Originally Posted by Chance Jackson
The situation is much worse in the comics since almost everyone is based in NY but its rare to see more than one property show up to beat the big bad at least in the movies the locations are spread out more: Tony is on the West Coast, Steve is in DC, Thor is in London or Asgard
SHIELD was told to back off in IM3? When? Where?
SHIELD wasn't told to back off, but during the restaurant scene, with Tony and Rhodey, while Tony is signing the kid's drawing, Rhodey is telling Tony that Mandarin "It's not [superhero business]. This is American business." Implying that America doesn't want superheroes, which SHIELD would naturally represent, involved. Keep in mind, Tony is not paying attention, and so neither is the audience, but it was said, so there's an implication there.