From playboy to paranoid protector, Tony Stark has been on a very interesting character journey since 2008, and Peter Parker plays an important part of that. After he recruited him back in Captain America: Civil War, Robert Downey Jr.’s beloved Avenger felt a great deal of responsibility for the teenager, pivoting between encouraging and curtailing the fledgling hero.
Stark wants Peter to do some good, but also hopes he’ll avoid making the same mistakes he did. Nowhere is that more evident than in that now famous conversation in Homecoming, where he says:
“What if somebody had died tonight? Different story, right? ‘Cause that’s on you. And if you died, I feel like that’s on me. I don’t need that on my conscience.”
Now, after having turned to dust in his arms during the devastating climax of Avengers: Infinity War, you can bet that Spidey’s death will weigh very heavily upon an already traumatized Tony. How exactly it’ll impact him going forward remains to be seen, but directors Joe and Anthony Russo have given us a little hint.
Speaking on the film’s audio commentary, which can be found on the upcoming Blu-ray release, they said that Peter dying in his arms has “changed Stark forever.” Of course, the brothers wouldn’t elaborate further than that so as not to spoil anything for Avengers 4, but given that the playboy/philanthropist is nursing a whole lot of guilt already, not just from Civil War but from his weapon dealing days, too, you can bet we’ll be seeing a very vengeful Iron Man in next May’s sequel.
At this point, we can only imagine what lengths Stark will now go to in order to stop Thanos. And lord help the Mad Titan if Pepper Potts was among those who faded away in Avengers: Infinity War, especially if she actually is pregnant!