First, a personal message to the MCU fans that are petitioning for Tony Stark to return to the MCU: Stop it. Seriously, just stop and accept that death in the MCU is unlike death in the comics since apart from time travel, there is no coming back. Even time travel forces a person to come forward, meaning they hadn’t died in the first place, and if Tony Stark from the past did get brought forward to realize that he now has a daughter and has married Pepper Potts, it’s likely that it would mess a lot of things up since the Tony of the past was still pretty immature and not ready for a family or anything even close to responsibility. It’s understandable why people are wanting Iron Man to come back, especially since he’s one of the geniuses that turned into one of the most powerful fighters in the MCU, but at this time there’s nothing saying that the pleas of the fans are going to do anything other than make people laugh since it doesn’t feel that the MCU is going to give in as DC did with the Snyder Cut, and that’s a very good thing to be realistic. While it might not be etched in the books just yet, Tony Stark’s death would mean little to nothing if the MCU brought him back now or at any point in the coming future, since it would mean that his effort to stop Thanos and his army would have been a minor hiccup in his life, just another adventure to live through and another moment that might give him even more anxiety in the years to come.
Understand this: Tony was a troubled character, even after having surgery to get the arc reactor out of his chest, after his marriage to Pepper, after the birth of their daughter. He was still a man that had a lot on his mind at all times, and he was someone that couldn’t turn it off. What’s to say that he wouldn’t go about making the world a safer place by encasing it in an armor-like shell if that was the desire of every shared government? The idea of a world without borders is a bit awkward to many people, and it would take a monumental effort for a lot of people to trust each other, but that’s kind of what it would take to bring such a thing about. But with Tony gone, the idea of a world without borders kind of goes away and is bound to stay away as it’s been seen in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier on Disney+. It’s also seen that things will move forward and that Tony’s legacy will endure, but without him at the helm. Like it or not, that’s a good thing. It’s not a celebration that Tony is dead and will stay that way, but it is an assurance that if someone else has his level of genius and his anxiety issues, they haven’t been revealed yet or haven’t learned how to apply said skills yet.
Like it or not, Tony Stark was a rather destructive character despite the fact that he was trying to save lives as well. His technology gave rise to the Iron Monger, but thankfully that threat was neutralized quickly. He openly challenged the Mandarin, had to fight off Ivan Vanko in the second movie, and showed more than once that he wasn’t an entirely responsible individual. Plus, the creation of Ultron wasn’t exactly a win, and the visions that he was given by Wanda made it clear that this guy had a very strong set of fears that weren’t bound to go away. So pining for the guy because he was a hero is all well and good since he made the ultimate sacrifice and saved the world. But bringing him back as anything but an AI would be a huge mistake since it not only means that death has absolutely no meaning in the MCU, but it would give him leave to continue doing things that might have great intentions but could be hijacked by too many villains and those believing that they’re doing what’s needed for the world. In other words, Tony Stark kind of had to die not just because the script said so, but because he was still as much of a danger to the world as ever. People won’t want to hear it, and won’t want to believe it, but that level of genius with that kind of arrogance don’t always mesh well, and when those two qualities are coupled with the knowledge and skill that Tony had when creating things, it can lead to a very troubling place, as it did in Age of Ultron.
Tony Stark is dead, and he died a hero. Letting him come back might just make him the villain eventually.
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