6 Seriously Flawed Moral Decisions By Movie Superheroes

Superhero movies have become so grown-up as a genre that we often preclude children from even watching them now. These days, you can’t get a superhero movie greenlit unless it’s a dour meditation on the gray areas of morality.

Which attains it even weirder that the worst things superheroes do are usually totally ignored by the movie. They merely skim right over the fact that …


Iron Man’s Mission In Life Is To Endanger Children

Tony Stark has some character flaws, but most of them are pretty ordinary. For instance, he drinks too much, he’s an egomaniac, and he sometimes stimulates robots that try to kill the world. But Iron Man also has a bit of small children endangerment problem.

We know what you’re thinking: “Child endangerment? Are you mixing him up with Batman, the other billionaire who fights crime with gadgets? ” And to that we say, at the least Batman asked Robin to volunteer to jump into a gunfight with nothing but hot pants. Iron Man doesn’t even ask before putting children in harm’s way.

Never mind the risks of flinging explosives into terrorist-occupied villages while hoping all nearby infants know to flee from the sounds of AC/ DC. In Iron Man 3 , there’s a sequence in which Tony is on the run and happens upon a young boy named Harley Keener. Stark has no super armor, assassins are on his tail, and he chooses to hang out with an innocent infant. Yes, the kid has a stupid name, but is it hope-he-gets-hit-by-a-grenade stupid?

Marvel Studios
“Children aren’t safe around me, son. Not when my suit is off. No, wait, that “re coming out” wrong. Don’t run! I didn’t mean it like that! ”

And Tony doesn’t only pass by Harley during his desperate flight from certain demise. He awkwardly opens up to the kid and lets him join in a fun investigation into the Mandarin’s assaults. Tony Stark is a man who has Captain America’s phone number, and when he’s followed up by terrorists he prefers instead to grab the nearest son and look for clues? He’s already proven in the movie that he vastly underestimated his adversaries, so he probably shouldn’t gamble a strange kid’s life on his certainty that no cyberterrorists can track him to rural Tennessee.

Even after the adventure is over, Stark is apparently convinced that the bad guys are altogether wiped out and that no one would ever think of targeting Harley, because he expends exactly zero SHIELD resources into protecting the kid and essentially disappears from their own lives like an unbelievably snarky imaginary friend. They might as well have filmed a post-credits sequence where the child is tied to a table in a Hydra base getting interrogated by a snake-headed human, because that’s almost certainly what happened after Tony left.

Marvel Studios
“Wait, how do I use this? ”

Ever the learner of lessons, Tony continues his child-endangering ways in Captain America: Civil War . The feud between him and Steve Rogers stems from a conflict over what to do with the Winter Soldier. Captain America considers him a friend, while Iron Man considers him an assassin mind-controlled by Nazis. Both sides have valid points, and it aims up turning into a fight. So while Cap recruits a team of highly trained soldiers, Stark makes a beeline for a teenage Spider-Man and practically blackmails him into joining his side. Again, to opposed a man he’s very sure is an unstoppable killing machine.

To make matters weirder, Tony procured Spider-Man by spying on him until he figured out he was secretly a high school kid from Queens. And since he’s plainly collecting intel on metahumans, he could have just as easily gone one borough in any direction and recruited a ninja lawyer, a superstrong private detective, or an invincible badass — all of them full-grown adults.

So yes, any nerd knows Spider-Man is the best hero, but as far as Tony knew, Peter was just an awkward teenager with potentially awesome abilities. Of all the choices, why pick him to go up against history’s greatest fist fighter and a Nazi cyborg assassin if you’re not specifically trying to watch small children succumb?


Superman Had To Have Been Willfully Ignoring Batman For Many Months

Hot Take Alert: Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice was not a good movie. Despite coming from the same studio that produced the Oscar-winning masterpiece Suicide Squad , the fan reaction to BVS ranged from letdown to 9/11 comparisons. The movie blended the two most popular characters ever with the most popular Batman story ever and it still gone over as well as Jared Fogle leaping out of your child’s birthday cake. The point is, you can’t dislike this movie any more even now, when you’re also picturing Jared Fogle bursting out of a cake wearing only two inches of an Italian herb-and-cheese loaf.

Some fans claim the extended, R-rated cut of the movie is better. Which in this case is like saying, “You have scrotum cancer, but good news: All scrotum cancer diagnoses come with a free cowboy hat.” And while the extended version does help explain some of the nonsense in Batman V Superman , it also adds some plot holes of its own that attain the heroes look like all the more important dicks.

