Literally all the conflicts in the Marvel Cinematic Universe from 2001 on could’ve been avoided if somebody’d give Tony Stark a hug.
Cracked recently posted an article about plot points the MCU would never go into and brings up the fact that Tony Stark has PTSD and nobody seems to care.
This is true and a good point. But I don’t think it really goes far enough. The author talks about Tony’s reactions and behavior in Iron Man 3 after the battle for New York… and that, I think is where he gets it wrong.
Tony’s been dealing with PTSD since the midpoint of the first Iron Man movie. Y’know, when his convoy was attacked, soldiers died all around him, he was kidnapped by terrorists, watched a man he admired die in his arms and then had to kill a whole bunch of folks to escape.
It’s pretty obvious by the time he has his first post-release press conference that he is completely and utterly fucked up by the experience. His erratic behavior and abrupt changes in behavior? All part of what’s going on… and this leads directly into damn near every major event in the MCU.
Everything Tony has done has been to be proactive. He’s trying to protect people from harm before it happens. Thus the Iron Man and War Machine suits. Thus the Iron Legion. Thus Ultron. Thus SHIELD’s preemptive strike initiative. Thus the Sakovia Accords.
Because all Tony wants to do is make sure nobody gets hurt – including (and especially) him.
I mean, let’s look at things here. Tony has grown up believing that everybody he loves is going to leave him. His parents die when he’s 19. Jarvis – who practically raised him thanks to his absentee father – died before that. Ho Yinsen – a scientist that Tony admires – dies as Tony is trying to rescue him. Obidiah Stane – another father figure to Tony – betrays him and tries to murder him.
Tony has spent his entire life losing people he loves and now he’s trying to save everybody else. Small wonder that his power is building more and more elaborate suits of armor.
But everyone keeps brushing it off as Tony being Tony. By Iron Man 2, it’s pretty clear he’s not sleeping and the only thing that’s keeping him together is being TONY STARK the image, not the man. His erratic behavior isn’t just that he’s being poisoned by his arc reactor, it’s that he can’t handle the guilt and panic and pain of everything he’s gone through. But everybody keeps calling him a fuckup and an asshole, even people who should know better. James Rhodes, Nick Fury and Phil Coulson should recognize that a civilian who’s gone through what Tony has is going to need some serious help.
But then comes The Avengers. And the Battle for New York. And while Tony’s able to process misfits of science like The Hulk and Captain America, the Battle for New York blows his fucking mind away. Now he finds out a) aliens are real, b) there are billions of them, c) they want to murder us all and d) Tony only barely stopped them and that was mostly by luck.
So by the time Iron Man 3 rolls around, his psyche is mashed potatoes. He’s working like a madman because he knows what’s out there and he’s desperate to save the people he loves.
And then the Mandarin nearly blows up two of the people he cares for most in the world: Happy and Pepper.
And then he meets two more people his company’s weapons have destroyed.
And then the Scarlet Witch shows him a vision of all his friends have been killed and it’s his fault because he should have been able to stop it.
So what does he do? He turns to the only other person on the Avengers who can understand his trauma – Bruce – and tries to build another, bigger suit of armor, one that can protect the entire planet. And then watches as JARVIS dies in front of him. JARVIS – the last hold he had on the closest thing he had to a father.
And then in Civil War, he gets his face rubbed in his failures again. Look, here’s someone else you couldn’t save! This is YOUR FAULT Tony, you asshole!
Of course, by this point, he’s trying to do some self-directed therapy… and it’s pointing in the wrong direction. He’s trying to deal with his relationship to his father and not that he’s gone through shit that makes people break down. And when General Ross comes and says “Ok, here’s what you need to do to protect people and make sure you’re doing the right thing” of course he jumps at it. This is what he’s been trying to do over and over and over again since built that suit IN A CAVE. FROM SCRAPS! It’s why he’s building suit of armor after suit of armor.
And everyone thinks he’s an asshole.
Part of the problem is that people keep shaming him and yelling at him, as though that’s going to get him into therapy. You know what he actually needs? He needs a friend. Someone to ask him “are you ok?” and suggest that maybe doing this thing might help him. Nobody does though. Even Falcon – who is shown in Winter Soldier to be helping soldiers process PTSD and the scars of war – doesn’t seem to notice or care.
