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18 Fan’s Theories About Iron Man That Give You Retrospective

Since Tony Stark’s final, heroic farewell in Avengers: Endgame (spoiler! ), we’ve been left with a void the size of an Infinity Stone in our hearts (or Arc Reactors, perhaps). Iron Man appeared in nine Marvel Cinematic Universe episodes, including three solo features. Tony’s trademark goatee and tinted specs will always be missed, but thankfully, there are some fantastic fan theories to keep his legacy alive.

Some theorists believe he continued to save the day after Endgame by appearing in Far From Home as E.D.I.T.H. Others think Thanos was particularly concerned about Tony Stark because he misunderstood Iron Man’s actual capability. Another rumor that Howard Stark fed his son super-soldier serum at an early age may support those theories. To Gain more interesting fan-made theories about Tony Stark, scroll down and see 18 more of them.

1. The Evolution Of Iron Man’s Suits

Source: Marvel Studio

From Redditor /u/meme_abstinent: “I see a lot of comments on content having to do with Iron-Man’s suits, pointing out how borderline invulnerable they were at first, and eventually got weak. Point to Iron-Man one where he walks off a tank blast to Civil War where Cap does ample amounts of damage with his bare hands and shield.

My logic behind how this is possible is simple.

Stark trades in durability for speed and focuses on making his suits more capable throughout the MCU.

Take Iron-Man one. The Iron-Man suit was a suit of armor initially and had very limited capabilities combat-wise.

Iron-Man 2, we see Tony take damage easier but has lasers, missiles, machine guns, etc.

Iron-Man 3 and almost most noticeably, his suits take the most damage (breaks by a van slamming into it) but now his suits can come to him, fight on their own I.E autopilot, and are made, sometimes, with specific purposes.

This method begins to pay off, as Stark begins playing with nano-tech in Civil War. Ultimately, his suits reach maximum durability through this experimentation, as the Iron-Man suit is capable of withstanding concentrated energy blasts from the Power Stone in Infinity War.

I also feel Stark purposefully ditches so much armor on his suit because he knows he’s better with his suits. Tony knows that with more and more use with his suits, he’s becoming better at flying and dodging and fighting. This is illustrated perfectly in Civil War and Infinity War as he dodges, blocks, and is now doing complex flips and spins mid-flight.”

2. The Reason Falcon Says “I’m Sorry” To Iron Man

Source: Marvel Studio

From Redditor /u/fmgeffagy: “I was rewatching Winter Soldier today and when Cap comes to meet Sam at the veterans center he asks him if he “lost” someone. Sam responds in the affirmative and says “my wingman”, going on to tell Cap how he lost him in a routine flight operation and had to watch as he fell to the ground, without being able to help. (Of course, at this point we assume they were both in aircraft/fighter jets and don’t know the two of them literally had a pair of wings each).

This exact scenario plays out for Tony in Civil War when Vision misfires, hitting War Machine, and Tony can do nothing but watch his wingman crash into the ground. Sam immediately lands, assuming the worst and knowing how Tony must be feeling. Of course, Tony doesn’t react particularly well.

Not a particularly revealing theory but definite deliberate mirroring in the first two films by the Russos.

Agree/disagree? Would love to hear your thoughts.”

3. Black Sabbath’s ‘Iron Man’ Reflects Tony Stark’s Story

Source: Marvel Studio

From Redditor /u/Cl0verl0rd: “In the original Iron Man movie from 2008, the song is played over the end credits, and kind of spoils the MCU until Age of Ultron. The plot of the song goes, “”Iron Man” is about a man who travels to the future and witnesses the Apocalypse. On his way back, he is caught in Earth’s magnetic field and turned to steel. When he comes back, he tries to warn the people about the Apocalypse, but they do not believe him and shun him, so he takes his revenge by killing them all, thus bringing about the Apocalypse he saw.”

So here is my connection

Avengers: Tony sees the massive fleet of aliens ready to destroy the earth through the portal, he makes it back to earth but just barely, almost getting trapped in space. He sees the Apocalypse and is sent back to earth through a portal, resembling the magnetic field.

Iron Man 3: He develops PTSD, and, knowing the capability of the alien forces, becomes paranoid. His best friend and girlfriend don’t get why he’s acting this way. People do not understand his worries.

Avengers: Age of Ultron: Tony warns his fellow Avengers about what could happen if the aliens or some other force from space comes to earth, nobody but Banner listens to him and together they create Ultron, designed to protect the earth. However, Ultron (almost) brings about the apocalypse. He warns about the oncoming danger and isn’t listened to. He (with Banner) builds the very thing that almost ends all life on earth.”

