"Heroes… there is no such thing."

Grammatically, that's a bit of a nightmare, but the sentiment seems clear.  Ben Kingsley's Mandarin makes his debut for the non-Comic Con crowd in the first trailer for "Iron Man 3," and as much as it looks like an Iron Man movie and a Marvel movie, it also truly looks like a Shane Black movie.

And that is a very good thing, indeed.

One of the things you have to do in an ongoing series about a superhero, especially one who positively lives and breathes ego the way Tony Stark does, is find new and organic ways to knock him down and take away that confidence.  Watching my wife's face tonight when I showed her the trailer, it's obvious that her investment in Pepper Potts and Tony as a couple is so strong that seeing the two of them thrown when his house explodes had her automatically upset and involved. 

I think it's great that they have built a relationship between the two of them that is central to the movies, and that Stark is not a womanizer in the films.  He is allowed to be as big a personality as he is because he has Pepper in his life to ground him.  Having seen Robert Downey Jr. together with his wife and having interviewed them together, I think there's a little bit of autobiography in the way the Pepper/Tony relationship works, and I think it's a lovely fit for Downey at this point in his life and career.  This character couldn't possibly fit him any better than it does, and I can't picture anyone else giving Tony Stark the same sort of charming eccentricity and making it actually appealing.

The trailer still just hints at what we're going to see this time out.  We see some of that new War Machine armor I posted about this morning.  We see Tony under stress.  We see the destruction of everything he holds dear.  And, since it's a Shane Black film, we see Iron Man in the snow.  It is an intriguing tease, and you can see it above.

I like that the events of "The Avengers" weren't just something that Tony shrugged off, and I'm curious to see what other ripples we'll see from that film in "Thor: The Dark World" or "Captain America: The Winter Soldier."  This is the first step in Marvel's Phase Two, and it looks like they're off to a strong start.

"Iron Man 3" arrives in theaters May 3, 2013.