Robert Downey Jr. might not return to the MCU despite Loki and Gamora cheating death.

"No one stays dead in the MCU": Loki and Gamora's Return After Death in Avengers: Endgame Doesn't Guarantee Robert Downey Jr.'s Comeback

The world of Marvel Comics is huge, but so is the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). And in the last few years, the MCU has expanded and grown into an even bigger entity than it was thanks to its Multiversal concept. Due to the Multiverse and time traveling, the MCU also brought two great characters back from the dead, i.e. Loki and Gamora.

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The MCUThe MCU (Image: Wikimedia Commons)
Despite the shocking return of these two beloved characters, fans eagerly anticipate that it will potentially open the door for others to return. Yet it is essential to remember that not every fallen hero will rise again, since for some characters like Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, their legacy matters more than fans’ desires.

Does No One Really Stay Dead in The MCU?

Loki returned as a variant in Disney+ series Loki after his death in Infinity War

Loki returned as a variant in Disney+ series Loki after his death in Infinity War
Over the course of its run, the MCU has introduced a great many number of characters with each successive TV show or movie. Yet many have also lost their lives and some have found a way to cheat death and come back, such as Loki, the God of Mischief, or the most deadliest woman in the universe, Gamora. Marvel fans thus have the general belief that no character really stays dead in the MCU.

This was shocking but as we know no one stays dead in the MCU https://t.co/hKTL9eaoqk

— MyTimeToShineHello (@MyTimeToShineH) April 20, 2024

Yet, it is important to remember that both of these characters are not the original characters that died, but their variants. While Loki escaped with the Tesseract during Endgame, triggering a whole new timeline and the Disney+ series, a past version of Gamora was brought back in the same movie via time travel.
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While this created a complex dynamic, these characters were not the ones fans mourned for initially. Yet, this creates the false illusion that no one really stays dead in the MCU, complicating matters even further. Apart from these two characters, major characters like T’Challa, Heimdall, Yondu, Maria Hill, Aunt May, Natasha and many more have died and stayed dead till now.

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Even if they were to return, it is only possible that they would be resurrected by one or the other multiversal variants of themselves, as was done with Gamora and Loki. And so while some Marvel characters can come back from the dead in some capacity, it does not guarantee that Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man will return too.

Can Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man Come Back in The MCU?

iron man avengers endgameRobert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man died in Avengers: Endgame
The MCU has established a precedent in bringing characters back from the dead, via the means of alternate timelines or reality-bending plots. Yet, these plots and ideas do not really work when it comes to a character as iconic as Iron Man and an actor as legendary as Robert Downey Jr.
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Having kick-started the entire MCU, RDJ’s contribution to the Marvel Universe is manifold and humongous. Yet to bring him back would turn precarious since his death was a poignant moment that brought closure to his character arc. While his return can take place via a variant, it would end up undermining the impact of his heroic sacrifice and diminish his legacy.

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Although unlikely, even if his return was to take place like how Phill Coulson was brought back in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (which is not part of the Sacred Timeline) or how Elektra was resurrected in the Defenders saga (now part of the MCU), it would end up being catastrophic for the integrity of his character arc.

That being said, MCU is known for its surprising elements yet even if RDJ were to return, it would potentially be a flashback instead of a full-fledged comeback. A character whose sacrifice is pivotal for the future of the franchise, it is unlikely that RDJ will ever return as Iron Man, for his death is too great and sacred to be destroyed for the sake of fan expectations.

The entire Marvel Cinematic Universe can be streamed on Disney+.

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