Iron Man’s Best MCU Moments

In 2008, the Marvel Cinematic Universe officially began with the release of Iron Man. Then, 11 years and 21 movies later, the journey of Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark came to a heart-wrenching close when he made the ultimate sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame.

In honor of the immense legacy he’s left behind, here are what we feel are Iron Man’s best MCU moments:

  1. Building Mark I

    After being captured by the Ten Rings, an injured Tony Stark secretly worked with Ho Yinsen to build a crude set of armor powered by an Arc Reactor in order to escape. Little did he know this was the catalyst that would soon propel him into the world of superheroism.

  2. I Am Iron Man, Part I

    When the press learned of the newly dubbed “Iron Man’s” exploits and his proximity to Tony, they began to put two and two together. S.H.I.E.L.D., of course, provided him with an airtight alibi, but Tony simply couldn’t help himself. “The truth is... I am Iron Man,” he announced to the world.

  3. The Grand Prix Battle

    Say what you will about Iron Man 2 but Tony’s first encounter with Ivan Vanko/Whiplash at the Monaco Grand Prix is an absolute gem. Plus, we get the introduction of the Mark V armor, which deploys from a briefcase in a fun nod to the comics.

  4. The Consultant

    Our first introduction to the notion of the MCU being a shared universe came in the post-credits scene of The Incredible Hulk, where we saw Tony approach a drunken General Thaddeus Ross. This, of course, was later repurposed in the Marvel One-Shot The Consultant, and while it’s a relatively minor moment, it was the start of something bigger than most fans could have ever imagined.

  5. The Trinity’s First Encounter

    Before the Avengers officially assembled, there were some rough patches, specifically the first encounter between Iron Man, Captain America and Thor, which took the form of an epic, albeit brief skirmish in the woods.

  6. The Nuke

    Some say Iron Man’s sacrifice in Endgame is a nod to Cap questioning Tony’s willingness to lay down on the wire in The Avengers. While that may be true, Tony also proved this in the first ensemble film when he steered the World Security Council’s nuke away from Manhattan and into the Chitauri wormhole. He was fully prepared to sacrifice himself in this moment and it’s only by sheer luck (and a roar from Hulk) that he survived.

  7. Iron Man 3

    Iron Man 3 gets a bad rap from fans. However, despite its flaws, this movie is a brilliant deconstruction of a hero we’d seen established over the course of three films. It’s also an excellent examination of mental health and PTSD from a superhero’s perspective.

  8. Tony’s Vision

    Thanks to Endgame, Tony’s vision from Avengers: Age of Ultron has become far more satisfying. In it, Tony witnessed his fellow heroes lying dead in what we now know was an allusion to the final battle against Thanos and his army. He even saw Cap’s shield broken in half in the same manner it was destroyed by the Mad Titan.

  9. Busting Hulk

    Fans were understandably elated to see the iconic Hulkbuster armor from the comics make its live-action debut in Age of Ultron. The scene certainly lived up to the hype, even if the film as a whole left much to be desired.

  10. Recruiting Spider-Man, Part I

    Not only is this moment the epitome of quintessential RDJ/Tony Stark but it’s also our introduction of Peter Parker in the MCU. What more could you want?

  11. The Clash of the Avengers

    The airport battle in Captain America: Civil War was our first glimpse at what a major superhero clash looked like when Marvel Studios decided to dial things up to 11. As for Iron Man himself, he’s just one of many standout characters in the scene, which is reason enough to include it on this list.

  12. Captain America Vs. Iron Man

    Civil War didn’t hold back when it came to pulling at the heartstrings. The climactic battle between Iron Man and Captain America (and Winter Soldier) was full of emotion, culminating with Cap destroying the Arc Reactor and Tony guilting him into surrendering his shield.

  13. Recruiting Spider-Man, Part II

    Tony was utilized quite effectively in Spider-Man: Homecoming as a mentor to Peter. However, when he attempts to recruit Spidey to the Avengers in the final scene, we see a different side of Iron Man that definitely pays off in Infinity War and Endgame.

  14. Round One With Thanos

    Iron Man’s first encounter with the Mad Titan doesn’t go well for the Armored Avenger. In fact, he’s stabbed through the gut in a moment that made countless fans question if this was the last they’d ever see of Tony Stark. Thankfully, it wasn’t, but the emotional weight didn’t end there either, as we soon watched as Tony said goodbye to Spider-Man following the Decimation.

  15. Avengers Reassembled

    When Tony finally returned to Earth in Endgame, it wasn’t exactly a happy reunion. His first interaction with Captain America since Civil War ended with shouting, as Tony’s grief, frustration and anxiety got the better of him before he finally passed out in an emotionally charged scene.

  16. I Love You 3,000

    After some foreshadowing in Infinity War, fans were finally introduced to Tony and Pepper’s daughter Morgan in Endgame. What’s more, they were introduced to the most repeatable quote from the entire film when Morgan tells her father that she loves him 3,000, which he repeats in his video will after his death.

  17. Back to the Past

    Ever since the first Iron Man, it’s been established that Tony and Howard Stark had a rocky relationship. In Endgame, though, Tony finally reconciles those feelings when he travels back to 1970 and comes face to face with his father to bring things full circle.

  18. I Am Iron Man, Part II

    Speaking of bringing things full circle, Tony’s final line in Endgame is, fittingly, “And I... am... Iron Man,” which he says just before using the Infinity Gauntlet do defeat Thanos.

    We’ll miss you 3,000, Iron Man.

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