By saving Tony in Afghanistan, Killmonger prevents Iron Man from ever existing. The billionaire now wants to make bigger and better weapons to protect the country, an ambition he abandons in “Iron Man.” Since Tony never went through the experience of being a prisoner, he lacked the push to become the best version of himself. Without Iron Man, it’s a fair assumption to assume that the world ends at some point in the near future. The Avengers likely never form, and Thanos is probably never defeated. This seems to be a common outcome based on the twisted storylines “What If…?” has been giving us.
This Tony meets his end — the third time in this series, by the way — after Killmonger impales him with a Dora Milaje spear. It turns out he’s a bad guy and not the savior he looked like he might have been in the episode’s opening. This Killmonger is very much the same version we met in “Black Panther” — a vengeful man always thinking two steps ahead. He uses Tony for his intellect and resources to build soldier drones which he uses later in the episode and effectively ends his new friend’s life when he’s no longer needed. But Tony isn’t the only MCU hero who Killmonger ends in this story — Colonel Rhodes and T’Challa are both taken out by the villain in a salvage yard on the African coast thanks to another master plan.