‘Ironheart’: Some MCU Fans Don’t Want Any Connections to Tony Stark

For the first time in its 12-year history, the Marvel Cinematic Universe will have to cope with the loss of the man who started it all. From Iron Man to Endgame, fans have watched as Tony Stark went from billionaire prima donna to savior with a team of superheroes, gods, and intergalactic mercenaries behind him.

With Stark gone, there’s a suit to be filled. However, despite the desire by some to replace Stark, others want to see Ironheart go in a different direction. 

The real First Avenger

Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr. | Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

While the MCU has established that heroes like Thor, Captain Marvel, and Captain America predate Stark by years, even centuries, he was the one who brought the cinematic universe together.

In 2008, when the post-credit scene was not yet just as much a part of the franchise as the opening scene, fans watched Stark go from masked vigilante to the first on-screen Avenger when Nick Fury recruited him at the tail-end. 

Since then, Stark has been the unofficial leader. Nick Fury, Captain America, and several other heroes have had power, but at the end of the day, Stark often supplied, dictated, and carried out the most challenging tasks. Whether he was fighting side by side with his best friends or fighting against them in a superhero Civil War, Stark was a man of principles who could use his money and power to get what he wanted. 

However, part of Stark’s appeal was in his ability to get through his demons and ultimately do what was right. This eventually led to his sacrifice in the final battle of Endgame. While Spider-Man: Far From Home showed the immediate aftermath, the widespread results of his death are still largely unknown. 

However, when Ironheart premieres in 2022, we might get a glimpse of what a non-Stark Iron Man looks like. 

What is ‘Ironheart’? 

Ironheart is a relatively new addition to the Marvel comic universe. A young teenager named Riri Williams found Stark’s technology and reverse-engineered it to make her iron suit. However, depending on the series, Stark was there to guide the way. By introducing her under different circumstances, Kevin Feige has a chance to keep his legacy alive while going in a new direction. 

Riri Williams, who will be played by Dominique Thorne, is not Iron Man. She is an African American teenage girl who was not born into the privilege that Stark had and doesn’t have all the perks that his life on top did. As such, she can be a perfect contrast to him. However, if you ask some fans, the connections to Stark should not go far.

Sure, his legacy is, undoubtedly, part of the MCU, but for the universe to move without Stark, they have to be willing to take new chances. 

Reddit chimes in


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Fans on Reddit spoke about the direction that they’d like the Disney+ series to go in. Users discussed just how heavily the series should rely on Stark’s legacy as Williams makes a story of her own. One user kicked off the discussion by saying that the proper setup could keep Stark alive while making Williams’ story unique. 

“This is the same reason why I don’t see why people complain about her ‘not having any connection with Tony’ … well, because that is what makes her interesting in theory,” they said. “If I wanted to see a rich brat or a random kid given everything and being set for life and acclaim because they knew a rich dude I would read the Wallstreet journal, not watch a TV show. Same with Shuri too, no sh*t she could do one of those suits, kindergartners in her country could do one of those suits.”

Another user agreed, saying that the similar powered suits don’t necessarily mean relying on the obvious connection.

Robert Downey Jr. set the table for the MCU the second he took on the Tony Stark persona. With him out of the picture, however, the MCU’s future will have to learn when it’s time to let go just as much as they try to pay tribute.