From the second the credits rolled on Avengers: Endgame, fans have been hoping that Marvel Studios have some type of plan for bringing Iron Man back into the fold. One fan has an idea about how the Russos could have pulled a major fake-out on audiences when Tony Stark made his last big act of sacrifice near the end of the film. What if the third snap wasn't the last that audiences would ever see of Iron Man? People are hopeful that this isn't the end, but how would a cover-up like that even work?
This emotional redditor explains that we never saw Stark's body during the funeral scene or any time after the conclusion of the immense battle that brought the Infinity Saga to a close. All audiences got was Pepper Potts telling her husband that it was okay and that "they would be okay" before the film shows the arc reactor in Iron Man's chest powering down for one last time. But, as previous films have established, the arc reactors haven't been keeping him alive in the same way that they did in earlier films.
This all allows for the possibility that the gut-wrenching scene there on the battlefield is some elaborate bait and switch and Tony Stark is off somewhere living the quiet life that became his biggest desire over the course of the film. But, Joe Russo sounded pretty resolute about the question of a returning Iron Man during An Evening with Joe Russo, a live Q&A hosted by ComicBook.com's Brandon Davis. He claims there is no way that the character will return in the foreseeable future.
“Tony’s dead, you know?" Russo explained. "That’s it for Robert. He’s done.”
That seems pretty definitive, but Avengers: Endgame co-writer Christopher Markus added his two cents on a possible Iron Man return in a recent interview.
"That’s the life he’s been striving for, Markus said. "Are he and Pepper going to get together? Yes. They got married, they had a kid, it was great. It’s a good death. It doesn’t feel like a tragedy. It feels like a heroic, finished life."
For now, it looks like Tony Stark has taken his final bow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but nothing is ever really over in the world of superheroes. Skrull walk among normal humans now in these movies, so anything is possible.
Fans might just have to wait and hope that everything will work out exactly as it is supposed to.