Favorite movie characters come and go, but for those that are part of a major franchise, many become as important to the audience as if they were real people. For fans of comic book franchises like the MCU, it’s easy to get attached, and luckily for them, characters are often brought back to life. But will that be the case for Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark, aka Iron Man?
Downey Jr. is responsible for launching the MCU
As Marvel fans know very well, Downey Jr. has been there since the very beginning. Iron Man, which came out in 2008, was the film that kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And with Downey Jr.’s character at the head of it, he became the first face of the MCU.
It’s hard to recall, but at the time, the studio took a gamble on Downey Jr., who was working to revitalize his career. Today, he’s a superstar, with roles in multiple franchises and a very healthy net worth, most of which he owes to the nine Marvel flicks he’s starred in over the years.
It was widely reported that his time in the MCU was coming to an end
As previously stated, comic books and the films based on them have a habit of bringing back deceased characters. No one ever really stays dead, which can be frustrating for devotees who care about establishing “real stakes.”
But Marvel promised that Endgame would be different. So leading up to its release, fans began to speculate: Who wouldn’t survive the film? Downey Jr.’s tenure, along with the knowledge that his contract was renegotiated to include the final Avengers films, indicated that this could be the end for Tony Stark.
In Avengers: Endgame, Tony Stark’s chapter came to a close
Heading into Endgame, it was hard to know what to expect. After all, Marvel kept a tight lid on the film’s plot — in fact, most of what was seen in the trailers gave from the first 30 minutes of the 3-hour flick. But once it came, there were many spoilers that needed to stay a secret until everyone who wanted to see the movie had a chance to do so.
Now that we’re past that point, it’s time to reveal all. In a final act of sacrifice, the often selfish man who once called himself a “genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist,” wielded the Infinity Stones and defeated Thanos and his army. Tony then succumbed to his injuries.
This is why fans are petitioning
Tony’s death was, undeniably, one of the most impactful moments of Endgame. His funeral scene brought closure for the characters and for the audience — well, most of them. Some fans have now started a Change.org petition to get Marvel to bring back Tony Stark to the MCU.
In the description, the creator of the petition writes that the character “deserves to come back fully alive.” They cite his selflessness and all he left behind, writing, “he deserves to live and see his daughter grow up.” The creator also discusses his impact on the fans, saying “without him, now, we are totally lost.”
Could Marvel ever bring him back?
Will Marvel listen? Probably not. We demanded real stakes, and we got them. And without the possibility of loss, it makes the work that the superheroes do seem cheap. And Marvel has a lot of other properties and characters to explore moving forward.
However, there is always one possibility: A cameo. In the upcoming Spider-Man: Far From Home, Tony’s protege Peter Parker learns about the existence of a multiverse. Could this be a way for him to get to see his mentor one last time? Or could we get a flashback or another found recording from the late Iron Man? This is Marvel, so the possibilities are endless.
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