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Tom Holland as Peter Parker in 'Captain America: Civil War'
Image via Marvel Studios

How did Tom Holland’s Spider-Man get his superpowers?

The answer may have been crawling under our noses this whole time.

A genetically “engineered” spider bit Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man and Andrew Garfield’s Amazing Spider-Man got the bite from a genetically “modified” spider. And Tom Holland’s Spider-Man was maybe bitten? Probably?

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Aside from a brief conversation between Peter Parker and his best friend Ned Leeds (Jacob Batalon) in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spidey’s very familiar origin story was not featured prominently or at all inside the Marvel Cinematic Universe proper. The MCU version of the character was a fully-fledged superhero (or at least mostly) when he was first introduced to audiences in Captain America: Civil War. After three solo movies of his own and multiple cross-franchise appearances, audiences have yet to see a trace of any spider bite, radioactive or otherwise.

Has the MCU ever addressed how Tom Holland’s Spider-Man got his powers?

Tom Holland as Peter Parker in 'Spider-Man: No Way Home'
Screengrab via Marvel Studios

A few years after Spider-Man: No Way Home broke record box office numbers and became one of the highest grossing MCU movies of all time, director Jon Watts finally revealed what we already knew to be true: Homecoming, Far From Home, and No Way Home all represented the MCU’s version of Peter Parker’s origin story, ending with the tragic death of Aunt May and Peter beginning his journey as a young superhero struggling to make ends meet in a budget apartment in Queens.

Still, the MCU has never formally come out and shared how Peter became Spider-Man in the first place, but that hasn’t stopped fans from crafting theories. One in particular leads the charge. (You probably know the one).

Why people believe Tony Stark had a hand in Peter’s origin story

Robert Downey Jr. and Tom Holland as Iron Man and Spider-Man in the MCU
Image via Marvel Studios/Sony Entertainment

Because Oscorp doens’t exist in the MCU, the main question at large has been how Peter came in contact with the radiaoctive spider that gave him powers. More than a few people are convinced Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is behind the whole thing, and that the YouTube video Tony says led him to Peter aka Spider-Man in Civil War was not how he found him, but why.

See, the belief is that Tony was motived by guilt and responsibily in seeking Peter out. As we know, Stark Industries is the MCU’s leader in sceince and technology, and because Tony has never shied away from his mad scientist tendencies (Ultron, anyone?), it’s more than plausible that the raditoactive spider Peter came into contact with was from his company.

But wait, how do we know Peter was ever in close proximity to Stark Industries? Well, for starters, Stark Expo takes place in Flushings, New York, as shown in Iron Man 2. Flushings, it just so happens, is a community in Queens, Peter’s hometown.

Furthermore, it’s been confirmed by both Tom Holland and Kevin Feige that the young boy Tony saves in Iron Man 2, the one wearing an Iron Man helmet, is in fact a young Peter Parker. And becauase its totally reasonable to assume Peter, being the science nerd he is, returned to Stark Expo year after year, it would also stand to reason he could have easily come in contact with one of Stark’s escaped experients.

Of course, Tony’s hand in Peter’s origin has not been confirmed by Marvel so take what you will from the theory. Nevertheless, you can’t deny it has legs. Eight of them, in fact.

We won’t have to wait in suspence much longer as the Peter Parker’s origin story in the MCU is expected to be revealed in Spider-Man: Freshman Year, which may or may not be coming anytime soon. Anything beyond that, well, Tom Holland can’t talk about it.


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Image of Cody Raschella
Cody Raschella
Cody Raschella is a Staff Editor who has been with WGTC since 2021. He is a closeted Swiftie (shh), a proud ‘Drag Race’ fan (yas), and a hopeless optimist (he still has faith in the MCU). His passion for writing has carried him across various mediums including journalism, copywriting, and creative writing, the latter of which has been recognized by Writer’s Digest. He received his bachelor's degree from California State University, Northridge.
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Beau Paul
Beau Paul is a staff writer at We Got This Covered. Beau also wrote narrative and dialog for the gaming industry for several years before becoming an entertainment journalist.