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An Ode to Tony Stark in Avengers: Endgame, the Best Version of Himself


Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark lost in space, talking to his Iron Man mask in the Avengers: Endgame trailer.

**Spoilers ahead for Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame.**

My love of Tony Stark ebbs and flows. I was angry with him in Captain America: Civil War, hated him even, but that didn’t mean I didn’t still love him. Then, when Avengers: Endgame came around, it became the best characterization, to me, of the MCU’s founding. We see Tony as a changed man. He isn’t a man worried about his image or even the world at large; he’s worried about his family.

Tony, in the five-year gap that happens between Infinity War and most of Endgame, marries Pepper Potts and starts a family, finally living the dream he’s had for quite some time. This version of Tony Stark isn’t willing to just throw away his own life and put himself in danger because he has something to live for. He has Pepper and now, they have Morgan.

The only thing that can get him back into the line of fire, though? Peter Parker, the kid he feels a debt to. The “son” he couldn’t protect. What I love most about this version of Tony isn’t that he’s sacrificing himself in a lot of ways, but rather, he has his priorities in check. He’s doing these things to protect what he loves.

Whether that’s Morgan, Pepper, or Peter, he isn’t being selfish in his actions, despite what the other Avengers might initially think. If anything, Tony Stark has the most to lose—and he does lose. He himself doesn’t get to see his family, doesn’t get to be there for Peter and Morgan in the way he’d want to because that’s the only way to save them, and everyone else.

I get it, I do. Tony Stark wouldn’t ever stop, despite doing so for a time after the Snap. He wouldn’t stop because anytime there was a problem with Peter, he’d be back in the suit. If something was going to come for his family, he’d be Iron Man again. The only way for him to be done would be for him to meet his demise.

Tony Stark was the kind of character who we all looked at in the beginning and saw someone we could grow with, and that we did. In Avengers: Endgame, we saw a man with all his dreams in front of him who willingly gave that up to make a better world for his daughter and Peter Parker, and for that, I say he’s brilliant.

(image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Rachel (she/her) is an I, Tonya stan who used to have a poster of Frank Sinatra on her wall as a kid. She loves superheroes, weird musicals, wants Robert Downey Jr. to release a new album, and would sell her soul for Pedro Pascal as Kraven the Hunter. She is Leslie Knope and she's okay with that. Secretly Grogu's mom and Lizzie Olsen's best friend.