Civil War: The Tragic Tale of Tony Stark

“We need to be put in check. Whatever form that takes I’m game.”

Tony Stark: genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist. Iron Man. Mad scientist. An amazing individual who is currently on the road to self-destruction.

We love him. He has a wonderful sense of humor that we eagerly look forward to. His gadgets are the stuff of science fiction dreams. The whimsical way he sets up his world (Christmas stockings for his robots and AI, people, that’s adorable) charms us. Tony has a charismatic personality that rallies people around him, even if they end up ready to murder him before it is all said and done.

But in spite of all of these things, Tony Stark never feels that he is enough. A lot of this feeling stems from his obviously strained relationship with his father. I’ll save the ‘importance of good fathers’ rant for another day, but Tony Stark really is a very visual image of what the lack of support from a good father can cause. As I said yesterday, Tony Stark is also straining beneath the weight of wealth, genius, and a God complex. And at some point in his life, Tony came to the conclusion that it was his job and his job alone to save the world. And he would do it, whatever it takes.

Where does this deep drive to save the world single-highhandedly come from? Well, Tony truly does care about saving people. The better part of who he is desires to protect innocent and powerless people. Perhaps it is also compensation for all of the years he spent in selfish frivolity. But even bigger than that, Tony loves being Iron Man, and he is good at it. Just imagine for a moment how wonderful it would feel to do something that causes everyone to sing your praises and thrill at the mere sight of you? The rush of adrenaline and satisfaction that would follow saving people. Somewhere along the way, Tony Stark’s source of self-worth and identity became linked to being Iron Man, savior of the world.

“The futurist is here gentlemen! He sees all, he knows what’s best for you whether you like it or not.” Clint Barton

Often when you feel insufficient personally, you find something to attach yourself to that gives you a sense of worth and identity. A job, money, applause. Tony has all of those things, and it is in those things that he finds his self worth. He’s no different than millions of other people, but unfortunately, the consequences of his actions tend to be global.

Tony is emotionally unstable and reactionary. He’s a grown man, but he still makes a lot of decisions from a place of deep immaturity. He’s brilliant, and is used to being able to fix a problem with some coffee and a few all-nighters in the lab. He can build it, buy it, or talk his way out of it in next to no time. He doesn’t know what to do with a scenario where he can’t come up with a solution.

In Age of Ultron Scarlet Witch drew out some of Tony’s deepest fears and insecurities and revealed them to the world.

“You. Could. Have. Saved. Us. Why. Didn’t. You. Do. More?”

It’s interesting to note that Tony rushed to check on Steve first before the others, even though Hulk was still moving around. I think we can take that as a small sign of how much Tony truly loves his friend Steve.

I also find it very intriguing that it was Steve who said the above words to Tony. Steve really represents a very personal part of who Tony is. He grew up listening to his distant, genius father regale the praises of this guy named Steve Rogers who succeeded in saving the world. Given that Tony was never good enough for his father, imagine what it would feel like to constantly hear about someone who was? No wonder Tony is trying to save the world, it’s like he’s trying to be as good as Captain America and be good enough for both himself and his dead father.

Oh, and then, later on, that exact man shows up in Tony’s world with his same handsome heroism, high morals, and great ideals. As much as Tony loves Steve dearly, he is also bitter and holds a bit of hatred in his heart toward Steve. Something which all came out in the light during that final showdown between the two of them.

Tony is reactionary. He feels something, and he tries to fix it instantly. The moment he came out of this vision he was on a mission. While Ultron had been set in motion in his mind before this event, that vision was the inciting event which sent Tony Stark careening out of control.

Ultron revealed more than anything just how far Tony’s downward spiral has come.

“Ultron can’t see the difference between saving the world and destroying it. Where do you think he gets that?” Wanda Maximoff

Ultron is just Tony’s current mindset put into robot form. The results? Death and destruction. Tony fails on a horrifying scale.

The destruction of Sokovia brings Tony’s ideas about creating a suit of armor around the world crashing to the ground. Literally. In Civil War we are introduced to Tony as he is reeling from the guilt of the large amount of destruction he caused. Like I said before, Tony is reactionary. What do we find him doing? Giving out millions of dollars of grants to a bunch of student projects. The scene with the grieving mother in the hallway is just salt in raw and open wounds. This is all amplified by the fact that Pepper and he aren’t together anymore. She has always been his anchor and stabilizing force, without her, he feels like a loose flag flapping in the wind.

He returns weary and raw to Avengers headquarters to be faced with a reminder again of everything that has ever gone wrong. Now, as I have said before, the ONE AND ONLY event that should have even been discussed here was Sokovia itself. None of the other battles involving Avengers were anywhere out of line.

Even so, Sokovia is laid down at the Avengers’ door when really it should all be sitting in Tony Stark’s lap. Tony feels the guilt, but he hasn’t really stepped up to receive the full responsibility for what he has done.  Then the Accords get dropped onto the table and Tony sees a way to perhaps sooth his burning conscience. In an attempt to buy penance for his soul, Tony jumps headlong into a contract with unreliable government. Honestly, I think if he wasn’t reacting and was thinking more clearly, Tony’s more logical mind would have said ‘no’. This yet again proves his immaturity though, rather than take on the blame himself and say, “Hey guys, I need help and I need you to hold me accountable.” He grabs the easy option of signing his name and now becoming the politicians’ golden boy. When you have to face the music, it is sometimes easier and to have someone else regulate your behavior rather than taking steps and initiative on your own.

