- She gets half my stock, the old house, some cars. It's paper, a building, some machines. I'm married to the most beautiful, kind, and intelligent woman in the world. Who won?
- -- Howard Stark
Appearing in "Ultimate Iron Man (Part I)"Edit
- Maria Cerra (First appearance)
Synopsis for "Ultimate Iron Man (Part I)"Edit
It is revealed that Tony Stark's genius is caused by an accident his mother suffered while she was carrying him in her womb. He has neural tissue throughout his body, as if his entire body is a brain, giving him tremendous mental capacity but at the cost of chronic pain. His father uses a newly invented biological armor to ease Tony's pain. Despite the pain, he is endowed with regenerative capabilities due to the same mutation that caused the neural cells to differentiate all over his body. The biotechnology armor is constructed out of genetically modified bacteria that is able to group together to dissipate kinetic energy when impacted upon, and is able to dissolve any metal that can be oxidized.
Howard Stark, CEO of the Stark Defense Corporation invites a scientist named Maria Cerra to his Manhattan facility. He shows her his Bio-Armor project which has created a bacterial body sheathe that will render an individual nearly invulnerable to most conventional forms of attack. The problem however, is that prolonged exposure to the body sheathe will gradually begin to eat away at the wearer's flesh. Knowing that Maria Cerra's research involves retro-viral regenerative tissue, he suggests collaborating with him in order to find a solution to his bio-armor's restrictions.
Meanwhile, Howard's estranged wife Loni conspires with rival entrepreneur Zebediah Stane to buy out the Stark Defense Corporation. With the shares Loni would acquire as part of a divorce settlement, combined with those that Stane already owns, he would be in a position to gain controlling interest in the company.
Time passes and Howard and Loni Stark's divorce is finalized. During this time, Howard and Maria Cerra grow closer together, fall in love and are soon married. One evening, Maria is working in the laboratory when one of her infected test monkeys breaks out of its cage. It leaps onto Maria and infects her with his treated blood. Maria immediately grows ill, but soon discovers that her illness was not caused by the infected monkey. What she's experiencing is morning sickness. Unfortunately, this presents a new problem, for she has no idea how the regenerative virus inside her bloodstream might affect the fetus.
As months pass, the virus inside of Maria Cerra begins aggressively taking over her body. She is terrified of what it might do to her unborn child. Howard Stark provides her with the best possible medical accommodations, but knows that Maria will likely not survive the pregnancy. The virus is infecting the child's neural tissue, essentially transforming his entire nervous system into one large brain. The only thing that can save him is Stark's Bio-Armor technology.
Howard Stark races back to SDC to conduct some desperate experiments to insure that the Bio-Tech armor is compatible with Maria's retrovirus. His work is interrupted by Zebediah Stane who barges through the doors of the facility proudly announcing that he is now the owner of the Stark Defense Corporation. The telephone rings and Zebediah answers. Pausing a moment, he turns to Stark and dryly tells him that the hospital called to inform him that his wife just died.
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- Ultimate Iron Man (Volume 1)
- Ultimate Iron Man (Volume 2)
- Ultimates (Volume 1)
- Ultimates (Volume 2)
- Ultimates (Volume 3)
Links and ReferencesEdit
- Ultimate Iron Man series index at ComicbookDB.com
- Ultimate Iron Man series index at the Grand Comics Database