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Iron Man’s return might be inevitable if this multiverse mechanic is real

Published Mar 23rd, 2024 6:15PM EDT
Iron Man in Avengers: Endgame final battle
Image: Marvel Studios

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A notable Marvel leaker provided a big Deadpool & Wolverine plot spoiler a few days ago, describing a clever way for Marvel to bring back any fallen Avenger without ruining their sacrifice. Yes, Deadpool 3 will bring back Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), so that sort of gimmick is needed. But it can also apply to any other superhero that we’ve lost along the way.

Say, a certain Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), who gave up his life at the end of Avengers: Endgame to save the entirety of the universe. You can’t revive Tony Stark and not worry that Iron Man’s return will ruin his sacrifice in Endgame.

At the same time, everybody and their MCU-enamored grandmother knew that Iron Man’s death would not be final the minute we saw it. Sure, it works for Endgame and the conclusion of the Infinity Saga. But Endgame opened the doors of the multiverse, so Marvel could always bring back Iron Man for more Avengers adventures. That’s absolutely not a spoiler.

The same leaker has provided additional details about how Deadpool 3 will set the stage for such returns. Just like last time, I’ll tell you this is a big spoiler, even though it doesn’t ruin the Deadpool & Wolverine plot. But you should stay away if you want to be surprised.

A few days ago, Daniel Richtman said in a post on Patreon that Deadpool 3 would introduce a new Multiverse Saga concept as if the multiverse isn’t complex enough. We’ll learn that some universes have beings inside them so important that their death might lead to the death of that universe. 

Wolverine clearly qualifies as such a character, as we saw him die in Logan. The plot detail above, if real, could explain why Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) will need this particular Wolverine of all the Logans in the multiverse. 

But, again, this concept applies perfectly to Iron Man. I’d say it’s even more important for Tony Stark. And yes, Marvel can use the same trick to bring back Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson). But not the variant that died in Endgame. The MCU’s main reality can’t have to Anchor beings. 

Where does the Anchor moniker come from? The same Richtman posted another update for Deadpool & Wolverine to further address the claim he made a few days ago. 

That’s what that key character will be referred to. An Anchor for their specific universe. When that Anchor dies, the universe will start to decay until it vanishes. Richtman did not mention Iron Man, however.

RDJ’s Tony Stark being an Anchor of the MCU-616 is what makes sense the most. If the claim is accurate, of course. It could explain why the main reality is experiencing the multiverse issue that we’ve started seeing in Spider-Man: No Way Home, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and The Marvels

We might need the Anchors to save the dying universes. That’s why we’d see the TVA recruit these Anchors for Avengers: Secret Wars. And how Marvel would get to combine characters from the Sony, Fox, and MCU into the same massive crossover.

This Anchor concept could obviously apply to Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. In addition to Wolverine and Iron Man. Deadpool could be some sort of Anchor. I’d also have said that Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is an Anchor. But after Loki 2, we know he’s a much bigger Anchor than what the leaker is describing. 

Deadpool 3 first look photo shows off Deadpool and Wolverine in costume.
Deadpool 3 first look photo shows off Deadpool and Wolverine in costume. Image source: Marvel Studios

The problem with this leak is the obvious potential for plot holes. Can Anchors die of old age? And what happens with a universe until an Anchor is born? Not to mention that, for Iron Man, this poses a problem. If he’s an Anchor, does that mean Marvel will revive him for good? That’s not so great for Endgame.

Then again, if Secret Wars will kill the multiverse, well, Anchors do not matter. 

All of this is speculation, of course. But add Bob Iger’s purported desire to cancel MCU movies that don’t excite fans, and it all makes sense. Iron Man (and others) have to come back. 

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.