‘Spider-Man 3’ Predictions: Is Happy the MCU’s Uncle Ben?
There is no doubt that the current iteration of Spider-Man, played by Tom Holland, is one of the most popular and one of the closest to the comics’ original roots.
His movies also have great takes on fan-favorite villains like The Vulture, Mysterio, and now, possibly, Electro. The current version of Spider-Man has also done a great job with his relationships with other people like Ironman, Dr.Strange, and Aunt May, but Uncle Ben is missing.
In the comic books, the death of Uncle Ben at the hands of a criminal Spider-Man chose not to stop is the driving force that causes Peter Parker to use his powers for good instead of for self-gain.
Uncle Ben is the one who tells Peter that “with great power comes great responsibility” in every movie and by every actor who plays him. And yet in the MCU’s Spider-Man, we haven’t seen any Uncle Ben or have we?
Tony Stark as a stand-in for Uncle Ben
In Captain America: Civil War, Ironman calls in Spider-man as his secret weapon soon, their relationship evolves from mentor-apprentice to almost father-son.
Although Peter’s birth father has occasionally been mentioned in the comic books, it is really Uncle Ben who fills that role. When Tony first sees Peter in his homemade suit to when Tony makes Peter his own suit in Spider-Man: Homecoming, we can see their relationship grow and intensify.
Tony begins to embody the same relationship with Peter that Uncle Ben has. Their relationship even has that tragic quality as Peter is snapped from existence in Avengers: Infinity War while in Tony’s arms. There is a classic comic book scene of Aunt May holding Uncle Ben’s body that is reminiscent of Tony’s holding Peter’s body as he vanishes.
Could Happy Hogan be the Uncle Ben stand-in?
Reddit has another theory perhaps it’s Happy Hogan, who is Uncle Ben’s stand-in. Although the early appearances of Tony Stark have him flirting with Aunt May, we know that Tony is married, so it’s not romantic.
By the time Spider-Man: Far from Home happens, it appears that May and Happy are dating. With the death of Iron Man, Happy, in effect, replaces Tony as his father figure.
Although the speech Happy gives Peter on the jet isn’t the inspiration for him to become Spider-Man, it is the kind of inspiring speech that Uncle Ben would have given Peter in the comics. If Happy is the new Uncle ben, though, does this doom him in Spider-Man 3?
Uncle Ben always gets shot:
There are very few absolutes in comic books, but Uncle Ben always gets shot. Whether Cliff Robertson or Martin Sheen plays him, Uncle Ben always gets shot. That’s the rule. Does that mean Happy is doomed in Spider-Man 3? Well, there are some mitigating circumstances:
- Uncle Ben always gets shot to give Peter the motivation to become Spider-man, but in the timeline, he’s already Spider-man he doesn’t need that motivation.
- In both of the other franchises Uncle Ben has been shot in the first movie, which did not happen in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
- And perhaps most significant, Peter already lost a father figure in Tony Stark.
We see the fallout of Tony’s death hang like a cloud all over Spider-man: Far from Home. Although Peter and Happy don’t have the same relationship, it would be cruel for another father figure to be killed.
Happy does seem to be taking the place of Uncle Ben in the MCU. He and May seem to be in a healthy relationship, and it would not be a surprise to see them marry in Spider-Man 3. Hopefully, however, Uncle Happy will have a happier ending than Uncle Ben.