The tragic death of Tony Stark in Avengers: Endgame marked the end of an era. While it’s not completely unexpected and a worthy send-off of the character who all but founded the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s also a loss that countless Tony fans have mourned. Therefore, many might have wished Iron Man had survived.
According to Stephen Strange, the only version of the future that guaranteed a victory for the universe involved the death of Tony. The final showdown with the Mad Titan definitely seems to suggest that Strange was telling the truth. But if one carefully considers the course of events, it’s easy to see the potential ways Tony could have survived. End of Game.
ten Wanda Maximoff could have defeated Thanos during their fight
Since her appearance in the MCU, Wanda Maximoff has become more and more powerful. In Wanda Vision, she is able to warp reality to the point of recreating a version of her dead lover Vision. But even before her terrifying actions at Westview, Wanda proved herself in battle by facing Thanos not once but twice.
In Avengers: Infinity War, she manages to restrain Thanos while destroying Vision’s Mind Stone. In Avengers: Endgame, her grief and anger make her such a threat to Thanos that he calls for help from his spaceship to survive. If he hadn’t, Wanda could have overpowered him and Tony’s sacrifice wouldn’t have been necessary.
9 Another Avenger Could Have Used The Infinity Gauntlet And Survived
Tony’s use of the gauntlet was the only possible solution in the specific circumstances he found himself in at the time. But the finished gauntlet was in the possession of many Avengers before it even reached Tony’s hands. The Avengers were so focused on getting the Infinity Stones away from Thanos that they ignored the obvious option: to use them as a weapon against the Mad Titan.
Some heroes could even have done it and still survived. Examples include Captain Marvel, Nebula, and probably even Thor, who despite his condition, has preserved his divinity and Asgardian blood. Any of them would have been a better option than the deadly Tony.
8 Doctor Strange Could Have Brought Him Back With The Time Stone
Even assuming Tony was the only one who could have killed the Mad Titan, it wasn’t exactly impossible that he was cured. The critical damage he took could have been undone by Doctor Strange. Stephen has brought people back from the dead before, with a notable case being Wong in strange doctor.
The Stone was similarly used by Thanos to bring Vision back and claim the Mind Stone. There was no real reason why Strange couldn’t have done something similar for Tony.
seven Extremis could have compensated for the damage
Following iron man 3, Tony appeared to be using a modified version of Extremis to aid in the final removal of the Arc Reactor in his chest. In the film, the serum enhancements are enough to regenerate limbs and even protect Pepper Potts when she falls directly into fire from a great height.
While the injury Tony sustains from the Gauntlet is incredibly severe, a stronger version of Extremis could very well have offset the damage and saved Tony’s life.
6 He could have been resurrected thanks to the TAHITI project
Prior to the fall of SHIELD, the secret organization had many unusual projects, and perhaps the most notable was Project TAHITI. The project was to harvest an alien corpse and use it if an Avenger was mortally wounded. The method has been used in Agents of SHIELD to save Phil Coulson after being stabbed by Loki. Unfortunately, the success of the project was only partial.
While the alien’s biology allowed for the regeneration of the injured subject, it also came with alarming side effects including psychosis, catatonia and many more. The project’s patients apparently went insane because memories of the alien imprinted themselves on their psyches. Project TAHITI may have saved Tony’s life, but the consequences could have been serious regardless.
5 Super Soldier Serum Can Heal Serious Wounds
The super-soldier serum that turned Steve Rogers into Captain America gives subjects incredible regenerative abilities. Steve survives in the ice for over fifty years and Bucky – who receives an alternate version of the serum – survives his fall in the Alps and only loses his arm. Steve is also recovering from the brutal beatings he receives from Bucky and his gunshot wounds.
It’s a known fact that Howard Stark was able to recreate the Super-Soldier Serum, causing HYDRA to send the Winter Soldier to assassinate him and Maria Stark. His version had significant side effects that increased the subjects’ aggressiveness. The serum was later perfected in two forms – the one used by Bruce Banner (which ultimately led to the creation of the Hulk) and Doctor Wilfred Nagel’s version, which was just as good, if not better than the original. If Tony had used the serum in any of its forms, he most likely would have survived, just like Bruce did.
4 A Skrull could have taken Tony’s place and used the Gauntlet
Because Captain Marvel, the Skrulls are appearing more and more in the most unexpected places. Some have already replaced people in prominent positions, a notable example being Nick Fury. The subject will be dealt with in detail in the Secret Invasion Disney+ series. But the idea has potential considering all the losses that have happened in the MCU so far.
For example, a Skrull could have been the one who used the Gauntlet, which would have allowed the real Tony to survive. In the comics, the undercover Skrulls were actually convinced that they were the people they were impersonating, so Skrull Tony could have easily acted like the real Tony Stark.
3 He could have created an AI version of himself
A far more feasible method of survival – and one that stems from the comics – involves Tony’s own inventions. Tony could have invented an AI version of himself that survived his physical death. This actually happens in the comics and AI Tony acts as an assistant to his protege Riri Williams.
Seeing Tony’s last message in End of Game, some viewers actually thought the MCU might go that route, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. When Ironheart appears in the MCU, it will likely be without Tony by his side.
2 He could never have invented time travel
The simplest method that would have guaranteed Tony’s survival is perhaps the simplest of them all. After the Snap, Tony found some form of peace and started a family. He even had a daughter with Pepper and retired.
If he had never accepted the Time Heist and invented time travel, he wouldn’t have died. But Tony was acutely aware of the risks, and he went along with it anyway — something he only seemed to be doing to bring Peter Parker back.
1 Thanos’ Return Could Have Been Prevented
Despite Tony’s determination to bring back those killed in the Snap, the Time Heist plan would have been a success had the alternate version of Nebula not identified the problem. It’s thanks to her that 2014 Thanos is able to travel to Earth and confront the Avengers – this time bent on wiping out every person in the universe, not just half of them.
Her return could have been prevented if Nebula had not been replaced by her alternate self, or if someone had noticed the strangeness of her actions earlier. If that had happened, Tony would never have had to resort to the drastic solution that ended his life.
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