1. Iron Man Deserves More Credit

By Natalie Parkin

When it comes to the Marvel superheroes Iron Man and Captain America, the title of best Avenger has been a debate for a long time. Many argue Captain America, with his good heart and devotion to his friends and country is the best avenger. Others say Iron Man is the best because, well, he’s Iron Man — hilarious, rich, a genius and his iron suit can do it all. Although there is a lot that makes Captain America great, there is more to Iron Man that many people tend to overlook that push him to the top of the superhero rankings.

Let’s take it back to the Marvel facts. At the beginning of his story, Tony Stark (soon to be Iron Man), was at the top of his game. He had taken over his family’s successful business, Stark Industries, which sold weapons to the United States Military. He had money, fame and was, indeed, a playboy. The world was at his fingertips. He loved not caring about the world around him until he was taken hostage while giving a weapons presentation to an Iraqi unit led by Lt. Col. James Rhodes.

Stark was taken behind enemy lines and held by terrorists for several months. While there, he was shocked to see his weapons, the very weapons he had designed, in the hands of the enemy. His weapons were being used to kill and harm the people he thought he was protecting.

Upon escaping, he shocked the world by putting a sudden halt on the entire Stark Industries.

“I had my eyes opened,” Stark said. “I came to realize that I had more to offer this world than just making things that blow up. And that is why, effective immediately, I am shutting down the weapons manufacturing division.”

In secret, he invented and perfected the Iron Man suit and used it anonymously to protect innocent lives from the weapons he had created. He destroyed the weapons himself and seized the power from the enemies he had unknowingly given it to.

Let’s stop here for a moment and review. Stark, a man who had the world given to him since he was a child, was, in an instant, willing to sacrifice and give up all that he had — his money, family company and reputation — to protect the people and the country he loved and cared about so deeply.

That sounds a lot like someone we know — Captain America. Iron Man and Captain America are both willing to protect their friends, family and country with all they have to offer, both willing to sacrifice everything they have in order to do what they know to be right. On that level, they are equal.

Yes, there are advantages that Captain America has that Stark never possessed. For example, Captain America was born without strength and power. He knew the value of strength, because he had always known weakness.

Stark, of course, came from different circumstances. Since birth, he had grown up in a world where fame, fortune and success were given to him due to his family’s reputation and longtime success (Remember back to Captain America’s creation in the lab. Not only was Dr. Abraham Erskine present in the creation of the first Avenger, but so was Howard Stark — Tony Stark’s father).

Tony Stark did not have any control over the success of the family he was born into, but because of his family’s lifestyle, he has been able to use those situations for good. He had the means to create a suit to protect others, the fame to make a difference in the world and the reputation of, not just a playboy, but a good man with the courage to do the right thing despite the consequences.

Yes, Stark made mistakes, such as creating Ultron. But humanity has learned one simple truth from faults; mistakes make you stronger. Richard Branson, an English business magnate, investor and philanthropist, said, “You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and by falling over.” From the slip-up of creating Ultron, Tony Stark, with the help of others, created a more powerful ally; Vision.

Just because Iron Man has a sense of humor, a full bank account and the brain of a genius does not mean he is any less a hero. If anything, it makes him more so. Underneath those playboy acts and iron suit is a man who knows the value of courage and moral integrity. The arc reactor in his chest is proof Tony Stark does, indeed, have a heart and uses his experiences to serve the world to the best of his abilities.

letters@chronicle.utah.edu

@TheChrony

2. In Support of Captain America

By Alisa Patience

I hate it when there are arguments over who the best Avenger is. They’re all such different characters who are powerful and heroic in their own ways. It really isn’t fair to compare them, but I will propose here an argument for Captain America nonetheless.

“Civil War” was a nightmare for me. Nothing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe tore my heart in half as much as the moment in “Civil War” when Steve (Captain America) smashed Tony’s (Iron Man’s) chest piece after the fight. My breath caught in my throat, because for a second I forgot Tony didn’t need it anymore. But did Steve know that? Would Steve have killed Tony?

Many Marvel fans have problems with Steve becoming an outlaw because of how patriotic he once was. His loyalty to the government is a huge part of his character, but this didn’t ruin Steve. In fact, it gave him more depth and made perfect sense considering everything he went through.

Steve’s refusal to sign the Sokovia Accords and his leaving the Avengers was because of how he stood for freedom and the people. He personally felt like it was his responsibility to protect his people when the government wouldn’t. Contrary to what people might think, Steve was never comfortable being a pretty boy for the government to use. His story showed the problem with acting like America was the best country in the world but not living up to the hype. Becoming the first Avenger gave him the power to protect the American people in his own, honorable way. It makes perfect sense he wouldn’t give the government the power to control him again and to fight for freedom independently.

According to the “Infinity War” comic, Captain America’s arc is about to end, and now it’s time to acknowledge everything about him that makes him a great Avenger.

He never put friends above duty. This was made clear in “Winter Soldier.” Bucky was Steve’s best friend when they were small boys, before Steve became such a powerful man. But Steve was willing to do his job and take Bucky down for the greater good, even though it broke his heart.

His nobility made him the closest Avenger (besides Vision, who is arguably not human and was made to be the perfect hero) to lift Thor’s hammer. You can even see the fear in Thor’s face for a minute as Steve makes the hammer budge. Steve is also a gentleman, and his humble beginnings and being raised to speak to women respectfully make him the most gentlemanly of all the Avengers.

Let’s not forget the thing that made him an Avenger in the first place. It wasn’t because of brute strength, intelligence and wealth or because he was a god. It wasn’t skill with a bow and arrow, the ability to fly or because he was raised as an assassin. It wasn’t even the government experimentation that made him a sexy beast. It was his sacrifice. Plunging himself into the ice to save everyone else. His sacrifice froze him and made it possible for him to become the first Avenger. No other avenger had to do that, though everyone else earned their place in the Avengers in other amazing ways.

His ability to remain humble while leading arguably the most powerful army in the world is impressive. Very few Avengers could do that the way he did, and while I love Iron Man, Tony Stark most certainly isn’t that type of leader.

Maybe Captain America isn’t the most powerful, the richest of even smartest Avenger, but his story and his character demand respect. If you say your heart didn’t bleed for him when he woke up, realized what year it was and said, “Nothing, it’s just … I had a date,” then you’re just a liar.

letters@chronicle.utah.edu

@TheChrony

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