Why Captain America Didn't Tell Iron Man Bucky Killed His Parents

Captain America: Civil War reveals Steve Rogers knew the Winter Soldier killed Iron Man's parents, so why didn't he tell his fellow Avenger before? The first film in Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe saw the franchise's two biggest heroes collide over different ideals. Captain America and Iron Man originally began fighting due to the Sokovia Accords and the pursuit of Bucky Barnes. But, Tony Stark later discovered how Hydra's former assassin was framed for bombing the UN hearing. This nearly allowed the superhero feud to end, but then Baron Zemo revealed one final piece of information.

Zemo's backup plan to ensure the Avengers split up was releasing footage of how Iron Man's parents died. The footage confirming the Winter Soldier murdered Howard and Maria Stark from December 16, 1991. Zemo showed it to Tony during Captain America: Civil War's third act and revealed this new information to Iron Man in the process. While Tony only now discovered that Bucky killed his parents, Steve confesses that he knew this was the case. Since Steve and Tony spent multiple years together as friends before this moment, why didn't Captain America ever tell him the truth?

Related: Falcon & The Winter Soldier Explains Zemo's Civil War Victory Plot-Hole

The most likely explanation for Captain America keeping Bucky's involvement in the death of Iron Man's parents a secret is because he was trying to protect both of them. Bucky is Steve's oldest friend and he knows that Bucky was not in control of himself when he did this. Bucky spent the last two years before this moment hiding from the world and trying to move on from the life of pain that continues to haunt his nightmares. By not revealing that Bucky killed Tony's parents, Steve might have been trying to save his friend from reliving that pain.

Steve wanting to protect Bucky is one thing, but that's not a great reason to not tell Tony. While it is possible Steve was worried about the emotional response Tony would have to this information, Tony's natural feelings were amplified based on the circumstances of how he found out in Captain America: Civil War. If Steve was able to sit Tony down and talk as friends at some point in the past, there is a good chance that Iron Man wouldn't have reacted as strongly. A neutral setting where Tony didn't just watch the footage of his parents' deaths could've given Steve the chance to explain that this was Hydra's doing, not Bucky's. Tony learning the truth this way could give him some closure and not ignite a fight with Captain America that severed their friendship for years.

Although it is understandable why Steve didn't tell Tony that Bucky killed his parents in terms of what it meant for Captain America: Civil War's story and action, it is unfortunate that the MCU never revisited this fact. Iron Man's story in the MCU came to a close in Avengers: Endgame without giving him and Bucky a chance to reconcile the past. A moment where Tony tells Bucky he knows Hydra was controlling him and doesn't blame him for their deaths could've gone a long way for the super-soldier. With a big part of Bucky's story in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier focusing on him making amends for his actions as Hydra's assassin, a moment where he could've crossed Tony Stark's name off the Winter Soldier list mentally would've been great.

Next: Falcon & Winter Soldier Proves Tony Stark Was Wrong In Civil War

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