With the recent release of Spider-Man: Homecoming's third trailer, there has been some controversy surrounding the inclusion of Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man, in the film. Recent social media activity claims that the movie should be changed to "Iron Man: Homecoming," alongside other criticism. I have to wonder why that is. Yes, #IronMan is now one of the most popular #superheroes thanks to his own film trilogy, his role in the Avengers, and Robert Downey Jr. legendary performance, but that doesn't make this film a mere "cash grab" as some have labelled it.
If anything, I think that's insulting to Spider-Man, because he rakes in the cash all by himself. Spider-Man is one of the most popular superheroes — arguably the most popular — so no, it is not a cash grab. Here are my four reasons why Iron Man's role in #SpiderManHomecoming is a good idea.
1. It Continues The MCU Narrative
As we know, at the end of Civil War, Iron Man is effectively the leader of the Avengers. He may be under the control of the government and General Ross, but he will lead the team out in the field and work closely with Ross (in theory, perhaps not in actuality). Because Tony was the one who recruited Peter Parker for the fight against Steve Rogers, it only makes sense that he would follow-up with Peter afterwards; not just because of the relationship they struck up in Civil War, but also because of his role as the leader of the Avengers. Tony has to keep an eye Spider-Man so he doesn't come into conflict with General Ross and the government's Sokovia Accords. The fact that Stark does have a good relationship with Peter is an added bonus for both of them
2. It Expands On Tony's Relationship With Peter
I touched briefly upon the relationship beginning to form between Tony and Peter, and I want to expand upon that. We saw the chemistry between RDJ and #TomHolland right from their first scene together, and it only makes sense that #Marvel would want to expand upon that for Peter's first solo outing in the #MCU. As for the actual characters, Tony has an invested interest in Peter, not just because he is Spider-Man, but also because he is a young scientist interested in engineering, much like Tony himself. Tony sees a lot of himself in Peter and wouldn't want him to make the same mistakes that Tony did early on in his life. Tony can groom Peter as a superhero and as an eventual replacement for him on the Avengers.
It has been pointed out to me by other fans that Aunt May is Peter's morale compass, and that there is concern Tony would take her place, but I don't think that is the case at all. Yes, Tony will have an influence over Peter, but at the end of the day, Aunt May has always been Peter's guiding light, as well as his deceased Uncle Ben (thank God we don't have to go through that again, huh?). Aunt May will still appear in Spider-Man: Homecoming and, as the main parental figure in Peter's life, she will have a huge influence over Peter's morale compass
3. It Sets Up Tony As A Replacement To Nick Fury
Thanks to the post-credit scene at the end of The Incredible Hulk, we know that Tony has been involved in recruiting future Avengers, much like how he was recruited by Nick Fury at the end of his own movie. Tony's recruitment of Peter to Team Iron Man in Civil War sets up Tony as the perfect replacement for Fury should he not make it out of Infinity War alive (or should he do something boring like us normal people and retire).
Tony could be the future recruiter of the Avengers and could become the link between the different MCU films that Fury has been. If we're lucky, Fury may appear in Marvel's Netflix shows and play a hand in recruiting the Defenders for more global threats. Tony can also be the bridge between the Avengers and the cosmic world of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Tony could become a general of sorts, hand-picking different Avengers for missions that may require their skill sets. Tony becoming Nick Fury's replacement could also set up Tony's own retirement as Iron Man and lead to him finding a successor to continue the Iron Man legacy.
4. It Ensures RDJ's Presence In The MCU
Robert Downey Jr is pretty much the face of the MCU. He starred in the franchise's first film and has been in a whopping seven MCU films, not including Homecoming or next year's Avengers: Infinity War and its follow-up untitled film. By the time he's done, he will have been in 10. That is a massive job for any actor, and while RDJ revels in his role as Tony Stark, there will come a time when he may not want to do as much as he already has.
With no plans for an Iron Man 4 film and RDJ's contract running out, his time in the franchise could be coming to an end. That is, unless he accepts smaller roles in films (and potentially shows) as the aforementioned replacement to Nick Fury. Having him appear in brief scenes can keep the MCU films connected and keep RDJ around should Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios want him (and I think it's safe to say they would love to have him hang around).
Alright, so those are my reasons for Tony Stark's role in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Now it's over to you guys: Do you think Iron Man should be Homecoming, or has Marvel made a mistake by including its biggest character in Spidey's first outing? Let me know down in the comments section below!