Question: The guy who put the magnet in Tony's chest in the cave, who was he and why was he being held captive by the soldiers?
Answer: His name is Ho Yinsen and he's a skilled engineer and medic. The details behind his capture are never revealed, but most likely he was kidnapped so that the terrorist group could utilise his skills, coercing him into helping by threatening to destroy his home village, exactly as we see then doing later in the movie after Stark's escape and Yinsen's death.
Question: If Tony's suit (Mark II) is powered by the miniature arc reactor in his chest, what powers War Machine?
Answer: Stark has constructed independent power sources for his older suits, presumably on the off-chance that he might need to use Rhodes, who he has given voice access, as backup, or possibly because, as he believes himself to be dying, he would want somebody he trusts to be able to access the suits after his passing. That power source is used when Rhodes takes the suit to battle Stark at his birthday party, and is subsequently used to power the upgraded War Machine armour.
Question: After Obadiah Stane steals Stark's new reactor, how does the old one he reinstalled run out of power? It's a reactor: it generates power.
Answer: It was basically a prototype made from, to quote Stane, "a box of scraps." It was not strong enough to last, especially when it came to powering Tony's high tech armor armor upgrades.
Question: Is Tony really in danger when Pepper pulls out the copper ring? The screens behind him light up, and he acts like he is in danger, but his reaction once the process is complete leads one to believe that he may have just been messing with Pepper. Also, why does Tony go into cardiac arrest when the copper ring is pulled out? The magnet is keeping the shards out of his heart, not keeping his heart running, even though they state in the movie that it is powering his heart). Perhaps I am just confused about what is actually happening with the device.
Answer: The movie interchangeably refer to the device as keeping the shrapnel out of his heart and keeping it beating. The latter is supported by both this scene and the comment by Dr. Yinsen that the arc reactor could "run (his) heart for fifty lifetimes. The opening exposition in the cave explaining the danger of the shrapnel explains that it takes "about a week" for it to kill its subjects. Given how fast he started dying both in the scene with the copper ring and when Obadiah forcibly removed the arc reactor, it's entirely possible that the system is also acting as an admittedly very fancy pacemaker.
Question: How come Tony doesn't die when Pepper hits the button that blows up the roof? He never cleared the roof as intended and it must have been really powerful if it killed Obediah. Tony's chest piece flickers on and off and then the scene fades. They never give an explanation for this.
Answer: Tony, even wearing the Iron Man armour, is light enough that the shockwave of the blast throws him out of the way, so he escapes the majority of the explosion's effects. Stane, in his much heavier suit, isn't so lucky and so gets the full impact, which kills him. The flickering of the chest piece is merely a device to show that Tony is still in one piece, even if injured.
Question: The terrorist group is called the ten rings. Does that refer to The Mandarin whose power in the cartoon came from his ten rings?
Answer: It's intended as a subtle nod to the character, yes. It's been suggested that the Mandarin might be the villain in a future third film, so using the name "The Ten Rings" was a bit of foreshadowing that there might be a greater power behind the terrorist group.
Question: Does anyone know if there will be a massive compilation of all the Marvel heroes, e.g. the Hulk, Iron man, Spider-Man, etc., and if so, who would most likely be the director?
Answer: The current plan at Marvel Studios is to do solo films for the various members of the Avengers superteam over the next couple of years. Iron Man and the Hulk were the first two, Thor is currently in pre-production under the directorship of Kenneth Branagh for a 2010 release and Ant-Man is reportedly to be directed by Edgar Wright, possibly for release in the same year. 2011 will see Captain America: The First Avenger being released under the guidance of Joe Johnston, which will be set during World War II and deal with how Steve Rogers became Captain America. Then a couple of months later a full Avengers film will be released, featuring all five characters teaming up to fight a greater threat. The cinematic rights to other filmed Marvel characters, like Spider-Man or the X-Men currently lie with other film studios, so they could not realistically be included unless the film rights reverted to Marvel.
Question: Tony Stark has a socket in his chest that is dead centre. What on earth must his rib cage be like? Surely the chap who helped him out in the cave didn't cut out his rib cage to fit the socket in?
Answer: Without seeing X-rays of Tony Stark's chest its impossible to determine. Most likely, a large portion of his ribcage was removed (possibly a portion that was damaged by the shrapnel), and the remainder of the ribcage was secured to the elctromagnet's outer shell, built into Stark's sternum. How his ribcage is able to expand and contract with a large chunk of steel lodged into it I have no idea.
Question: How come Tony Stark put Hot Rod Red on his suit? Is it because he liked the color?
Answer: Yes. He loves messing around with customised cars like that - throwing in some of the red colour is a nod to that. Plus it stops him flying around in a gold-coloured suit, which even he considers a bit over the top.
Question: What was the type of jet that Tony Stark used to travel to Afghanistan in? Is this an actual jet or a movie mock-up?
Answer: It's a CGI mockup. Originally a Boeing 737 Business Jet, it was decided during production that a regular jet wasn't nearly sexy enough for Stark, leading to everything from the wings back being replaced with a digital model that looked cooler.
Question: A trivia entry says Captain America's shield can be seen in Tony's workshop. Why is it there and how did it get there?
Answer: The shield can be seen when Tony is having trouble removing the Iron Man armour (when Pepper Potts walks in). No explanation is given for why it is there.
Question: When Pepper helps Stark replace his power cell, doesn't she accidentally pull out the magnet at the bottom? Wouldn't she need to put it back before putting in the new power cell? Otherwise, it wouldn't be powering anything, and the shards could get into his system.
Answer: The copper coil is left over from when Tony threw together the miniature ARC reactor during his time as a captive. Since the ARC reactor functions as a powerful electromagnet to keep the shrapnel out of his chest, it can be assumed that the copper coil is really just there to act as a residual magnet if and when the main unit needs replacing. Since Pepper pulled it out and Tony didn't have a spare copper coil on hand, he went into cardiac arrest. It's really just there so he doesn't go into cardiac arrest every time he needs to replace his chest piece. I'm sure he pops a new copper coil in there later on.
Question: I forget why Obediah Stane went bad. Why did he?
Answer: He doesn't go bad, as such, he just is bad. It's made reasonably clear in the film that he's been surreptitiously selling weapons to pretty much anybody who'll buy them, rogue governments, terrorist groups, anybody. In all likelihood, he's been doing this for years behind Stark's back. After Stark's attitude to their work changes and he starts to investigate what Stane's been up to, Stane takes steps to protect his various illicit enterprises.
Question: With its similarity to the Iron Man suit and the frequently-overlapping storylines of the Marvel universe, did Tony Stark develop the Exoskeleton in the first Spider-Man movie?
Answer: No, he didn't. The Goblin's battlesuit was developed by Oscorp, the other prototype seen in the film by Quest Aerospace. There's no indication that either has links to Stark Enterprises, plus, as Sony only had the rights to Spider-Man, rather than the Marvel Universe generally, they would not have been allowed to involve other characters without prior permission.
Question: When Tony gets the shrapnel in the chest, he first pulls apart his shirt, then pulls apart something black and sees the holes in his chest. Is the black thing an undershirt, or some sort of bullet proof vest?
Answer: It's a flak jacket that didn't work as well as he would have liked.
Question: I've never seen them in the movie, but someone is in the credits as "Stan's Girls." I assumed this was Stan Lee, but where (if anywhere) are they in the film?
Answer: They are outside the award banquet he goes to, he calls Stan Lee "Heff" and Lee is dressed like Hugh Hefner, and has a few girls around him.