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Nobody Cares About Your Exhausting Fandom Petitions

You know fanfiction exists, right?

Robert Downey Jr is Iron Man

Another day, another ill-advised fan petition. A new petition to bring Iron Man back to the MCU is making the rounds on the internet, and honestly we’re so tired.

The petition is a response to the ending of Avengers: Endgame, which saw Iron Man sacrifice himself to defeat Thanos and save the universe. It was a tragic but noble ending to the MCU’s first hero, and a cathartic send-off to Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark. But the petition claims, in hyperbolic language, that Tony Stark needs to be revived:

MCU’s Tony deserves to come back fully alive. Tony Stark was always ready to risk his life, suffer, and sacrifice himself for anyone, without ever receiving anything in return. Since the beginning, since he was a kid. He can never be happy, and when he finally got what he always wanted, and deserved, his wife, his daughter, his family.. he died. He didn’t deserve this and it’s not fair, after everything he’s been through, and done for everyone, he deserves to live and see his daughter grow up.

He has helped so many people (in the mcu and in our world), he has helped people to live (including me) to overcome their problems, to accept themselves, to face life. He’s so important. He saved our lives and it’s our turn to save him.

We love him so much. We love him 3000. Without him, now, we are totally lost. For many people, he was their reason to live and hold on in life.

So far the petition has received over 17,000 signatures, and good Lord, people. I love the Avengers as much as the next nerd, but I also realize that they are FICTIONAL CHARACTERS.

ben affleck in jay and silent bob strike back.

(image: Miramax Pictures)

Perhaps what is most frustrating about these types of petitions is the entitlement. Art is not made custom-ordered, and Tony Stark’s journey in Endgame was the result of hard work by hundreds of people: cast, crew, writers, and directors. Not to mention that Robert Downey Jr. has been playing this role for a decade, and probably wants to move on and do other things. Let’s be real: if RDJ wanted to keep playing Iron Man, I don’t think anyone would stop him. If you are as much of a fan of the character as you claim to be, then you need to respect the actor’s wishes.

Believe me, I know what it’s like to be a pissed off fan who hates a character’s death. The last two episodes of Game of Thrones made me want to throw my television out the window. But let’s be adults about this and realize that there are far greater injustices in the world than Tony Stark dying.

Good art is supposed to make you feel things, even bad feelings like sadness, loss, and grief. Film and television need the engine of conflict to keep chugging along. You may think you want a film or a series where everyone gets along and there are zero problems, but that would be pretty boring to watch. And it’s just not realistic: people get hurt, shipped couples break up, and everyone dies. You don’t get to retcon an artistic choice because it makes you feel sad.

If you need a happy ending that badly, great news! Fanfiction and fan art exists for that very reason. If you want a happy ending for Tony Stark, write your own. But please, enough with the fan petitions already.

(via, image: Marvel)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.