"I'm not Iron Man, he is!"
- W.J. Flywheel, Webporium
Iron Man (Tony Stark) is a fictional
superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel
Comics, as well as its associated media. The character was created by
writer and editor Stan Lee, developed by scripter Larry Lieber, and
designed by artists Don Heck and Jack Kirby. He made his first
appearance in Tales of Suspense #39 (cover dated March 1963).
American billionaire playboy, business magnate, and ingenious
engineer, Tony Stark suffers a severe chest injury during a
kidnapping in which his captors attempt to force him to build a
weapon of mass destruction. He instead creates a powered suit of
armor to save his life and escape captivity.
Later, Stark augments his suit with
weapons and other technological devices he designed through his
company, Stark Industries. He uses the suit and successive versions
to protect the world as Iron Man, while at first concealing his true identity.
Initially, Iron Man was a vehicle for Stan
Lee to explore Cold War themes, particularly the role of American
technology and business in the fight against communism. Subsequent re-imaginings
of Iron Man have transitioned from Cold War themes to contemporary
concerns, such as corporate crime and terrorism.
Throughout most of the character's
publication history, Iron Man has been a founding member of the
superhero team the Avengers and has been featured in several
incarnations of his own various comic book series. Iron Man has been
adapted for several animated TV shows and films. The character is
portrayed by Robert Downey Jr. in the live action film Iron Man
(2008), which was a critical and box office success. Downey would
reprise the role in a number of Marvel Studio films.
In 1963, Stan Lee had been toying with the
idea of a businessman superhero. He wanted to create the
"quintessential capitalist", a character that would go
against the spirit of the times and Marvel's readership.
I think I gave myself a
dare. It was the height of the Cold War. The readers, the young
readers, if there was one thing they hated, it was war, it was the
military.... So I got a hero who represented that to the hundredth
degree. He was a weapons manufacturer, he was providing weapons for
the Army, he was rich, he was an industrialist... I thought it would
be fun to take the kind of character that nobody would like, none of
our readers would like, and shove him down their throats and make
them like him... And he became very popular.
- Stan Lee
Lee also said that, "of all the comic
books we published at Marvel, we got more fan mail for Iron Man from
women, from females, than any other title... We didn't get much fan
mail from girls, but whenever we did, the letter was usually
addressed to Iron Man."
Lee set out to make the new character a
wealthy, glamorous ladies' man, but one with a secret that would
plague and torment him as well. Writer Gerry Conway said, "Here
you have this character, who on the outside is invulnerable, I mean,
just can't be touched, but inside is a wounded figure. Stan made it
very much an in-your-face wound, you know, his heart was broken, you
know, literally broken. But there's a metaphor going on there. And
that's, I think, what made that character interesting." Lee
based this playboy's looks and personality on Howard Hughes (above
left), explaining, "Howard Hughes was one of the most colorful
men of our time. He was an inventor, an adventurer, a
multi-billionaire, a ladies' man and finally a nutcase."
"Without being crazy, he was Howard Hughes," Lee said. Iron
Man movie fans may see more of a resemblance to Howard Hughes in the
portrayal of Howard Stark, Tony's father.
Lee intended to write the story himself, a minor deadline emergency
eventually forced him to hand over the premiere issue to Lieber, who
fleshed out the story. The art was split between Kirby and Heck.
"He designed the costume," Heck said of Kirby, "because
he was doing the cover. The covers were always done first. But I
created the look of the characters, like Tony Stark (an Errol Flynn
type) and his secretary Pepper Potts. Iron Man first appeared in 13
to 18 page stories in Tales of Suspense, which featured anthology
science fiction and supernatural stories. The character's original
costume was a bulky gray armored suit, replaced by a golden version
in the second story (issue #40, April 1963). It was redesigned as
sleeker, red-and-golden armor in issue #48 (Dec. 1963) by that
issue's interior artist, Steve Ditko, although Kirby drew it on the
cover. As Heck recalled in 1985, "The second costume, the red
and yellow one, was designed by Steve Ditko. I found it easier than
drawing that bulky old thing. The earlier design, the robot-looking
one, was more Kirbyish."
In his premiere, Iron Man was an
anti-communist hero, defeating various Vietnamese agents. Lee later
regretted this early focus. Throughout the characters comic
book series, technological advancement and national defense were
constant themes for Iron Man, but later issues developed Stark into a
more complex and vulnerable character as they depicted his battle
with alcoholism (as in the "Demon in a Bottle" storyline)
and other personal difficulties. In 1963 Lee and Kirby included Iron
Man in The Avengers #1 as a founding member of the superhero team.
have updated the war and locale in which Stark is injured. In the
original 1963 story, it was the Vietnam War. In the 1990s, it was
updated to be the first Gulf War, and later updated again to be the
war in Afghanistan. Stark's time with the Asian Nobel Prize-winning
scientist Ho Yinsen is consistent through nearly all incarnations of
the Iron Man origin, depicting Stark and Yinsen building the original
armor together. One exception is the direct-to-DVD animated feature
film The Invincible Iron Man, in which the armor Stark uses to escape
his captors is not the first Iron Man suit.
From issue #59 (Nov. 1964) to its final
issue #99 (March 1968), the anthological science-fiction backup
stories in Tales of Suspense were replaced by a feature starring the
superhero Captain America. Lee and Heck introduced several
adversaries for the character including the Mandarin in issue #50
(Feb. 1964), the Black Widow in #52 (April 1964) and Hawkeye five
issues later. After issue #99 (March 1968), the Tales of Suspense
series was renamed Captain America. An Iron Man story appeared in the
one-shot comic Iron Man and Sub-Mariner (April 1968), before making
his solo debut with The Invincible Iron Man #1 (May 1968).
