Warning: SPOILERS for Spider-Man: Far From Home ahead.
Spider-Man: Far From Home follows Peter Parker as he copes with the death of his mentor, Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), with the film featuring a string of references to the fallen hero. The inaugural Marvel Cinematic Universe hero met his end in Avengers: Endgame after he made the sacrificial play to ensure the universe was free of Thanos’ (Josh Brolin) threat. Stark put on the secondary Infinity Gauntlet he made and wielded the power of all six Infinity Stones, snapping the Mad Titan and his minions away, which killed him in the process. Stark left a grateful world behind, but those who were close to him continue to grieve his demise, including Peter.
Stark’s death is an integral part of Spider-Man: Far From Home‘s story, so while he’s no longer physically present, his presence loomed large in the sequel. Spider-Man: Far From Home tackled how Tony’s death affects how Peter operates as a superhero moving forward. Plagued with questions about who’s going to be the next Iron Man, Peter was initially skeptical of becoming the Spider-Man again, opting to go on a recreational trip to Europe without the burden of being the friendly-neighborhood hero. Incidentally, the primary MacGuffin of Far From Home is a piece of Stark technology known as E.D.I.T.H. (Even Dead I’m The Hero). It’s accessed by the very same sunglasses that the genius, billionaire wore during the battle in New York against Ebony Maw and Cull Obsidian at the start of Avengers: Infinity War. The glasses were left behind for Peter to use, while Mysterio’s (Jake Gyllenhaal) ruse was all to get his hands on them.
Spider-Man: Far From Home paid homage to Tony Stark in various ways throughout the movie. From murals to direct references, here are all the hidden tributes to MCU’s Iron Man in various forms in the Spider-Man: Far From Home.
MidTown’s “In Memoriam” Newscast
In an effort to fully acknowledge the ramifications of the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man: Far From Home opened up with an “In Memoriam” as part of MidTown Tech’s newscast. It addressed the events surrounding Thanos’ snap now called The Blip. Through the fittingly amateur-looking video set to the tune of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Aways Love You,” the high school remembered all those we’ve lost during the battle against the Mad Titan, such as Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Vision (Paul Bettany) and Tony Stark.
Far From Home’s Iron Man Murals
Throughout Spider-Man: Far From Home, Iron Man murals can be seen – even inside Peter’s classroom, supposedly made by the students themselves. Giant illustrations of the fallen hero, on the other hand, are visible in some of the cities, starting with a massive one in New York. Spider-Man attends the charity work hosted by Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), but as he was plagued with questions about who’s going to be the next Iron Man, the overwhelmed hero abruptly left and swung to a roof to get some alone time. There, he saw an artwork of Iron Man looming large, further highlighting the enormous void that Tony Stark left after his demise.
Peter opted to move forward by joining the much-needed recreational trip to Europe, but even across the pond, he’s haunted by the tragic demise of Stark as the world remembers Iron Man. He’s greeted by another gigantic mural of the fallen Avenger immediately after he lands in Venice. When the trip moved to Prague instead of Paris, thanks to Nick Fury-disguised Talos’ ministrations, Peter once again came across another street art of Stark. This time, however, it was in a smaller form at the side of the street. After he handed out E.D.I.T.H. to Mysterio, Peter excitedly walks back to their hotel when he passes by a graffiti of Iron Man with candles, photos, and flowers offered for the hero.
Out of all the three Iron Man murals in Spider-Man: Far From Home, the one from Prague is arguably the most meaningful. While its predecessors were more massive in scale, the smaller artwork also subtly featured Stark’s face mashed up with his Iron Man helmet. It was also spotted right after Peter haphazardly chose to fully take his hands off of the mission, easily giving up E.D.I.T.H. despite that fact that Stark had specific orders to give it to him.
The Heart of Iron In-Universe MCU Movie
Even high above the sky, it didn’t seem like Peter can escape his grieve over Stark’s death in Spider-Man: Far From Home. During his flight from New York to Venice, he was forced to sit with the chatty Mr. Harrington (Martin Starr) after his scheme to sit with MJ (Zendaya) backfired. Annoyed at the circumstance, he checked the in-flight entertainment aircraft and there were several in-universe films tackling some of the most recent events in the MCU, including The Heart of Iron: The Tony Stark Story. As the title suggests, the in-universe movie is a 114-minute “feature-length documentary that chronicles the life and legacy left behind by the world’s greatest hero, Tony Stark.”
AC/DC’s “Back in Black” Song From Iron Man 1
Outside of his budding romance with Aunt May, the involvement of Happy Hogan in Spider-Man: Far From Home is mostly in reference to Tony Stark. Jon Favreau’s MCU character was used sparingly in the movie, but he was utilized effectively. At his lowest point in the film having been defeated by Mysterio twice, Peter called Happy to pick him up in the Netherlands via the Stark Jet. The pair bonded over their shared loss during their heart-to-heart talk and it was an integral moment in the young hero’s arc as he prepared to fully take on the responsibility of defeating Mysterio.
But without any Spider-Man suit with him, Happy gave Peter access to Stark’s secret workshop in the aircraft. Peter gladly jumped on the opportunity to create his own armor, and the whole sequence was executed that it paralleled to how Stark tinkered on his technology. In fact, a number of Spider-Man comic suits appeared in the Stark lab. Happy further highlighted that parallel when he put on AC/DC’s “Back in Black” – the opening song to Iron Man. It’s a meta-reference more than anything, but there’s something poignant about Happy watching this new hero work like he did with his deceased friend/boss.
Marvel Studios developed Stark and Peter’s relationship over the years after the former’s entry in the MCU via Captain America: Civil War. Since then, they’ve appeared in three more films – Spider-Man: Homecoming, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Spider-Man: Far From Home is the first film in this version of Spider-Man that Iron Man is no longer around, and obviously, Marvel had to acknowledge this significant change. But the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home also signals Peter coming out of the shadow of his mentor. While his relationship with Stark will remain to be an integral part of his character, he will have his own identity separate from Iron Man moving forward.
Next: Spider-Man: Far From Home Confirmed The MCU’s Civil War Is Over