Spoiler alert: This article contains major spoilers for Thor: Love and Thunder.
The characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are saddled with the incredible responsibility of keeping the world safe from the biggest threats it may face. Constantly being put into precarious situations with monumental repercussions, these superheroes must make snap decisions that will affect the lives of billions of people.
Though the Avengers are known for often making terrible decisions in the heat of the moment, they have also made their fair share of wise choices that have helped to make the world a safer place. As such, there are certain especially admirable decisions made by the characters in the MCU that deserve extra praise.
Tony’s Fateful Choice
Iron Man introduced audiences to genius billionaire playboy philanthropist Tony Stark, the heir to the weapons manufacturing giant Stark Industries. However, after learning that his weapons were being sold to unsavory parties, Tony shuts down his manufacturing plant, endeavoring to become his very own superhero.
This event proves to have rippling effects throughout the entire future of the MCU. Had Tony made a different decision in this moment, it is unlikely that any of the future heroes seen in the MCU would have come to fruition. Nevertheless, for the first time in quite a while, Tony listened to his conscience, becoming one of the world’s first superheroes.
Erskine Choosing Steve Rogers
In Captain America: The First Avenger, the United States government its first test subject for the experimental super soldier serum created by Dr. Abraham Erskine. Despite dissenting opinions from U.S. generals, Dr. Erskine selects a skinny boy from Brooklyn, Steve Rogers, to be the first recipient of his serum.
Erskine explains that it is not what is on the outside, but the inside that counts when it comes to this serum. Knowing that whoever took his serum would become an amplified version of themselves, Erskine wisely chose a man with a good heart, creating one of the finest superheroes the world would ever see.
Odin Casting Thor Out
In Thor, Odin the All-father of the Norse gods detects an overabundance of pride and arrogance in his eldest son. In an effort to humble the god of thunder, Odin strips Thor of his powers and casts him out of Asgard, sending him into exile on Earth.
Odin’s decision to exile his son was a massive gamble. Had things gone poorly, he might never have reconnected with Thor again. Nevertheless, Thor learned the exact lessons that Odin had hoped he would during his time on Earth, returning to Asgard shortly thereafter as a hero.
After it is revealed in Captain America: The Winter Soldier that Hydra has infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. on every level, Captain America and his team must bring the evil organization down from the inside. Despite pleas from Nick Fury, Cap holds firm that S.H.I.E.L.D. must be taken down entirely, not leaving any room for Hydra’s reemergence.
Cap’s decision to completely wipe S.H.I.E.L.D. out was incredibly wise. He knew that Hydra had a nasty habit of reappearing if not dealt with completely and, though the easy option would have been to keep S.H.I.E.L.D. running, he knew that the right choice was to not leave any chance of Hydra’s return.
Playing The Long Game
As the Avengers prepare to go up against Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, Doctor Strange uses the Time Stone to view 14,000,605 possible futures. Strange emerges after finding a single victorious future, using his foreknowledge to manipulate events in the Avengers’ favor.
This scene marks the beginning of Doctor Strange’s massive gamble to win the battle against Thanos. From this moment on, the sorcerer’s every action is expertly crafted as he guides the Avengers, especially Tony Stark, to their proper positions for the Battle of Earth five years later.
Closing The Hex
After casting a hex over the town of Westview in WandaVision, Wanda Maximoff comes to learn that her actions have deeply harmed her neighbors. Knowing that closing the hex would also cause her husband and twin sons to disappear, Wanda does the right thing, freeing the inhabitants of Westview from her curse.
The closing of the Westview Hex is one of the most emotional scenes in WandaVision, as Wanda is forced to give up her greatest desire for the greater good. While this choice was undoubtedly the right one, it is not one that she would be able to live with, sending her on a dark path that would culminate in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Cap Chooses Sam
When Steve Rogers returns as an old man at the end of Avengers: Endgame, he deems it necessary to appoint his replacement as Captain America. He ultimately selects Sam Wilson, the former Falcon, to be his successor, presenting him with Captain America’s iconic shield.
Steve’s decision to appoint Sam Wilson as the next Captain America was a controversial one, but nevertheless the right one. While Bucky Barnes might have been next in line, Steve knew that his best friend simply had too much emotional baggage to properly serve the world as Captain America. At this point in his life, Bucky was simply not ready to take over as his successor. Instead, he gave the honor to the man he knew was ready to take on such a challenge.
Trusting America’s Power
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness explored the psyche of the titular main character, who has an issue with allowing others to “hold the knife.” However, in the film’s climactic battle against one of the most powerful villains in the MCU, Strange voices his trust in America Chavez, choosing to let her handle the Scarlet Witch.
Strange may have been leaving the fate of the universe in America Chavez’s hands when he elected to trust her power, but doing so required great trust on his part. Unlike the battle against Thanos, Strange learned to trust in the abilities of others rather than relying solely on his own capabilities. His ability to do so proved to be the right decision, with America saving the day.
Thor: Love and Thunder follows the epic battle between the god of thunder and Gorr the God Butcher. When Gorr has the opportunity to wish for anything he desires at the Pool of Eternity, Thor convinces him to choose love instead of vengeance, bringing back his lost daughter rather than destroying the remaining gods in the universe.
At this moment, Gorr differentiates himself from other Marvel villains by actually listening to reason and changing his plan. This decision provided him with the happy ending he never thought he’d have, causing the resurrection of his daughter and ending Thor: Love and Thunder with several major implications for the future of the MCU.
Bringing Together The Avengers
The MCU’s first phase was entirely dedicated to bringing together Earth’s Mightiest Heroes into one united team known as the Avengers. The Avengers Initiative was the brainchild of a single man, Director Nick Fury. Despite constant pushback from the World Security Council, Fury insisted on the existence of this team, even deliberately disobeying his superiors in order to keep the Avengers together.
Fury’s decision to bring together the Avengers is undoubtedly the best choice ever made in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Though the team got off to a rocky start (and hit a few major bumps along the way), they have ultimately proven to be every bit the heroes that Fury expected them to be. Without their help, the universe would have been helpless against the conquest of the Mad Titan Thanos, and trillions of lives would have remained vanquished at the snap of the villain’s fingers. By forming the Avengers, Fury altered the future of the universe itself.
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