A Study in Hypocrisy #1
Or why the Avengers’ relationship to Tony was unhealthy at best, Steve isn’t fit to be a leader, and why I’m Team Iron Man to the end.
WHY STEVE ISN’T FIT TO BE A LEADER
While the Civil War dispute between Tony and Steve might have started because of the Accords, it very quickly turned personal for Steve. He put each and every one of his “teammates” in danger for the sake of one man (more about that later), and even though I love Bucky and everything (I really do!), Steve was extremely dumb about the entire situation. In fact, I don’t think he could have gone about it in the worst way.
He could have gone to “rescue” Bucky in disguise—God knows that, with his serum and brute force, he certainly could have done exactly what he ended up doing— but he went instead with the American flag all over himself. He didn’t stop to consider the implications, the possible consequences or bulldozing into a foreign country and engaging in a car chase in the middle of a populated city. He didn’t even stop to consider that there was no guarantee at all that Bucky was innocent.
He could have, you know, talked to Tony. Tony, who has the political experience and the material means and influence to get Bucky the best help there is. Tony, who’s been playing this game for so long, who knows how to get what he wants, who to go to, how to formulate things. Tony, who would have been his most precious ally.
And he was. Before he found out about his betrayal. Tony negotiated so hard to make sure no one would get hurt. After the Berlin disaster, he managed to get the UN (that’s 117 countries!) to agree to make the past 24 hours legal and to get Bucky to a facility where he would get the best help for his triggers, help that of course Tony himself would be paying for, because let’s be real, the Avengers are funded by Tony at this point, which is yet another thing that doesn’t sit well with me, but I’ll come back to it.
Back to why Steve isn’t fit to be a leader: the essence of a leader is that they are supposed to do just that. Lead. But to do that, they need to be fair and treat their men equally. They need to be able to put aside their personal feelings and look at situations objectively. Because their duty is to protect their men and have their back, just like they will have his.
A leader leads, sure. But they must know when to listen, too, and defer to somebody with greater expertise than themselves. In that case, Tony obviously knows better than he does, if only because he read the damn papers. That’s also something that doesn’t sit well with me regarding the rest of Team Cap. Not one of them paused to read the Accords. Hell, Scott had no clue what the hell was going on. He heard “jump,” and he did.
Yet, here comes Steve, putting the lives of not two, not three, but five (six, if you count Sharon) people at risk, all for one man. He drags in Clint and Scott with no regards to their families and personal situations, and all the while keeps information to himself. Do you think Sam knows that he could have avoided prison and exile? Do you think any of them know about Tony’s deal? Do you think Scott actually knew what was going on? Hell no! Because Steve is calculating enough that he won’t lose manpower to such a pesky thing as compromise.
How about Steve’s constant habit of putting the blame on Tony’s shoulders? “You did that when you signed”? What the fuck is wrong with you? You’re the one who keeps refusing to compromise!
Steve never treated Tony as an equal. In fact, none of them did. (Again, more on that later.) But the thing is that when it came to a life-altering secret that affected both his teammate and “friend,” and his childhood friend, Steve decided that it was his right to keep that information from both parties, which.
NO. Being “friends”—and I use the term loosely—with Howard doesn’t give Steve the right to such a decision. This is a traumatic event for Tony, something that affects personally and directly. He had a right to know. And as it has been demonstrated in previous movies that his capacity for forgiveness is immense, he would have had the time to process the information and the Siberia disaster never would have happened.
Furthermore and finally, Steve Rogers was never actually a captain. The title was just for show, a tool for propaganda when he was sent on a tour to sell war bills. All of his training comes from that short bootcamp for potential serum candidates, nothing more. He’s not actually part of the army, or a ranked officer. The only reason they let him keep the title was because he’d been lucky enough to bring back the 107th when he disobeyed orders, and then proved useful enough to both war efforts and morale.
Steve Rogers is not a leader. A leader treats everyone equally and gives respect before expecting it. A leader does not keep secrets from his men to serve his own agenda. A leader does not leave a man behind in a freezing, deserted landscape with no way of calling for help.
If anything, Tony’s the leader of the Avengers. Why? Ask yourselves the following questions:
- Who feeds the Avengers?
- Who houses the Avengers?
- Who clothes the Avengers?
- Who arms the Avengers?
- Who handles their PR?
- Who pays for the destruction they leave behind?
- On the battlefield, who has a global view of everything that’s going on?
- Who is so smart that they can predict and analyze battle scenarios, and adapt to the unexpected in a flash?
- Who’s considerate enough to leave their former teammate to his retirement because he’s just that, retired with his family?
- Who cares about everyone equally and would give everything to protect them all? Who goes above and beyond to provide them with everything they need?
- Who has the political experience required to handle their supervisors and foreign policy?
That’s right. Tony Stark.
Not Steve Rogers.