Why Tony Stark Had To Die

What I’ve actually  noticed about the MCU version of Tony Stark, is that a lot of the people who stan hard for this character, are people without a fundamental understanding of what he is, why he is, and why, after everything that happened in the MCU, Tony was never meant to be the one who got to ride off into the sunset, while holding his sweetheart’s hand.

In other words, Tony had to die.

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Often, when a character who has done something bad or evil sees the error of their ways and does a Heel–Face Turnin the course of fighting to undo the damage, their redemption comes at the cost of their own life.

——– https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RedemptionEqualsDeath

Tony needed to pay for the misdeeds of his past, (something he’s been trying to do since the first film), and according to the conventions of  Western literature, such characters can only atone for their sins by dying, and when they do die, their motivation must be pure.Tony is a redemptive figure, who tried sacrificing his life to atone for his sins multiple times, but only experiences a true atonement, at the end of his arc, as it should be.

Darth Vader from Star Wars, Yondu from Guardians of the Galaxy, Diablo from Suicide Squad, Venom, the father from A Quiet Place, Gandalf from Lord of the Rings, and Steve Rogers, are all examples of pure self sacrifice. It is the kind of sacrifice that comes from a place of pure love, of one’s son, of one’s friends, of the world in general, or one’s children, with no thought to how your death might benefit  you.

Although giving one’s life out of love for another is rare, it is not as uncommon as might be thought. Perhaps we only hear about it occasionally because the circumstances in which it might manifest itself are, fortunately, not so common. This self-sacrificing love was referred to by the Buddha when he said that a loving friend would “give what is hard to give” [1] or be prepared “to sacrifice his life for his friend”. [2] The Jatakas say something similar concerning one’s family: “Whatever your circumstances, do the necessary to alleviate the suffering of your father, your mother or your sister, even to your last breath.” [3] One is reminded of what Jesus said some five centuries later: “Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friend.” [4] 

—-  https://www.bhantedhammika.net/like-milk-and-water-mixed/self-sacrificing-love

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Redemption arcs make their way into Western Literature,  through the  Christian belief system, (although other religions also feature this belief), with the ultimate sacrifice  in the Bible’s New Testament, referring  to the  deliverance of Christians from sin (salvation), through the death of Christ. In this instance, Tony, who is established as a Christ figure, (a very common trope in Western films), sacrifices his life for the salvation of the human race from Thanos, (who is set up as a Satanic figure, in the Avengers narrative, but Thanos is a whole other story.).)

In the movie, Constantine, which is also heavily based on Christian narratives, the main character knows he’s going  to Hell for the sins he committed in life. He’s seen Hell, and knows its demons are waiting to have a reckoning with him. He is terrified of it, but knows it is  soon, when he finds out he has lung cancer. At the end of the film, he saves the soul of a young woman named Isabel, who committed suicide, and consequently, went to Hell. He commits suicide too, knowing that the Devil will come to collect him personally, which he does. Lucifer grants Constantine a wish out of gratitude for thwarting another demon’s plans, (quid pro quo). Instead of wishing for a longer life, or not to go to Hell, Constantine wishes for Isabel to be released to Heaven. Lucifer agrees, but realizes just too late, that he cannot take Constantine to Hell now, because he committed a genuinely  pure act of self sacrifice.

Tony has tried a few times to sacrifice his life, but his motives were never pure, and his act of sacrifice was interrupted each time.

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I’m honestly baffled that people didn’t see his death coming, but then, I have never seen Tony through rose tinted glasses. I actually like Tony, and appreciated that most of his  character arc was him being an unremitting shit, but  at least trying to atone for his sins, and failing as much as he succeeded, but I will not lie about the type of man he was.

Tony Stark was an asshole.

And what’s more, Tony knew he was an asshole, too, which is why I posit that the many sacrifices of his life he tried to make, came from a selfish foundation. Even after his death, the MCU is still dealing with the aftermath of the decisions he made, and the people he hurt, when he was alive. Most of the villains that Tony fought throughout his own trilogy, in The Avengers, and Spiderman, came about through  his callous disregard for how his decisions affected the lives of the average man. I spoke before, about how Tony’s shortsightedness limited his morality.

https://tvgeekingout.wordpress.com/2016/07/19/on-the-right-captain-america-and-iron-man/

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Stark was an arms dealer, and war profiteer. He made money from war, and up until  that came back to bite him on the ass by nearly killing him, he spent no time thinking about the amount of death  his weapons, (the guns, the missiles, the ammunition), caused in the world. Tony  always had a close relationship with death.  He and death were old friends, and he was one of Death’s greatest enablers, through The Stark Corporation.

It is not until his own weapons are used against him that Tony experiences “SATORI“, a moment of sudden enlightenment. He broke up with Death, and had been dodging Death’s retaliation ever since. Sooner, or later, it would have caught up to him. He  takes steps to rectify the damage he caused, by stopping his company’s arms dealing, but that is not enough. He creates the Iron man suit, so he can stop those he once armed, but that opens a whole new can of worms, because now other weapons dealers, following Tony’s  example, want their own version of the Iron Man suit. He’s simply created a new weapon for people to fight over.

At every step, Tony creates some new world horror, in his attempt to atone for the harm he caused earlier in his career, when he didn’t care. Ironically, one of the better things that came out of his creation of Iron Man, was the creation of the Avenger’s Initiative, which Nick Fury was inspired to create. (Nick Fury went on to commit his own sins in his attempt to protect the world.)

In the second Iron Man film, the events that occur may stem from decisions his father made before he was born, but Tony’s decision to go public with his identity in the first movie, has repercussions in this, and  the third movie. In the third movie, we learned that Tony’s earlier, callous, disregard for other people’s feelings is what helped create The Mandarin, and his decision to directly challenge The Mandarin in a public forum, nearly cost his and Pepper’s life.

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Throughout the movies, Tony, people often confront Tony. People like to pull out his sins, and slap him in the face with them, and that often works to change his behavior, so this is how I know Tony feels some type of way about the kind of life and living he made for himself. When he thinks he’s going to die in Iron Man 2, Tony goes on a drunken spree, and has to be saved by his friends. In Civil War, he’s confronted by the mother of one of the victims of the Ultron Incident which spurs him to sign The Accords, and the entire plot is based off the events in Sokovia, in Age of Ultron, which would never have happened, if Tony had not made the decision to try to protect the world via robot. Even Steve gets in on the act, in the first Avengers film , calling Tony out as a useless coward. Tony tries to prove he isn’t, by attempting to sacrifice his life at the end of that movie.

 

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Tony often put himself in situations where death was inevitable. He is afraid to die, but he can’t seem to stop himself from challenging the thing he most fears. (Challenging the things he fears is one of the things he has in common with Steve Rogers, although Tony does it for different reasons.) He is saved several times, by Rhodey, by Pepper, by his team, in The Avengers, and Captain Marvel in Endgame. I suspect that Tony doesn’t think much of his life, of how he has used it, and he probably thinks his death would have more meaning,  yet he doesn’t really  want to die. When Doctor Strange gives him the signal, there is no doubt in his mind what he is meant to do, and he doesn’t hesitate.

Tony once served death, chased after death, challenged death, and flirted with death. Yet, so terrified was he of dying, that he was willing to commit rather extreme acts of self harm to stave it off (the ARC reactor in his chest, for example).  The other times, when Tony tried to sacrifice his life, his motivation was not pure. He was doing it because he thought he deserved to die, and that is a selfish reason. It is only fitting that at the denouement of Endgame, Tony finally, gracefully, and willingly accepts death, and is not doing so to punish himself, or for his own salvation, or the accolades he think he will get when he’s gone. He does it to save the lives of his friends, and loved ones, standing just a few feet away. Removing the immediate threat is his primary goal ,and his death is just the price he must pay for that. His motivation this time is love, and unlike all the other times when he nearly died, his motive is pure.

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Tony is the only White male character, I’ve ever  liked, who was so incredibly flawed, and in some instances, actively shitty. In any other circumstances, Tony would have been considered a sympathetic villain, but here, in the MCU, he is cast as a damaged, but heroic, character. I don’t like Tony because he is a hero. I like him because he knows how flawed he is, and desperately wants and tries to be one. (I also love Robert Downey’s performance, which closely echoes Tony’s character arc, if you know anything about his personal life.)

I am not comfortable with the lionization of Tony Stark, by his fans since  his death, however. They build up his character in ways he was not, which does a disservice to the character, his story arc, and Downey’s performance. All along, Downey knew exactly the type of character he was portraying.

I feel it is disrespectful to the character, to make him out to be something he was not, because that ignores his character arc, and diminishes the meaning of his death.This is not the story of a “good” man, who did even more good when he died. This is the story of a horribly flawed man looking for salvation from his sins. I’m probably one of the few fans who doesn’t mourn Tony’s death. In an earlier post, about Endgame,, I said I was alright with Tony dying, and this is  why. In Avengers Endgame, he actually achieved the redemption he was always seeking, and did so without hesitation.

Tony died very well, because he deserved to.

Avengers Endgame: Thoughts

You know how I roll on this blog.

Damn right there are going to be spoilers.

I cannot talk about how much I loved this movie without spoilers. So, if you have not seen the movie, get thee the fuck outta here, go watch it, and only then, will you be welcome in this space. (If I’m cussing, it’s  a sign that I’m extremely happy!)

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I spoke about my history of comic book reading, in a previous post, about how the first Marvel books I remember reading, were Conan the Barbarian, and Red Sonja, which I probably should not have been reading, since I was about 9 or 10 years old, but I’d found a stash of these books in the basement of a house we’d just moved into, and since no book ever passed by me without going unread, there I was. I got away from Marvel comics when I was about 12, as I was reading Horror comics by that time. I started reading superhero comics, in earnest, when I was about 14, or 15, starting with The New Mutants, moving on to The X-Men, Spiderman, Doctor Strange, and finally, The Avengers.

Of all The Avengers characters, Doctor Strange is one of the few standalone character books I ever read, along with Thor, and Spiderman. They were the only superheroes I truly stanned, having read nearly all of their different iterations. I never read a single Captain America, Incredible Hulk (I knew him only from the TV series), Iron Man, Antman, Hawkeye, or  Black Widow stand alone book. I knew nothing about the Guardians of the Galaxy.

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That said, I’ve seen all the MCU movies, and of all the films, and I’ve  only seen a handful of them in the theater; The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Spiderman Homecoming, Captain America Civil War, and Black Panther. The rest I watched on TV, sometimes when I didn’t particularly feel like watching them, like Antman and Thor: The Dark World, and I’m going to continue to talk shit about Antman, despite the fact that I really enjoyed both movies. I  reserve the right to talk shit about movies and characters I love.

Of all the movies, the some of the most fun ones were the Iron Man films. Despite me trash talking Tony Stark at every opportunity, I actually like the character, a lot. The Captain America movies were a surprise favorite, as I had not one ounce of interest in that character beyond his being the leader of The Avengers, in the comic books. As the leader of The Avengers, I’d read Cap say those famous words countless times, and I knew Cap’s history because they talked about it in other comic  books, that were not about him. Black Widow made no impression on me in the comic books. I have never found Russian spies to be interesting  in even my best moods.

