I just watched Iron Man 3 and something confused me about the demise of the bad guy, Killian.

Towards the end of the movie Tony Stark pinned Killian to the wall with his Iron Man suit and it self destructs. But that doesn't kill him and he comes back, at which point Pepper Potts fights him and basically pushes him into a fire.

So why/how does he get killed the second time but not the first?

3 Answers 3


Actually, the second time Pepper kicks a missile, possibly the "ex-wife", to Killians face. Adding that to the damage he took when the armor self-destructed, suposedly overloads his healing factor.

  • 8
    Tony Stark using Hammer Industries technology?
    – Oliver_C
    Commented May 2, 2013 at 10:46
  • @Oliver_C I think its more AIM used Hammer's tech, which might explain Tony's disdain for them.
    – Tablemaker
    Commented May 5, 2013 at 4:54
  • @Oliver_C Well, Hammer's "ex-wife" didn't even work, so it might have been an optimized version by Tony ;)
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented May 15, 2013 at 20:53
  • @TylerShads Wasn't this thing from one of his suits?
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented May 15, 2013 at 20:54
  • @ChristianRau That's also a possibility. Maybe another question for the site?
    – Tablemaker
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 16:16

We were previously shown that those altered by Extremis aren't immortal. Tony killed one on the airplane by blasting out his heart. I think the assumption in that situation is that without a heart to feed blood to the rest of your body you'll die.

When Killian was blown up the first time, he took a lot of damage, but it seems that his body mostly stayed in tact.

The second explosion by Pepper, as Elfangor states, was probably too much for Killian's body to handle, and he died.

  • 2
    Tony waited until the full suit was on Killian (including the helmet) before blowing the suit. His entire body had cracks in the surface afterwards, as it was all healing/regenerating.
    – user209
    Commented May 8, 2013 at 15:52

Extremis is a super-soldier solution. It's a bio-electronics package, fitted into a few billion graphite nanotubes and suspended in a carrier fluid. A magic bullet, like the original super-soldier serum—all fitted into a single injection. It hacks the body's repair center—the part of the brain that keeps a complete blue print of the human body. When we're injured, we refer to that area of the brain to heal properly. Extremis rewrites the repair center. In the first stage, the body essentially becomes an open wound. The normal human blueprint is being replaced with the Extremis blueprint, you see? The brain is being told the body is wrong. Extremis protocol dictates that the subject be placed on life support and intravenously fed nutrients at this point. For the next two or three days, the patient remains unconscious within a cocoon of scabs. (...) Extremis uses the nutrients and body mass to grow new organs. Better ones..(source:Wikipedia)

So it may be the case that during armor self destruction Killian 's brain doesn't got damaged and made him able to heal and regenrate his damaged organs. But second time his whole body got destroyed even brain (head) too. Without brain extremis virus is of no use.

  • I seriously doubt Killian's brain was undamaged when the Mark 42 exploded with him inside. It actually blew Killian to smithereens!
    – Sayan
    Commented May 2, 2013 at 6:42
  • 1
    @KeyBrdBasher you are making me to watch it again.
    – Ankit Sharma
    Commented May 2, 2013 at 6:52
  • 2
    your quote is from the comic book movie, not iron man 3. extremis isn't the same thing between these two, but similer is many ways.
    – DForck42
    Commented May 8, 2013 at 13:58
  • @DForck42 extremis is not well defined in movie but in comics it did. And the extremis virus is connected to brain not only in comics but in movie too. Your point about killing by heart is good but for Killian brain damage can be the case. Its all are speculation till movie official explain it.
    – Ankit Sharma
    Commented May 8, 2013 at 15:45

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .