Tony Stark aka Iron Man’s journey started in 2008. It was the beginning of a franchise called the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For the next few years, the franchise provided us various films that earned billions at the box office. But apart from that, every character of MCU now holds a special place in our hearts. The same goes for Tony Stark. Ever since 2019, people have been thinking about how the MCU can bring Iron Man back.
Tony Stark is now considered as the face and the most iconic character of MCU. He sacrificed himself in order to bring an end to Thanos. Iron Man’s death in Avengers: Endgame was something that left the MCU fans in tears. But this doesn’t mean the end of the character. MCU could explore various concepts. With those concepts, the MCU can bring Iron Man back. Here are 5 ways it could happen:
1. Tony Stark as an A.I.
In a Marvel comic storyline, Tony created an A.I. version of himself as a backup so that his essence can be preserved. Well, this might have been accomplished by Tony in MCU. This can be proved with reference to a scene in Avengers: Endgame. Tony looked straight at Morgan during his final words.
The A.I. theory was further explored in Spider-Man: Far From Home. There we were introduced to the E.D.I.T.H. program. Maybe the program was not fully developed until the events of Avengers: Endgame. So, Peter Parker got it in Spider-Man: Far From Home which was set eight months after Iron Man’s death. A new Avengers team is being formed along with the Young Avengers. Tony Stark’s A.I. can perfectly work as their mentor after his arrival in the Ironheart series.
2. Alternate reality
Alternate reality can also bring back Iron Man. The concept was explored with the character of Gamora in Avengers: Endgame. In Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos has to make a choice between keeping Gamora alive or acquire the Soul Stone. Thanos chose the latter and Gamora lost her life. But the opposite happened in Avengers: Endgame. The technology was seen till the end of Avengers: Endgame where we saw Hulk sending Steve Rogers back in time to return the six Infinity Stones. Even Doctor Strange 2 could be used to bring Tony Stark into the mix.
3. Temporary resurrection
The storyline of Chaos War series of Marvel Comics saw the Chaos King allowing the dead to walk on Earth. A lot of Marvel heroes were revived. They were summoned back from the dead by Grim Reaper who wanted the Avengers dead. This is just an example of resurrection in Marvel Comics. The same concept can be used in MCU to bring back Iron Man. The scene proves that fellow heroes are not the only ones who brought members of the Avengers team back from the dead.
4. Resurrection through blood transfusion
In 2012’s The Avengers, we saw Phil Coulson bring tricked and wounded by Loki’s scepter. But if you have seen Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., you will know that Phil Coulson was back on his feet shortly after the events of the MCU’s first team-up. This was because of a Level 9 S.H.I.E.L.D. program that was designed by Nick Fury to revive a fallen Avenger.
This technology is still available in some form in the MCU. Coulson shut down the project since it didn’t work well on other test subjects. He saw the physical and mental toll the project put on its patients. In case if the program is to serve its purpose again and also revive Tony Stark, it would take a lot of time to convince S.H.I.E.L.D.
5. Permanent resurrection
The Heroes Reborn storyline of Marvel Comics focused on the aftermath of Marvel’s Onslaught event. The series ended in an epic battle where the Avengers, X-Men, and Fantastic Four went against the titular villain. But when Onslaught changed into a being of pure energy, every hero had seemingly met their fate. But with the use of his mutant powers, Franklin Richards made a pocket universe inside a ball where he recreated the heroes.
The Fantastic Four will probably join MCU in Phase 5. If the Onslaught event is repeated in a movie, Marvel Studios can retcon that Tony and Reed knew each other because of their exceptional intellect as prominent inventors. Marvel Studios can use this as a way for Franklin Richards to know who Stark is and recreate him from what he remembers. It is also possible that Franklin might grow up in a world where Iron Man is known as the Earth’s greatest hero. Franklin can use this knowledge to create a new version of the hero he grew up admiring.
So this is how the MCU can bring Iron Man back into the mix.