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Howard Stark (Earth-616)

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Quote1 Son, your school tests may prove you're a genius, but you act like an idiot! Quote2
-- Howard Stark src
 

Early Life

Howard Stark was born and raised in Richford, New York the son of Howard Stark, Sr. He grew there with his brother Edward Stark. He was a brilliant Engineer and Industrialist. He and his own father worked on various projects, and later founded Stark Industries.[3]

WWII

During World War II and after, he worked on various government projects. These included the Manhattan Project and housing the 'Arsenal' robots in a hidden subbasement in his mansion. The robots were only supposed to be activated if the US was overrun during a presumed Cold War conflict, but both known models have been accidentally awakened and stopped by the Avengers.[4]

The Red Skull abducted Howard and his then wife, and tortured him to gain information about the Manhattan Project. They were later rescued by Captain America and the Howling Commandos.[5]

S.H.I.E.L.D. Vol 1 5 Stark & Richards Variant Textless

Brotherhood of the Shield

After WWII, Howard was approached by a mysterious organization called the Brotherhood of the Shield who had appointed themselves the protectors of Earth. The group had protected the human race from threats for centuries. Back in 1953, just after the death of Joseph Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union, two prominent S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, billionaire industrialist Howard Stark and scientist Dr. Nathaniel Richards, recruited a mysterious young man named Leonid who possessed amazing superhuman powers. They took the powerful young man to the Brotherhood of the Shield High Council in the Immortal City under Rome. The High Council made them aware of "The Final Fate of Man", and appointed themselves the task of protecting the Earth until that event. They revealed to Leonid his destiny to help in their endeavor.[6]

Leonid meets Leonardo da Vinci, who has apparently traveled through time to use his device to save the world. Da Vinci's return was met with resistance from Isaac Newton who saw it as a threat to his reign as leader of the organization. This eventually leads to the organization splitting into two factions; one led by Newton and one led by Da Vinci. Stark, Richards and Night Machine travel to the Immortal City and try to stop the two battling factions by putting the decision of leadership in to Leonid's hand on whom is right, he chooses Da Vinci over Newton, while he escapes in to the future.[7]

Woodrow McCord Jr. (Earth-616) meets Howard Stark (Earth-616) and Margaret Carter (Earth-616) from Operation S.I.N. Vol 1 1

Original Sin

During the investigation of the Watcher's murder, it was revealed that Howard worked with Woody McCord and helped in the job of protecting the Earth.[8]

An alien ship landed in Siberia in 1952.[9] This brought the attention of Earth's defenders McCord and Stark. Believing that this strange presence to be a threat, McCord sought to eliminate it as he did all other invaders of his world. [10] Ebon Seeker had already discovered her location thanks to Howard Stark who had activated Shareen's spaceship. He used the portal to reach Earth once more, but as the portal was damaged, he became stuck in it. [7] Working with Peggy Carter, they stopped Hydra from stealing the ship by working with the inhabitant to defeat them. The alien stayed with Vanko in Russia as Carter, Howard and McCord returned to the United States of America.[11]

However following the death of McCord during the fight against the Tribellians, Howard decided to bring in CIA agent Nick Fury. Together over the next years, they would secretly fight various threats, from Subterranean Monsters to extra-dimensional beings.[12]

In 1959, as Nick Fury and the Blonde Phantom traveled to Wakanda, the pair are given information that should lead them to General Skul, borrowing Howard Stark's hydrofoil to get there as quickly as possible.[13]

Hellfire Club (Earth-616) from X-Men Hellfire Club Vol 1 4

"Hellfire Club"

Hellfire Club

He was a contemporary of many other powerful businessmen such as Warren Worthington II, John Braddock and Sebastian Shaw. Membership to the exclusive Hellfire Club was offered, but it seems Howard was uninterested in anything other than the lavish parties the club threw.[14]

Meeting Maria

While visiting one of his casinos in Monaco, Howard noticed Maria Carbonell being forcefully escorted by her bodyguards. He tried to intervene, but she was forced to leave in a limousine together with Obadiah Stane.

Howard tracked them down to one of his hotels, and visited Maria in order to give her back an earring she had dropped. Stark charmed her and, together, they beat up her bodyguards, driving off and formally introducing themselves to each other.[15]

Iron Man Vol 5 10 page 13 Textless

"Stark Seven"

The Birth of Arno Stark and the Adoption of Tony Stark

Howard and Maria would eventually marry, but they'd face problems when trying to conceive a child. After being informed that the survival of their unborn child was in jeopardy, Howard searched around the world for a way to ensure a healthy birth. After running out of options, Howard learned from an alien called Rollo about the existence of a Rigellian Recorder captured by fellow operatives of his alien race, the Greys, working at the Area 52 Casino. Rollo revealed that the Recorder had even suggested Howard as one of the people that could retrieve it.

