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The history behind Spider-Man’s ongoing war with Falcon and Winter Soldier

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Tom Holland has been quarreling with Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan

Disney's D23 EXPO 2017 Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

Marvel’s Spider-Man and Falcon have an issue with one another.

This past weekend at D23, part of the Avengers: Infinity War cast did a number of interviews. Due to the size of the cast that attended — a number of Avengers and Guardians were on hand to debut the trailer — many of these interviews were done in pairs. As a result, the answers got a little personal, as jokes about each other found their way into answers about Infinity War.

It all seemed to be done in the name of fun, but two actors took shots at each other whenever they could, causing us here at Polygon to question the true motives behind Anthony Mackie (Falcon) and Sebastian Stan’s (Winter Soldier) ongoing hazing of Tom Holland.

To do so, let’s examine some key moments in their ongoing rivalry.

On Saturday, July 15, following Disney, Marvel and Lucasfilm’s live-action film presentation, Mackie and co-star Stan were asked whether they had seen Spider-man: Homecoming yet. Both replied that they hadn’t and weren’t planning on it. Mackie added that after being on set with Holland for a few days, his acting style seemed to suggest Homecoming was the type of movie you could watch on a plane.

This isn’t the first time that Mackie and Stan have roasted their fellow Infinity War co-star. When the two were doing press for Captain America: Civil War last year, they were asked about Spider-Man, who was making his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in the film. YouTuber Shana Fierce compiled a number of interviews from that press tour that featured Mackie and Stan making some kind of comment about Holland.

Some of the best include:

“He has a handler because he’s, like, eight,” Mackie says at one point.

“And a handkerchief because he’s secretly 87,” Stan adds.

“All he has is spandex and webs,” Mackie says in another interview. “I can cut spandex with my wings.”

With Mackie and Stan continuously finding a way to poke fun at Holland, the actor’s presence in the MCU quickly became an ongoing joke for the duo. Eventually, Holland was asked about it while doing press for Spider-Man: Homecoming and the actor explained it all had to do with a catchphrase he allegedly stole from Mackie.

“He has this thing that he always goes ‘Cut the check’ whenever he thinks he’s done his best take,” Holland explained, as seen in the photo below. “And I was doing a scene with him where he had to rugby tackle me and I shouted out ‘Cut the check!’”

Since then, however, Mackie hasn’t stopped. While Holland and Infinity War co-star Benedict Cumberbatch were doing an interview with Good Morning America for the movie at D23, Mackie interrupted to poke fun at Holland and deliver some pressing news to Cumberbatch.

After handing a water bottle to Holland, explaining that the young actor gets cranky if he doesn’t get his juice and source of sugar, Mackie leaned over and whispered some crucial information into Cumberbatch’s ear.

Good Morning America

Despite all of the jokes and teasing, Mackie isn’t trying to hurt Holland’s feelings or make him feel small. Mackie has said on record that he believes Holland will probably be the best Spider-Man yet. Mackie told a room full of people at Wizard World Cleveland back in March, as reported by Screen Rant, that Holland is “going to be a kick-ass Spider-Man. I think he’s going to be the best Spider-Man yet.”

Still, it looks like the teasing isn’t going to slow down anytime soon. With more press events set up for Infinity War in the future — and a possible appearance at San Diego Comic-Con this weekend — expect more insults to be flung by both Stan and Mackie and the young Peter Parker.

Avengers: Infinity War will be released on May 4, 2018.