Tony Stark’s sacrifice at the conclusion of Avengers: Endgame seems to have been a definitive development for the MCU, and to suggest otherwise would defeat the purpose of the entire narrative. Still, that doesn’t mean the story of Iron Man and his legacy should come to a close as well. If they wanted, in fact, Marvel Studios could bring the character back in a range of capacities, and a fan has recently speculated that one way to go about it would be to adapt a story involving Ironheart from the comics.
In Endgame, Tony sacrificed himself to destroy the Mad Titan once and for all. The feat, which required donning the Infinity Gauntlet, proved fatal and killed him just moments after the Avengers’ costly victory. The character came through for his family one last time, though, recording a message for his daughter Morgan via his armor’s helmet, which was played during the funeral sequence.
In it, Tony’s hologram suddenly turns to face Morgan, as if he knew where she would’ve been seated. And according to a fan theory on Reddit, this wasn’t mere emotional subtext and the character’s consciousness still lives on in the MCU as an AI like J.A.R.V.I.S.
As you’ll know, the Mouse House has already confirmed that an Ironheart miniseries is currently in development for Disney Plus. For those unfamiliar with the comics, Ironheart was a 15-year-old teenager by the name of Riri Williams who designed a suit similar to Iron Man‘s armor. And after Tony’s death in Civil War II, the former billionaire playboy returned as an AI to mentor the young Ironheart and turn her into a worthy successor.
Amid reports that Marvel wants Robert Downey Jr. back, not to mention the actor refusing to rule out the possibility, this theory certainly seems plausible. Though given what the character’s monumental sacrifice meant to the future of the MCU as a whole, a comeback scenario such as this would be too on the nose, to say the least.