After years of waiting, long months of build-up, and enough rumors to keep the internet buzzing for years, Captain America: Civil War is finally upon us. Released last week to universal acclaim, the film is currently banking major change at the box-office — $678.4 million and counting — and smashing records left, right, and centre. The film is ticking all the right boxes. However, for those who haven’t seen the film yet, a majority of the plaudits are being aimed at one of its fleeting stars, a character who is welcomed back into the Marvel universe with open arms: Spider-Man.
At this point, be warned, several spoilers for Captain America: Civil War lie ahead.
It’s no secret that Peter Parker makes an extended cameo in the movie, but the way he is introduced is nothing short of smart, slick and very funny. Tony Stark goes to Peter Parker’s house, flirts with Aunt May, and recruits Spidey for his noble crusade. The chemistry between Tom Holland and Robert Downey Jr. is mesmerizing, effortless even, and a true comic book moment, but some fans are a little confused about how Stark actually found Parker; after all, he’s kept his secret from everyone bar himself. So how did he do it? Surely this wasn’t an oversight?
Well, Marvel fans need not fear; if you’re wondering how he tracked down Spider-Man, the answer has been revealed, and it’s actually very simple.
During an interview with ComicBook.com, Captain America: Civil War co-writer Christopher Markus revealed the logic behind the scene, explaining how Stark knew of Parker’s whereabouts. It’s a dead simple answer, one that fits perfectly into the Avengers universe.
“I think he’s been keeping tabs. I think he might know about everybody. Tony has A.I. somewhere running crime statistics. He can see where it’s going up and heroes might be needed and where it’s going down and there might be heroes. It’s why he built Ultron in the first place.”
Tony Stark keeping tabs on other superheroes is nothing short of accurate for the character, especially with the central plot of Civil War; he is one of the few heroes to support the Sokovia Accords, an agreement that establishes an international governing body to oversee and control the Avengers. As well as having knowledge on potential superhero allies for recruitment purposes, it also stands to reason Stark would want to keep an eye on them should they step outside the law. It’s a minor piece of detail in a movie full of intertwining story lines and potential spin-offs, but it shows that the writers know their characters, and think these cameos through.
On the flip-side of this, there’s no doubt that Tom Holland stole the film as Peter Parker and his web-slinging alter-ego, but his introduction during the movie was perfect; they nailed the character from the start, introducing him in such a way that any viewers — old or new — knew what Parker was about within seconds. Holland may only have appeared on screen for less than ten minutes in total, but what a ten minutes it was, stealing laughs, nods and smirks from fans worldwide. It’s already been revealed that Spider-Man: Homecoming will do away with Spider-Man’s origin story — as revealed by Screen Rant — and follow on from his appearance in Civil War, so to see a young, dorky Peter Parker introduced to Iron Man so early on, and seem naturally flustered when doing so, was a great moment in the franchise.
And if the writers have thought this through, and Stark knows where every superhero is, who’s to say it will stop there? Peter Parker resides in Queens, so what’s stopping Tony Stark from making a short trip to Hell’s Kitchen to pick up Matt Murdock? It’s a small detail that has positive implications for Marvel in the future. The Avengers have been name-dropped in Daredevil and Jessica Jones, too, so surely it’s only a matter of time until the parties meet. Marvel likes to keep its TV and film franchises separate, but they could always change the game on that front.
Regardless, Spider-Man’s introduction in Civil War was something special, and it bodes well for the future of the character. Rumors persist that Iron Man, or even Captain America — who shares a small, respectful conversation with Parker during battle — will appear in Spider-Man: Homecoming, or a future instalment, and after seeing Civil War play out, this seems likely. With a lot changing in Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, anything is possible.
Tony Stark might not be Nick Fury, and his recruitment method differs wildly, but he still has the Avengers initiative at heart, so if he steps in as Parker’s go-to hero, so be it. One thing is clear; if Iron Man crops up in Spider-Man: Homecoming, from the solid evidence in Civil War, he won’t outshine Spidey in his own movie. It took a mere ten minutes for Tom Holland to make Spider-Man relevant again — just imagine what he can do with two hours. Next time Stark tracks Parker down, expect the scene to play out very differently.
Captain America: Civil War is in theatres now.
[Image via Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures]