After Iron Man’s death in Avengers: Endgame, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier can properly resolve his biggest unfinished plot through Bucky’s arc.
Iron Man’s biggest unresolved plot in the MCU can be finished through The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Set a few months after Avengers: Endgame, the latest MCU show on Disney+ focuses on Steve Rogers’ closest friends, Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes, as they embark on their individual and collective journey. While these new projects are set to move the franchise forward, Marvel Studios can still utilize the shows to tie-up lingering plot points from the Infinity Saga — including a key Tony Stark narrative.
Marvel Studios did a great job wrapping up Iron Man’s arc in Endgame in preparation for his heroic death. He was able to live the quiet life with Pepper and Morgan for five years in the aftermath of Thanos’ snap in Avengers: Infinity War, and he made sure that Spider-Man returned after being dusted off by the decimation. Through the time heist, he was able to reunite with his dad, Howard Stark, in the 1970s, giving him the chance to finally come to terms with his flaws and shortcomings as a father. However, this doesn’t fully resolve his grudge against Bucky, who murdered his parents while operating as the Winter Soldier.
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Learning about this in Captain America: Civil War was a big turning point for Iron Man’s story — and the MCU’s arc in general. While the Avengers’ split was first instigated by the team’s inability to find a middle ground with regard to the Sokovia Accords, it was the revelation that Bucky killed Howard and Maria Stark, and Steve’s cover-up of the incident, that made things personal for Tony. Five years later after the snap, Iron Man and Captain America made amends in preparation for Endgame‘s time heist, but Bucky never had the chance to properly ask forgiveness for what he did. Despite being brainwashed, the fact of the matter is that he still killed the Starks. Now, Bucky has the chance to finally do that in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier; as part of his rehabilitation program, he’s making amends for all the things he’s done during his time as the HYDRA operative.
Bucky making amends for killed the Starks in The Falcon and Winter Soldier wouldn’t just for Tony’s story’s sake. As seen in the ongoing Marvel Studios series, Bucky is being haunted by his ugly past. Although he was brainwashed when he committed these horrendous acts, he still feels guilty for doing them. Seeing him hanging out with Yori as a way to make amends for him murdering his son during one of his missions as the Winter Soldier was brutally painful to watch — especially when he couldn’t decide whether or not to come clean about it. Similarly, it’s possible that Bucky is still feeling guilty for what he did to the Starks, and while Tony is gone and he missed his chance to properly straighten things out with him, he could always reach out to his family. Pepper Potts and Morgan Stark are still in the MCU, and through them, he can properly ask forgiveness for what he did.
The events of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will determine the future of Bucky in the MCU. For him to finally put his HYDRA operative past behind, dealing with some of the worst things he did is necessary. So while asking forgiveness for the death of Howard and Maria Stark will effectively resolve arguably the biggest lingering story for Iron Man, doing so would benefit Bucky’s arc more than it does Tony’s.
More: Falcon & Winter Soldier Retcons Iron Man’s Age Of Ultron Boss Line
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Why Bucky Is The Only Avenger To Truly Atone For His Crimes
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