Hello reader and thank you for joining this meeting of Irondad and Spider-Son addicts.

I have:

  1. shipped so many characters and loved so many couples.
  2. read fan-fiction and still have my #1 go to fantasy.
  3. blown/lived weeks in a blur of fanfiction/fanart addiction.

Nothing compares to what is happening to my sanity when it comes to Irondad and Spider-son. I’ll explain why this relationship is so compelling! Moving forward, I am assuming that you have watched some of the Marvel Movies.

Irondad and Spider-son 1
Irondad and Spider-son by viviixen

*SPOILERS AHEAD for Spider-Man: Homecoming, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, and opinion on Captain America: Civil War*

The obsession started the fateful day I watched Spider-Man: Homecoming. I would like to say it began with Civil-War, but the intense political discourse about registration, accountability, and supervision distracted me. Side-note: I agree in principal with Iron Man, but I think that Thaddeus Ross is too obsessed with super-soldiers. The accords with Ross is just a recipe for disaster.

Anyways, Tony cared about Peter; he built him a suit with so many contingencies for all situations to make sure the kid could continue protecting the people of Queens without getting hurt or suffering any preventable (in his opinion) damages. Although Tony Stark’s guilt complex and inability to understand what a teenager needs from his mentor revealed itself, he did try to father Peter Parker, especially when he took the suit away. Tony attempted to be the responsible adult that grounds his teenage ward. 

Despite the move backfiring at him, he tried to stop Peter from dedicating his life to vigilantism and forgetting to live his life. I obviously don’t agree with everything he did like offer Peter a spot on the Avengers when his Aunt didn’t know about Spider-Man. I mean, Tony Stark is not equipped to be a father/father-figure for a teenager. He has no experience, and he pushed himself away so he would not get attached and so Peter would not get attached to him.

However, I do believe that Tony Stark is able to excel in any field he chooses and would actually excel at being a responsible father-figure/mentor if he allowed himself.

This pushed me into a small spiral of fanfiction, trying to prove myself right. I can safely assume that many people agree with me based on the amount of fanfiction on the subject post-Homecoming. It was like an explosion on the internet, and there was so much content to enjoy and experience. Still, the people who loved the new spidey and I are adamant that he is the most precious being and needs protection from the evils of the world. There is also a tendency within that community of infinite love for Irondad mixed with criticism of irresponsibility because, and I agree, he can do better as a father-figure/mentor. Don’t get me started on how confused Tom Holland made me feel between the suddenly appearing motherly protectiveness and the realization that he was only four years younger than me.

Irondad and Spider-son 3
Irondad and Spider-son by shesellsseagulls

Next comes Infinity War in the Irondad and Spider-son saga

Infinity War was destructive to most people who watched it. I am not ashamed to say that I was literally in tears for most of the movie if not all (THANOS KILLED LOKI, and I was NOT okay). Throughout the movie, we would see Tony Stark and Peter Parker bantering, and my heart would swell… Then the final scene happened, and Spider-Man disintegrated into ash before his mentor/father figure’s eyes and in his arms. He did that while apologizing. Some theorize that he apologized cause Peter remembered the lecture Tony gave him about how his death/injury is Tony’s responsibility. This familial exchange shows how Peter’s effect on Tony and vice versa. They depend on each other, and they help each other grow.

Endgame – more like the mission to bring Peter home

Honestly, this movie broke the Internet (and me) because, although people expected the ending, Tony Stark died saving the world. Let’s rewind a bit to right after Infinity War. Tony returns from space, and the first thing he says: “I lost the kid.” The first thing he does when coming back home from space is to express the pain and grief of losing his pseudo son. 

Furthermore, despite finally getting the ‘rest’ he wanted with a family and a house in the country, Tony couldn’t pass up the possibility of bringing Peter Parker back. He wanted to reunite Irondad and Spider-Son. The scene where Tony stares at the picture of Peter is the turning point in the story and point of inspiration. The picture was on a prominent spot on the shelf near the sink. This moment and the placement of the picture can be an affirmation of his love for the kid, the growth of their relationship, and the importance of Peter Parker to his and his family’s life. Tony may not have called him my kid or my son on screen, but the subtext of familial love is nearly undeniable.

Irondad and Spider-son 2
Irondad and Spider-son by umikochannart

Undoing the Snap

Peter came through the portal, found Tony, and started rambling as if nothing happened. Tony Stark turned into Irondad and hugged him into quietness. While all the Irondad and Spider-son shippers expected Tony to react happily to the return of Peter, the look of pure adoration was unexpected. The interaction was very affirming of Irondad and Spider-Son. Peter’s reaction, “This is nice” can be read in two different ways:

1) He needed that hug to center him and comfort him within the chaos of battling for nearly a whole day (for him).

2) This is the first time Tony hugs Peter.

I don’t agree with the second point because I do believe there were behind-the-scenes growth and activities. Otherwise, how do you explain the bridged gap between Homecoming and Infinity War? There is a possibility that Irondad and Spider-Son were not able to grow their relationship together. It could be a one-sided growth on Tony’s part. His new-parenthood can be the catalyst of this change. However, the latter wouldn’t be as satisfying in terms of narrative and development.

Still, Tony Stark died leaving Peter weeping and calling for Tony, not Mr. Stark. Then, during the funeral where he looks solemn and we get to see Harley Keener. Harley is the kid who appeared at the end of the funeral scene right before Thaddeus Ross. He was standing away from the rest of Tony’s immediate family. His position could be a filming issue or an unfamiliarity issue. Knowing Tony, Harley would have constantly had access to whatever he needed/needs to advance himself technologically. Still, the rest of the family, except Pepper, may not have known him yet. Morgan looked confused and lost, not fully understanding losing her father.

Iron Fam
Iron Fam: “Kids, dinner!” by ppeanutbutt

Peter’s story is only beginning in the MCU.

So, it is safe to assume from the movie and his solemnity and the trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home. Even Kevin Feige agrees with me. In an interview promoting the movie, he said:  “The relationship between Peter Parker and Tony Stark is so special over the five films that Tom Holland has portrayed Spider-Man in the MCU, that we needed to see where his journey went, and see how does Spider-Man step out of the shadow of his mentor, Tony Stark, and become the true hero that he was always meant to be”.


1- 5+1 fic
2- Adoption fic
3- De-Age Fic
4- Mentor/Mentee
5- Grieving Peter + Morgan
6- Peter living up to Tony for Morgan
7- Peter, Harley, and Morgan
8- Tony and his kids
9- Time Travel Fix-It
10- Twitter-verse

Unsatisfied with my recommendations, please comment and share your favorite fan-fiction with Iron-dad and Spider-son!

Hafsa Alkhudairi
Hafsa Alkhudairi doing her MA Contemporary Literature and Culture at Birkbeck College, University of London, living in London, UK. She is graduating hopefully in october and has her heart set on going into publishing until she decides whether there is a PHD in her future. Current Project; Figuring out who is the big bad female villain in Marvel and DC.

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