Literally the only person who’s remotely sympathetic to him? A little kid. Who tells him “Hey, you’re an engineer. Go build stuff.” Not what he really needs to do but hey, it’s the first person to take his pain seriously and fuck why not?
Yeah, he’s abrasive and pushes people away. Small wonder: everyone he loves either dies, leaves him or betrays him. Even Cap – Captain fucking America, who he both loves and resents because Daddy loved Rogers more than he loved Tony – has betrayed him. Has sided with the man who… well, spoilers.
He keeps people at arms length because he’s afraid to get hurt again. But he cares. He cares more than he can let himself admit. And all he wants to do is save people.
Tony Stark needs a hug and someone to ask “Hey, you ok?”
Thank you! Thank you op for this. Somebody gets it.
I’m not actually Team Cap. I am actually Team Can Everyone Get Some Good Therapy, a Warm Blanket, and a Puppy.
I’m Team Why Didn’t Somebody Knock Their Heads Together And Make Them Both Grow Up.
But yeah, Tony has major issues.
And…you know…so does Steve.
And they love each other too much NOT to end up hurting each other.
Tony doesn’t have friends. He has employees. Even Pepper is as much employee as girlfriend. (I’m doing a full analysis of the movie on my blogspot blog later). Rhodes…not quite a friend.
Steve is the only person Tony treats as an equal. Steve was the one person who could help him, and he didn’t. Why? Because Tony hid the way he was falling apart from him. Because Steve has his own issues, because Steve has a fair dose of PTSD too.
I’m sorry, how is Rhodey not quite a friend? He’s been the most consistent character in Tony’s life as shown in MCU. Tony is very clear Rhodey is his best friend.
Let me try and explain this better.
Yes, Tony is very fond of Rhodey, but Rhodey is where he is because of Tony. There’s a dependence there that keeps them from being fully equal.
The original post is an entire mess and the fact that it apparently comes from some kind of advice columnist makes it worse but others are already covering that so I won’t go there (x).
But this. Did I just read this insulting nonsense with my own two eyes in the year 2016.
“Rhodey is where he is because of Tony”
Are you entirely serious with me right now? I mean obviously you are, and I won’t bother asking how someone can ignore all of the many accomplishments of a character spread across 5 movies because we all know why. But for everyone else out there who ignoring/unable to see Rhodey’s accomplishments/his deep friendship with Tony, let’s break it down:
-they met at MIT and have been best friends for over 30 years. Did Rhodey get into MIT because of Tony? I don’t think so
-Rhodey is an Air Force fighter pilot, a full bird Colonel (x) and has flown 138 combat missions (as of CACW). Is any of that due to Tony? Hell no.
-He works in Air Force Weapons Development (can’t remember the exact title off the top of my head) which means he has at least a Masters degree, probably in some kind of rocket propulsion/engineering (x). Would the Air Force have given him that job if he wasn’t fully qualified? Hell no.
-In Iron Man 2 Tony stages a fight as a way of giving Rhodey the War Machine armor (we know Tony intended to do this because the suits can’t be used unless Tony codes them to you) but the fact that Rhodey is successful as War Machine is due entirely to his own piloting and combat skills.
-In many ways you could say Tony is dependent on Rhodey and wouldn’t be where he is without Rhodey’s help. Rhodey covers for Tony with the military. He covers for Tony with Congress. In IM2 he keeps covering for Tony so the military won’t come try to take Tony’s suits by force. Tony would be in a much more difficult position if he didn’t have Rhodey continually bailing him out.
-Tony also probably wouldn’t be alive without Rhodey. A deleted scene in IM1 shows that after 3 months of Tony being missing the military is ready to write Tony off as dead, but Rhodey refuses to quit looking for him, even if it means his own job is at risk. That’s why Rhodey was there in a helicopter, ready to rescue Tony when he escaped the Ten Rings, because Rhodey was already out there looking for him.
