Tony Stark might be one of the most conflicting characters in the MCU. Having effectively been the crown jewel of the franchise for years, he’s one of the most popular heroes. He’s extremely beloved, but in the world of the films, there are many people who don’t love him very much.
Tony is a character who is heroic and has a good heart, but he also lets his issues get the best of him and can act too rashly. There are many times in the MCU where he’s a hero, but there are also sometimes where he makes big mistakes. Here are the five times Tony Stark was a total hero as well as five times he was more like a villain.
10 VILLAIN: How He Treated Women
This is an issue that is mostly present during the first couple of Iron Man films, and it’s something that the Disney version of the character changed somewhat for the better. The way he treats women as mostly like objects to be conquered is rather uncomfortable.
He’s definitely a playboy, and he can be really disrespectful and entitled when it comes to women. It’s a good thing that he seems to move beyond this and that he becomes a better person in this regard.
9 HERO: Always Concerned With His Friends’ Safety
While Tony Stark often gets painted as being a selfish person, in many ways he actually worries more about the other Avengers than any other hero. He definitely takes it upon himself to try and keep them safe and is always making new tech for them.
He’s shown throughout the movies being extremely worried about his friends dying, and he wants to do everything he can to protect them. While he might not always go about this the right way, his heart is in the right place.
8 VILLAIN: Signing The Accords Without Intending To Follow Them
The split amongst the Avengers when it comes to signing the Accords in Captain America: Civil War is definitely a complicated one. There are good points on both sides, and both Tony and Steve Rogers makes some big mistakes. However, the big issue on Tony’s side is how he signs the Accords with really no intention of following these rules.
The Accords are meant to provide oversight, but it’s clear within a few hours of signing them that Tony intends to do whatever he wants anyway.
7 HERO: Going To Space In Infinity War
When we see Iron Man in Avengers: Infinity War, he’s in a better place than he has been in a while. He seems happy, and his relationship with Piper is going well. They are going to be married soon, but he’s willing to risk all of the good things in his life to follow Doctor Strange and the Time Stone into space.
This shows how he is often willing to sacrifice himself and what he wants in order to save other people and be a hero.
6 VILLAIN: How He Treated Aldrich Killian
Because Tony is extremely rich, popular, and smart, he definitely has some issues with being vain and arrogant. He can sometimes think he’s better than other people, and the way he treats others sometimes comes back to bite him in the butt.
One example of this is the way he treated Aldrich Killian. This doesn’t excuse Killian for the horrible decisions he made, but the way Tony dismissed him and lied to him wasn’t cool.
5 HERO: Being Willing To Die To Defeat Obadiah Stane
Tony Stark has shown from pretty early on in the MCU that he is willing to sacrifice himself to do the right thing and to save other people.
One of the first examples of this is in the first Iron Man movie when he’s willing to die in order to defeat Obadiah Stane. While he might be selfish, he also has a really good heart, and he’s not afraid to put his life on the line if it means saving other people.
4 VILLAIN: Trying To Kill Bucky Barnes
Of all the bad things that Tony does and questionable decisions that he makes, the way he tries to kill Bucky is one of the worst. It makes sense that he would be really emotional and angry that Bucky is the one that killed his parents.
However, Bucky clearly was tortured and brainwashed, and Tony even shows awareness that he knows Bucky didn’t really know what he was doing. Trying to kill Bucky was not acceptable.
3 HERO: Taking The Missile Into Space
While Tony Stark might not often be talked about as the hero most prone to sacrifice themselves, he actually shows multiple times in the movies that he’s willing to do that.
In the first Avengers movie, Tony reroutes the missile into the wormhole to keep it from hitting Manhattan. He isn’t sure that he will be able to make it back, and almost dies in the process, but he does what needs to be done to protect millions of people.
2 VILLAIN: Creating Ultron
It’s clear that Tony created Ultron out of a desire to try and keep the world safe and because of his fears that he wouldn’t be able to protect people. However, it was clearly a horrible idea from the start.
Tony trying to take the safety of the world into his own hands by creating a super robot that would protect people is clearly an idea that needed to be squashed, and the consequences of these choices were far-reaching.
1 HERO: When He Snapped The Gauntlet
Tony has a lot of extremely heroic moments in the MCU, but perhaps the most heroic of all is when he sacrifices his life for the sake of the entire universe in Avengers: Endgame.
This shows that once again he’s extremely willing to make huge sacrifices in order to be the hero and save the idea. After so many times of sacrificing things to save people, he ends up giving his life.
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