Just like any other beloved franchise, the popularity of Marvel Studios movies has inspired a fandom of shippers to create art, fiction, and more in celebration of their favorite hypothetical couples.
To celebrate Valentine's Day, Robert Downey Jr. provided more material for the shippers out there who want to see Tony Stark settle down with someone special. Check out his social media post below.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all the shippers out there! ❤️😉 pic.twitter.com/VAVwRLDumo— Robert Downey Jr (@RobertDowneyJr) February 14, 2018
While Iron Man isn't the most popular shipping option (to be honest, it's probably Bucky Barnes), that doesn't preclude Downey from getting down with his co-stars.
Stark is obviously paired up with Pepper Potts, but it's nice to see him getting cozy with Captain America and Bruce Banner. Who knows, maybe the Stark Industries power couple are swingers?
In any case, Downey is paying tribute to the passionate fans who use their talents and efforts to partake in a community that celebrates love, whether its depicted on the screen or not. And while most romances are subdued in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or not very well received by the fans (such as Black Widow and Hulk), that doesn't stop the momentum of the community.
Shipping has become a huge part of all fandoms, no matter how weird or unlikely the pairings may be. And as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to grow and grow, the community isn't going to go away any time soon.
We'll likely see Tony Stark and Pepper Potts canoodling once again in Avengers: Infinity War, premiering in theaters on May 4th.