It has been the subject matter of several well read posts at Moviepilot since trailers for [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](tag:293035) began surfacing: which Avenger is most likely to kick the bucket? Even though we technically saw an Avenger die in Age of Ultron, there wasn't all that much emotional investment in a character when you're just getting to know them, especially when he's in the shadows of an already established Avengers team we all know and love.
The notion of an Avenger dying isn't one I enjoy exploring, especially as it relates to everyone's favorite smart-mouthed genius, Tony Stark. He is what many would consider the foundation of the entire franchise. After all, out of all the characters in the MCU, we've been following Tony's story the longest since Marvel Studios started pumping out films. And over the years there have been no complaints regarding Stark's amped up screen time in comparison to most of the Avengers (Captain America excluded), nor have their been any comments from the peanut gallery when it comes to Stark being the primary antagonist in the upcoming Captain America film. Tony Stark's presence is basically welcome in any and all things MCU related. People love him. But as well loved as he is by audiences everywhere, I do believe Stark is the most likely candidate of the established Avengers to permanently disassemble. Mr Stark has an abundance of three things that, while most people love, are in reality working against him: his mouth, his machismo and his money/tech.
I know this seems strange, but think about it. Stark has a rather loose and biting tongue and his liberal use of it has managed to tick off a lot of people, and it's only gotten worse over time. Look at the firestorm he created in Iron Man 3. In a fit of insomnia fueled frustration, he called out a terrorist and gave out his home address which had the unintended result of nearly killing Pepper and himself. Let us add to the mix his share of heated verbal rifts with Captain America and Thor, both of whom have the physical capabilities of literally snapping him in half. And if that isn't enough, do you remember how Loki responded in The Avengers when Stark trolled him?
Yeah...so that happened. With this sort of track record, one has to wonder when Stark's mouth will finally get the best of him.
One thing about Tony Stark is he has a lot of pride; I mean...a lot of pride. In fact, I believe it is part of the reason he is often putting himself in harm's way. Yes, there is an element of nobility mixed in with his actions, but Stark has always operated out of the machismo, lone-ranger, this-is-all-on-my-shoulders mentality.This has played out in several instances. Here are just a few examples:
- Flying a missile through a worm hole in The Avengers
- Creating Ultron without team consent in Age of Ultron
- Flying underneath a Russian country turned meteor in Age of Ultron
- Being the only Avenger to square off against a rage fueled Hulk in Age of Ultron
I'm sure there are plenty more examples. The point is there is a definitive pattern in Stark's behavior. We know he's never been much of a team player from the beginning. His machismo has even impeded his ability to play well with other good guys. In fact, I think there's a movie coming out where he'll be forming a team against one of his former Avenger teammates...maybe you've heard of it? ;)
Let's face it. One of the distinguishing features of Tony Stark is the vast array of resources at his disposal. He has lots of money and lots of tech. Now, when you accumulate the level of wealth Stark has, you get a lot of people jealous. I mean, look at what happens to him in Iron Man. Yet again, we find Stark knocking on death's door after one of his own father's right hand men rips his life force right out of his chest.
Oh, and remember when Ivan Vanko tried to kill Tony on the race track in Iron Man 2? You can't tell me that his actions weren't motivated by jealousy. With his level of wealth, you have to wonder when the villain with the right brains and brawn will show up and turn out Iron Man's lights for good.
I should say this...while his mouth, machismo and money/tech are working against him, the one thing that has kept him alive is his mind. Tony's wit is what often gets him in trouble, but it's also what keeps him alive when he toes the line between life and death. So this gives us a glimmer of optimism. I genuinely hope we see a lot more screen time from our red and gold hero, but could Marvel have been setting the stage for a massive casualty right under our noses?