Howard assembled the Stark Seven and successfully carried out the heist that freed the Recorder 451 from its captors.[16] When the Starks and 451 talked about repaying the favor, the Recorder revealed that he intended to accelerate humanity's technological growth to ensure they could survive confronting intergalactic empires in the future and become a force of universal peace. The unborn Stark child was the perfect candidate to be genetically modified and turned into the person that could uplift humanity. The Starks reluctantly agreed, as long as it ensured their baby's survival.[17]

Howard Stark (Earth-616) from Iron Man Vol 5 9

Recording left for Tony

However, as 451 genetically modified the baby in womb over the following six months, Howard discovered the robot had hidden some sort of kill switch, that would compromise the life of his son in the future. Stark developed a "biococktail" to interfere with it behind 451's back.[18] Once the baby, named Arno, was born, 451 left the Earth.[19]

In a turn of events, Howard's interference with 451's machinations caused the newborn to become fatally ill. The Starks decided to keep Arno hidden in the Maria Stark Foundation Hospice and adopt a healthy son, as they couldn't conceive a new baby, to prevent 451 from discovering Howard's meddling if it ever returned to Earth.[18]

The baby Howard adopted was conceived by a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent named Amanda Armstrong, who had decided to give the baby away after killing her boyfriend, a fellow agent named Jude who had revealed himself as a Hydra double-agent to Amanda.[20]

Tony Stark's Childhood and Adolescence

Howard Stark (Earth-616) 0001

Tony grew up completely unaware of Arno's existence or that he was adopted.[18] While loved unconditionally by Maria, Tony suffered from a strained relationship with his father, both due to the constrast of Tony's sensitive and reclusive nature with Howard's glorification of physical prowess[21] and Howard's ever-increasing drinking habits, which caused him to verbally abuse Tony[22] and suffer from mood swings.[23]

Howard Stark (Earth-616) 2

In order to toughen his son, Howard sent Tony to boarding school at the age of seven, much to Maria's dismay.[21] During Tony's teenage years, Howard would even interfere with Tony's romantic life, stopping him from dating the daughters of competitors, such as Meredith McCall,[24] and Cassandra Gillespie.[25]

Tony would reach adulthood believing that his father wasn't proud of him[26] and didn't love him,[27] even though associates of Howard like Nick Fury would believe Howard's actions to control Tony's life to be Herculean acts of fatherly kindness and self-sacrifice.[27]

Ides of March

On the Ides of March, Howard and Maria died in a car accident. It has been hinted that the incident was not random accident but a planned assassination. Many suspects have been named such as the V-Battalion,[28] Roxxon[29] and Hydra.[citation needed] However Howard Stark said to Nathaniel Richards soon after joining the Brotherhood of the Shield that the Brotherhood would fake his death by car accident, calling his deceased status into question.[30]

Abilities

Genius Intelligence: Howard Stark, like his son is an inventive mechanical engineering prodigy, constantly creating new technology and looking for ways to improve it. His intelligence is classed as above genius and he has been recruited into various groups and organizations due to his contributions in the fields of technology and weapons development.[31]

Expert Engineer: He is an excellent engineer and mechanic capable designing and building weaponry and devices that have revolutionized the industrial world. He has helped develop various technologies used by S.H.I.E.L.D. and its allies.[31]

Expert Businessman: Howard Stark is extremely well-respected in the business world, able to command people's attentions when he speaks on economic matters by virtue of the fact that he is savvy enough to have, over the years, built up several multimillion dollar companies from virtually nothing. He is known for the loyalty he commands from and returns to those who work for him, as well as his impeccable business ethics. He has various government contracts stemming from his companies creation of weapons, which have helped defend the US.[31]

Skilled Pilot: he was one of the best civilian pilots in the world. He is skilled in the use of multiple types of aircraft and has flown many aircraft of his own design.[13]

Strength level

Howard Stark exercised regularly and was in good shape.



Discover and Discuss

Footnotes

  1. S.H.I.E.L.D. Vol 2 #1
  2. Iron Man #322
  3. Spider-Man Family #8
  4. Iron Man #257
  5. Captain America Annual #9
  6. S.H.I.E.L.D. #1-6
  7. 7.0 7.1 S.H.I.E.L.D. Vol 2 #1-4
  8. Original Sin Annual #1
  9. Operation S.I.N. #4
  10. Operation S.I.N. #1-2
  11. Operation S.I.N. #5
  12. Original Sin #5
  13. 13.0 13.1 Avengers 1959 #3
  14. X-Men: Hellfire Club #4
  15. Invincible Iron Man #503
  16. Iron Man Vol 5 #10
  17. Iron Man Vol 5 #11
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Iron Man Vol 5 #17
  19. Iron Man Vol 5 #12
  20. International Iron Man #7
  21. 21.0 21.1 Iron Man #287
  22. Iron Man #285
  23. Iron Man #286
  24. Iron Man #28
  25. International Iron Man #2
  26. Iron Man #318
  27. 27.0 27.1 International Iron Man #5
  28. 28.0 28.1 Citizen V and the V-Battalion #1
  29. Iron Man: The Iron Age #1
  30. S.H.I.E.L.D. #5
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 Iron Manual Mark 3 #1
  32. Iron Manual Mark 3 #1
  33. Iron Manual Mark 3 #1



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