Back in 2019, Tony Stark made the biggest sacrifice in cinematic history. And it’s safe to say that people haven’t been able to move on from that till now. They’re left asking whether Iron Man could still return to the MCU. Well, with projects like Ironheart, What If…?, Marvel Zombies, and Avengers: Secret Wars headed our way, we can make a safe bet that, yes, there are multiple ways how Iron Man could return.
In the comics, Tony Stark recruited Riri Williams and became his mentor. But after that, he gave her an A.I. that carried his own voice. So, it was like Tony himself was aiding Riri with everything. Something like this could be an interesting concept for the MCU. And Marvel could take this approach. But there are a few issues that reside with this idea!
First of all, anything with Robert Downey Jr. is going to be expensive for the studio. So, even him voicing an A.I. would take a few Million Dollars out of their budget. Hearing his voice might feel good. But someone as legendary as Tony Stark being turned into a minor voice of an A.I. could diminish his character. And you’ve also got to think that the first ones who should have got Tony’s voice-assisted A.I.s are Morgan and Peter. So, how come, Peter, Tony’s true protégé, got an AI like EDITH, but Riri, who has probably never even met Tony, would get one that he voices? It doesn’t make total sense, right? So instead of this, we could look at the second idea.
We reckon a project like Ironheart could benefit from a flashback scene involving Tony Stark! This flashback could be similar to how Tony helped several MIT students by funding their projects back in Civil War. Riri watched an old video of Tony Stark making yet another generous donation to help students like her. But this time, it can be a new and memorable scene that Robert Downey Jr. would shoot. Or one of his newly shot flashback scenes could be used in The Kang Dynasty or Secret Wars.
Tony invented time travel on Earth-616’s sacred timeline. And it is possible that Kang used Tony’s findings for his own time travel explorations. So, a movie like the Kang Dynasty where multiple Kangs are going to be involved could certainly use time travel to bring back its inventor, that is, Tony Stark! The fallen hero could be brought to the present day to help in the battle against Kang. But that would probably create a branched timeline when Tony goes back.
With Secret Wars being a full-on Multiverse movie, we could surely have people like Tony Stark and the other OG Avengers returning as alternate Earth variants. This could be a movie where the OG 6 Avengers reunite once more. And it could finally do something that we expected out of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. What I mean is, we could see Tom Cruise’s Superior Iron Man arrive from Earth-838. And he could team up with Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, who would hail from another Earth. But there’s another interesting idea involving the return of Iron Man.
As a Villain
He Who Remains was the one who strictly stuck to the events of the Sacred Timeline. And this is the timeline where Tony Stark had the utmost importance in the Universe. So maybe other Kangs ought to know that. They would know how Tony was hailed as a hero in the sacred timeline. So to make a sick move against the Avengers, Kang could bring in an evil Tony Stark variant as his right-hand man. And the Avengers would have to fight against someone they thought of as the biggest hero. That would be a big twist even for the viewers as the Infinity Saga’s biggest hero could become the multiverse saga’s biggest villain. There’s no surety that Marvel would use any of these five ideas to revive Tony. We may never see Iron Man in live action again, and many would argue that he shouldn’t return. But there are two following ways through which he will return to the multiverse.
What If…? Season 2
The first season brought back Iron Man multiple times only to kill him off. But in one episode, Tony Stark would have teamed up with Gamora on Nidavellir. This episode was teased when the Watcher selected Gamora as a guardian of the multiverse. It was supposed to happen in season 1, but it hadn’t been finished by then. So, it will be released in season 2, and Tony will return there. He could also be involved in other episodes.
Zombie Iron Man
After What if…?’s Zombie episode, a Marvel Zombies animated series was announced. So this is where we could see the return of Zombie Iron Man. In fact, if you remember, a Zombie Iron Man was also teased back in Far From Home. So wouldn’t it be a cool idea if one part of Battleworld in Avengers: Secret Wars involved Zombies? That’s where we could glimpse a Zombie Iron Man in live-action.
Would you guys like that? What do you think about these ideas involving the return of Iron Man? Let us know whether you’d like to see him return in live action!