Tony Stark makes you feel, he's a cool exec with a heart of steel. A founding member of the Avengers and the billionaire playboy of Stark Enterprises, Iron Man has made a huge name for himself around the world.
Like his father Howard, Tony Stark's brilliance was apparent at a young age. Tony built his first internal combustion engine at the age of six, and graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at the age of seventeen. He became the CEO of Stark Industries at twenty-one, working alongside his father's long time business partner Obadiah Stane. The multi-terrorist organization known as the Ten Rings, under the direction of the Mandarin (who was working with Stane), kidnapped Tony Stark after a weapons demonstration near the Kunar Province of Afghanistan in 2001.
Stark suffered a severe chest wound during the kidnapping, but was able to design and build a miniaturized Arc reactor that kept the potentially fatal shrapnel from reaching his heart. The Arc reactor also powered the original Model 1 Iron Man prototype, which Tony used to escape his captors. Unfortunately, this was at the cost of a fellow prisoner, Yinsen, who sacrificed himself so Tony could escape. This event would change Stark's view on the world and himself.
Becoming the Iron Avenger
Upon his return stateside, Tony immediately declared that Stark Industries would cease all weapons development. After a very public showdown with the aforementioned Stane, who had developed his own battlesuit known as the Iron Monger, Stark publicly revealed Iron Man to the world, as an agent of Stark Industries dedicated to world safety, and a personal bodyguard to Tony Stark.
Subsequently, Stark began a personal quest to redesign and refine the Iron Man armors. Stark also took up a career as a part-time politician, fighting for the rights of the oppressed mutant population and serving as a consultant to the world peacekeeping organization known as S.H.I.E.L.D.
In 2005, Iron Man worked alongside several other heroes such as Thor, the Hulk, Ant-Man and Wasp during the Breakout, when the highly advanced prisons The Big House, The Cube, The Vault and The Raft had a security malfunction, resulting in the release of 74 known supervillains. After the five defeated Graviton, the strongest villain of the 74, Iron Man formed the Avengers, a team of Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
In 2010, attending to a party, Tony Stark meets with Pepper Potts, who tells him to meet with James Rhodes at home. Meeting up with Rhodey, (formerly War Machine) who is now a lieutenant colonel, Tony discusses with him about his life as Iron Man. Rhodes says that ever since he revealed the Iron Man years ago, he has been getting people nervous with the recklessness of the Avengers and superhumans in general. He presses the need of Iron Man working with the U.S. Army, due that Iron Man always gets to emergencies before the Army officially deploys him. In that moment, Tony and Rhodes receive news from the US military. The Army wants Iron Man to do some reconnaissance in Al-Kut. However, Stark decides to fully enter the emergency as he suits up.
Watching events from the news, Senator Kelly discusses with Rhodes over Iron Man's unpredictable nature, and Stark's disregard over their concerns. Rhodey defends Tony, but Kelly introduces him to General Thaddeus Ross. Ross tells Rhodey that the US wants Iron Man as a soldier, along with the rest of the Avengers. If Stark doesn't smarten up and convince Iron Man to start working for the military, then he will have to initiate a project that will send a message to all enemies of America: that they don't need Iron Man.
Iron Man faces off against a detachment of A.I.M. troopers, and after defeating them, heads back to his old parent's house where he spent his childhood days.
Back in the day during Anton Vanko's arrest, Howard Stark confronts him for what he did. Vanko says that it was for the money and that he of all people should now that. Obadiah Stane comforts Howard, telling him to go back to his work, and move on. Years later, Howard is working in his office when a toy car hits his foot. Angry, Howard berates Tony for wasting his time, slapping the toy out of Tony's hand. Tony sits alone in the balcony where he is found by Edwin Jarvis, the family's butler. Jarvis comforts Tony, telling him that a father-son relationship is difficult, but time will heal all wounds.
Back in the present day, Tony, outfitted in his Iron Man armor, walks around his father's old office, reminiscing about how he had to sneak into the room when he was a kid, and how Jarvis was really the only person that was happy to see him come home from school. Then Friday intercepts a call from the military. Tony gets himself ready for another departure.