Steve knows the incredible danger that the Accords present. He has spent his life defending freedom and has learned to recognize when it is being threatened. Every single instinct he possesses is telling him that this is a bad move. While it would be the easy option to make everyone happy and get out from under the spotlight (Natasha’s first instinct), Steve knows that in the long run they will lose more lives.

But an even greater comparison is drawn between these two friends.

“This job….we try to save as many people as we can. Sometimes that doesn’t mean everybody. But if we can’t find a way to live with that…next time, maybe nobody gets saved.”

Here is one huge, glaring difference between Tony and Steve: Steve can accept failure.

That sounds really lame for a moment. But think about it. Failure is a part of life as human beings (something I discussed yesterday regarding Vision). Tony, whether he realizes it or not, equals failure as not being worth anything. It is a lie that he has believed his whole life. Tony cannot except failure, therefore, he goes so far to try and avoid it at all possible costs that he manages to fail magnificently. With the signing of the Accords, Tony is making a last ditch effort to keep himself from ever failing again.

Steve recognizes that he is going to fail because he is human. He has dealt with that and accepted it. Rather than spending all of his energy focusing on the impossible feat of not failing, Steve puts his effort into doing the best job possible while sticking to his morals.

I think deep down Tony knows that Steve is right, but all of his emotions are warring within him. He’s angry, he’s devastated, he’s scared, and he wants desperately to find redemption.

The airport battle pushes Tony deeper to a place of guilt as his best friend is injured for life because of his stubbornness. Tony begins to think that perhaps he is wrong. Throughout this entire movie I think we are seeing the beginning of the end of the old Tony Stark.

Tony follows Steve and Bucky out to the Russian prison to follow up on their hunch regarding the other Winter Soldiers. You can just feel the impending battle looming heavy in the air like a heavy, gray cloud. The cloud bursts when Zemo shows the footage of December 16, 1991.

The cloud breaks. And Tony is out for blood.

This part is probably one of the most devastating chunks of film footage I have ever witnessed. Tony is so, SO ANGRY! Everything he has ever felt about his father, himself, Steve, and now Bucky are coming to the surface. The grief over losing his mother is probably the most upsetting fact of all. It was obvious from the flashback that Tony loved his mother more than anyone else in the world. But it was also obvious that he grieves over the lack of connection with his father. He had established something of a family and connection with Steve and the other Avengers; but after Steve reveals that he has been keeping the secret of the Starks’ murder under wraps Tony feels that he has been stabbed in the gut. In a way, as much as Steve and Howard were a point of bitterness and jealousy for Tony, Steve was also a connection point with his dad. That is now gone as well.

It all explodes as Tony tries to kill Bucky. He’s only seeing red at this point, it’s pure emotion and adrenaline. Vengeance is the primary directive in his mind. I don’t know about you all, but my heart was hurting pretty bad during this entire scene.

Steve is bound and determined to save Bucky’s life, even if it is at the expense of his friendship with Tony. One thing I did notice during this movie though: Steve never, ever condemns Tony personally for his choices. While he stands firm in what he knows to be true, Steve has an almost compassionate and empathetic attitude towards Tony in this entire movie. You can almost see him hurting for his friend. There is no bitter animosity in Steve’s actions, even as he is punching Tony  repeatedly.

The fight comes to an end as Steve beats Tony down to the ground and is kneeling on his chest. Steve raises the shield above Tony, who moves to cover his neck. The look in Tony’s eyes is one of sheer terror. He truly believes that Steve is going to kill him. But we all know, that is not who Steve is.

Instead, the shield comes crashing down into the arc reactor and stays there. A very poignant image is created, the shield has crushed the arc reactor. Freedom and truth are the victor, Tony and the Accords are defeated. Tony looks both shocked and relieved. In one last quick flair of anger, he yells after a retreating Steve,

“That shield doesn’t belong to you! It belongs to my father!” 

Steve dumps the shield on the ground without a second thought. Tony lies on the ground looking broken and confused.

The movie ends with the Avengers still split, but not shattered. Tony seems to be calmer and walking around with a clearer head. He is still hurting. You can see the pain in his eyes as he watches his best friend Rhody struggle to walk. Tony seems to have accepted the fact that he had a part to play in his friend’s pain, which is progress. Of course, he designs something to help Rhody out, but what I think makes an even bigger statement is the fact that he stands by while Rhody starts rehab. When Rhody falls, Tony moves to help pick him up. I think this is incredibly symbolic of the fact that Tony is perhaps starting to understand his humanity and accept it.

We have the cute “Tony Stank” scene where the package arrives from Steve. Inside is a letter and an old flip phone. #oldguy #oldtech

“Tony, I’m glad you’re back at the compound. I don’t like the idea of you rattling around a mansion by yourself. We all need family. The Avengers are yours, maybe more so than mine. I’ve been on my own since I was 18. I never really fit in anywhere, even in the army. My faith’s in people, I guess. Individuals. And I’m happy to say that, for the most part, they haven’t let me down. Which is why I can’t let them down either. Locks can be replaced, but maybe they shouldn’t. I know I hurt you, Tony. I guess I thought by not telling you about your parents I was sparing you, but I can see now that I was really sparing myself, and I’m sorry. Hopefully one day you can understand. I wish we agreed on the Accords, I really do. I know you’re doing what you believe in, and that’s all any of us can do. That’s all any of us should… So no matter what, I promise you, if you need us – if you need me – I’ll be there.”

Tony’s face when reading the letter is very healing to watch. He has the look of a man who has just faced his inner demons, but feels freer for having fought them in the open. He also smiles and seems to receive Steve’s earnest apology. There is no sarcasm or bitterness in his eyes this time, instead, there is something resembling peace. Maybe he and Steve can repair the damage and start afresh.