Writer David Michelinie, co-plotter/inker
Bob Layton, and penciler John Romita Jr. became the creative team on
the series with Iron Man #116 (Nov. 1978). Micheline and Layton
established Tony Stark's alcoholism with the story "Demon in a
Bottle", and introduced several supporting characters, including
Stark's bodyguard girlfriend Bethany Cabe; Stark's personal pilot and
confidant James Rhodes, who later became the superhero War Machine;
and rival industrialist Justin Hammer.
Following Michelinie and Layton's
departures (they would return as the creative team in 1987), Dennis
O'Neil became the new writer of the series and had Stark relapse into
alcoholism. Jim Rhodes replaced Stark as Iron Man in issue #169
(April 1983) and wore the armor for the next two years of stories.
O'Neil returned Tony Stark to the Iron Man role in issue #200 (Nov. 1985).
Anthony Edward Stark, is the son of
wealthy industrialist and head of Stark Industries, Howard Stark, and
Maria Stark, was born on Long Island. A boy genius, he enters MIT at
the age of 15 to study electrical engineering and later receives
master's degrees in electrical engineering and physics. After his
parents are killed in a car accident, he inherits his father's company.
Tony Stark is injured by a booby trap and
captured by enemy forces led by Wong-Chu. Wong-Chu orders Stark to
build weapons, but Stark's injuries are dire and shrapnel is moving
towards his heart. His fellow prisoner, Ho Yinsen, a Nobel
Prize-winning physicist whose work Stark had greatly admired during
college, constructs a magnetic chest plate to keep the shrapnel from
reaching Stark's heart, keeping him alive. In secret, Stark and
Yinsen use the workshop to design and construct a suit of powered
armor, which Stark uses to escape. But during the escape attempt,
Yinsen sacrifices his life to save Stark's by distracting the enemy
as Stark recharges. Stark takes revenge on his kidnappers and heads
back to rejoin the American forces, on his way meeting a wounded
American Marine fighter pilot, James "Rhodey" Rhodes.
Back home, Stark discovers that the
shrapnel fragment lodged in his chest cannot be removed without
killing him, and he is forced to wear the armor's chestplate beneath
his clothes to act as a regulator for his heart. He must recharge the
chestplate every day or else risk the shrapnel killing him. The cover
story that Stark tells the news media and general public is that Iron
Man is his (presumably robotic) personal bodyguard, and corporate
mascot. To that end, Iron Man fights threats to his company (e.g.,
Communist opponents Black Widow, the Crimson Dynamo, and the Titanium
Man), as well as independent villains like the Mandarin (who
eventually becomes his greatest enemy).
one suspects Stark of being Iron Man, as he cultivates a strong
public image of being merely a rich playboy and industrialist. Two
notable members of the series' supporting cast, at this point, are
his personal chauffeur Harold "Happy" Hogan, and secretary
Virginia "Pepper" Potts, to both of whom he eventually
reveals his dual identity. Meanwhile, James Rhodes finds his own
niche as Stark's personal pilot, ultimately revealing himself to be a
man of extraordinary skill and daring, in his own right.
The series took an anti-Communist stance
in its early years, which was softened as public (and therefore,
presumably, reader) opposition rose to the Vietnam War. This change
evolved in a series of storylines featuring Stark profoundly
reconsidering his political opinions, and the morality of
manufacturing weapons for the U.S. military. Stark shows himself to
be occasionally arrogant, and willing to act unethically in order to
'let the ends justify the means'. This leads to personal conflicts
with the people around him, both in his civilian and superhero
identities. Stark uses his vast personal fortune not only to outfit
his own armor, but also to develop weapons for S.H.I.E.L.D.; other
technologies (e.g., Quinjets used by the Avengers); and, the image
inducers used by the X-Men. Eventually, Stark's heart condition is
discovered by the public and resolved with an artificial heart
transplant. Later on, Stark expands on his armor designs and begins
to build his arsenal of specialized armors for particular situations
such as for space travel and stealth.
Power and Skills
Iron Man possesses powered armor that
gives him superhuman strength and durability, flight, and an array of
weapons. The armor is invented and worn by Stark, with occasional
short-term exceptions. Other people who have assumed the Iron Man
identity include Stark's long-time partner and best friend James
Rhodes; close associates Harold "Happy" Hogan; Eddie March;
and (briefly) Michael O'Brien.
weapons systems of the suit have changed over the years, but Iron
Man's standard offensive weapons have always been the repulsor rays
that are fired from the palms of his gauntlets. Other weapons built
into various incarnations of the armor include: the uni-beam
projector in its chest; pulse bolts (that pick up kinetic energy
along the way; so the farther they travel, the harder they hit); an
electromagnetic pulse generator; and a defensive energy shield that
can be extended up to 360 degrees. Other capabilities include:
generating ultra-freon (i.e., a freeze-beam); creating and
manipulating magnetic fields; emitting sonic blasts; and projecting
3-dimensional holograms (to create decoys).
In addition to the general-purpose model
he wears, Stark has developed several specialized suits for space
travel, deep-sea diving, stealth, and other special purposes. Stark
has also modified suits, like the Hulkbuster heavy armor. The
Hulkbuster armor is composed of add-ons to his so-called modular
armor, designed to enhance its strength and durability enough to
engage the Incredible Hulk in a fight. A later model, designed for
use against Thor, is modeled on the Destroyer and uses a mystical
power source. Stark develops an electronics pack during the Armor
Wars that, when attached to armors that use Stark technologies, will
burn out those components, rendering the suit useless. This pack is
ineffective on later models. While it is typically associated with
James Rhodes, the War-Machine armor began as one of Stark's specialty armors.
