The trailer of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has brought Superior Iron-Man into the spotlight. Here’s more on him.
The Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness trailer has certainly paid off some of the fan theories surrounding it. But one of them that is still left hanging and for good reason is the Tony Stark variant i.e. Superior Iron-Man. It is important to know more about him as it can add to the plot and the future of MCU as a whole. So, here goes.
In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness trailer, we see Strange escorted by a group of Ultron bots. They present him in front of a tribunal that has six seats. And with Patrick Stewart’s Professor Xavier confirmed as one of its members, this tribunal is anticipated to be none other than the Illuminati. In the comics, the Illuminati was founded by Tony Stark. It had him, Strange, Professor Xavier, Reed Richards, Namor, and Black Bolt.
Are They Ultron Bots or Iron Legion?
The androids are foot soldiers and are clearly following orders. This seems to be a sign that they aren’t Ultron Bots but the Iron Legion created by Tony Stark as a part of his plan to create a suit of armour around the world in Avengers: Age of Ultron. However, these bots definitely belong to a different universe as the MCU doesn’t have them anymore (destroyed in Avengers: Age of Ultron itself). This, in turn, means that Tony Stark who is probably the one who created these bots also belongs to a different universe. And voila! We have ourselves a Tony Stark variant.
Watch: Tom Cruise is Iron Man
The Mysterious Figure Fighting Wanda
The trailer also shows a mysterious glowing figure fighting Wanda. For many fans, this is Superior Iron-Man, thanks to the visibly silver and blue suit. And the fan-favourite actor to put it on is Tom Cruise. Interestingly, Tom was also the first choice for Iron-Man (2008) before Robert Downey Jr. Well, that went well, didn’t it? Thanks to John Favreau, who almost fought for Downey for the role, Downey remains the best choice as an actor for a particular superhero (alongside Christian Bale as the Dark Knight).
Why Specifically Superior Iron-Man?
The popular notion that the Tony Stark variant in question is Superior Iron-Man makes sense. In the AXIS event in the Marvel comics, Scarlet Witch and Doctor Doom, face Red Skull. During the battle, they cast a spell of inversion that inverses the nature and motives of a super-powered being. They did this to turn Red Skull good but it didn’t go as planned. The spell did turn the moral compass of Red Skull around i.e. he became good from the bad. But it also affected the moral compasses of the Earth’s superheroes, one of them being Tony Stark. As intelligent as he is, an evil Tony shields himself from the re-inversion. In this way, he was able to remain evil.
It is this evil variant of Tony Stark that creates the chrome armour. It is an “endo-sym” armour made out of symbiote-infused metal. He then introduced Extremis 3.0 that transformed common people into more healthy, smart, and better human beings. He also created the Iron Sight program that would monitor people all around the world. Eventually, he dies while fighting Captain Steve Rogers during an incursion (an event where two planets collide) of Earth- Earth-1610 aka the Ultimate Universe and Earth-616 aka Marvel Universe. Both the characters are then pulled into the Secret Wars storyline where we find the good Tony back in action.
With the MCU heading towards its own version of Secret Wars (Avengers 5), the already established multiverse along with Superior Iron-Man are reasonable motivations. Thus, Superior Iron-Man’s introduction in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is reasonable.
What About the Tony Stark Variant?
The variant of the Tony, whether or not he is Superior Iron-Man, will be in “stark” contrast to the one of the MCU. We must remember that the new Tony has a fully-functioning Iron-Legion. And it is aided by Ultron AI to maintain “peace in our time.” So this means that Ultron didn’t turn on him. And he didn’t have to face Wanda aka Scarlet Witch, or Quicksilver for that matter, since both were manipulated by Ultron himself (Avengers: Age of Ultron).
Neither would there have been the Sokovia event which would take a serious toll on him as it did to the MCU Tony in Captain America: Civil War. This Tony would be egoistic, full of pride, and drinking his way to developing more dangerous weapons.
There is another suggestion. After all we discussed till now, we also need to remember that the new Tony Stark variant is supposed to be evil. So, will Tom Cruise play an evil Stark? If yes, then how will he fit into the Illuminati? After all, in the comics, it is a good Tony who formed the group post the Kree-Skrull War. He realized the importance of sharing information that could have prevented the war (one that is still on in the MCU as we see at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home).
Vision’s View of the Multiverse
Vision had Ultron’s A.I as a part of him. In the trailer, Wanda tells Strange that Vision “believed it was dangerous.” This proves that Vision, who has Ultron’s consciousness in him, knew about the multiverse. So it is also possible that in an alternate universe (the one with the new Tony Stark variant we are talking about), Ultron helps Tony explore the multiverse and even the possibility of incursions. This again connects to the Secret Wars which took place as a result of incursions (in the comics).
All in all, Superior Iron-Man’s presence in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is still a conjecture. All we can do is hope to see him and Tom Cruise as the perfect variant of the genius, billionaire, playboy, and philanthropist.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness releases exclusively in theatres on May 6, 2022.