“It’s not the bullets that kill you, it’s the moments like these. One piece at a time”(Kaufman 145).
In Captain America: Civil War (one of the best movies of all time), the plot revolves around the Sokovia Accords, which Tony Stark, A.K.A. Iron Man, supports for many reasons, including the scene above. Wherein Tony’s close friend, who has one of the most badass names ever: War Machine, is severely injured during a fight with Captain America, A.K.A. Steve Rogers, and his team, a fight that occurred as a result of Tony and Steve’s disagreement over the Accords. At this moment in the film, every single character has two names, but more importantly, Tony’s stance regarding the Accords is deeply cemented. It is his friend’s near death that leads him to take action against Steve and his team, which embodies the idea of the quote. It is not physical fights or personal injuries that leads to Tony’s opinion of the Sokovia Accords; “it’s the moments like these.” Moments like hearing about the death of a young man from his mother, and hearing that she blames you and your actions. Moments like seeing your best friend nearly die are the real struggles of war. Moments like this are what leads an officer to leave the military, or to a superhero supporting the Sokovia Accords.
In Illuminae by Amie Kaufman a cast of characters are trapped on a spaceship and try to avoid a plague and escape another spaceship coming to attack them. Clearly, this book is nothing if not relatable. Then, a retired military officer recounts finding an infected child who died, and he describes how much seeing things like that wear him down and are what led him to leave the military. Later in the book, one of the main characters, Ezra, ends up shooting an infected man, and “He presses his triggers, and like roses in his hands, death blooms”(Kaufman 273). One of the central ideas of Illuminae is that Ezra, and Kady, the other main character, must escape in order to tell their story, and make sure people are held responsible for everyone that was killed aboard their ship. This is essentially the same as Tony Stark’s mission. He wants the stories of everyone that was killed in Sokovia to be told, and he wants to make sure nothing like that ever happens again. He also knows that he is the one responsible for what happened in Sokovia, so the Accords, which provides oversight and regulations for superheros like him, is the solution. It’s the guilt of knowing what he’s done that makes him think “It’s not enough to be against something.You have to be for something better.”
Ezra and Kady lose every single one of their friends and family as they try to escape, and with every loss, they get closer to giving up. Yet at the same time every loss pushes them to survive, so they can tell the stories of everyone they’ve lost. Ezra and Kady, just like Tony Stark, are fighting with everything they have to avenge(rs) everyone that they’ve lost. They fight for their fallen friends and family. They fight to try and clean off the blood on their hands and the death that blooms, “like roses”, around them. Ezra, Kady, and Tony are not running to forget; and they are not merely fighting against the people that have hurt them and their friends. Instead, they are fighting for “something better.” They are fighting to make sure no one ever forgets; they are fighting for a solution that will prevent the friends and family’s of others from being hurt.