you remember Captain America: Civil War – Sokovia Accords, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) on opposite sides, heroes fighting heroes, etc. And if you remember Civil War, then you remember that Tony Stark is the worst person ever. Worse than Brock Rumlow (Frank Grillo). Worse than Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt). Worse than the man with the plan, Helmut Zemo (Daniel Brühl). Stark speaks to everyone about the need for government regulation, only to attempt to kill a tortured prisoner who was not consciously in control of his actions, including killing Stark’s parents. Strong? Maybe But then you look at the previous events Civil War and the events therein, and well, it won’t be long before you realize that Tony Stark really is a total, A-level lump.
Tony Stark is the only Avenger to be controlled by the Sokovia Accords
So let’s start with the actions of the Avengers Civil War. They successfully stopped the Chitauri invasion in the so-called Battle of New York, saving thousands of lives. They successfully stopped Ultron (James Spader) and his plan to make hundreds of innocent Sokovians disappear from the area. And while the events of the film’s opening tragically resulted in the deaths of innocent Wakandans, thousands were once again spared the evil use of biological weapons. All things that clearly call for a UN babysitter. Why does Stark agree with the Sokovia Accords? Because he built Ultron, and reached out to a mother whose son died as a result of the events of Sokovia.
It’s not the Avengers as a collective that need to be guarded: it’s Stark himself. It was his initiative to complete the global defense program “Ultron”, only Banner (Mark Ruffalo) aware of his plans. It was his Ultron who came up with the brilliant idea of exterminating humanity, leading to the lifting of the capital city of Sokovia into the sky, which ipso facto resulted in the death of innocents. He wasn’t actually responsible for the other two events, and the creation of Ultron was fueled by some severe PTSD, but hey, Tony – the Avengers saved more lives than they lost and cleaned up your mess. It’s like a group of people entering a shawarma restaurant, because one person doesn’t have shoes or a shirt on.
Tony Stark shouldn’t be bringing a teenager into an Avengers level fight
Steve Rogers and the gang have gone rogue and are recruiting Barnes to stop Zemo. US Secretary of State Tony Stark has given him permission to gather others to stop them. His first stop? Queens, New York, to request Peter Parker, Spider-Man (Tom Holland), to join him and his colleagues against the faction led by Rogers. Of course, friends skillzz has gone crazy, so why wouldn’t you? Maybe it’s because Parker is just a teenager who has never faced anyone more dangerous than the neighborhood thugs. Essentially, Stark asks the boy to come and probably call on seasoned battle veterans with powers who have dealt with global threats. But hey, Stark gave him a new suit, so that has to count for something. At least he’ll have something nice at his funeral. Why stop there, Tony? Maybe you can hire Cassie Lang (Abby Ryder Fortson) to shoot shins or something.
Tony Stark is an egotistical jerk
After the big reveal, Stark is very worried about Rhodes (Don Cheadle), whose back was broken after falling from the sky. Then Natasha approaches (Scarlett Johansson) and informs him of the extent of Rhodes’ injuries. Natasha suggests that both she and Rogers should stop him before someone gets hurt much more seriously than Rhodes. Tony rightly says that he left Rogers and Barnes. Natasha then replies, “We played this wrong.” Now pause the scene. The right answer may be to look around the damage caused and accept that there must be a better way. You know, open up a conversation about what went wrong, think about how to make things right. Not Stark though.
Instead, Tony Stark replies, “‘Us?’ Boy, it must be hard to shake off the whole double agent thing, right? It’s in my DNA.” Now think about it for a moment. Stark sided with the Accords, sided with Ross, led a group of superheroes (and a child, see above) into a confrontation he knew would escalate, and that confrontation injured his friend. Oh, and lest we forget, it’s all on him (see above above). However, he does not take any blame.
Tony makes a bad situation even worse
After arresting Rogers’ allies, Stark visits them in the Raft super-max prison. Barton (Jeremy Renner) addresses him first, calling Stark “what’s best for you, whether you want it or not.” At first, Stark tries to play the good guy, explaining that he didn’t know they were going to be put in a high-security prison in the ocean. Where the hell did you think they were going, Tony? And talk about missing the point. It’s not that they’re on a raft, it’s about incarceration at all. Then, has the courage to justify! “Well, that’s crazy, Clint. It was against the law and, damn, you signed it and everything.” Even better, Stark still sees the situation in black and white, with Barton and the others paying the consequences for choosing the wrong side. Not the side that sees things differently, but the side that he didn’t choose for himself.
By becoming a Rogue, all Tony Stark does is punish the already traumatized
After learning that Barnes was framed for the bomb that killed T’Chaka and that a brainwashed Barnes was a tortured prisoner who suffered greatly under Hydra and was forced to act against his conscience, Stark goes looking for Rogers and Barnes without… saying to Ross For all the rhetoric about being responsible and being in control, Stark keeps this information and goes out on his own anyway. If you’re going to abandon what you agreed to in the first moment, if you’re not going to stand up for what you want to do, then why bother?
Stark appears, makes peace with Rogers and Barnes, and they confront Zemo. Zemo only has a movie to watch, which shows Barnes Stark’s parents being killed in 1991. Even knowing that Barnes didn’t do it consciously, and that he also suffers from PTSD, there’s no empathy here. Stark goes crazy and starts beating the crap out of Barnes and Rogers. And he argued that Stark was more upset that Rogers knew and didn’t tell him before, when would Rogers have the chance to do so? And even if he knew, how does he bring that up? “Hey, Tony! You know I was fighting that robot arm, but you guys weren’t involved at all, and then we had to fight the robot you built—the one you never told us about—that tried to kill everyone. He wasn’t involved, and then Were you trying to stop us from coming here? Yes, he directly killed your mother and father.” There’s the emotional response, and then there’s the emotional response that involves high-tech weapons and bashing heads in with a metal glove.
In The AvengersTony Stark stopped the Chitauri threat by taking a nuclear missile from a wormhole, and The Avengers: Endgame he sacrificed his life to stop Thanos and bring back what he lost on the Blip, so it might be an understatement to suggest he did his penance. Civil War actions. Let’s hope San Pedro hasn’t stopped watching MCU movies there.