With a runtime of more than three hours, it should hardly come as a surprise that Avengers: Endgame features a lot of familiar faces. In fact, given the long list of heroes, villains, and normies who pop up, the whole thing can feel a bit like a superhero class reunion. But while there are plenty of long-forgotten characters that viewers are sure to remember, there is at least one that you may find yourself struggling to recognize.
WARNING: A TON OF MAJOR ENDGAME SPOILERS ARE FEATURED BELOW SO STOP READING IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IT.
At the end of the fourth Avengers installment, all of the remaining heroes (and a few non-heroes) gather together for a tragic affair: Tony Stark’s funeral, as the self-described genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist heroically sacrificed himself to defeat Thanos and his alien army. The funeral is a who’s who of the MCU, with nearly every major and minor character appearing to pay their respects to the man who, with all due respect to Nick Fury, was responsible for bringing the Avengers together. (Also let’s not forget Cobie Smulders!)
But among all of the recognizable faces, there is one teen boy who doesn’t immediately seem familiar. Is he a friend of Peter Parker? An Avenger in training? Or perhaps a secret lovechild of Tony’s who never revealed himself until now? The answer, it turns out, is none of the above, as the mystery man is none other than Harley Keener.
Who? It’s a fair question, as he looked a bit different the last time we saw him and hasn’t really been mentioned since. Keener was the precocious child who became an unlikely friend to Stark in Iron Man 3 way back in 2013. bringing out a paternal side of the super-genius and helping Stark escape his own anxiety to defeat the Mandarin. Keener was never heard from again but Ty Simpkins, who played him in Iron Man 3, reprises the role.
Simpkins’ involvement in the film was previously confirmed, leading some to speculate that Keener may have a massive role to play in the story but it turns out, he was brought back for a silent cameo that is so brief that there’s a chance most viewers won’t even notice him. Still, it’s nice to see an old friend of Tony return to say goodbye, as the MCU OG’s death represents a clear closing of the first chapter of the Avengers’ story.