The 16 Worst Things MCU Superheroes Have Done
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Being a superhero is tricky business and even the best of the best make mistakes from time to time.
People make mistakes, that's just a fact of life--and superheroes, despite all the fancy technology and meta-human abilities, are really just people, right? Being fallible is what makes them interesting characters. But even with that being the case, the heroes of the MCU sure have made some…interesting choices over the course of their last decade of big-screen domination. And some are far worse than others, if we're being honest.
So, with that in mind, we've rounded up a list of the worst things done by heroes in the MCU. These things range from totally honest mistakes and misunderstandings, to flagrant shirking of responsibility and child endangerment. Some of them are intentional for the plots of the various shows and movies, while others--well, we'll let you decide if you think they were the fault of the writers miscalculating things or not.
Let us know which crimes deserve to be forgiven and who you think needs to deal with the consequences of their actions a bit more in the comments below.
1. Steve going back in time
This is admittedly a contentious one--so contentious in fact that the people who made Endgame can't seem to agree on how it actually works. Still, no matter how you read it or which camp you fall into, Steve Rogers bailing on the present day to go back and grow old in the 50s with Peggy was a pretty messed up thing to do. On one hand, you have a timeline where Captain America just sat back and let a bunch of historical atrocities take place. On the other, Steve stole a woman's life away from her and totally re-wrote the past for himself. In both cases, he peaced out when his friends and the world still needed him, if not to actually fight then to at least lay down some ground rules.
2. Tony outfitting a teenager with paramilitary weapons
Peter Parker may be a genius but handing over wildly advanced military-grade tech to a teenager still isn't a good idea, especially considering that both times it's happened (with the new Spider suit and the EDITH glasses) it's nearly gotten Peter killed. Not a great move, Tony.
3. Tony recruiting a teenager in the first place
Dovetailing in with the whole "paramilitary weapons" thing--what was up with Tony deciding to risk the life of a child during Civil War in the first place? Yes, you can make the argument that he was trying to give Peter some mentoring before he got himself hurt, but was sending him to Berlin to face off against some of the world's greatest heroes in a literal street fight the best way to do that?
4. Tony and Bruce making Ultron
Okay, this one gets something of a pass, at least compared to the rest of the things on this list. We understand that "doing science" is definitely just a thing that both Tony and Bruce do as characters in the MCU and, technically, Ultron gaining sentience wasn't their fault, but still. They really flew too close to the sun on this one.
5. Bucky and Natasha's whole history
This is less a personal judgement on Bucky and Natasha themselves, because they were both thoroughly brainwashed and conditioned, but their pasts spent murdering civilians and political adversaries has shaped too much of the present day MCU to just ignore. It may be neither of their faults, but it's still really bad.
6. Hawkeye pretending he doesn't have a family
When Age of Ultron introduced Clint's secret family, it retroactively made all his other appearances in the MCU feel a little--well, odd would probably be the nicest way to put it. We're not saying that people with families can't have dangerous jobs but the fact that it just never came up before as Clint was galivanting around, risking his life, being mind controlled, and presumably, never being able to spend time with his kids seems not great.
7. Hawkeye becoming a serial killer
And speaking of our good friend Hawkeye, Clint's brief stint as an international serial killing vigilante is definitely up there on the list of horrible things done by heroes--though the new Hawkeye show is attempting to deal with those loose ends now.
9. Wanda brainwashing an entire town
Another one from the Disney+ slate of TV shows, Wanda's stint as the brainwashing pseudo-cult leader of her own alternate reality may have provided us with some really fun and weird moments as fans but morally it's all pretty horrific. Maybe we'll get more into the fallout of these events in the upcoming Agatha Harkness spinoff show, but maybe not.
10. Vision almost killing Rhodey
In Civil War, Vision nearly becomes a full fledged murderer himself when he shoots and accidentally takes out Rhodey. Yes, it was obviously a mistake, but that doesn't make the near-death experience (and subsequent paralysis) any better.
11. T'Challa almost killing Bucky
Another almost-murder on the list, T'Challa's ill-fated vendetta against Bucky (who, as mentioned, has a torrid past himself but was actually innocent in this moment) made the whole team almost brush up against complete disaster. T'Challa rarely makes the wrong move--he's just too cool for that--but this one was a major mistake.
12. Dr. Strange being cryptic at the worst possible moment
Do you ever think about how much better Endgame could have been had Strange actually articulated the things shown to him by the Time Stone in a way that made sense in the moment? Because we do.
13. Scott's life of petty crime
This one is purely a technicality, we'll admit, but Scott Lang was a petty criminal prior to making the turn to being a hero--and he did spend the entirety of the first Ant-Man movie just barely making the change after he attempted to rob the Pyms.
14. Sam handing the shield over to the Smithsonian
Hindsight really is 20/20. Had Sam just held onto the shield and not handed it back to the government (who did, admittedly, totally betray him so that's not his fault), the whole of The Falcon & The Winter Soldier could have been avoided.
15. The Eternals doing nothing for hundreds of years
A more recent addition to the mix, Eternals introduced us to a whole pantheon of god-like superheroes who have lived on Earth for hundreds of years, but have never intervened in any of the various catastrophic events the planet has faced in that time. Yes, they had good reasons--and were operating under the assumption that they were being given good information from their boss, Arishem, but still. Imagine how much different the course of MCU history could have been if the Eternals had shown up earlier?
16. Steve kissing his fake niece
Finally, we're just going to address the elephant in the room: Steve kissing his pseudo-niece, in the light of all the time traveling he wound up doing, was really, really weird right?