He ends the scene by putting Secretary Ross on hold, an action which I believe is symbolic of the fact that Tony is beginning to change his perspective.

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Tony Stark has been on the road to hell for a while, and in Civil War I believe he walked right through it. But sometimes in order to heal and become whole, you have to walk through hell and then climb back up again into the light. Luckily for Tony, he is surrounded by people who will have his back and are willing to walk walk with him. After all, how do the Avengers do anything?


What did you think of Tony in this movie? Were you Team Iron Man, and if so, was it for political reasons or just because you like him? What scenes made you feel the most? Where do you think Tony will go from here?

If you liked this article, you might like these as well! Civil War: Why Vision Needed to Fail Civil War: Natasha Romanoff, Steve’s Friend Civil War: The First Annual Avenger’s Football Game Civil War: Spiderman, Meet Steve Civil War: Why the Sokovia Accords Are a Waste of Paper Captain America: Civil War – Parental Review 5 Things We Will Miss About “Agent Carter”



Civil War: Why Vision Needed to Fail

Vision feels utterly perfect. From the moment of his creation (whatever the heck happened there, still scratching my head over that one) Vision has come across as perfect. He never makes a mistake, he is never wrong. His perspective is so objective and gently stated (in a British accent) that you feel he must right. Oh, and to put the cherry on top, he can lift the hammer.

Civil War is the first movie where we really get a feel for Vision. He is kind, intelligent, and gentle. And yet, he doesn’t know what it is to be human. He wants to know, he wants to understand. He is fascinated by humanity in a very objective and curious way. He seems to be especially intrigued by Scarlet Witch and the enigma that she presents. She is so incredibly strange and powerful, and yet, still so human.

Vision actually has a conversation in Age of Ultron that does a great bit of set-up and foreshadowing for his role in Civil War.

“There is grace in their failings.” 

Vision speaks to Ultron with a perspective that is far more positive towards humanity than that murder bot had. At the same time, the very manner in which he speaks of mankind shows just how little he actually understands about us.

In Civil War  Vision is quite obviously trying to explore humanity. He seems to sympathize with Wanda in that neither one of them seem to know what they are, and are both wary of what they are capable of. It’s like he is at the edge of understanding fear, but he still cannot enter into it. I think he may be beginning to understand compassion, and perhaps even one day love. His attentiveness to Wanda shows the potential for his character.

Then, the rubber meets the road, the stinking Accords are dropped on the table, and Vision goes back to his numbers, statistics (dumb statistics by the way), and objectivity. I don’t blame the guy, he doesn’t know any better yet. But I think the core issue, the one message that is lightly buried beneath the surface to be dug up is: perfection.

“I know we’re not perfect, but the safest hands are still our own.” Steve Rogers

Tony Stark is frustrated by the fact that he isn’t perfect. He struggles beneath the weight of genius, wealth, and a God complex that is starting to break him. In an attempt to create the perfect form of protection, Tony created Ultron. Ultron revealed more than anything else just how far out of reality Tony’s mind has gone when it comes to his actions. More on that tomorrow in, Civil War: The Tragic Tale of Tony Stark.

“Sometimes I want to punch you in your perfect teeth.” Tony Stark

Let’s be honest, Steve Rogers is about the closest thing to perfection that humanity has to offer. And yet, he’s still human. He hurts, he bleeds, he makes mistakes, and he faces consequences. His track record isn’t spotless, and he knows that.

How does this apply to Vision? The writers of the Accords find the perfect opening to produce their garbage following Wanda’s mistake which led to a bomb that killed several people. They are all over her for not being perfect enough. Yeah, demand the impossible and then get mad when there are some consequences. That makes sense.

Vision does what he thinks is right. He displays kindness and compassion towards Wanda, he even cooks for her. That scene was pure gold by the way, I really look forward to seeing where things go between the two of them. But he also holds Wanda back because of the Accords. She made a mistake and now the world is ready to go on a witch hunt (pun fully intended). Vision’s non-human perspective tells him that the Accords is the right course of action to ensure there are no more mistakes, slip ups, or horrible consequences. The Accords will ensure perfection.

A neat moment happens when Hawkeye comes to pick up little sister Wanda. Yes, I really think Hawkeye has become surrogate big-brother to Wanda while Steve has stepped into surrogate Daddy role. And do I find it adorable? You bet I do.

In this moment, Wanda makes a choice to overcome her fear of failing, and to keep trying instead. This is a neat culmination of that not-so-eloquent and yet totally awesome pep talk Hawkeye gave her back in Sokovia.

“It’s all our fault!”

“Hey, look at me. It’s your fault, it’s everyone’s fault, who cares? Are you up for this?”

Vision doesn’t understand that Wanda has just accomplished one of the greatest triumphs we humans can reach: she overcomes her failure and gets back up again.

You cannot truly understand the beauty and joy of success until you understand the pain and fear of failure. Wanda has honestly been struggling with fear since the battle at Sokovia. She is terrified by what she can do, and terrified by her actions going wrong. Her fear of failure is something that we can all connect with. Failure often has consequences, and it can scare you away from trying any more. But in order to grow and move forward, we have to come to terms with our imperfection, embrace our mistakes, and then get up off our rears and keep going. The moment Wanda sends Vision (who represents the fear of her failure) cannon-balling down through the floor is a victorious moment of the human spirit.

On to the airport scene. Team Tony is getting their rear kicked when backup arrives. Vision is a formidable opponent as he can do what no one else can, and he seems immune to just about everything. After all, he’s Vision. What can go wrong?

