- Several other MCU characters, including Hulk, Thor, Scarlet Witch, and Captain Marvel, could have survived doing the snap that killed Iron Man in Avengers: Endgame.
- Characters like She-Hulk, G’iah, Gilgamesh, Adam Warlock, Hercules, and Wolverine also have the potential strength and abilities to survive the impact of using all six Infinity Stones.
- With the future of the MCU expanding into the Multiverse Saga, it’s clear that Iron Man’s sacrifice may not have been the only way to defeat Thanos and save the universe.
Iron Man’s snap in Avengers: Endgame claimed his life, but there are other Marvel Cinematic Universe who could have survived the ordeal if they did it. Marvel Studios’ Joe and Anthony Russo’s culminating film marked the end of the Infinity Saga with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes’ final battle against Thanos. Why they ultimately succeeded in defeating the Titan, their win didn’t come without any sacrifices. Black Widow gave up her life to acquire the Soul Stone in Titan during the time heist. At the end of Avengers: Endgame, Iron Man still had to make the final sacrificial play to ensure that Thanos and his cohorts were totally defeated.
Doctor Strange’s Avengers: Infinity War discovery that there was only one way to defeat Thanos gave the impression that Iron Man sacrificing himself was the only way to do it. From a storytelling perspective, ending Stark’s arc with the ultimate act of selflessness was the perfect way to send off the character, who started as a self-centered industrialist. As the MCU continues in the Multiverse Saga, however, it is becoming increasingly clear that Thanos could have been defeated without Iron Man dying in Avengers: Endgame. There are several Marvel characters who could have done the snap and survived.
Aside from Thanos, the only other MCU character who successfully did and survived the snap is Smart Hulk. After years of his two personas fighting over who got to control his body, Bruce Banner was able to resolve this issue with the introduction of Smart Hulk — a version of the MCU hero who had the consciousness of his human form and the strength of the green-rage monster. The dual-personality character successfully brought back those who perished during Avengers: Infinity War‘s decimation, despite some struggle. However, the most important thing is that he survived.
The God of Thunder is widely regarded as one of the strongest heroes in the MCU. Several times in the franchise Thor saved the universe using his sheer strength, and in Avengers: Infinity War, he withstood the power of a star so Eitri could re-light the forge and create the weapon to create Stormbreaker, which was no easy feat. Had he been in a much better shape mentally during Avengers: Endgame, Thor could have been the perfect Avenger to do the reverse snap. He and the rest of his teammates knew that he was physically strong enough to use all six Infinity Stones at the same time.
10 Scarlet Witch
When Wanda Maximoff was introduced in Avengers: Age of Ultron, there was excitement over how her arrival would change the power hierarchy in the MCU. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until the end of Avengers: Infinity War that it became clear how really capable she is when she successfully destroyed the Mind Stone on Vision’s forehead while simultaneously holding back Thanos. In the Multiverse Saga, Scarlet Witch’s powers are only becoming stronger, further supporting the idea that she would survive doing Iron Man’s snap.
9 Mighty Thor
Natalie Portman returned to the MCU via Thor: Love and Thunder, where she assumed a brand-new persona — Mighty Thor. As Mighty Thor, Jane Foster wielded Mjölnir, which repaired itself after coming into contact with her. Doing so gave her the same set of powers and capabilities that the God of Thunder, including durability. This would have saved her from the impact of using all six Infinity Stones via the snap.
8 Captain Marvel
As revealed in Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers’ powers came from an Infinity Stone, the Space Stone in particular, after she was accidentally exposed to massive blasts of cosmic energy. This gave her superhuman abilities, and the capacity to transform into her binary form which allows her to make full use of her strength. Captain Marvel’s ability to absorb and contain so much energy would likely allow her to withstand the impact of the snap should she have done it.
7 Captain America
Starting as a sickly boy in Brooklyn, Steve Rogers was awarded the Super Soldier serum to become Captain America. This gave him superhuman strength and impeccable fighting skills. The fact that Steve survived being buried in ice for decades proves his durability, which would have saved him from perishing had he done Iron Man’s snap in Avengers: Endgame.
Billed as Hulk’s contemporary, Jennifer Ann Walters aka. She-Hulk didn’t have to go through the internal turmoil that her cousin went through. The character not only has the ability to easily change form, but she also doesn’t lose her human counterpart’s consciousness when she becomes She-Hulk. During her training scenes with Hulk in She-Hulk, Walters proved that she may very well be stronger than him as well. If he could survive doing the snap, it’s highly likely that she could too.
Talos the Skrull’s daughter, G’iah was introduced in Secret Invasion. Like her parents, she has the traditional abilities of Skrulls like shape-shifting and super-strength. However, Marvel Studios has made her far more powerful after she received The Harvest DNA, which has biological specimens from almost every single Avenger who partook in the final Avengers: Endgame battle. This gives G’iah a massive range of powers and capabilities, essentially making her possibly the most powerful character in the MCU, and allowing her to survive the power of using all six Infinity Stones at the same time.
In 2021, Marvel Studios debuted its first superhero team since introducing the Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014 in the Eternals. Every Eternal shares traditional superpowers such as enhanced strength, telepathy, telekinesis, flight, illusion creation, and the ability to fire cosmic beams. Gilgamesh, however, is deemed as strong as Thor — at least per Marvel Comics. So if the God of Thunder could have survived doing the snap, chances are that Gilgamesh could have as well.
3 Adam Warlock
The introduction of Adam Warlock was rumored to happen before the Infinity Saga ended, allowing him to partake in the fight against Thanos, which he was an integral part of in Marvel Comics. While that didn’t happen, James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 officially debuted the character, and although still in his infancy, he is expected to grow stronger as he becomes older. When he eventually reaches his full potential in the MCU, it’s safe to say that he will be strong enough to survive the impact of using all six Infinity Stones at the same time.
Thor: Love and Thunder‘s post-credits scene debuted Brett Goldstein’s Hercules. While Marvel Studios has yet to fully reveal the extent of his powers, Marvel Comics offers an idea of just how strong he could be in the MCU. Like his Greek mythology counterpart, the character is expected to exhibit unparalleled strength, which makes his teased battle with Thor exciting. If he can be a worthy opponent to the God of Thunder, then it’s likely that he would also survive doing Iron Man’s snap like the Asgardian Prince.
After Marvel Studios regained creative control over the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and all of their tie-in characters from Fox, it started setting up the mutants’ introduction in the MCU. Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine may have not officially joined the franchise, but he could have likely volunteered himself to do the snap that would defeat Thanos in Avengers: Endgame. Aside from having superhuman strength, his ability to heal himself quite quickly would be integral in his survival.