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I thought Iron Man 3 felt a little odd without any presence from S.H.I.E.L.D. (Director Nick Fury and company). The US President is kidnapped and they're not concerned? So why didn't they appear?

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i think this answer applies movies.stackexchange.com/a/11401/52 –  DForck42 May 20 '13 at 16:57
    
@DForck42 i doubt that, so i am providing a new answer. But if you still feel to merge then i am ok with it. –  Ankit Sharma May 20 '13 at 17:22
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possible duplicate of Where was the Hulk during the events of Iron Man 3? –  user209 May 21 '13 at 4:09

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

Feige recently took to Twitter to engage with fans, touching upon S.H.I.E.L.D.’s absence in IM3, amongst other things:

S.H.I.E.L.D. was very busy, as will be revealed in future films. - Kevin Feige

It’s hard to tell from that tweet whether there was a plan from the start for this ‘revelation’ about S.H.I.E.L.D.’s absence, or whether Feige and Co. are now doing damage control to appease the many fans who were none too pleased about the narrative island IM3 seemed to be living on. (Source- screenrant.com)

So there is no in-universe explanation yet but it may come in future films as Kevin Feige suggested in his tweet.

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@iandotkelly why community wiki ? –  Ankit Sharma Oct 4 '13 at 6:58
    
@iandotkelly ohh...got it due to meta.movies.stackexchange.com/questions/1034/… –  Ankit Sharma Oct 4 '13 at 7:11

The only thing I would add is that the movie is about Iron Man not the adventures of Iron Man AND S.H.I.E.L.D. AND a few Avengers thrown in for good measure.
Who goes to an Iron Man movie in order to see S.H.I.E.L.D.?
It would greatly diminish the drama having S.H.I.E.L.D. as Tony's safety blanket.
Therefore, they took away all his support (including his house) to "up the ante" so to speak.

So, S.H.I.E.L.D. is off fighting battles of it's own (natural disasters, super villains and keeping the villains in prison.We'll find out exactly what eventually)
This happens in the comics all the time; hero asks for help but no one is around and they must go it alone. Or they refuse to ask for help out of stubbornness, pride, honor etc.

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