Not everyone was pleased with Iron Man dying in Avengers: Endgame, but there’s an actual reason why most MCU superheroes are destined for death.
Here’s why fans shouldn’t expect a happily-ever-after for most Marvel Cinematic Universe characters with the franchise having a deadly superhero curse. The Infinity Saga ended in 2019 with Avengers: Endgame while Spider-Man: Far From Home functioned as an epilogue. While the heroes emerged victorious against Thanos, it was not without significant sacrifices with both Iron Man and Black Widow having to give up their lives for the cause.
Prior to Endgame, the MCU was often criticized for its lack of stakes stemming from the perceived reluctance to kill any major characters off. While prominent characters had met their ends over the years, most of them were eventually reversed with Loki having the most number of fake-outs. Couple that with seemingly invincible heroes who come out of every battle almost unscathed and naysayers had compelling evidence. Or they did until Marvel Studios had the guts to finally pull off the biggest death in the franchise so far with Tony Stark sacrificing his life to defeat Thanos and his minions.
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Admittedly, the decision to kill MCU’s poster character was met with backlash from fans of Iron Man. There were arguments about how he didn’t need to sacrifice himself considering how many other more powerful Avengers were present in the fight who could’ve done the snap and survived it. That said, Endgame co-direct Joe Russo explained during the Chicago leg of the We Love You 3000 Tour why Tony had to die and why chances are that he won’t be the last MCU hero to have a tragic end to their arc:
“I think like, in a way, Tony Stark was always fated to die. And… here’s the thing about our culture that’s interesting. A lot of people get upset about that, when I say something like that. But when you’re a hero, your job is to die. That is your job as a hero, is to sacrifice yourself for the greater good. And that’s what we’re trying to teach people in the movie is that you’re either in it for yourself, or you’re in it for the community. And Tony was in it for the community.”
What about Captain America, though? Steve Rogers ended up having a fairytale-like ending as he not only survived the ordeal and retired from active duty, he was also given a second chance to live the life he’s previously lost with Peggy at the end of Endgame. Thing is, the Super Soldier is an exception to the rule since he’s devoted most of his life to serving others. Similar to what Iron Man did in the 2019 film, Captain America also willingly sacrificed himself for the good of the world in Captain America: The First Avenger. The only reason why he’s able to get the final fate that he had in Endgame was because of an amalgamation of events out of his control including surviving being frozen in ice and having the capacity to travel back in time.
Russo’s explanation doesn’t mean, however, that every hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe will end their journeys the way Iron Man did. As with Captain America, there are exceptions to the rule — after all, it would be too dark, not to mention repetitive if they all go out by dying. It’s just that considering the line of job they do, a happy ending is a rare final fate and since all of them willingly took on the responsibilities to be superheroes, they knew full well that it’s the case.
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Key Release Dates
- Black Widow (2021)Release date: May 07, 2021
- Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release date: Jul 09, 2021
- Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: Feb 11, 2022
- Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
- Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
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