|Man of Iron|
The Blacksmith Mage
|Real Name||Damien Stark|
|Birth Date||Jan. 21 1250|
|Family|| Ariana Nefaria (Wife)|
Damien Stark Jr. (Son)
|Alias||Man of Iron|
|Unusual Features||Due to a forging accident, an orb of energy floats in his chest cavity to keep him alive|
|Weapons||Man of Iron Armor|
|Species||Human (Homo Sapien)|
"My father was a blacksmith. My grandfather was a blacksmith...for Christ's sake, my GREAT-grandfather was a blacksmith! I would be a complete fool not to take up this profession. Why do I do it, you ask?
Because it's worth it."
-Damien Stark to Kallum Rhodes
Damien Stark was born to the Smiths of Starkson, a famous family of skilled blacksmith. It was said, by rumor only, that fire was injected into his blood while he was in the womb. Damien was born with a natural intellect and skill for forgery. At the age of 5, Damien built his first sword. With it, he accidentally wounded a dire wolf in the woods of Ireland. Taking this wolf home, he fed and cared for it, naming it Greyshot.
Damien grew up very privileged. He attended school, was fed day and night, and constantly had shelter. He grew older with only one goal in mind: to become the greatest blacksmith to ever walk the Earth.
When Damien turned 13, he became an apprentice to his father. Day in and out, he worked in the Forge, building armors and weapons for his father's customers. Many of the knights that came by were astounded. Surely a child could not have created such beautiful and powerful pieces of iron? But, sure enough, Damien was a true prodigy.
One night, after his father went home, Damien stayed behind to work on a new armor design he had drawn up. This armor would be every knight's dream. Gold and red, it would be. Powerful, it would be. Able to be imbued with magic and have beams of energy fired from it's chest and hands. His father had always warned him not to play with magic, but he couldn't help himself. This was the perfect design. But as he would soon learn...it was only the beginning of what would be the rest of his enclosed life.
As he was enchanting his armor, disaster struck. When spoken wrong, the spell malfunctioned, setting the Forge aflame. To save himself from the explosion, Damien entered his prototype suit of armor. However, the breast plate was missing. When the explosion went off, a hole was blasted deep into Damien's chest. He lay there, torso scorched, on the floor of the burnt and destroyed Forge. To this day, Damien believes that if not for Greyshot, he would be dead. The now grown, dire wolf arrived, dragging Damien out of the fire. He took the boy by the neck, bringing him home to his shocked parents.
The First Armor
Tyrik Stark and Mariana Stark took their wounded son to the local healer, Al'Fum'aan. The witch doctor studied the boy for hours, before determining the only way to save him. Pointing to the hole in his chest, he spoke three words: Man of Iron. It took days, but finally Al'Fum'aan created an orb of magical energy, infused with an iron alloy that would keep it beating and running for centuries. Placing it in Damien's burning chest cavity, they all watched as the boy snapped back to life. Beams shot from his hands; a combined force of energy and flame. Damien Stark, the Man of Iron, was reborn.
Damien returned to school, hiding his secret under layers of clothes. He finished school, and received his highest title of Master Blacksmith. The only ones who knew his secret were his parents and the healer who had given him his abilities. But that would soon change, when he moved to England. Despite his fame and fortune, Damien found it hard to fit in with British life. One night, Damien witnessed an attempted rape in a dark alley behind a tavern. Using his secret abilities, he killed the criminal, saving the woman who lay on battered and beaten on the ground. This woman was named Ariana Nefaria.
Damien took her back to his mansion, on the far outskirts of London. Revealing herself to be a master thief, she told him that the man was attempting to violate her because she had stolen a sacred artifact: the Masque of Ryus Raiga, a deity from ancient legend. Damien harbored Ariana, and helped her attend school. She received a full education, and attempted to use her stealthy skills as an ally for good, at the request of Damien himself.
Damien and Ariana soon fell in love. They married each other on a small island off of the coast of England. Upon returning to their home, they discovered that a ruthless tribe of barbarians had taken over Damien's home town of Dublin. Damien revealed to his newly wed bride that he had been working on an armor that would sustain and focus the energy beams in his hands. Donning the Man of Iron Armor, he and Ariana (who took the name of Mistress Masque), traveled to Dublin, where they defeated the barbarian horde. Damien, however, found his parents dead in their old forge. Distraught and angered, he swore to avenge them and fight the dark forces of this universe.
The Masque of Ryus Raiga
During the events of Masked Men, the Masque of Ryus Raiga revealed it's dark personality. It possessed Ariana, turning her into a venomous killing machine. She joined the ranks of the villainous Graal Tribe, and led a siege on Stark Mansion. Damien, who refused to harm her, instead bargained a deal with Ryus Raiga, and was himself possessed. He received flashes and visions of the future, and his armor was upgraded during this event. The strange new armor resembled that of nothing he'd ever seen. However, he descended deep into his mind and defeated the ancient god there. When Ryus Raiga was dissipated from existence, he returned to the world with Ariana, and his temporary armor disappeared.
The Ten Rings
After being possessed by Ryus Raiga, Ariana left Stark Mansion to go onto a peace journey, to redeem herself of her sins. Damien, left alone, became depressed over the months of her absence. This was ample time for the Hellflame to attack. The Hellflame was a man of absolute power, the first super villain to appear in England. He ran a tight, iron-like grip over the organization known as The Ten Rings.