All this to explain how incredibly geeked out I was while watching this movie. I can’t wait to see this at home, when it comes out on DVD, so I can dance around the house in my bunny slippers. I loved, loved, loved, the end of this movie, and I’ve been trying really hard to avoid the whiners and complainers (and some of the more hysterical people) on Tumblr, while I read  the reviews. I will not allow any fan wankery to harsh my buzz!

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The Movie:

This is going to be a very long post. First of all, there aren’t any social justice issues to be made of this movie, despite people trying really hard to do so. Most of this movie is just pure fan service, and since I’m a fan of the comic books,, I’m perfectly okay with that. This movie throws the viewer right into the deep end. If you didn’t see any of the other MCU movies, or haven’t read any of the comic books, you probably won’t care about any of the things on the screen, and will probably just be bored, although I have come across people who did none of those things, yet still enjoyed the movie just for itself. If non-fans can still totally get into it, that is the mark of a well written film. For fans of the books and movies though, it hits all the right emotional notes, at all the right times. It has great action scenes, great callbacks to stuff that happened in the other twenty or so films, and the hundreds of comic books, and even a few tears were shed.

 

Now I’ve done some reading, and its my understanding that because of the all the time traveling in the movie, what the characters did was create alternate universes, and the one we end with is a brand new universe, in which a lot of things didn’t happen. Every time they removed one of the stones from some past event, they changed a time line, and created another universe. Steve remaining in the past with Peggy created a new timeline as well. At least that was how it was explained to me, but often  I care little about such plot details. Unlike a lot of people, I didnt get myself too worked up about it.

I did appreciate the way the movie handled the aftermath of Thanos’ Snap. Its been several years, and humanity is still in recovery mode and dealing with its grief. We get a micro look at this trauma through Hawkeye, when his family disappears. Now imagine Hawkeye’s scene happening everywhere, and remember most people wouldn’t know what had happened, or why, or how.  This is  like the TV show The Leftovers, which deal with the aftermath of The Rapture, and how the survivors deal with the disappearance of half of humanity, over its three seasons.

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This movie doesn’t  have time to go into too much detail,  as it’s three hours long already, but it does handle a lot of character, and personality issues effectively. About the first thirty minutes of the movie is just watching these characters deal with their loss. Humanity is pretty resilient, and you can see that most people are holding on by their fingernails. You got Natasha crying in the office, Steve looking more lost than usual, and Imma talk about Thor in a moment.

What was not taken into account by Thanos in his megalomania, is that there would be planets and cultures, (the Snap happened everywhere, but we only see Earth), that because of the way they were set up, they would not only be devastated by such an event, they would never recover from it. (I’m pretty certain that on at least some  planets, everyone is dead.) The Snap most likely killed more than half of humanity anyway, because there would be tens of millions of residual deaths in the aftermath. All of the sick, the very young, and the very old, the suicides, and  basically anybody who couldn’t fend for themselves, would probably die in the weeks after the Snap.

I was reminded of this by the book, The Stand by Stephen King, in which a pandemic wipes out most of humanity. There’s a chapter in the book that chronicles  the deaths of all those who didn’t die from the pandemic itself. The residual deaths, like accidents, other infections, and  illnesses and suicides. I was also reminded of reading stories about the aftermath of the Black Plague and how that so thoroughly changed the social and economic systems in Europe afterward. The Snap was infinitely worse.

Thanos is a megalomaniacal, psychotic, selfish,  dumbass, who really didn’t think any of this shit through, and caused psychological and emotional trauma on an untold massive scale, so huge it  can’t  be imagined. I do not think of Thanos as the greatest villain in the MCU, because I have no respect for a dumb villain. He’s the not even the greatest on the scale of power, and/or amount of damage he caused, because that title belongs to Galactus. This is a fanboys idea of a villain. I am always suspect of people who claim to want to do good for the world, but can only do so by killing as many people as possible. King Leopold, Hitler, Pol Pot, and Josef Stalin all held similar philosophies. Only in Thanos’  case, we’re supposed to be okay with what he did, because it was random, and not personal.

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There’s’ no depth to Thanos’ philosophies. There’s no nuance to his character, either,  despite the Russos trying to shoehorn in some pathos, to make him seem more sympathetic.  He’s just another big, dumb, brute, with the ability to kill more people than the men named above. Like most villains , he simply  wants to kill, and he invented some  reasons for doing just that. reason he invented so that he wouldn’t have to face the idea that he is, in fact,  a monster.

You wanna know how I know this?

Because Thanos didn’t Snap himself. He destroyed the Gauntlet after the Snap, but he didn’t destroy himself, and when The Avengers showed up to beat his ass. he wanted them to affirm his goodness, and be grateful to him.

I knew the movie was going to hit some emotional hot points during the scene where The Avengers track down Thanos, and try to get him to change things back, only to discover that he destroyed the Gauntlet. He starts to go into his usual villain monologuing, but Thor cuts that shit short by suddenly chopping off his head. I wasn’t expecting that, because I’ d, once again,  resigned myself to listening to, yet another, psychopath’s self -serving justification for evil.

Of all the characters, Thor was the most sympathetic, and the most  obviously affected by everything that happened. In the entirety of the MCU, with the exception of Hawkeye,  Thor  lost his entire family, most of the people he was supposed to protect, and his planet. He’s also suffering from a great deal of survivor’s guilt. You can tell he spent a lot of time dreaming of having the opportunity to kill Thanos, because the last time he had it, as he said, he didn’t go for the head. He didn’t prevent the Snap, and his last gesture is utterly futile.

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I like the way the movie handles Thor’s depression and PTSD. This is what  depressed people do. They stop caring about what they look like (and Thor was always rather vain about his looks, so his getting fat was  significant), or they drink a lot, or just stop moving forward, and become very passive. But once he is given the opportunity to go back into the past and change events, he jumps at it. Thor is depressed, but it is never shown to be a weakness. He is never bothered by his size. He owns it, and is still the Lord of Thunder, and he would thank  you to remember that he can still kick ass. I didn’t like the other characters making fun of him for being fat, though. The humor felt forced and out of place (except for his Mom, because that’s such an incredibly Mom thing to say, and she was very obviously worried about him).

The different pair-ups in the movie are fun and interesting.  The writers pair Thor with Rocket, the only other  Avenger, besides Hawkeye, who has lost his  family. I hated Thor: The Dark World because that’s the movie where Thor’s mother dies, so one of the  tearful moments I was talking about earlier, is  when he goes back to the past and sees her again. He also gets some tough love from Rocket about losing loved ones.

Natasha dies the same way Gamora did, only her death was voluntary. I’m not a huge Black Widow fan. I mean she’s okay, and she gets some good moments in the movie, (throughout the entire MCU actually), but I was largely unaffected by her death, because she was not a character that resonated with me, although I recognize she meant a lot to other people. That said, I still wish it had been Hawkeye who died, because I care less about him than I do Natasha, and she deserved a better send off. I understand why he was allowed to live, but I still wish he’d died in her place. I’m also not a fan of Hawkeye because in the wake of the Snap he decided it would be a good idea to travel the world killing Brown men, as the comic book character Ronin. His answer to his grief at so much death, is to go out and  cause even more death, and I had an issue with that.

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Tony goes out like a boss, tho’. I’m actually okay with Tony dying, I was long ready for it, and think that’s a fitting end to his character arc. I was one of the few people, who liked Tony, who was unbothered by his death. Yes, contrary to me always talking shit about Tony, I actually loved that character, and I’m gonna miss him. Thanks to Downey, he was a consistent asshole, and I kind of liked that Tony fucked up about as much as he saved, and had to constantly be put back in line by his friends and co-workers. Sometimes heroes have unlikable personalities. He didn’t resonate with me, but I really like Robert Downey, I loved the way he portrayed the character, and Tony’s passing marked the end of an era.

I loved Steve’s character arc too. I did see some grumbling from the more hysterical members of Tumblr, about how Steve choosing to live out his life with Peggy was a selfish gesture, but those people can shut the fuck up, because they very obviously do not care about Steve’s emotional well being. If anyone deserved to live out his selfish fantasy, it was Steve Rogers. I loved the end scene with him getting that dance from Peggy, and I hope they danced a lot, and had lots of fat babies.

Of all the characters, I would say that Nebula is definitely one of my favorites, because she has such a satisfying character arc. I love how her character came full circle from wanting to kill her sister, to protecting Gamora’s life by killing her alternate self.

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Also, I just like her personality, and her interactions with Tony. Of All the Guardians, she seems the one I’d most likely end up being friends with because she seems most like me in real life, which is literal minded, and very strong and  serious looking, but with a heart like a marshmallow. I love how Guardians of the Galaxy laid the groundwork for her being able to convince the Gamora of the past to help her defeat Thanos. Without that groundwork, without Gamora’s loss, she would never have been in that position, and I’m glad the Russos chose to honor what James Gunn did with her character.

I was also very touched by Rocket’s growth as a character too, for which Gunn is also responsible for laying the groundwork. Rocket is still an asshole, but he’s like Nebula and Tony, an asshole with a heart. Its interesting to watch him move to a point in his character where he offers solace to others  (Nebula) and, tough love styles of advice, (Thor).

My other favorite was Hulk. He managed somehow to fuse the two halves of his personality into a whole, and I liked that. He did come across as somebody’s corny dad, and I really enjoyed how happy he seemed to be with his life. The complete opposite of Thor, and Hawkeye. People seem to forget that Hulk was the one to bring everyone back with his own Snap, and spent the rest of the movie injured because of that, (because he was the only one left alive who could survive using  the Gauntlet).

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Favorite Moments:

I had loads of favorite moments.

  • The opening scene where Hawkeye loses his entire family. Its just very emotionally moving to watch it from the point of view of someone who has no fucking clue what just happened.
  • After five years, most cities are overgrown with vegetation. It reminded me of the documentary Life After People. Check it out if you haven’t seen it.
  • Tony and Nebula playing paper football. Nebula wins, but since she can’t smile, we can’t tell if she’s actually happy.
  • Rocket and Nebula bonding over their shared loss.
  • Steve Rogers kicking his own ass. In the five years since he worked for Shield he developed a lot more skills and we have finally answered the question, at least in the MCU, who would win in a fight between Steve and Mr. I Can Do This All Day.
  • Tony meets and makes peace with his father.
  • Bruce looking embarrassed about his behavior during the first Avengers movie, and trying to fake being angry.
  • The Hulk having to use the stairs because none of the others would let him get on the elevator. There  were a helluva lot of stairs, so I’d be angry about that too.
  • The final boss fight was every comic book splash page ever created. Its why so many of us loved these movies. We’ve been reading about these events and characters our whole lives, and to see this, larger than life, on a movie screen, well…words cannot express.
  • When the wizards showed up at the final battle, I think I openly cheered.
  • The Guardians of the Galaxy and The Ravagers all show up to kick Thanos’ ass. It took me a minute to place where all those spaceships came from. They didn’t all come from Wakanda.
  • The moment in the movie that made the whole audience cheer is when Captain America picked up Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, and the two of them trade weapons back and forth, throughout the fight, until Thor decides that Steve gets the little weapon.
  • The audience’s second favorite moment is when Steve utters the famous words: Avengers Assemble! which is not something he got to do in any of the other movies.
  • Sam Wilson’s quietly stated, “On your left.” into Steve’s ear! This just made me grin so hard, since I really love Captain America Winter Soldier.
  • The arrival of Black Panther/ the arrival of everybody really.
  • Tony hugging Peter, and Peter being perfectly okay with it and saying,  “This is kinda nice.”
  • Pepper Potts has her own Iron Man suit.
  • Carol Danvers and Scarlet Witch   get to put their shit down, and go toe to toe with Thanos.
  • That look on Tony’s face when Doctor Strange gestures at him. Tony knows what he has to do. He knows the gauntlet will kill him, but picks it up anyway.
  • We get an A Force moment of all the women Avengers, (although I’m gonna be seriously pissed if we never get an A Force movie, since they have been treating a lot of the women of the MCU like afterthoughts, including Black Widow). Let me go on the record as stating I want an A Force movie!
  • Basically, the entire battle scene was awesome!
  • Pepper telling Tony that he could rest, just brought all the feels.
  • The disintegration of Thanos and his army!
  • Sam Wilson gets the Captain America shield. Y’all know I’m a Sam Wilson stan so yeah, I totally geeked out at that moment.
  • Thor and Peter Quill arguing over who gets to be in charge of the Guardians.

