Here’s Why The MCU Doesn’t Need To — and Shouldn’t — Bring Iron Man Back

Back in 2008, the MCU didn’t exist. Instead, one movie — Iron Man — started it all and made Tony Stark one of the most popular superheroes to date. Robert Downey Jr. is the father of the MCU and leader of the Avengers. He carried the team through so much, so it’s no wonder that fans want him back so badly after his heartbreaking death in Avengers: Endgame. However, that’s not the best idea considering what this resurrection could mean for the future of the MCU. 

Robert Downey Jr. sits at a press conference for 'Endgame.'
Robert Downey Jr. at a press conference for ‘Avengers: Endgame’ | The Chosunilbo JNS/Imazins via Getty Images

There’s a rumor that Marvel will resurrect Iron Man, somehow

Marvel rumors will always exist, and this one is based on wishful thinking and comic book backstory. The site We Got This Covered reported on a current one that suggests Tony Stark will live again but in AI form. “Taking inspiration from the source material, the idea is to have Stark’s AI create a new body for itself, a body that would be identical in appearance to the old one, thus allowing Marvel to bring back RDJ in the role,” the site says. 

Again, this is just hearsay, with nothing official yet. But does Iron Man need to come back? No. Should he? Also no. Here’s why.

Iron Man had a fitting end

Jon Favreau, Robert Downey Jr., and Scarlett Johansson speak at the 'Iron Man 2' premiere.
Jon Favreau, Robert Downey Jr., and Scarlett Johansson at the world premiere of ‘Iron Man 2’ | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

As hard as it is to say goodbye to beloved characters, especially one as charismatic and dynamic as Downey’s Stark, arcs exist for a reason. A narrative without a beginning, middle, and end isn’t a narrative at all. If Stark comes back, even as a robotic version, it’ll disrupt the story he’s had since 2008. 

And boy, what a story he’s had. He started as a cocky, selfish man who didn’t play play well with others. But by Infinity War, his company was all about peace, he had a stable relationship with Pepper Potts, and he mentored Peter Parker like that was his flesh and blood. Tony, who was once one of the most narcissistic characters, gave up his life and future for his team and the world. He received a true hero’s end, and bringing him back would render that move meaningless.

Marvel runs the risk of repetition if they bring him back

Even though there are characters from the comics that Marvel can’t use in its movies, there are still quite a few that they can. Considering the MCU has been around for a decade and still has half of the original Avengers alive, the studio could run the risk of repetition and fail because of it. 

The movies need new blood in there instead of rehashing everything fans have already seen. If they bring Iron Man back, it could limit the stories they can tell.

Death will start to mean nothing in the MCU if they bring Tony Stark back

Everyone can agree that Infinity War’s surprise “deaths” shook many people. Tom Holland’s “I don’t wanna go,” might be engrained in fans’ memories for decades to come. But they came back, as many already suspected since several of the characters already had sequels lined up.

Death is already a small inconvenience in the MCU and not a finality. Take Gamora; she was dead dead, but they still were able to bring her back in the form of 2014 Gamora. It’s not really the same person, and Thanos’ murder of her is still sad, but fans now have her again. Same with Vision. He died a pretty definite death in Infinity War, however now he’s back for WandaVision.

If Marvel does a similar thing with Stark, you’ll never be able to have that massive Infinity War impact on audiences again. Now, when someone dies, it’ll be less meaningful and dramatic because viewers will think there’s always a way for them to return. 

Why re-do Tony Stark, when Ironheart is right there

The original tidbit that started this “walking Stark AI” rumor involved using Downey’s voice in an AI for help Riri Williams in an upcoming Ironheart show. MCU Cosmic shared that there’s a rumbling coming from Marvel that a Disney+ limited series will bring a live-action iteration of Ironheart to life. This prompted the rumor since that’s what happens in the comics.

Even though Spider-Man: Far From Home dealt with “Who will become the next Iron Man?” it didn’t need to. The comics already have a genius 16-year-old who also had Stark as a mentor to take his place: Riri Williams. Not only will you get a stunning addition to the Avengers — or Young Avengers — but it’ll also fill that hole Iron Man left behind him.