schmevil: (ron and hermione)
schmevil ([personal profile] schmevil) wrote2012-01-20 11:06 am


I think my most hated character arc for Tony Stark is, "Tony Learns How To Be A Good Bourgeois Boy," where becoming (upper) middle class in terms of outlook, means becoming normal.

I kind of don't have the energy to fully expand on this idea right now, but the logic seems to be that taking on bourgeois mannerisms and behaviours means becoming a better, more normal person. ie. better living through dish washing, and no longer jet setting but staying home for family time with the team. It's not that I think that Tony's lifestyle is admirable, but that acting out a bourgeois lifestyle when you're one of the richest men in the world, is a bit gross, and could only ever be that--acting. I think Tony is most interesting as an Avenger, when you maintain the distance imposed by class, and influence. It creates a wonderful constant tension.

(Second most hated: Tony leads an unhealthy lifestyle. Let's force him to become a better person by hiding the coffee and forcing him to sleep!)

Just, Tony inhabits a particular super rich bubble, midway between Silicon Valley and New England old money, by way of the military industrial complex. His values and lifestyle are bit wonky even for the super rich. I'm far more interested in seeing how he can figure out to do good, without pretending to be something he isn't. Which is something that, by and large, the comics do well--Tony leverages those incredible (monetary, industrial, social, personal) resources to try to make the world a better place. Very often not successfully, but hey, storytime fun.
dirty_diana: colored pencils sit in an empty latte cup. (teacups)

[personal profile] dirty_diana 2012-01-20 04:34 pm (UTC)(link)
I seriously have a to-be-written piece in my head about how skeevy it is when character x forces character y to do "what's best for him". As decided by character x, y's opinion is not important. Kidnapping and assault totally okay methods because it's *for his own good*.

Yeah, anyway.
dirty_diana: war machine thrusters firing (war machine)

[personal profile] dirty_diana 2012-01-20 05:11 pm (UTC)(link)
YES. Well if you look at it as alcoholism being a type of disability, it basically falls under the reason I have a hard time writing it off as Not My Kink; the stories just end up reflecting all the shitty rl things folk believe about a person with a disability's right/ability to take care of themselves and make their own decisions. Because obviously if they could take care of themselves, they'd be cured already! Right?
torachan: (Default)

[personal profile] torachan 2012-01-20 08:44 pm (UTC)(link)
I can't take "for their own good" as just a story kink, because it usually reflects what people believe IRL, too, and that affects real people. For example, in SGA fandom, there is a shit ton of fics where John is forced to become less touch-averse, because that's "normal", and not liking to be touched must be due to ~trauma~ and not just natural human diversity.
valtyr: (Default)

[personal profile] valtyr 2012-01-20 05:32 pm (UTC)(link)
I like Tony as kind of an alien. Like Thor.

On the other hand, I'm a bit doubtful about your second example - family time with the team isn't necessarily glorifying bourgeois values? I mean, developing close relationships and having people he wants to spend more time with? It's one of my favourite thing about Marvel Adventures, that the team live together and they hang out and have fun together. (And it happens on occasion in 616 too - I can remember Classic Avengers and New Avengers stuff where he likes to hang out with the team.)
valtyr: (Nightcrawler)

[personal profile] valtyr 2012-01-20 05:58 pm (UTC)(link)
Well, from what we see Tony has two friends, counting Pepper. I guess he thinks he has three with Obie. So... I don't know. I do like the idea of found family, and I can completely see Tony bonding with a team he works closely with. While in 616 he hasn't bonded with all the Avengers, he's often become close to them - I love that Cassie calls him Uncle Tony, for instance.

Maybe it's that when he bonds with the team, it tends to be written as on their terms? They have team movie nights, not team let-me-fly-us-to-Vegas outings. As opposed to the movie, where Rhodey gets dragged to what Tony thinks is fun.

There's too often an element of everyone policing Tony, I think, which does all the characters an injustice. I want Natasha to be the impulsive one! When people are obstructive, she just smashes their heads against desks and Tony is D: always with the doing of horrible things. I did start to add a thread to my last fic where Natasha had anger management issues and bonded with Bruce but it was already too long.
valtyr: (spider-woman)

[personal profile] valtyr 2012-01-20 06:42 pm (UTC)(link)
Tension is good. Hard to write, but good to read. Although it's interesting to speculate about Clint and Natasha's respective pasts, and their interactions with money; if they have criminal backgrounds, or black op backgrounds, they may well be unawed by Tony's lifestyle. And Thor, of course, will not consider it so exciting. Your hall is tiny, Tony. :( Where do your warband gather?

Actually, want fic where they take it in turns to arrange Team Day, and start to get competitive.

Carol's from a fairly upscale background, isn't she? And she was Director of Security at NASA, and magazine editor. She's pretty socially up there, I guess, although we don't see much sign of that in the comics. (Just like we hardly ever see Jan running a successful company in one of the most cut-throat businesses going.)

It just seems like Tony is the wacky rule-breaker, and Steve and Pepper in particular get shuffled into the law-abiding well-behaved killjoy roles. Okay, there's some canon support for Pepper - although she is clearly capable of having fun - but Steve clearly cannot be having with rules. I doubt Natasha or Clint are rules-adherent for the sake of it, either. And I really doubt they give a fuck about coffee abuse. I'm quite sure they're familiar with the use of amphetamines to keep going. (Also, movie Tony shows no signs of having a serious coffee habit, and he doesn't seem to have difficulty getting up in the morning, so.)

Well, most of the Natasha we see is an act! The times she breaks character, it's snarky and she also resorts very rapidly to violence. She doesn't have to be an ice-cold ninja all the time, although I'll admit Terminator Natasha does make me smile.
scrollgirl: tony stark creating new element overlaid with iron man face plate (marvel tony)

[personal profile] scrollgirl 2012-02-08 02:01 am (UTC)(link)
Here via the network. I just wanted to say I completely agree with this post and really enjoyed the discussion you had in the comments. Have you read [personal profile] devildoll's Steve/Tony fic Semaphore? I won't spoil it for you if you haven't, but one thing I really appreciated about that story was Tony getting the chance to explain/defend that jetting off to Venice for the afternoon is his normal. He's never going to be anyone but Tony Stark, and pretending to be Joe Schmoe off the street would never be anything but a lie.