Is MCU Making a Mistake of Epic Proportions by Bringing Iron Man Back for Avengers 5?

Is MCU Making a Mistake of Epic Proportions by Bringing Iron Man Back for Avengers 5?
Image credit: Legion-Media

The MCU has been largely devoid of killed-off superheroes – but the few who have died left a lasting mark.

This is especially true for Robert Downey, Jr. 's Iron Man, whose sacrificial choice led to a victory against Thanos. If rumors of his reappearance in the next Avengers movie are true, Marvel might be making a historically bad mistake.

Iron Man: The Mentor

When Tony died, his legacy still rippled through the MCU. Especially in regards to his protégé Parker Parker/Spider-Man, characters have still been affected post-mortem by Tony's legacy. Peter was forced to mature rapidly in Far From Home, causing him to become the true Avenger Tony had hoped he would be.

With a triumphant return from Tony Stark in a battle against Kang, Peter's characterization can revert back to the child-hero he was in Homecoming. One of the MCU's faces of its future would have negative character development, something that can't happen in a movie as important as Kang Dynasty or Secret Wars.

Iron Man: The Leader

Given Iron Man's death and Captain America's time-traveling retirement happening in the same movie, there's been a gaping hole in Avengers leadership. A few characters have been hinting at taking over the role.

MCU boss Kevin Feige hinted four years ago at Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel's eventual ascension to leader of the Avengers. While that hasn't happened yet, the next team-up movie is a great place to introduce this idea.

Sam Wilson became the new Captain America during the events of Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and he likewise will adopt a leadership role the next time the Avengers gather.

Bringing back a former co-captain of the Avengers when we already have two de facto leaders at the helm would completely derail the emotional stakes and character development of both Danvers and Wilson.

Tony Stark: The Changed Man

Most importantly, Tony Stark spent 15 (in-universe) years growing and changing. He went from warmonger to playboy superhero to egotistical Avenger to a family man who died in his quest for heroism.

If the MCU brings him back, it likely won't be the Earth-616 Stark risen from the dead. It will be a variant of Stark played by Downey, Jr. And there's no way that variant can live up to the expectations.

The version we'll see with either be a perfect hero or a return to the egotistical Stark, both of which will be disappointments. Stark died in the perfect way; Marvel should not ruin it by caving to fan-service.