Later, Rhodey visits Justin Hammer, who was commissioned by General Ross to build a single-pilot vehicle, the latest US weapon to replace Iron Man. Rhodey and Hammer meet with the pilot and General Ross. Rhodey tells the pilot that Ross is not looking for glory-seeking heroes, he only wants someone to drop in the hot zone. However, the pilot simply states that he wants to serve his country. Hammer, amused by this, says that an unused weapon is a weapon not worth using.
Meanwhile, Pepper talks with the Stark Industries board, telling them that Tony will meet them. Potts contacts Tony, who is busy in desert investigating about the Ten Rings recent activity. Pepper puts the meeting on hold until Tony gets back, trying to keep his cover. Iron Man then deploys his latest invention, the "Magna-Drone", which is a rocket that deactivates all mines it flies over by pulling them straight from the ground. Nick Fury is seen to be observing these events from the shadows.
Tony eventually reunites with Pepper and Rhodey, as Rhodes tells him that Justin Hammer has just deployed the new aerodynamic prototype. Suddenly, Friday announces that the aircraft had just crashed in enemy territory, which just happened to be the country of Latveria. Tony takes off immediately to rescue the pilot. General Ross tries to take control over what happening until Iron Man himself enters Latveria. Iron Man then saves the airman and takes out the Doombots. A couple of Latverian soldiers are also found to be carrying items that have the Ten Rings emblems on them, similar to the faction weapons and flags he saw back in Al Kut. Receiving a call from Ross, Iron Man is told to deliver the pilot in Cairo. Iron Man narrowly escapes the Latverian cannons, as he spots Doctor Doom from a distance, glaring at him.
Three hours later, Iron Man reaches Cairo and delivers the airman to the medics. Ross angrily reprimands him for not returning fire against the Latverian soldiers, however, Iron Man replies that attacking soldiers is what the Government wanted him to do if Hammer failed. Ross then tells him that although Stark might have distanced himself from his father's legacy of creating weapons, Ross accuses that Iron Man himself is a weapon. However, Iron Man then brings up Ross's own military resume. Iron Man then states that if another innocent is hurt just to advance a military agenda, there will be consequences, before taking off.
Mandarin and the Ten Rings
When Tony Stark took a business trip to Hong Kong, he met another entrepreneur who matched Stark's mannerisms and ideals. His name was Tem Borjigin, and he quickly earned Tony's trust.
With Borjigin's help, Tony uses Stark Enterprises' resources to raise an ancient city within China. However, his ambitions for the project go awry when the terror cell known as the Ten Rings attacks, kidnapping the staff on the operation site, including Dr. Helen Cho. Tony suited up as Iron Man to investigate. When he arrives, Iron Man is put against the terrorists, only to be stopped when the hostages are threatened in front of him. Iron Man surrenders, and decides to hear them out. A shaman acting on behalf of the Ten Rings greets him.
Iron Man speaks to the Shaman, who reveals that the Ten Rings seek to commence the return of the Mandarin, an evil ruler of great power who ruled China three thousand years ago, and who the city commemorates. There were ten rings used by the Mandarin - their purpose being to grant him power over death - and should be brought together after the city rises, the person wielding the rings will become the new Mandarin, wielding untold power.
Meanwhile, four elemental spirits are released by the raising of the city, the spirits subsequently acquiring four of the Mandarin's ten rings. With time running out, Iron Man reveals his backup, S.H.I.E.L.D., and wipes the floor with the Ten Rings. Iron Man rescues the hostages, but Helen tells him the rest of the prophecy that the Shaman told them; that Tony is the 'Iron Knight' who it was foretold would battle the Mandarin, but this brings her no comfort, as the prophecy only states that a sacrifice must be made to win.
Taking an underwater suit of armor to the third temple, located at the bottom of the Atlantic. The locations were determined thanks to a map provided to him by the Shaman. Tony manages to defeat a Fire Elemental by throwing it into the water, but the other three escape with the ring.
Tony gears up to race against the elementals of who could get the rings first. Although he defeats the Air and water elementals and escapes with the ring, Tony's armor is badly damaged by the Earth Elemental's assault, forcing him to abandon the armor and make his own way home.