The most recent models of Stark's armor,
beginning with the Extremis Armor, are now stored in the hollow
portions of Stark's bones, and the personal area networking implement
used to control it is implanted in his forearm, and connected
directly to his central nervous system.
Extremis has since been removed, and he now uses more conventional
armors. Some armors still take a liquid form, but are not stored
within his body. His Endo-Sym Armor incorporates a combination of the
liquid smart-metal with the alien Venom symbiote, psionically
controlled by Stark.
Post-Secret Wars, Stark uses a more
streamlined suit of armor that can practically 'morph' into other
armors or weapons.
After being critically injured during a
battle with the Extremis-enhanced Mallen, Stark injects his nervous
system with modified techno-organic virus-like body restructuring
machines (the Extremis process). By rewriting his own biology, Stark
is able to save his life, gain an enhanced healing factor, and
partially merge with the Iron Man armor, superseding the need for
bulky, AI-controlled armors in favor of lighter designs,
technopathically controlled by his own brain. His enhanced
technopathy extends to every piece of technology, limitless and
effortlessly due to his ability to interface with communication
satellites and wireless connections to increase his "range".
Some components of the armor-sheath are now stored in Tony's body,
able to be recalled, and extruded from his own skin, at will.
During the "Secret Invasion"
storyline the Extremis package is catastrophically shut down by a
virus, forcing him again to rely on the previous iteration of his
armor, and restoring his previous limitations. Furthermore, Osborn's
takeover of most of the few remaining Starktech factories, with
Ezekiel Stane systematically crippling the others, limits Tony to the
use of lesser, older and weaker armors.
After being forced to "wipe out"
his brain to prevent Norman Osborn from gaining his information, Tony
Stark is forced to have a new arc reactor, of Rand design installed
in his chest. The process greatly improves his strength, stamina and
intellect. The procedure left him with virtually no autonomic
functions: as his brain was stripped of every biological function,
Tony is forced to rely on a digital backup of his memories (leaving
him with severe gaps and lapses in his long-term memory) and on
software routine in the arc reactor for basic stimuli reaction, such
as blinking and breathing. The Bleeding Edge package of armor and
physical enhancement is now equal in power, if not a more advanced,
version of the old Extremis tech.
Stark is an inventive genius whose expertise in the fields of
mathematics, physics, chemistry, and computer science rivals that of
Reed Richards, Hank Pym, and Bruce Banner, and his expertise in
electrical engineering and mechanical engineering surpasses even
theirs. He is regarded as one of the most intelligent characters in
the Marvel Universe. He graduated with advanced degrees in physics
and engineering at the age of 17 from Massachusetts Institute of
Technology (MIT) and further developed his knowledge ranging from
artificial intelligence to quantum mechanics as time progressed. His
expertise extends to his ingenuity in dealing with difficult
situations, such as difficult foes and deathtraps, in which he is
capable of using available tools, including his suit, in unorthodox
but effective ways. He is well respected in the business world, able
to command people's attention when he speaks on economic matters,
having over the years built up several multimillion-dollar companies
from virtually nothing. He is noted for the loyalty he commands from
and returns to those who work for him, as well as for his business
ethics. Thus he immediately fired an employee who made profitable,
but illegal, sales to Doctor Doom. He strives to be environmentally
responsible in his businesses.
At a time when Stark was unable to use his
armor for a period, he received some combat training from Captain
America and has become physically formidable on his own when the
situation demands it. In addition, Stark possesses great business and
political acumen. On multiple occasions he reacquired control of his
companies after losing them amid corporate takeovers.
Due to his membership in the Illuminati,
Iron Man was given the Space Infinity Gem to safeguard. It allows the
user to exist in any location (or all locations), move any object
anywhere throughout the universe and warp or rearrange space.
In 1966, Iron Man was featured in a series
of cartoons and in 1981, Iron Man guest appeared in Spider-Man and
His Amazing Friends, but only as Tony Stark. He went on to feature
again in his own series in the 1990s as part of the Marvel Action
Hour with the Fantastic Four; Robert Hays provided his voice in these
animated cartoons. Iron Man makes an appearance in the episode
"Shell Games" of Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes as
well as a number of video games.
In the 2009 animated series, Iron Man:
Armored Adventures, most of the characters, including Tony Stark, are
teenagers. An anime adaptation began airing in Japan in October 2010
as part of a collaboration between Marvel Animation and Madhouse, in
which Stark, voiced by Keiji Fujiwara, travels to Japan where he ends
up facing off against the Zodiac.
2008, a film adaptation titled Iron Man was released, starring
Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark and directed by Jon Favreau. Iron Man
received very positive reviews from film critics. The character of
Tony Stark, again played by Robert Downey Jr., appeared at the end of
the 2008 film The Incredible Hulk. Downey reprised his role in Iron
Man 2 (2010), Marvel's The Avengers (2012), Iron Man 3 (2013),
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), and Captain America: Civil War
(2016), and will appear in Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) as well as
Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and its currently untitled sequel (2019).
Tony Stark is an eccentric genius,
multi-billionaire, philanthropist and playboy. He is also the armored
superhero known as Iron Man. Fresh off from defeating enemies all
over the world, Stark reluctantly agreed to serve as a consultant to
Nick Fury's peacekeeping intelligence agency S.H.I.E.L.D. Stark
joined the Avengers and helped defeat the Chitauri and Loki during
the Battle of New York. Due to the battle, he suffered from
post-traumatic stress disorder, leading him to create the Iron
Legion. After the Battle on the Norco, the final event of Aldrich
Killian's War, he destroyed all of his armors with the Clean Slate Protocol.
