Iron Man’s death in Avengers: Endgame has been a big upheaval for characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and for fans, but the truth is Marvel has been dropping clues about Tony Stark’s disappearance for years. The MCU’s Infinity Saga began in 2008 with Jon Favreau Iron Man and reached its peak a decade later with Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, with Spider-Man: Far From Home closing this chapter in the history of the MCU.
Avengers: Endgame faces the aftermath of Thanos’ snap, which wiped out half of all life in the universe. The surviving heroes hatched a plan to turn the tide through what they called “time flight,” but playing with time and space has consequences, and Thanos (of the past) has caught up with them in the present. . After the biggest battle the MCU has seen so far, Iron Man made the ultimate sacrifice by wielding the Infinity Gauntlet with all of the Infinity Stones and ending Thanos’ invasion.
The power of the stones was too much for Tony Stark to handle, even though he wore Iron Man’s armor, and he passed away. Fans have been bracing for Iron Man’s death since it was revealed Robert Downey Jr’s contract was among those set to end after Avengers: Endgame, but they probably didn’t expect the genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist to die to save the world. But looking back (and up close) to previous MCU movies, the studio had been dropping (subtle) clues about Iron Man’s death for years.
The power of the arc reactor
Iron Man showed the start of Tony Stark’s superhero arc, including the origin of his armor. When Tony was captured by the Ten Rings, Yinsen (a fellow captive doctor) implanted an electromagnet in Stark’s chest to prevent the shrapnel that injured him from reaching his heart. Stark and Yinsen then developed Iron Man’s very first armor as well as a small and powerful electrical generator to power Stark’s electromagnet and armor, called the “Arc Reactor”. This generator has become a symbol for Tony and Iron Man, and has undergone a few changes during his time in the MCU.
The scene where Tony and Yinsen are building the arc reactor caught the attention of some fans as Yinsen pointed out that the generator could run Tony’s heart “for 50 lifetimes”, to which Tony replied that “or something wholesale for 15 minutes ”. Tony was constantly working on his armor and Arc Reactor, making them more functional and powerful, so fans came to believe that he was able to hold the Infinity Stones because the Arc Reactor was taking energy, distributing it. along the armor. This process would have allowed him to hold the glove, say his last words, and snap his fingers without being incapacitated, like the Hulk when he reversed the snap – and Doctor Strange knew Tony’s tech did. of him the only one capable of managing power. of the gauntlet.
Iron Man’s previous sacrifice
Tony Stark has experienced true character development, from a self-centered and spoiled aimless billionaire to a true hero, leader and (who would have known!) Team player. Of course, all of this didn’t happen overnight, and he had to fall and get back on his feet several times. Iron Man was on the verge of death in nearly every movie he was in, but one of his most notable moments – and one that was a subtle clue to his fate in Avengers: Endgame – was at the end of The Avengers.
Iron Man intercepted the nuclear missile launched by the World Security Council (against Fury’s orders) and took it through the wormhole to the Chitauri fleet. It was the very first time that audiences saw Iron Man put his life on the line to save the world. Iron Man’s armor lost power and he fell through the wormhole as he closed, and was saved by the Hulk from crashing to the ground. It took him a few seconds to wake up after the fall, but he came back – and this event took a serious toll on him, as seen in Iron man 3. Taking into account that this was still Iron Man at the start of his superhero journey, Marvel was clearly preparing audiences for a much bigger sacrifice than Iron Man was going to make later.
Quote and vision of “Endgame” in Avengers: Age of Ultron
Avengers: Age of Ultron received heavy criticism from fans upon its release, but ended up tapping into Avengers: Endgame quite well. It turns out that “endgame” was not said for the first time in Avengers: Infinity War (sorry, Doctor Strange), but in Age of Ultron and by Tony Stark himself. While discussing Ultron’s attack on Avengers Tower, Tony told his fellow Avengers, “we are the Avengers. We can smash gun dealers all day, but up there is the end of the game», Referring to alien invasions like that of the Chitauri. He was right, and their greatest threat was not from Earth but from space, in the form of Thanos and his armies.
There’s also the vision Scarlet Witch gave him at the start of the movie, in which he saw the rest of the Avengers dead after an alien invasion. This dream included a line of Steve Rogers that haunted Tony Stark for (at least) the rest of the movie, which was “you could have saved us!”. In the end, Tony saved them and the rest of the world, and was the only Avenger to die in battle.
Frequent injury to Iron Man’s left arm
Understandably, Iron Man suffered multiple injuries during his time in the MCU, but his left arm was repeatedly injured. Tony’s injury was more visible in Spider-Man: Homecoming, where he was seen constantly holding his wrist as if to soothe him and even shaking at times. This subtle detail made some fans believe Tony was going to wield the Infinity Gauntlet – and they were right, except it wasn’t with his left hand but with his right. Either this detail was a mere coincidence, or the Russos forgot and instead made the glove for right-handed beings.
Some fans have also noticed a parallelism between the shots of Iron Man where the focus was on his right arm, just like the nanotechnology gauntlet in Avengers: Endgame. Whether it’s another coincidence or the Russo Brothers paying special attention to the movie that started it all, it’s a fun detail that comes full circle for Tony in terms of visual narrative.
The father figures of the MCU
Let’s move on to a detail that doesn’t have to do with the frames or the dialogue but rather with the dynamic between Tony Stark and another hero: Spider-Man. And if there’s something the Infinity Saga has dealt with over and over, it’s father issues – even Thanos himself got his fix thanks to his daughters, Nebula and Gamora. Tony Stark didn’t have the best relationship with his father, but everything he was and everything he had was thanks to Howard Stark. Tony personally thanked his father when he traveled in 1970 and ended up meeting him, ending a chapter in his life that had bothered him for decades. Avengers: Endgame also saw Tony become a father, but before that fans saw him playing the father figure of Peter Parker.
Tony took Peter under his wing in Captain America: Civil War, and continued to mentor him through Spider-Man: Homecoming and Avengers: Infinity War (and, in a way, Spider-Man: Far From Home also thanks to EDITH). It’s only Infinity war that the extent of the connection between these two has been shown, as Tony was haunted by Peter’s “death” after the snap, to the point where it prompted him to try the “time robbery” plan, for finally figure out how to make it possible.
But if the MCU has established anything through their father figures, it’s that they have to die for their children to evolve and (hopefully) reach the best versions of themselves. Peter has been through Uncle Ben’s death before (offscreen and ignored, but it happened), but it was Tony Stark who turned him into the superhero he is now, and his death didn’t. not just part of his own superhero arc but also of Peter. Iron Man becoming Spider-Man’s father figure was a clue with a much bigger impact in the MCU than others, as he will surely continue to influence Peter’s development in future adventures.
Next: Every Avengers: Endgame Deleted Scene Posted On Disney +
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- Eternals (2021)Release date: 05 November 2021
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release Date: Sep 03, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release Date: March 25, 2022
- Spider-Man: No Homecoming (2021)Release Date: December 17, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: 06 May 2022
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever / Black Panther 2 (2022)Release Date: 08 Jul 2022
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