In March, Kieron Gillen's "Iron Man" gets the All-New Marvel NOW! treatment for a new 5-issue arc entitled "Rings of the Mandarin" that sees a new foe in search of the Mandarin's signature weapons. According to The Associated Press, Malekith the Accursed wants Mandarin's rings, forcing Tony to once again look outside science for explanation.
"It goes back to the themes I had at the start of my run," Gillen told the Associated Press. "When I started, Tony was wrestling with things outside of science. Now, it's heading straight back there."
Although the AP article identifies the Mandarin as trying to track down the "hyper-intelligent" rings trying to find their way to Stark's enemies, CBR has clarified with Marvel that it's actually Malekith who's doing the tracking.
Malekith the Accursed had a recent appearance in Jason Aaron's "Thor: God of Thunder" series, but the character received a much more high-profile portrayal in "Thor: The Dark World," where he served as the primary antagonist of the film played by Christopher Eccleston. With the character rising to prominence due to the exposure of the film -- and Gillen's time writing Asgardians in "Journey Into Mystery" -- it's not surprise he's starting to show up in other corners of the Marvel U.
"Iron Man" #23.NOW kicks off "Rings of the Mandarin" in March.