Hellflame had heard of the Man of Iron, and was fascinated by his beautiful armor. For years he had tried to replicate the armor, to no success. But finally, he found him: the man who had given Damien Stark his abilities. Murdering and killing the witch doctor, he used his natural talent for magic to create his own orb of energy. However, this orb was corrupt and dark, sending this villain onto an even darker path.
While Ariana was gone, Damien found himself vulnerable. So when the Hellflame invaded his home, he was easily struck down. Stark Mansion was leveled and razed, burning in a pillar of blue fire. Wounded, Damien escaped to his secret lair beneath the house, and wondered what he would do to defeat the Hellflame. Above, in the ruins of the manor, the Hellflame discovered Damien's armory and stole his first armor. Modifying it to his liking, he temporarily became the Iron Demon.
This began the saga known as The Man Makes the Armor.
During this event, Damien went on the run. Iron Demon took over England, sending the people into a slave like submission. Damien journeyed to the high alps of Russia, where he found Ariana. She was a changed woman, however, refusing to go back and fight with them. He told her that if she didn't return, everything they had worked to build would perish in ash and fire. Agreeing to return home, Ariana journeyed back to London to face off against Iron Demon. Damien contacted an old friend of his, someone he had met during his days in England before Ariana. This friend's name was Grant Rogers. Rogers had maintained a secret for Damien, and it was time to access it. Traveling through the English tunnels beneath the Royal Palace, Damien opened up a secret room that contained his newest and final armor. This armor was stronger and faster, and when he brought it to the surface to face off against the Iron Demon, it was the fight of a lifetime.
In a final gambit between life and death, Damien activated something he'd never done: he fired a single beam from his chest, which vaporized Hellflame into ash. Having liberated all of England, the Man of Iron was hailed as a savior.
A day after the battle, Ariana revealed that she was with child.
A Child and an Apprentice
When Ariana gave birth to her son Damien Stark Jr., she hired an African man to take care of him while Damien and she did their hero work. This man, Kallum Akumbi, was a man of great knowledge whom she had met on her peace journey. Kallum took the surname Rhodes, to better fit in with the English society (which, at the time, consisted mostly of Caucasians who had never heard of Africans). Rhodes became close to Damien Jr., acting as a second father to him. During the events of Stolen Heir, when Damien Jr. was kidnapped by former employers of Ariana looking for revenge, Rhodes and Stark joined together to defeat the enemy. Rhodes, proving to be a naturally skilled fighter and strategist, caught the eye of Stark, when he used the Man of Iron armor when Damien was injured. Upon returning home, Damien created a black and silver version of the armor and knighted Kallum, naming him the Machine of War.
After the events of Stolen Heir, Greyshot showed signs of being close to death. Taking him to a local Animal Mage, he took a piece of energy from his own chest orb, and had a similar one made for his life long companion. This imbued Greyshot with the energy to take down an elephant, and the strength along with it. Following this, Stark crafted an Iron Wolf armor, to protect his pet from harm.
When England was attacked by the evil Viking Deity, Loki, Damien Stark banded together with Grant Rogers (Captain Vibranium) and Thor Odinson, to form the [Stone Avengers (Guardverse)|Stone Avengers]. During the Battle of New Rock, Damien fought alongside the rogue Barbaric Hulk, demolishing Loki's dark army in a matter of seconds. A statue of him was erected in front of the Royal Palace, soon after the battle had ceased. After the Battle of New Rock, the young and beautiful assassin Natalie Romanof (known as Scarlet Widow), and the skilled archer Clayton Barton (known as Violet Arrow), joined the team.
When Titan reached Mach 15 during the events of Slayer, he accidentally altered the timeline. This forced the future and the past to merge with each other, teleporting the Stone Avengers from Medieval England, to modern day New York. A battle ensued, in what would become the famous event known as Past vs Present, in which the Stone Avengers battled the New Avengers.
Damien Stark met his future descendant, Anthony "Tony" Stark. This would further traumatize Damien, sending him into a state of shock. He was also surprised to find that Ariana was a villain in the future, by the name of Madame Masque. Surprisingly, he was unable to use the Iron Man armors, as they were powered by something other than his energy orb. However, he ultimately defeated Tony by hacking his Iron Man armors and shutting them down.
Currently, the Man of Iron resides with the Stone Avengers in what they call the Cave (located in the Grand Canyon).
Genius Intellect: With an intelligence classed as super-genius, he easily is one of the smartest people on Earth. Furthermore, this extends to his remarkable ingenuity dealing with difficult situations such as difficult foes and deathtraps where he is capable of using his available tools, like his suit, in unorthodox and effective ways. He has shown to be even smarter than Tony Stark, having hacked and adapted to 21st century technology in a matter of seconds.
Blacksmith Prodigy: He is an excellent blacksmith and mechanic capable of fixing almost, if not all, any machinery.
Artificially Enhanced Biology: Due to being wounded as a child, Damien Stark has an artificially tampered with body. An orb of enchanted energy has been placed inside of his chest, allowing him to fire energy beams from his chest and hands. He also has the ability of exothermic reaction, which allows his beams to have a burning effect.
Man of Iron Armor: Damien wears a sophisticated suit of body armor made of adamantium alloy. He has a number of suits aside from the current model. Some are mission-specific or prototypes for testing, others are older models kept for nostalgia or for research. He has developed a special rucksack to carry his armor in. A few models are too big for the sack and require a separate means of transportation. As a rich, fortune having blacksmith, Stark has access to nearly all known (and some unknown) resources in Western Europe.
Source of Paraphernalia: By own design.