“Without you, I’m nothing. With you, I’m but a small, yet integral part of the cinematic universe known as Marvel.”
That’s Robert Downey Jr. there raising a glass to the comic book community after bagging an award/surfboard (!) during last night’s Teen Choice Awards.
The Avengers: Infinity War actor and all-around MCU mainstay saw off competition from Chris Evans (Infinity War), Dylan O’Brien (The Maze Runner), Henry Cavill (Justice League), John Boyega (The Last Jedi) and Spider-Man himself, Tom Holland, which is really an achievement in and of itself given Holland’s loyal following.
Not that anyone can say Robert Downey Jr. isn’t deserving of such an accolade; for nigh on 10 years, he’s played the part of Tony Stark/Iron Man and helped launch a full-blown cinematic universe for Marvel. He’s the beating (mechanical) heart of the MCU, which only leaves us all the more worried that Iron Man will be among those to perish in Avengers 4 as Marvel Studios changes course for Phase 4, and with it, a slew of cosmic blockbusters ranging from The Eternals to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
So at least from the outside looking in, it appears Robert Downey Jr.’s time at the forefront of the MCU is coming to a close. Not only is the Hollywood star nearing the end of his contract with the company, but there’s the very real possibility that Captain Marvel, Brie Larson’s soon-to-be-introduced heroine, will become something of a figurehead for this most successful franchise in 2019 and beyond, thereby allowing the Powers That Be to phase out Tony Stark (and presumably a whole host of MCU characters) soon after the release of Avengers 4.
And when that day inevitably comes, the tears won’t be far behind.