Now Reading: A Fan Theory About Martin Starr’s Character in Spider-Man


A Fan Theory About Martin Starr’s Character in Spider-Man

July 24, 20174 min read

I’m a big nerd, this much is true. As a nerd, the one thing I love above all else is continuity. With comics and movies, I want a big interconnected world, and as much as possible, I want it to make sense. So when I heard Martin Starr was cast in Spider-Man: Homecoming, I was a little disappointed.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Martin Starr, but he’s already played a character in the Marvel movies. No one remembers this, but he has a weird, pointless cameo in the Incredible Hulk. He has no lines and is credited as “Computer Nerd”.

If you don’t remember Computer Nerd, here is all the things he does in the Incredible Hulk:

-He was working in a computer lab at Culver University late at night.

-It’s implied he let Bruce Banner into the computer lab in exchange for pizza.

That’s all. I quickly decided to just get over it. After all, the Marvel movies use actors from the shows a lot and are starting to reuse and re-cast actors more and more. Also, it would be nice to at least pretend I have real problems.

But, while I watched Spider-Man, and learned that Starr was playing Mr. Harrington, a science teacher, I couldn’t shake a feeling. A feeling that Mr. Harrington was Computer Nerd. I had to get to the bottom of this.

Then a line in the middle of the film all but confirmed my theory.

Spoilers for one of the best jokes in the movie:

Around the middle of Homecoming, Peter Parker saves Mr. Harrington and a group of his classmates from an elevator accident. In the aftermath, while being interviewed by a news station, Harrington says something to the effect of:

“I couldn’t afford to lose a student… not again.”

It’s a great joke, and I started laughing, but then I realized the truth: Mr. Harrington was trying to tell me something: “Seb, I am Computer Nerd”, he seemed to say. Here’s my evidence:

Starr is clearly too young to be a professor, but if he is working in the computer lab he could easily be a T.A. Therefore, it wouldn’t be a stretch for him to refer to the students as his students, right? So, how did he “lose” one of these students? Well, I’m glad you asked:

You don’t have to watch that scene (it’s not very good), but, it does support my theory. No one appears to be hurt in that battle, but in the previous moments, it’s shown the school has not been evacuated. I don’t think it would be unreasonable to suggest that a ricochet bullet or piece of debris killed someone somewhere in the school. Or that the person or people who were killed could have been students of Harrington. Plus, since Computer Nerd/Harrington is the one that allowed Banner to gain access into the school, you can see why he’d feel responsible, and carry around that guilt in the years to follow.

Not bad, right?

If you’re in the 0.2% of people who care about this, let me know if you think I’m onto something or grasping at straws. And Marvel, if you’re looking for a continuity supervisor on Avengers 4, you know where to find me.



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Sebastian Decter

Seb is an aspiring screenwriter who loves movies, TV, and comics. You can read some of his past articles at