Vision is doing fine and succeeding at every turn. And then he goes down to check on Wanda who has just been brought to the ground by War Machine’s sonic blasts. Again, another sweet scene between them. Vision wants to understand and connect with this woman so badly, and he seems to be developing real emotions regarding her. But there is still a distance between them, a barrier that he cannot seem to cross or grasp.

Uh oh! Falcon is bugging Tony and Rhody and getting in their way. Yo Vision, how about a little firepower over here? Vision carelessly looks up and shoots a powerful beam in the flying trio’s direction. A beam which Falcon avoids (because he is awesome) and instead, the beam hits Rhody’s arc reactor, sending him plummeting out of the sky. It’s a horrific moment that causes everyone to stop. One of their own is now lying motionless on the ground and there is no way to fix it.

And in that moment, Vision finally understands. These humans he is fascinated by, the ones who have a certain grace to their failings; He finally understands what it means to be one of us.

Because you are never more human than when you fail.

The question is now: will Vision learn to triumph and get back up again?

Despite that fact that he is made up artificial intelligence, synthetic tissue, and robot parts, Vision can now understand what it means to be a part of the human race. If he wanted to grasp the human experience, he just started at ground zero. Vision has now opened the door for his character to fully embrace humanity and grow in understanding.

Vision appears to be the most infallible member of Team Tony, and yet, even he proves what we all already know. Perfection is impossible, no one can dictate it, put it into law, or build a machine to enforce it. The greatest thing we can do is to not get hung up on trying to pursue perfection, but rather learn to accept failure with grace and then keep moving forward.

Did you enjoy Vision’s character arc in this movie? What did you think of his interaction with Wanda and the other Avengers? Would you eat something cooked by someone who has never tasted food before? What do you hope they do with his character in the future?

If you liked this article, you may like these as well. Civil War: Natasha Romanoff, Steve’s Friend Civil War: The First Annual Avenger’s Football Game Civil War: Spiderman, Meet Steve Civil War: Why the Sokovia Accords Are a Waste of Paper Captain America: Civil War – Parental Review




Civil War: Natasha Romanoff, Steve’s Friend

“The truth is a matter of circumstance. It’s not all things to all people all the time. And neither am I.”

“That’s a tough way to live.”

“It’s a good way not to die though.”

“You know, it’s kinda hard to trust someone when you don’t really know who that someone is.”

“Yeah. Who do you want me to be?”

“How about a friend?”

This scene is so amazing in revealing aspects of both Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanoff’s characters. Not to mention the lighting is just right (just take a look at Scarlett’s eyes!). Steve is the guy who always knows who he is and where he stands. Captain America: The Winter Soldier was the movie where Steve decided once and for all that he wasn’t going to let the world around him change who he was or what he believed. Even if he uses a cell phone now instead of a telephone booth, Steve Rogers is essentially the same man that he was in ’45. Good thing, too, otherwise he wouldn’t have been around long enough to star in Civil War.

This scene is incredibly revealing of Natasha as well. She appears chipper, throwing in cute smiles and digs about Steve’s good-guy mentality. But after some conversation, a bit of the veil drops and we see the truth of who Natasha is.

(1) She’s a survivor.

You would have to learn how to be a survivor to make it out of the Red Room *shudders* The places that Nat has been, the things that she has done, the things that she has had done to her, they are unthinkable. She has had to reinvent herself so many times, she probably wonders who she is anymore.

(2) She’s lonely.

You can hear it in the soft and husky tone of her voice. There is an emptiness in both her eyes and her smile that break your heart just a little bit. She has an almost longing expression as she and Steve drive down a peaceful road in the warm, evening light. How much do you want to bet that the only person Natasha actually counts as being her friend is Hawkeye. And he is busy with a growing family, something that she knows she can’t have. You can practically see what is running through her mind as she talks to  this clean-cut and sweet guy who would like to count her as a friend. Why would he want her as a friend? Why would he trust her? Nat still feels pain for the bad things that she has done, her heart is still deeply grieved. And sometimes, she has trouble believing that she is worth anyone’s time, especially Captain America’s. After all, he’s the poster boy for goodness and doing the right thing.

(3) She’s scared. She’s been running to stay alive her entire life. Trust is a luxury she could never indulge in. And now, here she is yet again, running for her life with next to no one to trust….except Steve. But a life of mistrust cannot be switched over in a single moment. She wants to trust Steve and accept his friendship, but her finely tuned instincts are holding her back.

You know what happens next. Zola does his big reveal that Hydra is about to have their coming out party. Hydra sends a missile their direction and Steve saves Nat and covers her with his shield (an action that he also performed in The Avengers when fighting side by side with her #foreshadowing).

The next big Steve/Nat friendship milestone happens when they are cleaning up for breakfast at Sam’s. Seriously, by now how many of us dream of eating breakfast at Sam Wilson’s?

“I thought I knew who’s lies I was telling. I guess I can’t tell the difference anymore.”

“There’s a chance you may be in the wrong business.”

“I owe you.”

“It’s okay.”

“If it was the other way around, and it was down to me to save your life, now you be honest with me; would you trust me to do it?”

“I would now.”

Nat trust

Take a moment to explore that look of shock on Nat’s face. Captain America just said that he trusts her with his life. Her.

In this moment one of the best friendships in the MCU is formed. I saw the beginning of it in The Avengers, and I have loved watching this friendship bloom. We have never seen the backstory behind Natasha and Clint’s friendship, that was something which was already established by the time we were introduced to their characters.

But Steve and Natasha we have gotten to watch the whole way through, from the very first, “Ma’am.” “Hi.” we have been present to see two very opposite, and yet, very similar people bond.

