We have only caught glimpses of Tony Stark in the Spider-Man: Homecoming trailers, but just by the few bits of dialogue we have heard, it seems we are looking at a very different Tony Stark. One who has grown and matured, one who has learned from his mistakes and his looking to pass that down to a new, younger hero he sees himself in. This comes as a great surprise, considering that we have followed Tony Stark’s story for almost 10 years now, starting in Iron Man, then Iron Man 2, The Avengers, Iron Man 3, Avengers: Age of Ultron and finally Captain America: Civil War.
Over the course of all these movies, we have seen Stark evolve from business man to hero, from self-centered to team player, from inventor to Avenger. Stark always has been his snarky self — and always will be — but he has also changed along the way, sometimes for the better… and sometimes for the worse. There are many lessons that Peter Parker can learn from Stark, from the many mistakes and lapses of judgment that occurred along the way of his superhero career. Today, CBR takes a look at 15 of Tony Stark’s most baffling moments in the MCU… moments we hope he has learned from.
15. CREATES ULTRON WITHOUT TELLING HIS TEAM
Avengers: Age of Ultron changed a very big aspect of Marvel comic canon by turning Tony Stark into Ultron’s creator instead of original Ant Man, Hank Pym. For that reason, we got to witness a Tony Stark, now part of a fully formed, well-oiled fighting machine team of friends – the Avengers – go behind his team’s backs to create an artificial intelligence.
While true that he did work with Banner on the project and that both science bros were nowhere near a conclusive result, Ultron was created nonetheless thanks to Tony’s insistence on creating a legacy that could protect the world in ways he and his friends never could. He knew his decision would lead to conflict, or them outright stopping him, so he bypassed straight to his project. And we all know exactly how that turned out.
14. DOESN’T LEARN FROM HIS MISTAKE, CREATES VISION
If creating Ultron without telling his team wasn’t bad enough, Tony would do the exact same thing again. After the disastrous result that was Ultron — with his dark views on humanity and his goal to extinguish all life on earth so that he may reign supreme — Tony Stark apparently didn’t learn from the mistake he made and decided to go ahead and create another artificial intelligence.
Granted, this one turned out for the absolute best, considering his efforts, combined with that of Thor, resulted in the creation of their powerful friend and ally The Vision. But the truth remains that Stark had no idea what he would create, and his decision led to a confrontation with Rogers and the Maximoff twins, as they knew of the dangers Stark could unleash. Thankfully for Tony, however, this one turned out for the best. Still, it was almost too risky a gamble.
13. ALIGNS HIMSELF WITH THE GOVERNMENT
Ever since the moment Tony Stark became Iron Man, he turned from a person who worked alongside the government to one who despised it, wishing to keep his technology out of their hands. It was a relationship that was one of the focal points of Iron Man 2, something that came to define the character. And yet, after all Tony had been through, alone and as part of his team, he saw it fit to side with the government.
When it came time for the Avengers to be put in check, Tony was the one who thought it best to sign the Sokovia Accords, even though he was mostly the one responsible for the Ultron disaster. His heart might have been in the right place, but it doesn’t change the fact that his decision to side with the government came as a great surprise.
12. FIGHTS THOR OVER LOKI
Back in the first Avengers movie, when he didn’t know Steve Rogers, Bruce Banner or Thor Odinson, Stark was just a man in a suit of armor. But he didn’t let that stop him. When he and Captain America had only just secured Loki, the God of Thunder came knocking and took Loki. While both men were after the same prize, that didn’t stop Stark from outright attacking Thor.
Stark abruptly took Thor down and, with their egos being so gigantic, it didn’t take long for both of them to start fighting over Loki. Thankfully for the both of them, it was part of Loki’s plan to be caught, so he just sat there and watched. But Stark didn’t know that. His fight with Thor could have easily led to Loki’s escape, and the Avengers would have been back to square one.
