In Spider-Man: Homecoming,

Tony Stark gives Peter Parker a highly upgraded Spider-Man suit, including many new web shooting protocols.

How did Tony know the formula for making the webs? I thought that the formula was a secret that Peter's father had hidden from OsCorp at the cost of his own life.

Is Stark doing anything else with the web formula?

I know that back stories get rewritten often, but this seems to conflict with long-standing explanations. What is the new back story?

  • 4
    Did the suit create the web, or just shoot it?
    – Zoredache
    Jul 20, 2017 at 17:15
  • 1
    Web shooting worked out of the box and in bulk, before Peter even saw the suit,, meaning that Tony has the formula.
    – CodeMed
    Jul 20, 2017 at 17:29
  • 1
    @phantom42 Are you suggesting they developed all this without having access to any of the web to test on or that Peter provided all of the web they used in their testing and that they did this without knowing or analyzing its chemical make up in the process? Neither sounds very plausible.
    – jpmc26
    Jul 20, 2017 at 23:07
  • 1
    What? No. He has plenty of Spider Powers, he just doesn't have organic webbing (in most iterations). Jul 21, 2017 at 10:04
  • 3
    "I thought that the formula was a secret that Peter's father had hidden from OsCorp at the cost of his own life." You're thinking of the other Spider-Man movies, which have no bearing on this version of Spider-Man. Jul 21, 2017 at 18:45

5 Answers 5


TONY: You know what I think is really cool? This webbing. Tensile strength is off the charts. Who manufactured that?

PETER: I did.

Captain America: Civil War

Tony already knew the tensile strength of the webbing before he even visited Peter in Queens for the first time, and of course he already knew that Peter was Spider-Man, so he must have already gotten his hands on a sample of it. And this is Tony, he'd have scanned every molecule of the stuff so that he could replicate it and test with it. How he got this sample? We don't know, because it happens off-screen.

We can estimate when he got it, however. We already know that he must have obtained it prior to the events of Captain America: Civil War and, given how long it would have taken to try out all those different web shooter variants, probably at least several months prior.

  • This is the answer that I did not realize that I was waiting for. I remember the scene that you are quoting. Thank you and+1 for linking different MCU films with evidence supporting the obvious answer.
    – CodeMed
    Jul 21, 2017 at 15:19

The OsCorp angle is from Amazing Spider-Man (2012) with Andrew Garfield. This movie is not a part of that cinematic canon; it is part of the MCU canon.

Prior to Tony meeting Peter for the first time in Captain America: Civil War, the most likely explanation is that Tony Stark collected (or had someone collect) samples of the webbing from within an hour of their usage in the field. When Spider-Man is slinging web across NYC fighting crime he leaves lots of webs at crime scenes, like when he ties up culprits with them. Tons of forensic evidence for Stark Industries/The Avengers to easily do tests on.

After the events of Civil War, it's likely that Happy or Tony either directly asked Peter for a sample of the web in liquid form (or the formula itself), or managed to reverse engineer it from the used webs they'd previously analyzed.

  • They are logical deductions based on the fact that Stark is an accomplished scientist and engineer, and that Happy is his lackey who does all sorts of stuff. Also, every comic where Spider-Man slings web, and Civil War where we see video of him leaving webs behind after he's done.
    – Derek
    Jul 20, 2017 at 17:47
  • 5
    In Earth-616, Richard Parker was a soldier and a secret agent, but not a scientist. The Ultimate version of Richard Parker was a scientist working on a suit that would eventually become Venom. As of now, it is unclear which secret history of Richard Parker, if any, the MCU is using. This answer is correct as far as all of the information we have in the MCU right now.
    – phantom42
    Jul 20, 2017 at 17:48

After having watched the movie yesterday, it's clear that the suit didn't generate the webbing, and there's no reason to believe that Tony Stark knows the formula.

In the movie, we see multiple occasions where Peter either produces or retrieves his previously manufactured web formula at school, mainly his the school day montage.

  • There's a scene where he's concocting his potion under his desk I swear I'm not trying to be rude here
  • Then later "that day" or at the end of another school day, as soon as the clock strikes 2:45pm, Peter runs out of class, and lifts his row of lockers to reveal his stash of webbing.
    • He also does this at the end when he leaves his homecoming celebrations to face The Vulture
  • If the suit was producing the webbing, then Peter would not need to bother, would he?

There are also other signs throughout the movie which point to the fact that it isn't the suit which produces the webbing:

  • Karen (the natural language AI# built into the suit) mentions that the webbing is running low
  • Peter refills the webbing canisters during the Staten Island Ferry showdown
    • Why would that be needed if the suit produces the stuff?

Now I'll address, or nitpick rather, some of your incorrect assumptions:

  1. Tony Stark didn't give Peter the suit in Homecoming, he gave it to him in Captain America: Civil War, he just let him keep it in Homecoming
    • This means that the suit was always the same one, it just didn't have its advanced features such as the 360+ combinations of web-shooter activated, due to the "Training Wheels Protocol"
  2. OsCorp (or at least the OsCorp of previous movies) has nothing to do with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and we can discount any events from previous Spider-Man canon.

# Voiced by Jennifer Connelly, who in real life is married to Paul Bettany (who voices J.A.R.V.I.S / The Vision), ahhh the feels!

  • This is well researched, much as other answers above are also well researched. I will watch the movie again when I get the chance, and I will pay attention to what you and other answerers have said. +1 for taking the time to research and document this. Even if you did down vote me.
    – CodeMed
    Jul 24, 2017 at 6:45
  • I didn't DV.. :)
    – Möoz
    Jul 24, 2017 at 8:13

From watching it i probably like yourself had assumed that Tony, after seeing Peter, because we know he knew he existed and knew a bit about Peter, created something along the lines of what a "Spider-Man" would need. As he is Iron Man you always hear something he says about upgrading or needing this and that, so I assume he built Peter's suit to what he would need if he was Spider-Man.


This is entirely my opinion, but I believe Stark doesn't actually make the webs, and instead, the suit has different ways of dispensing the webs.
So instead of making different types of web, it's more like he made attachments to the web shooter,
To back this up there were hundreds (maybe thousands, I can't remember) of different variations, and it is unlikely he would have a stock of all the different types on him all the time (he isn't ant man he can only make them at regular size).

Also some of the web types are just releasing it at different frequency - e.g. rapid fire.

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