Like most MCU fans of average intelligence, I watched the recent trailer and remembered Doctor Strange saying, “We’re in the endgame now.” There were even theories on the web that called it ahead of time.
Luckily, however, my fiancé is of much better than average intelligence. Because as soon as we watched the trailer, she said, “I want to rewatch Avengers: Age of Ultron.”
So we did. And, lo and behold, just after Ultron awakens, we come to this scene (you can skip to 2:30, but watch through until about 2:51):
Of course, we had to pause the movie for her to gloat. But, immediately following that, we looked at one another, thought about that ominous quote by Captain America, and screamed, “NOOOOOOO!!”
Are Tony and Cap Doomed?
For too long, we have all pieced together actor contracts, comic book storylines, and critical reasoning to hypothesize the possible demise of either Tony Stark and/or our beloved Cap in this swan song of the MCU’s “phase three.” And we all hoped for these to be proven nothing more than wild theories.
But the MCU has a tendency to be a touch heavy-handed with its foreshadowing. So I invite you to rewatch Age of Ultron.
The second installment in the (true) Avenger movies often gets lost in my memory. While I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy it, even the pitch perfect James Spader can’t make it rise to the top of my list of faves. So rewatching it as a vehicle for seed planting and foreshadowing made such beautiful sense.
So What Might Happen to Tony?
In the trailer (broken down here by Pure Fandom’s own Liz Prugh), we see Tony “adrift in space with zero promise of rescue.” And we all know this is not how he meets his end. Most likely, we are seeing the beginning of the movie.
The prevailing theory is that Captain Marvel picks him up on her way to earth. But the WAY more exciting idea (to me, at least), is if Tony Stark, in what looks like his final moments, hears this:
Please, MCU … please, please, please, please, please tell me Korg and Miek are alive. Don’t you dare f**k with me on this.
So if we know Tony makes it back for the master plan to set things right, how does he meet his end? Well, it’s possible he doesn’t.
At another point in Age of Ultron, Tony has a moment of coveting Clint’s secret farmhouse and family life. He even makes a comment about the possibility of going off with Pepper for such a life. The idea of Tony, with all his dependence on technology and need for the big building with his name on it, heading off into a quiet sunset off the grid is both the happy ending we want and the fitting close the MCU would go for.
And What About Cap?
As much as we all love Tony, this one might be harder to take. Yes, we get frustrated with Cap, but we always come back around. He really is the heart of the team. And the heart of the team deserves to be happy.
I don’t think Captain America dies. I do, however, think the shield gets passed on to someone like Bucky (meh) or Sam Wilson (YES, PLEASE!!!).
The one thing we have had all but confirmed for Avengers: Endgame is that time travel is involved. Whether by leaked photos or common sense, we know parts of the team return to various points in their past to do … something.
If this is, in fact true, then Captain America has the possibility of the happy ending he deserves. Because, given the fact that the Tesseract and Red Skull are very involved, a trip to WWII would not surprise anyone.
It is entirely possible that Cap needs to go back to retrieve the Tesseract and do something with it (who knows what). And if so, then Steve will have a chance to live the life with Peggy Carter we have all secretly wished for. So maybe Steve doesn’t die, but he does leave … for 1942.
But, then again, maybe I’m just a gauntlet’s-half-full type of guy.