4. Harley Keener Was Implied To Be Tony’s Successor

Source: Marvel Studio

From Redditor /u/derstherower: “Harley Keener (the kid from Iron Man 3) was supposed to fill the Spider-Man role until the Sony deal went through. He was going to be the Iron Lad and be the young hero mentored by Tony Stark that Peter Parker eventually became (Endgame Spoilers).

I believe that originally, Harley was going to fulfill the role that Peter Parker eventually took. Namely, a “sidekick” and surrogate son for Tony to mentor. There are several reasons I believe this.

Ty Simpkins (Harley’s actor) is signed for a three-film deal in the MCU. Seems a bit much for a character that would otherwise be a one-off. There was a good deal of buildup regarding Harley being a tinkerer like Tony, and there is a lot of development given to there being a father/son relationship between them. I remember that for a while after Iron Man 3 there was a lot of speculation as to when he would return, not if because it seemed like a given that he would.”

5. Time Travel Molded Tony Stark

Source: Marvel Studio

From Redditor /u/WhoisJohnFaust: “Ok, so Howard Stark was a founder of Shield and a genius. In Endgame, Howard meets Tony and they have a conversation (the deleted scene also helps this case when Howard asks Tony to come work for him and Tony says he is working in “futures”) about his upcoming fatherhood. But Tony looks enough like his younger self in the BARF simulation, that there is a good chance that Howard (at some point) recognizes that Tony will one day become the man that he met; even if he can’t explain how.

This would have large implications for what we know about the history of the MCU. It means that, as Tony grew up and Howard sees his brilliant son be the young Tony Stark we know, he begins to figure out that Tony is that guy he met all those years ago and will become a hero. All of a sudden, this changes how Shield may have formed with Howard knowing that something bad is coming and that he will have to advance science as much as he can to ready the world for his son.

It changes how we can view Howard’s invention of the new element and his statement that “you are my greatest creation” speech. He may have even recognized Cap once he is able to sit and reflect on what he saw.

Now things like the way Howard used to talk about Cap to Tony make complete sense, he is trying to tell his son “this is the best man I have ever known, trust him because you two are going to do something amazing together.” The more I think of it, the more I find little hints that just maybe, Howard was preparing Tony from a very early age and that inadvertently molded Tony into the exact opposite of what he saw Cap as… which exactly what he needed.”

6. Thanos Respects Tony

Source: Marvel Studio

From Redditor /u/atradayse: “After watching Infinity War multiple times, the point where Thanos recognizes Tony Stark is one of my favorite parts. When asked, Thanos says he does know Tony because he’s also cursed with knowledge.

A lot of people have pointed to Tony foiling Thanos’s plans in New York in the first Avengers as the reason why Thanos knows Stark. This is a pretty easy theory and maybe partially true. It’s even brought up a few times in the movie. Banner refers to Thanos as the guy that did New York. Tony references how Thanos has been in his head for years via PTSD.

But to be honest I don’t like this theory and doesn’t really make sense. Thanos has been known to send other people to do his dirty work and they fail him. Loki is one of them and while Tony played the largest part, it was the Avengers that took down Loki, yet he doesn’t recognize anyone else. Even if he does…say Thor (Which we don’t know if he did recognize him), he doesn’t show the same respect that he shows to Tony.”

7. Tony Stark Took Scott Lang Aback

Source: Marvel Studio

From Redditor /u/sush_dak: “Hear me out, mates.

Scott Lang has no idea about the events of Infinity War. All he knows is that Captain America and his team are on the run from the government and the only legal Avengers (according to the Sokovia accords) are Iron Man, Spider-Man, War machine, Vision, and maybe Black Panther. Who he might find in the headquarters.

So when he comes out of the quantum realm and discovers that his friends have disappeared. He rushes to the Avengers headquarters to get help or information from Tony Stark.

Proof:- 1. He keeps introducing himself as Ant-Man. We are certain that Steve Rogers and their friends know him well.

2. In civil war when Tony comes to the prison to visit the captured avengers, he refuses to recognize Scott Lang. Hence Scott Lang keeps introducing himself as Ant-Man.

Conclusion:- Scott Lang expected Tony Stark or the pro- Sokovia Accords Avengers in the Headquarters.”

8. Why Tony Stark Loves AC/DC

Source: Marvel Studio

From Redditor /u/SaberNoble47: “Tony’s got demons. He deals with them as best he can. Maybe he liked AC/DC before his convoy got hit, but after? Afterward I bet he’s got AC/DC in his soul. How could he not? He died and was reborn that day. And that’s what I hear now when AC/DC surfaces in those movies. Who else knows that music was playing when they were attacked? Nobody.

I think he blasts AC/DC for everyone, but the real reason is private, for tony and for us. It’s a wound, it’s armor, it’s a reminder. We know what happens to him sticks with his character across the movies (the “peace sign” photos, his parents, the NYC attack, and the portal run he made).”