Having returned to Hong Kong, Tony is confronted and found out by Tem, who suggests he to give him the rings to prevent the elementals from attacking Iron Man, and the rest of Stark Industries. Deciding to try and destroy the temple, Tony agrees and goes with Tem to China, wearing one of his spare suits.
Arriving at the city just as the earth elemental raises an army from the ground, Tony clashes with the elemental, destroying his adversary with a final desperate mid-air collision. However, as he prepares to search for the last ring, Tem Borjigin reveals that he possessed the final ring; his family seeks to ensure the resurrection of the Mandarin rather than his defeat, and, as the last descendant of the Mandarin, only he can hold the Mandarin's power, and only he can become the vessel to wield that power. Borjigin also led and founded the Ten Rings terrorist organization. He had been using Tony the whole time to get what he wanted. Iron Man attacks Borjigin but is stuck down by the rings. Borjigin heads into the inner city, and using the rings, creates his own army of terracotta soldiers to battle him.
Although Tony vanquishes the soldiers, he is subsequently forced to fight a vast dragon as Borjigin makes contact with the Mandarin's spirit. Despite the odds against him, Tony manages to defeat the dragon by forcing a vat of liquid metal to expand and solidify inside it. When Iron Man enters the temple, Borjigin has truly become the Mandarin. The two face off in a titanic struggle, but Iron Man severs the tie to the Mandarin's spirit, weakening Borjigin and defeating him.
Upon returning to the United States, Tony promotes Helen Cho to the position of chief engineer for advanced technologies in Stark Enterprises.
When the Rhino began in his spree to wreak havoc in New York City, Tony went down to stop him as Iron Man. What he did not expect was to find Spider-Man there as well, who had arrived from Queens. The two teamed up to defeat the Rhino by dismantling it's suit by the weak points. From there, Iron Man convinced Spider-Man to pose in front of the cameras with him, hoping to improve the city's image of the wall crawler.
Tony also started to help fund the Xavier School for Higher Learning, as a part of his ongoing campaign to help mutants in need.
Despite being seemingly destroyed by it's creator, Hank Pym two years ago, Ultron had returned to the public. Ultron had built himself a new body coated in Adamantium, and built Jocasta as his second robotic servant to replace the space left by the Vision.
After fighting the Crimson Dynamo again, Iron Man tried to rehabilitate her. Tony Stark was examining Galina's armor and realized a lot of the technology of the new armor resembled that of Iron Man's armor technology. It was then revealed that Mystique had stolen almost all of Stark's technological secrets and had sold them to Justin Hammer, who then sold them to criminals and heroes alike.
Becoming paranoid and reminded of his company's time building weapons (and reminded of his mistakes), Tony then invented "Negator Packs" that could destroy his technology on contact. This way he would make sure that the past sins would never be repeated. Tony suited up as Iron Man and printed out a list of people who had his stolen tech. Iron Man took more and more desperate measures to defeat his enemies to ensure that his technology would stop being used by the wrong hands.
However, things get worse when Iron Man even attacks S.H.I.E.L.D. to disable the Mandroids (as S.H.I.E.L.D.) Hawkeye attempts to apprehend him, but is defeated. Stark used his dual identity as Iron Man to go over the line to lengths he wouldn't normally approach. Iron Man became a international criminal, and Tony "fired" Iron Man. He even battled War Machine.
The US government listened to Justin Hammer, and deployed the use of the robotic weapon codenamed "Firepower". Firepower defeated Iron Man, and Tony abandoned the damaged suit, putting it on remote control for Firepower to destroy it. The general populace believed Iron Man was dead. Badly wounded, Tony called up Helen Cho to help him, revealing his identity to her and recovering back at his mansion.
Firepower's next set of orders would be to destroy Stark Enterprises. After a two week hiatus, Iron Man returned back into the fray. After destroying Firepower, Iron Man confronted Justin Hammer. While he had no way of proving that Hammer sent Firepower to destroy his company and to kill his employees, he told Hammer that Stark had inserted a virus into their systems that would destroy any and all files relating to the Iron Man armors, regardless of how well they were protected or encrypted.
