A Study in Hypocrisy #2.2
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 TONY’S RELATIONSHIP WITH THE AVENGERS IS UNHEALTHY AT BEST
Tony’s relationship with the Avengers has always made me uncomfortable. For the longest time, I couldn’t put my finger on why exactly, but I’ll try to organize my thoughts in this series.
This post was getting far too long, so I decided to cut it into parts, one per Avenger.
Steve’s relationship with Tony is bathed in hypocrisy and double standards right off the bat. When Steve meets Bruce, he tells him that he doesn’t care about his reputation and will essentially make up his own mind about what kind of person he is from what he sees as they work together.
Yet he doesn’t apply that very same standard to Tony, instantly judging and comparing him to Bucky.
Big man in a suit of armor. Take that away, what are you?
I know men with none of that worth ten of you.
Where does Steve get off judging Tony like this? Reading a file doesn’t give him intimate knowledge of who Tony is as a person. And his fortune has nothing to do with who he is inside. Indeed, it sounds like he holds Tony’s fortune (which he worked hard to build—whatever people may think, SI’s products didn’t invent themselves) against him. Which makes no sense?
In Winter Soldier, we see quickly enough that neither Steve nor Natasha trust Tony. When they show up at Sam’s, they promptly tell him everyone they know wants to kill them, which is so absurdly stupid and wrong I have no words for it. Tony would never ally with HYDRA. Tony designed the freaking helicarriers. Hell, he’s a tech genius. He was the obvious choice in this case! He could have provided them with a safe house, any supplies they needed, backup and unlimited technical help.
But do you think they went to him?
Nooo. And why? Apart from “they’re stupid and Marvel didn’t want to pay for RDJ,” because Steve already knew about the Winter Soldier killing Tony’s parents. They could have avoided dumping all of SHIELD’s files on the internet. They could have protected the hundreds of undercover agents who were caught unawares once their legends were blown. They could have protected those agents’ families. They could have protected the agents who weren’t undercover, but still carrying out missions at the time. They could have avoided the crazy damage caused by three giant flying machines shooting each other out of the sky right over Washington DC. There would have been considerably less loss of life had Tony been involved.
And yet they chose to keep him out of it.
And here’s where it starts to get very sour, and where I get very, very bitter.
Around rolls Age of Ultron and Steve is so, so quick in putting the blame on Tony. Like everyone else, he promptly forgets Bruce’s involvement, and makes Tony the sole culprit. After 3 years fighting side by side, he doesn’t even give him the benefit of the doubt. He doesn’t pause to think of somebody other than his precious little self and wonder if, maybe, he’s not so special after all and others might have experienced visions, too.
Nope. No, it’s evil, it’s bad, so it’s gotta be Tony’s fault.
Then, there’s the culmination of his hypocrisy: “Sometimes, my teammates don’t tell me things.”
Okay. First, who the fuck do you think you are, asshole? You don’t get to demand that your teammates tell you everything? What the hell! Nobody owes you anything whatsoever.
Second, who the fuck do you think you are to demand complete transparency after keeping the secret of said teammate’s parents’ death for over a year?
This pissed me off. so. damn. much.
Pardon my French.
The sheer hypocrisy, people. The balls!
Now then. What about trusting freaking Wanda Maximoff over your teammate? She suddenly realizes that she’s gonna die too if the world ends, switches to your side out of sheer convenience and self interest, and after 30 seconds you take her advice that “Stark is evil” like she’s the Messiah? Wow. It must be nice to be so convinced of your own self-righteousness.
Finally, Civil War.
Let’s forget about the fact that Steve probably didn’t read the Accords. The entire thing has to have taken place over the course of, what… a week at most? Starting with the introduction of the Accords. There is no way in hell Steve—or anyone else on his team, really—would have managed to read and understand a piece of legislation as complex as the Accords in that time. No way. Which means that he heard a vague description of it and said “no” for… what reason again?
But I digress.
Tony offers compromises. He works his ass off to come up with a way to wipe Steve and Sam’s record clean, and to offer Bucky therapy instead of prison. He keeps reaching out, over and over again, only to have his hand slapped away by Rogers. But unlike Rogers, Tony doesn’t dismiss Steve’s claims that there are other Winter Soldiers. He investigates the information and then, because his heart is too big for his own good, he still goes to Siberia to help.
And there are 5 more super soldiers just like him. I can’t let the doctor find them first, Tony. I can’t.
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Because where Steve says “I,” Tony says “we.” Because Tony Stark, who “doesn’t play well with others,” is the one who keeps reaching out and trying to move as a team. Because Steve, who keeps preaching about fighting “together” and not having secrets, keeps his tightly under wraps. Again, do you think Sam and Bucky were aware of Tony’s deal?
Back on topic, Tony goes to Siberia to help Steve, who then proceeds to invalidate his trauma and pain at seeing his parents die in front of his eyes. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, of course Tony’s not stupid and realizes that Steve knew. But instead of confessing, Steve lies to his face all. over. again.
I will not even go into that condescending letter, which could be summarized like follows: “I’m sorry you don’t understand that I was right and you were wrong, and if you’re prepared to beg for forgiveness and freely offer your house, your toys and your money to me again, I might just, after some time, agree to forgive you. P.S.: How is it, being all by yourself in that huge place?”
Steve is a hypocritical, holier-than-thou asshole and needs a kick where the sun don’t shine. Tony better not forgive anyone until they grovel for at least 10 years.
ETA: Also, that “I could do this all day” line infuriated me to no end. Implying that Tony’s being a bully when he’s just been stabbed in the back by his teammates while he was trying to do what was right is downright petty, stupid, awful and shitty.