9. Tony Stark Stops The Weapons Race

Source: Marvel Studio

From Redditor /u/reenactment:I forgot which movie it was but they talked about how the stronger the Avengers get, the greater the threat to their world and the universe gets. My theory is that Iron Man had a direct correlation with this arms race accelerating. At first, we see his tech directly accelerating a personal arms race, then a city-wide arms race, then country-wide capable of destruction. This ramps up all the way until we get to the Age of Ultron where Tony’s tech is supposed to defend the world but is also capable of destroying it. This launches us into the age of Thanos.

Everyone gets exponentially stronger during this period up until the end fight where both Thanos and Iron Man die. We get a minor reset in the timeline until what I believe is that his daughter comes of age. Let’s say she’s around 4-5. The next spike in universal struggle will be when she’s around 15-18 and becomes a prodigy that takes over the Iron Man (Ironwoman) and Stark mantle and those like Spider-Man will have to step up again and defend the world/universe from the next existential threat.

Maybe this isn’t as much of a theory as identification of causation but I believe we have a gap in the technological growth that can be achieved at rapid speeds without a stark on the map. Yes, Wakanda has future tech. But we don’t know how fast they accelerate that tech. Tony and his father were developing things at such rapid speeds that it caused difficulties as well. (Both positives and negatives)”

10. The Iron Man 3000

Source: Marvel Studio

From Redditor /u/justaminordebt: “I’m sure this is very on the nose, but I haven’t seen it mentioned too much, so I figured I’d post.

I think Morgan Stark will star in her own standalone film titled Iron Man 3000. The character will succeed Peter Parker as a high school-aged superhero, and Peter Parker will mentor her with his experience in the same role while he’s aging out.

There is the foreshadowing of Morgan taking on the mantle by wearing the Rescue helmet and establishing a relationship with Happy.”

11. Even was dead, Tony Stark Still Is The Hero Of ‘Far From Home

Source: Marvel Studio

From Redditor /u/Joshieboy_Clark: “In Spider-Man: FFH, Peter is given a pair of AI glasses from Tony Stark. These AI glasses are a huge part of the plot since it has billions of dollars worth of security protocols loaded into it. They were originally meant for Peter to use to keep Earth safe from any potential threat since Iron Man is no more.

When Peter first uses these AI glasses we learn the AI’s name is E.D.I.T.H., which is an acronym for “Even Dead, I’m The Hero”. A very bitter-sweet, Tony Stark-ish joke that encapsulates Tony’s personality very well.

In the end of the film, Mysterio uses E.D.I.T.H. for his great illusion to look like a hero in front of the world. After Spider-Man stops him and Mysterio dies by his own hand, the glasses are returned to Peter and the end of the movie is carried out. Peter gets the girl and they swing off into the sunset. Happy ending, right?

That is, until the Mid-Credit’s scene.You all know what happened. Mysterio’s team sent out footage to the Daily Bugle revealing Spider-Man’s identity. Not only this, but Mysterio’s team doctored the footage to make it appear as though Spider-Man is evil, ordering drone strikes and murdering Mysterio.

Though it didn’t go down how he originally intended it to, Mysterio still achieved his ultimate goal.

Even Dead, I’m The Hero.”

12. The Reason Tony Stark Fights Hand-To-Hand

Source: Marvel Studio

From Redditor /u/noobmaster69_is_loki: “We all know the aerial and destructive capabilities of an Iron Man suit aka War Machine. With these advantages, Tony can pretty much just carpet bomb his opponent and levitates in safe distance. So why in almost every fight (especially later on in the franchise) did Iron Man choose to fight hand to hand? The answer I believe is because of his admiration towards Captain America and the desire to imitate his and his dad’s hero.”

13. The Reason Thanos Is Really Afraid Of Iron Man

Source: Marvel Studio

From Redditor /u/benthevining: “I believe it goes back to the O. G. Avengers movie — Tony was the one who delivered the nuke through the wormhole to destroy the Chitauri army (that Thanos sent)!

I will assume that Thanos didn’t have in-depth knowledge/awareness of the existence of nuclear technology prior to this event — because, why would he, and also bc we have no evidence that he does. With that assumption made, let’s look at this one event from Thanos’s perspective: you’ve just sent a massive army to invade New York City, and they’ve only just started to make their big mess….

when all of a sudden, a guy in a metal suit he built himself flies right toward your entire army through the wormhole you opened and f*ckin YEETS a tv-sized metal package toward your army, which proceeds to cause the biggest explosion you have ever witnessed, destroying your entire army INSTANTLY. All by himself. Within, what, only like an hour or two of this massive-scale alien invasion starting?

