Tony Stark/Iron Man's (Robert Downey Jr.) recurring left arm injury might be hinting at his Avengers: Endgame fate. The first Avengers: Endgame trailer revealed Stark's dire situation while floating in space aboard the Benatar, with no hope of being rescued following his failed trip to Titan in Avengers: Infinity War. While it's still unknown how exactly he'll make his way back to Earth, Iron Man will eventually rejoin the rest of the remaining heroes to come up with a plan to defeat Thanos once and for all.
Being the first hero who sensed Thanos' looming threat following the Battle of New York, Stark will be at the forefront of the upcoming fight against the Mad Titan. Following his failure to foil Thanos' devious plan of wiping out half of life in the universe, forcing him to live out his worst nightmare, Stark will be motivated more than ever to take beat the villain - stopping at nothing to make sure that Thanos pays for his sins. This means that that if push comes to shove and he needs to execute the sacrificial play to defeat Thanos, there's no doubt that he'll do it.
Much has been said about Stark's fate in Avengers: Endgame being the MCU's inaugural hero, not to mention his personal ties to Thanos. Whether he dies or walks away from his superhero gig to live a normal life with Pepper Potts at the end of the film remains to be seen, but a recurring injury further highlighted in Captain America: Civil War may offer clues as to what's going to happen to him in Avengers: Endgame.
- This Page: Iron Man's Left Arm Injury In The MCU
- Page 2: Tony's Injury Links Him to Thanos & Foreshadows His Endgame Fate
Iron Man's Left Arm Has Been Repeatedly Injured Throughout The MCU
Since officially becoming a superhero a decade ago in Iron Man, Stark has been in his fair share of fights. However, he isn't physically built to be a brawler like Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth). While his Iron Man suit also functions as protection, it makes sense that he's suffered both temporary and permanent physical damage over the years - some of which are starting to nag him in subtle ways. However, nothing is as noticeable as his left arm injury.
Stark's left arm has been hurt repeatedly in the MCU. On his first outing as Iron Man in Afghanistan, a tank shell hit his left arm, thus causing him to crash land. He came out fine after that - only icing his bruised shoulder when he got back home. He suffered another blow in the same area and even got caught in Ivan Vanko/Whiplash's (Mickey Rourke) electric-powered lasso in Iron Man 2's Monaco fight. While containing Hulk's (Mark Ruffalo) breakdown in Avengers: Age of Ultron, after Scarlet Witch's (Elizabeth Olsen) manipulations, it was the Hulkbuster's left appendage that was torn-off and replaced. Granted, he didn't suffer the same impact from the suit damage, but it's safe to say that he somehow felt the blow on his left arm.
Over the last few MCU films, Stark's left arm curse has become more prevalent as he's seen almost always holding his left wrist - as if he's trying to ease pain from it. This was shown multiple times in Spider-Man: Homecoming; at one point his left hand was even unintentionally trembling.
Iron Man's Left Arm Was Called Out In Civil War
While Iron Man's history of injuring his left arm goes as far back as the first Iron Man, it was first acknowledged in Captain America: Civil War. Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, the third Captain America entry tackled the conflict between Stark and Rogers that led to the break-up of the Avengers. Throughout the film, we see Stark's full left arm go through the wringer - it was hit by a falling car during the airport fight and was on a sling for some time before he had to suit up again. During his fight with Bucky and Captain America in Siberia, Iron Man fell onto a metal platform right on his left arm.
However, it was early on in Captain America: Civil War when he first expressed discomfort over his injury, asking Black Widow (Scarlet Johansson): "My left arm is numb. Is that normal," after Thunderbolt Ross (William Hurt) pressuring him to bring in his rogue teammates. Since Stark is known for his sense of humor, no one really took his words seriously. The injury, however, seemed to have worsened when events of Spider-Man: Homecoming rolled out. He was noticeably holding his wrist as if to soothe it while he chastised Peter Parker (Tom Holland) for the ferry encounter with the Vulture (Michael Keaton).
Considering that the Russos were also going to direct Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, it's possible that the emphasis on Stark's left arm injury since Civil War has something to do with how things pan out for him in Endgame. It would make sense, especially since the directing duo also worked with Civil War writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely who wrote Civil War, Avengers 3, and Avengers 4, thus making it easier for them to iron out the narrative continuity in the films.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019