Who Is The Kid in ‘Avengers: Endgame’s Big Funeral Scene?
The following post contains SPOILERS for Avengers: Endgame. Do not read this post until after you see the movie. Please. We don’t need anyone yelling at us.
So at the end of Avengers: Endgame at the funeral of ...
(No, really, you’re sure you’re ready for some SPOILERS? Okay, don’t say we didn’t warn you — twice!)
... Tony Stark, there’s a long shot that drifts over the assembled heroes of the Marvel Universe. The characters are mostly bunched into groups, over here are all the Ant-Man characters like Scott Lang, Hank Pym, Janet van Dyne, and Hope van Dyne, and over there are Nick Fury and Maria Hill.
For the most part, all the characters are immediately recognizable, even though a couple of them — like Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet and Marisa Tomei as Aunt May — are making their first and only appearance in Endgame in that scene. It helps that the characters are grouped together by movie, because if you don’t immediately know everyone in a particular group, the context might jog your memory.
But there’s one guy who even serious Marvel fans might not recognize. It’s a young man who looks to be in his late teens. And he’s standing apart from everyone else, so the context doesn’t help. He hasn’t appeared in the rest of Endgame or Infinity War. Who the heck is this kid?
The kid is Ty Simpkins playing Harley Keener. And the reason you don’t recognize him is he hasn’t appeared in a Marvel movie since his role in Iron Man 3 some six years ago. Back then he looked like this:
In Avengers: Endgame, he looks a lot more like this:
If your memory of Iron Man 3 is hazy, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) winds up stranded with a dead suit of armor in a little town in Tennessee where he’s investigating a string of mysterious suicide bombings. By pure luck, he winds up hiding out in the garage of a precocious kid named Harley (Simpkins) whose workshop has some of the tools he needs to repair Iron Man. Here’s the scene where Harley is introduced:
Harley becomes Tony’s sidekick during his time in Tennessee, and at the end of the film, as a token of his appreciation, Tony tricks out Harley’s workshop with all kinds of fancy tools.
And that was pretty much all she wrote for good old Harley, who was never seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe again — until Avengers: Endgame and Tony Stark’s funeral, looking a lot older and less adorably moppet-like. His cameo is a sweet tribute to Iron Man 3, one of the standalone outliers of the MCU that sometimes gets forgotten in the grand sweep of the Avengers and Captain America movies. But it also is a little confusing, because Simpkins does look so different now, and without any dialogue to explain who he is, you’ve got to have a killer eye for details or be a Ty Simpkins megafan to really get it. (Lucky for you, I am one of those two things. I’ll let you guess which.)
Gallery — How Every Avengers’ Costume Evolved, From Movie to Movie: