Marvel theory: Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark is a variant of a major Spider-Man villain


    In 2021, two Marvel stories explored the concept of the multiverse, Disney Plus’s Loki and Spider-Man: No Way Home. In the former, Tom Hiddleston’s God of Mischief met various versions of himself, all coming from weird and wonderful worlds beyond imagining. The same is true for the webhead, who was recently swinging through the streets of New York with two other Spider-Men. In the Norse god’s series, the concept of variants was introduced – the same person from a different universe. Some are slightly different (President Loki), and others are wildly strange (Alligator Loki). With this new logic, it means every MCU hero is a variant in an endless sea of differing people. One audience member believes Tony Stark is one to an iconic villain – Norman Osborn aka Green Goblin, and there is a lot of evidence to prove it.

    Stark and Osborn have more in common than it may first appear. They are both CEOs of billion-dollar tech corporations. They specialise in military weaponry – each builds a power suit. The companies are also based in New York (at least for a time), with Stark Tower being erected in Avengers Assemble and Oscorp operating out of The Big Apple.

    The pair both play an important role in Peter Parker’s life, taking on a father figure position for the young web-crawler. Back in Spider-Man from 2002, Osborn even says: “Give me your hand. Believe in me, as I believed in you. I’ve been like a father to you… be a son to me now.” In turn, the death of Stark hit Peter hard, leading him to become the independent hero audiences have been waiting for by the end of Now Way Home.

    The theory was proposed by user food_ad on Reddit, who added: “This theory kind of makes sense as in Spider-Man: No Way Home, Norman says that somebody else living in his house and Oscorp does not exist. Or maybe it exists? Maybe it’s called Stark Industries in this universe?” (sic)

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    Despite the theory being a completely original idea that does not stem from the comic book source material, it is certainly a possibility. Spider-Man and Osborn are inextricably linked in the comics, so it is bizarre that Oscorp doesn’t exist in the MCU. Stark Industries being this world’s version of it would help to explain the gap in the lore.

    If this theory is true, Stark would have to be an Osborn that chose a better path in life, one which didn’t lead him to experiment on super-soldier serums as his counterpart did. When the Green Goblin tested his chemicals on himself, it’s what turned him into the twisted and broken shadow of his former old identity.

    It’s likely Iron Man never wanted to research serums because of what happened to his father – Howard Stark. During the events of Captain America: The First Avenger the allied forces successfully developed a way to create the Star-Spangled Man. However, a Hydra agent infiltrated the procedure, detonating a bomb that killed Howard in the process. His son would likely want to stay away from following the same path due to this.

    However, not every fan agrees, with another pointing out that there are likely too many differences between Stark and Osborn to be true variants of one another. User pen15_parker commented: “I’m pretty sure your variant has to have the same or a similar identity as you, so nah. But I bet there are universes where Tony and Norman are business partners.”

    Yet, asappjay added: “Both are father figures to Peter, both are archetypes that have to be killed for Spider-Man to achieve his potential…you might be onto something.” While seancurry1 wrote: “I like this, as long as we’re clarifying that this is just in movies. If the comic books are part of the MCU multiverse, this doesn’t hold up as well. And to be clear, I don’t know if they are yet.”

    Now that the MCU’s Peter has met the Green Goblin, it begs the question of whether Osborn will show up in future films. Sony’s producer Amy Pascal has teased a new trilogy with Tom Holland, leading to him inevitably encountering new villains. A future Marvel/Disney Oscorp would be very different from the source material, as it would be a new company, without the decades of history behind it.

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    Another fan had their idea of how it could be introduced, suggesting that Osborn would be a young friend of Peter’s not his son Harry. Jiraiya_sensei explained: “I personally think that instead of Harry, Norman will be Peter’s best friend. I think they will room together in college, and both want to do something in the field of science and technology. So, I think Peter will help Norman create Oscorp and knowing what he knows about Norman, try to keep him from turning evil. This would also explain how Peter would get his hands on technology to create better suits, gadgets, etc in the future. Then after they’re more established, Peter could persuade Norman to give Ned a job there and maybe Ned gets into the Green Goblin serum by accident— thus, becoming the Hobgoblin.”

    The fan is referring to how Peter’s friend Ned becomes an alternate version of Green Goblin in the comics – Hobgoblin. It would certainly be a completely new spin on the characters for the films. There is even a setup for it in No Way Home.

    As the three Peters are developing the various cures for their respective villains, Ned finds out that one of the defining moments of Spider-Man’s life is that his best friend turns evil and he has to stop them, often resulting in their death. In response, he turns to his Peter and says: “I promise I won’t become evil and try to kill you.” It may have been a joke, but it could be a sign of things to come.

    Published at Mon, 24 Jan 2022 13:28:15 +0000

    Marvel theory: Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark is a variant of a major Spider-Man villain