When you sit down and take stock of it all, Iron Man has been the centerpiece of the Marvel Cinematic Universe ever since it began and we’ve seen him as the heart and soul of everything. He’s fought all his villains (and friends, too), resolved all his inner conflicts and demons, and taken part in several adventures with the rest of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. So, with all that in mind, what more is there for him to do now?
The answer is not much, and in all likelihood, Avengers 4 will be the last time we see him. That’s just speculation, mind you, as nothing’s been confirmed yet, but by walking towards the light (or getting squashed by Thanos’ gigantic hands), his character arc will end in sacrifice.
As one of the biggest narcissists in the MCU, there really is no better way for Tony Stark to redeem himself and prove he’s more than his façade than through a heroic death. And that’s exactly what this newly discovered MCU connection suggests will happen.
A clever fan on Reddit has noticed something that not many have before. That being that across several films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we see Stark ascend into the sky in order to save the day. It’s happened in Iron Man, in The Avengers, in Age of Ultron, in Infinity War and now, speculation is mounting that it’ll occur once more in next May’s sequel.
Here’s the theory in full:
Avengers 4’s climax will be Stark sacrificing himself. While that’s a very common theory, I think the key lies in something we’ve seen occur a couple times in the MCU, Stark’s climb to the heavens
In Iron Man, how does Stark save the day? By ascending into the sky
In Avengers, how does Stark save the day? By ascending into the sky
In Avengers: AoU, how does Stark save the day? By ascending into the sky
In Avengers: IW, how does Stark try to save the day? By ascending into the sky after the ship takes off from NY
I can’t speculate any specifics but I believe that Stark, in one last heroic effort, will give one last ascension into the sky, sacrificing himself, to save the day.
Icarus parallels, anyone?
Again, chalk this all up as speculation for now, but Avengers 4 will be Robert Downey Jr.’s tenth appearance as Iron Man. Pause for a moment and take that in. Ten appearances, including his uncredited cameo in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, which is part of the MCU. That’s a whole lot of time dedicated to the franchise and also a whole lot of time he can’t put towards other projects, which he’d no doubt like to do.
As such, it’s almost certain that RDJ will wave goodbye to the franchise after Avengers 4. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Iron Man will die. And even if he does, there’s nothing to say he’ll go out making a “climb to the heavens,” but it’d certainly be one heck of a sendoff for arguably the most beloved superhero in cinema at the moment, don’t you think?