Pretty much every member of the Marvel Cinematic Universe appeared in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, but with the twisted tangle of cosmic timelines, there are still a handful of heroes who haven’t exchanged pleasantries. In the case of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), some may never get a chance to do so. As it turns out, there is an astonishing number of heroes Iron Man never met in the MCU at all.
For the sake of this list, we’re not counting just being present at the final battle against Thanos (Josh Brolin) at the end of Endgame together. These characters have to have at least spoken to Iron Man. We’re also not faulting Tony for not meeting characters that died before he had the opportunity, like Yondu. Even with those caveats, there’s still quite a list.
Tony got to team up with most of the Guardians of the Galaxy during the events of Infinity War and Endgame. At various points in the Iron Man films or crossover events like the Avengers films and Captain America: Civil War, he met almost every hero and sidekick in the ‘verse all the way up to Captain Marvel (Brie Larson). Here’s who he missed before he died.
Iron Man hasn’t compared Bad Dad notes with Wasp
Tony may have met Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), and possibly even Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) when he was younger. That’s plausible. We saw Howard Stark (John Slattery) and Hank working together in both Endgame and the first Ant-Man movie. Even though they had a falling out with Howard, it’s nice that Hank and Janet attended Tony‘s funeral in Endgame. In Marvel comics, Janet‘s Wasp and Tony‘s Iron Man were co-founders of the original Avengers and even dated for a little while. That’s another story.
The only Ant-Man character Tony Stark has met on-screen is Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), first towards the end of Civil War and then later in Endgame. After Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) comes through the portals in Endgame, though, she doesn’t really interact with Iron Man. It’s a bummer they didn’t get a chance to meet, especially since their parents were coworkers. Then again, Scott Lang spat, “Hank Pym always said you never can trust a Stark” at Tony in Captain America: Civil War. If Hope grew up hearing that too, then maybe she isn’t interested in becoming pals.
Iron Man never had the pleasure of meeting Gamora
It’s actually a plot point in Infinity War that Tony Stark doesn’t know who Gamora (Zoe Saldana) is when he comes face to face with Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and the Guardian squad. By the time Iron Man, Spider-Man (Tom Holland), and Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) meet up with them in Infinity War, Gamora has already been kidnapped by Thanos. She dies on Vormir shortly thereafter. It’s actually pretty weird that they didn’t meet each other in Infinity War as the two of them are kind of the ensemble film’s two lead protagonists.
The “new” time-travelling 2014 version of Gamora doesn’t really get to meet Tony in Endgame, either. This is kind of a shame for the MCU, too, especially considering that Tony and Gamora absolutely hooked up in a comic too (it did not go well — your ships are still very much intact). Gamora isn’t the only Guardians character that never met Tony, but we’ll get to the other one in a minute.
Iron Man didn’t get to tour Shuri’s lab
Black Panther‘s little sister had a really important role in Infinity War and got to be Science Bros with Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), but Iron Man was in space at that time. It’s possible that he hasn’t met Okoye (Danai Gurira) either, but since she represented Wakanda at Natasha‘s (Scarlett Johansson) holographic Zoom meetings during the Blip, it’s pretty likely that the Dora Milaje leader has “e-met” Tony at the very least. Even though he retired to the woods with Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow) to raise Morgan (Lexi Rabe) in Endgame, he wasn’t totally off the grid. Shuri was taken by Thanos‘ snap, though, so we know she wasn’t around.
This does, however, raise an interesting question: has Tony Stark even been to Wakanda? He got close during the vibranium heist in Age of Ultron, but we have very little information on what he knew about the secret nation and its superscience. If T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) were harbouring Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) in Wakanda post-Civil War, then they probably weren’t expecting Mr. Stark to visit any time soon. It sure looks like he missed out on the world of Black Panther entirely. He never got to experience all of that advanced technology or Shuri‘s delightful personality.
Iron Man hasn’t paid respect to the King of Asgard, Valkyrie
“Nice to meet you,” Peter Parker says to Valkyrie when they meet in Endgame‘s final battle. Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) meets her in New Asgard when they go to get Thor in Endgame. She becomes good friends with the Hulk during Thor: Ragnarok. But unless Tony took a trip to Norway we don’t know about during the five years that pass in Endgame, Iron Man hasn’t actually met Asgard’s newest monarch. He also hasn’t met Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander), the only surviving member of Thor‘s pals (RIP, the Warriors Three), either. Nor has he crossed paths with Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) or even future superhero Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), for that matter.
Almost all of the characters Iron Man hasn’t met are female. Are you noticing that too? Thankfully, representation in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is changing and expanding with every new entry. Plus, it’s not necessarily intentional that Tony didn’t meet these women in the final battle. If you check out Endgame‘s deleted scenes, there’s a sequence in which Iron Man is seen strategizing with Gamora, Wasp, Valkyrie, and Okoye (among others) that didn’t make it into the film. Hard to say it counts, but it’s certainly something to think about.
Iron Man never got to call Groot “Treebeard”
How the heck did Iron Man never meet Groot (Vin Diesel)? The sulking teenage tree is the other Guardians character, in addition to Gamora, who hasn’t had the pleasure of interacting with Tony Stark. In Infinity War, he was on a mission with Thor and Rocket to forge a new hammer when Tony met his friends. Then Groot joined the Wakanda fight with Thor and Rocket and got snapped by Thanos. Tony returned to Earth in Endgame and met Rocket Raccoon (who he thought was a Build-A-Bear) and worked with him on the Time Heist plan to retrieve the Infinity Stones. However, Groot didn’t show back up until the portals opened at the end of the film, missing Tony completely. Imagine the jokes Iron Man would have made if he really stopped to take notice of a sentient sapling fighting beside him. At least we’ll always have Cap formally introducing himself to Groot in Infinity War.
If you really want to nitpick, Tony also never met Howard the Duck (Seth Green), who shows up in the end credits sequence of Guardians of the Galaxy, but maybe that’s for the best. Even the most ambitious crossover event in history couldn’t get to everyone.