Tony Stark may have been the face of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for over a decade and saved the world on countless occasions, but there’s also a school of thought that he was secretly the villain of the entire Infinity Saga without even realizing it. When you think about it, the vast majority of antagonists in the MCU represent mirror versions of the heroes, but the head of Stark Industries actually played a hand in the creation of many bad guys that would go on to torment Earth’s Mightiest Heroes for years.
His technology or actions are directly responsible for Iron Monger, Whiplash, Ultron, Vulture, Mysterio, Aldrich Killian, Justin Hammer and Zemo’s personal vendettas against either Stark himself or assorted members of the Avengers, which isn’t a great track record for someone who wants to save lives. Even if he has a self-admitted reckless and narcissistic attitude.
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However, a new theory speculates that Stark could use these accidental powers in a constructive way for a change, and that he could turn out to be the man responsible for the creation of the Fantastic Four. We know that the BARF technology was what drove Quentin Beck over the edge, but the very same funding grant he gifted to every student could have also benefited a certain Reed Richards, who in the comic books was an alumni of the institute.
With Tony’s Foundation Grant supplying the cash, Reed could end up creating and perfecting the technology that results in the Fantastic Four gaining their powers, as well as adding an extra layer of continuity into the MCU’s rich mythology. According to ScreenRant, here’s what could happen:
Although Reed’s MCU backstory has yet to be revealed, him being a student at MIT is entirely possible, especially since he attended the university in the comics. This could also be another piece of connectivity that the MCU loves to have in general and even more so when it pertains to Tony Stark. Spider-Man: Far From Home already added another layer to this exact Captain America: Civil War scene by revealing Quentin Beck aka Mysterio was at the presentation and the original creator of the BARF tech. If Tony unknowingly helped create the origin of a supervillain, it’s entirely possible he could also have helped fund a project that could bring about some of Marvel’s greatest heroes.
We’ve already heard plenty of speculation about how the Fantastic Four could potentially end up being introduced into the franchise whenever it finally happens, and tying it back to the MCU’s most iconic character would certainly be fitting for someone like Tony Stark, who always tried to do good but frequently ended up causing harm in the process.