There are a lot of small moments and quotes in Avengers: Infinity War, and likely also in Avengers: Endgame, that tie together the stories of Thanos and Tony Stark. This is obviously intentional, as Iron Man has long been worried about the "threat above," and about what his legacy will look like after he's gone. Plenty of these are direct links to Captain America: Civil War, the first Avengers movie, or even the original Iron Man. However, one of the most quotable lines that Thanos delivered in Infinity War actually ties to a scene in Iron Man 2, and we completely overlooked it.
Iron Man 2 is often considered one of the few not-so-great movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so it's not revisited quite as much as the other films. This could be the reason why this small, but significant connection has flown mostly under the radar.
Think back to Whiplash attack at the beginning of Iron Man 2. After the villain is arrested, he is taken to jail where he's visited by Tony, who straight up asks him what the point of the attack was. There was no way he could just walk out into public, kill a bunch of people with electric whips, and leave the scene with no consequence. What was the point?
The answer that Whiplash gave Tony clearly stuck with him for years after this meeting. The villain replied, "If you can make a God bleed, people will cease to believe in him."
Whiplash was essentially saying that the people thought of Iron Man as indestructible, a hero that couldn't be touched. If there was a way to show the people that Iron Man was vulnerable, their faith in him would lessen. Whiplash did just that.
Now, fast-forward to the final act of Avengers: Infinity War. Tony and an entire team of heroes fights Thanos on Titan for an extended period of time, and they have very minimal success. However, at one point in the fight, Tony does draw blood from Thanos, which causes him to chuckle. "All that for a drop of blood?"
Thanos knew that Tony could not defeat him. In all honesty, a part of Tony knew that, too. When Thanos delivered this line it was meant to be a sarcastic cut at Tony's efforts. But it likely didn't have that effect on Iron Man. Like Whiplash suggested all those years ago, Tony was able to prove, even if only to himself, that Thanos was mortal and could in fact be beaten. After watching all of his comrades disappear into dust, Tony could find hope in the fact that he caused Thanos to bleed, therefore he is confident there is a way to defeat him.
There's no telling what will happen in Avengers: Endgame, but Tony is going to have to help lead the charge against the Mad Titan, in one final push to try and restore order to the universe. Thanks to Whiplash, he has all the motivation he needs.
Avengers: Endgame hits theaters on April 26th.
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