Tony Stark bid farewell to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Endgame, sacrificing himself to preserve humanity. And, though his physical presence will be missed, his legacy will likely live on through two characters.
There are two sides to Tony Stark – the technological genius and the morally questionable, egotistical industrialist. When taking into account the character’s primary duality, two existing characters are most likely to fill his shoes moving forward: Tom Holland’s Peter Parker and Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange.
How will Peter Parker fill Iron Man’s shoes?
In Far From Home, there is a bittersweet moment in which Happy catches Parker toying with technology — in a manner very reminiscent of Stark’s behavior. Parker was Stark’s protege; Stark was a father figure to the boy and an inspiration. Thus, it should come as no surprise that Parker will embody some of Stark’s qualities moving forward.
Parker is also a technological wiz with a scientific mind. Thus, when it comes to the fixation with technological advancement that Stark possessed, Parker is most likely to take on this quality. Yet, Parker is more innocent than Stark; Parker is a bit more naive, and a bit more reluctant to operate in the morally gray zone — there is “good” and there is “bad” with Parker.
Yet, this is not quite Stark; Stark saw the world through a mature, tainted lens — one that grew from a rough childhood and spiraled out of control due to multiple extra-terrestrial threats to his life and that of all humanity. When it comes to this side of Stark, Doctor Strange is most likely to emulate the character moving forward.
Doctor Strange, The Illuminati, and the connection to Stark
According to Marvel and DC Insider Mikey Sutton, Doctor Strange will form The Illuminati at some point during The Multiverse of Madness. While Stark is no longer alive to join the group, he is a member in Marvel Comics. As for the group itself, they take on threats too sizable for the Avengers to handle, yet they are also responsible for making judgment calls that some would deem inappropriate. They once banished the Hulk from Earth because he was more of a threat than an asset…deemed The Illuminati.
Strange is not one to choose his heart over his head. Strange is not one to act altruistically for the sake of it. He sees the future and acts in accordance with it, which can lead to a lack of humanity and a bit of a superiority streak. When it comes to Stark’s “know-it-all” ways, who better than the man who actually knows it all to fill-in?
Moving forward, Parker and Strange will embody Stark – Parker taking on his more positive qualities (which Stark grew into with time), and Strange taking on his initial damaged perspective and egotistical disposition.