Welcome to my new segment where I rant about things that don’t matter. Those who are long-time readers of Third Act FIlm are already accustomed to Todd James’ What’s The Deal opinion pieces, now it’s time to hear me scream incoherently. Quick introduction: I’m James, and I love film. However, I worry about the future of the industry and like to think I can change it with minimal effort and zero influence. Join me as I tackle topics of no importance whilst avoiding all the topics that actually matter! Yeah, I said it.
I’m putting a hit out, I will relinquish my secret stash of Unobtainium to the brave soul that can take out Iron Man. Don’t get me wrong, I love Iron Man. I love the concept of one man taking on the world, it reminds me of myself. The issue I actually have is with the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) as a whole. It’s time somebody died.
The Marvel Problem
In the first Captain America, Bucky Barnes dies and is then alive in time for Winter Solider. The Avengers, Agent Phil Coulson is mega-killed by Loki and then returns in a fate worst than death in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Iron Man 3 killed Tony Stark’s love interest, Pepper Potts. Only for her to return minutes later (honestly, it was within the same scene). Thor: The One We All Hate, shows Loki die only to return at the end. Back to Winter Solider and we have a second resurrection in the form of Nick Fury. Let’s not forget that we had the same with Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy.
We all know this trend, and we’re always fake-shocked when a character dies in any Marvel film. Let’s use this problem to our advantage and actually shock fans by killing off Iron Man permanently.
Why Kill Iron Man?
He is the chosen one, the Neo of The Matrix, the Luke Skywalker of Star Wars, the Tommy Pickles of Rugrats. He started it all and I want to prevent him from ending it all too. A death of one of the four main superheroes (Iron Man, Thor, Cap and Hawkeye) would send shock waves throughout all the upcoming MCU films. He is the character we all least suspect to perish and the one that would have the biggest ramifications.
All of Iron Man’s money? Gone. Quick wit? Bye-bye. But what about Pepper Potts! Please God no! Take me instead! Dead. Deader than dead. Kill Iron Man and the MCU will be saved.
No One Is Safe
Iron Man’s death would mean anyone can now die. If Iron Man were to die in Civil War, by the time we reach Infinity Wars with Thanos as the threat any of our favourite characters could die instantly. Action scenes will then start having consequence, risks would actually feel risky. A lot of the main characters don’t have films announced post-Infinity Wars so there would be no chance for mental reconciliation that Hawkeye will be okay.
Iron Man’s Arc (Reactor) Is Over
Iron Man has ended his career twice already, yet he is suiting up again for Civil War. He was finished with being Iron Man at the end of his third film and repeated the same sentiments in Age of Ultron. Yet, here he is again. Civil War is arguably the biggest storyline for both Captain America and Iron Man. Of course there is more material for Iron Man to do 100 more films, but the major storylines in his life he has covered. Let’s allow Iron Man to have a great send off in one of the biggest films of all time.
Let’s Flip The Script
In the comic book of Civil War, Captain America dies (sort of) and it changes the pace of the conflict drastically. If Civil War the film was able to do the same but from the other side we could all be in for a great time. With Iron Man’s death, especially at the hands of one of the heroes currently on the run from the government, would only fuel the fire against them even more. This would drive all the heroes underground permanently until Thanos appears. Allow Thanos to administer even more destruction (once he’s stopped trying on gloves).
Iron Man + ANYTHING = Profit
The biggest argument I feel against my point is that Iron Man makes a stupid amount of money for just appearing in things. Would Avengers have made over a billion dollars if it wasn’t for Iron Man? No, you’re right. Have I heard of Iron Man 3? Yes. Not the best film in the MCU, yet it crossed the billion dollar mark. Honestly, if you had thrown Iron Man in films even as bad as Fantastic Four it may have reached the billion dollar mark (wait a second, that would be awesome!).
Iron Man adds value, certainly. But as Iron Man is used more he takes away screen-time from other heroes. Marvel’s unique selling point is its sheer amount of diverse heroes at their disposal. If all the air-time is given to Iron Man, no other hero can get a chance to shine and also reach the dizzying billion dollar heights. Using maths (my favourite), wouldn’t having multiple heroes that pull in $600k-$800k be worth more than just a few that manage to drag in just over $1Bn.
The limit over the market has been reached for the MCU. Avengers: Age of Ultron was $100 million short of the first Avengers film. $1 Billion seems to be the limit and that can be achieved with two Captain America: Winter Soldier ($700 million) level films rather than one Iron Man. Get more heroes at the $600 million+ mark and the MCU will make more money overall.
Playing The Long Game
By killing off Iron Man, it can retire a fan-favourite hero at the height of his career rather than milking him until he is an empty shell of what he was. Let fans long for Iron Man and think only positive about him.
The comic book industry has some major hurdles to face in the coming years, the main one being longevity. Can superhero films stay new and exciting in 20 years? They can’t if we see the same old faces that we had from the first MCU films. In order for the MCU to last I feel that a rolling roster needs to be put into place. If that means saying bye to a few of my favourites heroes to give screen time to other heroes then I’m fine with that.
But that’s just my opinion, what do you guys think?