From the moment it was first announced that Spider-Man would officially be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we were beyond excited. Sure, the stand-alone movies were good, but the possibilities of Spidey working alongside all the Avengers were too good to ignore.
It was always going to be a difficult task to live up to Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, but Tom Holland has proven he is more than capable of the job. From his first arrival on screen, he was already being welcomed into our hearts, and we cannot wait to see him hold his own in his first official solo outing.
But we got to thinking: following their introduction in Civil War, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) now plays a significant role in Peter’s life, helping him to become a better hero. But what if it had been Steve who stumbled across Peter on YouTube, and subsequently convinced him to join #TeamCap instead?
In the Civil War comics, Spider-Man originally starts out with Iron Man, before switching to Captain America’s team, and ultimately fighting against his mentor.
However, based on the ending of Civil War, it appears that Steve has much more pressing matters on his mind, and mentoring a young teenage superhero is unlikely to have been at the top of his priority list.
No flirting with Aunt May
Though he likely wished otherwise, Peter’s first face to face encounter with Stark occurred as he flirted with his aunt (Marisa Tomei) over her home baking. Steve’s interests were firmly located elsewhere throughout the film - hello, Sharon Carter - and it’s unlikely he would have carried out the same moves, leaving Peter free of the embarrassment, at least for now.
No fancy new suit
Peter’s original home-made suit might have done the job, but the new suit designed by Tony is much more suited to his abilities. While Tony will have thought nothing of shelling out the money and designing a flash new suit, with Steve it would have been a different story. It’s possible that Peter would still be swinging around in his original suit, looking more like a Halloween dress-up than a true hero.
Peter is able to work with Tony under the pretence that he gained an internship with Stark Industries. Had Steve Rogers become his mentor, coming up with an alibi would have been much more challenging, as Rogers is largely only known for his superhero alter-ego. And even if it isn’t as cool as being able to reveal your secret super powers, having your friends think you’re working alongside Tony Stark must still be a fun thing to brag about.
From the trailers, it seems Stark is eager for Peter to remain a local hero for the time being, and to avoid getting involved in any major crimes. This ties in conveniently with Civil War, with Tony being eager for more government control behind the actions of the Avengers, to avoid anyone getting seriously hurt.
With Steve consistently on the other side, it’s possible he would have maintained less restrictions on Peter, encouraging him to make his own choices in what to fight for. However, it’s easy to forget that Peter is still just a teenager getting to grips with his powers, and starting off small may be more beneficial for him in the long run.
For the most part during Civil War, Peter just seemed happy to be along for the ride, excitedly complimenting anyone he came into contact with. We’d be willing to bet he didn’t have a full understanding of the true stakes behind the fight, and would have joined whoever gave the most convincing argument.
Both Iron Man and Captain America would make undeniably cool mentors, and it would be crazy to turn either one down. However, Stark seems genuinely invested in doing what is best for Peter, and for that reason alone, we’re glad he became #TeamIronMan. And, hey, if it led to us seeing Robert Downey Jr. in more Marvel movies, how's that a bad thing?
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Hannah Dixon is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.