Honestly, when I heard that Widow was going to be on Team Tony, I was pretty upset. BUT WHY I wanted to know! That completely flies in the face of everything she and Steve have gone through together, he’s one of her favorite people in the world. He pushed Banner to give it a try with her, and she told him to ask Sharon out. She trusts him! And he trusts her! They both love each other dearly and are rooting for the other’s happiness and success.

So why the heck was Widow on Team Ironman? I actually answered that question earlier: she’s a survior.

It’s her instinct to survive, to adapt, to change faces in order to live to fight another day. When the Sokovia Accords hit the table her instincts kicked in. This is the best way to stay under the radar, to maintain a good image, to make people happy so they won’t cause further problems. She listened to her head first while trying to ignore her heart.

And yet, her heart wouldn’t leave her alone. She has come far enough by now that she has allowed herself to love people, to care about their well-being. The parts of her heart that the Soviets tried to sterilize have been awakening again, and Steve owns a piece of property in there.

Their entire interaction in this movie is one of two people who are highly attuned to each other. She comes to him at Peggy’s funeral because she doesn’t want him to be alone. He asks if she is OK before getting the details of the UN bomb. Despite them being on opposite sides, they still seem to dance around each other with cautious steps.

“You know what’s about to happen. Are you sure you want to punch your way out of this one?”

Funny thing, Steve and Nat never actually engaged in combat during the airport battle, even though she and Clint locked horns. Somehow, they managed to avoid it. I can’t even picture him throwing a punch in her direction, he’d rather have her hit him all day.

All throughout this movie we see Natasha struggling between her head and her heart. She wants to reason with Steve to bring him over to the same side that she is on, and yet, she wouldn’t respect him as much if he did change his beliefs. But she desperately doesn’t want to oppose him.

We also see her thinking, “Maybe something is missing here.” She’s too smart to completely buy into the idea that the Accords came about from only good intentions. So when Steve tries to tell Team Tony what’s really going on #assassins #stopbeinganidiottony guess who believes him first?

What happens next is the fulfillment and cementing of all of the Steve and Nat groundwork laid in The Winter Soldier. Bucky and Steve manage to make it to the hanger and the quinjet, only to be confronted by Black Widow herself. True to her sense of humor, she plays “bad cop” for a minute, but if you pay attention you’ll notice that Steve never really looks nervous. He almost looks amused. I can’t say the same for Bucky. 😉

Natasha proves her real allegiance with her next action: stopping Black Panther to save Steve and Bucky. #iknewit #natashaandsteve #takethatteamtony

Black Panther is literally the only person who came to this fight to kill. He doesn’t care about politics, and he has no happy past history with any of these people to keep him in check. He wants to kill Bucky and anyone else standing in his way. We saw Steve and Black Panther face it off a few times, Panther is very dangerous and could take Steve out.

We never needed to worry though, because Natasha’s heart and conscience won out over her head. And when it all came down to it, she’s not just Black Widow….

….she’s Steve’s friend. And he trusts her with his life.

Nat and Steve

I absolutely love the character of Natasha Romanoff. She is one of the most interesting and three-dimensional female characters to grace the screen. She is not a stagnant character, but she has revealed multiple layers and grown so much as a person. She is strong and can be lethal, but she has a very tender heart and a hint of a femininity that is refreshing. I hope to write more on her in the future. I love her interaction with Steve (honestly, I was shipping them for a bit). But I almost think the friendship that these two unlikely pals have created is more fascinating and engaging than if they had become a couple. I hope to see them side-by-side many more times before all is said and done.

Were you surprised by Black Widow’s choice of teams? Were you shocked when she defected? Do you enjoy her friendship with Steve? Would you have changed anything?

If you liked this article, you will like these articles below!

Civil War: The First Annual Avenger’s Football Game Civil War: Spiderman, Meet Steve Civil War: Why the Sokovia Accords Are a Waste of Paper Captain America: Civil War – Parental Review 5 Things We Will Miss About “Agent Carter”






Civil War: The First Annual Avenger’s Football Game

“You know what’s about to happen. Are you sure you want to punch your way out of this one?” 

“What do we do?”

“We fight.”

We all had quite a few expectations riding on this crucial battle between both sides of the Civil War. It was the ultimate power clash (well, with the exception of the god of Thunder and the Hulk, but hey, the other Avengers do have their limitations and there was at least 10 minutes of footage to fill).

Many fans expected the airport scene to be horrible for our emotions. Seriously, the thought of Widow and Hawkeye going at it when neither one of them is under mind-control was upsetting. And let’s not even talk about the idea of Widow fighting Cap, the guy who consistently covers her with his shield when the debris starts to fly. And then we have Vision and Scarlet Witch (future husband and wife in the comics) heading into battle against each other. That may need to be ironed out in the pre-marital counseling, just saying.

The thought of any of our beloved Avengers hurting each other was terrible, especially since we know that they all think they are doing the right thing. Gah! The pain!

Still, this scene was fulfilling every fan boy and fan girl’s questions. “What would happen if the Avengers fought each other? Could Falcon beat War Machine (yes, yes he can because Falcon is amazing). Who wins in a punch out between Widow and Hawkeye? Can Ant-man turned Giant-man just pick Avengers out of the sky like King Kong? Just how good is Spiderman?”

So, how do you write a scene with the excitement level set at high, explosions and punches turned up, former friends are foes, and yet, no one dies and fans are alternating gasping at blows and laughing at one-liners?

Answer: The First Annual Avenger’s Football Game.

