Black Panther: Wakanda Forever introduces the perfect Iron Man replacement, meaning Marvel don’t need to bring back Robert Downey., Jr.
This article contains spoilers for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.Marvel has no need to bring Robert Downey, Jr. back again after Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. It’s impossible to imagine the MCU succeeding without the casting of Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark, star of 2008’s Iron Man. Downey left the MCU in 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, with Iron Man sacrificing his life to defeat Thanos. Since then, there’s been a notable Iron-Man-sized hole in the MCU, leading to constant calls for Marvel to find a way to bring him back.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever means that’s no longer necessary. The latest MCU blockbuster introduces viewers to the character of Riri Williams, played by Dominique Thorne, and it doesn’t take her long to suit up in her prototype Ironheart armor. Riri has everything that made Stark a success; she’s quick-witted, intelligent enough to reverse-engineer Stark technology while studying at MIT, and the first two different iterations of her armor are seriously impressive. Ironheart’s origin in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever deliberately mirrors Stark’s, complete with an amusing scene in which she flies too high and falls unconscious – reminiscent of Iron Man’s first flight. The Iron Man gap has now been filled.
RDJ’s Iron Man Returning Would Be Too Big A Risk To His Endgame Death
Iron Man’s return would risk insulting his death in Avengers: Endgame. This was one of the most emotionally powerful scenes in the MCU to date, in large part because viewers have come to care so much about Tony Stark. The two themes of family and sacrifice wove together throughout his character arc, and they built to a climax in the crowning film of the MCU’s Phase 3 slate; Stark finally received his “Happily Ever After,” a family of his own, settling down and raising his daughter. He chose to risk all that by trying to save the world, ultimately going up against Thanos once again, and it’s important to remember he was the only Avenger to understand what could go wrong. “Told you,” Stark noted to Captain America and Thor when he saw the returned Thanos. “We messed with time. Time messed back.“
It’s easy to see why some viewers want Iron Man back. The character was tremendously popular, and it’s impossible to imagine any actor playing the part as well as Robert Downey, Jr. What’s more, death is nothing but a temporary inconvenience in the comics. But the cinematic medium is different to comics, in that change and evolution are baked into the format; actors age and move on, meaning characters are either recast or – in the case of Tony Stark – must die. This means the MCU can realize the potential of legacy far more effectively than the comics themselves. Ironheart, whose…