Iron Man 3's Harley Keener is a comic book character now

Harley Keener
(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Iron Man 3's Harley Keener has a surprising way of showing up when he's least expected, and now he's made his Marvel debut as a comic book character in WEB of Spider-Man #1

(Image credit: Gurihiru (Marvel Comics))

No, it's not quite the same as showing up in the Iron Man ongoing series, but hey, it's a start. 

MCU fans remember Harley was the kid whose garage workshop in Rose Hill, Tennessee Tony Stark hid out in during Iron Man 3. Something of a junior inventor-"mechanic" himself, Keener was played by then 12-year-old actor Ty Simpkins. 

Speculation surrounded the actor at one time as an eventual Iron Man successor to Robert Downey Jr., which only intensified when Simpkins was included in a Marvel Studios 10th-anniversary class photo and then again when the now-teenage actor surprisingly resurfaced at Tony Stark's memorial service at the end of Avengers: Endgame (we hope after all this time that wasn't a spoiler).

Harley Keener

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

In WEB of Spider-Man #1, Keener makes his comics, but not necessarily Marvel Universe debut, as a member of Tony Stark's Worldwide Engineering Brigade (WEB for short), a sort of teen STEM think tank that includes Moon Girl, the Wakandan child prodigy Onome, a teenage Peter Parker (the titular Spider-Man, of course), Squirrel Girl, and Keener. 

The clearly teenage Keener character describes himself as Tony Stark's righthand man, which sets up a little bit of a rivalry between Harley and Peter, who in this series thinks of Spider-Man as Iron Man's righthand man.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

The opening pages of WEB of Spider-Man #1 gives a full-on nod to Iron Man 3, as Harley shows off this invention a "Spunner" (see above), which is a non-lethal stun blaster that uses pellets made out of potatoes that also power the device. 

As seen in the issue it's sort of a hybrid of the potato gun Harley is carrying when we first meet him in Iron Man 3, mashed up with the garage-made palm repulsor Tony makes in the film.

The five-issue WEB of Spider-Man is written by Kevin Shinick and issue #1's art is by Alberto Albuquerque. 

The series is something of a marketing play tying into the just-opened Avengers Campus at the Disney California Adventure and its WEB Slingers attraction.

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I'm not just the Newsarama founder and editor-in-chief, I'm also a reader. And that reference is just a little bit older than the beginning of my Newsarama journey. I founded what would become the comic book news site in 1996, and except for a brief sojourn at Marvel Comics as its marketing and communications manager in 2003, I've been writing about new comic book titles, creative changes, and occasionally offering my perspective on important industry events and developments for the 25 years since. Despite many changes to Newsarama, my passion for the medium of comic books and the characters makes the last quarter-century (it's crazy to see that in writing) time spent doing what I love most.