The torturously longer version tacks on an entire subplot explaining why Superman has a problem with the Bat in the first place. Admittedly, any explanation is better than “Lex Luthor told me to kill you, so unless our mamas have the same first name, you’re freaking dea- Wait, what’s that? You said your mom’s name was what ?! “

So, in the film we learn that Gotham and Metropolis exist right across a bay from one another. We also learn Batman has been active for about 20 years and that his violent vigilantism has escalated to the point where he’s practically crippling jaywalkers.

Superman, as journalist Clark Kent, starts investigating Batman’s overzealous crime-fighting and chooses he’s not happy with it. It constructs sense Superman would disagree with mutilating criminals, but that’s their own problems. Are we to believe Superman is just now finding out Batman exists?

The Bat is various kinds of sneaky, but he drives a automobile shaped like a at-bat and get summoned by an iconic spotlight, also shaped like a at-bat. He’s not exactly a secret. He beats suspects to the brink of death and then burns bat shapes into their mangled flesh while they scream. The whole day Superman was in town, was he overhearing this with his super-ears and just thinking person at Chili’s was dropping a hot fajita pan in their lap?

Actually, forget super-senses — this kind of thing would be the top news headline every day, likely at Clark Kent’s own newspaper. If he somehow didn’t know about the hilariously world-famous vigilante from one town over until just now, you have to seriously topic his abilities as both a superhero and a reporter.


The Hulk Took A Terrible Job In A Densely Populated City

If you turn into a city-smashing ogre at the smallest bit of excitement, you need to spend a lot of your time drifting. No you want to be able to rent you an apartment when your 53 previous homes were suspiciously destroyed by Hulk rampage and also you’re shirtless wearing torn purple pants.

Marvel was once able to milk an entire TV series out of the Hulk drifting somewhere, doing Hulk stuff, then sadly drifting on at the end of each episode. 2008 ‘s The Unbelievable Hulk , the Edward Norton one, went a different direction. The movie opens with Bruce Banner settled into a life, working in a bottling plant with no safety standards in a seedy part of Rio de Janeiro. And when you think about it, in the history of anything, is there a worse place for a Hulk to live?

No, previous paragraph. There isn’t. Not only is that terrible undertaking almost certain to piss him off, Rio is about as densely populated as it gets. A single Hulk-out could mean the deaths of thousands and thousands of sculpted butts. And the fact that Bruce has to jostle himself through muggers and literal rapists to get to work? That can’t help.

And let’s not forget an elite military force is scouring the globe for him and he is in a place where his famously wanted American face would be especially conspicuous. The only style Bruce could have a higher chance of a frenzy rampage would be if he got a job testing mousetraps with his penis or proof-reading Garfield comics.

If Ryan Lochte, the world’s most chill dude, can’t manage Rio, a gamma-filled Bruce Banner doesn’t stand a chance. And sure enough, one of the first things we see is Bruce having a confrontation with his co-workers. Apparently tensions run high in noisy, miserable, 110 -degree warehouses. What is he doing there? He’s a genius biochemist. Couldn’t he make artisanal suntan lotion or butt cream? Are you telling us there’s no market for butt cream in Brazil? Come on, Hulk.


Howard Stark Hid A World-Changing Element To Play Mind Games With His Son

We’re not going to win any awards for thematic analysis by suggesting dickishness might run in the Stark family. Tony “Iron Man” Stark practically constructed his brand by being an ass to everyone. And as we see in Marvel movie flashbacks, he got that from his father.

Fans of the Agent Carter series — or one guy named Jeff, as they are known to the Nielsen Company — can tell you that Howard Stark was a megalomaniacal ass. The only reason Howard didn’t construct his own robot suit was because his poontanging schedule didn’t allow it. In short, being a douche is a dominant gene in the Stark DNA.

You likely don’t recollect Iron Man 2 , since you expended the movie discussing how the film’s rogue, Whiplash, could have been solved by any ordinary security guard with a gun, but the plot involved trouble with the palladium in Tony’s chest. You see, palladium is great for powering a rocket-launching jetsuit, but has the troublesome side effect of slowly and painfully killing its owner. And since Zack Snyder already called dibs on “superhero movie where you just watch a guy wither and die for 150 minutes, ” they had to find a way for Tony to replace his toxic pacemaker. So he got help from his dickish dead dad.

