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 (opens in new tab).(opens in new tab)
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).
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.(opens in new tab)
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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