We’ve finally reached the home stretch. With Captain America: Civil War only a couple of weeks away, our anticipation for the Phase 3 Marvel films has never been higher. Not only will the film continue the eight-year saga of the original Avengers lineup, but it will introduce new characters to the fray in the form of Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther, and – perhaps most notably – Tom Holland’s Spider-Man.
Looking past Civil War, the future has seldom seemed brighter for Marvel Studios. Although the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming recently lost actor Michael Keaton, the film gained a new superstar in the form of Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man. The trailers for Civil War have hinted at a mentorship between the genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist, and the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, so we feel confident in the fact that their relationship will be explored even further when Homecoming finally comes to theaters. With that in mind we have compiled a list of five great reasons why Tony Stark could make a perfect mentor for Spider-Man.
They Both Learned Responsibility The Hard WayDespite the immense differences between their origin stories, Iron Man and Spider-Man both became heroes due to similar circumstances: a desire to atone for irresponsible mistakes. In the case of Tony Stark, he opted to become Iron Man after spending years recklessly war profiteering; Spider-Man similarly donned his suit to fight crime after refusing to stop a robbery that supposedly wasn’t his problem led to the death of Uncle Ben. At this stage it remains unclear exactly how much of Spider-Man’s origin story will be explored in Civil War and Spider-Man: Homecoming, but it seems like a safe bet that the mutual guilt felt by both Tony Stark and Peter Parker could play a central role in their inevitable mentor/mentee relationship.
Tony Has Suffered At The Hands Of His Own MentorsPerhaps more than any other member of The Avengers' roster, Tony Stark understands the importance of a proper mentor relationship because of the immense betrayal he suffered at the hands of Jeff Bridges' Obadiah Stane during the events of the first Iron Man -- all the way back in 2008. Following the death of Howard Stark, Obadiah took Tony under his wing and turned him into the man he would remain until a blast of shrapnel to the heart would change his life forever. His subsequent betrayal of Tony would leave a lasting impression on the hero, causing him to keep others at arm’s length until the final act of The Avengers. If Tony sees potential in Peter Parker, then he’s going to do everything in his power to foster a trusting relationship between himself and the fledgling Spider-Man.
They're Both Scientifically MindedAudiences went crazy when Tony Stark and Bruce Banner developed a quick kinship with one another over science during the events of The Avengers. When Tony finds someone who speaks his language, he doesn’t easily let that person go – even if that person is 15-years-old. The potential Tony sees in Peter Parker likely won’t just be in the young man’s heroic acts, but in his potential to become a great inventor as well. We think it’s entirely likely that The Hulk could wind up becoming green with envy when Spider-Man becomes the third member of the exclusive "Science Bros" club. With Tony’s help, Spidey could go on to perfect some of his most iconic technology, such as his web shooters and synthetic webbing.
They Share A Sense Of HumorIt’s no secret that Tony Stark is the face of The Avengers, but he’s also the mouth. His wisecracking has grounded the Marvel Cinematic Universe for almost a decade, and if any hero could match his ability to keep things light-hearted, then it’s going to be Spider-Man. More importantly, these characters don’t just use their wits to make audiences laugh; both have proven time and time again that their abilities to crack a joke in the face of danger helps them cope, and provides an offensive benefit against increasingly annoyed bad guys. Previous silver screen incarnations of the Web Head have not done a phenomenal job of bringing Peter Parker’s trademark sense of humor to life over the last five movies, but when he finally gets taken under Tony Stark’s wing, the one-liners undoubtedly will begin to flow.
Tony Has A Proven Track Record With KidsAlthough he’s a grown man, Tony Stark is definitely a kid at heart, and that makes him the perfect person to mentor a teenager like Peter Parker. His relationship with young Harley Keener (Ty Simpkins) in Iron Man 3 proved that he could work with children without talking down to them, as well as the fact that his rapport with gifted youngsters (trademark Charles Xavier) can be played for drama as well as laughs. Under Cap’s wing, Spider-Man could easily feel like a sidekick, but with Tony, the relationship will undoubtedly feel much more collegial and evenly balanced. This is an important distinction to make because it will set Tony apart from the other older authority figures in Peter's life.