Tom Holland’s Days Are Numbered @TomHolland1996 #MCU #Spiderman

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Going forward, Sundays are lazy days for me. I either post something silly or other people’s work. Usually both. Today, I acknowledge a startling revelation.

May be a meme of 2 people and text that says 'tom holland age ALL MAGES MAPS NEWS Tom sofland Age 22 years Junu1 1996 how long do spiders live ALL IMADES MAPS NEWS SPIDER Litespan 21-23 years'

I know what you’ll be thinking after some quick googling: “But he’s currently 24 years old.” Well, if the average spider lifespan of a spider is 22 years, then Tom is currently at 1.09090909% of his expected lifespan. The average British male lives to be 79.4 years old (from 2016 to 2018). What do you think when you learn about a Brit that’s over 86 years old? Q.E.D.

R.I.P. Tom Holland

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Dysfunctional to Functional Family: Tony Stark, Obadiah Stane, Spiderman, and Morgan Stark @ComicBook @BrandonDavisBD @Rowaenthe @TheJeffBridges @RobertDowneyJr #IronMan #QuarantineWatchParty #MCU #Spiderman

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June 30 was the first ComicBook.com quarantine watch party in quite some time. As always, I made a few more Twitter connections through the conversations that came from it. These conversations inspired three posts for my blog, this being the first one.

My posts aren’t about getting clicks. If no one read any of my posts, I wouldn’t really care. Writing them is more about catharsis than fame. Moreover, I’m no film student, psychologist, or sociologist, so I can’t break down the science of movie-making or human behavior. Instead, these posts are about analyzing the themes used within the movies due to my personal connection to their messages (accordingly, YMMV). As a result, my favorite posts have been about Nebula’s Redemption, my comparison of Shazam! and Guardians of the Galaxy, and others dealing with a particular theme. That theme is realizing and accepting that your idealized vision of family is complete nonsense, breaking away from those abusive relationships, and appreciating the family you didn’t realize was in front of you the whole time (though for me personally, the third has been elusive). Not everyone has these experiences, but it’s a recurring theme in superhero movies. I never considered that the first Iron Man movie implicitly raised issues related to this theme.

Father Figure

Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey, Jr.) father died, and then Tony disappeared for a while. This isn’t surprising considering how self-absorbed he is, but when he returned to Stark Industries, Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) must have served as a father-figure for him. Before I go forward, I want to mention . . .

Tony didn’t show as much respect for Obadiah as you would want to see from your own child, but Tony didn’t ever show much respect for any authority figure, so it’s still fair to assume Obadiah acted as an adoptive father to him. That is, Obadiah wasn’t merely a coworker, boss, or even family friend. Assuming that, it must have been absolutely devastating for Tony when he realized Obadiah had called for his removal from the company, and even worse, his death. That betrayal would hold back Tony’s growth, which became a slow burn throughout the Infinity War saga. It helps make Tony’s grief over Black Widow’s death as believable as that of any other character despite his never overtly expressing that grief or deep feelings for her. It wasn’t until the first Avengers that Tony showed a willingness to “lay down on a wire” for his allies, but his ego made sure that no one would forget that. Somehow, it was still about him . . . until he started to understand fatherhood in Captain America: Civil War.

Peter Parker and Morgan Stark

In Civil War, Tony latched onto Peter Parker/Spiderman. At first, he was looking for a little more firepower to take down Team Cap ®©TM℗SM, but by Infinity War it was clear he had a genuine emotional attachment to Peter.

By Avengers: Endgame, he was devastated because he “lost the kid,” but he got a second chance in that film. Tony’s life became about Pepper and their daughter, Morgan. He was reluctant to restore the Vanished because doing so threatened what he had finally found after a lifetime of searching, even if it meant giving up on his filial figure, Peter.

Tony’s progression from self-absorbed brat to the guy who’d “make the sacrifice play” was 22 movies long probably because of Obadiah more than anything else we saw, but Tony made it there, and that wound up saving half the universe.

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No Small Parts: William Ginter Riva in Spiderman Far from Home @OfficialPeterB @BrandonDavisBD @ComicBook #QuarantineWatchParty #Spiderman

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Last night was another quarantine watch party hosted by Brandon Davis of ComicBook.com. This time it was Spiderman: Far from Home, and the small part I want to highlight is William Ginter Riva. There were several characters that helped Beck in his master plan. William was one of those characters. He had a small part . . . twice. He first appeared in Iron Man.

Jump to 0:10. Or just wait for it. It’s only 10 seconds.

Then he appeared again in Far from Home.

Jump to 2:10.

Unlike the other No Small Parts entries, he probably got a bit over 2 minutes of screen time, but the added value of this part is the connection it draws between the first modern MCU film, Iron Man, and the first one after which Tony Stark had died (representing a coda to the Tony Stark legacy). The thing that amazes me the most about the MCU is that I can’t think of any cinematic universe that tied together so many independent stories that collectively told a bigger one. Star Trek came close, and Star Wars came closer, but the MCU is the new standard for such a thing. Every movie stands 100% on its own yet tells a common story across 23 films. The fact that William appeared only at the very beginning and then at the very end makes the MCU feel a little bit more real, and thus relatable.

William was a small but significant way to remind us of that larger story, so I can’t help but appreciate this role.

Side note: What some may not know is that William was played by Peter Billingsley, who played Ralphie in 1983’s A Christmas Story. The best part, of course, is that they made a (not so?) subtle reference to “You’ll shoot your eye out.”

Jump to 2:33 for the reference.

Other posts in this series can be accessed by clicking here.

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