ByMatthew Gray, writer at
Just your average, everyday Sithlord. Or, maybe more a Grey Jedi who happens to be a huge Spider-Man fan to boot.
Matthew Gray

With [Captain America: Civil War](tag:994409) just a few short months away, I wanted to address some things I've recently read both on Moviepilot and some other sources. Tony Stark will be on the side of government regulation of super powered beings. The big question many have is, "Why is Iron Man acting incredibly out of character in this film?" Given his personality, why would he ever take the stance he does?

With Cap, I think the narrative is fairly simple. After the events of The Winter Soldier, he no longer trusts authority. S.H.I.E.L.D., the greatest peacekeeping force on the planet, was thoroughly infiltrated by a terrorist organization. They were on the verge of causing global destruction and mayhem on an unheard of level before they were stopped. Even before it was discovered S.H.I.E.L.D. was corrupt, Cap was already clashing with Nick Fury over the way the organization operated. It's a distrust that goes all the way back to the first Avengers film (remember the discovery of the cache of super weapons on the helicarrier).

Added to this, the government will be hunting his best friend (frenemy?) in Civil War. In Cap's mind, Bucky, was brainwashed into being the assassin he became as the Winter Soldier by Hydra. He needs to be helped, not hunted. Again, a major distrust of authority that's developing in the super soldier's mind.

On the other side, we have the Golden Avenger. A billionaire playboy who usually takes particular delight in bucking authority. A mechanical genius who invents wondrous playthings. A man who boldly, publicly outed himself as Iron Man. A man who arrogantly defied the U.S. government when he was pressured to turn over his tech. This is a man who was built to clown people who think they're in charge.

So, why would Tony Stark do something that many believe is completely against character type in Civil War? Why would the ultimate non-conformist suddenly...conform to the rank and file? Do I have theories on this? But, of course. It's why this article exists.

He's Seen True Power

A lot has happened to Tony since the first Iron Man film. His armor is a truly amazing invention, and, it's capable of taking down armies by itself. Through Iron Man and Iron Man 2, he was the baddest super hero on the planet. Then, the Avengers came along ,and, suddenly, he's walking with gods and green rage monsters. Suddenly, he's the third strongest super hero on his own team behind Thor and the Hulk (or Hulk and Thor, whatever floats your boat)!

Yes, he invented the Hulkbuster armor and held his own with the Jade Giant in Age of Ultron. But, did anyone else get the sense that fight might have ended differently if the Hulk hadn't been mind controlled by the Scarlet Witch? I do.

Now, let's look at his first encounter with Thor in the Avengers. Tony got some good shots in on the Odinson, but, you never really got the sense the Asgardian was really in trouble did you? He pretty much shrugged off everything Tony hit him with. And, I don't know if anyone remembers this because it was somewhat subtle. Remember when the two were face-to-face and going hand-to-hand. Before they were separated, you started to hear the slight crunching of metal. Thor was literally crushing his armor in his bare hands! That's strength on an unheard of level.

Now, let's go to Iron Man 3. The only thing that prevented Aldrich Killian and Extremis from making Tony a gooey smear was his girlfriend, Pepper. Killian melted through his armor like it was butter.

So, what's the point of all of this? The point is Tony now knows that all his Iron Man suits and all his tech may not be good enough. He's had encounters with beings of tremendous power. It was all fun and games when he was Mr. Big. Now he's not and that worries him. It could be an underlying reason he'll end up supporting the regulation of super beings.

He's Running Scared

Tony almost made the ultimate sacrifice in The Avengers to defeat the Chitauri. That's had a profound effect on him ever since, mostly in the sense of high anxiety. He's become obsessed with pushing himself to his limits and beyond. Whether he's upgrading his suit for the 100,000th time, creating an "Iron Army" as a kind of tactical police force (see AofU), or unleashing a security program so he can become the planet's watchdog, he has to exert some measure of control again in his life. Now, everything he does comes from a good place of wanting to help. But, he has to have a grip on everything. And, the more he feels he's losing it, the more he tries to exert control.

The Scarlet Witch messed with his head badly in AofU. The image of the Avengers lying dead is burned in his brain. He's got to stop it. He's going to stop it any way he can which, ultimately, leads to the creation of Ultron. Ultron didn't do much unless you count almost dropping an entire nation from several hundred feet to go "ker-plop" nothing.

The Accords put him in control again. They give him another chance to be watchdog, but, this time he'll have the opportunity to get it right.

And, speaking of Ultron, that leads me to my final point...

He Has Deep Regrets

Tony more than anyone else knows he screwed up royally with Ultron. Lives were lost. Destruction was rampant. I think conforming is his self-imposed penance for that mess he created. Think about it. What better way to capitulate for his part in the incident than regulate himself and his activities and to make sure no one else can cause the damage he has? As a matter of fact, I believe this might be the biggest reason he supports the Accords.

What do you think?

Keep in mind, all of these ideas are mere speculation on my part. I have no evidence. These are just my best educated guesses as to why the story has veered in this direction. All will be made clear on May 6. I don't know about any of you, but, I'm already about as jacked as anyone could possibly be.

Don't be shy. Let me know what you think.


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