-Throughout the movies Rhodey repeatedly asks Tony if he’s okay and explicitly tells him he doesn’t have to do it on his own, Rhodey is there to help him (one of the many reasons the OP is bullshit.) Tony trusts Rhodey with his suits, Tony trusts Rhodey with his arc reactor (literally the only other person he will let touch it is Pepper) Tony trusts Rhodey with his life.
-I cannot even begin list all the examples of love and support and friendship between the two of them because there are so many. And the fact that that they have so much fun and clearly find each other hilarious and take absolute joy from each other like if you can watch all the scenes that all these gifs come from (x) and not see how they are best friends who are so deeply important to each other …. I just don’t fuckin know what to tell you.
TL;DR Rhodey is super smart, super talented, got where he is through his own hard work and if you think he and Tony aren’t really friends and his success only comes through dependence on Tony, frankly that’s a really gross line of thinking and you should sit back and think about why the hell you are devaluing the accomplishments and relationships of a black character that badly.
All of this.
OP, STOP ACTING LIKE SNARKY ENTITLED WHITE GUYS’ PAIN IS THE ONLY PAIN THAT MATTERS.
Nothing you said about Tony’s issues and what he needs is inaccurate. It’s just…you know…all of that literally applies to every other damn character in the Avengers franchise from Steve to Sam to Bucky to Wanda to T’Challa Bruce to Nat to so STOP SINGLING OUT THE STRAIGHT WHITE GUYS’ PAIN AS DEMANDING MORE ATTENTION/SIGNIFICANCE THAN EVERYONE ELSE’S THIS IS LITERALLY THE ENTIRE PROBLEM.
Sam: Combat vet who lost his best friend in the war and blames himself, has PTSD as well.
Bucky: Disabled, brainwashed, used as a mindless killing machine for literal decades by the very enemy he fought in WWII.
T’Challa: Watched his father die in front of him and had the responsibilities of an entire kingdom thrust on him less than a week ago and hasn’t had a chance to so much as stop and catch his breath since.
Wanda: Orphaned by weapons Tony helped create and sell, experimented on by Hydra, loses her brother and only remaining family in the last movie, distrusted and feared just for being what she is.
Rhodey: Combat vet, has flown and fought in more wartime missions than Sam and Steve combined, recovering from a potentially debilitating injury, the extent of which is still unknown.
Steve: Fought in WWII, seemingly watched his best friend die right in front of him, sacrifices himself in what he believes is an actual suicide mission (like literally the EXACT same move you’re singling out Tony for needing help for), frozen for seventy years and awakes to a world where there’s nothing familiar to hold on to, finds out the organization he’s been working for since waking up is fully corrupted by the enemies he fought in WWII.
Nat: Raised from childhood to be the perfect assassin, canonically is motivated primarily by guilt over all the things she’s done.
Clint: Mind-controlled by Loki to kill people for him, fight his friends and allies, and help inflict an alien invasion on his world.
Thor: Finds out the brother he’s known and loved his whole life secretly hated him all along and has since tried to kill him multiple times, his mom was murdered in his last movie.
Bruce: He’s the goddamn Hulk, need I say more.
The Vision: idfk, he’s like two, he’s got metaphysical teething issues or something
OP: But what about TONY, he has it so HARD you guys, he’s been through so much and he’s got no one to help him despite having more resources at his disposal than most of the other Avengers combined and his abrasive personality doesn’t have anything to do with his lack of a support system despite Civil War clarifying that it stemmed from long before his parents’ death and can’t be blamed on that initial trauma, no if we’re going to focus our attention on any one single character in need of hugs and love and support instead of acknowledging that all of them are in the same boat, Tony’s clearly the obvious choice for that!!!
…Disregarding the entire gigantic pile of festering shit that OP tried to feed us as objective and the most important thing, I’m still stuck on so many things about this post.
1) Tony Stark is literally not that important. To pin every single event happening on Tony because he didn’t receive a hug and everyone didn’t suppress their trauma to venerate and acknowledge Tony’s, is disingenuous and literally right off the bat demonstrates just how bullshit this entire thing is going to be. Your entire premise is flawed, and surely your analysis was as well.
And holy shit, was it ever.
2) You bring up Tony Stark’s PTSD as though he’s the only one battling mental illnesses, which is also disingenuous and false, so you lose points here. Tony’s not special.
