Iron Man is one of the most celebrated Avengers around. Who better to embody this classic Marvel superhero than Robert Downey Jr., one of the wittiest and most talented actors in Hollywood. From book signings and press conferences at Comic-Con to interviews, he has an incredible presence both onscreen and off.
As Tony Stark/Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. makes audiences feel an array of emotions throughout each two-hour movie that he appears in. They cheer him on, laugh with him, sympathize with him, completely adore him, and are even occasionally completely disgusted by him.
To an extent, he's the most relatable superhero around-- he's emotionally flawed, impulsive, and constantly debates what's right and wrong.
However, there’s no overlooking the number of shady things that he’s done in the past, before and after taking the role as the world’s protector.
From business practices and casualties caused by his company’s technology to his treatment of women, close allies, and the only person he really loves, Pepper Potts, Tony Stark’s made some awful decisions to satisfy his own agenda (and ego)
Here are the 15 Reasons Iron Man Is The Worst Member Of The Avengers.
15 HE CREATED ULTRON
At the beginning of Avengers: Age of Ultron, the Avengers stop Wolfgang Von Strucker from experimenting on human subjects and retrieve Loki's scepter from him.
Shortly after, Tony Stark and Bruce Banner further study a gem inside it and use its artificial intelligence to finish their design of "Ultron," a global defense program created by Stark.
While Stark and Banner seemingly had good intensions when creating Ultron, they still created it unbeknownst to the rest of the Avengers.
They recklessly tampered with the scepter's power despite having limited knowledge on it (they studied it for only three days).
Even after Ultron goes on his rampage to destroy the entire human race, Stark is unapologetic when confronted by Thor and other fellow Avengers about his mistake.
That's narcissism at its worst.
14 HE ENLISTED A TEENAGE SOLDIER
In recent MCU installments, Tony Stark has taken Peter Parker under his wing. Parker is introduced in Captain America: Civil War when Stark recruits him to fight against the Avenger renegades led by Captain America.
While the combat ends with Stark's side winning, Parker still receives a few blows from the opposing Avengers.
After this conflict, Stark’s influence on the impressionable Parker leads the teenager to continue crime-fighting on his own. This is partly because Stark completely dismisses Parker after the events of Civil War, telling him to return to his studies.
However, for Parker, having Stark ignore his call for a father figure is extremely cruel, especially when it was Stark who gave him his first taste of a major battle and dons him the high-tech Spider-Man suit.
13 HE'S A HYPOCRITE
In Iron Man, Stark goes from being a chauvinistic, self-absorbed bachelor to saving the city from impending danger and criminal masterminds.
The change seems heartfelt... but then the other MCU movies roll around.
In Captain America: Civil War, Stark criticizes Steve Rogers/Captain America for his thought-process regarding "The Sokovia Accords," a government accords imposed on the Avengers.
Just as Stark acts instinctually by creating Ultron, Rogers is bases his opinions on his gut reaction-- he's nervous that these accords will prevent the Avengers from defending the innocent and defenseless.
When Rogers fails to meet eye-to-eye with S.H.E.I.L.D. and Stark, Stark resorts to recruiting members within his own team to fight against Captain America and the opposing Avengers.
In this instance, Stark turns the Avengers against one another. For someone trying to promote peace, Stark sure causes a lot of the friction in this debate.
12 12 HE SOLD WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
Though Stark Industries has long-since stopped manufacturing weaponry, it still did so for many, many years.
It was only after being caught in the Jericho Missle explosion that Stark decided that his weapons were too dangerous to continue making.
However, Stark's partner, Obediah Stane, secretly continues negotiating Stark's weaponry with the "Ten Rings," a terrorist group that gives Stane leftover technology from Stark's first suit. Stane uses this technology to create his own prototype and goes on a massive crime spree.
Also, in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Pietro and Wanda Maxinoff seek revenge against Stark, as his weapons are responsible for their parents' demise. They join Ultron to fulfill this goal and cause all sorts of trouble for the Avengers.
These are just two accounts of villains driven by Stark's destructive technology, but there are many more to choose from.
11 S.H.E.I.L.D. Doesn't Like Dealing With Him
Though he's gotten a better hold of his ego, Iron Man's know-it-all personality makes him nearly impossible to work with.