However, when the Avengers were officially
reassembled, Stark created new armors to fight the remnants of HYDRA.
Once the threat had been ended, Stark, with the help of Bruce Banner,
built Ultron as a peace-keeping A.I. to protect the world, but it
defected and chose to destroy humanity instead. Through the work of
the Avengers, Ultron was defeated. After the war, however, Stark
retired from the team, still haunted by his role in the chaos the
The guilt of creating Ultron and causing
so much destruction and loss of life eventually convinced Stark to
sign with Thaddeus Ross and create the Sokovia Accords. However,
Stark's strong support of the accords lead to a disagreement with
Captain America, who very much opposed the plans. When Rogers
proceeded further to disobey orders by protecting Winter Soldier,
Stark led the man-hunt for his old ally, igniting the Avengers Civil War.
Edward "Tony" Stark was born on Friday, May 29th, 1970 to
Howard and Maria Stark. Howard hired a butler named Edwin Jarvis
before Tony was born. Jarvis became a good friend to Tony as he grew
older. He watched over Tony throughout all of his childhood.
Tony's early life was often dominated by
the absence of his father who he would later describe as 'cold' and
'calculating'. Growing up Tony had issues with his father, who Tony
has said never told his son that he loved him, or even that he liked
him. Since Tony was so young, Howard never was able to tell him his
plans for him.
Tony's father would constantly talk about
his friend Captain America, so that he could inspire Tony to do great
things in life, which highly annoyed young Tony Stark. When he was
four years old, he made his first circuit board. When he was almost
seven he built a V8 motorbike engine. At sixteen, he won the 4th
Annual M.I.T. Robot Design Award. When Tony was seventeen he
graduated MIT at the top of his class. He also met James
"Rhodey" Rhodes, and they became best friends. While he was
in high school, Stark hacked into the Pentagon on a dare by some friends.
At the age of twenty-one, Tony Stark's
parents, Howard and Maria, died in a car crash secretly orchestrated
a few months Obadiah Stane, a family friend, took over the company
since Tony was too young to be CEO of the family's company, Stark
Industries. Around this time, Tony's family butler, Edwin Jarvis,
also died. A few months later, he inherited Stark Industries,
becoming the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 Company in history. After
building a custom mansion, Tony made an A.I. system that helped out
in the house. He named the system "Just a Rather Very
Intelligent System", shortened J.A.R.V.I.S., after his butler.
Tony made Stark Industries thrive into
becoming one of the most advanced companies in the world, making
technology that seemed futuristic to most while his best friend James
Rhodes joined the United States Air Force and became the liaison
between Stark Industries and the United States Armed Forces.
his business trip to Afghanistan to demonstrate Stark Industries'
newest weapon, the Jericho missile, Stark's convoy was attacked by
insurgents. While soldiers were dying around him, he attempted to
find cover and call for help when one of his own company's bombs
landed near him and exploded. The blast caused him to lose
consciousness and embedded several pieces of shrapnel in his chest,
several fragments dangerously close to his heart.
He woke up some time later with an
electromagnet attached to his chest. Hooked up to a car battery, the
electromagnet kept the shrapnel from entering his heart and killing
him. Stark had been captured by the terrorist group, the Ten Rings,
which offered his release if he built a Jericho missile for them.
Knowing they would never keep up their
end, Stark and fellow captive Ho Yinsen instead made a plan to
escape. In order to improve Stark's condition, he and Yinsen created
a miniature Arc Reactor, a smaller version of the power source
previously invented by his father, Howard Stark, and Anton Vanko,
which they embedded into his chest to supply energy to the
electromagnet protecting his heart. Together, they secretly began
building an armored suit to help them escape.
the pair enacted their escape plan; however, Yinsen was mortally
wounded. With his last words, Yinsen reassured Stark and urged him
not to waste his life. Stark used the suit to protected him from the
onslaught of bullets from the terrorists and escaped.
The experience changed Tomy Stark and upon
returning home called a press conferenceannouncing that his company
would, for the foreseeable future, no longer manufacture weapons.
This move shocked the press, many declaring that he must be suffering
from PTSD and angered is father's friend and business partner,
Obadiah Stane, who would try to block the move and take over the company.
In the months that followed, Stark
retreated from public view, focusing on improving the design of his
new armored suit, refining its size, movement, and flight capability.
He eventually perfected the flight power after much trial and error,
taking the silver Mark II suit for its first test flight, despite
J.A.R.V.I.S.' warnings that there had not been enough tests.
During this time Stark's assitant, Pepper
Potts, discovers that it was Obadiah Stane who hired the Ten Rings to
kill Tony in Afghanistan and that Stane had recovered Stark's
original armor prototype and had reverse-engineered his own version.
This led to a showdown between Stark and his once trusted family
friend, Tony in his latest Iron Man suit and Stane in his Iron Monger suit.
The next morning, news had spread of Tony
Stark's alter ego, which was dubbed "Iron Man" by the
press. Stark held a press conference where S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Phil
Coulson gave him a fabricated cover story and advised him to state
that Iron Man was his bodyguard. However, during the course of the
conference, in a moment of self clarity, Stark instead announced to
"I'm just not the hero
type. Clearly. With this laundry list of character defects, all the
mistakes I've made, largely public.
Yeah, okay. The truth is...
I am Iron Man."
