The MCU is filled with memorable and now iconic heroes, but it is hard not to first think of the hero who started it all, Iron Man. Before his first solo film in 2008, Tony Stark and Iron Man were far from household names. However, the hugely entertaining film introduced the hero to the masses and the rest is cinematic history.
While the Iron Man armor is certainly impressive, it is Stark's mind that makes him such an asset to the Avengers. Yes, he's made some very poor decisions over the course of the franchise, but his good decisions have helped to save the world. Here are the smartest decisions Iron Man ever made in the MCU.
10 Building The Iron Man Suit
This one decision helped to change Tony Stark's life forever and usher in a new era of heroes. After Stark is kidnapped by the Ten Rings, he is forced to make a missile which will be used to kill innocent people. Instead, Stark creates the suit of armor that will help him break free of captivity.
The Mark 1 suit is a little clunkier than the versions that will follow, but it serves his purpose. The suit also helps Stark to realize his potential for saving lives and changes his entire direction in life. And his pursuit of perfecting the technology helped him face mounting threats throughout the years.
9 Stop Manufacturing Weapons
Once Stark is freed from the Ten Rings, he is a changed man and is willing to put his money where his mouth is. He wastes no time in calling a press conference and announcing that he is ending Stark Industries' manufacturing of weapons of war, seeing what happens when those weapons fall into the wrong hands.
While it might not have been a wise business move, Stark is taking responsibility for what kind of harm his company can do to the world. It is one more step towards becoming the hero who is willing to sacrifice everything.
8 Letting Cap Lead
To say that Tony and Steve Rogers didn't see eye-to-eye right away is an understatement. It doesn't take long for the two heroes to start bickering because of their many differences. However, their partnership eventually becomes one of the most important relationships in the MCU.
Stark certainly has a big personality to match his ego, but when Loki's army is invading, he is willing to put all of that aside and defer leadership to the real captain of the team. Saying "Call it Cap" Stark is admitting that Rogers is the right person to lead the heroes to victory and he's absolutely right.
7 Using His Mind
In the earlier movies, there is a question about whether Stark is a hero outside of the suit or if the armor is the only thing special about him. Iron Man 3 addressed that very question and showed what Stark was capable of when he doesn't have his tech to help him.
Stark puts his mind to work creating new tools and weapons out of the material he has available to him. As fun as it is to see him suit up, seeing this man save the day as Tony Stark rather than Iron Man proves how much of a hero he really is.
6 Creating Vision
Avengers: Age of Ultron shows the dangers of a genius like Tony Stark. Fearing that there are forces coming that they cannot yet handle, Stark once again attempts to use his brain to save the day. Unfortunately, that results in the creation of Ultron, a villainous robot hellbent on destroying the world.
While that was a bad decision, Stark makes up for it with another creation, Vision. While it is once again his mad genius that guides this plan, Vision is a much more effective creation. He is the hero Stark envisioned and could be his most impressive creation.
5 Recruiting Peter
When the Avengers are splintered and Stark finds himself hunting down Captain America and his team, he decides it's time for some new recruits to the squad. While a high school kid from Queens might be an unusual choice, it proved to be an excellent call on Stark's part.
Peter Parker is in his early days of crime-fighting as Spider-Man when he gets called up to the big leagues. He might be a little inexperienced and a bit outmatched by some of the other heroes, but Stark trusts him and sees the hero he can one day become.
4 Forgiving Cap
Watching Tony and Steve's relationship break apart and them fighting each other in Captain America: Civil War was one of the most emotional moments in the MCU. The fracture has devastating effects as the team is still broken once Thanos attacks, which might have led to his victory.
At the beginning of Avengers: Endgame, it's clear Stark still has raw feelings about it. However, putting everything into perspective, he eventually puts aside that bad blood and forgives Cap so that the team can reunite to save the day.
3 Going Back To The Avengers
While Stark is ready to put the past behind him, he is not as enthusiastic about participating in the "time heist". Tony and Pepper built a life for themselves in the aftermath of The Snap, including having a daughter. He feels there is too much at risk now.
While those feelings are understandable, Stark's heroic side won't allow him to sit this fight out. He solves the time travel equation and rejoins the team for one last mission to make everything right whatever it takes.
2 Going To The 60s
The time-heist in Avengers: Endgame is one of the most fun sequences in the entire MCU but, of course, things don't quite go according to plan. Thanks to a very angry Hulk and a tricky Loki, the team fails to get the Tesseract and doesn't have enough Pym Particles to try again.
However, Stark comes up with the brilliant solution to go back further in time to the 60s where they can visit the New Jersey S.H.I.E.L.D. base where both the Pym Particles and the Tesseract are being kept. Not only do they succeed in their mission, but Tony gets some much-needed closure with his father as well.
1 The Snap
We were all expecting we would have to say goodbye to some of our favorite heroes in Avengers: Endgame, but we were still not properly prepared for the death of Tony Stark. But it proved to be the most fitting end for the character and brought him full circle.
Stark started in the MCU as a selfish businessman and became the hero who was willing to sacrifice himself to save the universe. Taking the stones from Thanos and snapping his fingers, knowing it would kill him, was the most heroic act in the MCU.