Wing Commander... In Iron Man 3? (May 11, 2013)


Finder of things, Doer of stuff

Ever since I first heard that they had chosen "the Mandarin" to be the villain in Iron Man 3, I had been wondering if someone would throw a Wing Commander reference into the mix. Now after having seen the film I'd like to believe they did. The Mandarin character claims responsibility for a number of terrorist bombings in the film. In Wing Commander 2, a group of traitorous humans and friends of Zack Colson, known as the Mandarins, create havoc by using bombs to sabotage Terran forces...

Can it possibly be a mere coincidence that one the henchmen of Iron Man 3's villain is named J. Taggart? The name first shows up on a pair of dogtags as Tony Stark examines them in a lab and again reappears later in the film as Tony examines the man's military file.


Now, some might argue that this is merely a reference to the Firepower character from the comic books. However, while the comic book character is named Jack Taggert, which fits the J. initial, the character bio is completely disconnected from the character in the film. Also the last name of the character in the film is Taggart with an A and not Taggert with an E... Curious! It's not unusual for Marvel character bios to change significantly when they hit the big screen, but for a character with such a small part in this film, it seems strange to me that when randomly hunting for a name for the Mandarin's pawn in their Marvel catalogue, they just happened upon J. Taggert and figured it would sound better with an A. Have you seen the film? What do you think?

Original update published on May 11, 2013
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The thought never even crossed my mind, to be honest. Why would you assume any connection between the two?


Hate to say it, but the name Taggart is as common as dirt in games and movies. In fact there's a recent Scottish detective show starring a character named Jim Taggart.

Jim Taggart is also used in the American Science Fiction show Eureka.

Our James predates all of them but Taggart seems to be as popular a name in fiction as Smith in a phonebook. :confused:

Predating WC is Detective Sergeant John Taggart, a character played by John Ashton from the Beverly Hills Cop movies.

Sorry, but I doubt it's a reference to Wing Commander at all.


Finder of things, Doer of stuff
Of course the Mandarin in the comics predates WC... That wasn't the connection. But the combinations of the two names is at at the very least a fun coincidence but - however remotely - potentially a fun offhand reference. On the otherhand, you can also consider that the use of the name Mandarin in Wing Commander 2 was itself an Iron man reference.