One of the last moments in Winter Soldier features Black Widow sitting before a government assembly to answer for the monumental fuckstorm her organization invoked on America. Sitting in a darkened apartment, greasy with shame and clasping for the end of this cinematic endurance test, I started wondering: Just how far back did this hearing explore? Did they talk about how Stark keeps inventing technology that falls into the wrong hands? Or how Hulk gave his blood to a stranger, and it was used to create not one but two supervillains? Or how Thor sparked a war between two realms, and then his girlfriend topped that by awakening a dark force that almost destroyed the universe? Or how S.H.I.E.L.D. accidentally summoned Loki, who proceeded to nearly exterminate New York City?
But let's give S.H.I.E.L.D. a break. They actually had an excuse to do evil, since they were secretly being run by Hydra -- who used their own helicarriers (with help from Stark's design, naturally) to almost assassinate the world.
"I came to realize that I had more to offer this world than just making things that blow up." -- Tony Stark
In almost every film, the problem is caused by someone personally irked by the hero and/or using the same superpower as them. Hulk fights another Hulk, Iron Man fights people in Iron Man suits, Thor fights his brother, S.H.I.E.L.D. fights S.H.I.E.L.D., etc. That means the world would objectively be better off if each hero's power never existed in the first place.
In fact, the entire Avengers Initiative was a brick of lunacy when you think about it. When Fury first mentions the idea to Stark, the only living superheroes in the world were: 1) Stark, 2) a green monster on the loose, and 3) shrinking Michael Douglas, maybe? When watched as a whole, Fury turns from fearless leader to a gobbling maniac dressed like a Matrix LARPer in the basement of some money-burning government warehouse. I would say that he's lucky Loki gave him a reason to justify his inexplicable superhero team ... but again, he's the reason that Loki got loose.
"Uh, actually, Hawkeye is a superhero too. And sexy." -- Jrenner71 in the comments of this article.
But that's just one more example of every single "preventative measure" people make in these films causing the things they're trying to prevent. Without spoiling too much, Age Of Ultron follows the exact same trope. If the series has showed us anything so far, it's that almost every single conflict in these movies comes from a personal vendetta between a member of The Avengers and some scorned enemy -- Stark alone has pissed off like three people into becoming supervillains -- resulting in catastrophic civilian casualties from using populated areas as their own personal battlefields. And when everyone you associate with eventually tries to murder you ... maybe it's not the other people that's the problem.
Anyway, I'm off to line up for Age Of Ultron. Goddammit.
Dave will gladly talk at you about how awesome Guardians Of The Galaxy and Daredevil are on Twitter.
Also check out 5 Real-Life Versions of Marvel's Avengers and The 6 Most Unintentionally Hilarious Superhero Reinventions.