Spider-Man and Iron Man have been on-and-off allies for decades and worked in close partnership on the Avengers. Nowadays, they're more like frenemies. It used to be that Peter Parker and Tony Stark saved the world in differently scaled adventures. The wall-crawler was more of a street-level guy while the armoured genius fought everywhere from corporate boardrooms to outer space. But that's all changed in recent months. Peter's company Parker Industries now rivals Stark International in terms of size, reach and buzz. Tony, on the other hand, is having some cash flow problems. He's still rich, just not flush enough to fund the Avengers any more.
This shift in fortunes means that, as Spider-Man, Parker's battling the kind of corporate espionage and globally distributed threats that have been a staple of Iron Man comics. Meanwhile, Tony Stark went and hired Peter's former girlfriend Mary Jane Watson as a personal assistant, with the hopes that she'd help him juggle all his responsibilities. Peter and Tony haven't been around each other since the new status quo settled in as part of Marvel's All-New, All-Different relaunch. They finally get together in this week's Amazing Spider-Man #12, written by Dan Slott with art by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith, Marte Gracia and Chris Eliopoulos. Is it a still a team-up when the good guys are snapping at each other non-stop?
A charity fundraising gala brings Stark, Parker and a bunch of friends and confidants together. Peter's shocked to learn that MJ's working for Tony...
And Tony acts like he's never met Mr Parker before...
Harsh. When the incorporeal-at-will saboteur Ghost crashes the party, Shellhead and Spidey initially step all over each other trying to take him down.
The heroes get it together eventually but Peter's still sore about seeing his former girlfriend working for the cocky CEO who is now his competitor. His attempt at getting revenge goes how you'd think.
There's interesting timing surrounding the fun rivalry established here. Captain America: Civil War just hit cinemas, bringing a younger Spidey into the Marvel Cinematic Universe as part of Iron Man's faction. And Civil War II, a sequel to the 2006 comics crossover that the movie's loosely based on, will be pitting Iron Man against Captain Marvel in a far more bitter hero-vs-hero scenario a few weeks from now. It's hilarious to see Pete and Tony cranky at each other but also comforting to know that they're not trying to kill the other guy.