So yeah, while I thoroughly enjoyed myself, if you’re not a fan of the MCU, or superhero movies in particular, your mileage may vary.

I know a lot of people wanted to see other things happen in the movie, but at three hours and with so many characters, some of them had little room to do anything more than stand still, for a second, and pose for the camera. The movie simply couldn’t cover everyone, and didn’t. But what it did do, for the characters and the emotions, was exactly what it should have done. The trailers promised a certain type of movie, and that’s exactly what  was given.

Favorite Character:

I have a lot of favorite characters, across the entirety of the MCU, but my top three are Spiderman, Drax (of all beings!), and oddly enough, Captain America.

I’ve always been a Spiderman fan, since I was a kid, watching the TV show during the 70s. I like Drax because he’s simply ridiculous. There’s just something about his character that just speaks to my inner silliness, and I always enjoy seeing him on screen. I was surprised Captain America made any part of the top ten because I had no interest in the comic book character, but Chris Evans just tore it up!, and there’s a part of me that just loves the noble warrior hero.

 

Favorite Movie:

Its really hard to pick a favorite, so I have once again, a top ten of favorites. I have no choice but to rank them, and the ranking could change based entirely on my mood. Of all the MCU films, the movie that remains consistently at  number one would be Spiderman Homecoming. I know everyone thinks I’d choose Black Panther, which is definitely in my top ten, but that’s somewhere around number five, because the number two movie on my list is Captain America Winter Soldier. and another surprise movie is Doctor Strange, coming in at third place. I was not at all prepared to like Doctor Strange. In fact, I was prepared to hate it, but I’ve found that I love the MCU magic users.

I’m very much looking forward to the next ten years. We’ve got more sequels coming up, and some new characters like The Eternals, who I know nothing about, so that will be brand new for me, and Shang Chi, because I love martial arts movies.

So until the next phase,

Make Mine Marvel!

 

 

Spiderman Homecoming

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Just in case you hadn’t guessed, there are going to be lots of spoilers. I’m basically gonna be talking about the plot, in detail. So if you haven’t seen this movie, its time to check out of this post, right now.

I’ll wait for you to come back!

 

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So yeah! I went to see Spiderman Homecoming this weekend, along with about a million other people, because Spiderman totally blew the fuck up this weekend. There are some movies that I get a good feel for their success, and others not so much, but this one I felt good about.  This is an instinct  that’s based entirely on my own own enthusiasm for a movie, so it’s not some infallible thing, where I’m always right.

And yeah, the movie is every bit as entertaining as everyone says it is. I took The Potato with me, and she seemed to really enjoy herself. It isn’t a very deep movie, but I wasn’t expecting depth from a Spiderman movie, so that’s okay. I don’t require every movie be an intellectual exercise, (just Christopher Nolan’s.) Sometimes you just want a movie to be a lot of fun, or bring the feels, and Spiderman does both of those. I found myself more interested in the relationships and dialogue, than the action scenes, although those were good too. I’m also glad to see that they didn’t do an origin story. We’ve had a bunch of those already.

I don’t normally see movies with teenagers in them, as most of the time they aren’t written very realistically as teens, and they always look like people with mortgages. I’ll tolerate a high school setting for the sake of a good story, but I generally don’t seek out material with that setting, on purpose.That said, I really enjoyed this because these are some of the most realistically written teens I’ve seen in a movie. I especially enjoyed these kid’s relationships with their parents, and the parents relationships to their kids, which is often written as being fraught with emotional drama, with sullen and unlikable teens. I even liked most of the kids. I liked that they looked, dressed, and acted like kids, instead of runway models, or future serial killers.


Most of the drama remains between Peter and  Michael Keaton, as The Vulture, or Peter messing up a situation that was already under control, because he wants so badly to be a superhero. Tony tells him he’s not ready for the big leagues, even though he was the one who picked Peter to go fight Captain America, in Civil War. So Peter gets a taste of the big time, and because he doesn’t believe Tony believes in him, ends up proving Tony’s point, that he’s not ready. When he almost gets all the people on the Staten Island Ferry killed through his interference, Tony takes away the suit he gave him at the end of Civil War, and  Peter spends the rest of the movie trying to prove he’s worthy. There’s a not insignificant portion of the movie spent with Peter trying to figure out how to work the suit. His origin story is glossed over in a few lines. We don’t even get a flashback, for which I remain grateful.

The Vulture is not one of my favorite villains from the comic books. (That would be Dr. Octopus) but I liked him okay, mostly due to Keaton’s ability to sell being warm and friendly, while also being  pantshittingly scary. There’s a scene, just before the Homecoming Dance, when he figures out that Peter is Spiderman, and confronts Peter about his secret identity, that scared the bejeebus out of me. You expect the typical events to occur, where he threatens Pete’s friends and family, or holds Aunt May hostage during the Homecoming Dance, and then Peter spends the rest of the movie trying to rescue somebody. Thankfully the writers skip over all that, and the fight remains between The Vulture and Spiderman to the end.

This  is indeed one of the most diverse MCU movies, I’ve ever seen, though I’m still mad about Miles Morales not being Spiderman. It’s like the MCU is punking us, or something. But there’s hope for a future teamup between the two Spider-men, because Miles’ uncle gets a funny cameo and mentions his nephew. The central characters are still white guys, but the PoC are not ill treated,  and get lots of screen time. None of them are developed characters, because it’s a pretty huge cast, and the movie is already two and a half hours, and the focus is all on Peter’s character. Peter’s teen crush, Liz, gets almost no character beyond being pleasant and pretty, for example. She is bi-racial, and I think it’s intriguing that   this movie shows two white men being  romantically interested in Black women. Peter’s best friend is Ned, who gets a little bit more character work, and is played by Jacob Batalon. He was a lot of fun and gets almost as much screen time as Tom Holland.


There are a number of characters I really enjoyed and I’m going to go through this by the  character names:

Aunt May – Marisa Tomei

I really liked Marisa Tomei’s version of Aunt May, who is supportive and funny. I still have no idea what she does for a living but she is apparently well known in the neighborhood as a hottie. It’s referred to a couple of times but not to the level where it becomes creepy. Also, she’s not prone to the speechifying of the Aunt May from the first  Spiderman movies with Tobey McGuire. I sometimes got tired of hearing her talk, even if what she said was supposed to be inspiring.

At no point, in this narrative, do they  damsel Aunt May, for which I am eternally grateful. At one point Peter,who has been invited to the Homecoming Dance by the girl of his dreams, Liz, enlists Aunt May’s help in getting him ready. She gets him a suit, teaches him to tie his tie,  and even teaches him how to boogie. That poor boy can’t dance a lick, though. aunt May can at least keep a beat.

 

Ned – Jacob Batalon

Image result for spiderman ned

Ned gets almost as much screen time, as he’s Peter’s best friend, and is the first person to find out he’s Spiderman. Jacob is just as charming as Tom Holland and I totally fell in love with his cute, little nerdy self, with his Legos, and his big mouth, although my niece wasn’t too impressed with him, though. He manages to get Peter into trouble with his peers,  because he’s so excited that he’s friends with Spiderman. Earlier in the movie, he asks Peter if he can be Spiderman’s “Man in the Chair”, who gives the hero instructions while in the field, and during the Homecoming scene, he, very happily, gets  his big chance.

Jennifer Connolly is the voice of Karen, The Spidey Suit

She talks to Peter through his Spiderman suit, and even she gets a couple of great lines. The suit’s voice is something that was added just for the film. In most of the comic books, Peter’s suit isn’t made by Tony Stark and doesn’t talk much. (There is an alternate version of Spiderman, in a gold and red suit, that was created by Stark, but he’s not Spiderman Prime, as it were.)

 Adrian Toomes – Michael Keaton

Image result for spiderman homecoming/ toomes

Keaton plays the movie’s least funny character. But he’s also a sympathetic character, having lost his salvage and demolition business to Stark’s politicking. In the aftermath of The Avengers movie, there’s a lot of cleaning up to do, and Toomes set himself, and his crew, to be a salvage team. Unfortunately, a lot of the salvage is alien technology, that really shouldn’t be in the hands of civilians, and during the course of the movie you can see why, as the civilians use this technology to act a fool, lose control of the technology, and occasionally even lose track of it.

Adrian is also Liz’ Dad, which Peter doesn’t find out until half the movie is over, and he’s already asked her to the Homecoming. All three are sitting in the car, on the way to the dance, when it slowly begins to dawn on Adrian that Peter is Spiderman. Talk about tense and Awkward!!!

Toomes is married to Garcelle Beauvais, and he’s a great father, he loves his family, and is dedicated to taking care of them. His argument that he is only making money by selling weapons, the same way Tony’s family made theirs, is justifiable, and I didn’t have a problem with his reasoning, up to a point. My problem is that he and his garage buddies are stealing the technology,  and they aren’t qualified to handle alien tech. At one point he accidentally kills one of his people (Shocker #1) because he grabs the wrong weapon. Can you imagine your dumb-assed  neighbor cobbling together some alien tech in his garage? I think not!

 

Shocker #2 – Bokeem Woodbine

When Shocker #1 gets killed, Bokeem’s character inherits his weapon. I really like this actor, and I’m semi-interested in seeing him become one of Peter’s Rogues Gallery, which is what they call Spiderman’s regular coterie of bad guys, in the comic books. Most of Spiderman’s villains, who insist on jumping in and out of prison, have animal names, but the Shocker is something of a change from Dr. Octopus, The Scorpion, The Vulture, Chameleon, Black Cat, The Goblin, Rhino. That said, I would love it if Kraven the Hunter showed up in one of Spidey’s movies, or the life-eating Morlun, who is a kind of ageless, spiritual vampire. But so far, all we got is  Shocker.

Coach Wilson – Hannibal Buress

Hannibal Buress gets a funny turn as Peter’s gym coach, who is also the head of detention. What few scenes he gets are hilarious like when he’s required to show Captain America’s stupid PSAs in his class, while he briefly wonders; isn’t the Captain a Federal criminal, now?