11. DRIVES HIS OWN RACE CAR IN MONACO
In the early portions of Iron Man 2, we saw Tony Stark arrive at a race in Monaco, a race where his company had their very own car and driver. But what’s easy to forget is that, during that time, Tony was being slowly poisoned by the palladium core in the arc reactor in his chest, a toxicity that was rising and killing him. And in true Tony Stark fashion, that meant only one thing: recklessness.
On a whim, Stark decided to kick his driver out of his race car and take his place. While a strange and rather dangerous decision in itself, it only led to much worse as this prompted villain of the movie Whiplash to attack Stark right there in the middle of the track, causing carnage and accidents that surely could have been avoided if Stark had just stayed in his owner’s box.
10. PROVOKES A HULK… ABOARD A HELICARRIER
In The Avengers movie, when egos were slightly put aside and every member was slowly working towards the common goal of figuring out just what Loki was up to, Stark and Bruce Banner were working on a way of locating the Tesseract. And Stark used that opportunity to try and wake something he was a big fan of: an uncontrollable green rage monster.
Sure, the scene was mostly played for laughs, and some might even argue that Stark knew exactly how much Banner was in control of the Hulk, but that doesn’t change the fact that Stark’s little probes were incredibly reckless and dangerous. This small shock could have turned the Hulk loose on a Helicarrier filled with his friends and allies, not to mention an entire S.H.I.E.L.D. crew — a Helicarrier that can, also, fall from the sky.
9. HIRES A TEENAGER TO FIGHT IN A CIVIL WAR
When the disagreements had reached a boiling point over the Sokovia Accords, when a line had been drawn in the sand and Captain America had assumed the protection of his friend and fugitive Bucky Barnes, Stark bought himself some time with General Ross and only had 36 hours to bring Rogers in. And to help him accomplish that, he recruited a very friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
Tony’s reasoning behind this was relatively sound. He meant to bring in this very powerful hero, one who had strength to match Captain America and webbing that could incapacitate him from a distance — no injuries or danger involved. But this hero was just a high school kid, a kid who had no place taking part in such a dangerous fight between powerful superheroes.
8. BRINGS 40 SUITS TO A BATTLE, DOESN’T LEND ONE TO RHODEY
In the final act of Iron Man 3, Tony and his best friend Rhodey were heading against insurmountable odds. They were facing Aldrich Killian and his Extremis-enhanced soldiers, and they had to save not only Pepper Potts but also the President of the United States. So, to even the score, Stark brought in some reinforcements: dozens of armors that Tony had created.
Tony put on a suit of armor to get ready to fight, but when Rhodey was waiting to receive one as well, none came. Tony just played it off, saying they were only coded to him. So, while he had over 40 armors flying around, he didn’t see it fit to lend a single one to his best friend who was risking his neck, fully exposed and unprotected against an army of super-powered soldiers. This was certainly not Tony’s best moment as a friend.
7. GETS DRUNK IN HIS ARMOR AT A PARTY
Earlier in this list, we had a moment from Iron Man 2 where Tony was driving his race car. We had established that not only was Tony dying, it was also pushing him over the edge of recklessness. With tensions rising and his life spiraling, Tony went even further down when he showed up at his own birthday party, in his own home, not only drunk, but inside his Iron Man armor.
While party attendants roared with amusement, viewers were left shocked, because we knew the potential danger this meant. And it only grew worse when we saw him start to shoot up the place, at first accidentally, then voluntarily as a party trick. This was Stark at his lowest and most dangerous – not only to others, but himself as well.
6. INVITES THE MANDARIN TO ATTACK HIS HOME
Happy Hogan was Stark’s friend and bodyguard, a dependable figure from the first two Iron Man movies we came to care about. So when Happy got hurt in one of the Mandarin’s attacks in the early segments of Iron Man 3, we were just as devastated as Tony was. But Stark took it even further than that. In his anger, he called out the Mandarin in front of cameras.
