“Earth just lost her best defender.” This line was spoken by Captain America to General Ross in Avengers: Infinity War before the team gets together to head to Wakanda. Tony Stark was the cornerstone from which the MCU was built. A man who has come a long way from his days of being a playboy, billionaire, philanthropist. Tony has shown that his primary concern is using his intellect, technology, and Iron Man suits to ensure the safety of Earth. Since the Battle of New York, Stark has sought to improve his technology so that the planet can be better protected. Now, after failing to stop Thanos, Stark is stuck in space with Nebula trying to make a plan of action. This article will explore what we may see in the upcoming Avengers: Endgame.[Spoiler Alert for multiple MCU films]
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“We’re in the End Game, now”
In arguably a trade for Iron Man’s life, Dr. Strange turns over the Time Stone to Thanos and cryptically says to Stark, “We’re in the End Game, now”. For those of you who may not remember, Dr. Strange had made a point to tell Stark that he would not turn over the Time Stone under any circumstances, even if it meant sacrificing Iron Man and Spider Man. So audiences were a bit confused when the Sorcerer Supreme traded the Stone for Iron Man’s life.
The going theory is that because he had seen all the possible outcomes of the battle against Thanos, that Dr. Strange saw only one possible path to victory, and turning over the Stone was a part of that. This theory explores how Iron Man is essential to that victory. The battle had to play out exactly how Dr. Strange had seen it, and that meant that Thanos had to win this round and get the Time Stone, leading to the Snap, and half the universe turning to dust.
“You Have My Respect, Stark”
The Snap left only two heroes alive on Titan, Iron Man and Nebula, the daughter of Thanos. While it is unclear how exactly the Infinity Gauntlet chose who would be turned to dust, perhaps Thanos was able to choose who lived or died in certain instances. In order to gain the Soul Stone Thanos had sacrificed his favorite daughter, Gamora. This was a massive sacrifice as Gamora was the one that Thanos loved most. In order to ease his conscious for her sacrifice, it is possible that he had predetermined that Nebula would be left alive.
Why would he let Iron Man live? Of all the heroes that Thanos had faced, there were only a few that managed to keep up with him one on one: Captain America, Dr. Strange, Thor, and Iron Man. Of those four, only one was turned to dust. Thanos may have seen a sign of weakness in Dr. Strange due to the fact that he had willingly surrendered the Time Stone, but the others had shown that their resolve was iron-clad in facing him.
Thanos has been a warlord, and may have respect for those that have managed to match him in some way or another. Cap is a man, albeit a super-human enhanced man, but a man nonetheless. He had stopped a blow from Thanos after watching his allies be pushed aside with ease. Thor had watched Thanos slaughter half the Asgardians upon his ship, but still Thor came back more powerful to challenge the Mad Titan. The two of them showed Thanos something that he has seldom seen in his conquest. And for that he allowed them to continue to live, a type of warrior’s mercy.
Iron Man, like Cap, is just a man, but he has no super human serum coursing through his veins. He is just a man in a suit. Still, Stark had come all the way from Earth to Titan to face Thanos. Arguably, Iron Man was one of the largest challenges to Thanos, as he was able to go blow for blow, even drawing blood from the cheek of the Mad Titan. “When I’m done, half of humanity will still be alive. I hope they remember you.” Thanos had respect for Stark, and made sure that Stark knew it. That respect resulted in Thanos choosing to allow Stark to live.
Leaving Tony Stark alive may have been the mistake that Thanos would come to regret. There may be a obscure Marvel Comics reference for that mistake. The MCU has already introduced Celestials, all-powerful immortal beings, in Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2. Starlord is revealed to be the half celestial son of one such being, Ego. These are some of the most powerful beings in the universe. In “Iron Man Vol 5”, the Godkiller armor was introduced. Armor created by the Aspirants to battle the Celestials.
In that comic arc, it is also revealed that Tony Stark had been genetically engineered in his mother’s womb to be able to pilot one of the last remaining suits. Later, after the Godkiller Armor is lost Stark builds his own armor, the Godkiller Armor MK II in “Avengers Vol 8”. Stark was able to use the armor to momentarily stand against the Dark Celestials, before the armor was destroyed. Another important suit that Stark created was his Uru Armor, which was Bleeding Edge Armor enhanced by Odin with Uru metal in “Fear Itself”. Uru is the metal that Mjolnir and Stormbreaker were crafted from.
In Infinity War, we saw that Stark’s Iron Man suit was similar to the Bleeding Edge Armor that this Uru Armor was based on. Perhaps with the limited nano-tech that Stark still has from his destroyed armor he can craft a new suit. Because we saw how effective Storm Breaker was against Thanos, Stark could use the same substance. The MCU could reveal brand new armor that is a mix between the Uru Armor and Godkiller Armor MK II. A suit that is powerful enough to take on a Celestial enhanced with the one material that has been proven to be effective against Thanos could prove to be just what Stark needs to defeat the Mad Titan.
In the most recent Endgame teaser, we saw Stark and Nebula working on something. This could be repairs to their ship, but it could also be Stark building new armor. Nebula may know of Eitri, the dwarf who crafted Stormbreaker, due to the fact that Thanos had gone to them in order to craft the Infinity Gauntlet. This could be where Stark builds his Godkiller armor, infused with Uru metal.
The MCU was founded upon the first Iron Man movie. All the rest come from that film’s success. It would only be fitting that this arc begins and ends with Iron Man. Having him don Uru-infused Godkiller armor would be the way that Stark redeems himself and once again fulfills his role as Earth’s Greatest Defender.
Will Iron Man defeat Thanos? How do you think Endgame will turn out? Comment below and visit our Facebook page!