 

Michelle – MJ – Zendaya

Image result for spiderman homecoming toomes

I’m surprised to say that this is one of my favorite characters in the entire movie and I wasn’t expecting that. She is funny as hell, and although she’s not in a lot of scenes, she steals almost every one of them, due mostly to Zendaya’s comedic timing and delivery. The Potato loves her Disney show, KC Undercover, and was delighted to see her.

She’s just a  funny weirdo in the movie and I loved her. She shows up to detention, and when Coach Wilson asks why she’s there because she doesn’t even  have detention, she says she likes to come there because she likes drawing people in crisis. She then shows him a picture she drew of him. That just tickles the hell outta me, and makes me wish I had thought of doing that when I was in art school. Later, when Peter is looking depressed in class, she flips over her paper to show him  the drawing she did of him. I think this tickled the rest of the audience.

Oh ,and it actually turns out that the filmmakers lied about Zendaya being Mary Jane. She’s basically a future Mary Jane with a new name, Michelle. I guess they did that to throw off the scent of the idiot fan-guys who protested making Mary Jane a Black girl. Yes, her hair is annoying for the entire movie.

She claims to be unaffected by her high school life but you get the impression she really does have a low-key crush on Peter. She pays a lot of attention to him, even though she claims she doesn’t care,  telling the class she doesn’t have a crush on him, and is just highly observant. What a strange girl.

Flash Thompson is played by Tony Revolori, and he’s every bit as annoying as you’d expect a bully to be, but is also deeply funny, often referring to Peter as Penis Parker, and gleefully wondering when Peter will be expelled. You get the impression that he’s not bullying Peter because he has some deep dark secret in his home life, because its not really that kind of bullying. This version of Flash isn’t a jock, because its not that type of school, so his teasing of Peter is mostly due to academic rivalry, more than anything else.

Compared to the comic books this is the one most like the 90s comic books, and the Mark Millar version. This is one of the funniest Spiderman movies, too. The MCU understands this character the best, and how they’d like to depict him, and it shows. The original movie, starring Tobey MacGuire, had its moments, and I particularly enjoyed the second movie with Dr. Octopus, but Peter wasn’t funny in any of them. He was hapless, and a loser, but he didn’t make me laugh, even if the supporting cast was hugely funny. This Peter is a loser, but not in a depressing sort of way, like the Raimi version. The movie manages to remain lighthearted, even when Peter is being put into embarrassing ethical positions by his friends. This version of Peter is hapless because of his intensity, not because life seems to have it in for him.

The second iteration of Spiderman, with Andrew Garfield, brought a lot of feels, and I really liked those movies but, once again, they were not very funny, although funnier than McGuire’s version. The humor level drops  a notch  when this Peter  is in costume, but that’s okay, because its hard to  drop quips, when you’re getting your ass kicked. I’m glad the humor isn’t limited to the rest of the cast, though, and that Peter  remembers to be funny when he’s in costume.

But the most charming moments  occur at the beginning of the movie, when we pick up the story, with Tony recruiting him to go fight the other Avengers in Civil War. Normally, I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to large battle scenes in movies, but that scene in Civil War is, hands down,  one of the funniest fights I’ve ever seen in an American action movie.  Peter’s narration of it just gives it a new dimension of silliness. Peter is such a goofy mess, a hyperactive 10 year-old, as he personally films the event, which he’s not supposed to be doing. Incidentally, Tony’s presence in this movie goes a long way towards making up for recruiting a 14 year-old boy into his Avengers war, but yeah, I’m still mad at Tony for lying to Peter about why. Just add that to the list of things that make you wish Tony would catch these hands.

Oh, and you should stick around long enough to get trolled by, of all people, Captain America, who made me roll my eyes twice while he lectured the audience on the virtues of patience. That’s totally NOT funny guys!😜

Image result for spiderman homecoming/ captain america

So yeah, I really, really liked this movie. It’s better than The Amazing Spiderman 2, and that Raimi production, Spiderman #3, even though I’m one of the five people who seemingly  liked that one. On the other hand it’s just not as good as the Tobey McGuire’s Spiderman 2, because that one starred Otto Octavius and it’s hard to top a good villain. The creators do need to stop making Spiderman films for a little while, though. I don’t want to see any more Spiderman movies until he’s in college. If you haven’t seen Spiderman Homecoming yet, I’d definitely recommend it.

The next movie I’d like to see is Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. I may not get the chance to see that, however, for budgetary reasons, but Me, Mom, and The Potato, will definitely be sitting in the theater for The Dark Tower on August 4th.

Captain America Civil War Meta

One of the reasons I like Tumblr so much is that its much easier to find in depth analysis of some of my favorite movies and characters, that go well beyond your typical, glossy movie reviews. In fact, Tumblr is almost famous for this.

*I do actually like Tony despite my criticism of this character. I sympathize with Tony and his efforts to try to do good, and understand he’s gone through a lot of trauma he’s simply not dealing with very well. But at the same time, I also acknowledge that this does not excuse Tony’s fuckups. I like Tony because in the Iron Man movies he is willing to acknowledge when he’s messed up and apologize for his mistakes. That’s not the problem. The problem is that he goes on to make all new, horrible mistakes.

starkassembled

a piece about Tony Stark’s mental state throughout the MCU [spoilers below cut]

Tony Stark, of the original team, is the only civilian after Bruce. But there are some key differences between he and Bruce. Bruce is treated delicately by the team after he comes back from the Hulk. They give him his space, let him listen to his chill out remix. They let him come down in his own time. I also think that Bruce has demonstrated that he has a solid handle on himself. He grapples with a huge amount of guilt (and anger), but he’s never demonstrated any signs of trauma. He’s upset by some of the destruction he causes, but he’s found a balance, probably in his own research into ways to calm himself and balance his anger, that’s helped him be able to live with himself without snapping.

Tony Stark doesn’t have that. Tony is a civilian, with no proper training other than the training he’s put himself through in order to operate the suit. Sure, he was a military weapons contractor most of his life, he’s been around military most of his life, but he’s never seen violence and combat like he has since the kidnapping.

Tony’s also demonstrated that he really has no healthy way to handle his guilt, his pain. He bottles things up and he shoves them to the side to deal with later. Except he doesn’t want to deal with it later. So he tinkers and he builds and with each subsequent betrayal of his trust throughout his film appearances, it only serves to increase his paranoia, increase his anxiety, make his survivor’s guilt that much deeper.

Tony has slowly been losing his mind since his kidnapping in IM1. He’s nearly killed in a bombing by one of his own stolen weapons. He’s held hostage by a terror cell, he’s learning that his weapons that he built to protect his country are somehow ending up in the hands of terrorists and murderers. So when he goes home, he immediately shuts down his weapons manufacturing and starts building a way to get his weapons out of those hands.

He learns that his father figure of the last 30 years has betrayed him, is trying to take over his company, has been selling his weapons to terrorists all this time and tried to have him killed.

He’s grappling with the guilt and the weight of the lives and livelihoods destroyed by his stolen weapons that he can never make amends for. And then he’s dying, he tries to give his life away to his friends while pushing them away to spare them any pain his inevitable death may cause.

And then months later he’s flying through a wormhole, his suit goes dead and all he can do is watch as a nuke tears apart the Chitauri fleet before his eyes as his exit gets smaller and smaller. He could die here. Die floating out in the silence and dark expanse of space. He won’t get a burial. He won’t be laid to rest beside his mother.

But he manages to fall out at the last moment, but every night he’s back there, back in space, unsure if the blast will reach him before he chokes to death.

He has no time for any therapy, because the world always needs saving. He continues to work, his PTSD and survivor’s guilt gets worse and worse, eating away at him. He builds himself an army of armors to try and keep himself and his friends safe.

*(Technically, he does have time for therapy, as the final scene of The Avengers shows. He just refuses to get any more, and chooses the wrong therapist.)

He tries to give it up for Pepper, because it’s what Pepper wants and he’d do anything for her. But he can’t give it up, not when there are innocent lives at risk. So he makes new suits. He makes the Iron Legion. He’s trying to find a way to protect the world while being able to retire. To get some rest. To find some peace. Hopefully to get some therapy. But that time never comes because in all his paranoid efforts to build peace, he builds destruction instead. Ultron tries to end the world and the team stops him, but at the cost of a country. At the cost of thousands of lives. And he tries to do his best to save as many people as he could, but it’s too much.

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*Bucky was born in a different era nd under very different circumstances than Tony, but still, contrast Bucky’s methods of coping with the trauma of the things he’s done, with Tony’s methods.

“But I Did It”- Guilt in Captain America: Civil War

I came away from Civil War really struck by how overwhelming the theme of guilt was. It motivates people to do selfless things, it motivates people to do selfish things, and it’s the driving force behind the ultimate showdown between Bucky and Tony. What the movie does though is contrast the fashion people deal with their guilt.

Tony and Bucky are both people consumed by guilt. In both cases it’s guilt over things they ultimately had no control over. Tony couldn’t have predicted that his parents would die with so many things left unsaid between them and him, yet when we first see him he’s reliving that moment over and over. Tony is steeped in even more guilt when his actions in creating Ultron are thrown back in his face by a victim’s mother. He’s even guilty that his teammates hold him responsible for their containment. The crux of the issue is that Tony just can’t let it go. He’s willing to stare his flaws in the face, but he’s unwilling to forgive himself for those flaws, which leads to an issue I’ll get to in a second. Tony is stuck in an endless guilt loop. His attempts to fix things always seem to lead to more issues that lead to more guilt. He’s understandably frustrated because he’s just so driven to try to make things RIGHT that he’s willing to clash hard and often with people who don’t agree with his ideas. Ultimately the government might be right that the Avengers should have some limitations put on them, but Tony is so desperate to try to fix or at least ease his mind over what he feels like he’s responsible for that he makes agreements and does things without looking at every angle. He flogs himself over his mistakes, but he can’t even really articulate the real problem: acceptance that sometimes things happen no matter what and you’re going to have to live with them.

*Now contrast that  with what Steve says to Wanda after the incident in Africa. These are exactly  Steve’s words to her.

It’s Bucky who actually voices what is Tony’s issue as well as his. As Steve tries to tell his friend that it was Hydra’s fault and that “it wasn’t really you doing those things” during his assassin days, Bucky calmly and quietly looks up and says “but I did it”. It doesn’t matter to Bucky who MADE him do it. It doesn’t matter to him that he was just the weapon. What matters to him is that he did it. He has to live with that. He has to see something he caused happen in his mind over and over again. He ultimately takes responsibility, and in doing that he echoes something Steve says earlier about being willing to shoulder the blame over things that go wrong. What Steve doesn’t address is not just being willing to bear the consequences of mistakes, but being willing to move forward from there.

