Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man Could Have Easily Won the Battle of New York if Not for His 1 Selfish Move


In 2012’s The Avengers, the eponymous team of superheroes won the Battle of New York, defeating Loki and his Chitauri army. Iron Man, AKA Tony Stark, guided a nuclear missile through Loki’s portal above the city, destroying the Chitauri mothership before Black Widow closed the portal using Loki’s Scepter and cutting off any extraterrestrial access to Earth.

However, they made much more complex work of winning the battle than they should have, as there was a much easier way. A Marvel Cinematic Universe fan recently posed a question that exposes a gaping plot hole in the movie and a damning oversight on the part of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes – particularly on the part of Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark.

The Battle of New York in The Avengers
The Battle of New York commences in The Avengers.

Given how much intelligence and battle strategy the Avengers have on their side, it’s a genuine mystery why they didn’t at least consider this alternate tactic to defeat their alien opponents.

How Could The Avengers Have Won More Easily?

The contraption created by the mind-controlled Erik Selvig to generate Loki’s portal was positioned on the top of Stark Tower – the skyscraper that would later become Avengers Tower. The device has an impenetrable barrier around it, which prevented the Avengers from disabling it until they figured out they could disable it using the Scepter, courtesy of Selvig being freed from his mind-control and revealing he’d subconsciously installed a failsafe to help them.

At that point, Natasha Romanoff used the Scepter to close it. But the portal’s position should have prompted the Avengers to try a more straightforward solution much earlier.

Given its position atop Stark Tower, the superheroes should have considered toppling the building or collapsing the roof or the upper floors. Selvig’s device would presumably fall through, and there’s a chance that it and the energy shield surrounding it would be compromised.

Erik Selvig in The Avengers
Erik Selvig setting up Loki’s portal on Stark Tower in The Avengers.

They had countless ways to do that; Hulk could have smashed the tower with brute force, Thor could have done the same using Mjolnir or his lightning blasts, and Hawkeye could’ve fired an explosive trick arrow at the structure. Moreover, Tony Stark could’ve used his intricate knowledge of the building he owned to do it himself using the offensive power of his armor.

Presumably, Stark knows the building so well that a precisely placed blast with a repulsor could’ve caused minimal damage to the whole structure while still bringing down the specific area on which the portal-generating device sat.

It’s such a plain-to-see and primitive method that it almost beggars belief nobody thought of it. Then again, maybe Tony Stark did think about it but had selfish motives not to reveal the idea or go ahead with executing it.

Why Would Tony Stark Decide Not To Go With This Method?

Although he since proved himself to be a selfless individual, the MCU’s Tony Stark was once a narcissistic, vain, and selfish man who thought only about himself. In The Avengers, his actions ultimately won the Battle of New York when he destroyed the Chitauri mothership and almost died doing it.

He emerged from the battle having made Iron Man a worldwide hero, but could he have had selfish motives for doing what he did instead of simply blowing up Stark Tower and destroying Selvig’s machine that way?

Iron Man in The Avengers
Loki’s portal closes around Iron Man in The Avengers.

Perhaps Stark was so determined to make himself look good that he took the spectacular route intentionally rather than the more straightforward method. Maybe he was so invested in himself that his life was a sacrifice worth making to earn more admiring headlines.

Or maybe he was so in love with himself that he saw Stark Tower as an extension of himself and didn’t want to see it tainted by blasting it to smithereens. Given how simple it would have been in comparison to what he ultimately did, it’s a possibility that has to be considered.



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