- Tony Stark
Virginia "Pepper" Potts first
appeared in Tales of Suspense #45 (September 1963), which was written
by Stan Lee and illustrated by Don Heck. Though she was named Pepper
Potts from the start, Stark addresses her as "Kitty" in one
panel, which is thought to be a typo. Heck modeled Potts as Ann B.
Davis character of Schultzy from The Bob Cummings Show, and is
rendered with brown hair done up in a hairdo similar to that of
Schultzy's. Someone on the creative team or in editorial came to feel
that the resemblance was too great, and in Tales of Suspense #50,
Potts' look was altered to give her red hair and a different hairdo.
Potts is originally a member of a
secretarial pool, and gets her job by fixing an accounting error made
by Stark. She is depicted initially as being infatuated with Stark,
and rejects the advances of Stark's chauffeur and assistant Happy
Hogan, who debuted in the same issue, with acerbic remarks. As
Stark's affection for her grows in the ensuing issues, she becomes
part of a love triangle between the two men, and eventually falls in
love with and marries Hogan, eloping with him in Tales of Suspense #91.
and Happy eventually leave Stark Industries and disappear from the
main Iron Man storyline until Pepper is kidnapped by Stark's rival
Obadiah Stane. Pepper and Happy eventually divorce but cross paths
again when they join Tony at his new company, Stark Solutions, once
again becoming core characters. After some time, Happy and Pepper
remarry. After Happy sustains massive injuries in a fight with
Spymaster during the 2006-2007 "Civil War" storyline,
Pepper requests that Tony turn off Happy's life support (using his
Extremis abilities). The final pages of Invincible Iron Man (vol. 4)
#14 shows the death of Happy; it is implied Tony complied with
After the events of the "Civil
War" story line, Pepper joins the Fifty State Initiative as a
member of The Order, a government sanctioned superhero team operating
within California. She assumes the moniker of the Greek goddess Hera,
and uses advanced computer-hardware and prosthetics to monitor and
coordinate the team's missions. Later Tony Stark offers her a job on
the special-projects team at Stark Enterprises, which she accepts and
soon Pepper resumes her activities as personal secretary of Tony Stark.
Pepper is caught in a terrorist explosion caused by Ezekiel
"Zeke" Stane, she sustains multiple internal injuries,
including shrapnel wounds, and rendered unable to withstand a
prolonged surgery. In response, Tony embeds a strong magnet (similar
in appearance to the arc reactor of the movie) in her chest,
essentially turning Pepper into a cyborg dependent on keeping her
chest magnet engaged to stay alive, as he was once. Pepper's body is
further enhanced with new cybernetics and upgrades to the magnet,
which are based on Danny Rand's battery designs, and which afford
Pepper new super abilities.
In The Invincible Iron Man #500, in a
flashforward to an apocalyptic future 41 years ahead where the
Mandarin has conquered the world, an aged version of Tony defeats his
long-time foe with the help of his son Howard Anthony Stark and his
granddaughter Ginny Stark, but Howard and Tony sacrifice themselves
in the process. At the close of the story, Ginny buries the two next
to a gravestone with the name Virginia Potts Stark. Howard is also
said to be 41 years old, suggesting that he will be born within the
Paltrow portrays Pepper Potts in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: In
Iron Man, Stark notes that Potts, his secretary/personal aide, is
virtually the only real friend he has at the company. In Iron Man 2,
Pepper is promoted to CEO of Stark Industries, and by the end of the
film, Pepper becomes Tony's girlfriend and partner.
In The Avengers, Potts is instrumental in
helping with the development of Stark Tower, the new upgraded arc
reactor, and Tony's assistance to S.H.I.E.L.D. She apparently got
along with Agent Coulson, even knowing his first name.
In Iron Man 3, Pepper is still the CEO of
Stark Industries; and has now officially moved in with Tony. During
an attack on Stark's mansion, Tony wills his Mark 42 armor to encase
her instead of himself thus saving her and Maya Hansen who Potts
rescues using the armor. After being captured, Aldrich Killian uses
her as a test subject for the Extremis process and thus as leverage
to force Tony to complete the work to make Extremis stable. However,
she turns the tables on Killian by using her Extremis powers and
parts of an Iron Man suit to kill him. Tony is able to modify
Extremis so that it is no longer a danger to herself or others.
Pepper Potts does not appear in Avengers:
Age of Ultron, but is mentioned along with Jane Foster during a
conversation involving Maria Hill (asking why they're not in the
party), Thor and Tony Stark. Pepper is mentioned to still being the
CEO of Stark Industries, by Tony saying "She runs the biggest
tech conglomerate on Earth", which helps around the world. Any
doubts about her romance with Tony are put to rest at the end of the
film, after he mentions wanting to settle down in a peaceful, quiet
place with her.
is mentioned again in Captain America: Civil War (2016). It is
revealed that she and Tony are "taking a break." Pepper
even cancelled an appearance at a university event that Tony Stark
was speaking at. Tony later explains that the strain of being Iron
Man finally took its toll on their relationship. It's strongly
implied Pepper would consider Tony more responsible if he were acting
in less of a vigilante role.
In 2013, Paltrow told Empire (via
ComicBookMovie.com) that her Marvel duties had been fulfilled with
her work in Iron Man 3, and confirmed that Pepper's cameo in The
Avengers was a last-minute addition. "It was Robert [Downey Jr.]
who said that Pepper has to be in this movie or it's just giant
snakes coming out of the sky," Paltrow explained. Paltrow isn't
ruling out re-signing with Marvel for more features. "I'd be
open to more Pepper because I love working with Robert and it's a
Harold "Happy" Hogan
Hogan is a supporting character in stories featuring Iron Man.
