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Does Spider-Man Idolizing Iron Man Betray His Character?

Does Spider-Man Idolizing Iron Man Betray His Character

Andrew Garfield once claimed Peter Parker would never get along with an arrogant personality like Tony Stark.

Former Spider-Man star Andrew Garfield spills some significant nuggets of wisdom concerning Peter Parker‘s chemistry with Tony Stark in the MCU. Since 2016, Tom Holland has depicted the latest iteration of Marvel’s adored Spidey as part of the rapidly-growing MCU.

Since making his debut in Captain America: Civil War (2016), Holland became a superstar in his own franchise, which has just begun shooting the third iteration.

As immensely popular as the MCU’s Spider-Man is, there’s been one significant critique of the new portrayal of the friendly neighborhood superhero since its release.


One of the primary interactions Holland’s Spider-Man has had is with his idol and inspiration, Iron Man, portrayed by Robert Downey Jr.

Peter becomes one of the Avengers thanks to Tony, who gives him cool Spidey techs, including an amped-up super suit and more. After Tony’s sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame (2019), many fans believe Peter is residing in the shade of Iron Man rather than being his own superhero as Spider-Man.

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The latest chapter, Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019), showed Peter again leaning on Tony’s support for his new costume and striving to live up to his status. Basically, Peter had a sort of a father in the form of Tony, but is this a good thing?

Garfield, who portrayed Spider-Man in Marc Webb‘s The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014), expressed some interesting insights in an old interview that had just reemerged.

In the press tour of his second Spider-Man movie, Garfield spoke about what Avenger Peter wasn’t going to get along with — and it’s none other than Iron Man.

He wouldn’t get along with Tony Stark… Too arrogant, ethics are dubious, and Peter’s a man of the people, Peter’s the working class hero, whereas Tony’s this rich gazillionaire that is arguably not all that responsible or heartfelt.

Garfield’s comment on how Peter would not emulate someone like Tony who’s “arrogant [and has] ethics [that are] dubious” speaks volumes about the Spider-Man persona.

Since his emergence in comics, Peter has always been a character who portrays a member of the working class on a daily basis. That’s what made the character into an endearing one for readers across the globe.

In fact, the MCU has rarely focused on working-class people in the initial three phases. Despite being the brilliant marvel that he is, several legends of Spider-Man have surrounded Peter, coping with the daily activities and concerns of every normal person.

With Aunt May growing older (unlike Marisa Tomei‘s younger iteration in the MCU), Peter carries obligations beyond the suit, so her welfare is a matter of concern.

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Tony as a protagonist, whether in the MCU or graphic novels, cannot relate to Peter prior to and following his superpowers that forever altered his life. This is where Holland’s Spider-Man possibly deviates from his origins.

The fact that this Peter is a teen means his growth completely depends on what transpires in these years. Moreover, Peter is seeking his broader identity before becoming a full-fledged adult, and idolizing someone like Tony Stark is in contrast with Spider-Man’s whole persona and where he came from.


It definitely helps that Tony is no longer a member of the MCU, as Peter will hopefully continue to evolve into the more recognizable form of Spider-Man.

Garfield’s statement that Peter is a “man of the people” is ideally something that potential Spider-Man MCU stories will draw on since his identification is now out in the press.

If the Spider-Verse concept is one that genuinely works in Spider-Man 3, maybe that’s a lesson Holland’s Spider-Man will take from Garfield’s depiction of the iconic superhero.

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Last modified: November 2, 2020