That’s the real issue. Not whose fault it ultimately is, but the fact that both Tony and Bucky, in their minds, DID IT. They have to live with that. They have to live with something that no amount of reassurance from outsiders can fix. All the love and understanding in the world can’t help someone who won’t move out of the guilt cycle. And in the end that’s why Tony, in spite of knowing Bucky had no control over his actions in killing the Starks, attempts to kill him. I think it would be easy to claim Tony is motivated purely by revenge, but I think it’s more than that. Tony of anyone should be able to understand someone causing something horrible inadvertently. He’s been in Bucky’s place. He’s caused damage without really knowing it. He KNOWS Bucky was programmed, even calls him the “Manchurian Candidate” at one point proving he completely believes Bucky had no control over his actions. Part of the reason Tony can’t accept Bucky’s moral innocence in what he did is because he can’t accept his own. Tony can’t consider forgiving Bucky because he can’t forgive himself. Tony’s generally a reasonable person, but he’s willing to flat out murder Bucky in the end even though he’s aware Bucky was just the weapon that HYDRA used to kill his parents. Bucky didn’t have a choice in the matter, Tony knows that, but he violently tries to hold him responsible in the same way he mentally holds himself. “Do you even remember them” he lashes out at Bucky, sure that the person involved in causing the determining factor in his life can’t understand the magnitude of what he’s done. Can’t understand the weight of feeling responsible for some many lives. He unwittingly echoes the woman who cornered him in the elevator earlier in the movie. He’s suddenly in her place reacting the exact same way.

“I remember them all.”

That line, right there. If Tony had been able to pause in his rage and grief for a second he would have realized that out of ANYONE he’s come across, Bucky gets it the best. Tony lives with all the ghosts of what he’s caused. So does Bucky. Bucky voices what Tony can’t. No matter what people tell you, you are still going to feel guilty that you did something no matter the reason and every incident can still be fresh and painful and seared on your memory whether it really deserves to be there or not. Maybe you had false information, maybe you didn’t have control, but it still happened. You still did it. You’re still going to have to live with it. And if you don’t forgive yourself to some degree you’re not really going to function. You can see Bucky trying to figure out how to live with himself. He can at least voice that he’s not sure he’s worth it, voice his uncertainty. You see him cringing at the scythe of destruction he is (ie. “what did I do”). You see him figuring out how to live with guilt without needing to punish himself.

Tony says the problem without really saying it. “And then, and then, and then”. The cycle over and over and over. He pushes people away because of it. He tortures himself because of it. And it will eat him alive until he is able to step forward.

*Throughout all of the films we witness three different methods of dealing with trauma, Steve’s way, Bucky’s, and Tony’s. Of the three, Steve and Bucky deal with their trauma in a more healthy manner. Steve’s method is to confront what he’s done head on, process it, and deal with the emotions from it. Bucky’s method is to mentally and physically withdraw. After he gets his mind back, his first impulse is  to retire from the field of play. After the main plot is over, his instinct is to, once again, completely withdraw. Not hunt down Hydra or get revenge. And Tony chooses to not deal with it at all, to shove it aside.

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*This entire meta is an echo of the post I wrote about Tony’s motivations earlier. (https://tvgeekingout.wordpress.com/2016/07/19/on-the-right-captain-america-and-iron-man/)

Tony was definitely a villain in the comic books, during Civil War, and frankly, he didn’t come across looking too good in this movie, either.

jbananabarnes

I got words.

See that curb party Steve and Bucky were giving Tony at the end of the trailer actually made me feel really bad for him, and that’s interesting. Because while there is something pitiable about Tony in the MCU, the Tony I’m familiar with from the comics, is not. And certainly not during Civil War. In the comics Tony was objectively wrong during Civil War. His methods of getting what he wanted during that run were unforgivable.

But the Tony we’ve been working with in the MCU is decidedly less in love with himself. His egotism is largely for show, because we’ve seen him have panic attacks and display acts of poor self care. But the line about also being Steve’s friend seemed really out of place to me. Because they have never really been friendly. They’ve been civil and work on the same superhero team but for Age of Ultron’s part it was them fighting with each each other over how to handle their problem. So I can’t help but think a lot of this comes from if its because of Tony’s genuine lack of self confidence says he puts a lot of stock into what Steve thinks of him. The MCU has made Tony into someone whowants to do good, but doesn’t actually have the tools to enact that good or have a real understanding of what good is in the real world with it’s moral complexities. It’s not that his intentions aren’t genuine, but this kind of altruism isn’t in his nature. He understands the world in a very binary way. Something is good, or it’s bad. A lack of awareness of grey areas makes it difficult for him to make the best judgement when put in a “hero” position. When he does good there is a lotof collateral damage. And maybe he needs Steve, this kind of universally accepted pillar of good, to agree that what he does and his actions are good so he can justify himself to himself. Because Tony’s solutions to difficult problems, historically, have been “kill myself’ which doesn’t indicate that he’s got a whole lot of self worth, or someone who thinks the only means of being heroic is through a self sacrificing Hail Mary. In all of the Iron Man films and both Avengers films, I’ve never felt as though being a hero was something Tony felt comfortable falling into, there’s always been a certain uncertainty.

But, in turn, I don’t think Steve’s ever thought highly of Tony, I think he’s been surprised by Tony but goes into most interactions with him ready to be annoyed or disappointed. And Tony’s never had like, real friends. Rhodey (and arguably Pepper, and even Bruce being a friend of circumstance) being a singular exception. And now he’s got this Avengers crew who’s actually got his back, it probably never occurred to him that Steve’s got baggage too. He probably doesn’t see Steve as a real person, but as this mythological figure because he grew up while Steve was solidly frozen. Steve’s always been propaganda to him, something his father – who he grew up resentful of – spoke highly of. Steve’s probably never been a real person to him. He’s never treated him like one. I can imagine Tony would hugely misinterpret “tolerance” for “friendship” especially from someone he hasn’t bothered to actually know as a human being.

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radialarch

so i’ve seen quite a bit of doylist discussion about the steve-tony relationship and how marvel is trying to use a long comics history as shorthand in the mcu, but i keep thinking about it from a watsonian point of view. and here’s the thing: tony stark is not very good at friends.

tony is self-centered, antagonistic, and sarcastically belligerent on the best of days (and i say this with great affection); he is not an easy person to be friends with. tony knows this. and tony has, i think, decided very early on that he doesn’t care to sand down his rough edges for the sake of friends. it’s very possible that his first friend in the world was edwin jarvis – and that says a lot, that the people tony grows close to are, by and large, in some ways obligated not to leave him.

because that’s what tony does to people: he is intensely tony at them until they leave. and if they don’t, then maybe – maybe that means they love him. this is the tony stark model of friendship. it’s not a very healthy model, granted, but no one’s ever accused tony stark of being well-adjusted.

and then there’s steve.

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nthnystrk

some civil war (mostly tony) thoughts

ok so i’ve just come out of my fifth viewing of civil war and clearly i have many Feelings about the movie, but i have many Words about tony stark in this movie, so help me god.

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*And now some Bucky meta. For some 7o + years Bucky has had everyone inside his head but himself. Finally he’s free of outside influences, and his first instinct is to withdraw from the world and live off the grid. He just wants to be left the hell alone, and in relative peace. Contrast that with Steve’s method of coping with what’s happened to him, which is keep fighting, until he finds a reason to live.

twinagonies

and now BUCKY

god bucky is so sad in this film. but i wanna get to how we get to that first credits scene, and why i love it even though it hurts like a motherfucker.

so what’s he been doing since we last saw him in a museum? living in the saddest apartment in bucharest, eating plums, trying not to murder anybody. literally the saddest possible goal.

beyond the exchange of a dispassionate bucky saying “yeah, that’s a good strategy for taking me in,” the most telling moment for me is when steve assures him, “this wasn’t your fault, you had no choice.”

and he says, “but I still did it.”

bucky is not steve–he doesn’t hold choice and agency and decision as the paramount ideal of freedom. i’m not sure that bucky feels guilt, or anything like it. he feels fear and resignation. it’s that moment when zemo starts the lists of trigger words, and he knows what’s happening, and he rips apart his cell trying to stop it from happening. all he wants is to be left alone. and maybe, to forget.

“i still did it,” to me, is the revelation of the horror he’s lived through, and the horror that continues to be his life. he wants it to stop. his worst nightmare comes true: he’s found, he’s unmade, he’s forced to be the killer he tries desperately not to be, and he’s left with the pieces.

for a film that’s all about choice and consequence, about responsibility and accountability, bucky stands as the character who serves as the consequence of other people’s culpability. in many ways, he’s tony’s opposite: he bears guilt for things he never chose to do, while tony pushes the guilt for his myriad sins onto everyone around him, never taking responsibility for the havoc he creates.

and the guilt and horror is too much. bucky argues at the end, as he’s going back into cryofreeze, that this is so he won’t be used as a weapon. I think this is true, but also there’s the hidden motivation: that bucky doesn’t really want to BE anymore. he wants to turn off his consciousness and fall asleep and never wake up until the danger isn’t there anymore.

because you have to think of bucky in romania, waking up in that sad apartment, and thinking, “is this it? is this the day they find me?”

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*This person perfectly lays out why I am and remain Team Cap. Its not because I dislike Tony but because Team Tony had some serous flaws in their reasoning and actions.

narniangirl1994

Powerful Moments in Civil War

After seeing Civil War, I’d like to discuss what I believe were some of the most powerful and pivotal moments in the movie. Don’t read this if you haven’t seen the movie yet:

Keep reading

*Of note in this particular post, is a reference to what Sam must have been feeling, watching WarMachine fall out of the sky, and being unable to stop it.

  • Poor  Sam, having to deal with seeing another   teammate fall out of the sky that he couldn’t save. The fact that he then    asked about Rhodey, even when imprisoned by Tony’s side of the fight. And     the way Tony (unfairly) blasted him for what happened to Rhodey, even     though it wasn’t Sam’s fault

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trashmouse

Civil War Thoughts: On Steve

So, it’s been taking me a while to get my last thoughts out, and I might do a few more smaller ones before I get to my Steve/Bucky thoughts, but in the meantime, here are my broader thoughts on Steve and his role in Civil War.  Obviously, this will be chock full of spoilers.

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kristhelkat

Crossbones, Steve and the“Your Bucky” scene

So, after watching the scene between Crossbones and Steve for the second time, I’ve been thinking about what he said to taunt Steve during their fight. And I thought of something really upsetting, and I don’t want to suffer by myself so I’m telling you right now.

Some spoilers below the cut. All right? Here we go.

Keep reading

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your-pal-your-buddy-your-bucky
Is it too early to start talking about mid credit Bucky and what it all means? Because, honestly, some people seem to be uncertain about his future, but I don’t think there’s any need to be.Bucky Barnes as the Winter Soldier is all chrome and black leather, a range of colours associated with weaponry, the bad guys. Not white. Never white. That is, until the scene where we leave him. SERIOUSLY, LOOK AT THE SYMBOLISM OF THIS OUTFIT HERE.White trousers, white shirt, someone remarked he’s got bare feet in the opening scene, if the camera had panned back a little on the end scene, I’m fairly certain he’d be barefoot here as well.. He’s in ALL WHITE, the colour of innocence and purity and in western religious circles a colour symbolising the washing away of one’s sins. Renewal. I don’t know what’s going on behind him, but it’s giving off a golden glow, I swear they couldn’t have made him look more like an ACTUAL SAINT if they tried. You think this is the end for him? White is for new beginnings, not endings. Watch this scene again, the white, the gold, the serene smile. This scene is the baptism of Bucky Barnes. The boy is getting REBORN.

