WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Spider-Man: No Way Home, now playing in theaters.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, many have questioned Tony Stark's decisions. He always had the best interest of the world at heart, but his choices caused turmoil, including the Ultron fiasco and the Avengers' civil war. One other issue that's arisen in the wake of his death is whether or not it was smart to recruit Spider-Man into the team at such a young age. Many felt Peter Parker was too young and that Tony exploited his powers, but upon revisiting Spider-Man: Homecoming, the real reason he was recruited may not have been for the teen's potential.
With No Way Home plunging Pete's life into tragedy, it must be asked if it was responsible to have a kid put on this heroic path, as he was irresponsible and immature himself at the time. But thanks to a key conversation from Homecoming, Tony hinted that he just needed Peter for one key factor about his upbringing.
When Tony called Pete from India and chided him after he botched the arrest of Vulture's crew in Maryland, he made it clear the kid wasn't ready. He sent an Iron Man drone to fish him out of the lake, and when Pete said he needed more responsibility, like when he fought and nearly beat Captain America at the German airport in Civil War, Tony laughed it off.
The tech mogul stated if Cap really wanted, he'd have wiped the floor with Peter. And that makes one wonder why he would send Pete to target Cap and grab the shield. It's obvious Steve would have come after the teen, but putting the kid in the line of fire was Tony hoping to extract sympathy from his enemy. He must have known Peter wouldn't keep his mouth shut and understood once he started yapping about New York, it would disarm Cap.
Tony predicted, as he so often did, Steve would engage the kid and entertain his banter. This led to Steve commenting on how the ambitious Spidey had heart and asking him where he was from. Pete told him Queens, and Steve added he was from Brooklyn in a comedic yet poignant moment.
Tony needed Peter to naturally distract Cap in order for him and War Machine to be able to apprehend the Winter Soldier. It was a clever tactic to appeal to the homegrown dreamers who came from the Big Apple, but sadly, it would backfire as Team Cap would escape and leave Rhodey damaged. Nevertheless, it still explains Tony's risk in using Pete and why after that moment, he didn't want him participating in any more crazy missions.
To see how Pete's life turned out, Spider-Man: No Way Home is in theaters now.
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