Tony knew he needed an entirely new element to replace the palladium, because Iron Man exists in a world where rewriting the fundamental laws of chemistry is less complicated than heart surgery. Luckily, he discovers his father already dreamed up the mystery part, but took his research to the grave. Doubled fortunately, Nick Fury shows up with a diorama and a video tape that form a complex series of clues merely Tony can decipher. So he has a team-up with his deceased parent to achieve a historic scientific breakthrough while also detecting his father secretly loved and respected him all along!

It’s a sweet tale if you’re a Stark, but bizarrely selfish if you’re anyone else. Howard created a miracle part that could have changed the world, and instead of developing it into a life-saving, free-power-generating technology, he hid it in a cute game merely his neglected son could solve so that he could learn he was loved far too late. Which means the working day Howard Stark had to have believed, “I love my son, but I’d also love to set the world record for most convoluted way to tell him that.”

If Howard would have only hugged that kid, the second Iron Man movie could have actually been about robot suit combats instead of scavenger hunts.


In Spider-Man 3 , Forgiving a Murderer/ Bank Robber Means Letting Him Go Free

Let’s recap this film a little bit, since human brains aren’t designed to hold onto information as useless and awful as the plot of Spider-Man 3 . The theme of the movie is forgiveness, which is appropriate because after he made this, Sam Raimi’s future career depended on it. Also, every character in this pile of garbage is an obnoxious dork who hurts everyone around them.

Peter Parker and Harry Osborn, the Green Goblin, forgive each other for whatever nonsense it was they were fighting over, and Mary Jane forgives Peter for punching her in the face.

The apologies don’t end there. Spider-Man forgives the Sandman, who killed his uncle and definitely several more people during the many bank thefts he commits over the course of the cinema. And when we say “forgives the Sandman” we mean Spider-Man stands there and watches the teary-eyed assassin crumble away like a glitchy PS1 cutscene.

You might be thinking to yourself, “Wait, there was no trial for the killings? ” Nope. There will also be no restitution to the other victims, who were not consulted as to whether or not they were willing to forgive. But don’t worry — the Sandman, like most psychopathic sand monsters, will presumably just stop after he sees out there are no outcomes for theft and murder.

Also, let’s be clear on one more thing: Throughout the entire cinema, the police are powerless to stop Sandman. And this isn’t the cool Marvel movie cosmo where there are Norse gods, super soldiers, and terrific archers. In this world, Spider-Man is the only superhero available to stop Sandman if he decides to kill his route into another bank vault. Unless Spidey decides to once again forgive him on behalf of society.

On a similar note …


The Protector Of The Galaxy Should Never Have Been Set Free

Guardians Of The Galaxy couldn’t have ended on a happier note. The Guardians defeat Ronan The Accuser with a combination of dancing and holding hands, which is a thing that really happened. Star-Lord get his ship back, Groot comes back from certain death as an adorable dancing baby, and our heroes even get their criminal records expunged. It is a perfectly wonderful objective that ties up every loose end. Or does it?

What is going to happen when the news infringes to the rest of the galaxy? The premier interstellar police force just let a crew of violent crooks run. And sure, they saved a planet, but they did it with a weapon of cosmic mass destruction they had themselves been smuggling. There wasn’t even a trial or a psych evaluation, and they left with no real reassurance that they’d stop slaughtering people.

In fact, before the Guardians fly away, their raccoon makes it clear he guesses robbery is a virtue. And their Drax depicts he patently has no idea slaying is incorrect. Gamora’s situation is even worse because one of the crimes she is pardoned for is actual freaking genocide.

You ensure, Gamora is the adopted daughter of Thanos, the Conqueror Of A Decade’s Worth Of Post-Credit Scenes. Along with her sister, Nebula, Gamora committed atrocities in the name of her corduroy-chinned father, up to and including wiping out entire races. When she enters prison with the rest of the Protector, almost every single inmate wants her dead because of her bloody road of murder.

So say you’re some space guy in the galaxy and you hear they pardoned the masterminds of a prison riot that, let’s not be coy, got hundreds sexually infringed and/ or killed. They’re the same people who devoted a planet-melting gem to the worst guy in the universe, and have collectively killed too many sentient people to count. Would it truly matter to you if they helped defend space police headquarters or that they have fun dance-alongs to classic pop makes from Earth? Who is running the damned Nova Corps payroll board?

Stephan infrequently tweets over at @StephanRoget, where he’s mostly chuffed he didn’t need to use an underscore or anything. Nathan is a Christian and is positive that “letting assassins operate free” is NOT what Jesus meant by forgiveness. Check out Nathan’s hilarious website here. DO IT .

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