Warning: This post contains spoilers for the recently released “Spider-Man: Homecoming”. Also, most of this is written from my memory of these films, some of which I haven’t seen in a long time. If you are hurt and confused by my conclusions then write your own damn article.
Spider-Man: Homecoming dropped this past Saturday, and it was a charming film, but it only served to strengthen my fan theory that Tony Stark is in fact the true villain of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Whether, he means to be or not, Tony’s hubris both past and present have served as the catalyst for most of the conflicts facing him and the Avengers.
His tendrils have yet to make it into the ongoing Marvel space musical we’ve all come to love known as The Guardians of the Galaxy. However, somehow and someway I wouldn’t be surprised if it isn’t Easter Egged in future movies that Tony or his father Howard aren’t somehow responsible for Peter Quill’s screwed up childhood.
Adrian Toomes aka The Vulture is being billed as the bad guy in the newest Spider-Man film. Truthfully, it is Tony Stark who is the bad guy, big reveal I know. The MCU has become predictable in this way. If it wasn’t for Tony and his crony capitalist practices then Toomes wouldn’t have become The Vulture.
Toomes had a government contract to do demolition, clean up, or do some sort of shit after the New York Incident from the first Avengers movie. Then Tony Stark happened. Through a corporate entity he owned and controlled called Damage Control he basically stole the contract away from Toomes and his people. With a number of employees who relied on him, Toomes turned to crime stealing and modifying alien scraps into weapons to then be sold to the highest bidder.
Stark along with his bodyguard slash verbal punching bag Happy, ignore Peter Parker throughout the film, and fail to take his worries seriously regarding The Vulture. Their lack of seriousness for Spider-Man basically leads to the continued crime spree by Toomes, and a series of destructive meetings between the hero and the villain.
This is just one movie of many where Tony Stark proved to do more harm than good.
Kicking off the very first film of the MCU is Iron Man, main bad guy Obadiah Stane aka the Iron Monger had an axe to grind with Tony. Mainly, Stane had helped to build Stark Industries into what it was today, and he received almost none of the credit.
When Howard Stark died, Stane took over the company until Tony would become old enough to run it. The only problem was that Tony is a self-centered hedonist with a genius level intellect. Tony couldn’t be bothered running his company or contributing his genius at all to it. Instead, he just collected a paycheck, presumably had sex with lots of hot women, and basically lived a life worthy of Dan Bilzerian’s Instagram.
Meanwhile, Stane was the real mover and shaker, he got shit done, and basically kept Tony rich and happy. He received none of the credit, and didn’t feel like he was getting what he was owed. So he went rogue, and became a bad guy, and tried to take Tony out of the picture.
Had Tony been a halfway decent person, and wasn’t off giving gonorrhea to all the models at Paris Fashion Week things might have gone differently.
The Incredible Hulk
The Incredible Hulk is interesting, mainly because Tony’s face doesn’t show up until the end of the movie. It is hard to pinpoint what kind of son-of-a-bitch he really is in this one.
Really, the issue isn’t so much with Tony here, but the verdict is still out. Rather, it is his father who created the problem. His company worked on creating the super soldier serum that was used to turn Steve Rogers into Captain America in World War II.
Bruce Banner basically attempted to create Captain America 2.0 which ended up going wrong and turning him into The Hulk. Neil Blomsky aka The Abomination aka the bad guy was created using a similar method.
Howard Stark came up or financed the research that would be used to create both The Hulk and The Abomination. Tony Stark isn’t completely in the clear here. Stark Industry weapons are all over the place in this film. Tony was CEO at the time, and was selling weapons to the military. The military blew a lot of shit up in this movie, a lot of it in the U.S.
Tony, in a roundabout way, created a lot of destruction indirectly by selling weapons to the military. Perhaps it was Obadiah Stane who actually sold the weapons, but if Tony had bothered sobering up from time-to-time to run his company then the weapons might have never been sold, developed, and etc.
Iron Man 2
Iron Man 2, pretty simple. Mickey Rourke playing himself with a Russian accent is jealous that his father never received recognition for his technological contributions. Howard Stark deports the guy back to the USSR where he died penniless. Mickey Rourke gets pissed, buys a bird, and swears revenge on the Stark family; but waits until he is middle aged to do something about it.
Tony meanwhile is now Iron Man, is still a pimp, and has created a miniaturized arc reactor that he has yet to share publicly with the world. Justin Hammer, basically Tony Stark minus the drinking problem and brains, takes over a number of military contracts Stark Industries is in the process of losing.
The U.S. military doesn’t feel safe with Tony drunkenly joyriding in the sky with enough firepower to take out the entire Eastern Seaboard. So they contract Hammer to basically develop similar technology. It gets worse, Tony basically humiliates Hammer for no reason other than to have an intellectual dick measuring contest and to prove his technologies superiority. Which is pretty consistent with Tony’s character though.
Hammer’s ego is as small as his penis and basically hires Mickey Rourke as a middle finger to Tony Stark, and the two sort of work together to exact revenge.
Tony wins in the end and probably fucks somebody’s girlfriend as a celebration. Failing to hold himself accountable at all for the situation.
Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger
Next we have Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger, surprisingly Tony Stark does very little to fuck anything up. The films are connected to him in a sort of round about way. Mainly, his father Howard helped to create SHIELD and the Super Soldier Serum.
Tony himself isn’t really aware of any of this. SHIELD make an appearance in Thor, but are only really affiliated with Tony at the time through hired nanny Phil Coulson.
Obviously, in Captain America, the above described super soldier serum plays a role in creating not only Captain America, but later on the Hulk. None of which are Tony’s fault since he wasn’t alive in the 1940s.
Finally, we get to The Avengers, the film we had all been waiting for up until this point. It combined all our favorite hunky leading men, Scarlett Johansson as the sexy Black Widow, and Mark Ruffalo (The Hulk) dressed as a college English professor.
Loki, the main villain from the first Thor movie, is back and he comes equipped with some new weapons. The Tesseract is one of those weapons, the other is a bland alien army supplied to him by Thanos, an offscreen baddie who promises to fuck shit up in 2018.
At this point Tony Stark isn’t really the bad guy, but being the bully that he is spends a lot of time arguing with people and letting everyone know how superior he is. A big argument ensues between him and Captain America in front of the world’s fussiest baby Bruce Banner aka The Hulk. Putting everyone’s life at risk.
Sure, he isn’t directly the bad guy, but he only undermines the basis for why The Avengers are even assembling. He creates disunity and friction with several members on the team, and really doesn’t give a shit. Before the the team can get all bad ass and save the world, Tony almost screws everything up with his ego by helping to provoke Bruce Banner into turning into The Hulk.
Eventually, Tony Stark redeems himself, he saves the world after all, by closing a portal to space with a nuclear bomb.
The good guys win, and in a very Dick Cheney move turns a tragedy into a financial opportunity with his Damage Control business (first seen in Spider-Man: Homecoming).
Iron Man 3
We now go to the events of Iron Man 3, Tony Stark has PTSD but manages to out James Bond James Bond. Shane Black the director gets hate mail despite creating the best film in the franchise, and oh yeah Tony Stark is still the bad guy.
Tony Stark basically in his wilder youth treats some nerd scientist Aldrich Killian with disrespect, makes fun of him for being a cripple, probably finger blasts some hottie, and is all around a bad person.
Killian eventually remakes himself into a much eviler version of Tony Stark, and the two fight for the right to finger blast Pepper Pots. This all is born out through the humiliation, and emotional trauma that Tony himself created for Killian.
Also in the movie, Tony manages to charm a middle schooler into being his sidekick, while also verbally abusing him and doing who knows what to his future self-confidence. Suicide note to probably be written in a later film.
Overall, he proves to still be a scumbag, but is still an Avenger. At this point in the MCU, Tony could stand in line at McDonald’s with his dick out and still be beloved by the world.
Thor: Dark World
We can skip Thor: Dark World. Tony as far as I can remember plays little to no role in this. It could be argued that the son-of-a-bitch could have helped Thor take down Malekith, the bad guy. This event was almost a world ending event after all, but none of the Avengers bothered showing up. So he isn’t the only person being a dick.
Tony was probably off screen getting therapy for his PTSD, doing Molly with a gaggle of barely legal college coeds, and ruining his relationship with Pepper Pots. I can understand if the fate of the world doesn’t take precedent.
