After the triumph of "Marvel's The Avengers," it would be hard to bring Marvel Characters down to earth. However the core of each Marvel Superhero is the human dimension and vulnerability. Thus Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is suffering from PTSS - Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome - for saving the world and looking into the dark abyss.
**Iron Man 3** opens on New Year's Eve 1999, nine years before the events of the original **Iron Man.** Callow Tony Stark is wooing Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall) and snubbing young scientist Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), who wants Stark funding for a chemistry project.
Fourteen years later, Killian and Stark cross paths. Killian reveals his history with Stark's current girlfriend, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow). Before a love triangle can solidify, the evil Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) issues terrorists attacks upon the United States of America and Tony Stark's personal property.