Think about the thousands of families who have an annual football game, perhaps at Thanksgiving. The stakes are high, and competitive juices are sizzling hotter than the turkey! No one holds back, taunts are exchanged, and Uncle Bill may get a split lip. Still, at the end of the game no one is dead and the battle has entered the annals of legends.

That’s how this amazing scene struck me. I sat at the edge of my seat with the eagerness of a cat at Captain D’s. It was so stinkin’ good! Everyone had a goal in mind, but the majority of the Avengers weren’t really playing “Shoot to kill.”

Honestly, we know that some of these characters were holding back. We saw what Wanda did to the Avenger’s minds back in Age of Ultron. She pretty much compromised the whole team. Steve could have hit Spiderman really hard and squished him (I’m sorry, the title Spider is begging for that joke). But we all know that Steve would never hurt a kid. Vision could have sliced everyone in half if he had wanted to. Natasha has some pretty killer moves with her legs that could take Clint down, but did she really use them? No.

None of our buddies really wanted to hurt each other (except Black Panther but he’s new), so while they all pulled out some of their best fighting, no one died. I’ll just bet you it takes an extra level of skill to bust out those kind of moves with the intention of still leaving everyone alive when the dust settles.

This scene was lively and constantly moving. Characters kept switching foes, which gave us a chance to see different interactions and fighting styles. This entire scene was a superhero nerd’s dream. The filmmakers completely delivered on their promise to give us an incredible action scene while still having some consideration for our emotions. A consideration that they completely trampled on in that final Tony vs. Steve battle; but different time, different scene.

We never knew who was going to be fighting who, what new structure was going to become Giant-man’s new plaything, or, if everyone would stay on their respective teams. The icing on the cake came when Nat switched allegiances at the last minute….more on that tomorrow.

This scene was the stuff of both superhero and action movie legends. I hope that it will be referenced many more times throughout the future movies and I fully intend to watch it over again and again. For now, enjoy some photos and lines from a few of the best moments.

Widow and Hawkeye

“We’re still friends, right?” Natasha

“That depends on how hard you hit me.” Clint

Bucky vs Spiderman

“You have a metal arm? That is awesome, Dude!” Peter Parker


“I don’t know how many fights you’ve been in, but there’s not usually this much talking.” Falcon


“Tiny Dude is big now.” Rhodes 

“Anybody on our side hiding any shocking or fantastic abilities they would like to disclose?” Tony


What did you think of this scene? Was it everything you were hoping for? Did it disappoint you at all? Did anything take you by surprise? What was your favorite moment?

Other articles you might enjoy Civil War: Spiderman, Meet Steve Civil War: Why the Sokovia Accords Are a Waste of Paper Captain America: Civil War – Parental Review 5 Things We Will Miss About “Agent Carter”



Civil War: Spiderman, Meet Steve

“Hey, Cap, big fan.”

Spiderman/Peter Parker jumped into my heart and stuck there from the first moment he opened his mouth. Seriously, I am going to adopt this kid. Tom Holland utterly killed it in making us fall in love with this adorable and earnest teenager who is a little guy taking on a big world.

Huh, that sounds familiar, doesn’t it? I wonder who else has a story like that. Peter’s entire conversation behind Aunt May’s back with Tony was a bit of flashback to Steve’s story. Here is someone who seems insignificant, weak, and overlooked. And yet, he is given (or in Peter’s case accidentally comes into) great power. Because Peter is a good guy with a good heart, he uses that power to do good deeds.

Unfortunately, people with power are easy targets for those who want to use them. Enter: Tony Stark. Now, guys, please don’t hear me saying that I hate Tony Stark, because I don’t. I like the guy. He is hilarious, he’s smart, and I know that he truly cares. But Tony Stark is the most imbalanced and selfish Avenger on the team. More on that later this week.

In Peter Parker’s case, Tony does something that even he should know better than to do. Tony goes and recruits an impressionable teenager to come fight a battle AGAINST AVENGERS. A battle that is Tony’s wrongful fight. He asks Peter to go to Europe behind Aunt May’s back and fight his private war, all because he wants Peter’s power on his team.

Peter Parker has a good heart. He wants to help people and he’s eager to please. But one thing they made abundantly clear with the introduction of this character is that Spiderman is very young. He’s practically a baby compared to most of the superheroes. And, TONY STARK showed up at his house to ask him for help. What would you do?

Peter Parker comes swinging out into that epic Civil War battle (more on this tomorrow) at the airport with the attitude of a kid in a candy store.

“You have a metal arm? Dude! That is so cool!”

He doesn’t comprehend the seriousness of this situation. He doesn’t understand the politics behind it. He hasn’t heard both sides of the story. But he has these powers, and he wants to use them for good; and so, he is here to fight.

The best Spiderman moments in my opinion were his short interchanges with Steve, followed up by the New York exchange. These moments stuck out to me as an open door for audiences to be introduced to an aspect of Peter Parker that I hope will be explored in Spiderman: Homecoming.

All throughout their exchanged blows, Steve is trying to gently ward off Peter by telling him things such as, “You don’t really know what is happening here.” “You’re fighting the wrong fight, kid.” I apologize that I don’t have the exact lines here, I saw the film only once and I was on the edge of my seat during this scene.

What are Peter’s replies to all of Steve’s statements?

“Tony said that you would say that. He said that you think you are doing the right thing, but you’re wrong.” 

Finally, Steve replies with the cherry-on-top line that points out how inexperienced of a superhero Peter is.

Tony say anything else?”

There. It. Is.