Created by writer Stan Lee and artist Don Heck, the character first
appeared in Tales of Suspense #45 (September 1963). A former boxer
with a history of losing his fights, Hogan is hired by Tony Stark as
his chauffeur and personal assistant after Happy saves Tony's life in
Tales of Suspense #45 (September 1963) and later learns that Tony is
Iron Man in Tales of Suspense #70 (October 1965).
Working for Tony Stark has it drawbacks,
in Tales of Suspense #74 (February 1966), a desperately ill Happy is
mutated into a giant, savage, nearly mindless, superhumanly strong
humanoid known as Freak when doctors try to cure him using a cobalt
ray machine powered by Stark's experimental "Enervator"
device. Freak breaks loose and goes on a rampage, escaping before
Iron Man can arrive to stop him. He is restored to his normal self in
Tales of Suspense #76 (April 1966) when Iron Man exposes him to the
Enervator once again. It won't be the last time he transformed into
Dispite his "Freak" problems
Happy marries Pepper Potts in Tales of Suspense #91 (July 1967), but
they later divorce only to remarry again later. With the events of
the 2006 "Civil War" storyline causing Tony Stark
considerable moral, political and emotional problems, Happy Hogan
continues to give Tony much needed advice. In an important moment of
crisis, he says to Tony: "You, my friend, are the only cape in
the bunch [of superheroes] that's both one of us [that is, human] and
one of them. Who else can see both sides the way you do?" On the
night of his anniversary with Pepper, Hogan is attacked by the
Spymaster, who is seeking to use Hogan as bait to draw out Iron Man.
Spymaster threatens to kill Hogan first, then Pepper. Angered, Hogan
grabs him by the neck and they fall several stories, leaving Hogan in
a vegetative coma. While he is in the coma, Pepper tells Tony of
Cobra McCoyle, a former boxing friend who took too many hits to the
head. Cobra is unable to even feed himself and must be taken care of.
Pepper tells Tony that Hogan has declared he never wants to end up
like McCoyle. At the end of Iron Man vol. 4 #14, Hogan apparently dies.
Hogan appears in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, played by Jon
Favreau (who was also the director of the first two Iron Man films).
In Iron Man, he is shown to be Tony Stark's bodyguard, friend and
chauffeur and later head of security for Stark Industries, having
been promoted as he complained about feeling ridiculous announcing
himself as Iron Man's bodyguard.
At the beginning of Iron Man 3, he
witnesses the side-effects of an Extremis enhanced Jack Taggart and
gets into conflict with Eric Savin. He is rendered comatose when
Taggart explodes, prompting Stark to go after the Mandarin, and
setting up the main plot of the film. He regains consciousness after
the main threat has been dealt with.
One of Tony Stark's rivals is the ruthless
Obadiah Stane. Stane is a munitions dealer and President and CEO of
Stane International who at one time goes into business with Howard
Stark. After the elder Stark died in a car accident, Stane turns his
sights on acquiring control of Stark International, now owned by Tony
Stark. Stane discovers Stark's notes on the Iron Man armor. The notes
are incomplete so Stane assigns a team of scientists to decipher
them; they eventually create the Iron Monger armor which, according
to Stane, is "far superior to Stark's Iron Man armor". He
even considers selling the suit to the highest bidder or creating an
army of Iron Mongers, using them to "take over any country he wanted".
Bridges portrays Obadiah Stane in Iron Man, the first installment in
the live-action Marvel Cinematic Universe film series. The film
presents Stane as both a friend and business partner to Howard Stark,
having become Tony Stark's mentor after his father's death. Motivated
to make a profit in the arms market, selling weapons to America's
enemies, Stane arranged for Stark to be kidnapped and killed by the
Ten Rings terrorist group to take full control of Stark Industries.
But when Stane learns the full story of
Stark's escape from the terrorist group who initially reneged on
their deal with Stane over learning that it was Stark they were
kidnapping, Stane obtains the remains of Stark's Mark I armor from
the Ten Rings as a peace offering, before he eliminates the terrorist
group. From there, Stane secretly engineered his own armor with the
arc reactor he stole from Stark powering it after his scientists are
unable to replicate it. Stane believed that Tony's recent actions,
such as discontinuing the manufacturing of his weapons, were leading
Stark Industries to ruin and destroying his father's legacy, giving
Stane all the more reason to eliminate Stark. With his criminal
activities revealed, Stane dons the armor to attack Pepper Potts and
several S.H.I.E.L.D. agents before he fights Iron Man and dies after
falling into the overloaded reactor at Stark Industries. According to
S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson, Stane's death is passed off as being
a passenger on an airplane with questionable engineering.
To tie into the 2008 Iron Man feature
film, Marvel launched a new Iron Man ongoing series, The Invincible
Iron Man, with writer Matt Fraction and artist Salvador Larocca. The
series inaugural six-part storyline was "The Five
Nightmares", which saw Stark targeted by Ezekiel Stane, the son
of Stark's former nemesis, Obadiah Stane.
The Mandarin is a supervillain appearing
in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. He is the
archenemy of Iron Man.
The character was created by Stan Lee and
designed by Don Heck, first appearing in Tales of Suspense #50
(February 1964) and is described as being born in China before the
Communist revolution, to a wealthy Chinese father and an English
aristocratic mother, both of whom died when he was very young. He is
characterised as a megalomaniac, attempting to conquer the world on
several occasions, yet also possessing a strong sense of honor.
