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6 reasons why Robert Downey Jr. needs to return as Iron Man

Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man remains one of the most beloved superheroes ever to grace the silver screen. Though Tony Stark sacrificed himself in Avengers: Endgame (one of the best Marvel movies ever), some fans are hopeful that he will return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe at some point during its ongoing Multiverse Saga.

Though it seems unnecessary for this character to return following such a satisfying conclusion to his heroic journey, here’s a list of reasons why RDJ should return to the MCU as Iron Man.

He could appear as a villain

Image used with permission by copyright holder

If Marvel Studios wants to do something different with Iron Man, they could make him or a variant of him appear as a villain under Kang’s control, similar to how Darkseid brainwashes Superman in the DC Extended Universe.

Such a twist has occurred before in the comics, as the variant of Kang known as Immortus (who recently appeared in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania) once manipulated Stark into doing his bidding and fighting the Avengers. Having Earth’s Mightiest Forces be forced to battle one of their strongest and closest allies in the MCU would make for some sinister mind games on Kang’s part and a highlight of his reign.

His genius rivals Kang’s

Tony builds his Iron Man suit in Iron Man 2. Image used with permission by copyright holder

As one of the brightest minds in the MCU, Stark has repeatedly used his intelligence to take down the world’s greatest threats. He built the Arc Reactor, discovered a brand new element, invented time travel, and created a new Infinity Gauntlet to undo Thanos’ Snap.

Considering that Kang’s technology is centuries ahead of the Avengers’, the heroes may need Stark’s intelligence to catch up with this time-traveling tyrant in his war against the Multiverse. While the Fantastic Four’s Reed Richards has a comparably high IQ and will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in the near future, it wouldn’t hurt to have another super genius on the team.

It will attract a lot of fans

Iron flies in the sky in Iron Man.

It’s no secret that Marvel films have had a rough time since the end of the Infinity Saga. The MCU experienced a decline in overall quality as many movies and shows during Phase Four didn’t quite get the reception that Marvel Studios was hoping for. The bad reviews for Kang’s debut film, Quantumania, don’t bode well for the Multiverse Saga going forward, as he’s supposed to be the franchise’s next big bad.

However, having Iron Man come back to join the fight against Kang could help the MCU regain the fans’ faith in the franchise by giving the hero a poetic last stand. Downey is still a draw as Iron Man, and even though recent developments at Disney make it unlikely an Iron Man 4 will ever happen, the box office for whatever MCU movie he appears in would be huge.

It would make Secret Wars even more exciting

The title logo for Avengers: Secret Wars.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Probably the best time to have Tony Stark reappear would be in the MCU’s multiversal epic, Avengers: Secret Wars. Given how the MCU has played with time travel and has introduced heroes from other universes, RDJ’s return could come through Stark being pulled from the past before his death or a variant of him from another universe getting dragged into the conflict with Kang.

Iron Man’s appearance in Secret Wars would make for a triumphant return on par with Endgame’s portals scene or Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s return in No Way Home (readers can already hear the audience’s cheers). The MCU is already planning a similar revival with Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine for Deadpool 3 following his poignant death in Logan, so it doesn’t seem that far-fetched that they would bring Iron Man back one more time.

Stark and Kang are polar opposites

Kang the Conqueror in "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania."
Marvel Studios / Marvel Studios

If Iron Man were to return to the MCU, having him face Kang the Conqueror would make for an interesting clash of titans. Think about it. Both Stark and Kang are extraordinary scientists with hi-tech armor who use their resources to do what they think is best for the world.

Though Stark found a strong reflection in Thanos, Kang may arguably come closer to being his exact opposite. These two geniuses battling over their ideas over how to protect the Multiverse would be the philosophical crux of the entire Multiverse Saga and is a bout fans would die to see.

He inadvertently started the Multiverse Saga

Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

By inventing time travel and going back to 2012 in Endgame, Stark accidentally lets a variant of Loki escape with the Tesseract. This mistake set in motion the events of Loki, which ended with Sylvie killing He Who Remains, fracturing the Sacred Timeline, and recreating an infinite number of Kangs that will wreak havoc on the Multiverse. Though Scott Lang gave the Avengers the tech they needed to build their time machine, in the end, it was Iron Man who set the stage for Kang’s return.

Since he seems to be the cause of most villains appearing in the MCU, it seems fitting for Stark to return to help the Avengers end the chaos he inadvertently unleashed on creation. It would also allow all the Avengers to face the consequences of their tampering with history, even if it was for the right reason, and question if they could be considered real heroes at this point.

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Anthony Orlando
Anthony Orlando is a writer/director from Oradell, NJ. He spent four years at Lafayette College, graduating CUM LAUDE with a…
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