Tony Stark is the biggest villain in the history of the MCU 2 months ago

Tony Stark is the biggest villain in the history of the MCU

We make an argument for how Iron Man has proven to be more dangerous than Thanos.

The Marvel movies and shows have had some great villains. Not a lot, but definitely some.

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Thanos was great, Loki (before this show gave him a new direction) was great, Killmonger in Black Panther was great, and Agatha in WandaVision was great. Nobody can argue that they weren't great villains.

There have also been plenty of bad villains - the weak sauce antagonists from Thor: The Dark World, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and the first Ant-Man immediately come to mind - but perhaps the most under-appreciated villain of the MCU to date is also the franchise's first hero.

On the sixth and final episode of TBR Spotlight: Loki [LISTEN from 44:15 below], Eoghan and Rory discuss the future implications of Sylvie's actions in the MCU:

It all ties back to a running theme throughout the Marvel movies and shows, in which we see the hero having a hand in the creation of their own villains.

And the biggest and most recurring offender of that is Tony Stark himself. Let us look at the evidence:

Iron Man - Stark's sudden change of business plans causes his second-in-command Obadiah Stane to go rogue in an attempt to keep Stark Industries profitable.

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Iron Man 2 - The Stark family's shady history with previous co-workers is what brings Whiplash out of Russian retirement, while Stark's competitive nature with Justin Hammer is what keeps that weapons creator going.

Iron Man 3 - Having essentially bullied and manipulated him to spend New Year's Eve alone, Stark is later reunited with Aldrich Killian, who is now a much more self-assured (and evil) man.

Avengers: Age Of Ultron - The movie's titular hero was literally created by Stark (and Bruce Banner, to be fair), when an attempt to build a protective AI system goes awry.

Captain America: Civil War - The fallout of Ultron resulted in the destruction of Sokovia, which killed the family of Baron Zemo, who then made it his life's mission to destroy the Avengers from within.

Spider-Man: Homecoming - Stark privately contracts a crew to clean up following the attack on Manhattan in Avengers Assemble, which puts a group of men out of work, causing one of them to start his own illegal gang and become The Vulture in the process.

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Spider-Man: Far From Home - We discover a long history of Stark's subordinates being brushed to one side in the wake of his larger-than-life personality, so they all begin to work together, under the leadership of Mysterio, to get revenge.

So we can see that Stark has specifically caused the creation of no less than seven antagonists, and that is without taking into account what Vision tells the group in Civil War, that there is a potential causality between Earth's new heroes and the arrival of intergalactic villains:

"Our very strength incites challenge. Challenge incites conflict. And conflict... breeds catastrophe." And the first step towards that strength was Tony Stark himself (at least in terms of the movies!).

And so, when we are introduced to Marvel's next big bad, we are hoping it won't find itself going down the same route...

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... only for Sylvie to go ahead and kill him.

The death of He Who Remains leaves the door open for his Variants to run free and we quickly see that one of them has designs on complete and total domination of each and every version of the universe.

And so we have another Marvel hero creating their own villain, except in this case, they've created one that could prove to be even more decimating than Thanos.

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But whether or not they'll actually be as dangerous as Tony Stark? That remains to be seen.