So, my theory is that when Thanos encountered Tony on Titan, he believed that Tony possessed the ability to end the fight instantly by ripping his body’s atoms apart and smiting him where he stood with ungodly levels of radiation — because that’s exactly what Tony did to the Chitauri, though Thanos, of course, doesn’t know that Tony didn’t actually create the 2012 nuke.”

14. Ben Parker In ‘Iron Man’

Source: Marvel Studio

From Redditor /u/CnosOriginality: “During the press conference scene, Tony calls on a reporter he names “Ben.” Retroactively, Spiderman 3 could explain that Ben Parker was a journalist with the Daily Bugle.

Peter working at a newspaper hasn’t been established yet, so if they go that route in SM3 they could use Ben’s previous employment at the Bugle as Peter’s drive for getting a job there.

Just a fun little theory!”

15. Iron Man’s Suit Is Made Of Uru

Source: Marvel Studio

From Redditor /u/Sophtdrink: “This theory is specifically related to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, not the comic books.

I believe the element Tony was able to rediscover, and the element Howard knew about but couldn’t create is none other than Uru, the metal used to make such objects like Mjolnir, Stormbreaker, and the Infinity Gauntlet. We see a drastic improvement in Stark Tech following Iron Man 2, and I believe Uru metal answers a lot of otherwise extremely convenient features of the Iron Man suit and Stark Tech in general.

I’ve seen the argument that the element he discovers is Vibranium, though I don’t believe this is the case. Ultron, a creation of Tony’s, specifically looks for Vibranium metal, and you’d think if he knows everything about Tony, he’d know that his suits contained Vibranium and would have taken some of Tony’s Vibranium instead of dealing with Ulysses Klaw. Also, while Jarvis is looking for a suitable replacement for the Palladium core, he explained that he had tried every known combination of elements.

This would have included several attempts with Vibranium, as Vibranium was discovered as early as the 1940’s as shown in Captain America: The First Avenger.”

16. Tony Derived Super Soldier Serum From His Dad

Source: Marvel Studio

From Redditor /u/Qw3rty_The_Fish: “Before getting into the theory here is some evidence showing that Tony Stark is not a typical human being, which sparked my thoughts on this theory. I also want to add that I haven’t personally seen this theory discussed before but I have read posts and theories about Tony Stark himself and why he hasn’t reproduced the Super Soldier Serum (see here).

In Iron Man (2008), Tony survives getting shrapnel across his chest and undergoing an impromptu surgery. It might be redundant to state this given that everyone is aware of Iron Man’s origins but consider it.

Tony, for all intents and purposes, should have died from either 1) getting metal into his heart 2) blood loss 3) infections after the surgery (we don’t know much about where his surgery took place but I assume it was the cave he was in and the flashback sequences do not make it seem like he was in the most sanitary of conditions)….and yet he didn’t.”

17. Iron Man’s Arc Reactor Is Made From Infinity Stones

Source: Marvel Studio

From Redditor /u/MrSelfDestruct97: “I think I’ve got a pretty good theory/explanation for this. In Iron Man, when Tony creates his first arc reactor with Yinsen in the caves, he explains his use of the Palladium core, we also learn that the large arc reactor at Stark Industries was created in the ’70s by Howard Stark and Anton Vanko in the hopes of discovering “renewable clean energy”, but was unable to “synthesize” and seen as a dead end.

In Iron Man 2, we see that the use of Palladium has essentially poisoned Tony and is slowly killing him, sparking his search for a new alloy to replace it. He finds this new “element” hidden in his father’s “City of the Future” model for the future Stark Expo.

We know this “new element” was something that Howard had long sought to replicate and create, but for some reason couldn’t due to the “limitations of (his) time”, we also know that it isn’t vibranium, since it’s most certainly classed as a “new element” and everyday people in the MCU seem to be well aware that vibranium exists (per Captain America: The First Avenger, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Black Panther and Spider-Man: Homecoming), it’s just extremely rare.”

18. Jarvis Is The Real Iron Man

Source: Marvel Studio

From Redditor /u/Jetsam5:

“For the sake of simplicity, I will refer to all of Tony’s AIs as Jarvis. While re-watching the Iron Man movies I noticed a couple of things that suggest that Jarvis is actually doing far more work than he is given credit for. During the creation of the Mark 3 armor, Tony just gives Jarvis some rather vague specs for his new armor (including color) and Jarvis creates a render of this new armor within seconds even designing the iconic Iron Man look.

Jarvis even suggests a few improvements of his own and automatically assembles the suit, this leads me to believe that Jarvis has much more autonomy when designing the suits then we are led to believe. Jarvis seems fully capable of designing the armor himself with minimal input from Tony and as an AI he can probably design them far better than Tony can. I think that the reason Tony was able to build a time machine so quickly was that Jarvis(Friday) was doing most of the work with Tony just throwing out suggestions.

I believe that Jarvis also controls the armor most of the time.”

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