With less than a week to go until Avengers: Endgame finally premieres in theaters, it's only a short wait until Marvel Studios unveils the highly anticipated climax to the decade long Infinity Saga. And every piece of new footage coming out over the last month raises more and more questions, especially when it comes to Iron Man.
We know that Tony Stark will make it back to Earth with Nebula, reuniting with Pepper Potts and the rest of Earth's Mightiest Heroes. But set photos and a brand new TV spot show Stark wearing SHIELD clothing, which raises a lot of questions about the future (and past) of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
SHIELD has since been dismantled in the MCU at this point, though a less robust version has operated in the shadows on ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. — but let's be honest, the MCU doesn't really acknowledge anything from that series as part of the big screen continuity.
Why is Stark wearing clothing with the SHIELD logo? Is this just a leftover from Captain Marvel's adventure on Earth, or does this signify something a major change in the post-Snap world after Avengers: Infinity War?
SHIELD being reformed would not be a surprising response to the events of Infinity War, and we could see someone like Tony Stark playing a role in a new version of the organization. But what if something else is at play here, something that ties into the theories that have dominated the discourse surrounding Avengers: Endgame over the last few months?
Many fans and critics believe Earth's Mightiest Heroes will attempt to harness Dr. Hank Pym's technology in hopes of traversing the Quantum Realm, possibly utilizing Ant-Man's knowledge in hopes of traveling through time. They might be going to the past to find the Infinity Stones before Thanos could gather them and reverse the damage wrought by the Snap, or they could be doing something else entirely.
Set photos from Avengers: Endgame showed heroes like Ant-Man, Captain America, Hulk, and Iron Man on the site of the Battle of New York, though they're all wearing the newest iteration of their costumes. Stark, also, is not fully clad in his Iron Man costume but is instead wearing the same SHIELD track suit we see in this TV spot. So what's the significance, if there is any to be had?
It could be a way for Tony Stark to maneuver in this environment more easily, under the radar, as Iron Man continues to fight the Chitauri in skies of New York City. Stark could easily play it off like someone else is in the suit — a bodyguard or maybe even a drone — while he helps SHIELD forces on the ground.
This would be a good explanation so Stark can actually get what he needs; an Infinity Stone or two, as both the Tesseract and Loki's scepter are present during the battle of New York. We also know from the set photos that Stark comes into contact with Loki, who has been taken into SHIELD custody, possibly in hopes of learning more about these powerful devices,
Whatever the case, I think we discovered even more evidence of time travel and possibly learned of Tony Stark's attempts to secure two Infinity Stones while visiting the past.
We'll find out when Avengers: Endgame premieres in theaters on April 26th.