Robert Downey Jr. is approaching the end of his MCU career. After portraying everyone's favorite armored hero for the past eight years, RDJ will be leaving the role of Iron Man behind shortly after the Infinity War arc concludes. It's unclear if he's signed for the fourth Avengers movie or not, but it will likely be his last appearance as Iron Man if he doesn't meet his end during Avengers: Infinity War. But before that happens, his character arc needs to conclude.
How #Marvel intends to close out Iron Man's story in the MCU is up for debate. However it happens, there's a good chance that the final stretch will explore every facet of Iron Man's being, including the tendency Stark has to embrace arrogance and, to some degree, ignorance–or at least a lack of self-awareness.
The truth is, Tony Stark is his own worst enemy. Stark allows his brilliant mind to run rampant while reasonable precautions are thrown out the window. And sooner or later, this wanton carelessness is going to catch up with him. When it does, Stark will be faced with a decision to make: Does he allow himself to succumb to his own hubris or does he challenge it to end on a positive note?
What Exactly Is Tony Stark's Fatal Flaw?
To be clear, Stark's biggest flaw is that he doesn't know how to stop before his ingenuity gets the better of him. Granted, Stark is one of the smartest people on the planet, he just doesn't know when to leave well enough alone. Most of his inventions have helped people, but his creation of Ultron was a perfect example of when that creativity is allowed to go unchecked.
In Avengers: Age of Ultron, #TonyStark began that story arc with the prospect of protecting the entire world with his remote controlled Iron Legion, but instead wound up creating a maniacal artificial intelligence that almost wiped out everyone on the planet. And he didn't stop there. Even after Stark created Ultron, his inability to understand when he's crossed a line in the name of science resulted in him creating yet another android, Vision, one who could have just as easily turned on those he was supposedly protecting. Vision was subjected to the same programming as Ultron, so there's nothing necessarily stopping him from becoming just like the murderous A.I.
Stark's inability to stop himself from pursuing—or even recognizing—dangerous ventures will lead to his downfall at some point. He may be the Invincible Iron Man, but he won't be able to prevent his own demise if it's of his own doing. And from the looks of Avengers: Infinity War, Tony Stark may once again let his ambition get the better of him.
The Avengers: Infinity War Teaser Hinted At Tony's Story Arc
If you hadn't seen it, the featurette for #InfinityWar included a small hint at what Stark is doing during in Avengers: Infinity War. Apparently, Tony Stark will once again set his mind on protecting the world. Only this time, he's taken it upon himself to make sure the world remains safe in light of the cosmic forces approaching the planet. To accomplish this, Stark has once again created an Iron Legion that he could use in a number of ways.
With these drones able to go anywhere around the world (or possibly into space?), Stark can easily alter their directives to suit his own philosophies, regardless of whether or not they will actually end up for the greater good. Of course, there's a good chance that Stark's hubris may manifest itself in another form.
We're all aware that Stark has a passion for developing new and exciting technologies, and he never seems to cease his research. Evidence of this can be found in his creation of a new, high-tech suit for Avengers: Infinity War that looks an awful lot like the Bleeding Edge armor. And it doesn't hurt that promotional images for Iron Man's new armor have labeled it the Bleeding Edge armor, so it's safe to say the new suit is the Bleeding Edge. If you haven't seen the set images yet of Tony Stark's new suit, check them out below:
What's important about the development of this new suit is that Stark may have become compromised in its development. If the new suit he's wearing does turn out to be the highly anticipated Bleeding Edge armor, then Stark is going to be walking tall again, even amongst super-powered characters like Thanos and Thor.
Anyone familiar with the comics, knows that Stark's development of the Bleeding Edge armor lead to him becoming one of the strongest characters in the Marvel universe again. After some time of being outmatched by heroes like Thor and Captain America, he was finally able to stand on equal ground with them when wearing the Bleeding Edge armor.
Will The Bleeding Edge Armor Give Stark The Courage To Take On Everyone?
It makes sense that Tony would break out the Bleeding Edge armor for Infinity War; they'll need all the help they can get with battling a powered-up Thanos who wields the #InfinityGauntlet. And while that would ultimately benefit the world, it's reasonable to believe he may take his plans too far, as is his nature. This sets up Stark for a redemption arc during Infinity War and #Avengers4. Much like when he showed a glimpse of his rare selfless streak rising up in the first Avengers movie when he volunteered to sacrifice himself to fly the nuclear bomb into space, I wouldn't be surprised if Iron Man succumbs to a similar fate in the MCU. It's highly unlikely that Tony Stark's character arc would conclude on a negative note, not for the patriarch of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
For now, we can only speculate on how this major flaw in #IronMan's persona will manifest itself. It may only come up briefly during his final story arc, or his inevitable downfall could be a direct result of Stark getting carried away with his research. Either way, it seems fitting that Tony Stark's story would end as a consequence, whether direct or indirect, of his actions. Baron Mordo said it best when he pointed out that "the bill comes due." When it does, Stark is going to have a bigger bill to pay than his personal checkbook can cover.
Do you think Tony Stark will be the cause of his own downfall? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
Avengers: Infinity War opens in theaters on May 8, 2018.