Howard Stark is the fictional character in the Iron Man universe. He is Tony Stark's father, and is the founder of Stark Industries. The character name comes from Howard Hughes, whom Tony Stark is largely based on.


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This section is under development. Information will be placed here soon.


Howard Stark, Jr. was a brilliant inventor. He and his own father (Howard Stark Senior) worked on various projects, and later founded Stark Industries. 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 sub-basement 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.

Howard married a woman named Maria Collins Carbonell and together they had a son, Tony. He constantly pushed Tony to be the best, telling him that someone must have 'iron in their backbone' to be successful. He had a severe case of alcoholism, something his son would later face on his own.

He was a powerful businessman. Membership to the exclusive Hellfire Club was offered, but it seems Howard was uninterested in anything other than the lavish parties the club threw. It is believed Howard was also a member of the V-Battalion. He was targeted by the Red Skull (Johann Schmidt), and is rumored to have met the Watcher, Uatu.

On the Ides of March, Howard and Maria were killed in a car accident. It has been hinted that the incident was not random and possibly arranged by the V-Battalion. Tony ran his father's company, started a charity in his mother's name, and later became Iron Man.

Alternate Versions

House of M

In the House of M, Howard was alive; Maria's status is unknown. Howard turned over control of the company to Tony when he turned sixteen. Although officially listed as retired, he worked with Tony to build an armor capable of taking on the Sentinels and powerful mutants during the conflict.

They began to work on Sentinels with Forge and Henry McCoy after being awarded them an exclusive contract. They planned to incorporate a "Vision Project", although there were problems with the control scheme. The two also competed on the wildly popular 'Sapien Deathmatch' television show.

When Tony investigated a resistance group as Iron Man, Sentinels attacked. One, remotely controlled by Howard, scolded him for getting involved. Howard was secretly plotting against Magneto with Hank Pym.

"Genome bomb" locations were discovered by Tony as Iron Man and the House was notified. However, Howard had programmed the Visions and Sentinels to serve him. He said this had all been part of a plan to make the mutants respect Tony for saving them. Tony would then use that as a chance to directly strike against Magneto. Tony refused to go along. Magneto suddenly appeared and personally dealt with Howard, killing him.

Ultimate Marvel

The Ultimate Iron Man version of Howard Stark shows a completely different story. It starts off with Howard's wife (Maria Cerrera, a brilliant scientist) suffering a genetic accident while she is pregnant. After Maria dies during childbirth, Howard uses a newly invented biological armor to save the life of their son, Tony Stark. A few years later, Zebediah Stane kidnaps and tortures young Tony to attempt to learn how to manufacture the bio-armor for his own personal gain. Not long afterwards, Howard arrives with a SWAT team and arrests Zebediah. After the incident, a transparent version of the armor is developed, and Tony begins attending a prep school. Fast forward to an older Tony who develops a prototype power-armor and befriends fellow student James Rhodes.

After finding out that bullies were ordered from an unknown individual to kill Tony, Howard decides to enroll Tony, Rhodes, and Nifara, who witnessed the attack, into the Baxter Building. Also enrolled in the school is Obadiah Stane, his ex-wife's son. Shortly after their arrival, Tony and Howard witness Obadiah murder a pair of students and make it look like an accident. While Howard realizes that it having Obadiah here, Tony makes his first "Iron Man" armor to punish Obadiah.

Sometime later, Howard Stark was arrested based on planted evidence (by Obadiah) at the gruesome murder of his enemy Zebediah Stane. While Howard was arrested, Tony gets the taste of alcohol affecting his brain more than a normal human due to his decentralized brain tissue. With Howard still wrongly imprisoned for the murder of rival Zebediah Stane, the teenage Tony is forced to run Stark Enterprises in his stead. Obadiah drugs a prison guard with a "hypnotizing" bio-drug, and the guard tries to kill Howard. He fails, but Howard gets shot in the process and is in ICU.

While his son Tony is trying to "fix" all of his current problems, Howard is recovered enough to go to prison, but the guards sent to escort him were not sent by the Police Department. Howard fights them off and escapes. Tony meets with him, and says that he thinks Loni, Howard's first wife, is the mastermind behind the scenes trying to kill them all. Iron Man, War Machine, Nifara, Howard, and Obadiah set off to Utah to find Loni. They arrive and their chopper explodes, injuring War Machine. Obadiah falls off a cliff, but Iron Man catches him as terrorists arrive on the scene. Iron man flees, but follows them as they take Obadiah to his mother, Loni, and their hideout. Iron Man breaks into the compound and Loni floods it with poison gas trying to kill him, abandoning Obadiah. Iron Man saves Obadiah, but Howard and Nifara are taken captive by Loni. After Loni shoots and kills Nifara, she confesses that all she ever wanted was power. That’s why she married Howard, divorced Howard, remarried with Zebediah, had Obadiah, AND killed her second husband, Zebediah.

Iron Man shows up, and Loni shoots Howard in the chest, threatening to shoot him again if he doesn't take the suit off. Tony takes off his armor, and Loni shoots him in the head, not knowing that his entire body is a brain and will heal itself. Tony fights Loni, beats her, and tends to his father. Obadiah, mad that his mom abandoned him for dead with the poison gas, enters the room and kills her. They (Tony, Obadiah, and Howard) are all picked up by the feds and go home.


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