Tony Stark’s death in Avengers: Endgame was the defining scene of the movie. Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man effectively birthed the MCU, setting up every wonderful thing that was to come. Many young fans had grown up with the hero, too, amplifying how much his sacrifice meant to them. But while his death scene and funeral were the major sad moments, one fan has now highlighted a small but devastating detail.
This was the appropriately named @StarkSyndrome on Twitter, who pointed out that Pepper Potts would still have to sort through all of Stark’s fan mail (as seen in Iron Man 3) after his death, with each day bringing fresh reminders of her loss.
someone just reminded me that after tony died pepper had to still go through tony’s iron man fan mail and now i’m sad pic.twitter.com/WpOCXEpWF5
— emily (@starksyndrome) April 16, 2020
Reactions to her tweet indicate that it brought back the pain for Tony Stark fans, with an outpouring of crying emojis and responses like “DID YOU HAVE TO,” “oh wow brb i’m crying now” and “ow my heart.”
That people are still feeling this loss so keenly makes me hope that Marvel never resurrect Tony Stark. There are whispers that Downey Jr. will come back for the right price, but if the events in the MCU are going to have any emotional impact whatsoever, dead has to mean dead. It’s a lesson that Marvel comics still haven’t learned, with every ‘major’ death accompanied by eye-rolling as everyone knows the character will inevitably be back.
That said, Stark will appear very briefly in Black Widow (much to Robert Downey Jr.’s surprise), but as this is set prior to the events of Avengers: Endgame, they can get away with it. Perhaps the only other way I’d accept would be for him to return as the voice of a JARVIS-like AI companion for the next Iron Man, but only if they make it clear that this is a copy of Stark rather than the real thing.