The Mandarin is portrayed as a genius
scientist and a superhumanly skilled martial artist. However, his
primary sources of power are ten power rings that he adapted from the
alien technology of a crashed space ship. Each ring has a different
power and is worn on a specific finger.
The Mandarin is referenced in the Iron Man
movies via the name of a terrorist group, "The Ten Rings",
who briefly appear again in Iron Man 2 and Ant-Man.
Sir Ben Kingsley appears in promotional
material for Iron Man 3 as the Mandarin, implied to be the leader of
the Ten Rings terrorist group. The film reveals that the
"Mandarin" is only a terrorist persona adopted by Aldrich
Killian to mask his illegal activities while the idealized image is
actually drunken British character actor Trevor Slattery (played
wonderfully by Kingsley). Director Shane Black specified that Killian
was his intended Marvel Cinematic Universe version of the Mandarin as
signified by the dragon tattoos on Killian's chest, while Slattery is
supposed to portray the idealized image of the terrorist persona as
Killian's proxy. In interviews, producer Kevin Feige suggested that
Killian built his idea of the Mandarin from legends he had heard, and
hinted that the audience should believe in the strong possibility
that there may be a comic-book-accurate person known as the Mandarin
within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In the comic books ehe character, Aldrich
Killian, was created by Warren Ellis and Adi Granov and first
appeared in Iron Man vol. 4, #1 (January 2005). Within the context of
the stories, Killian is a scientist who developed the Extremis virus
alongside Maya Hansen. After injecting himself the Extremis virus, he
has superhuman agility, the ability to re-build parts of his body and
turn it hot up to 3000 celsius degrees. He steals a sample of the
virus and sells it to domestic terrorists, but, unable to cope with
the guilt, he confesses in a note and shoots himself. However, Iron
Man later discovered that Maya also had a hand in selling Extremis to
the domestic terrorists.
Machine (James "Rhodey" Rhodes) is a fictional character,
a superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel
Comics. Jim Rhodes first appeared in Iron Man #118 (January 1979) by
David Michelinie, John Byrne, and Bob Layton.
James "Rhodey" Rhodes, from the
South Philadelphia section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was a
lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps who served tours of duty
in Southeast Asia. A combat pilot, he was stranded in the jungle
behind enemy lines after his helicopter was shot down by Viet Cong
rocket fire. He encounters Iron Man, who escaped from Wong-Chu's
prison camp in his prototype suit of powered armor and together
discover an enemy rocket base and destroy it. Afterwards Stark offers
Rhodes a job as his personal pilot. After taking several career paths
including mercenary work, Rhodes finally took Stark's offer and
became Stark's personal pilot, chief aviation engineer for Stark
International, and one of Stark's closest friends.
Initially a supporting character in volume
one of Iron Man, Rhodes later assumed the mantle of Iron Man after
Tony Stark's relapse into alcoholism in issue #170 (May 1983). The
character would continue in a supporting role and later resume the
role of Iron Man following Stark's purported death in issue #284
(Sept. 1992). After Stark's return to the role of Iron Man, Rhodes
continued as the superhero War Machine and made his solo series debut
in an eponymous title after being featured as a supporting character
in the superhero-team series Avengers West Coast.
In addition to Iron Man and his own title
War Machine, Rhodes has been featured in the ensemble titles West
Coast Avengers; Force Works, Sentinel Squad O*N*E; The Crew and
Avengers: The Initiative. Rhodes was also featured in the
alternate-reality Marvel MAX imprint's U.S. War Machine series, Iron
Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Avengers vs. X-Men" amoung
others. In the All-New Marvel NOW! series Rhodes was Iron Patriot.
The series lasted five issues before cancellation.
Rhodes was portrayed by Terrence Howard (right top) in Iron Man, the
first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He holds the rank of
Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force and acts as the
military's chief liaison to Stark Industries' weapons division, and
is initially oblivious to Obadiah Stane's actions. Following a
contract dispute between Howard and Marvel Studios, Rhodes is
portrayed by Don Cheadle (right bottom) for the rest of his MCU appearances.
In Iron Man 2, Rhodes is under pressure
from the United States government to convince Tony Stark to
relinquish ownership of the Iron Man armor. When Tony drunkenly
endangers civilian lives, Rhodey is forced to don an Iron Man armor
to intervene during the confrontation to which Tony says "You
wanna be the War Machine, take your shot." Rhodes's borrowed
armor is subsequently retrofitted but is briefly taken over by remote
control and used to attack Iron Man before Pepper Potts and Black
Widow break the connection controlling him. Once freed, Rhodey fights
alongside Iron Man to defeat Ivan Vanko.
In Iron Man 3, Rhodes is promoted to full
Colonel and his armor is painted red, white, and blue. According to
director Shane Black, the patriotic color scheme and name was chosen
by the U.S. government in response to the events of The Avengers.
Rhodes states that the U.S. government deemed "War Machine"
to be too militaristic and that "Iron Patriot" tested well
with focus groups. The armor is briefly stolen and used by Eric Savin
to abduct President Ellis, but Rhodes is able to recover the armor at
the film's conclusion and save the President.
In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Rhodes once
again operates the black and silver War Machine armor and is directly
referred to as "War Machine" for the first time. He aids
the Avengers in the final battle against Ultron and joins the team
along with Vision, Falcon and Scarlet Witch.
In Captain America: Civil War, When the
Avengers are presented with the Sokovia Accords for the government to
regulate their actions, Rhodes sides with Stark and is one of the
heroes that sign the accords.
