Being in a fandom inevitably comes with having differing opinions on things, and in the Marvel fandom, there are a lot of varying opinions out there on a myriad of topics.
There are some things we can all agree on, like that Howard Stark was a crap father, "Age of Ultron" wasn't as good as it should've been, and Peter Parker must be protected at all costs. But then comes the difference of opinion, and the fandom divides.
I'm not necessarily here to cause more drama and division, but there is some tea that must be spilled.
1. Sharon Carter is a great and necessary character.
Most people hate her for the awkward Staron kiss, claiming the chemistry between the two was forced and unnatural. Even more simply dislike Sharon, sending hate to the actual actor behind the character, Emily VanCamp.
Maybe it's partly because I adore Emily, but I've always found Sharon to be an incredible character. She has moral integrity as one of the few sticking with S.H.I.E.L.D. instead of HYDRA, is unapologetic about doing her job, and can kick major butt. If she wasn't around, there would be no one to rally the other S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to fight back against HYDRA, no one to inspire Cap to stand his ground, no one to feed him intel and no one to retrieve their suits for them.
I will say this over and over until it's understood: Sharon is there to be more than Steve's love interest.
2. Laura Barton shouldn't be hated on for destroying anyone's ship, but she would've worked better as Clint's sister.
Another movie, another female character for fans to hate because she stepped in and "ruined" their ship.
Many fans of Clintasha were disappointed by the revealing of Laura and the Barton kids. I found the twist unexpected but sweet, showing a mature side of Clint we had never seen before. But over time, I've come to be a bit angry about it, given Clint's fear of commitment.
The MCU really gives us a different Clint, one that's not deaf or as Scott Lang-ish as his comic counterpart, and I, for one, am severely disappointed. Which is why I think Laura would've worked better as Clint's sister. He's still protecting a family--his family--and her line about "These kids need a father, but they need a world, too" can easily be modified to include "uncle," and his motivation could be the same.
So while I think her relation to Clint should've been different in order for his character to do the comics justice, I will never accept or entertain any Laura-related hate. And I'm also kind of super excited to see how her character affects Clint in "Avengers 4."
3. "Iron Man 3" is one of the best "Iron Man" films, and that Mandarin twist was superb.
For reasons I cannot and will not ever fathom, "Iron Man 3" is disliked by many.
But why is this the case when we have Tony Stark's trademark humor, Tony befriending Harley, Tony suffering from PTSD and anxiety attacks, 90s Tony, Tony being Iron Man and kicking butt without the suit and Pepper destroying a guy AND in the suit trying to save Tony?
Some say the Mandarin twist was stupid and fell flat, but I--and major spoiler warning her--think it's for another reason. AKA Tumblr user zenyatta said this and I wholeheartedly agree:
*kid presenting meme* Iron Man 3 was a good movie you're all just unnerved by the plot twist because it revealed that the white American mastermind was behind the whole terrorist ploy instead of just paining muslims as the stereotypical bad guy terrorist
And that's the tea, sis.
4. Stony is the most beautiful friendship and the MCU did them so dirty.
Disclaimer: I have read only a few comics and don't actually watch anything outside of the MCU. But I've seen enough about it to see how great of a team Steve and Tony could be, and I'm outraged at what the MCU did to them.
In any other universe, "Earth's Mightiest Heroes," "Avengers Assemble" and the comics, Steve and Tony lead the Avengers together, sometimes fighting, but always making up and having each others' backs.
In the MCU, they consistently bicker and butt heads until they ultimately tear the team apart. Still, they've had some great moments where they got along and deferred to one another, leading as the ultimate pair of best friends that they should be.
(But @ Marvel execs, if you screw up Tony and Carol's friendship the same way you did Steve and Tony's, I will personally come after you.)
5. Both Team Iron Man and Team Cap were right in "Civil War."
Maybe it's because I love them both (though I definitely love Tony more, sorry not sorry), but I believe each team in "Civil War" were equally right--and equally wrong.
Tony came at the Accords from the perspective of everything that had happened to him in "Iron Man" and everything he had done in "Age of Ultron." His father's best friend, his mentor and partner, Obadiah Stane, betrayed him and was secretly providing Tony's inventions and weapons to terrorists and fanatic groups. His whole arc in the first film was about taking responsibility and getting accountability. Then the whole Ultron mess, which was done out of the best intentions, still wrought so much destruction, turmoil and death.
Steve, on the other hand, has been used by the government since he became Captain America. In the 40s, he had to go against the military and rescue Bucky and other soldiers after being told not to. Then he sacrifices himself, becomes a Capsicle for 70 years, and when he wakes up and joins the fight once more, he finds out S.H.I.E.L.D. and most of its leadership has been HYDRA all along.
Steve majorly distrusts the government to guide them whereas Tony desires that level of accountability. So their differing opinions on the Sokovia Accords are natural, however, they go about their disagreement in a sometimes petty and childish manner, instigating fight after fight and argument after argument.
