Warning: Contains Spider-Man: Homecoming spoilers!
Before swinging onto the big screen in his own MCU movie, Spider-Man first appeared in Captain America: Civil War, where he gave us our first glimpse of how the MCU version of this character will be. Before getting involved with Earth Mightiest Heroes, Peter Parker was just a kid in a onesie playing superhero and trying his best to make a difference by using his powers.
After Tony Stark recruits him to fight against Captain America's team, Peter's life changes. He receives an upgraded suit, much better that the one he made for himself, and he is inducted into the world of superheroes. From this moment on, it is clear that Tony wants to be Peter's mentor and prepare him to become an Avenger in the future.
However, I feel like Tony used Peter's young age and lack of experience as a superhero in order to manipulate him into joining his side, although Peter's ideology seemed to align more with Steve's.
That being said, after Captain America: Civil War I thought that #TonyStark was not fit to be #PeterParker's mentor, and I wasn't that happy when I heard that he was going to be in Spider-Man: Homecoming. However, after seeing the movie I have to say that I changed my mind.
I am not saying that Tony is the perfect mentor, but he is trying his best and that is what matters most. Tony behaves just like you would expect him to behave. He is witty, sarcastic and has a devil-may-care attitude. He still hasn't learned how to properly express all his feelings, still choosing to hide behind witty remarks, although we all know he is really a big teddy bear inside.
However, it is clear that he cares about Peter. From giving him an upgraded suit that is clearly safer than Peter's old one at the beginning of the movie, to asking him to join the Avengers at the end, here is why I think Tony is a good mentor to Peter.
1. He Lets Peter Keep The Suit
After the events of Civil War, Tony could have easily taken the suit back, but he chose to leave it with Peter. He did this because he cared about Peter's safety, and also because he probably wanted to keep tabs on his young Protegee. The gesture of giving the suit ultimately means that Tony trusts Peter and wants him to be a superhero. He does, however, advise him to "stay close to the ground."
2. He Installs The 'Training Wheels Protocol' Into The Suit
Even if he trusts Peter to make the right choices, Tony seems to be aware that his charge is still a teenager, and teenagers are prone to breaking the rules and ignoring adult advice. So, he locks a vast majority of Peter's suit functions until he graduates the so-called "Training Wheels Protocol," probably so Peter doesn't end up hurting himself because of his lack of experience.
3. He Sends His Armor To Save Peter
Despite being in India, Tony sends his armor to save Peter after his first encounter with the Vulture. This shows, yet again, that Tony cares about Peter's safety, although he is not there in person. Tony uses the tracker in the suit to make sure Peter is safe, not to spy on him like the teenager probably thinks, because if Peter dies the blame will fall on Tony, like he himself says.
4. He Actually Listens To Peter, And Believes What He Says About The Vulture And The Alien Weapons
Despite acting like he doesn't care about what Peter tells him, Tony chooses to believe what the teenager says about the Vulture and the alien weapons. He goes as far as calling the FBI to deal with Vulture and his men, even if people may think he is crazy for believing what a teenager says.
5. He Wants Peter To Be Better Than Him
After Peter "screwed the pooch" by nearly sinking the New York City’s Staten Island Ferry, Tony takes away his suit saying "if you are noting without the suit, then you shouldn't have it" to him. He wants Peter to be better than him, and takes it upon himself to teach the teenager a lesson that he had to learn all by himself: the suit doesn't make you a hero.
6. He Wants Peter To Join The Avengers, But Pretends It Was A Test When Peter Refuses
At the end of the movie Tony wants Peter to join the Avengers as an official member of the team. He shows Peter a new Spider-Man suit, tells him that he arranged a press conference and even goes as far as discussing sleeping arrangements . However, Peter refuses the offer, saying that he decided to stay close to the ground just like his mentor has advised him earlier.
Peter believes that Tony's offer is a test, and Tony agrees with the teenager's statement, although his offer was genuine. As Peter leaves we can clearly see that Tony is proud of Peter for refusing to join the Avengers and instead choosing to remain a street level hero.
Of course, Tony still has a lot to learn about being a mentor, and I feel like he will do a much better job of mentoring Peter in future movies. But so far, in my opinion, Tony is worthy mentor for Peter.