Is all this deliberate? I think it is, consider the juxtaposition they’ve given us in the opening and closing scenes of this film. The beginning, pre title scene of a man, Bucky Barnes being awoken from the ice, dressed in black, cloaked in darkness. Not yet the soldier, just the man, being dragged into a place of darkness and screaming agony and forcibly turned into the Winter Soldier, against his will. The ending, the man who was the Winter Soldier, dressed in white, bathed in light. Not being dragged, but choosing to go back into that ice to become Bucky Barnes again. The scenes mirror each other in every way, not just in the motions, but the lighting, the costuming, the tone; darkness and light, black and white, piercing screams and hushed, peaceful tones, coercion and free will. I know it’s just a silly superhero movie, but this is beautiful stuff right here.

Look, okay, I see Bucky as the heart of this movie, Bucky’s my fave, so maybe I’m biased, but I can only see a new beginning here. But you know what, even if this WERE the end of his story, I’d be happy with this. I couldn’t have asked for a more respectful treatment of my baby. And I think he’s going to be just fine.

bucky barnesmarvel metacivil war spoilersmy baby
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http://giveusalol.tumblr.com/post/143535916488/gender-subversion-in-cacw
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*More about Steve’s trauma, keeping in mind that afte Peggy’s death, the only preson left alive who rmembers the original Steve Rogers, is Bucky.
steverogersorbust

you know. sometimes i think. in the face of tony’s obvious trauma and ptsd. in the face of the more obvious pain that bucky has suffered. we forget that steve’s motivation in the film isn’t just his tendency to hold stubbornly fast to his ideals, to do what he feels is right and damn the rest.

steve’s hurting too.

like. guys. we are so ready to give weight to tony’s emotional boiling over point at the end of the film, to say “this is why he tried to kill bucky, and it’s not right but it’s understandable.” we are so ready to acknowledge the fact that bucky was a victim and motivated to run by his fear of further persecution and hurt from nefarious forces. what about steve, though? when do we acknowledge that steve’s not just acting with righteous arrogance, but a deep anger, isolation, fear, loneliness, sadness, and hope?

steve died. like, his last memory before waking up seventy years in the future is a few days after watching his best friend fall from a train and he was unable to stop it he willingly flies a plane into the fucking Arctic, ostensibly to his death.

guys. guys. tony was fucked up for years because of untreated ptsd after falling from space and thinking he was dead. why is it so hard to remember that steve probably is fucked up, too?

this dude, he wakes up seventy years in the future and he has to make his way without really anyone or anything familiar, and the only person who is familiar is suffering from memory loss, and he’s now operating under the thumb of shadowy organization that he’s not 100 percent does good things and that continuously lies to him. there’s no war to fight, but that’s all this body is good for. it’s all he knows.

he doesn’t know what makes him happy. guys.

and so he goes through another trauma when he discovers this villain who is trying to kill him is in fact the dead best friend who—surprise!—was actually captured after falling and losing an arm andhis brains were scrambled to turn him into a murder assassin. we know for a fact steve feels tremendous guilt over this. but imagine beyond guilt, the sorrow, the nightmarish possibilities, that are turning over in steve’s head. the idea of what his friend suffered. remember when rhodey fell from the sky and tony blasted sam in the chest? imagine the anger in steve’s heart at the idea of what bucky’s suffered and the unwillingness to let that go unchecked and unsaved.

oh, plus. that shadowy organization he’s been fighting for? the people he’s been taking orders from? the top dog in the neat little hierarchy that’s arranged his world? yeah. hydra. everything steve has known turns upside down. he can’t trust anything. imagine the paranoia. the suspicion. imagine the fear that must take seed at that betrayal.

and then! of course, then he begins fighting these battles with the avengers where the collateral damage is on such a bigger scale than it was at war. where there are aliens. aliens, you guys. and he’s tasked with leading this motley crew of superheroes in a world he’s still getting used to and people die, lots of people die, and we know that even if it doesnt visibly affect him like it affects tony (who always seems shocked when he’s confronted with loss, because it’s presented to him on a personal, individual level) it does affect him. that steve feels the guilt of lives lost. imagine that burden. imagine the weight of the shield, the mask, the responsibility. imagine the loneliness. thefear.

so then. then. in the space of a few days. steve deals with more guilt from the deaths in lagos. he shoulders that burden. then he deals with the moral quandary of signing the accords. he wrestles with that decision. peggy dies. he grieves, oh goodness does he grieve. vienna fuckin blows up andthat elusive best friend is now the suspect. so steve is grieving, he is confused and conflicted, and now he feels doubly guilty—that’s the person he has been looking for, should he have already caught him? did he do it? he couldn’t have. does he bring him in? does he shoulder this responsibility too? what will they make him do when he catches up to bucky? what should he do? steve might act like he always knows what’s right, but a decision like this isn’t easy. it messes with a person. and when you’re dealing with all that mess in your head, sometimes you don’t think. sometimes…you act.

like when bucky is triggered, when steve stops a helicopter with his bare fucking hands, you can feel the desperation. that’s not ordinary heroics. that’s not steve just trying to stop bucky from escaping and possibly hurting others. it’s steve fighting for bucky. for this piece of his past. for the possibility of an end to loneliness. for the possibility of redemption for letting him fall.

and when they go on the run, when they know they have to stop the supersoldiers, when they clash with tony’s team, can you imagine steve’s sheer frustration that no one gets what is at stake? that no one is willing to listen? and yes, he didn’t even try—but why is that, you think? is it possibly because steve is used to institutions and those in power ignoring what he thinks is right and causing disaster anyway?

when steve says, “pal, so are we.” when steve acknowledges to natasha that he’s 90 not dead, when he openly references the fact that he and bucky are 100, can you imagine knowing that? adjusting to that? being 20-something in body and memory but 100 in actuality? living in a body that people perceive as a weapon so strongly that you’ve become a weapon when you are still longing to rediscover the man you were? steve’s not just cap. steve’s steve, and he doesn’t know what makes him happy you guys. he’s a guy, he’s a human, and he’s dealing with A Lot.

i get that he makes some bad calls in the movie. so does tony. my beef is that while tony’s decisions are often supported by his very obvious trauma and emotional burden, we rarely seem to give enough weight to the very real and very similar turmoil that is going on inside of steve.

when tony is fighting him in siberia. when steve says, “he’s my friend,” so simply, so sadly, without any righteousness, just clean tired truth, that’s steve as steve. when he hid the truth from tony, that’s steve as steve. when he drops the shield, that’s steve reclaiming himself as steve. we expect cap all the time, because often, steve is cap. it’s easy to see him as the moral police that way, if reductionist.

but we forget to see steve as steve. that he is a kid, in some ways. and a grieving, lost, lonely kid with a lot of anger, sadness, confusion, and power boiling under the placid-seeming surface.

steve rogerscivil warcacwspoilersmeta
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scififreak35

Steve and the Sokovia Accords

I keep seeing a lot of posts about how Steve was in the wrong in CACW because while Tony had a plan, Steve didn’t offer any alternative to it, he was just like NOPE. The thing is though, something that immediately struck me when I watched the movie was the timing of everything. Ross and Tony bring Steve and the others the Accords THREE DAYS before they are to be signed. Those Accords were not drafted, approved and supported by 117 countries in a week. This was 100% intentional. This is also very, very common in American politics. When politicians want to pass a bill they don’t want people to look at closely, they schedule votes at weird times or when a large # of people are away from the Hill (Capital Hill). So you get these 11th hour bills that are hundreds of pages long that no one has had a chance to read, ask questions about, or negotiate on about changes. These bills are stuffed with completely unrelated stuff that gets passed as well because the whole thing has to be signed off on/approved. It’s called “pork barreling.” Those are the questions Steve tries to bring up to the group. When he’s like ‘what happens when…?’ And Tony brushes aside his concerns like ‘oh, I’m sure we’ll get to make changes later when everything dies down.’ But Steve is like what are we agreeing to NOW though? And practically as soon as they are given the “generous” 3 day warning, Peggy dies. Steve flies off to London and everything goes to hell. What time is there to propose or discuss an alternative plan??

The timing was 100% intentional to make sure the Avengers would be subject to the Accords as written–no matter what was lurking on the bottom of page 440 in fine print. Steve is 100% right to be suspicious. This is one of the dirty tricks of American politics that Steve would be totally aware of. And sure, maybe there’s a chance that everything was above board, reasonable, and so on, but you would NEVER sign a thing like that w/o actually checking/reading it. that would be foolish. I mean, did we forget that Project Insight was authorized and approved by The World Council? I guarantee you that Steve hasn’t. I absolutely believe that Steve would have been willing to talk everything out, negotiate, listen to everyone’s pov, and really consider everything carefully…but there’s no time given to do that. It’s all last minute, non-negotiable, and shady. Steve is a master tactician, natural leader, and a reasonable, thoughtful person who is a Big Picture thinker. It’s weird that people just assume he rejects the Accords because he’s being childish or something. That’s not Steve Rogers at all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Random Tumblr Antics 2

*This person hit the nail right on the head. I had been wondering why out of all the female Ghostbusters, that it was Leslie who got attacked. This man is right in that the a**holes who came after her, thought they could get away with attacking, what they thought, was the weakest link, the one person that no one would defend or care about. They didn’t plan that Black women would stan for Leslie, the way we  did. Their mistake was in thinking no one would have each her back, because they perceive the rift between Black and White women to be a rift between ALL women. I’m so proud of black women for doing this.

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*I laughed too hard at this one. Its so true, but  its still a little confusing how I would die, as a member of several different fandoms

iprayforangels

Fandoms by how they’d die in a zombie Apocalypse

In The Flesh: first to go, tried to befriend the zombies

Welcome to Nightvale: second to go, purposefully became zombies

Sherlock: got fed to zombies by other fandoms for being a know it all prick all the time

Doctor Who: caught and eaten by the Hannibal fandom during an argument among themselves

Torchwood: died avenging Doctor Who fandom’s death

Hannibal: mistaken for zombies while eating someone and killed by Supernatural fandom

Marvel: dies being unnecessarily heroic

DC: dies trying to prove they could survive the thing Marvel died doing

Homestuck: sacrificed to hoard as a distraction

Star Wars: killed by Star Trek in the midst of peace negotiations

Star Trek: killed by one of their own, sick of how much everyone hates Voyager

Harry Potter: eaten by zombie after they attempted to defend themselves with a spell

Supernatural: almost survived the whole thing before sacrificing themselves under the belief they’d come back

Walking Dead: survived the whole thing

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*What happens with a shallow reading of Civil War is that Tony looks like a sympathetic character.

He isn’t.

Once you look  beneath the surface of the movie you understand that Tony comes across as a first-class dick.

These guys looked beneath the surface. And what catalyzed them apparently, was that scene I mentioned in a similar post, where Tony strikes out at my boy Sam, for Vision’s mistake. They caught a little bit more than I did, because at no point afterward does Tony chastise Vision for what happened to Rhodey, (I was expecting that, too.)

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still crazy about Civil War but Tony is not the good guy in this movie and is gettin’ no love from me. I liked him alright in Iron Man 3, but in Civil War, Tony is one of is a bad guy.

mcufandomhatespeopleofcolor queerlaurabarton

desiree-rodriguez:

lexrambeau:

It’s been months and I’m still not over tony blasting sam when he was just trying to help after rhodey fell, but giving vision no type of slack for being the one to miss his shot. rhodey is paralyzed because vision wasn’t paying any fucking attention to what he was doing. in the hospital scene tony doesn’t even look like he’s mad at vision and in the end of the movie we don’t even get to see rhodey show any emotions about his new condition like the narrative still tries to make us feel bad for tony even though rhodey is sitting there fucking paralyzed.