3) “His erratic behavior and abrupt changes in behavior? All part of what’s going on… and this leads directly into damn near every major event in the MCU.”
LOL no. Tony Stark is not that important. You’re trying to bolster him up, make him a lynchpin in the entirety of the MCU as though it falls apart without him, or that any other plot cannot possibly be conceived or executed without the existence of Tony Stark. That’s bullshit. Tony is responsible for a lot of fuck ups, particularly Ultron, and he had the fucking idiocy and audacity to try again even though it fucked up colossally the first time which got them into that mess in the first place, and the only reason it didn’t implode in his face is because the plot bends over backwards for him. Sometimes the MCU does cater to Tony, but overall he is, nor will he ever be, the single most important character in the entirety of the MCU or the cause of “damn near every major event in the MCU”.
4) “Everything Tony has done has been to be proactive.”
LMAO. Vision’s creation was reactive to Ultron’s creation, the enforcing of the Sokovia Accords was reactive to his murder-by-proxy of all those humans when he created Ultron. Tony fucked up and is reactive, instead of proactive.
5) “Tony has spent his entire life losing people he loves”
SO?? SO??? SO HAS LITERALLY EVERYONE ELSE?? HE AIN’T SPECIAL. WHERE’S EVERYONE ELSE’S HUGS?
6) “But everyone keeps brushing it off as Tony being Tony. By Iron Man 2, it’s pretty clear he’s not sleeping and the only thing that’s keeping him together is being TONY STARK the image, not the man. His erratic behavior isn’t just that he’s being poisoned by his arc reactor, it’s that he can’t handle the guilt and panic and pain of everything he’s gone through. But everybody keeps calling him a fuckup and an asshole,even people who should know better. James Rhodes, Nick Fury and Phil Coulson should recognize that a civilian who’s gone through what Tony has is going to need some serious help.”
Oh gosh, where to even begin with this festering pile of filth? Pepper and Rhodey are constantly there for Tony, but he can’t even remember that Pepper’s allergic to strawberries. He’s self-absorbed, arrogant, condescending, an all-around fuckboy, and “everyone keeps brushing it off as Tony being Tony” should really be “Everyone, despite how big of a fuck up and asshole Tony is, still somehow manages to tolerate and support him when he rarely if ever extends the same support back”.
“He can’t handle the guilt and panic and pain of everything he’s gone through” LMAO THAT LITERALLY DOES NOT GIVE HIM A FREE PASS TO BE A FUCKING DOUCHE? HOW OFTEN HAS HE TAKEN PEPPER FOR GRANTED? RHODEY? EVERYONE ELSE? NATASHA WAS LITERALLY THE ONLY ORIGINAL AVENGER ON HIS FUCKING SIDE IN THE CIVIL WAR AND HE STILL CONDESCENDED TO HER AND DROVE HER AWAY. The only original avenger who sided with him, the only one who opted to support his bullshit that he had no stake in and would affect him in literally no fucking way because at the end of the day he’s still a rich, powerful, privileged piece of shit who acts as though he’s among the poor and disenfranchised that would be affected if the Avengers didn’t sign the Sokovia Accords. Tony is fundamentally wrong but Natasha supported him anyways, even though she has literally no reason to aside from wanting someone to be on Tony’s side, and when she’s there to support him, he talks shit to her and calls her a double agent and asks her what the fuck she knows. She even checks his ego for him, because Tony Stark, who doesn’t like to be handed things, can’t handle his own ego.
James, Nick, and Phil are not Tony’s lackeys. They don’t answer to Tony. They don’t work for him. They aren’t his emotional support. And James and Nick sure as shit aren’t his black little slaves to prop him up and treat his issues and prioritize him above themselves. Tony sure as shit doesn’t do it for them, and the connotation of two black men having to tend to the white man’s needs is fucking racist, just like you.
7) Okay honestly how did you not dislocate your entire vertebrae with this reach? Are you a contortionist, working with Ripley’s because I can’t believe this shit you’re making me read. Tony isn’t the only one who saw aliens. Tony didn’t break down and suddenly become unable to function when he saw aliens. Just like literally nobody else did. They all fought the Chitauri, and not a single damn thing was there to establish Tony couldn’t “process” the aliens unlike how he could process “science misfits” like Hulk and Captain America. I mean, for fuck’s sake, Tony literally met Asgardian gods. He fought an Asgardian god. You think he gives a shit about aliens? Tony stans will go to any length to woobify him and it’s quite frankly fucking embarrassing.
