In Captain America: Civil War, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Peter Parker (Tom Holland) bonded over their shared love of engineering and superpowered mayhem. Stark needed a teammate and Parker was eager to join one of his heroes and get a better costume. The younger guy came away with new duds and the old war horse came away with an apprentice of sort, a young, do-gooder foil for his knowing jokes. Now, with the debut of the first full trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming, it’s clear that Stark as father figure will be central to the action of Marvel’s next blockbuster.
In the trailer, Stark gives Parker a hand saving the Staten Island Ferry after new super villain the Vulture (Michael Keaton) slices it in two. Then he goes into full dad mode, putting Spidey in a time-out by taking back the spider suit. He doesn’t make Parker to go to his room, but he almost gets there. And, of course, the paternal play works: Parker is inspired to take on more responsibility.
The whole Iron Man as paterfamilias thing is a canny move by Marvel. After all, moviegoers have already sat through 5 Spider-Man movies in 15 years. No one really needs to see Uncle Ben die again and Spidey needs guidance to go from nerd to action hero at speed. Stark speeds things up. He’s a catalyst who researches catalysts. It feels organic, but also allows for the creation of a more standard action arc.
The new Spidey villains are a nice addition as well. This is the first big-screen appearance for both Vulture and Shocker (Bokeem Woodbine) and casting Keaton as the bird man moves the film in the (impossible for intellectual property law reasons) direction of “Batman vs. Spider-Man.”
Still, Parker may want to keep a close eye on Stark. Tony is still single and Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) may not be powerful enough to withstand the charm offensive.