Not only did he declare war upon this figure he barely knew, this dangerous terrorist with seemingly infinite resources and a reach that spanned the entire globe, he also openly gave him his home address to invite him to attack — a home that he shares with Pepper Potts, the woman he loves. What an absolutely awful decision! Of course, it led to, not surprisingly, the destruction of his house. And yet, maybe that could have been averted…
5. WAITS FOR THE MANDARIN IN A PROTOTYPE SUIT
In a moment of pain and anger, Tony had announced his home address in Malibu to the world’s most dangerous terrorist, calling him out and inviting him to show himself. And now that he realized how dangerous that was, now that he knew the Mandarin might be coming for him and Pepper, what did Tony do? He wore a suit that was still in its prototype phase, obviously.
As we would come to learn much later in the film, there were dozens of much better, fully functioning armors in his basement, each more efficient than the last. But instead, Tony wore a suit whose weapons system weren’t even fully functional yet. Literally any other suit would have been better for him to wear, and one might even wonder why all of his suits of armor weren’t deployed around his house like sentries, just waiting for the Mandarin.
4. DESTROYS HIS SUITS
A lot of time and energy had been put into creating Tony’s Hall of Armors. Dozens of suits had been created, each one with different functions, strengths and attributes. When the chips were all down and stacked against him, he was able to call them all to him to wage war against the Extremis soldiers and Aldrich Killian in Iron Man 3, and each one of them was instrumental in helping Tony save the day.
But after all of that, Tony, at Pepper’s behest, went ahead and destroyed all of his armors, deeming them nothing more than distractions. Never mind the fact that these suits could have benefited the world, it seems like none of that mattered anyway since Tony would just go ahead and have a fully functioning new Iron Legion when we would see him next in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
3. TAKES LOKI’S SCEPTRE
The opening action scene of Age of Ultron saw the Avengers take on the remaining forces of Hydra under the leadership of Baron Strucker. After the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D., Strucker had come into possession of Loki’s scepter and had created a powerful army for himself. But when the battle was all but won, when Stark had eyes on the scepter, the Scarlet Witch got into his head.
She showed him a world under attack. She showed him his failures and his legacy of death. Snapping out of this vision, Tony only saw one option to avoid what he had just seen. An opportunity to save everyone: the scepter. And so, with his gloved hand, Tony took possession of the scepter, not to hand it back to Thor just yet, but instead, just like Strucker, to create something new. Yeah, that sounds like a great, non-dangerous idea, Tony.
2. KNOWS BUCKY WAS BRAINWASHED, STILL TRIES TO KILL HIM
Captain America: Civil War positioned our heroes against one another. After a difference of opinions over the Sokovia Accords, battle lines were drawn when Team Rogers tried to stop an army of super-soldiers and Team Stark tried to bring the heroes in at the behest of the government. That conflict was more or less resolved later on, but this is not where the fighting would stop. In fact, things would get much, much more personal.
When Tony, found out that Bucky Barnes — The Winter Soldier — was responsible for the death of his parents, Tony didn’t hesitate to lash out. He very well knew that Bucky had been brainwashed into his actions, but that didn’t matter one bit to Tony. He still went in for the kill multiple times with only Captain America there to stop him, something that resulted in a terrible fracture between the two former friends.
1. I AM IRON MAN
In the closing moments of the very first Iron Man movie, Tony Stark faced news cameras and was supposed to deliver a statement about how the superhero known as Iron Man was his bodyguard. But ever so himself, Stark didn’t follow the message on his cue cards. Instead, he announced to the world that HE was the one inside the armor. He announced that he was Iron Man.
It was a very bold move. In a nutshell, it is the signature Iron Man moment. The one that set him apart from all the other heroes out there. It’s also a moment that, as we saw in Iron Man 2 and 3, would lead to his enemies knowing full well who he is and where he is at all times. It’s a revelation that speaks volumes about the character, but also spelled potential doom for him and his loved ones.
What are the most “Tony Stark” moments in the MCU? Let us in the comments!