With Avengers: Age of Ultron so close to release, the vast majority of Marvel related attention is inevitably - and quite rightly - being focused on the imminently arriving adventures of everyone's favorite Hawkeye-featuring superhero team (Sorry, West Coast Avengers...).
That, though, doesn't mean that the Marvel Cinematic Universe's past has suddenly run out of secrets to share - The MCU, it seems, is a near-infinite treasure trove of moments, teases and mysteries, just waiting for a fan to unlock them and bring them into the light of the Internet.
The only problem?
Some of those secrets are utterly heartbreaking...
It Turns Out That Iron Man Has a Pretty Emotionally Devastating Secret
Y'know how Tony Stark is always rocking a v-shaped peace sign when he's feeling especially pleased with himself, or arriving at an event?
There's a Reason For All Those Peace Signs
One spotted by intrepid Tumblr-er almost-always-eventually-right, who - it seems - might just have discovered that there's a dark, painful and utterly heartbreaking truth lying behind Tony Stark's goatee-studded mask of swaggering, peace-sign-flipping cheerfulness.
Remember the very first time we saw Tony Stark, way back at the beginning of Iron Man?
Specifically, this part of the scene?
...In which a young soldier asks to take a picture with Tony...
...During which Stark gently teases him about using the peace sign...
...Until they're interrupted by a group of militants, who kill the young soldier, and kidnap Tony Stark.
Which Is Where It Gets Seriously Emotional
As almost-always-eventually-right so poignantly puts it:
"This was the moment that made Tony Stark reevaluate his entire life.
This was the moment that made Tony Stark cut the weapons program.
This was the moment that Tony Stark became Iron Man.
This was the moment that never truly left him.
Because it’s after this moment that Tony Stark proceeds to spend the rest of his life making peace-signs in photos, in honor of a young man who was more of a man than Tony could've ever dreamt of being; whose death Tony spent months agonizing over and trying to ensure wasn't in vain."
So, in other words...
The Real Reason Tony Stark Became Iron Man Wasn't Just to Save His Own Life
Or, for that matter, to look cool, get girls, or save the world.
He Became Iron Man to Live Up to the Memory of That Young Man
And all of that swaggering, arrogant peace-sign flipping?
That's just another way for Tony to remind himself of why he's doing what he's doing, and why he can't allow himself to fail - a young soldier who he couldn't save, and who's death he feels responsible for.
And y'know what? That is just unbearably sad.
Now, sure, it's entirely possible that Robert Downey Jr. just thought that Tony'd be the kind of arrogant guy to throw the peace sign around, and the relationship to the young soldier is purely coincidental - but there's something about the tragic air Tony carries around with him that makes me feel like there actually could be something to this one...
Nicely played, almost-always-eventually-right. Nicely played...
What do you think, though?