Iron Man and Captain America talked about Tony's fighting ability when without the armor. Steve pointed out that Tony to be a poor fighter and believed that his strategies were too predictable, and that he usually relied on his suit. Steve challenged Tony in the sparring ring, only to be taken down, the first step in combat training.
When the time-traveler Kang arrived to kill Captain America, who he thought to be the future cause of the destruction of Earth, Iron Man managed to get into Kang's special time throne to stop him. While Kang looked as if he was retreating, he actually launched a full assault on Earth.
After holding off Kang's army in New York, Iron Man and the rest of the Avengers flew up to space to strike Kang's fleet at the heart -- the leading ship, Damocles Base. Using the Silver Centurion armor, Iron Man found the warp drive that the ship had used to travel time. While Black Panther, Hawkeye and Captain America fought Kang, Iron Man threatened to send the entire ship and it's fleet back into the destroyed future it came from. Before he could, Wasp alerted Tony this would cause the death of Ravonna, Kang's wife. With his fleet and army disbanded, Kang was finally imprisoned in the special Prison 42, in the Negative Zone, where he claimed that Captain America would be the cause of war between the Skrull and the Kree.
Tony and Reed decided to find a way to cure Ravonna's condition.
Tony and the rest of the Avengers celebrated She-Hulk's official welcoming into the team. However, when Elektra was presumably killed by Bullseye, Iron Man and Nick Fury investigated the situation in one of Fury's secret outposts. As it had turned out, the supposed body of Elektra was a Skrull in disguise as her for an unknown period of time.
Fury noted that there was an invasion of the Skrulls like Kang had warned, possibly embedded into every major organization and government worldwide, including the Avengers. Tony refused to believe it, and called in Reed Richards and Hank Pym to aid him. While Reed was performing an autopsy on the Skrull body, Tony geared up as Iron Man and entered the Mansion.
While there, Iron Man confronted his friends that there was a Skrull hiding amongst their ranks. Some fighting ensued between Hawkeye and Iron Man, the battle being broken up by Captain America. The straining trust between every member of the team only made things worse. Black Panther agreed with Iron Man, and chose to leave the team, not trusting anyone. Seeing no other solution and no one to trust, Iron Man left the Avengers as well.
A few days had passed. Nick Fury went into hiding, and the Avengers had almost completely disbanded. Reed and Tony worked together, in an attempt to build a scanner capable of detecting the Skrull presence. Instead, both men were contacted by Dr. Doom, who had decided to grant them help with the Skrull threat, already having known of their infiltration into society months earlier.
Things only got worse when a Skrull ship crash-landed in Canada, and another one landed in Wakanda. Iron Man decided to intercept the ship in Canada, but a virus that was implanted into his armor rendered him unconscious. The Skrull Hank Pym revealed himself, and shot Mr. Fantastic as well while he was working on the scanner.
Iron Man and Mr. Fantastic were brought to an unknown location, where they met Queen Veranke who had been posing as Mockingbird. Veranke attempted to convince and convert Iron Man to their side, tricking him into believing he was a Skrull that had been mentally modified to be a perfect copy of Tony Stark. Luckily, Iron Man was saved by the timely intervention of Nova and Star-Lord, who had answered the X-Men's distress call. Reed managed to complete his Skrull scanner, and revealed the Skrulls in a miles-wide radius. Star-Lord and Mantis managed to restore Iron Man's armor by replacing its arc reactor. Veranke had escaped, but Tony led the space heroes against the Skrulls.
Iron Man with Star-Lord, Mr. Fantastic, Nova, Gamora, Mantis, Adam Warlock and Drax, made their way to Washington where the bulk of the invasion was assaulting. Iron Man fought alongside his fellow Avengers, the X-Men, and the Guardians against the Skrulls. Nick Fury and his own team also joined in on the battle. Cyclops would kill Veranke, which forced all of the Skrulls to stand down due to the loss of their leader.
A month later, Tony and Steve Rogers talked about getting the Avengers back together. However, Tony pointed out that there was still too much bad blood between them for the team to truly reform.
