Iron Man’s death in Avengers: Endgame and the legacy he leaves behind are made all the more tragic by a small detail in NWH. In Joe and Anthony Russo’s 2019 blockbuster, Marvel Studios’ first character completed his arc by sacrificing himself in order to defeat Thanos. However, learning more about the present state of his legacy in the MCU is even more depressing than his tragic death itself.
Because Tony Stark mentored Peter Parker, he had a significant impact on the character’s story arc. As seen in Spider-Man: Homecoming, he’s a billionaire genius. While Spider-Man: Far From Home dealt with the grief of the young hero following the death of his mentor in Avengers: Endgame, his presence loomed largely. When Spidey went on his first solo adventure, he titled it NWH, and it had very little to do with the Iron Man series at all. In any case, the appearance of Happy Hogan meant that there were bound to be subtle references to the Avenger.
Even so, NWH gives viewers a glimpse into how the MCU has handled Iron Man’s legacy. Dum-E was apparently being kept in Happy’s condo after Peter and Aunt May discovered his secret superhero identity. For the uninitiated, Tony built the robot in his father’s workshop while he was a student at MIT at the age of 16. It was revealed in an Iron Man tribute montage that Dum-E was also an award-winning robot, according to newspaper clippings. He decided to keep it with him even after he sold the Avengers Tower, even having the device relocated to a facility in Upstate New York. Even more tragic is the fact that Pepper Potts doesn’t care that it is in Happy’s apartment, given its significance to the genius, billionaire’s story, and personal legacy.
The fact that Dum-E saved Tony’s life in Iron Man after Obadiah Stane stole his arc reactor is also worth noting. It’s reasonable to assume that, given this and his time spent with the robot, Pepper would have liked to keep him in the family collection and even allow Morgan to interact with him as a way to keep her connected with his father. As a result of its destruction in Spider-Man: Homecoming, it must have remained in Happy’s condo, where it is now.
Dum-E’s absence from Pepper’s lake house indicates that she does not want to be associated with her husband’s heroic past. She had previously asked him to step away from it. However, Tony’s devotion to his heroic cause was so much stronger. For this reason, it makes sense. In Endgame, Tony’s wife, Pepper, may have agreed to his participation in the time heist. However, she may still be keeping a distance from the Avengers and anything related to Tony’s Iron Man tenure.
Perhaps Pepper’s grieving process is to blame for this, rather than her own selfish motives. In Avengers: Endgame, Tony was killed in the fight against Thanos. It could also be her way to safeguard Morgan. This would ensure that she doesn’t follow in his footsteps as a hero who puts her life at risk every single day. The absence of Pepper in NWH may be an explanation for her non-involvement. That such an important part of Iron Man’s characterization was discarded is a sad indictment of his overall legacy. Whatever the case may be.