One of the biggest signs of growth and maturity in a person is when they learn to think for themselves. When they learn to ask questions before leaping in. When they are willing to be wrong while also being willing to stand firm on something absolute and true. It’s also important to not let down your guard and give your trust away too easily. Hmm, maybe someone should sign Tony up for this class as well.

Peter Parker hasn’t learned all of this  yet. This knowledge is even more crucial for powerful people such as him, as without it, their power can easily be used for bad purposes. Shame on you, Tony!

But that’s okay, Peter is young and I’ll just bet that he will be eager to grow. He’ll learn to ask questions, to read between the lines, and to trust himself when someone is pushing him to do something that fits their agenda. In the meantime…

“You’ve got heart, kid. Where’re you from?” (Steve, looking both amused and fatherly)

“Queens.” (Spiderman straining to hold up several thousand pounds)

“Brooklyn.” (Steve smiles the ‘kindred spirit’ smile before dashing off)

#newyorkermoment #bigapplebros #justakidfromqueensmeets #justakidfrombrooklyn

I would love to see those two work together again, and I think Steve would as well. He likes a little guy with a big heart and I don’t think he blames Peter one bit. Thus far, the rumors only surround Robert Downey Jr. appearing in Spiderman’s film. Hopefully by then Tony will have grown more himself and can offer more to Peter than a black eye and bruised ribs.

Spiderman’s recruitment and subsequent actions in Civil War are a brilliant way to break ground for his movie coming out next year. He is a raw recruit, but he is already adorable and has the potential to become a fan favorite. I can’t wait to see more of him and I am so glad that he was able pop up in this latest movie. Just like all spiders do, they pop up when you are least expecting them.

What did you think of Spiderman? Did you like his involvement in the movie? Would you have done something different with his character? What are your hopes for his upcoming film?

Other articles on Marvel that you might be interested in- Why The Sokovia Accords Are a Waste of Paper Captain America: Civil War – Parental Review 5 Things We Will Miss About “Agent Carter”

Civil War: Why the Sokovia Accords Are a Waste of Paper

“While many view you as heroes, there are some who prefer the term: vigilante….people are afraid.” (Thaddeus Ross, Civil War)

Of course people are afraid. Why? Because they have people like you running government! You want to know what is terrifying, sir? A world where there are Avenger-free zones because they are buried in red tape and paperwork.

Gen Ross

Ross proceeds in this nauseating scene to slap the Avengers on the hand by showing a video montage of all of their massive “disasters”. Let’s review these disastrous events one by one and look at them objectively from a purely logical standpoint.

New York: An alien invasion led by an adopted magician with a chip on his shoulder. Oh, and a nuclear warhead that was just thrown in for good measure by a “legal” organization, SHIELD aka Hydra. How were the Avengers involved? They were begged, hunted down, and collected from their everyday lives to come and fight a battle they did not create. And they kicked rear, big time! Not only did they destroy the aliens, the portal, and the nuclear warhead, but they also managed to do it with as little destruction and casualties as possible. Sure, go ahead and cry over some broken glass, Ross.

D.C. The Triskellion: This was really Steve, Natasha, and Sam’s baby. What did they do? They discovered that the most evil organization on the face of the earth had grown up inside of SHIELD and was about to come out with a grand gesture: the murder of over 20 million people. But good gracious, Steve, those buildings and hellicarriers cost billions, how dare you drop them into the Potomac?

Sokovia and Ultron: This incident was the closest thing to the kind of horrifying event that Ross infers have been all of the Avenger’s battles. Here, I agree with him that what happened in Sokovia was awful. But that’s not on the Avengers, that is on the one-and-only Tony Stark who made the murder bot in the first place. If you want to blame someone, blame Stark. Don’t you dare make him your poster boy for following the “rules”. Despite it being Tony’s fault, guess what team showed up with the motto no one left behind? Yes, let’s regulate these folks to protect the innocent.

Nigeria and the bomb: This was a tragic event where innocent people died. The Avengers were saddened by the experience, especially Wanda. She tried so hard to not skip a beat; however, humans are not perfect and sometimes we make mistakes. But the very idea of Avengers being given the blame for this incident is so ridiculous it’s embarrassing. Why were they in Nigeria in the first place? An evil villain was planning an attack so that he could steal a biological weapon. I repeat, a biological weapon that could kill millions. And naturally, the Avengers were called in as they are literally the only beings capable of handling this kind of situation. Things got hairy and one of them slipped when she was trying to keep a marketplace and her team leader from blowing up. The real icing on the cake is that these Accords were dreamed up and created by individuals who probably struggle to make it to the gym once a year; and yet, they feel qualified to critique someone who is performing the impossible on a regular basis.

Are these vigilantes? Are they choosing situations based on personal vendettas? Are they going out with no regard for life and consequences to further their agendas? Do they randomly misuse their power to further their own designs?

No, that would be the politicians. They call on the Avengers to perform the impossible and then critique them for not being “perfect”. They cite, “The percentage of conflicts since the introduction of Iron Man, blah, blah, blah.” Crazy and evil people with big tech and big superpowers would have risen up whether there were any Avengers around or not. Maybe the large number of conflicts exist because there were actually some good and powerful people who were available to do the impossible.

Taking away good people’s freedom is an old and foolish concept. Trying to control forces beyond your ability is vain and dangerous. Forcing good people to be regulated more than they need only enables the bad guys.

