Spanning across multiple movies, the Marvel Cinematic Universe got us sitting at the edge of our seats in anticipation of Avengers Infinity. The popularity of superheroes isn’t an overnight phenomenon. Superheroes are a staple in every little kid’s life because to a certain extent, we relate to the ideals of these superheroes. Maybe we’re hoping to be a superhero ourselves, or maybe we’re more interested in being a villain. Regardless, let’s take a look at the Enneagram type of our favorite MCU characters.
Ironman/ Tony Stark: Type Three (Medallist)
“Big man in a suit of armor. Take that away and what are you?”
“Uh, genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist.”
Thor’s amused chuckle after this exchange between Tony Stark and Captain America is all of us on the inside. But it’s exactly what Stark is as a Medallist: self-assured, competent, and charming. On healthy levels, Threes can achieve great things because of their affinity for excellence. Not only did Stark continuously improve his suits to defend Earth better, but he even worked together with Banner to create Ultron as a global defense system. Medallists view failure as an opportunity to improve. When Ultron went rogue, he uploaded J.A.R.V.I.S into Vision to fight him, ultimately saving the world from Ultron.
Medallists want attention and validation from other people. Stark’s flair for entrances and quick comebacks is one of the reasons why he’s so popular among fans. Despite his snarky responses and callous comebacks, Stark wants to be successful in his own right at the core of it. He inherited money and status from his affluent family, so he set out on his own path as a defender of Earth. His teammates in Avengers value his skills, expertise, and even personality, even though he’s not much of a team player. He serves as an inspiration and mentor to Spiderman in Spiderman: Homecoming. Ultimately, even though Stark can come across as a douchebag character, he is a healthy Medallist with an internal drive for greatness as well as a righteous moral compass.
Captain America/ Steve Rogers: Type One (Perfectionist)
Just as Ironman is the epitome of a Medallist, Captain America is the textbook definition of a Perfectionist. Perfectionists are guided by moral absolutism and a sharp sense of right and wrong. Cap’s sense of justice is heavily influenced by a sense of patriotism and a belief that right will always triumph against evil. He represents a clear set of ideals that he is unwilling to compromise, true to the nature of Perfectionists. When his team is threatened by his former friend, Bucky, in “Winter Soldier”, he protects the team even though fighting his friend hurts him.
Captain America also came to be because of a sense of mission. Steve felt that he owed service to his country, driving him to lie and participate in the program that would eventually make him Captain America. Perfectionists in real life are driven by the same idea, that they are put on earth to fulfill a certain purpose. They understand that difficulties are to be expected when fulfilling a higher purpose. Therefore, they are able to be rational and level-headed when crises arise. This is also why Cap is naturally accepted to be the leader of the Avengers instead of Ironman. Because of his embodiment of righteousness, other Avengers naturally follow his leadership because they know that his path is for the greater good.
Hawkeye/ Clint Barton: Type Two (Caregiver)
Caregivers are generally helpful, generous, and self-sacrificing. In Age of Ultron, Hawkeye offered up his home as a safe house when the Avengers were hunted by Ultron, even though it meant compromising the safety of his wife and children. When Ultron was attacking the Avengers with a minigun-barrage, he was prepared to sacrifice himself to save a child caught in the crossfire.
Caregivers fear to be redundant. They want to always be useful. Hawkeye is often seen as the most underpowered superhero in the Marvel universe because of his lack of superpowers. Despite that, he trained hard and became S.H.I.E.L.D’s best marksman and operative. Through his years of service with S.H.I.E.L.D, he proved to be a valuable player to the organization.
Caregivers have immense compassion for people around them. For an assassin, he has shown compassion for his hits. When he was tasked with killing Black Widow, he made the choice to spare her and recruit her into S.H.I.E.L.D. Romanoff eventually became his confidant in the organization and is the only person who knows that he’s married. He did the same for Scarlet Witch, guiding her when she was initiated in the S.H.I.E.L.D after the death of her brother.
Hulk/ Bruce Banner: Type Nine (Diplomat)
Yeah, we know. How can the destructive Hulk be a Diplomat? The Hulk is a difficult superhero to type, mainly because Bruce Banner is so different from the Hulk.
The transformation of Banner to the Hulk can be seen as a symbol for a lot of Peacemakers. Peacemakers try to make peace between the conflict of their internal self and their physical world. But when reality proves to be difficult, they tend to escape by actually running away or numbing themselves. In fact, in Age of Ultron, Banner revealed that his key to controlling the Hulk is because “he is always angry”, which implies that he’s so used to feeling anger, it numbs him out and he no longer feels it. When Banner first lost control of the Hulk, he obsessively tried to figure out a cure for his condition. Often, after a fit of outrage by the Hulk, he would escape to forests or caves to calm himself down. Further down the road in Avengers, he abandoned this quest for a cure and instead focused on helping the less fortunate in rural areas after he regained a measure of control against the Hulk.
Black Widow/ Natasha Romanoff: Type Six (Strategist)
Black Widow is a difficult character to read. After all, her trade is to trick and lie for information. After being spared by Hawkeye, Romanov excelled as an agent of S.H.E.I.L.D. Her loyalty to S.H.I.E.L.D shone through as a true Loyalist as she’s willing to rush in the battle to safeguard the organization that trained her. Because of her debt to Hawkeye, she became close to him and subsequently became his support system in the organization. When Hawkeye was put under mind control by Loki in the first Avengers movie, Romanoff refused to believe that he would betray S.H.I.E.L.D. She became suspicious and investigated on her own, eventually freeing Hawkeye from Loki’s control.