AND THE BIGGEST FUCKING BULLSHIT PART OF THIS: “d) Tony only barely stopped them and that was mostly by luck.”
Tony only barely stopped them?? Tony? Not the Avengers? Not literally everyone else on the squad? Only Tony stopped them? You inflate his importance and relevance far too much. I mean, I should’ve expected that when you said he’s responsible for every major event in the MCU, which is blatant bullshit, but to try and act as though Tony is the only one who managed to do anything and resolve the New York Invasion by himself…seriously, are you a contortionist? Can you show me how you twist and turn your way out of all these logical fallacies and false equivalences and omissions and all this other quite frankly mediocre analytical tools you’re not only using, but misusing?
8) “So by the time Iron Man 3 rolls around, his psyche is mashed potatoes.”
*rolls eyes loudly and cantankerously* Still doesn’t excuse all the bullshit, arrogance, and entitlement he exudes.
9) “He turns to the only other person on the Avengers who can understand his trauma – Bruce”
Yes, because literally no one else of the Avengers has gone through ridiculous amounts of trauma and tragic things. Nope. No one else. Only the two white guys. Only Tony and Bruce. Not even Steve, because to admit Steve has trauma is to invalidate Tony’s and this entire post is dedicated to the pontification and edification of Tony Stark. To acknowledge anyone else’s problems would take away from poor little Tony’s trauma and issues, and we sure can’t have that. Nope. Your entire argument falls flat on its face right onto the apartment and shatters into a thousand shiny shards of bullshit because it can’t stand on its own without the dismissal and omission of everyone else’s trauma.
10) “And then in Civil War, he gets his face rubbed in his failures again. Look, here’s someone else you couldn’t save! This is YOUR FAULT Tony, you asshole!”
A) Because Tony, despite being successful, is also a colossal failure and B) Ultron was his fuck up and it cost so many people their lives. He doesn’t get my sympathy nor will I acknowledge his man pain because the MCU does that enough already, just to make Tony a tragic figure you’re supposed to feel bad for and love because he’s snarky and that obviously outweighs all the bad deeds and traits he’s done and displayed.
11) “And everyone thinks he’s an asshole.”
He literally recruited a 15 year old boy into fighting a war against super-powered beings and grown adults by blackmailing him, didn’t tell him the whole story, and once the boy was injured and of no further use to Tony, he cast him aside, not because he cared (as evidence that he didn’t even care enough about Peter to know or ask his fucking age), but because he couldn’t be useful in his injured state, and when Peter wanted to still help, Tony again blackmailed him into going home, even though he blackmailed him into coming into a fucking war in the first place.
Not to mention the first thing he does to this poor kid is shame him for his possessions, mock him for having a “retro” set up and suggested he got his stuff from the “thrift store? salvation army?” like the classist, privileged piece of shit he is. The kid is fucking 15 and he’s not rich. But Tony doesn’t care, because why would he care about not condescending to a child when he’s willing to bring that kid into harm’s way and abandon him once he’s injured?
Nobody “thinks he’s an asshole”. Everyone knows that he is.
12) Tony doesn’t “need” a friend. He has friends. He’s the one that pushes them away, he’s the one that fucks up, it’s not their job to babysit him the way it’s not Sam’s job to be everyone’s fucking therapist especially when that’s the only time Klandom gives a shit about Sam Wilson, when he can be of use to the traumatized white boys whose pain is the only ones that matter.
Tony needs a fucking reality check and a colonoscopy to remove the bug and stick up his ass.
13) “Even Falcon – who is shown in Winter Soldier to be helping soldiers process PTSD and the scars of war – doesn’t seem to notice or care.”
You fucking nasty ass racist. Are you for real? Is Sam on call for everyone? Is he everyone’s pet monkey or mammy or nigger or coon or slave, here to dance and come and cater to every white person with problems as they need them? Sam doesn’t even fucking deal or talk to Tony, but here you are, holding him to a standard of being there for someone he’s met like once before Civil War. “Even Falcon” oh my god SHUT THE FUCK UP. Sam doesn’t owe Tony SHIT.
