With the release of Avengers: Endgame just around the corner, the group has to rally against Thanos and undo the effects of The Snap as seen at the end of 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War. And they probably will. However, the Avengers will not regroup without Tony Stark (Iron Man) and Steve Rogers (Captain America) make up. But what happened between these two heroes in the previous movies? It’s time for a recap!
And this upcoming movie offers the perfect moment to do exactly that. However, before these BFF’s (sarcasm) get together in the upcoming movie, we examine what actually happend between the heroes. Let’s start where the two met.
The Avengers (2012)
The Avengers brought together six superheroes – the recently defrosted Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye. Maybe you remember this movie. Tony and Steve spend more than half of the movie bickering, with shots fired like:
STEVE ROGERS: The only thing you really fight for is yourself. You’re not the guy to make the sacrifice play, to lay down on a wire and let the other guy crawl over you.
TONY STARK: A hero? Like you? You’re a lab rat, Rogers. Everything special about you came out of a bottle!
STEVE ROGERS: Put on the suit. Let’s go a few rounds.
You see, Steve’s character can be described as a boyscout and Tony is more of a playboy. So, there is no wonder why the two clash they way they do. And things start to look even worse for the duo in the following Avengers movie. Let’s have look…
Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015)
Tony doesn’t know about Thanos and the infinity stones. But he knows something is coming. And in an attempt to get a leg up against sequel villains, he creates one of his own. Ultron immediately goes rogue, and commandeers the Iron Legion. The Avengers fight off Ultron in their first encounter, though he escapes. The aftermath of this sees the team bickering once more, with Tony and Steve not seeing eye to eye on the whole creating Ultron thing.
The Avengers lose their next battle against Ultron and the real heart of the issue is played out as Tony and Steve argue over ethics while chopping fire wood. Next time they share a screen they get into a fight until Thor breaks them up after a little vision quest in a jacuzzi. The two bickering men realise more than ever that they need to work together:
ULTRON: “How can you possibly hope to stop me?”
TONY: “As the old man said: together.”
The film ends with Tony quitting (again), Thor gone, Hulk missing and Hawkeye retired. Though the Avengers win the day. Only two of the six OG Avengers remain.
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Yes, Tony appears in a Captain America movie. Just in time. too. Right when the government decides that superheroes need to be a thing of the past, and the Avengers fall under the direct employ of the UN. Steve and Tony are MIA. This is the direct effect of previous movies;
- Steve worked for SHIELD during the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and saw first hand how things can be compromised and infected.
- Tony has PTSD, survivors guilt, a now failed relationship with Pepper due to his continued Iron Man-ing.
The men clash again. Hard. The Avengers break up and take sides. Interesting note of their characters arcs; Prior to Winter Soldier, Steve would’ve likely signed. Tony’s arc has had a slower burn. It’s the survivors guilt he feels in this movie, courtesy of the mother of a young man who died during the climax of Age Of Ultron, that gives him the final push to the other side.
Matters aren’t helped when Steve’s potential blind spot Bucky resurfaces. Missing since the ending of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Bucky is framed for the death of the king of Wakanda. Steve gets to him first. Bucky, it turns out, isn’t the only Winter Soldier. The official Avengers are called in to stop Steve’s ragtag group, who need to get to Siberia to stop the supposed actual threat. After one of the greatest fight scenes put to film, the only people who make it to Siberia are Steve, Bucky and Tony. Who have called a truce to deal with the threat.
They get there to find squad of Winter Soldiers dead, and Sokovian spy Zemo with the evidence that Bucky killed Tony’s parents while under HYDRA brain washing. The fight that follows isn’t a fight of ethics. Or ideology. The dialogue speaks volumes.
TONY: “Did you know?”
STEVE: “I didn’t know it was him.”
TONY: “Don’t bullshit me, Rogers. Did you know?”
The sound of a camaraderie breaking after 4 years in the trenches together.
STEVE: “This isn’t gonna change what happened.”
TONY: “I don’t care, he killed my mum.”
The sound of a man breaking after years of guilt and trauma.
STEVE: “I could do this all day.”
The sound of a battered man willing to make a sacrifice play.
TONY: “That shield doesn’t belong to you. My father made that shield.”
The sound of a beaten man firing off one last desperate salvo.
How will the two ever recover from all this, you ask? Could you? It will take a lot of creative writing to let these two frienemies join sides. Lucky for you, this is Marvel and the writers are nowhere done with the duo!
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
The production team knew they needed to keep them apart to raise the stakes. With Tony, Dr Strange and Spider-man spending the majority of the film’s runtime in space, and with the Captain and the rest of the earth based heroes in Wakanda. Tony still bitter, admitting he needs Steve Roger’s help. But he couldn’t bring himself to make the phone call. And Steve still clearly respects Tony, calling him at one point “earth’s best defender”. Infinity war ends on a massive cliffhanger after every. Single. Hero. Fails.
Let the (End)games begin!
Say, the bond between Steve and Tony directly relates to the strength of the team overall. It would’ve made no sense to have them make up before now. Right? The Avengers need to start Endgame at their lowest. If the team needed to fail to get here, you simply couldn’t have Tony and Steve stand side by side before now.
So there you go. The stage is set for the OG Avengers to suit up one last time and save a universe they’ve already failed. If only Tony and Steve can make good with one another. Dun Dun Dunnn!