Everyone talks about how Tony Stark saved the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe with his self-sacrifice, but no one talks about all the characters who saved Iron Man along the way. Sure, there were plenty of times when Iron Man cheated death through his own wit and ingenuity alone, but it was more often his teammates and colleagues protecting the Armored Avenger - and frequently with not so much as a “thank you” in return.
It’s never a good idea to speak ill of the dead, but most can still admit that Stark was far from perfect. For a genius superhero, Tony sure got outsmarted and needed saving a lot - but that’s what friends are for.
- 144 VOTES
Hulk Catches Iron Man When He Falls Out Of The Portal Above New York In ‘The Avengers’
At the height of tension in The Avengers, Tony Stark saved New York from an alien invasion and a nuke by throwing the nuke at the aliens. At the same time, Natasha Romanoff saved Tony by closing the portal to Chitauri space just after he exited it. But that still left Iron Man plummeting toward Earth from miles in the air, unconscious and stuck inside a depowered suit of armor.
That’s when the Hulk, who had yet to make any sort of emotional connection with any of his Avengers teammates prior to that very moment, leapt from a skyscraper, caught Stark in mid-air, and then shielded Stark with his own body as they crashed to the ground. Hulk didn’t stop there, either, ripping Stark’s mask off and screaming him into consciousness. Hulk didn’t just save Tony - he genuinely cared for him.
Tony and Bruce Banner have been science bros ever since.Major save?
- 229 VOTES
Happy Hogan Crashes A Car Into Ivan Vanko In ‘Iron Man 2’Photo: Paramount Pictures
Lost in a franchise full of heroic moments was Happy Hogan’s incredibly impressive turn early on in Iron Man 2, as he drove onto a live Formula One track and against traffic to rescue his boss from Whiplash. Happy arrived just in time to stop Ivan Vanko from shredding a suitless Tony Stark with electricity, which he did by straight-up ramming his car into Vanko at full speed and pinning him to the wall.
The blow should have probably slain Vanko, but it didn’t, and Happy had to face down a couple of molten whips. Fortunately, he had also delivered Pepper Potts, and she’d brought the Iron Man suitcase with her, and it was all over pretty quickly after that. Did Tony recognize Happy’s immense bravery? No. Instead, he berated him.Major save?
- 335 VOTES
Doctor Strange Cuts A Deal To Save Tony From Thanos In ‘Avengers: Infinity War’
Tony Stark’s life was saved on a great number of occasions, but it was only bargained for once, in Avengers: Infinity War. And who better to do the bargaining than Doctor Stephen Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme? After getting thoroughly stomped by Thanos - and after taking a peek at 14,000,605 potential futures - Strange spoke up to stop the Mad Titan from impaling Iron Man. He offered up the Time Stone, which he’d previously concealed through mystical means, in exchange for sparing Stark’s life. Thanos agreed and departed for Earth.
Minutes later, as he crumbled to dust, the only explanation that Strange could offer was that “It was the only way.” Of course, what he didn’t say was that “the only way” eventually included Tony sacrificing himself to defeat Thanos and save all of reality, so it could be argued that this was less a rescue, and more of a preserving to perish at a later date - but those extra years meant everything to Tony.Major save?
- 456 VOTES
Captain Marvel Finds His Derelict Ship In ‘Avengers: Endgame’
Following the Snap, Tony Stark and Nebula spent two dozen days and the earliest portions of Avengers: Endgame floating around space in the damaged Benatar, slowly draining their air, water, and food reserves. Just when it looked like they’d each be suffering a fate of space-starvation, however, a weakened Stark caught a glimpse of something bright on the horizon, and Captain Marvel arrived in all her glory to save the day.
Though much of the salvation happened off-screen, it’s clear that Carol Danvers scoured the Titan region for the Benatar, secured Tony and Nebula inside, and then literally carried the ship all the way back to Earth. That’s not just a save - it’s a full-on rescue mission.Major save?