not dead and I’m about to totally ruin your life. Can you guess how?
Tony – Jarvis, skip the testing and let’s fire this baby up so I can get to the Expo!
Hammer – Hey, everyone, remember how awesome I am? Anyone? Anyone? *crickets chirping in the audience* Ok, fine, look what I made! [[Hammer droids and War Machine appear on stage]] See, I am too awesome!
Tony – Rhody, Vanko is alive and I think he’s going to try to kill everyone here.
Rhodes – That’s bad. I wonder how he’s going to do it.
Vanko – By taking control of everything in the Hammer Industries network, including your War Machine.
Rhodes – And that would do it. Better run before I kill you.
[[Iron Man flies off with War Machine and droids in tow firing missiles and being generally destructive]]
Hammer – What? What? Like this is my fault?
Natalie – You tell me where Vanko is before I break your arm.
Pepper – I’m beginning to get the idea Natalie is not what she seems to be.
Hammer – No, really? Ow, fine, he’s at my New York facility.
Natalie – Time to go take care of that.
Pepper – I’ll try to help the cops and the hapless Hammer engineers try to hack the system from this end.
Happy Hogan – So, how obvious is it that I’m played by the director?
Natalie – Are you going to wait in the car while I, a fully trained SHIELD special agent, break into a secure facility in search a desperate and dangerous international criminal?
Happy – No.
Natalie – It’s pretty darn obvious you’re the director. Now excuse me while I kick some serious ass. [[proceeds to do and hack into the Hammer mainframe although there is no sign of Vanko]]
Rhodes – This was way more fun when I was in control.
Tony – I don’t really recall that being the case, but it was better when you weren’t actively shooting at me.
Natalie – [[proceeds to reboot the War Machine armor]] That should help you guys take out the droids. Tony, I see you’re no longer dying.
Tony – Yeah, I’m feeling pretty good.
Pepper – You were dying?! Why didn’t you tell me that you self-absorbed jerk?
Tony – I tried but I just didn’t have the courage.
Natalie – Could we please focus on the homicidal droids, innocent bystanders, and the total lack of Vanko?
Tony – Oh, right, that. Rhody, wake up and help me waste these things.
Rhodes – I can totally do that for you.
[[they proceed to waste the Hammer droids and Vanko shows up in his own suit of armor]]
Vanko – What, you thought that was it for me? Let’s see how my new improved plasma whips work. [[proceeds to throw Iron Man and War Machine around]]
Tony – Hey, Rhody, remember that thing we did at the party that blew out all my windows?
Rhodes – That’s your plan for defeating him?
Tony – Do you have any better ideas with your lame Hammer Industries weapons?
Rhodes – A fair point.
Tony – Let’s do this! [[they proceed to blow the hell out of Vanko with dueling repulsor blasts]]
Vanko – What? Like that’s the last thing I’ve got up my sleeve? Dudes, I am totally hardcore and when I set out to ruin someone’s life, I’m going to do it. Losers. [[dies]]
Rhodes – Uh, Tony, all the droids are beeping in a ominious fashion…
Tony – We’d better get the hell out of here! And I’d better go get Pepper because I’m sure she’s waiting until everyone else is out.
Pepper – Yes, because I’m a much better person than you. [[Tony saves her before the entire Expo goes kaboom]] But I am grateful for the rescue. [[they kiss]]
Tony – So we’re good now?
Rhodes – Aw, cute. Well, it’s been fun, Tony, so I’m taking *my* armor and heading back to base. Laters!
Ultimate Nick Fury – Here’s the deal, Tony. You are completely unsuitable to join the Avengers because you are a self-absorbed jerk.
Tony – Yeah, that’s totally true. But I want to be in the sequel.
UNF – Well, alright, because we’ve already invested two movies in you.
Tony – And because I’m awesome.
UNF – *frosty sigh* Sure, whatever, if it makes you feel better.
Tony – Also, can you arrange to help me totally humiliate that jerk Senator?
UNF – Sure, why not?
Tony – Sweet!
Coulson – Sir, I’ve found another character for the sequel initiative. No, it’s not the Hulk as one might have thought since I did go to New Mexico. That was covered at the end of the “Incredible Hulk.” No, the clue is the license plate motto, “Land of Enchantment,” and a big sledgehammer in a crater. Looks like he gets his own movie too instead of just cameos in this one.
Black Widow – Great, the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Thor and Captain America get movies and all I get is hit on by Tony Stark and Happy Hogan and no one even says my codename. Well, at least I’ve been seen.