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- "I've been killing myself for years. That's not news. But I'm going to stop."
- ―Tony Stark
Anthony "Tony" Stark was a billionaire industrialist, a notorious playboy and the superhero Iron Man.
After being wounded while in a war zone, he built an armored suit that would help keep him alive. Stark also helped to organize the Avengers early in his career as a superhero.
Anthony Stark was born on April 27, 1965 in Manhattan, New York. Born to the philanthropist Maria Carbonell and the legendary innovator and weapons developer Howard Stark, Tony's early life was often dominated by the absence of his father who he would later describe as 'cold' and 'calculating'. However from an early age he quickly stole the spotlight with his brilliant and unique mind. At age four he built his first circuit board, at age six his first engine, and at seventeen he graduated summa cum laude from MIT.
Then his parents were killed in a car accident. Howard Stark's lifelong friend and ally, Obadiah Stane, stepped in to fill the gap left by the legendary founder. At age twenty-one, Tony became the new CEO of Stark Industries. With the keys to the kingdom, he ushered in a new era for his father's legacy, creating smarter weapons, advanced robotics, and satellite targeting. Today, Tony Stark has changed the face of the weapons industry by "insuring freedom and protecting America and her interests around the globe."
Becoming Iron Man
- "Well, Ms. Brown. It's an imperfect world, but it's the only one we got. I guarantee you the day weapons are no longer needed to keep the peace, I'll start making bricks and beams for baby hospitals."
- ―Tony Stark
A little over ten years later, Stark traveled to Afghanistan to introduce his new missile design, "The Jericho", to the United States Air Force. He was attacked and badly injured by shrapnel from the detonation of a Stark missile. He woke up to find that he was still alive thanks to his fellow captive, Dr. Yinsen, who made high powered electromagnet to hold the shrapnel in place, thus keeping him alive. He was ordered by their captors, a terrorist group called the Ten Rings, to build them a version of Stark Industries' "Jericho Missile", an extremely destructive, multi-warhead weapon. Instead he built a powered suit of armor along with a miniature arc reactor to keep him alive.
During his escape Dr. Yinsen was killed in an attempt to stall the guards long enough to buy Stark enough time to charge the suit. After the suit was powered up he broke out and destroyed all stock they had of Stark weapons, and used a jet booster to travel away from there. He crashed into the sand and abandoned his armor. He was traveling for some time before U.S. military helicopters picked him up and took him back to Los Angeles. Upon returning to the United States, Stark declared that Stark Industries would no longer manufacture weapons, a move which his business partner Obadiah Stane told him was blocked by the board members shortly after.
He later decided to improve his armor suit by refining its flight capability, and built a more powerful and reliable arc reactor, both to power his pacemaker and the suit. Faced with the realization of what his company had done, Stark donned the Mark III suit and flew to Afghanistan to stop the Ten Rings. He stopped the group and destroyed their Stark weapon stock, while accidentally drawing the attention of the United States Air Force and his friend Lt. Colonel Jim Rhodes. They sent two F-22 jets after Stark to shoot him down. Stark managed to escape the jets. Rhodes covered up the incident after he found out that it was Stark, stating that it was a training exercise.
While he was working on improving the suit he discovered that Stane had been "dealing under the table" to both sides in the conflict. He sent his assistant Virginia "Pepper" Potts to hack into the Stark mainframe. While he was back at home Stane stunned him with a device that induced temporary paralysis and took his arc reactor/pacemaker to power his suit. He went back to his lab after the paralyzing device wore off and tried to get the old reactor before he goes into cardiac arrest. With the help of his personal A.I. computer J.A.R.V.I.S., he was able to put the arc-reactor in his chest. Then he went to stop Stane.
Using his first reactor, which was not designed to power his latest armor, Stark battled with Stane atop Stark Industries and the surrounding streets, defeating him when the full-sized arc reactor that powers the lab was deliberately overloaded, under Stark's instruction, by Potts. Stark's reactor reactivated after having almost failed completely from the blast. When Stark told Stane that it was all over, Stane said that he had one thing left. He then raised his hand to the side of his head and using the Repulsor beam, he fatally shot himself in the head, like his father before him.
Afterwards, Stark's alter ego was dubbed "Iron Man" by the press. Stark held a press conference where his government contacts expected him to state that Iron Man was Stark's own bodyguard. However, after stumbling into a loaded question by one of the press reps, he ultimately made his identity as Iron Man public instead. Later during the night, Stark comes home and was greeted by Gabriel Jones, co-leader of S.H.I.E.L.D. (the Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement and Logistics Division), who told him about the Avenger Initiative.
