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In general a lot of destruction is caused, usually to Manhattan, when superheroes take on super villains, but at least you can pass that off as saving the planet from some form of evil. Allowing for future sequels aside, the villains usually get their comeuppance.

Ultron on the other hand was intentionally created by Stark and Banner. Banner disappeared, but Stark just hopped in his fancy car and went on holidays or whatever.

Seems like they got off pretty lightly. Is there an explanation in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for why there was no punishment?

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    POLICE: Mr Stark, you’re coming with us. STARK: [Iron Man armour envelops him; repulsors power up; eyes glow.] No, I’m not. POLICE: Umm. – Paul D. Waite Jul 31 '15 at 12:18
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    Other than the destruction in Stark tower, does any of the damage caused by Ultron occur inside the US? Most US law enforcement agencies aren't going to care about Korea and some Eastern European city, and even if they did, they lack the jurisdiction anyway. Also, what's the legal standing of AIs in the MCU? Are they considered separate legal entities responsible for their actions? Are/should their creators be held accountable for their actions? – Anthony Grist Jul 31 '15 at 12:31
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    As ultron is an Artificial Intellience with free will, the ultimate responsible of his acts should be himself, not his creators. You don't put in jail the father of a serial killer, don't you? – Bardo Jul 31 '15 at 12:40
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    Based on rumors and what we do know about Captain America 3, it sounds like the destruction in Age of Ultron, and the involvement of the Avengers (not just Stark/Banner) is at least one of the catalysts of the events of Civil War, which in the comics, is largely about superheroes and their accountability for collateral damage. – phantom42 Jul 31 '15 at 12:41
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    @Rincewind I'm not an American, so "the rest of us" includes me, but who else do you expect to punish Stark and Banner? Does Sokovia even exist as a country by the end of Age of Ultron? I can't recall Ultron really doing anything in Korea that was worse than the Avengers usual destruction, and they seem to just get let off that all the time. Did the world in general even know who created Ultron? – Anthony Grist Jul 31 '15 at 13:44
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TL;DR - This will probably be dealt with in Captain America: Civil War.

The reason that Tony Stark wasn't arrested for creating Ultron is that it (probably) isn't illegal to accidentally create an evil artificial intelligence from alien technology. [citation required]

However, the concept of Tony Stark taking responsibility for his actions will almost certainly be at least one aspect of the upcoming Captain America: Civil War.

In the Ant Man post credits scene;

Steve Rogers (Captain America) and Sam Wilson (The Falcon) have found Bucky Barnes (The Winter Soldier) who they have been searching for since the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. They begin to talk about what to do next, their dialogue revealing that they a) can't talk to Tony Stark about it and b) something called "The Accords" might stop him from helping, even if he wanted to.

According to Google, an Accord is;

an official agreement or treaty

Which could be a hint that the actions of superheroes (or at the least, Tony Stark) are being restricted by some kind of treaty. This would be similar to what causes the central conflict of the Civil War storyline, which has the Superhuman Registration Act pitting Steve Rogers and Tony Stark against each other.

Now, interestingly, a Twitter account called @Russo_Brothers was recently created, posting up cryptic pictures. For those who don't know, the Russo brothers are the people who directed Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and are currently directing Captain America: Civil War (and will go on to direct both parts of Avengers: Infinity War).

One of these mystery pictures is a very close shot of some text, pictured below;

                                                       The IA A

Many people seem to think that this could be the cover page for a document concerning The Sokovia Accords, which (if legitimate) would indicate that there have, in fact, been repercussions from the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Admittedly, this Twitter account is unverified, and there has been no official work on it as of yet, but this article on Birth.Movies.Death (which contains the pictures in question) lists some compelling evidence for why the account may be legitimate - namely:

There are two followers, two very early followers, that make me think this account is legit. The first is Jason Stamey, who works in casting on pretty much all the Marvel movies. The second is Ryan Stankevitch, who is the VP of global marketing for Disney. That, to me, feels like a real smoking gun - why would this tiny account with 31 followers boast a high level Disney marketing exec as its fifth follower?

