The Road to the Endgame Part 4: Iron Man – The Last Stark

Iron Man has been a landmark character for Marvel and a hero for the masses for 11 years now, but unfortunately, his time is coming to an end. With Robert Downey Jr.’s contract currently ending with Avengers: Endgame, this could be the last we see of our last heir to the Stark name. That is unless Tony Stark can finally marry Pepper Potts or have a child of his own. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been setting this up for years now, but Tony Stark’s departure from the franchise is going to be a big event for the actor, character, and future. However, Iron Man hasn’t always been everyone’s favorite character in the MCU because of Captain America: Civil War‘s desire to pull our beloved team apart.

Captain America: Civil War was one of if not the most important “Avengers” film next to Avengers: Infinity War. In Captain America: Civil War, we see our cherished team separated in order to fight for what they really believe in. With Captain America ironically going against his country and wanting freedom, his motivations are clear and his ideology is pure. However, Iron Man has a different point of view on this situation. With Scarlet Witch’s accident in Sokovia claiming many lives, he is convinced that they need to be limited in their abilities in order to reduce collateral damage. Both sides provide fair, accurate, and respectable points, but, ultimately the movie ends with the Avenger’s separating into two sides. The split of Iron Man and Captain America is sad, and thus this allows for Thanos to win in Avengers: Infinity War.

In Avengers: Infinity War we see Iron Man play a crucial role in the fight against Thanos. Tony Stark has been haunted by Thanos since the fight in New York in the first Avengers movie. Ever since the fight, Tony Stark developed post-traumatic stress disorder and an inner desire to protect the world and the ones he loves in it. But while Iron Man fought Thanos he found himself outmatched and underpowered even when he was realistically at his strongest. Using nanotechnology has allowed Iron Man to have the most technically advanced suit so far and yet it wasn’t enough to stop Thanos. Although Iron Man was the only character to draw blood from Thanos, he still wasn’t able to deal with Thanos’ immense power using the Infinity Stones. Losing to Thanos cost Iron Man the closest thing he had to a son in the MCU; Iron Man lost Spider-Man.

Peter Parker has been the closest thing to a son for Tony Stark in the past few films, however, losing him due to the “snap” was a devastating blow to his character. The two heroes have wonderful chemistry and are the closest thing to a father and son duo in the MCU. With Spider-Man’s death, Iron Man must do what he does best and avenge him and all of the other snapped victims. Iron Man needs Captain America on his side to achieve success against Thanos in Avengers: Endgame. These two leaders must work together to find a way to fix the world and bring back those who were lost. Tony Stark owes this to Spider-Man, Aunt May, Pepper Potts, and the world.

Losing his “son” not only devastated Iron Man, but it surely will have changed his motivations between Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Tony Stark is the last living Stark and his change from billionaire playboy to world-saving superhero is surely awe-inspiring but he needs to face the fact that he is getting old and needs to eventually settle down with Pepper Potts. In order to pass the torch to the new generation of heroes, Iron Man must retire or die trying to protect the world. Both of these options are very realistic for the character as we’ve seen the changes he’s gone through over his many film appearances of the years. Iron Man’s last mission is to defeat the Mad Titan who’s been haunting him for years even if it costs him his life in the end.

Why Avengers: Infinity War Matters to Me

Ten years ago I attended a showing of Iron Man with my Dad and ever since I’ve been enthralled by the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Seeing Iron Man come to life on the big screen was such a revolutionary experience for me, so much so that I made an effort to see every movie they put out on opening night. Only missing The Incredible Hulk and Thor, I went on to see 17 movies within 24 hours of release. Each movie brought something new to the table, especially the films in Phase Two. However, last month saw the release of ten year’s worth of universe building come together to form Avengers: Infinity War.

Avengers: Infinity War was something I’ve been looking forward to ever since the announcement was made in 2014. After four years of waiting, I was finally able to see Infinity War on opening night. Seeing Infinity War after 4 years of waiting, was well worth the wait. Every character and scene felt like it earned its place on the screen and every joke filled the theatre with laughter and joy. Even with the movie’s uncertain and fairly grim ending, I still walked out enjoying seeing my childhood converge into one giant movie. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has taken me on a wild ride with Captain America being my favorite Avenger until Thor: Ragnarok and Infinity War where I noticed Thor is a major standout after his transition to becoming a comedic hero. Seeing Thor arrive in Wakanda for the final battle is perhaps my favorite scene from any Marvel movie, which says a lot when compared to scenes from Civil WarAnt-Man, and Ragnarok.

However, this experience wasn’t necessarily about the movie itself. My Dad and I continued to see as many movies in theatres since Iron Man in 2008. With the eventual inclusion of my brother, the three of us spent quality time seeing these films over 10 years. We made time to see every movie on opening night even in different states such as Colorado, Maryland, Virginia, and Florida. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has brought my family together through memorable comedic and action scenes over 10 years. Seeing our favorite’s like Iron Man and Captain America fight each other, seeing Captain America almost lift Thor’s hammer: Mjolnir, and even when the Hulk swung Loki into the ground several times in The Avengers.

Avengers: Infinity War is what I’ve always wanted from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, however, the memories associated with the franchise are what really set this movie apart. I cannot wait until next year to see how the Russo Brothers conclude Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Avengers 4.