Marvel’s first animated series, What If…? included an evil version of Doctor Stephen Strange. Not only that, but it also explained why Tony Stark cannot be revived in the MCU.
Marvel and Disney+ animated series What If…? finally echoed an MCU mystery that revealed why Tony Stark can never be returned in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In episode 4, the makers put Doctor Stephen Strange and Doctor Christine Palmer through continuous traumas. It showed how Marvel discovers what could happen if Doctor Strange never lost his arms. Instead, Strange loses Christine in a car crash. As a result, Doctor Strange seeks out the mystic arts and tries to bring Christine back. However, reversing the event could result in collapsing the universe. While Tilda Swinton fails to stop Strange from making an attempt, she splits him into two and allows both of them to occur in the same universe but in different timelines. Apparently, the evil Doctor Strange outwins and ends up destroying everything.
In Avengers: Endgame, Tony Stark, AKA Iron Man takes his final bow. He did it by processing the claim that Doctor Strange made in Infinity War that there is only one way to defeat Thanos. As a result, during the final battle in Endgame, Tony realized that the one way will result in his death but a win. He manages to steal all the Infinity Stones from Thanos by tricking him and snaps his fingers by saying “I’m Iron Man.” Following the event, Thanos and his army immediately disappear but that costs Tony’s life. This exact moment serves as a farewell to the MCU’s most loving character, Iron Man.
In What If…? episode 4, Marvel finally explains why Iron Man cannot come back. In the episode, Doctor Strange repeatedly tried to bring Christine back but no matter whatever he did, she dies over again and again. As per Tilda Swinton’s Ancient One, Doctor Palmer’s death was an absolute fit for the point in time and no one could have done anything to bring her back or save her from death. Additionally, reversing an absolute point could result in a temporal paradox that may destruct the universe. This is evident from a point where the Evil Doctor Strange gets an opportunity to save Christine but at the cost of destroying reality. The same reasoning goes for Stark’s death.
Iron Man’s death during the Endgame was one of those absolute points that cannot be changed at any cost. If Tony Stark would not have sacrificed his life to defeat Thanos, the events would have destroyed the Avengers and the universe. Even Black Widow’s death was a fixed point. These events had to happen. As a result, the theory explained it all why Tony Stark can never be brought back in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Yes, the Multiverse does allow some loopholes and with that said, there is a possibility that because of multiple timelines, several other Starks are showboating around other universes. Thus, while MCU might not bring the original Stark back, it is still possible that Iron Man is not gone forever.