2

In Avengers: Endgame, speaking of their loss in the previous film, Tony says:

I said we'd lose. You said, 'We'll do that together too'. Guess what, Cap? We lost, and you weren't there. But that's what we do, right? Our best work after the fact? What are— the A-vengers? We're the A-vengers, not the Pre-vengers, right?"

Besides the obvious, the victory of Thanos, what is Iron Man referencing here? When have they done their best work "after the fact" of a villain's victory? In the first film, they defeated Loki before he could take over the world, and even New York seems to have taken only modest damage during the battle, seeing how quickly everything was rebuilt. In the second, they stopped Ultron before he could carry out his plan of destroying all life. In neither of these cases did they achieve victory after the villain won.

So what is the "best work" that the Avengers do "after the fact"?

  • They could've had Loki stopped much earlier, and didn't. Ultron was literally Tony's fault, and Sokovia was obliterated because of it. – Radhil Dec 14 '19 at 19:12
  • @Radhil - That still doesn't seem quite like doing their best work after the fact, though, does it? – Adamant Dec 14 '19 at 20:17
5

This is a direct reference to a conversation Tony and Cap have in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Tony Stark: Recall that? A hostile alien army came charging through a hole in space. We're standing three hundred feet below it. We're the Avengers. We can bust arms dealers all the live long day, but, that up there? That's...that's the end game. How were you guys planning on beating that?

Steve Rogers: Together.

Tony Stark: We'll lose.

Steve Rogers: Then we'll do that together, too.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

The conversation is of course in reference to Tony wanting the suit of armour around the word that created Ultron. The loss he’s referring to in your quote from Avengers: Endgame is Thanos beating them. Tony has already given up on the Avengers at this point.

If you want to know other things that Avenge rather than prevenge, well Loki and the Chitauri was only stopped after they invaded not before. They were already on Earth at that point. Ultron was only stopped at the last second and still resulted in a large proportion of the population becoming homeless.

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