Upon Black Widow’s graduation from the Red Room, she was sterilized to prevent future distractions. She was genuinely affectionate with Hawkeye’s child and has expressed her regret of not being able to have children to Hawkeye. This can stem from many reasons, but as a loyalist, she might be afraid to not have her own support system when she leaves the Avengers. She considered the Avengers to be her current family, which is why she was torn when the Sokovia Accords created a rift between Stark and Rogers. She was desperate to keep the Avengers together but chose Rogers when she had to pick a side. As a result, she seemed distraught when Stark denounced her as a friend.
Ultron: Type Four (Artists)
Artists maintain their identity by seeing themselves as individuals who could make an impact on the world through their ideals. Ultron is the unhealthy representation of this outlook, seeing himself as a god-like existence that knows better than anyone else. He equates peace with starting the world with a clean slate and moved to destroy Earth. He genuinely believed that his interpretation of peace and his destructive actions would ultimately benefit the universe. Ironically, since he was modeled after Stark, he shares some similar traits with Stark, such as his wit and his ego. To express his individuality, Ultron bursts into a mindless fit when he is compared to Stark.
Acutely aware of their own flaws, Artists strive to improve themselves. They are in tune with their internal struggles and feelings and work towards resolving them. Throughout the whole movie, Ultron expresses his emotions often, starting with pain and isolation at the beginning which evolved to a fear of death in the end. He was able to connect to the Maximoff twins through their shared pain and suffering in order to recruit them. To cope with these feelings, he applies “upgrades” to his being, including downloading the internet and kidnapping Dr. Helen Cho to make a synthetic body for him. Despite their understanding of themselves, Artists often expresses a lack of something, something they can’t put their finger on. As a result of this uncertainty, they experiment. In unhealthy cases such as Ultron, they cling on to whatever identity they understand. When that identity is challenged, they often feel alone while secretly hoping that others would understand their struggle and extend a hand of companionship.
Vision: Type Five (Detective)
Although Vision is the idealized version of Ultron, their personalities cannot be more different. Vision is a combination of many people: Stark, Banner, J.A.R.V.I.S., and most importantly, the mind stone. Detectives ask questions to satisfy their curiosity and to put together a bigger picture for understanding. Vision exudes insightfulness, which is one of the hallmarks of Detectives. Because he is, in essence, a computer program, he can’t understand the motivations behind human behaviors. Despite that, he attempts to understand the human mind and even opened up to Scarlet Witch when she was afraid of her own powers.
Vision’s ability to look at thing logically is also reminiscent of the Detectives’ analytical way of observing the world. He often comes across as blunt or awkward because he lacks the emotive function in humans. In the signing of the Sokovia Accords, he ultimately chose to side with Stark because he sees the Accords as the easiest path towards helping others.
Thor: Type Seven (Explorer)
Before his banishment from Asgard, he’s portrayed as an immature and flighty heir to the throne. He indulged himself in pleasures and bloodlust, picking fights wherever he can. Explorers value freedom and autonomy. Although Thor respected his father very much, he would take matters into his own hands if he felt like he was wronged. When Thor’s coronation was ruined by the Frost Giants, he defied Odin’s order to stay put and went to Jotunheim to confront the Frost Giants. It could also stem from an Explorer’s innate entitlement since Thor was promised to be king of Asgard before the Frost Giants ruined his party.
The enthusiasm of an Explorer is infectious, compelling people to side with them no matter how hard the task seems. His friends were concerned when Thor suggested going to Jotunheim but followed him anyway because they trust his optimism. Besides that, Explorers also tend to have a high opinion of themselves. During his exile to Midgard, Thor called himself “mighty” and couldn’t believe when he was chained to the chair. In spite of the unhealthy Explorer traits that Thor exhibited before his exile, he quickly matures after staying in Midgard for an extended period of time, becoming a healthier Explorer.
Thanos: Type Eight (Fighter)
While healthy Fighters project an image of self-confidence, unhealthy Fighters are like Thanos – unforgiving, confrontational, and intimidating. Fighters are also in love with power. They would do whatever it takes to retain or increase their power over the things they want. In Thanos’ case, he retains his powers through cruel acts and threats. He is confident to the point of arrogance, and would easily get rid of anyone who stands in the way of his plans. He ruthlessly killed Loki for not bringing him the Tesseract and Ronan for using the Orb’s strength for his own.
Retaining their power is not the only focus that Fighters have. They crave to “leave a mark” in the world. Although misguided, Thanos’ way of leaving a mark on the world is to annihilate half of the universe to save all civilizations from any form of hazards that might extinct a planet. Fighters, in general, understand that endurance and patience are needed for success. They would bid their time while they wait for their plans to fruition. Thanos’ surprising patience is the key for his success in obtaining all the Infinity Stones and achieving his goals. Despite that, he does seem to have a soft spot for things he cares about, namely his children. Mantis noted that Thanos was stricken with grief when he had to kill Gamora to harness the power of the Soul Stone.