So why did some good guys choose #teamtony and the Accords? Well, Tony was driven by his guilt for Ultron. Tony is like a pendulum, he reacts and then makes drastic choices out of those reactions. Rhodes; I am not as familiar with him, but where Tony goes, he follows. Vision; Vision is still learning to be less the formal AI and more the human, but he’ll get there. T’Challa only chose #teamtony as the best way to get vengeance on the man he thought killed his father. Black Widow is severely practical, and she saw the Accords as a way to perhaps get back in the good graces of the world (or, at least the projected percentage of the population which according to Ross, “are afraid”.) But Widow is a spy first, and one of the few people she trusts is Steve. When she found out the truth, she had no qualms about switching allegiances. Spiderman? He just did what Tony said. More on that tomorrow. Needless to say, I think the only member of #teamtony who still agreed with the Accords at the end of the movie was Rhodes. But we’ll give him some extra grace because he’s healing from a severe injury and is likely still under the influence of medication.

All of this to point out what many Marvel fans have agreed upon: the Accords are a waste of paper. Feel free to be self-important all that you want, Ross and Co; meanwhile, my back door is always open to any disheveled Avenger. They are welcome to clean up using my good towels and I will happily make them a big breakfast.

As for Ross and Friends, I feel that they need to do something worthwhile with all of the paper they used to print out the Accords. After all, many good and honest trees gave their life for that material. I recommend origami, paper airplanes, or perhaps using the Accords to light a bonfire for s’mores at the large apology cookout you should host for the Avengers.

Tomorrow, more on Spiderman and Steve.



Captain America: Civil War – Parental Review

Captain America: Civil War is unlike any other Marvel movie that I have yet seen. It was intensely personal, deeply-thought provoking, and causes you to engage more emotions than any of the previous movies. While it is a roller coaster, it is chock-full of great talking points and discussion starters for your family. For those parents who want a thorough opinion on whether or not this movie is appropriate for their children, I have put together a quick review from the perspective of a pretty cautious movie-watcher. (Warning,  some slight spoilers ahead. I have tried mainly to use vague generalities, but in a few cases I have to be more detailed in order to give full information.)

Sex/Nudity – This section is barely applicable. There is one kiss in this movie that never moves beyond sweet. Scarlet Witch’s costume during a fight scene is low, exposing quite a bit of cleavage. There aren’t many moments when you get a full-on view of her, and the ones that do happen are brief.

Violence/Gore- This movie feels a bit more violent than the previous Cap movies because of the extremely personal nature of the battles. It is friend against friend. One battle is less heart-breaking and more comedic, while the second battle between friends is pretty gut-wrenching. I did not feel that they were unnecessary with the gore or violence in this movie. There are a few moments I would classify as,”gory”. One is short scene where we see man’s disfigured face. There is a scene where a man is bound and suspended upside down above a sink that is slowly filling with water. You see the water cover up his nose before the camera pans away. Another scene where the limp hand of a dead man is shown with blood trailing (a frontal view is shown of the body later on a smaller screen). Be prepared for a lot of smashing, crashing, banging, and bruising. There are a few scenes with some screaming in terror and pain. Also, there is one very highly-upsetting murder shown on a screen where someone has their face bashed twice, killing them. You are shown the entire scene for the emotionally devastating effect of it. It is an emotionally charged moment that might be too much for younger viewers. This scene leads to the final fight between friends that is also deeply upsetting, but it doesn’t end poorly.

Language/Profanity- This movie was lighter in many ways in terms of language. According to imdb there are 5 uses of s***, 2 g**d***, 2 s**of a b****, and 1 a**. I do recall more than one a** than mentioned above. There were also many uses of oh my g** and h*** during intense moments.

Heroes and Role Models- Captain America/Steve Rogers has been an admirable role model from the very beginning. His high moral standards, determination to do the right thing, and stubborn fight for freedom make him a hero for the ages. In this film you get to see another dimension of Steve in that he is faced with many difficult choices that bring him into conflict with some of his best friends. Watching Steve navigate these complex issues is amazing as you see him continue to stand firm in his beliefs, while refusing to give into hate or vengeance.

Tony Stark is a more difficult character to watch in this film, as he too is fighting hard for something that he believes in. However, Tony’s foolish actions in both this movie and his previous appearances in Marvel films have caused a lot of heartache and difficulty. Still, he had the desire to be a hero and do the right thing, making him a heart-wrenching and difficult character in this film. Unlike Steve, he approaches much in this movie with unsteady emotions, and sometimes, a hateful vengeance, either for himself or for others.

Talking Points- There are a lot of great discussion starters in this movie. It is complex plot that shows many angles to one question. Beloved allies become foes, and you see all kinds of reactions based out of many  human insecurities. This movie may be a bit difficult to mentally wade through for younger viewers, but it could also be a great launching pad for some enriching discussion and conversations with their parents.

  • How do you hold yourself accountable? Are you principled enough to hold yourself to a high standard?
  • How do you feel about others holding you accountable to a specific set of standards or beliefs?
  • Can we trust other people to do our thinking for us? Why or why not?
  • Is it a good idea to keep secrets from people we care about?
  • How do we deal with grief?
  • How do we deal with guilt? Do we let the fear of it drive our future actions?
  • What happens when you let a thirst for vengeance drive you? Why could that be a bad thing?
  • What should drive our actions?
  • Can we learn to forgive ourselves while still taking responsibility for our mistakes?
  • What will you do when you are alone in what you believe? How do you stay true to what you know to be right in the face of a majority?
  • Can you have the humility to admit when you have been wrong?
  • How do you treat others who don’t agree with you?

This is a wonderful movie that Marvel should be very proud of. It is a brilliant story, a wonderful set of characters, and introduces many questions that we can all relate to. I highly recommend it to adults, teens, and families who are comfortable with this content. I hope this review can help you determine whether or not it is appropriate for your family.