Arguably the most popular superhero since his induction into the superhero universe under the MCU banner in 2008, Iron Man has had a following like no other over the past decade or so. In fact, the character is possibly as popular as the all-time greats in the superhero business alongside Superman, Spider-Man, and Batman. Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal of eccentric billionaire genius Tony Stark and his armored superhero alias only added to the charisma of Iron Man over the years and throughout the Infinity Saga of the MCU.
So when Avengers: Endgame (2019) killed off the character, millions were aghast. Stark got an ending fitting to his character arc: as someone who started out as a narcissistic egomaniac and eventually grew into a man who would give up his hard-earned life for the rest of the universe. His death was the only way out of a possible fourteen million six hundred and five that the Mad Titan Thanos could be stopped, and so he had paid the ultimate price for the same.
Mark Ruffalo teases what could be an Iron Man return to the MCU
Stark’s perfect end did not deter fans from fantasizing about a possible Robert Downey Jr return to the Multiverse Saga. Captain America too had a fitting end, with him returning to an earlier timeline to live out the rest of his days with the love of his life. Now with new heroes and villains popping up all across the MCU, one tends to remember the good old days of Iron Man and Captain America, and wonder when, if at all, they will make a comeback to the universe. There have always been ideas theorizing such a return against Kang the Conqueror in Avengers: The Kang Dynasty (2025) and/or in Avengers: Secret Wars (2026).
Read more: Real Reason Why Robert Downey Jr. Says “I love you 3,000” in Avengers: Endgame
But what MCU star Mark Ruffalo said at Emerald City Comic-Con makes one think that such a return might be more than just wishful thinking. Ruffalo depicts the role of Bruce Banner, the gamma-ravaged scientist who turns into a monstrous beast, the Hulk. When asked about how he felt about Iron Man and Captain America’s absence from the MCU, he said that ‘anything could happen’.
Mark Ruffalo has teased Robert Downey Jr.’s potential #MCU return:
“There is a time machine… And there are alternate universes and realities, so anything could happen…” Full quote: https://t.co/cIejB2R7jU pic.twitter.com/kIyCKm18KK
— MCU – The Direct (@MCU_Direct) March 5, 2023
“Sad, but there is a time machine. And there are alternate universes and realities, so anything could happen.” said Ruffalo.
When pressed further, the actor walled up immediately and deflected questions cryptically.
“[Laughs, looks at the ceiling] Are one of these boards going to fall on me? Man, are you trying to get me in trouble again? I’m not going to say it’s not possible, but I’m not going to say it is.” said Ruffalo.
Nothing is confirmed yet, but this comment only adds to what Jonathan Majors, who plays the role of Kang, had said earlier about wishing to face off against Stark.
Fans react to Mark Ruffalo’s comment about an Iron Man return
Fans brewed a storm over social media, pondering over Ruffalo’s comments and having largely divided views about the same. Some felt that Iron Man had received the ending he deserved, and things needed to stay that way.
I love Downey and Tony as much as anybody, but I believe he should not return to the MCU. His send-off was perfect. Don’t soil it.
— Proud Marvel Super Fan (@proudmarvelfan) March 5, 2023
I don't want Robert to be return,he completed his journey and now I want Tom cruise s superior iron man.
— Rahul (@Rahul40656133) March 6, 2023
Please don't. I love him but his death was perfect.
— -ˋˏ ༻❁༺ ˎˊ- (@shouldibeatit) March 6, 2023
Others still entirely discarded the idea as frivolous.
Nah man mark just says things he doesn't even know about the, the guy has no idea so he just makes up anything cuz if he says he doesn't know fans r gonna be mad at him saying he doesn't follow the mcu timeline and stuff
— Akshay_Rohith052007 (@fn_arg) March 6, 2023
they already confirmed this is for sure not happening
— G'zUsVillegas (@GzUsY2kKingpin) March 6, 2023
Concept art of Superior Iron ManRead more: Jonathan Majors Confirms Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man Is Returning to MCU to Fight Kang in Secret Wars? Entire Marvel Fanbase on High Alert After Marvel Star Spills the Beans
Fans remained optimistic about Superior Iron Man and his return in Secret Wars.
I'm still rolling with he'll return as an A.I. in the Armor Wars before returning from Valhalla with Jane Foster for The Kang Dynasty, Secret Wars and the Illuminati. Although, I'm still hoping that if Superior Iron Man shows up that'll it'll be Tom Cruise.
— #MusicDefinesMe (@theR5archives) March 6, 2023
Secret Wars & THATS IT. HOWEVER the whole Superior Iron Man peaks my interest. Yea Tom Cruise was the “rumor” along with the 838 Tony being pissed after MoM. I would love to see RDJ tackle a completely different verison of Tony compared to what we saw
— вгапdоп 🇮🇹🇵🇷 (@noiisserpmii) March 6, 2023
Expectedly, Ruffalo’s comments have kicked up quite a storm. It remains to be seen how the powers that be at Marvel go ahead with the Multiverse Saga, and whether or not fans will get to witness the flawed superhero go at it again.