One of the most annoying problems of the Multiverse Saga is that Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) are no longer available to help the Avengers save the day in Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars. But we still might see these dead and retired superheroes in a future MCU crossover, with particular emphasis on Avengers 6.
We’ve already talked about how RDJ, Evans, and Johansson can return to the MCU despite the events in Endgame. Or, better said, they can come back without ruining the legacy of Endgame. Iron Man is usually the focus of such discussions, but the same concept applies to all of the original Avengers who are gone now. And it turns out that Hugh Jackman just told us how Iron Man might appear in Secret Wars without ruining his heroic death in Endgame.
Mind you, big MCU spoilers will follow below.
Wolverine and Iron Man have the same MCU problem
For years, rumors about Jackman’s return to his Wolverine role hit the same wall. Jackman was done playing the popular X-Men superhero and was happy with how things ended for the character in Logan. As a reminder, Wolverine died in Logan, so he can’t appear in other stories in the Fox timeline.
Things are the same for RDJ’s Iron Man.
Tony Stark died a heroic death in Endgame, breaking our hearts in the process. As outstanding as it would be to have Iron Man rejoin the Avengers in Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars, it can’t happen easily. Marvel and RDJ will want to preserve the ending Tony got in Endgame. He accomplished his mission. He saved the world, even if he had to die in the process.
Therefore, you can’t just resurrect these characters. Death is final, and bringing Iron Man and Wolverine back to life would absolutely destroy their arcs. But since we’re talking about the MCU, there are ways to resurrect dead characters and have them appear in stories even after they die.
That’s why the only way for Marvel to pull this trick off is the central theme of the current saga. The multiverse gives Marvel multiple realities that have their Iron Man and Wolverine variants. Marvel could simply snatch them up from there. But it can’t be that simple. Marvel also wants these characters to be the ones we’ve been following all along.
The Iron Man returning to the Avengers in Secret Wars would have to be the same hero who fought alongside these characters for years. Not a variant that looks and feels like the primary Tony Stark. Like Wolverine, we want the Iron Man we already love.
How Iron Man can appear in Secret Wars
This brings us to a few recent interviews with Hugh Jackman where the actor candidly revealed a few big Deadpool 3 plot spoilers. Jackman explained that Marvel has a time travel device that allows it to use Wolverine without destroying the Logan finale. The science of the MCU makes it all feasible.
The actor then said the events in Deadpool 3 will happen before Logan, from Wolverine’s perspective. Marvel can extract Wolverine from his Fox universe timeline, pair him with Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) for the Deadpool 3 adventure, and then return it to his original timeline to fulfill his destiny.
The principle is similar to how the Avengers stole the Infinity Stones in Endgame. They took the powerful artifacts from different timelines, and then Steve Rogers returned them to their original timelines at the exact moment they were taken.
Jackman’s comments can apply to any dead MCU superhero. That’s how the Avengers can grab Iron Man from the past to help them fight Kang (Jonathan Majors) in Secret Wars. The same goes for Steve Rogers or Nat.
Like the Stones, the problem is putting these characters back. Better said, ensuring that Iron Man, Steve Rogers, and Black Widow survive the fight in Secret Wars so the Avengers can return them to their rightful place.
We already suspected this might be how Marvel brings Iron Man back without ruining Endgame. But Jackman’s comments practically offer us a safe way to have Iron Man in Secret Wars. And let’s remember that’s precisely how Sony brought back Doc Ock (Alfred Molina), with the actor confirming the same principle above in an interview long before the No Way Home premiere.
That said, Marvel can concoct all sorts of ways of getting Iron Man back for at least one more project. We’re just speculating here based on comments that Jackman probably shouldn’t have made.