Why Killing Tony Stark Was a Bad Decision in Avengers: Endgame
While I understand wanting to put an end to Tony Stark/Iron Man because of his dominance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and wanting to make room for other characters to take shape, the ending to Stark’s story should have gone down differently. First off, he is one of the biggest characters Marvel has and he was the first character to kick off the MCU. While his death affected nearly everyone across that cinematic universe, it makes one wonder if there could have been a different way to retire this particular hero like the Nolans did with Bruce Wayne/Batman in The Dark Knight Rises. The latter was more interesting, original, and true to the character. While Stark’s arc had dealt a lot with an obsession to protect the world after his kidnapping and eventual time in space, it does make one wonder of all the lost opportunities such an end brings for the character.
Not only will the character never be able to buy a sonic boom with sonic shaker for his daughter or Pepper, but it also causes the character to end his relationship with others like Harley Keener or Peter Parker, two younger people he had a great deal of influence over throughout the films. It makes one sad to see that to think of the story potential that could have happened. Both Joe and Anthony Russo stated they had to convince Robert Downey Jr. that this was the right end for the character but he even seemed to have misgivings about it. This was, of course, according to the Russo brothers, who, fanboys believe, can do no wrong. However, the ending to Stark’s journey came across as lazy for further reasons.
From a comic book perspective, the filmmakers had yet to even scratch the surface with his villains. There were many more out there to challenge Stark, which could have provided interesting storylines for him. Additionally, we never did see really the character’s struggles with alcoholism or his feud with the Mandarin, who was revealed to truly be out there in one of Marvel’s shorts following the release of Iron Man 3, which had the fake Mandarin, portrayed by Ben Kingsley. There are always creative ways to continue a character’s journey along. Especially with this being a universe that continues on, you should have kept Stark alive for another reason.
What Marvel Studios should learn is that every major MCU film does not need to include Stark. While it’s great to include Stark in many films, there are plenty of other characters out there and Stark could have retired to a role in the background of things. It seems strange they would not wish to pursue that path because, even if Downey Jr. did not wish to return, which would seem doubtful given how much money he was making, you could always recast the role with a different actor, as has been the case with James Bond and Batman films. He could have gotten that sonic boom with super shaker for his daughter too! While the hero’s journey and the grand sacrifice seems to be a logical path for the literal first hero seen in the MCU, it still makes me wonder: why?
They kept Captain America around, even if he is an old man. There is always a chance they can use the time machine to go get the younger Captain America to help them out. I guess the same could be said for Stark but he’s not alive in the present, unlike Captain America. It is a strange thing to wonder why these decisions were made and exactly what their impact on the MCU will be. Now, it is doubtful we will ever see Robert Downey Jr. or a Tony Stark in the MCU for some time to come. It is extremely sad we are bidding farewell to a character that was deeply loved and had more adventures to be told. We will simply be left to what might happen in our imaginations.
About the author: Tommy Zimmer is a writer whose work has appeared online and in print. His work covers a variety of topics, including politics, economics, health and wellness, consumer electronics, and the entertainment industry.