Iron Man and Captain America Traded Stories in Avengers Endgame


Iron Man and Captain America had opposite arcs in the MCU that by the time Avengers: Endgame finished, they had totally swapped stories.

By Avengers: Endgame, Iron Man and Captain America had traded their respective character arcs in the MCU. The Avengers’ most prominent heroes were major players in the Infinity Saga, and incidentally, both also wrapped up their superhero runs through the 2019 Joe and Anthony Russo film. Looking at their overall narratives, however, the pair ended up totally switching arcs and perspectives at the time their stories ended.

Tony Stark and Steve Rogers couldn’t be any more different; it’s one of the main reasons why they have such an interesting dynamic in the MCU. The former was forward-thinking, constantly working towards the future, meanwhile, the latter was old-school, brought about by the fact that he’s originally from the early 20th century and just happened to be in the modern times. The pair’s conflicting perspectives were immediately clear during their initial meet-up in The Avengers. At one point in the 2012 film, they almost got into a fistfight following a tense argument as they challenged each other’s worthiness; had it not been for the more pressing matters, chances are that they might have very well gone after each other.

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Related: Why Marvel’s Future Is Still Defined By Captain America & Iron Man

Their respective starting points were also contrasting — Tony was a self-serving industrialist who couldn’t care about anyone else before he became Iron Man, while Steve had been committed to the greater good long before he became Captain America. Interestingly, however, they ended up switching arcs by the time Endgame rolled around. He proved that he was capable of putting other’s well-being ahead of his own when Iron Man made the sacrificial play by wielding the power of the Infinity Stone to ensure that Thanos no longer posed a threat to the universe which spelled his death. Captain America, on the other hand, decided to finally put his personal life as his number one priority, retiring from his superhero duties and reunite with Peggy Carter in the ’40s.

What’s interesting with Steve’s ending is that Tony was a motivating factor in his decision. During his return to MCU’s prime timeline to hand out the shield and the Captain America mantle to Sam Wilson/Falcon, he didn’t want to go into specifics about what he’d been up to seeing that he was significantly older. Instead, he simply mentioned that after completing his final mission to return all the Infinity Stones from the time heist, he decided to go seek the life Tony wanted him to get. This was a  reference to the pair’s parting conversation at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron where Iron Man correctly predicted that Captain America will eventually get the personal life he’d dreamed of. At this point, Steve was still skeptical, knowing that he cannot truly be happy if he wasn’t with Peggy. Fortunately for him, time travel became a reality in Avengers: Endgame.

As for Iron Man, it’s no secret that not everyone is a fan of his ending in Avengers: Endgame, especially since he left a wife and daughter in Pepper Potts and Morgan. But, in the grand scheme of things, it made sense for him to make the sacrificial play. He knew that he was on borrowed time after he survived his abduction in Afghanistan and that there had to be a purpose for his second chance in life. His final fate may be tragic, but it was a fitting end to Iron Man’s tremendous MCU story. It emphasized just how much he had learned from his past mistakes to be a selfless hero making his overall arc so much better as it has a clear throughline.

The pressure on Marvel Studios to deliver a satisfying end to the Infinity Saga through Avengers: Endgame was immense. But among the string of things they had to accomplish in the film, giving a sensible send-off to Iron Man and Captain America were on the top of the list. Luckily for them, they delivered on both fronts.

Next: Avengers: Why Thanos Didn’t Kill Thor in Infinity War


  • Black Widow (2021)Release date: May 07, 2021
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release date: Jul 09, 2021
  • Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
  • Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
  • Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
  • Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022

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