This was a fundemental problem with the movie. Rhodey wasn’t a character in that moment, he was a plot device to further make the audience feel bad for Tony (similar to how he recent death in Civil War II was a plot device to instigate the “war” between Carol and Tony). Tony’s story in Civil War, I feel, can be summed up as “please feel bad for him” so that the audience wouldn’t turn on him for opposing Steve in his own movie. Rhodey suffered because of this.

He was reduced to a shock value moment where he was shot down and paralyzed so that the audience would have yet another reason to feel bad for Tony Stark. There’s next to no follow up for this except for Tony’s perspective on the course of events and the fact he doesn’t even hold the person responsible (Vision) responsible for it because the movie is so concerned with half developing the romance between Wanda and Vision and didn’t want to make Vision the bad guy.

So Sam pays the price (by getting shot out of the blue by Tony for doing nothing wrong) to showcase just how upset Tony is, and Rhodey pays the price to provide one more thing for the audience to pity Tony for. It’s extremely frustrating that two good and under utilized black characters were essentially used to further the emotional story of a white character.

Source: lexrambeau
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*I spoke about Nadiya’s win,  in the British Baking Show, in an earlier post. I love this woman. She is so charming and talented. She has moved on, since then, to writing cookbooks for adults and children, and she is soon to have her own television show called, get this: “The Chronicles of Nadiya”!
Isn’t that cute? 
I’m so proud of her.
 mediumlysocial: “A hijab-wearing Muslimah headlining a show in a primetime slot on BBC One is so so bloody awesome. Such a warm, genuine and lovely woman too. Chronicles of Nadiya is only the best comfort-viewing ever. Pumpkin cake and all. – is now...

mediumlysocial:

A hijab-wearing Muslimah headlining a show in a primetime slot on BBC One is so so bloody awesome. Such a warm, genuine and lovely woman too. Chronicles of Nadiya is only the best comfort-viewing ever. Pumpkin cake and all.

– is now unavailable Wednesday nights –

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 Just funny pictures from Tumblr. The irony of Obama blaming himself for his  own easily solved cookie problem …
image

 

Yeah, this…

 

*Here, have some more Obama: The caption for this would be, Representation Matters!

the-movemnt:

In other words: representation f*cking matters. Michelle went on to name the one TV show that changed her world view as a child.

follow @the-movemnt

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On a related note about representation:

reverseracism kingdomheartsddd

kingdomheartsddd:

White people act like people of color made themselves into stereotypes, as if they didn’t fabricate, spread these lies, and sabotage groups of people to make these lies “true” lmao. Disprove stereotypes my ass. They’re never been proven. They’re based on lies. Maybe y’all should stop being gullible pieces of crap just to make yourselves feel superior.

We shouldn’t have to tip toe around, pretend to be something we’re not, or teach our children to act a certain way just because y’all are liars, and on top of that, won’t let go of your willfully ignorant views.

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Bigsky is now my new favorite poster. When you have other White people coming for ya’, ya’ know you need to fix your shit.

bigskydreaming

Attention fellow white people.

Members of another race feeling empowered by a flag or other symbol that doesn’t include us isn’t racism.

Us acting like there’s something wrong with anything that does not by default include us is, in fact, racism.

Stop being butthurt every time the world doesn’t revolve around us, that is LITERALLY the entire problem.

bigskydreaming
stephanemiroux

thatdiabolicalfeminist:

Telling oppressed people they can’t hate their oppressors is tantamount to saying they can’t be angry about their oppression or have an emotional reaction to their trauma.

It’s an insistence that they never require accountability from those perpetuating oppression.

It’s a stark demand that they centre the feelings of the oppressor group above their own emotional needs.

Stop telling victims not to hate their bullies and start telling bullies to back off. Because when you tell the victims that they need to respect the bully’s feelings more than their own? You become a bully too.

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 *This has been this way since before the Civil War, when rich White men created White supremacy to keep other White people in line. White supremacy wasn’t necessarily created to keep slaves in line (that was just one of its many purposes), we were already where rich people wanted us to be: enslaved.  But the wealthy also needed a way to keep from being overpowered by poor whites who had left their home countries, fleeing the wealthy people who kept them down there, and who might decide to team up with the slaves to overturn the status quo, here.

One way to hold off the rebellions, that occurred in other countries, was to get poor White people to do the work of keeping themselves down, by taking  the wealthy White men’s side, against people they considered  lower on the totem pole than them: Blacks, Natives, and Mexicans.

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 People from impoverished countries have enough of an incentive to succeed in the world : Not wanting to be poor!

And the final commentor makes a Hell of a point.

theonlyleftydesk:

onyourtongue:

a-tribe-called-tress:

thingstolovefor:

White girls realizing white isn’t supreme after all. #Love it!

The fact that she basically said that they look like men…😒😒😒

They thought way too highly of themselves and finally stepped out of their mediocre environments to realise they’re not all that good.. So they end up blaming their poor performance on 3 amazing and hardworking African athletes.

Step your pussy up.

It’s ironic how white people have literally held black people back for so long that they really convinced themselves they’re naturally better than us, and they STILL hold us back at every chance and cheat us and give themselves unfair advantages

And we–even after all the stumbling blocks and unnecessary hurdles they put in front of us–we are STILL as good as they are

And without those hurdles we are BETTER because we always have to try harder just to get ANYTHING.

(This is what happens when you don’t let your competitors enter the race AT ALL for years, and you get complacent and convince yourself you MUST BE the best. And then the training wheels come off and you have to face someone who has had to work ten times as hard to get to where you are and you CANNOT COPE.)

Let’s repeat that last one:

(This is what happens when you don’t let your competitors enter the race AT ALL for years, and you get complacent and convince yourself you MUST BE the best. And then the training wheels come off and you have to face someone who has had to work ten times as hard to get to where you are and you CANNOT COPE.)

 

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*Here’s some Misty Knight fax:

ART IMITATING (BLACK WOMEN IN) LIFE: MISTY KNIGHT’S GLOW UP AND BLACK LOVE ON TOP

On the Right: Captain America and Iron Man

Okay. I was really nervous about posting this, mainly because I’ve read a bunch of differing opinions and thought, “What if I’m horribly wrong about this?” But I’m gonna throw this out into the world and quit re-thinking it into a mess.

For the record, I’ve never read any of the individual comic books on Tony or Steve. This is entirely about what I’ve observed about the two of them throughout all of the MCU. In my mind, their general attitudes and motivations are entirely consistent, but I’ve seen arguments discussing their inconsistency. Also the movie isn’t on DVD yet, and my observations could just be mis-remembered stuff.

 

Morality: 

natural feeling that makes people know what is rightand wrong and how they should behave:

. Of or concerned with the judgment of right or wrong of human action and character: moral scrutiny; a moral quandary.
2. Teaching or exhibiting goodness or correctness of character and behavior: a moral lesson.
3. Conforming to standards of what is right or just in behavior; virtuous: a moral life.
4. Arising from conscience or the sense of right and wrong: a moral obligation.
5. Having psychological rather than physical or tangible effects: a moral victory; moral support.

 

Steve Rogers, and Tony Stark, are the two of the  more  consistently written characters in the MCU, (well, they are generally consistent, as regards their motivations), so lets talk about that. The last time  I spoke about how Natasha’s motivations were consistent across all her appearances in the MCU, and Steve Rogers’ grief for his lost life. I have yet to discussed Tony. This is strictly about the MCU versions of these characters.

Unlike Steve, Tony had access to both parents, and I say access, because although they were present, his relationship with his father was a contentious one, although his relationship with his mother seemed healthy enough. Even though both Steve, and Tony, seemed to get on well with their mothers, the presence of Tony’s father seemed to make all the difference, here.The presence of Tony’s father gifted him with a  poverty free lifestyle, but this was offset by his father’s disappointment,  coupled with wealth, intelligence, a wish to not be like his father, and a juvenile sense of rebellion, which wasn’t helped by his father comparing Tony’s  lack of a moral center, to Steve’s moral certitude.

Its not  that Tony doesn’t admire Steve. (Who doesn’t?) But Steve is the man to whom Tony kept being compared and found wanting.  Before he became Iron Man, usually the only person who paid for his mistakes was himself.  It’s not that Tony makes the same mistakes, over and over, so much as he makes brand new ones, because Tony’s moral compass  points to himself.

Tony is an inherently selfish person, whereas Steve tends to approach issues from a place of service to others. Its not that Steve can’t be selfish. Witness his overwhelming need to save Bucky, but that his actions often are of benefit to others, besides himself. Tony does work to try to overcome this selfishness over the course of several films, recognizing that it is wrong, (mostly due to the influence of Pepper and Rhodey,) but without the moral certitude of Steve Rogers, its extremely difficult. I’m going to argue that this is Tony’s only redeeming feature because Tony isn’t likable beyond his redemption arc.

Tony grew up with the idea, like a lot of very wealthy people,  that the world is theirs and they can do whatever  they want in it. He knew no real checks on his behavior, beyond what little conscience he possesses.He feels guilt, recognizes when he makes mistakes, wishes  to atone for those mistakes, and thinks he can save the world, and his friends.

Unfortunately, Tony’s idea of salvation  seems to involve taking away the freedom of others, when he’s the one who fucks up. In Iron Man 3, it is Tony who makes the mistake of impulsively challenging the Mandarin to a public duel, and then locking  himself, and Pepper, in his bungalow, without Pepper’s permission.. In his efforts to keep Pepper safe, he puts her life in danger.  In Iron Man 3, he mostly fails in his  efforts to save Pepper, who ultimately ends up saving herself, from the Mandarin.

In Ultron, his response to having created Ultron, and getting The Avengers asses kicked, is for the Avengers to hide themselves away on Hawkeye’s  farm. Luckily this doesn’t result in endangering Hawkeye’s family, but Steve himself tells Tony that the reason for all this is,  its impossible to fight a war before it happens, which is essentially what Tony tried to do when he created his global peacekeeper, which is a direct reaction to the events in The Avengers.

In Civil War, Tony’s response to the atrocity in Africa, committed by Wanda, is to lock her up for her safety, without informing her, and then rope the Avengers into legal shenanigans with General Ross and the UN. He is perfectly willing to violate the freedom of others, (mostly by locking them up), to save the world from his mistakes. Tony needs oversight but doesn’t want to sacrifice his freedom alone. He wants company.

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Tony understands the need for oversight, because he is ultimately the one who needs it. Due to his moral shakiness, he lacks the ability to police himself, resents being policed by others, yet seems to  crave the oversight, nevertheless.  Like Gilmore Hodge, (who doesn’t respect Peggy until she beats his ass, in Captain America:The First Avenger), Tony is Dr. Erskine’s bully, who has known power all his life, given even greater power, but lacks the moral compass to use it correctly. He doesn’t do this because he’s malicious, but because of his lack of moral center (and innate selfishness). He only sees the choices that are directly in front his eyes. He is astonishingly shortsighted. His disrespectful and offhand manner, with people he considers to be of no use to him, (and even those he does) is what ultimately led to the creation of the Mandarin, in the first place, and even his nemesis in Iron Man 2. Basically, Tony is a dick, who creates his own enemies, (something he learns to his detriment in Iron Man 3.)