Powers and Abilities
Suiting up the Iron Armor: The armor used to require several machines to put on the suit, in a lengthy process. Later, this was changed to having it in a suitcase, which shortened the suiting up time, but was not very effective on the battlefield. However, recently, it has been shown that Stark can hold the armor within himself, and use it when needed, and spring into action in mere seconds.
- Superhuman Strength: He was capable of lifting up to over 100 tons when he wore his armor.
- Superhuman Speed: Even when not traveling for extended distances, the armor enabled the wearer to move and react at high speeds.
- Flight: The armor could typically reach speeds in excess of Mach 8, however, later Iron Man armor was able to reach orbital velocities (5 miles per second) and up to speeds that could outrun black holes. Use of the jet boots provided enough power to lift a load of about 500 tons.
- Power Cells: The armor was powered by a combination of solar converters, electrical batteries and an on-board generator that used beta particle absorption as a fuel source. Not to mention the arc reactor that also powered the suit.
- Energy Conversion Power Recharge: The armor was also able to convert nearby or fare away energy sources, such as heat or kinetic energy or energy from the planet itself into electricity, or even drain energy directly into the batteries for recharge.
- Self-Contained Life-Support System & Environmental Protection: The armor could be completely sealed for operations in vacuum or underwater, it provided its own life support, and was shielded against radiation.
- Energy Absorption: The armor was also able to drain multiple forms of energy for its own use.
- Magnetism: The armor could use magnetism to pull or push metal objects at will.
- Artificial Intelligence: An internal artificial intelligence operating system that provided strategies, background information on opponents, on surroundings, the current status of the suit, and prevented a lock on from targeting systems.
- Sensor Systems: Known sensors include radar/lidar, night vision, and physiological/medical scans that allowed Iron Man to take the vitals of other people, including heart and brain scans and monitors. These scans also provided Stark with real-time personal physiological data. An all-environmental scan for atmospheric content or life forms--including astral energy projections--often came in handy. It should be noted that the armor scans, radars, and environmental sensors were running at all times, recording everything Iron Man came in contact with. A magnometer was installed in the left wrist, while both gauntlets had atomic-force microscopes installed in the thumbs and index fingers that were capable of seeing to the nano scale.
- Near Invisibility: Advanced composite ceramics, fused with a kevlar-like polymer were backed by optical fiber networks, that worked in synch with an array of poly-carbon head hologram generators caused the armor to be invisible to any form of detection, which included night vision, infrared, and enhanced super-human senses. To further thwart detection systems the suit housed an active noise-reduction engine for silent stalking. And to achieve total silent running, the armor stored the CO 2 produced by the wearer—which was released through small vents only when circumstances were right.
- Holographic Decoys: Untraceable holographic duplicates of himself that were generated from the suit. They were projected in a way to look real, and showed no trace of their origins.
- Enhanced Durability: His armor was very durable, capable of withstanding tremendous amounts of punishment. It could withstand high caliber bullets with ease. It could also withstand rockets, missiles, torpedoes, high powered lasers, and such, taking little to no damage. Future armors were fully resistant against electricity, fire, heavy impacts, energy blasts, took zero Kelvin and up to the Suns temperatures, even some of Thor's attacks(see Thorbuster). The suit could withstand almost unlimited kinetic and thermal impact, as well as most forms of radiation thanks to its refractory coating. The armor could survive anything short of a nuclear explosion at ground zero. The suit automatically protected its wearer when they entered an intrinsically hostile environment, such as outer space or deep sea. The armor had specialized circuitry that guarded against telepathic attacks. Tony was very confident in his suit's defensive abilities, when he was caught in a nuclear explosion, he was only thinking about women and completely forgot about what was happening around him.
Personality and traits
- "Contrary to popular belief, I know exactly what I'm doing."
- ―Tony Stark
Tony Stark was an intelligent, arrogant, outspoken and outgoing man who possessed a strong wit. He enjoyed drinking, partying and gambling and this reckless and addictive behavior helped lead to his continuous struggle with alcoholism. Many considered him to be both egotistical and selfish and even Stark himself agreed that he was narcissistic. He also liked being in control of his own life and he occasionally displayed traits of germophobia.
Prior to the start of his superhero career, he had little concern for the effect his weapons had on others. In his later years, Tony would traditionally have a politically conservative point of view, once stating that the liberal agenda was "boring".