Hal Stark is a multi-billionaire and the founder of Stark Aircraft. He was working on a stationary flight simulator when the device suddenly took off with him in it. Stark discovered that the flight simulator was being drawn to a crashed alien spacecraft, and the flight simulator crashed yards away from it. Stark was badly injured by shards of metal stuck in his chest. Curious to the end, Stark made his way to the alien spacecraft, where he came upon the dying alien Rhomann Sur. The alien died before he could speak with Hal, and Hal realized he was dying as well. With his last efforts, Stark designed a suit of armor out of the alien technology, powered by a battery he found in the wreckage, one which reminded him of a lantern. The suit of armor not only allowed him to survive, but gave him incredible powers, allowing him to create any object he pleased out of green energy, due to the battery he used being powered by Oa the Living Planet. He battled and defeated the aliens that had shot down Rhomann Sur's spacecraft.
Stark, under the name of Iron Lantern, became a superhero, fighting against numerous enemies such as Madame Sapphire, Great White, and his arch nemesis Mandarinestro, who is behind the series of events that created Madame Sapphire, who in turn resurrects the Great White android. Hal Stark has also been associates with the Green Guardsman, who once took over for Iron Lantern, and later came back to steal the Iron Lantern's alien battery so he could be a hero again. Other foes that Iron Lantern has faced include Doctor Whiplash and H.E.C.T.O.R..
In Showcase of Suspense #29, Hal traveled into the year 5700. In this far-off future, there is another Iron Lantern known as Arno Manning, who Hal Stark temporarily took the identity of in his travels. In addition to the Iron Lantern's connections to Arno Manning and the Green Guardsman, Hal Stark is also somehow connected to the Golden Age superhero the Human Lantern in ways that have not yet been revealed.
Iron Lantern wears an armor that can generate a variety of effects, such as:
- Constructs of green "solid energy", often of tremendous size and/or complexity
- Plasma bolts
- Semi-sentient computers
- Flight, including flight at speeds beyond that of light by the use of wormholes
- Time travel
- Almost unlimited telepathic powers
- Translation of virtually any language
- Force field generation
- Superhuman strength and durability
The armor is also able to convert nearby energy sources, such as heat or kinetic energy into electricity. The armor has jet skates that are now so powerful Iron Lantern can skate forward towing an entire train behind him. Miniature panes can protect Iron Lantern's eyes when needed. In addition, the armor can be completely sealed for operations in vacuum or underwater, and is shielded against radiation.
The onboard systems of the armor are controlled by Hal Stark's brain patterns, read from a cybernetic interface in his helmet.
The armor has an uni-beam projector in its chest, pulse bolts that pick up kinetic energy along the way, so that they hit harder the further they have to travel, and an electromagnetic pulse generator.
Other capabilities include generation of ultra-freon, creating and manipulating magnetic fields, sonic blasts and a holographic generator to create decoys.
Apart from the powers granted to him by his suit, Stark is an inventing genius, constantly creating new technology and looking for ways to improve it. He is well-respected in the business world, able to command people's attentions when he speaks on economic matters. He is known for the loyalty he from and returns to those who work for him, as well as impeccable business ethics.
While in his armor, Stark has superhuman strength (able to lift between 25 and 50 tons), without his armor, Stark has the strength of a normal human male.
The Iron Lantern suit
The Iron Lantern's flight abilities
Various weapons attached to his suit
- 1 Appearances of Harold Stark (Earth-9602)
- Minor Appearances of Harold Stark (Earth-9602)
- Media Harold Stark (Earth-9602) was Mentioned in
- 3 Images featuring Harold Stark (Earth-9602)
- Quotations by or about Harold Stark (Earth-9602)
- Character Gallery: Harold Stark (Earth-9602)
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