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Warning: The following article contains potential spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War.

Business on the set of continues to divulge new teases for what's to come in the Avengers' biggest outing yet. Most recently we got our first look at Tony Stark's new Iron Man armor, which appears to be the MCU's version of the Extremis armor in action:

Some crafty photographers managed to snag a glimpse at the practical prop used for 's CGI-enhanced scenes. From what we can tell, Stark has developed yet another armor, which, as mentioned above, is likely the Extremis armor.

The Extremis virus was slightly altered from the comics for the version that was introduced in Iron Man 3, but for all intents and purposes, the Extremis storyline appeared to be closed out after the third Iron Man film. But while that plot thread was left untouched, there's a good chance Extremis will be revisited again during Spider-Man: Homecoming and more importantly, . The reason: Pepper Potts.

'Iron Man 3' [Credit: Marvel Studios]
'Iron Man 3' [Credit: Marvel Studios]

If you didn't already hear, Gwyneth Paltrow is returning to play Pepper Potts in Spider-Man: Homecoming. The last time we saw Pepper, she was amped up on Extremis and helping Stark finish off Aldrich Killian. But her return raises an interesting question regarding how she was cured: Did Stark solve the volatile side effect of the Extremis virus or did he figure out how to remove it from Pepper's body altogether? Either way, Stark likely had enough time to tinker with that he found a way to make it work correctly. If so, we know the next step Stark would've taken with the experimental tech would to be to test it on himself.

Did Tony Stark Secretly Experiment With Extremis?

And since 's next character arc will undoubtedly address where she's been since Iron Man 3, the aspect of how Tony cured her would likely be addressed as well. When it does, the explanation will probably lead to Stark admitting that he experimented with the volatile technology further after he figured out how to cure Pepper, that is if the hints dropped during the ending monologue of Iron Man 3 were any indication of what he was planning to do.

The monologue toyed with the idea of Stark experimenting with Extremis: He nonchalantly points out that he "got Pepper sorted out even though it took some tinkering." What's more interesting is that Stark follow that up with, "Why stop there?" Granted, we know he was hinting at him going too far and creating Ultron in the following year's Avengers: Age of Ultron, but we know Tony Stark is not a man who is prone to pushing the boundaries too far in only one area. It's entirely possible he had Extremis on his mind, as well, especially as he mentions Maya Hansen, its inventor.

There are a few other more symbolic references in the monologue that support this, too, such as calling the previous Iron Man armor a cocoon and his last statement: "I am Iron Man." For those who aren't familiar with it from the comics, the Extremis armor has a nanotechnology component: It is actually a part of him.

Iron Man: Extremis [Credit: Marvel Comics]
Iron Man: Extremis [Credit: Marvel Comics]

If you look at it that way, then yes, the previous Mark versions of his Iron Man armor were simply shells. As for the "I am Iron Man" quote? It has multiple meanings. Yes, he is both Tony Stark and Iron Man; the two are unable to be separated. But if he had an armor that was bio-organic, embedded in his very bones and cells? He would also quite literally be Iron Man all the way down to his core. It's not hard to believe that may have injected himself with a modified version of the Extremis during his off time from the Avengers.

Does Stark's New Arc Reactor Confirm He's Integrated Extremis Into His Own Body?

We can't ignore these set images from Avengers: Infinity War, one of which shows RDJ in character with an arc reactor on his chest. As it's while he's outside of the Iron Man suit, and he had his arc reactor removed in Iron Man 3, it suggests that he has somehow integrated Extremis into his own body.

Though he no longer needs an arc reactor to survive, could he have used one to power the Extremis tech now integrated into his body? There's no way to tell until we see the film, but that certainly feels like something Tony Stark would do. The comics have set the precedent, and laid a further bit of groundwork for it with the Mark 42 suit. It's not hard to imagine Stark using an Extremis undersheath and then finishing it off with a modified version of the Mark 42 armor with individual outer pieces attaching themselves to his body.

What do you think? Will we learn Pepper Potts was integral in Tony developing Extremis tech? Or is it a storyline that will never be resolved?

Avengers: Infinity War opens in theaters on May 8, 2018.


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