Roger Harrington

Continuing with our analysis of the characters from Spider-Man: Homecoming, let’s meet the most relevant professor among the ones we see: Roger Harrington, portrayed by Martin Starr. Harrington is a science teacher at Midtown School of Science and Technology, and the head of the school’s Academic Decathlon Team, so he’s the one who brings the team to Washington D.C. and who’s almost killed by a Chitauri weapon an oblivious Ned Leeds carries along in the Washington Monument. In the comics, Harrington appears as an older man, and he’s not a teacher (not anymore, at least), but rather a school principal. Let’s see together.

Not much is known about Roger Harrington’s early life: born and raised in New York City, he was a teacher for vocation, and he loved his job to the point of dedicating himself to it totally, even renouncing to a family of his own in order to take care of his students. Later in his life he became a school principal, and when Andrew Davis retired, he take his place as the new principal of Midtown High School, a school in Queens. The neighborhood wasn’t one of the easiest ones in New York, but as he always did Harrington put all his resources at his students’ service, deeply committed to his new job. Things became quite complicated when one of the students came to school with a gun, and opened fire on his schoolmates and his teachers. Tragedy was avoided out of sheer luck, and the boy was apprehended by the authorities, but Harrington found himself in a bad position as (understandably) some of the teachers, who clearly didn’t share his sense of duty nor his idea of teaching as a mission, resigned, looking for another school to teach in or for another job entirely. As in response to his prayers, however, some new, remarkable elements arrived to his school, with a couple of them being ex-students of Midtown High itself.

The first candidate was Peter Parker, a renowned academic scientist who was the perfect choice for becoming the new Science teacher; the second one was Eugene “Flash” Thompson, a decorated veteran who had just awakened from a coma, a former football star whom he hired as the new School Coach. Things went out pretty smoothly from that point on, and despite some minor problems such as Parker’s common lateness (or sudden absence) and Flash’s hostile relation with the Science teacher, the school knew a rebirth…until it became the target of the seemingly reborn Mysterio (it turned out the Mysterio attacking the school wasn’t the original, deceased Quentin Beck, but his successor Francis Klum, not that Harrington cared anything about it). When Spider-Man intervened to save the day, Harrington stayed with him, trying to help him the best he could in saving his students, but the hero soon made it clear that the good-willed principal would have only been a hindrance to him, and he told Harrington to hide into the audiovisual room until his battle with Mysterio was over. Harrington did as he was told, but he realised too late he wasn’t alone in the room. A shape-shifting alien from a possible future, the Chameleon from Earth-9500, was there as well, and he killed the poor school principal, destroying the body and taking his place. The Chameleon’s scheme would have been discovered only months later, and Harrington would have been avenged by Spider-Man and Sandman, but in a way or the other Harrington had died in the one place he had loved in his entire life: his school.

Roger Harrington is essentially a good man, a dedicated teacher and later principal who dedicated his entire life to his school and students. Everything Harrington does, he does for his students, but he’s also always there to support his teachers: truly the school principal anyone would want.

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