And in regards to Bucky, both are right and wrong again, too. Steve understandably wants to protect his best friend who is wrongfully accused of an attack, but he keeps important information about Bucky and the Stark parents from Tony.
Tony, because he initially agrees with the Accords, has agreed to bring in Barnes, but does so so that it's not a SWAT team looking to kill them. He immediately changes his mind and joins Cap, however, when he learns of the truth. His reaction to fighting Steve and Bucky after finding out about his parents may have been wrong, but it was completely understandable (it's also why he tries to calm Quill down in "Infinity War," because my boy always learns from his mistakes).
In every way, my children were at the same time right and wrong. Which is kind of how life works anyway.
6. The MCU shows are works of art and the movies should should do more to include them rather than the other way around.
There's a certain depth and grittiness the Marvel Netflix shows possess that the movies lack, and "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." has had more diversity, plot twists, and character development than most of the movies. The Russos very nearly brought in some superheroes from the shows in "Infinity War," but ultimately decided against it. This is preposterous! Bring Matt Murdock and Daisy Johnson to the big screen, you cowards!
7. Staron is a cute ship.
To every hater who thinks it's weird because she's Peggy's great-niece: she and Steve got married in the comics anyway! Take it up with the OG comic writers and stop hating on Emily VanCamp!
They're both driven, kind people who will always do what they feel is right, no matter what it costs. They're flirty and cute, and if they had been given enough screentime, they could've been as adorable as their comic counterparts.
Yet another relationship the MCU kinda screwed up.
8. "Defenders" is the best Marvel Netflix show.
We only got eight episodes of this incredible team-up, and it was so good that I've seen it at least five times. It's got characters we know and love from their solo shows banding together to come against a Big Bad. It somehow combines the feel from each show, and the characters all have beautiful dynamics and banter. I'm still holding out hope for a second season, somehow.
(Also, full disclosure: the Defenders are better than the Avengers, and that's a fact.)
9. Tony Stark is kind, selfless, and a frigging hero.
Some people--plenty of my own friends--dislike Tony Stark, pegging him as selfish, narcissistic, a womanizer, a villain and overall jerk. They're wrong, of course, but I can never properly explain why without getting heated. This probably deserves it's own "In Defense of Tony Stark" article, but I'll trim it down for here.
He meets the Avengers and by the end of the film has already redesigned the Stark Tower into the Avengers Tower so they can all live with him, giving each of them their own floor. He is always inventing things for the people he loves, including a new shield for Cap as we learn in "Spider-Man: Homecoming" (which, it's worth noting, is after their falling-out in "Civil War"). He designs a suit for Peter to keep him safe in every situation.
He progresses from forgetting that Pepper was allergic to strawberries in "Iron Man 2" to remembering about Coulson's girlfriend in "Avengers" and knowing not only Happy's favorite show and when it's on, but why he likes it so much. Tony is not a heartless creature; if anything, he cares too much and is constantly taking note of the people he loves.
And he's willing to sacrifice himself for everyone else every. Single. Time.
And yet he's still the most hated hero in the Marvel fandom. He's changed and developed and grown so much over the past ten years, and it started back in "Iron Man"; he's not suddenly a good person now--he's been one all along. But still, he's painted as the villain. Never mind the fact that Scarlet Witch purposefully joined Ultron and screwed with people's heads just for fun, to cause chaos, subsequently unleashing the Hulk onto a bunch of people and killing them. And yet she's easily and readily forgiven by the Avengers and the fandom. Which is great! People should be given second chances. So why aren't people as ready to forgive Tony?
10. There are so many female characters who deserve their own solo movie.
Don't get me wrong, I am absolutely thrilled about the upcoming film! Nat has a fascinating backstory with the Red Room, the Winter Soldier, S.H.I.E.L.D. and Clint, and I can't wait to see those explored.
I'm also incredibly grateful for the female hero representation we've been getting as of late. Hope Van Dyne had a joint superhero movie with Scott Lang in "Ant-Man and the Wasp," "Captain Marvel" will fittingly be released on International Women's Day in 2019, and now Black Widow. Beyond the MCU, we're getting at least two "Wonder Woman" films and "Dark Phoenix" comes out next June--though the title and focus of the film is Jean, it's basically about the whole team, so I'm not sure it should count as a female-centric solo movie.
But the one problem I have with this wave of empowering female-led films is that these women are all....white. It's obvious that women need better representation in films, especially the action genre, so I'm grateful we're getting that. But women of color need that representation, too. So while I'm glad Black Widow is finally getting that recognition and I'm excited for the film, I would've preferred possibly one about Kamala Khan, AKA Ms. Marvel, AKA a Muslim teenager obsessed with the internet.
It's what we as a society need right now. We need intersectional representation.
While I'm always open to hearing new ideas and perspectives and changing my own, it's going to have to be some pretty strong arguments to influence these opinions. (But I will literally never ever ever ever ever EVER change my mind about Tony Stark, so go ahead and forget about convincing me otherwise now.)