I can’t believe I’m reading this. Tony literally hunted Sam down, had Vision fire at him, and when it hit Rhodey for Tony’s man pain, Sam still tried to save Rhodey, and when Sam, who was being fucking hunted by Tony, apologized, Tony literally shot at him and sent him flying and knocked him on his ass. But he’s supposed to be there for Tony’s problems? Really? Please fuck off.
14) “Literally the only person who’s remotely sympathetic to him?
A little kid.
What movies did you watch
15) “Yeah, he’s abrasive and pushes people away. Small wonder: everyone he loves either dies, leaves him or betrays him.”
You don’t get to literally spend an embarrassing amount of time writing this fictitious filth talking about how he needs a friend and then undermine your own point with “yeah, he pushes them away, and can you blame him?” If he pushes them away, THAT’S ON HIM. It’s not their job to keep fighting for a guy who doesn’t fight for them. They’re not his personal caretakers. He’s a grown-ass man with a fucking multi-billion empire, privilege, power, and resources to literally whatever the fuck he wants. He’s going to be okay. He has access to resources to get help. It’s on him to get it, not Rhodey or Pepper or Sam to force him or deal with his issues for him.
16) “Even Cap – Captain fucking America, who he both loves and resents because Daddy loved Rogers more than he loved Tony – has betrayed him.”
Lmao except that’s what Tony did when he tried to force everyone to register? He didn’t give a shit about anyone else’s opinion? He literally tried to apprehend Steve and Sam and the others? Held Wanda captive “for her own safety”? Got Sam and Scott and Clint thrown in jail, got Peter injured, got Natasha to be driven away from him, and got nothing for his troubles? Also lol @ this entire pathetic appeal to pathos as though that would dismiss all of Tony’s horrible qualities and deeds.
17) Tony Stark doesn’t need a hug. He needs to stop being a fuck up, and you don’t get to sit there and wax poetic about how he “needs a hug but pushes everyone away but it’s for their own good but Tony really needs a hug okay???” Tony’s actions are his own. His fault. A lot of shit is his fault. He’s a grown man with more money than he can spend in his lifetime. He has literally no excuse for how he acts, and any mental illness does not justify nor dismiss his fucked up behaviour and actions he took against others.
18) “Rhodes…not quite a friend” my antiblack racists are tingling.
19) You literally tried to say that Pepper wasn’t a friend to Tony, just an employee and girlfriend…yikes.
20) “Rhodey is where he is because of Tony” and “There’s a dependence that keeps them from fully being equal” this is how I know you’re an ugly racist @jenniferrpovey. Rhodey has achieved so much on his own and is a character on his own that does not rely on Tony, but according to you, he’s nothing more than a black slave dependent on his white master. Dependent on the white man to provide and guide him like a savage. That’s exactly what you’re saying, and you as a forty-something should fucking know better than playing into this racist antiblack fuckery that subjugates and oppresses Black people and places people/characters like Tony as “white saviours” as though Black people can’t do anything for themselves. How the fuck are you forty but you still haven’t picked that up? Are you kidding me? Did you really try to dismiss everything Rhodey’s accomplished and insist they’re not equals because Rhodey is dependent on Tony, which couldn’t be further from the truth? Do you do black face and place burning crosses on black people’s lawns in your spare time, too? Inquiring minds wanna know.
Suffice it to say, this entire post and my feelings on it can be summarized as a gigantic, heart-felt fuck you to all of the ugly, bitter, and antiblack racists who will do anything to venerate the white man and his problems and relevance but dismiss the black characters and the women who accomplish so much on their own and paint them as the problematic parts of Tony’s life, the ones who aren’t there for him, instead of Tony being a grown man who makes his own decisions that fuck up everything, result in people being jailed and killed, and somehow none of it being his fault.
Can’t wait to do this again with you soon, Klandom. It’s been a pleasure, as always.
That was a MASSIVELY AWESOME FUCKING TAKEDOWN!
That gave me life! And now I’m dead!