Taking down supervillains and crime syndicates is all well and good, but sometimes, it doesn’t make for the most riveting drama. It’s often much more exciting when it's superheroes who don’t get along for one reason or another, forcing fans and audiences to choose in a conflict where there are no “good” or “bad” sides - just sides.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has already had its fair share of intra-hero discord - whether it be superheroic relationship turmoil, misunderstanding-based punch-ups, or the occasional all-out Civil War. But those conflicts are all built upon decades of Marvel Comics history, where superheroes have years and years of personal history to draw upon - and that’s left plenty of time for some serious beef to develop between some of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
Captain America And Iron Man Went To War Twice, And Both Times Ended Horribly
When Captain America and Iron Man went to Civil War in the MCU, the emphasis was on the “civil,” but when they did so in the pages of Marvel Comics, it was all about the “war.”
The comic book Civil War was somewhat similar to the cinematic one in that it featured two sides led by Steve Rogers and Tony Stark, diametrically opposed on the subject of superhuman registration and government control. But it quickly spiraled out of control, with casualties on both sides, and it didn’t resolve itself all that peacefully. Instead, Cap decided to surrender to prevent any further casualties, only to be gunned down himself on the courtroom steps as he arrived for his public trial.
Even after Rogers inevitably returned to life, the relationship between him and Stark remained frosty for years. Eventually, they got back together to reassemble the Avengers in the face of a multiversal collapse - but Tony had plans of his own. He assembled an Illuminati-esque team of New Avengers to seek out and implement more extreme and vicious solutions, even going as far as to erase Steve’s memories to hide his secret, and when the truth came out, it was another Civil War in everything but name.
That conflict ended with Cap and Iron Man trading blows as the universe literally collapsed around them. Fortunately, the subsequent interventions of Doctor Doom and Reed Richards prevented the total destruction of the Marvel Multiverse, because Rogers and Stark were too busy throwing punches to save it.
They’ve since made amends once more.305Serious beef?
The Second ‘Civil War’ Was Between Iron Man And Captain Marvel, And It Didn’t End Well For Tony Stark
Apparently, the comic book version of Tony Stark didn’t get his fill of civil wars the first time around. Though he and Carol Danvers barely interacted in the Marvel Cinematic Universe - except for that time she saved him from a space-marooning - they’re old friends and AA sponsors in the comics who went head-to-head for Civil War II, with lethal results.
The second major Marvel superhero conflict had nothing to do with superhuman registration, but instead with a new Inhuman convert who had developed the miraculous ability to predict the future. Captain Marvel wanted to use her powers to stop wrongdoings, incursions, and acts of terror before they happened, Minority Report-style, while Iron Man saw that as immoral. The debate became personal when the predictions led to Hawkeye slaying Bruce Banner before he could Hulk out and War Machine getting a hole punched through him in an attempt to stop a Thanos onslaught before it occurred. Soon enough, Tony and Carol were at one another’s throats.
It all came down to a prophecy that Miles Morales would slay Captain America. Miles was adamant that he had no intention to do so, but Danvers attempted to bring him into custody anyway, and that’s when Stark stepped in to defend the young webslinger. The ensuing brawl ended in Iron Man’s accidental demise and a boatload of guilt for Captain Marvel, though Tony would later resurrect himself through the wonders of technology.
Shortly after that, Carol and Tony let bygones be bygones and rejoined the Avengers together.222Serious beef?
The First ‘Civil War’ Ended Spider-Man And Iron Man’s Friendship In A Very Public Way
Tony Stark has been integral to Peter Parker’s story within the Marvel Cinematic Universe thus far, but the two came up fairly independently in the annals of Marvel Comics. It wasn’t until they joined the New Avengers together that Stark took the younger would-be scientist/entrepreneur under his wing, and the two then forged a powerful bond, with Peter moving his family into Stark Tower and Tony outfitting Peter with the Iron Spider armor.
Then came the Superhuman Registration Act and the Civil War that followed. Early on in the public discourse, Stark convinced Parker to unmask publicly as a show of support for the bill, but that only led to an assassination attempt and the accidental shooting of Aunt May. An infuriated Peter, even further incensed by Stark’s increasingly callous attitude, switched sides and joined up with Captain America’s rebellious faction - leading inevitably to an all-out brawl between Iron Man and Iron Spider.
Spidey would go on to abandon all the tech Stark had built for him, mostly because he correctly suspected Tony had been using it to spy on him. In the years since, the two have continued to work together for the greater good, but they’ll probably never be true friends ever again - and the mentor/mentee relationship has definitively ended.2710Serious beef?
Miek Betrayed The Hulk And Terminated His Family
When the Hulk disappeared to Sakaar at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron, he did so mostly of his own accord, and he was joined soon enough by his old work friend, Thor. The Hulk’s journey to a gladiatorial alien world also occurred in the comics via Planet Hulk, but it proved to be a much less enjoyable experience for the jade giant.
The comic book Hulk ended up on Sakaar after being blasted into space by Marvel’s Illuminati - a group made up of old allies like Iron Man, Mister Fantastic, and Doctor Strange - who had reasoned that the world was better off without Bruce Banner’s destructive alter ego. Instead of landing on a peaceful planet free of sentient life, the Hulk’s rocket got off track and found Sakaar, wherein he was almost immediately embroiled in ritual combat and a brimming rebellion against the Red King.
As the “Green Scar” became a symbol of the revolution against his own will, he gathered around him a group of dedicated and loyal fighters known as the Warbound, including his MCU buddies Korg and Miek. In the end, Hulk beat the Red King, romanced and married a sorceress, and was on the verge of becoming a father - ready to settle down on Sakaar and forget his life on Earth.
Then, the rocket that had delivered him to Sakaar blew up, slaying his pregnant bride and countless others. The Hulk headed back to Earth to wage war on those he assumed had been responsible, but it was eventually revealed the explosion had been rigged by Miek, who was worried about the Green Scar growing soft and wanted to reignite his rage.
The gambit certainly worked, and perhaps a little too well for Miek’s liking. The Hulk hunted him down and pummeled him, and he ultimately perished in the confrontation - though at his own hands, not the Hulk’s. It’s quite a character arc for someone who doesn’t get a single speaking line in the MCU.184Serious beef?