Spider-Man returns to our screens next July in Homecoming, and Tom Holland’s portrayal of the web crawler promises to be a bit different from his predecessors. Most significantly, Spidey will for the first time be sharing his own solo movie with other superheroes, namely a certain Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) who, if this year's Civil War is anything to go by, has become something of a father figure to the young web-slinger. We believe that Tony Stark will be a great role model for Spidey. Here’s why...
He understands the hero life
In previous Spider-Man films, Peter Parker has been compelled to keep his superhero identity a secret. He learned pretty quickly that revealing his identity can put his loved ones in danger, yet this meant that when life started to get hard, Spidey had nobody to turn to. Even if were able to tell Aunt May about his superhero life, it’s not as if she could understand. Not everyone beats up crooks and swings around New York on a daily basis.
Luckily for Spidey this time round, he has Tony Stark to confide in. Stark already knows his secret identity, and he’s had plenty of experience of being a superhero. He knows what it feels like to get shot at, or for his loved ones to be put in danger because of his own actions. Hopefully Parker won’t copy Stark by using alcohol to deal with those issues, but it’s still good to have someone round for advice.
"With great power comes great responsibility" is one of the most famous lines in cinema, never mind the Spider-Man films. This was the mantra of Uncle Ben, who served as an important influence on Peter Parker for the two previous sets of Spidey movies.
However when we got a glimpse of Parker’s home in Civil War, Uncle Ben was noticeably absent. It would make sense for not appear this time round, as his story has been done to death (no pun intended), but that means he’s not around to teach Spidey about the importance of responsibility.
Step in Iron Man. Since Iron Man 3, Tony Stark has been wrestling with the idea of responsibility. His actions in Age of Ultron, whilst their intentions were good, ended up costing many people their lives. Civil War showed Stark struggling to cope with these consequences, as he decided that he must become more responsible. These life lessons perfectly intersect with Peter Parker’s storyline, and so Stark could very well be the perfect replacement for Uncle Ben.
They're both tech mad
Being a superhero isn’t the only thing that Peter Parker has in common with Tony Stark. They’re both geniuses and like to build their own tech. Parker built his own web shooters, while Stark managed to build… well, his Iron Man suit.
Parker's affinity with technology is nothing new (we saw it in the Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield movies), but with Stark’s riches behind him it means Spidey has access to a lot more gear. The first trailer showed a modification to his suit which enables him to glide through the air like some kind of flying spider. Thank god real spiders don’t have access to Stark’s money!
The similarities between the two characters are likely to mean that Parker reminds Stark of himself as a kid, so it’s no surprise that the two get on. Here’s hoping we get to see Spidey using even more cool gadgets.
It wasn’t long ago that Iron Man had everything he wanted: a group of super friends and the love of his life. Unfortunately, that’s all disappeared for various reasons. Stark’s a pretty lonely guy right now, and so it’s the perfect time for him to start investing in Spidey’s life.
Iron Man 3 showed how much Stark gets on with children, even if the two did share a few sarcastic exchanges. It wouldn’t be remiss to suggest the only reason Stark hasn’t had his own children is because he’s been too busy with his business and saving the world.
From the few clips we’ve seen it’s apparent that Stark cares about Spidey like a son. With no real father present, Parker is also in need of a male role model, so it seems that the two complete each other.
Why do you think Tony Stark is the perfect role model for Peter Parker? Tweet us your thoughts @Cineworld. Spider-Man: Homecoming is released on 7th July 2017.
Ryan Jones is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.