Even as a fellow Avenger, he's clashed verbally and in battle with all his teammates at some point or another. However, a definite sign that Iron Man can't be team player happens when even S.H.E.I.L.D. refuses to incorporate him into its team.
Granted, Nick Fury has a special personality of his own, but he's definitely more grounded than Stark (he's S.H.E.I.D.'s leader for a reason).
After the events of Iron-Man 2, Fury and the rest of S.H.E.I.L.D. decide that Iron Man's difficult personality makes him an unfit candidate, stating that they’ll seek him out only when necessary. Talk about the highest form of rejection.
10 HE'S OBSESSED WITH HIS CREATIONS
First off, Tony Stark personally sees through the launching of his weaponry, as he does with the Jericho missile in the first Iron Man. He then often becomes obsessed with said creations.
For example, he becomes fixated upon the Iron Man suit prototype, devoting an unruly amount of time to perfecting the model. After the events of The Avengers, he stays up day and night creating Iron Man suit after Iron Man suit.
In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Stark creates Ultron without giving a second-thought to the dangers that this new artificial intelligence.
Also, one of the biggest signs of his obsession is him giving Peter Parker the enhanced Spider-Man suit, well aware that Parker was new to such advanced technology. Iron Man's not just obsessed with his technology, he’s downright reckless with it.
9 HE FLEW AROUND INUBRIATED IN THE IRON MAN SUIT
In Iron Man 2, Iron Man learns that the arc reactor keeping him alive is also slowly poisoning him. Thinking that his days are numbered, he holds one last, lavish party in his mansion.
His reckless behavior gives way when he flaunts his suit's powers in a room full of his guests, blowing stuff up and just barely missing some of them.
When his best friend James Rhodes puts on the Mark II suit model to stop his recklessness, they get into a fight while all of Stark's guests are still around.
Iron Man and Rhodes then take off into the sky and continue their fight mid-air. It's a rather explosive battle, and even when it ends in a stalemate, Iron Man's completely unapologetic about the on-watchers who he could’ve harmed.
8 HE'S EASILY BLINDED BY ANGER
Iron Man's impulsiveness isn't a mystery to fans. In Iron Man, he burns the Ten Rings workshop after they take out Yinsen. In Iron Man 2, he can't stand the idea of Rhodes ridiculing him in front of his guests and taking away his Mark II model, which leads to their midair fight.
Also, in The Avengers, Stark fights against Thor despite knowing that they're both fighting the same cause, and in Avengers: Age of Ultron, he goes into full battle with Hulk and delivers him some near-fatal blows.
There are many examples of Stark being blinded by anger.
Even in Captain America: Civil War, he goes into battle against Bucky Barnes when he discovers that he took the lives his parents, despite knowing that it was part of Barnes' brainwashing.
When Captain America intervenes the fight, Iron Man continues delivering punches, ready to take him out too. When Iron Man's angry, no one seems to be safe.
7 HE EASILY TURNS ON HIS FRIENDS
Iron Man has turned against his friends on countless occasions. In most cases, it's his ego that forces him to side against his friends.
In Iron Man 2, he fights Rhodes without hesitation and in Avengers: Age of Ultron, he and Captain America get at it when Stark secretly reboots J.A.R.V.I.S.
This is seen again in Captain America: Civil War, where Stark doesn't just fight one friend, but also pits the Avengers against each other for the greater good of humanity.
By the end of the movie, Stark is going fist-to-fist with Captain America in his attempt to finish-off Bucky Barnes.
Also, in Spider-Man: Homecoming, he abruptly cuts all ties with Peter Parker, and to add insult to injury, strips the web-slinger of his high-tech suit. Stark turns on his friends in the blink of an eye and seemingly with no regard for their feelings or wellbeing.
6 HE CAN'T FULLY COMMIT TO PEPPER POTTS
Tony Stark has treated women offensively since day one. Apparently unfazed by his lifestyle, Pepper Potts sees woman after woman in Stark’s home and escorts them out the following morning.
Yet, the romantic tension between them is undeniable and they eventually start dating in Iron Man 2.
In Iron Man 3, though, Stark acts completely out of character by getting rid of all his Iron Man suits, telling Potts, "I have to protect thing I can't live without." However, even to this day he still hasn’t popped the question or ever really considered her feelings.
Worst off, Stark continues to treat women degradingly after this. For example, in Spider-Man: Homecoming, he flirts with May Parker shamelessly despite still being involved with Pepper Potts.
