Avengers 6 Is The Perfect Chance For The MCU To Use The Iron Man Armor Too Horrifying For Tony Stark

Custom image of Tony Stark looking startled in frront of an image of Howard Stark Sr's armor from Marvel Comics

The Multiverse Saga has opened up countless narrative possibilities for the MCU, including the opportunity to debut an Iron Man armor too horrifying for Tony Stark in Avengers: Secret Wars. Tony Stark’s death and Captain America’s retirement was a turning point for the MCU as it embarked on a brand-new saga without two of its most popular stars. Unfortunately, the MCU has been struggling with their absence. Now the MCU timeline is halfway through the Multiverse Saga, it is safe to say that the first half was decidedly more lackluster than hoped.

Despite this, excitement is beginning to build steam as the Multiverse Saga’s climactic movie, Avengers: Secret Wars, draws ever closer. This is partly due to the expectation that it will bring together myriad variants from other Marvel universes, indulging in a healthy amount of fan service by bringing back long-dead characters while setting up a potential soft reboot for the MCU in general. Yet there is also plenty of scope for the climactic movie to go wild with variants and concepts that could never have debuted in the Infinity Saga – with the most horrifying Iron Man armor being among them.

Avengers 6’s Multiverse Is A Perfect Setup For A Horrifying Version Of Iron Man Armor

Iron Man's cyborg Grandpa exposes his mechanical innards

Iron Man’s versatile suits of armor are indicative of Tony Stark’s status as a modern Da Vinci, as he caters to every eventuality with myriad features and designs. Aside from perhaps the domineering Hulkbuster armor and his misguided creation of Ultron, Tony is rarely associated with horrific creations that put his humanity into question. It would seem that this role falls instead to his grandfather, Howard Stark Sr., who in Ultimate Armor Wars #4 showcased his cyborg suit: a large suit of armor that has replaced most of his body and organs with machinery to keep him alive.

Howard Star Sr. comes from Marvel’s Ultimate universe – AKA Earth-1610 – which is the same universe that Marvel Comics’ Miles Morales is from.

While this is macabre enough, it is Howard Stark Sr.’s “legion” of smaller suits where the true horror lies, as he decides to power these robots with three dog brains apiece. This madcap design is like something out of a body horror movie, and far beyond anything that the decidedly more virtuous Tony would dream up. It is no wonder the MCU did not visit this particular storyline in the Infinity Saga, but it stands to reason that this design exists somewhere in the Multiverse, and Avengers: Secret Wars would be the perfect place for it to debut.

Using Iron Man’s Most Disturbing Armor Would Avoid A Major MCU Problem

Jonathan Majors' Rama-Tut Kang variant at the end of Ant-Man and the Wasp Quantumania

The MCU has barely capitalized on the implications of the multiverse. While Loki debuted such outlandish variants as Alligator Loki, the variants that have thus far appeared in MCU movies closely resemble the Earth-616 “original.” This includes two universes that feature an identical Maria Rambeau, a plethora of X-Men ripped straight from Fox’s X-Men franchise, and an entire Council of Kangs played by the exact same actor; which has now made Jonathan Majors’ departure even more complicated. Additionally, their personalities remain pretty consistent. An Iron Man wielding this horrific armor, however, would be a substantial departure from Earth-616’s Tony.

Introducing variants that resemble the Earth-616 counterpart can feel like a wasted opportunity – though it undoubtedly helps to curb confusion regarding the narrative and works on a practical level. Yet there is now enough distance between the time Iron Man was last seen and now for the MCU to get away with introducing a particularly outlandish Iron Man variant. With that in mind, the MCU should also re-cast the role of Tony Stark, but for more than that one reason.

Iron Man’s Most Horrifying Armor Could Be A Perfect Way To Bring The Character Back Without RDJ

Tony Stark ready for the Time Heist in Avengers Endgame

A Tony Stark variant played by Robert Downey Jr specifically would be the most surefire way for Marvel to diminish the effects of his death. Furthermore, it would set a major precedent that death doesn’t matter in the context of the Multiverse. This major development came to define an era, and Tony Stark’s MCU journey in particular, meaning a retcon in the form of multiversal shenanigans might feel both cheap and disappointing. On the other hand, depicting a story centered on the multiverse without featuring a single Iron Man variant seems unreasonable.

Debuting a new Iron Man that may star in a possible MCU reboot is one way to get around this, but so is introducing Howard Stark Sr. Additionally, having the role of Iron Man filled by a morally questionable and unquestionably off-putting stand-in would help cement the notion that Tony Stark’s days are over, and give his legacy a boost by comparison. While it’s questionable whether Marvel will debut such a wild variant of Iron Man in Avengers: Secret Wars, seeing Howard Stark in a dark What If…? episode if not could be a more than viable substitute.

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