Before I start this, I want to point out that this is obviously just my opinion based on my own observations of these characters and movies. I’m not saying I’m right, but simply offering my reasons for siding with one of my favorite Marvel characters.
Mind you, this is coming from someone who totally justifies Magneto and Mystique’s agendas in the X-Men comics.
This is all painfully subjective.
I get a lot of flack for taking Iron Man’s side in the Civil War franchise, and although I joke about it, no it’s not just because of Robert Downey Jr. Although that does help.
Honestly, pretty much every friend I have is for Captain America’s side, and a few have been surprised that I would take Iron Man’s.
Being the little chaotic good nut that I am, according to the storyline, I suppose at first it seems more appropriate to choose Cap’s side.
Chaotic good does not necessarily mean reckless, illogical, and driven by passion.
We’re driven by doing the right thing, regardless if the law, the government, or society agrees. Sure, many chaotic goods take a passionate stance against something and fight for their goal with reckless abandon, but those of us with experience who truly want to accomplish our end means will take things a different way.
Iron Man (through the movies specifically so I’m not all over the place with multiple stories and character developments) as a hero started out as a typical, “who gives a shit, I’ll do what I want because I know it’s right” once he broke from his stagnant selfishness. Once he found his drive and inspiration, he could not ignore the right thing, but retained his flamboyant ability to say “fuck off” to anyone who stood in his way or provided opposition of any sort.
His way of thinking, working, and leading is entirely independent, which is something I admire and relate to.
However, over time and unable to avoid being a part of the Avengers, he realized that as much as he’d like to continue saying “fuck it I’ll do it my way,” he couldn’t solely subscribe to that behavior without endangering others.
And again, chaotic goods end up unable to ignore doing the right thing, so endangering other lives is obviously not a good thing.
Speaking on my behalf and what I gained from the character in the films, we have no problem putting ourselves in unholy amounts of danger to achieve what we know/feel is right, but we will hesitate and rethink the situation when other people come into play.
Especially if we’ve grown to care about these people, whether we wanted to or not.
But that’s also why we prefer to work alone so that we can fully commit to our regular behavior patterns.
Through the Avengers, Stark develops that understanding that he has to stifle his independent, reckless, “fuck you I’m right” self in order to work effectively with the others.
Think Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead. He started out super independent and didn’t give a single fuck about what anyone else thought. He was downright obnoxious through most of the first season. However, over time, he calmed his chaotic side for the sake of the group. He still obviously prefers to work alone, but for the good of the group he contains his chaotic behavior.
And part of doing what’s best for the group means he has to stay alive since he’s such a damn good protector, so a stronger-than-usual sense of survivalism helps calmly navigate his chaotic good ways.
In short, and as a chaotic good myself, when lives are at stake and possibly influenced by our actions, we slow our fucking roll.
Think about Age of Ultron and how Stark really learned that lesson the hard way without even meaning to unleash the shit that he did (yes, I know it’s different in the comics entirely, but again I’m only discussing the film character).
By the time we get to Civil War, it’s no wonder Stark seems so repressed. For good reason.
Stark reaches a sort of understanding or sense of calm that he can’t just fly off the fucking handle and do as he pleases without possibly killing people and himself. He resorts to achieving what is right through a more methodical approach. For the time being, that methodical approach involves following what the government wants him to do. That doesn’t suddenly make him lawful good, lawful neutral, or anything of the sort, but that he’s injected a better sense of long term survivalism into his plan.
Stark isn’t ignoring or really denying what is the right thing, but seeking out a better alternative to achieve the right thing without getting everyone he cares about killed or arrested. Or accidentally murdering innocent lives… Like last time.
He subscribes to a form of action that I’m specifically attached to called flying below the radar.
Stark got himself in a situation, thanks to the Ultron mess, where if he tries to be all cocky and against the grain, then he will get everything stripped from him and will be rendered entirely useless.
Can’t really fight for any cause at all if you’re locked away.
He’s not a dumbass. He knew that rebelling against the governments of the world would literally do shit for no one. Again, he’s in it for the long term game.
Whereas ol’ cappy over here is acting on honor for an old comrade.
Ok, Cap, did you see Game of Thrones? Do you know who Eddard Stark is? Don’t be him.
Don’t be a Ned.
Ned Stark dies because he’s so hell bent on honor that he expects everyone else to behave the same way and ends up putting everyone in danger.
I have a qualm with honor-bound bitches. They’re fucking naive and don’t seem to realize that no one else is ever going to act as honorably, or that their idea of honor will not match up with everyone else’s, so they end up getting themselves and others killed.
Y’all got to be two-step-ahead thinkers. And Tony Stark is just such a thinker.
Yes, near the end, Stark snaps and diverts from his path. Broski is under a lot of pressure and has been denying himself his usual means of achieving the right thing. It’s hard. It’s not fun, and that kind of stress can break a person.
Suddenly, killing Bucky seemed like the best plan. And to be honest, I kind of agreed. Bucky Barnes is over here putting a fuck ton of people at risk, and the whole lot of the Avengers can’t seem to shut him down worth a shit when he’s “activated.” I hate it for the guy, and we all know it’s not his fault, but come on… Let’s be smart and cut our losses here.
Even putting him under still offers risk; someone will find a way to get to Bucky and start all this shit back up again. Is it worth the risk? Who knows, I’m not the person to answer that. But I get why Stark would want to end him, aside from Bucky killing his parents. He saw Bucky as all kinds of a threat to everyone he loves, not just the general lot of humanity, and he couldn’t deny it anymore. Again, the guy snapped. It fucking sucks.
I get Cap’s agenda, I really do. I have that kind of loyalty to my friends and family as well, but at the same time I’m not going to sacrifice the long term benefits for a moment of injustice. Let shit be shitty for a while, work through it, devise a plan, and make things better for the long run for everyone, not just the right now for one person.
That’s the other thing. Stark is very committed to his teammates, he really is. But Bucky is not a part of his circle. Stark sees Bucky as a threat to his people, so he’s committed to protecting those people.
Thus that line, “So was I” when Cap beats him and says “Bucky is my friend,” is so significant. Stark was literally doing what Cap was but for different people in a more careful way.
That resonated with me so fucking hard. “So was I.”
You don’t understand. Once people like us let someone in to our little circle, as much as we love to be completely on our own… It’s a little rough to be suddenly sided against.
Still, in the end, Stark resumes his “below the radar” path to achieving the right thing. He knows Cap is breaking everyone out, and he lets it happen. He hoped to control the situation and everyone in it a little better, but he accepts it and moves on for now. We hate admitting that as good as we are at manipulation, arguing for our cause, and convincing people to take our side, we just can’t control anything in the end.
I’m team Iron Man because I get where he’s coming from so much better than Cap, and I would make the same choices. It’s not so much about who is right and who is wrong, or good vs. evil in Civil War, but more like the soldier mentality vs. the survivalist mentality.
They have the same basic goals in mind, justice for all, but they will fight for them in very different ways.
Soldiers and survivalists do get along, but the differences are stark when it comes down to it. Pun intended.