Even though the movie ends with Stark asking Happy to give him a ring, there's no indication that an actual proposal ever happens, and even if it does, he should not be shamelessly flirting with random women if he is involved with someone.
5 HE STEPS ON PEOPLE TO ACHIEVE SUCCESS
Stark's entire empire is built upon his ruthless business practices. In Iron Man, Stark sells weapons of mass destruction worldwide and only begins to give their destructiveness attention when he becomes a victim of their force.
Meanwhile, in The Avengers, Stark gets into a brutal battle with Thor over which authorities Loki will respond to. In this instance, Stark is willing to bring down (assumably end the life of) Thor just to turn Loki into S.H.E.I.L.D. and look good in the process.
Another example of this can be seen in Captain America: Civil War, when the Avengers are dealt the aftermath of Stark and Banner's bad decision making after creating Ultron.
When S.H.E.I.L.D. proposes the "Sokovia Accords" to keep the team under control, Stark all too willingly accepts. Why? Probably to drive attention away from the fact that he's number one when "being kept in check" is involved.
4 HE'S RESPONSIBLE FOR MANY CIVILIAN CASUALTIES
When it comes to Iron Man, it's shocking to realize that he's actually managed to save so many lives.
In Iron Man, the weapons he's selling in Afghanistan claimed civilian lives in their wake. If this was not done directly through Stark's supervision, then it was certainly done through Stane (to Stark's credit, he didn't know what Stane was using his technology for terrorist dealings).
In the final fight between Iron Man and Stane, civilians are everywhere, so there's no way that a few didn't go down amidst the action.
Also, in Iron Man 2, the Monaco fight sequence claims countless civilian lives-- there was a stadium full of people after all, and in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ultron does a number on Sokovia and people drop like flies all around.
Overall, Iron Man has claimed the lives of a lot of people.
Though he may not have done this knowingly, these massacres still happened nonetheless.
3 HE DOESN'T RESPECT WOMEN
Tony Stark's known for being smooth with the ladies. In his bachelor days, this routine included a fancy dinner and an invitation home, only to have Pepper dismiss the women shortly after.
When Stark and Pepper finally start dating, this doesn't change Stark's chauvinistic behavior completely. After discovering that his days are numbered in Iron Man 2, he throws one last, uproarious birthday party and shows off his suit's abilities in a room filled with... mostly women, who he tried desperately to impress.
Most recently, he’s developed an interest in May Parker, making not-so-subtle flirtatious remarks to her every time he visits Peter Parker.
With this trend, it's shocking that he's able to work alongside the strong-willed Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, and it’s even more shocking that he’s managed to maintain his relationship with Pepper Potts.
2 HE HAS QUESTIONABLE LOYALTIES
Tony Stark's friends list seems to change pretty often. One day he's one person's ally, the next he's butting heads and ready to suit up and take to the sky to battle.
In Iron Man, he's friends with Stane and the rest of his associates. However, he then quickly becomes their enemy after discovering Stane shady dealings with the Ten Rings.
Rhodes is Stark's best friend but suddenly becomes his rival at one point when he decides to try on one of Stark's Iron Man suits.
In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Stark gets into a heated battle with Hulk and is seemingly willing to take him down to win. Also, in Captain America: Civil War, Stark turns against half of his team just because they refuse to agree with the Sokovia Accords. At least half these changes of heart happen purely on a whim.
1 HE’S AN EMOTIONAL WRECK
Iron Man is the most angsty and emotional member of the Avengers. His ego's overinflated and he takes criticism harshly, especially when it involves his precious creations.
He's never apologized for the damage that his weaponry has inflicted on innocent people. This can be seen with Ultron, as he never apologizes for the devastation that the being causes, despite the fact that it's partly his fault.
His biggest exhibition of emotional disequilibrium is seen when he discovers that Bucky Barnes claimed the lives of his parents. Instead of realizing that Barnes was brainwashed at the time and thus acting against his own accord, Iron Man goes into a fit of rage and attacks Barnes head-on.
Matters become worse when Captain America gets involved, as Iron Man chooses to fight against him as well. While Iron Man ends up subdued at the end of the conflict, his actions were unjustifiable.
What do you think? Is Iron Man the worst member of the Avengers? Do you think he's the best? Let us know in the comments!