How Does Tony Stark Know Spider-Man? The Heroes Have A Complicated History
Of all the many pairings that can be found in Captain America: Civil War — Cap and Bucky, Iron Man and Rhodes, even Scarlet Witch and Vision — the most unlikely one has got to be the bond between Tony Stark and Peter Parker. For one thing, the two heroes seem as different as it gets. Tony is an arrogant billionaire known and revered by the entire world, and Peter is an awkward teenager living in Queens with his aunt. For another, it doesn't even seem natural that the duo would meet in the first place, let alone work side by side in Civil War. Yet when you look into how Tony Stark and Spider-Man know each other, the pairing actually starts to make some sense.
A little over midway through Civil War, the movie introduces Peter, a teenage kid, listening to music and noticing a cool-looking car sitting outside his building. He walks into his house, and proceeds to tell his Aunt May all about the awesome car — until he realizes that Tony Stark is sitting in his living room. Peter freaks out, going on about how Iron Man is basically his hero, until Tony politely interrupts. The philanthropist tells May that he's there to talk to Peter about a grant the teen applied for with Tony's foundation, and while it's clear to the viewer it's a lie, it works on May, who lets the two have some space alone.
When they're together, Peter questions Tony about the grant, and Tony explains that it was just a cover for the real reason he's there: to recruit Peter to Team Iron Man. He explains the situation a bit differently, of course, telling Peter that he's seen him in action as Spider-Man (which Peter quickly denies, before eventually admitting his secret), and needs him for a new mission. Once they get some logistics out of the way — Peter is hesitant about leaving school and lying to Aunt May — the young Spidey agrees. Despite his reservations, he seems thrilled at the opportunity to work alongside his hero, and Tony looks about as amused as you'd expect him to be at the whole situation.
So although Aunt May might think that Tony and Peter know each other from some scholastic enterprise, the real way the duo meet is a lot more exciting. Once Spidey is on-board Team Iron Man, though, that's when the fun — and chaos — really begins.
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