Marvel’s Civil War: It is brother against brother and the loss of a soulmate
It is not a ‘divorce’. It is more than bk’s 1-7 and it is not foreplay for fan fiction:
There is a reason the tag line for Marvel’s Civil War is “Whose Side Are You On?” War, be it between the peoples of opposing landmasses on a map, countrymen of the same nation or factions within a community is an act where it takes two entities to create chaos.
Tony Stark is not the villain in Marvel’s Civil War. He didn’t cause the disaster and loss of life in Stamford any more than he created or signed into law the SHRA. He was as much a pawn in the game of politics as anyone else. What he did do is what many men before him have done when faced with odds calculated to be overwhelming, he evaluated his options and acted on them. What many people forget is that Tony is a futurist. He maps and sees the future. As a businessman of high caliber he has his ear to the political ground. He saw and heard about this bill months before it hit the mainstream media. He knew it would pass, nothing and no-one could stop it. The only thing he could do was get on top of it and try and steer it’s path.
He knew, absolutely that his choice would tear his family apart but he did it anyway to protect them. He did what he has done his whole life, he threw himself in the path of the oncoming train to keep those he loved safe. What he couldn’t have foreseen was the losing of the one man he holds the most dear to the other side. BUT….he held to his belief and saw his ideals through. Don’t tell me that Tony lost nothing. That Peter moved to the other side but that Tony suffered no loss of life. That just shows me you really haven’t read anything other than the core books. He loses Happy to this war.
Why then does that make him a villain and yet when Cap does the exact same thing he is a hero? Why is it okay for Steve to refuse to listen, to hold fast to his ideology but for that to make Tony an (quote from post in tags) ‘asshole’ or even worse ‘a traitor’? Many of these posts that I see are written by people who have only read the core seven books. The Civil War event is incredibly vast. Not reading the other books is completely your choice, but to post so stridently when you have only read CW 1-7 and none of the others is to do a disservice to the event and the fandom.
By leaping in with CW bk 1 you have no idea where Tony’s head is prior to Stamford. By not reading Front Line you have no clue what is going on underground with Namor and his crew or Ulrich and why he is so intent on following Parker. Or how and why Ulrich and Sally Floyd, in a brilliant allegory of the mindset of America, come to change their opinions and sides so radically. Nor are you able to see fully the impressive and superior way Marvel and their team tied the entire event to the political climate and emotional levels of post September 11, America. Quite simply: Patriot Act=SHRA. (Reference)
Both Tony and Steve have moments of absolute betrayal of their conscience in this war. Tony and Thor springs vividly to mind. Steve shooting first and refusing to listen at all on the helicarrier and purposely bring down that plane also occur. But no-one can convince me that the ultimate betrayal isn’t Steve refusing, completely refusing to listen to Tony. Then when he agrees, when Tony goes to shake his hand, Cap, while Tony is on a battlefield, disables the Iron Man armor, knowing that it is Tony’s only protection.
Tony while in the suit can take Captain America but he doesn’t. He doesn’t want to fight with this man, he just wants to protect him. To Tony, Captain America is the symbol of everything good and just and pure in this world. A purity that Tony himself feels he can no longer claim as his own. Even when he is on his back (still in the suit, still in control of the repulsors) he simply lays there and commands Steve to ‘just end it’. Their meeting in the mansion only illustrates the level to which their mistrust has fallen. Neither of them shows up in street clothes. Neither no longer trusts the other to the point where they expect they other to strike.
Individually the core book doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the depths of misery and confusion that both men experience at the loss of each other. Nor does it even begin to explore the sheer epic scale of disorientation the rest of the team, the other superheroes and the watching world feels as they see the relationship of these two men, men they love and admire; men who would die for each other, devolve so completely that they are trying to kill each other.
Taking away the superficiality of shipping Tony and Steve as lovers, these men are inextricably tied to each other. They are soul mates, best friends, family where they have both lost so much. They are brothers. Without each other they are empty, dark mirrors of what they can be and without them to lead, the whole the team is incomplete. The tragedy of Civil War on a universe level is the devolution of a society. The tearing down of a curtain to reveal an uncertain future. On a personal level it is the loss of friendship and love and the ultimate price paid.
There is a reason that Tony is the first person Steve goes to when he wants to reform the Avengers. They need each other. Gravitate to each other and orbit each other with a depth of love and commitment rarely seen even in fiction. Steve is the team’s moral compass and leader, Tony is it’s heart and soul. Morality without heart is propaganda and leadership without a soul is a dictatorship.
ALL OF THIS: THANK YOU