Captain America: Winter Soldier
Tony Stark plays almost no role in my very favorite MCU movie Captain America: Winter Soldier. At this point who knows what Tony is doing. My guess is he is vacationing in Thailand and getting blown by lady boys with Bruce Wayne in the Marvel/ DC crossover that never existed.
Turns out that SHIELD is secretly being controlled by HYDRA, the Nazi bad guys from the first Captain America movie. Fucking Nazis. They have some sort of plot to control the planet, blow up the world, I actually don’t really know. Also, it turns out Bucky Barnes his hetero life mate from WWII is still alive, but is a brainwashed Soviet murder machine.
To summarize this already confusing plot, Captain America kicks ass, and he manages to beat up both Nazis and a Communist in this movie.
Murica fuck yeah!
Tony Stark is absent once again, despite this having huge ramifications on the entire planet. Thor is probably getting his prostate massaged by a shield maiden or two, and The Hulk is all sad and shit like Bill Bixby from the television show.
Tony screws up in this film though, mainly because he is an arms dealer. He is a despicable human and very likely helped to design the world ending technology SHIELD has on their helicarriers.
Once again he is indirectly the bad guy in this one, and probably should be sent to prison for crimes against humanity.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Guardians of the Galaxy just skip this one. Tony plays no possible role that I know of in this franchise… yet.
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Avengers: Age of Ultron. There is no maybe about this. Tony Stark is the true bad guy of the film.
By playing mad scientist, Tony recklessly creates Ultron. Ultron ends up hating humanity and seeks to stomp it out. How this is a bigger threat than some evil elf trying to murder the entire world or HYDRA secretly controlling SHIELD I don’t know.
The guy has balls though because Tony attempts to play god again without consulting ethics advisors, or taking any of the necessary safety measures. That’s right Tony creates a murderous psycho robot, but failure isn’t an option with this guy, and he then tries to create artificial life again.
Thankfully, the dude is successful and he creates Paul Bettany, *ahem*, I mean Vision. A robot with a dumpy body and fake abs. Nevertheless, he turns out to be kind of an alright guy, and along with the other Avengers manage to kill Ultron.
Well Tony isn’t really a bad guy here, but Howard Stark was. Howard was the head of SHIELD or something and was attempting to duplicate the Ant-Man technology without the permission of Hank Pym (Michael Douglas.) Pym resigns from SHIELD presumably marries Catherine Zeta Jones and has a hot daughter.
Plus it was likely under the neglect of his father that HYDRA managed to infiltrate SHIELD and eventually finance the bad guy.
Scott Lang, the new Ant-Man, at some point is tasked with infiltrating the Avengers Headquarter to steal back some tech Pym created 30-years-ago. Tony Stark is the main financier of the Avengers, and built this place. So it can be presumed that he has had this tech in his possession all this time before transferring it to the facility. If he’d been a nice guy he might have turned it over to Pym.
However, for much of his early life he was drowning himself in a bottle of Wild Turkey and was only running his company superficially. It probably should have fallen on the shoulders of Obadiah Stane to do the moral thing.
Captain America: Civil War
At this point in the article the MCU is starting to become a blur. If I am correct though, I am now on to Captain America: Civil War. Tony is a dick, and he is in favor of pro-hero registration, Captain America is not. They fight.
This is all being manipulated by some dude. A dude who fucking hates superheroes, basically makes it his mission to ruin their lives, and rightfully so.
This dude as it happens once had a family, but they were killed due to events that happened in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Like everyone in Tony’s life this guy basically wants to rip his head off and shit down his throat. Which is fair, since all the bullshit political stuff in this movie is a direct result of Tony Stark just being a reckless trillionaire jackass.
You can skip Doctor Strange, basically Tony has no ties to this film. Stephen Strange is a sorcerer whose only connection to Tony Stark at this point is their fashion sense, and that he chose not to do surgery on Tony’s best friend James Rhoades.
Guardians of the Galaxy 2
Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Tony Stark is probably less connected to this one than Doctor Strange. Unless of course he had stock in Apple or helped to develop the Ipod. Otherwise, he’d be the true hero of the movie. Which would be a role reverse.