Later in the article;

Besides the two people mentioned above there's Marilyn Bitner, who runs a locations service for studios. And then there's this guy Andrew Stamm, whose IMDB profile has this:

enter image description here

The article willingly admits that none of the evidence is anything more than circumstantial, but Devin Faraci, the author, seems convinced.

Unfortunately, I doubt we will know for sure about the account's legitimacy or the accuracy of the speculation here until the release of Captain America: Civil War draws nearer.

Update 25/11/2015;

The release of the first official Captain America: Civil War trailer has confirmed the above - that something called The Sokovia Accords exists, indicating repercussions from the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron.

enter image description here

  • I intend on adding pictures later tonight, when I have a bit more free time. – Dr R Dizzle Jul 31 '15 at 13:28
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    @DrRDizzle: If anyone knows how to centre an image in markdown: Ask and ye shall received: post on Meta.SE about it – Kyle Kanos Jul 31 '15 at 17:53
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    As a side note: Twitter account verification is a rather random and inconsistent process that is mainly used for popular individuals, or to mitigate impersonation. You can apply for it, but that's a lengthy process. With regards to marketing purposes, a Twitter account not being verified is not necessarily a reason for scepticism as to the veracity of that account. – Nzall Aug 1 '15 at 16:15
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    For a good answer and especially for telling me there is a Captain America: Civil War trailer out day, +1 – TylerH Nov 25 '15 at 16:41
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    "So that was okay and it let old Rumbelow off'f the hook, on account it's hard to discipline a man under Post Office Regulations for destroying the universe all in one go." - Going Postal, Terry Pratchett – Harry Johnston Mar 13 '16 at 22:28
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The large-scale destruction occurred in Sokovia. It's likely that once Ultron was stopped, Sokovian officials did not apprehend the Avengers before they left. If there's no extradition treaty between the USA and Sokovia, then the Avengers would be free, they just need to avoid going back to Sokovia. And since in real life, the USA has spotty coverage of extradition treaties with the Eastern European countries that Sokovia was modeled after, I think it's reasonable to say there probably is no extradition treaty between the US and Sokovia.

Captain America: Civil War will likely deal with the international ramifications of superheroes accidentally creating a supervillain who goes on to destroy an entire city.

  • Likely that the Sokovian government could not apprehend them, because there's a good chance they left via Helicarrier, and I doubt that a Eastern-European nation has tech that rivals that of SHIELD. Except Latveria, of course. – Thomas Jacobs Jul 31 '15 at 14:12
  • @ThomasJacobs I would imagine that Latveria does not exist within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as the live action rights to the Fantastic Four belong to 20th Century Fox. – Dr R Dizzle Jul 31 '15 at 14:33
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    @DrRDizzle true... but Verlatia could exist which could be a country owned by a brilliant Dr. Destruction who was also experimented on by Hydra and has metal skin characteristics and lightning powers... I mean they used Quicksilver who is owned by Fox... they just made him not a mutant. It is getting kinda confusing and annoying the companies just can't get along and give us an ultra mega universe movie where all the marvel characters can live and work and blow each other up in peace. – Ryan Jul 31 '15 at 16:04
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    If the Sokovian government is anything like most Eastern European governments, Stark just had to write a (probably sizeable) check. That, coupled with the Avengers' literally heroic attempts to prevent loss of life was probably sufficient to get them out of any legal trouble. – Jeff Jul 31 '15 at 18:37
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For starters, either he is recognized as an AI with free will, in which they aren't responsible for the damage, or the people he was acting with would be held responsible on the theory that they were telling him what to do and not the other way around. In which case it's the Witch and Quicksilver that are on the hook for damages.

If that's not sufficient, Stark could conceivably be arrested and held responsible, but Banner has effective immunity -- you could ask him to stay in a nice comfortable room, with a good view and inoffensive servants, where he would of course be free to leave at anytime he liked, with some nice bars to keep out the paparazzi, but putting him in anything resembling an actual prison is unwise.

Think of the Hulk as nation -- you can go to war (try to kill him), impose a trade embargo (drive him away), but otherwise your options are limited.

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