The domestic and international trailers for Spider-Man: Homecoming have debuted and we got our first glimpses at the post-airport battle day-to-day of the MCU’s Peter Parker. School life, friendships, crushes and the mentorship of Tony Stark.
There are a lot of ways I’ve associated with Peter in my adolescence. I was a nerdy kid who wasn’t great at sports and got bullied on the bus, playground, in the locker room. Pretty much anywhere there were other kids around, I got shoved around or beat up. In fact, there was a time I was reading an Amazing Spider-Man comic on the bus and one of said bullies grabbed it from me and ripped it in half.
Don’t worry. While there is some heavy honesty in this write-up I’m not looking for past due sympathies. Just giving examples of why I’ve always connected to Peter throughout my life.
I always associated with Peter on a base level. He had to grow up in an “imperfect home” with a lack of father figure. As a child of divorce, I always found that it was something I lacked while growing up. I would see my father on weekends but there was always a distance between us. Without going into specific details, actions of his weren’t great examples of who to become. He made mistakes, but very conscious mistakes that caused ramifications to our family that still last today.
We’ve seen Tony take on fatherly roles before, despite not necessarily knowing that he’s taking them on. In Iron Man 3 he takes Harley Keener under his wing, giving him advice and eventually donating equipment to help him thrive. He also fully funds the research of every student at MIT in Civil War before taking Peter in as his new ward.
As much as his classically aloof personality is intact, Tony doesn’t realize that he needs these kids as much as they need him. Perhaps he does know and is purposefully building walls in order to stay somewhat detached. All I know is, Peter needs him and he needs Peter.
The trailer even contains notes of a teenager butting heads with his father. It’s clear that Peter wants to spread his web-wings and start following his greatest responsibility. Meanwhile, Tony is in straight-up overprotective dad mode throughout this trailer. Making sure Peter hangs back and to let the adults take care of Vulture. We’ve all said “I’m not a kid anymore” to a parent at some point. They do usually end up treating us that way. The thing is for a supportive parent we’re not just kids, we’re THEIR kids. Time moving forward doesn’t change that.
As a kid, I lived through the eyes of Peter. I had a great role model in my mother to be a good person, but I didn’t have one for learning how to be a good man. As I get older (32 is grim you guys,) I’m caught between the ages of both sides of this now and can see clearly that this is a symbiosis. Both Peter and Tony get exactly what they need out of one another, and they’ll grow in extremely positive ways if they embrace it.
In my teenage years I also had to look elsewhere to learn my standards for living as a good person. I luckily didn’t have to outsource, as unbeknownst to him, my brother became that statue. Finding someone to exemplify those lessons, I was able to grow. Now, seeing the person whose eyes I’ve always looked through finding the same thing, it settles some of the phantom pain I’ve held onto my whole life.