(Warning: The following contains plot details from recent and forthcoming Marvel Comics releases, including the introduction of a fairly major new status quo for a major Marvel character. Proceed with whatever level of caution your robot butler suggests is wise...)
Now, the recent revelation that Marvel Comics is set to introduce a shiny new Iron Man - or, rather, Iron Woman - came as something of a shock to many fans for a whole lot of reasons, but for a whole lot of Marvel devotees, there's only one element of the news that's truly shocking. Y'see, it seems that new Iron Man Riri Williams will actually be fully taking over from Tony Stark as Marvel Comics' Iron Man, leading many to ask a very particular question:
Is Marvel Comics Seriously Planning To Kill Off Tony Stark?
After all, Ms Williams is currently being lined up to replace Stark in the Iron Man armor this fall, in the immediate aftermath of Marvel's current Marvel universe-spanning event, Civil War II. Which would, it seems, suggest that the event is going to leave Stark unable - or unwilling - to continue on as Iron Man. Which, in turn, combined with the less-than-corporeal appearance of Stark on the recently revealed cover of Williams' first issue...
...has led some to speculate that Stark won't be getting out of Civil War II alive. After all, the first Civil War (temporarily) killed off Steve 'Captain America' Rogers, so why couldn't its sequel kill of Tony Stark?
So, the big question, then?
Is Tony Stark Going To Die At The End Of Civil War II?
Well, short answer? Almost certainly not. Y'see, in a recent interview with Time, Invincible Iron Man scribe Brian Michael Bendis revealed that:
"More people are going to be upset that they think they know the ending to Civil War II now than anything we just talked about. But I can tell you just because we’re hearing what we’re saying doesn’t know you mean how Civil War II ends. We’re not telling you the end, at all."
Which, while not being overly (or in any way) clear, presumably intentionally so, would certainly seem to suggest that Tony isn't going to be shuffling off the mortal coil just yet. After all, with the most obvious assumption being that Tony would be killed off, Bendis' assertion that we're not yet being told the end would seem to suggest that Stark'll most likely be sticking around for a while yet.
Or, alternatively, he's going to die horribly, and Bendis doesn't want to spoil that for us all this far in advance. Heck, maybe they'll even turn him evil again...
What do you reckon, though?
Do you think Tony Stark is going to survive Civil War II?