If you haven’t already, you better pick a side – because Captain America: Civil War is out in just a few weeks. Divided by (misguided) loyalties and personal beliefs, The Avengers turn against each other in what is sure to be an emotional ride for all of us. Fans are joining up with Team Cap and Team Iron Man, with the latter appearing to fall behind in terms of support. And why is that? Yes, this is a Captain America film after all. But no, that’s not what I’m getting at. It’s because Civil War will show a new side of Iron Man, one that goes against all those unattractive qualities we love. With so many fans and superheroes coming down on Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) for siding with the government, I think it’s only fair that we shed some light on the reasons for his decision.
Ask yourself; would I like Tony Stark if I met him? Chances are no, you probably wouldn’t. I doubt anyone would. He is basically a (larger and hairier version of a) 12-year-old brainiac with tons of money and expensive playthings, who thinks he’s better than everybody else. And honestly, who liked that kid? So imagine how hard it must be for this guy to make friends. No wonder he goes a little cray cray when betrayed by one of the few he’s got.
Not the most obvious of friendships, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Tony Stark’s relationship has been building up for quite some time. Cap challenges Stark. He sets him straight, takes him back on moral ground when he goes off into hubris-land. In other words, Stark needs Cap. And Cap leaves him for Bucky. Ouch. This just got personal.
MCU has set Tony Stark on a painful journey of soul searching and self-reflection right from the start. This genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist had a sudden burst of remorse over his life as a weapon-making mogul, most likely brought on by an involuntary stay in the Afghan desert, and decided to turn over a new leaf. But despite his transformation into ass-kicking superhero (that suits his persona to a T), Stark’s image of the world continues to crumble. And now, it’s like this kid is seeing the consequences of his actions for the first time. Maybe what we’re about to witness is Iron Man finally growing up (please, no!). But he has an excuse for this delayed reaction; suffering from such an inflated ego, it is easy to miss the big picture.
As we are well aware, life as a superhero isn’t always a piece of cake. Not only did Stark’s own technology turn against him, but soon the universe did too. And following the events involving a certain wormhole, our poor hero suffered from sleep deprivation and severe anxiety attacks for months! Who wouldn’t? Seeing his darling Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) fall into the flames (and resurrect) probably didn’t help calm those fears either. So it goes without saying that, apart from the more evident ones, this guy has some serious underlying issues.
Now that we’re done with this psychoanalysis, let’s turn to Tony Stark’s sudden preference for rules and regulations. Here is a man with a severe intolerance to authority, so why is he agreeing to government control? It’s fear, people. Plain old fear. Stark has had enough. To some extent, it was also this fear that manifested in his creation Ultron, whose mission of “peace in our time” was synonymous with the extinction of the Avengers (Avengers: Age of Ultron). And while we obviously wouldn’t want that, it’s hard to deny the havoc and devastation that seems to follow this team around.
The more shocking aspect of all this, in my humble opinion, is Captain America going all badass. I mean, hello? What happened all that lovey-dovey talk about The Avengers standing together? Having constantly acted as the moral compass of the group, and its (not so) unofficial leader, it comes as no surprise that some of the other team members would follow him. However, I have a sneaky feeling they’re being manipulated into thinking their mission is about freedom and integrity, when they’re actually just tagging along on Cap’s desperate journey to cling on to the past by saving his long lost BFF, Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan). But hey, that’s just me. That’s the same BFF that used to double as a HYDRA assassin by the way. Needless to say I’m with Iron Man on this one. Sure, trusting the government might not be the smartest thing. We all know that tends to go south. But responding to the fears of the people versus teaming up with an unstable killing-machine, there’s really no question as to who’s got the compass now.
Is Iron Man justified in his decision for government control? Do you think it would have played out differently if Bucky Barnes hadn’t been in the picture?
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