New Avengers Initiative
With the original Avengers team disbanded, and the Mansion destroyed during the Skrull war, Tony put together a new plan, with help from Captain America, the returned Hank Pym and Wasp. Iron Man would bring together a new team of Avengers, but without the emotional baggage carried by the old members.
Tony also drew up a few concepts for what he called the "50 State Initiative" where there would be separate superhero teams that would separately protect each American state, whenever others like the Avengers, Fantastic Four or the X-Men weren't available.
Iron Man's first recruit for the Avengers was Spider-Man. After doing some digging, Tony learned Spider-Man's true identity. When Peter returned home from school, he was surprised to see his aunt speaking to the famous billionaire Tony Stark. Tony and Peter talked privately in his room, where Tony revealed footage of Peter being Spider-Man. Peter tried denying the evidence, but in order to fully gain his trust, Tony told Peter that he was Iron Man. With the two keeping a shared secret over their identities, Peter happily (and excitedly) accepted the offer to join the New Avengers.
Powers and Abilities
It is said that the clothes make the man, and Tony Stark would agree. Iron Man's actions have made him a hero, but his armor is what gets the job done.
Crystallized Iron: The armors have evolved from a bulky iron suit to a highly concentrated iron and steel hybrid that has been a staple of all the Iron Man armors since the Mark 22.
Much like a computer system, the Iron Man armor is always a work in progress. Tony is constantly adding innovations and streamlining aspects of his suit in order to remain at the forefront of cutting-edge technology. As a result, he manages to stay one step ahead of the corrupt people that his life of fighting has pit him against.
Though Tony is more at home in his lab tinkering with new ideas than at the end of a boardroom at a business meeting, he still finds time to juggle both, only allowing a select few trusted friends such as James Rhodes, Helen Cho or Pepper Pots, to aid him on both fronts.
As of 2012, Tony Stark has created 35 different Iron Man suits, each surpassing the last while having their own purpose. However, Stark's own personal red and gold armor that he has used since his original debut in 2001 has received the most amount of modifications and augmentations.
Iron Man Suits
- Model 1: (2001) The first Iron Man suit. Used while escaping from the Ten Rings encampment. Equipped with flamethrowers and resilient to gunfire, but not much else. Tony has held onto this armor as a reminder.
- Model 3: (2001) The first red and gold Iron Man suit. Used during Tony's battle with the Iron Monger, Obadiah Stane.
- Model 9: (2002) Stealth armor, did not work due to the original Iron Man suits being too loud and bulky.
- Model 11: (2004) The original War Machine armor. While not used by Stark, it was created by him for his friend James Rhodes.
- Model 18: (2003 -- 2004) The modular armor, Stark's personal suit of choice for a while.
- Model 27: (2007 -- 2011) The first suit capable of undersea travel. Used again while fighting the four elementals for the Mandarin's rings.
- Model 30: (2008 -- 2012) Classic red and gold, shares similar design traits with the Extremis armor from Earth-616. This suit was destroyed during Iron Man's first battle with Firepower.
- Model 31: (2011) Originally built to fight Magneto, the suit was used by Tony again when the Model 30 was temporarily put out of commission by the four elementals. Iron Man wore this armor when fighting against the Mandarin.
- Model 32: (2012) The Silver Centurion. Used to destroy Firepower, ending the Armor Wars. Tony used this suit when the Avengers battled Kang.
- Model 40: The new and improved version of the Model 30 suit. Could be remotely attached to Tony as individual pieces. The suit was also capable of interfacing with the Hulkbuster armor as a second layer.
- Model 50: This was the first armor powered entirely by repulsor technology by Stark's new device, the R.T. node.
- Model 60: The Endo-Sym armor, composing of a liquid smart metal that could graft and harden with it's user in seconds.
Nick Fury's Notes
While it doesn't look like it, I've got a lot of respect for Tony. He seems to be winning his battle with the bottle, but sometimes I wonder if that armor is an addiction all on it's own. Personally, I think he'll be in those tin cans 'til it kills him... something I can sympathize with.
"This tech that they're branding are from some of the most advanced things I've ever made. That's the precise reason it has to be destroyed."
- Iron Man
- His theme.