Stark is a comic book character who appears in books published by
Marvel Comics, usually as a background character in stories featuring
his son Tony Stark. The character was created by writer-editor Archie
Goodwin and designed by artist Don Heck. He made his first appearance
in Iron Man #28 (August 1, 1970).
The son of Howard Stark, Sr., Howard Stark
was born in Richford, New York. An avid and brilliant inventor from a
young age, he was a brilliant scientist throughout his life. He and
his father worked on various projects, and later founded Stark
Industries. Throughout his young adulthood, Stark worked on various
government projects dating back to the World War I and World War II
era, like the World War I Captain America project with John Crowe
Ransom, which came to completion during World War II; the World War
II Manhattan Project; and the "Arsenal" robots, hidden in a
subbasement in his mansion. During the 1950s, Stark was an agent of
the secret science organization known as The Shield, partnered with
Stark married Maria Collins Carbonell and
together they had a son, Anthony "Tony" Stark. He
constantly pushed Tony to be the best, telling him that someone must
have "iron in their backbone" to be successful. Behind his
heroic facade, however, he was an alcoholic who had a strained
relationship with his son. Howard was capable of devotion and respect
towards machines, but he appeared to have little to no interest
towards his son. Due to his power as a businessman, Howard was
offered membership to the exclusive Hellfire Club, but Stark seemed
uninterested in anything other than the lavish parties the club
threw. It is believed Howard was also a member of the V-Battalion. He
was targeted by the Red Skull (Johann Schmidt), and is rumored to
have met the Watcher, Uatu. Stark also prevented Obadiah Stane from
taking control of Stark Industries at least once.
Iron Man #17 (released October 23rd, 2013) Tony Stark's origin story
was rewriten (how can they do that?) to reveal that Tony Stark
isnt the son of Howard and Maria Stark as he and comics
fans always thought. Instead he was adopted by the Starks and
has a long lost brother, Arno Stark. Arno Stark was also the name of
the villainous Iron Man of the year 2020 that subverted the Stark
legacy down a more militaristic and selfish bent.
On the Ides of March, Howard and Maria
were killed in a car accident. It has been hinted that the incident
was not random and possibly arranged by the V-Battalion, but this has
never been confirmed; earlier indications were that the accident was
caused by Republic Oil, but this is also unconfirmed. Tony ran his
father's company, started a charity in his mother's name, and later
became Iron Man.
During the Original Sin storyline, a
flashback revealed that Howard Stark first met Nick Fury following
the death of Woody McCord during the fight against the Tribellians.
Howard decided to show Fury the work Woody McCord had been doing as
defender of Earth, neutralizing any potential threat for the planet,
and offered him Woody's job. Fury accepted and over the next years
would secretly fight different superhuman threats from aliens to
Subterranean monsters and extra-dimensional beings, and those had
been the corpses the different parties had found.
Throughout the character's publication
history, Howard Stark has been featured in several incarnations of
comic book series. He has also been adapted for several animated TV
shows and films.
Howard Stark is shown in the live-action
Marvel Cinematic Universe movie series produced by Marvel Studios,
portrayed by Dominic Cooper and John Slattery. Gerard Sanders (above)
portrayed the character in a brief memorial slideshow presentation in
the beginning of the 2008 film Iron Man.
(right) first portrayed the character in the 2010 film Iron Man 2
where it is revealed that he is one of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s co-founders.
Having placed a message for Tony Stark in a film reel, Howard gives
Tony closure in their strained relationship while providing his son a
diorama of the 1974 Stark Expo to perfect the Arc Reactor.
Cooper first portrayed a younger iteration
in the 2011 film Captain America: The First Avenger that aided in the
Super Soldier Project and then the Strategic Scientific Reserve. His
contributions include providing Steve Rogers with both a costume and
shield. After the Hydra battleship that Rogers raided crashed in the
ocean, Stark made attempts to find Rogers before his expeditions led
to the Tesseract.
The 2014 film Captain America: The Winter
Soldier heavily implied that the car crash that killed Stark and his
wife was caused by Hydra infiltrators within S.H.I.E.L.D. on December
16th, 1991. A still photograph of Cooper as Stark appears in the film.
(left) returned as Howard Stark in the 15 minute Marvel One-Shot
film Agent Carter. The popularity of the film let to ABC-TV ordering
a television series expansion, Marvel's Agent Carter with Cooper
reprising his role. In season one, Howard Stark enlists Peggy Carter
to help him find out who has been framing him for selling weapons on
the black market while he goes incognito. Howard even enlists his
butler Edwin Jarvis to help in Peggy's mission; Peggy and Edwin
discover that the culprits are the mysterious Leviathan organization.
Unbeknownst to Peggy, Jarvis has been secretly keeping Stark posted
on the happenings in the mission. In season two, Stark helps Carter
when it comes to the Zero Matter threat. It was also revealed that he
was an old acquaintance of Joseph Manfredi (AKA Blackwing).
Slattery reprised his role in the 2015
film Ant-Man. In a flashback in the late-1980s, he witnesses Hank
Pym's resignation from S.H.I.E.L.D. after the discovery of them
trying to replicate the Pym Particles without consent.
Slattery again reprised the role in the
2016 film Captain America: Civil War. Towards the climax of the film,
the car crash said to be the cause of the deaths of Howard and Maria
Stark on December 16th, 1991 is shown to have been caused by Bucky
Barnes while under Hydra's control. It is revealed that The Winter
Soldier caused the car to crash, and then killed the Starks with his
bare hands after they survived the initial impact. This revelation
results in Iron Man attempting to exact revenge on the former Winter
Soldier, while Captain America tries to stop him from killing his friend.
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