Tony fails when  he tries to be moral, and doesn’t seem to learn from that failure. It is Tony who needs to be reigned in, and held in check because he’s never developed a strong enough moral center to do it himself. Tony seeks morality outside himself.

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Contrast that with Steve, who is Tony’s   opposite, in this regard. Steve grew up sickly, and  in poverty. He’s always had to be determined, stubborn, and self sufficient, especially if he was to survive the streets of 1920’s Brooklyn. Rather than a critical father, Steve had Bucky, who was an unfailing example of loyalty and friendship. Bucky shows Steve how to be a man through example, not by preaching or critiquing, and Steve looks up to him as someone to be admired. He learns how to approach the world through Bucky’s example of a firm moral center, and possibly his mother’s example of service to others, as she was a nurse. That there is something in Steve that is innately selfless, helps this process.

Steve continues to serve others by joining the military, (although one could argue that its for selfish reasons, its a selfish reason that benefits others, too) where he learns discipline, and respect for authority, but also learns to question that authority. Steve is very individualistic, unlike Tony, who only appears to be, with his glib and offhand manner. Steve is willing to break rules and commands. His upbringing taught him a certain amount of self-discipline, honed and sharpened by military service,   but  it is his moral compass that guides his actions. Steve generally doesn’t looks outside himself to be told the correct thing to do. He is centered, and righteous, and because of this is capable of making peace with his mistakes, without compounding them or acting entirely impulsively during their fallout.

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Steve has learned to discipline himself. As Captain America, this is second nature to him and he feels no need to seek outside controls on his behavior. This is the reason Steve is  against the  Accords. Steve believes that only  oneself is responsible for the decisions one makes, and will rely on no outside authority to tell him what’s right or wrong.

In The First Avenger, Steve’s sense of loyalty drives him to go against orders to save Bucky. He could have stood down and accepted his orders, but his sense of morality wouldn’t allow him to simply leave Bucky and his unit to their fate.Once again, it can be argued that this decision is a selfish one, but its a decision that ends up ultimately benefiting Bucky and his entire unit.

 

Steve quietly states to Natasha, during Civil War, not just that the Accords could decide to NOT send them into situations he knows The Avengers could fix, but, “What if they send us someplace we don’t want to go?” For Steve ,the Accords simply allows someone else to make his moral choices for him, and he finds that  idea repugnant. Steve has a level of moral certainty in his actions and decisions, that Tony  lacks, and is very used to governing himself. It’s not that Steve doesn’t respect authority. He does. He just doesn’t believe that Authority is  infallible, and he will not worship at its foot. He will accept any, and all, of the consequences of his decisions, which is why he’s  careful when he makes them. This is what his speech to Wanda was about. (She made choices. She must accept that with the ability to make choices she must accept the fallout of those  choices. Doesn’t this sound like responsibility?)

Steve also seems to have an unfailing ability to understand his future actions in a way that Tony does not. He is capable of seeing beyond his immediate choices to act, to what the repercussions of those choices might be, up to a point. We witness this when he decides to go after Bucky in Civil War, understanding that if Bucky is still the Winter Soldier, a lot of people are going to die. Steve is willing to shoulder these burdens himself, while Tony, as was argued in The Avengers, likes to make choices that result in no sacrifice for himself.

Steve understands that any decisions he makes could have negative consequences, and understands this with a depth that Tony doesn’t. Steve is fatalistic in this regard. He believes in the adage that in trying to save everyone, you end up saving no one. He understands that people may get hurt or die, and is willing to make that sacrifice himself. Tony’s experience in The Avengers movie was very possibly his first real  brush with self-sacrifice. Yes, it profoundly affected him, but once again, because he lacks moral certitude, he doesn’t actually learn from this, and it is the fallout from what happened to him in The Avengers, his selfish attempt to prevent that from happening to him again, that results in the creation of Ultron, (and eventually The Vision.)

Steve, unlike Tony, is never  disrespectful to people just because he can see no use for them, or because he can get away with it. Suffice to say, under Steve’s aegis, the Mandarin would never have been created. Even when seeking other’s help, Tony operates from a place of insecure superiority. He basically bribes and insults Spider-Man into joining his cause, while requiring his help. Steve would’ve just asked. (Actually, Steve wouldn’t have asked because he would’ve seen Peter as a child first, and not got him involved in his fight. He also did his best not to harm Peter, once he assessed who and what he was dealing with. It was Tony who put Peter in danger, by bringing him into a fight in which Peter had no stakes.)

Tony, when governing himself, makes horrible mistakes, because although his intentions may be good,  his moral center is simply not there. In attempting to follow one goal, he tramples over the rights of others, and seems only capable of seeing one goal at a time. He is  impulsive, with a tendency to go with whatever choice immediately presents itself to him and then scrambling to keep up with the aftermath, as in Avengers Ultron. And witness his behavior in Civil War, when Rhodey is accidentally injured in a fight Tony started.

Tony could’ve stood down and let Steve explain things and  be on his way, but his ego wouldn’t allow it. In trying to save everyone, (or so he says) Tony becomes little more than the government’s lapdog and the very thing Steve warned him would happen under the Accords.

Tony also impulsively attacks Sam, who was not the cause of Rhodey’s injury. This comes back to haunt him later when he needs to get information from Sam.

His shortsighted rudeness is what created the Mandarin and created the enemies who come for him in Iron Man 2. This shortsightedness is a pattern he follows throughout Iron Man 3, Avengers Ultron, and Civil War, while he frantically runs around trying to clean up the aftermath of  his initial decisions. In the first two movies he rebounds, but it’s the rebounding that seems to negate whatever lessons he’s supposed to learn, and by the time of Civil War, he’s  lost Pepper, nearly loses his best friend, Rhodey, and loses The Avengers, entirely.

Zemo’s plan to tear apart the Avengers was a success because Tony lacks the ability to discipline himself. Contrast Tony’s response at finding out about his mother’s death, with Black Panther’s decision to stop seeking vengeance for his father’s death. Not only does T’Challa stop himself, he learns to do so from observing Tony. He acknowledges the mistake he made in trying to kill Bucky, and  atones for that mistake by offering Bucky respite. Tony’s mother’s death happened decades ago, and the person he believes did it was ultimately not even responsible for that death, (that would be Hydra) but because Tony has never dealt with his feelings regarding her death, and  lacks self discipline, he attempts to displace his sense of guilt onto The Ex-Winter Soldier.

Tony isn’t evil, though. He does understand when to approach certain situations with humility, and he certainly means to do the right thing, but has no idea how to go about it, and the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

It is often loss that spurs Tony to make  impulsive decisions too, and this is something that he does throughout all his films. In the first Iron Man movie, after Yinsen’s death, he destroys the Ten Rings’ weapons, after which he decides we will no longer make weapons of any kind. His righteous indignation to Coulson’s death pushes  him to challenge Loki and fully commit to the Avengers, and his challenge to The Mandarin is spurred by Happy’s near death, in Iron Man 3. When Tony is confronted with the death of Miriam’s son, in Civil War, it is that which informs some of his decision to sign the Accords, and put Wanda in lockdown without informing her. When Tony loses his shit, he makes impulsive choices that are based on the emotion of the moment.

 

Contrast that with Steve, who, when he loses Bucky, and everything he’s ever known, settles into a profound depression, but doubles down on the physical discipline. When things go wrong, when someone makes a mistake, when people get hurt, Steve’s response is to deal thoughtfully with the aftermath, counsel people, (as he does Wanda in Civil War), to do better. Not violate their rights. As in Winter Soldier, when he talks Bucky down from killing him, Steve persuades. Unlike Tony, he doesn’t bribe, coerce or challenge.

I suppose, given who we’re  discussing, that there are all kinds of interpretations of these two characters. In some corners, Tony is seen as either a lovable scamp, or an abusive, manipulative, dick. Steve could be considered a fine upstanding example of moral fortitude, or a joyless dolt, with a stick up his butt.(Yes, I’m well aware that Steve is kind of a dick to a few people, in The Winter Soldier, so there is that.)

This is not to say I’m a huge fan of Steve.  I just like observing the character motivations I see in these movies. Am I only seeing what I’m looking for. Possibly. But I think my argument holds up well to scrutiny. We’ll see how I feel about all this when I re-watch Civil War on DVD.

Tumblr and Captain America: Civil War

Tumblr and Captain America: Civil War

  There have been a number of posts on Tumblr critiquing Civil War. I loved the movie but I fee like these are also very valid critiques depending on the lens through which the movie is viewed. Something a lot of people didn’t catch in this movie was Sam’s reliving of the trauma that resulted in him  meeting Steve, in the first place. The fandom so frequently focuses on the manpain of all the…

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The Woobification of Tony Stark

The Woobification of Tony Stark

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I think I mught turn this into a series on the woobification of problematic characters in fanfiction. Now in case you dont read fanfiction or dont know what it means “woobification” is the watering down , or  “chibification, of an antogonist, or problematic character from TV shows and movies. From the Fanlore Wikipedia definition: Woobie Synonyms: woobify, woobifie See also: Weepy Uke Syndrome,…

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The Woobification of Tony Stark

I think I mught turn this into a series on the woobification of problematic characters in fanfiction. Now in case you dont read fanfiction or dont know what it means “woobification” is the watering down , or  “chibification, of an antogonist, or problematic character from TV shows and movies.

From the Fanlore Wikipedia definition:

Woobie

Synonyms: woobify, woobifie
See also: Weepy Uke Syndrome, Manpain, wangst
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

A woobie is a beloved fannish character (often a BSO) who evokes in fans the desire to wrap him (usually him[1]) up in a blanket and cuddle him and comfort him.[2] If a character is hard-working, and/or endures difficult circumstances bravely, and/or is often at the “h” end of the H/Cspectrum, odds are good that fans consider him a woobie.

Woobies, especially if they’re the smaller/shorter member of a slashpairing, have a higher risk of becoming feminized and/or infantilized. In fact, some people within fandom think that the process of woobification equates to infantilization and/or feminization of a male character.

A term of endearment (like “baby); someone who is so cute/sad/adorable you want to hug and comfort them.
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So, I’m going to reprint this post in its entirety. Its a very long one, but if  you wish to read  the original, please go the Tumblr where this was being discussed. For the record, I agree that Tony should not be woobified at the expense of the poc, in the movies. I don’t actually have a problem with woobification, because I do have some understanding why its done, but when you have to break down another character to do it, especially a moc, like Rhodey, that’s just racist and wrong:
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Tony Stark Needs A Hug

sunwukxng:

bigskydreaming:

peardita:

jenniferrpovey:

mf-luder-xf:

jenniferrpovey:

femme-werewolf:

donc-desole:

drnerdlove:

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 buildanother, 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.

So, yeah…

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 funand 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.

Plus:

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. Theonly 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 aboutaliens? 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 someoneelse 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.

Source: drnerdloveOH BOY WAS THIS EVER WORTH THE WAITADAM BACK AGAIN WITH THE EPIC DRAGFORGET EDGES OP’S WHOLE SCALP HAS BEEN S N A T C H E Dfandom racismanti tony starkEAT THE RICH AND TONY STARK STANS
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