“I do have a responsibility to keep my inventions from evil hands – but I have a greater responsibility to oppose that evil any way I can. So, Tony Stark may have done his bit out there, but only Iron Man can do what has to be done…” – Anthony Stark
Anthony Stark demonstrated his mechanical aptitude and inventive genius at a very early age, enrolling in the undergraduate electrical engineering program at M.I.T. at age 15 where he had double majors in physics and engineering. When he turned 21, Tony inherited Stark Industries, turning it into a multi-billion dollar industry in a couple years, having chief contracts for advanced weaponry and munitions for the U.S. government. When Stark went to supervise a field test for one of his transistorized weapons, he tripped on a booby trap where a piece of shrapnel was lodged in his chest, which gravely injured him. Stark was then taken captive by Wong-Chu and was informed the shrapnel would penetrate his heart within a week so he was offered a deal to undergo an operation to save his life if he would build Wong-Chu a powerful weapon. Stark was then given access to a small laboratory along with Professor Ho Yinsen acting as his assistant where he designed and built and electrical-powered suit of armor equipped with heavy offensive weaponry as well as a pacemaker-type device which kept Stark’s heart going. Stark then donned the suit and while it was charging, Yinsen went out to confront Wong-Chu in order to give Stark the extra time needed.
After Yinsen was killed, Stark avenged him and made his way into the jungle while trying to escape enemy territory where he encountered James Rhodes who he helped fend off an attack by enemy forces. The two then trekked through the jungle until discovering a hidden enemy base where they stole a helicopter, destroyed the site and flew to the nearest American base. Back in the United States, Stark then redesigned his chest plate and the suit which he donned in order to prevent thieves from stealing parts which made him realize the suit was too dangerous to make available to the public. The following day, Stark attended a tennis match where terrorists threatened to kill everyone with a bomb so he donned the armor once more and captured the terrorists, becoming a hero, gaining a new sense of purpose and decided to officially become Iron Man. In order to retain a degree of anonymity, Stark established a cover story that Iron Man was his paid bodyguard and only his most trusted aides learned of his true identity such as Harold “Happy” Hogan and Pepper Potts who eventually married one another.
Initially, Stark used his armor to combat spies and criminals who threatened his company and later, expanded his scope to battle any force/person who threatened the security of America or the world. Stark was also instrumental in the organization and armament of S.H.I.E.L.D. and also became a founding member of the Avengers where he donated his mansion to the team for exclusive use. As an Avenger, Stark participated in multiple missions where the team discovered Captain America and also sponsored Hawkeye’s membership. Throughout the years, Stark constantly refined and modified the designs of his armor from a bulky iron suit to a relatively lightweight suit with more of a human-looking articulated musculature. In the wake of the Kree/Skrull War, Stark initiated a meeting in Wakanda with Professor Charles Xavier, Reed Richards, Black Bolt, Doctor Strange and Namor to form the Illuminati in order to create a secret governing body for all superheroes, but their different beliefs made the plan impractical so they just met to share vital information. Later when Stark’s company was threatened with a takeover as well as experiencing personal issues, he began to abuse alcohol, but quickly recovered, but later went on a several month binge where he was cheated on his company, all but one of his suits were destroyed, lost his lease on his various apartments and had his personal assets frozen thanks to Obadiah Stane.
During this time, James Rhodes assumed the mantle of Iron Man and when Stark regained sobriety, Rhodes feared Tony would want his armor back while at the same time, began having severe headaches which clouded his thinking. As a result, Rhodes began manifesting hostility towards Stark so Tony had to don a suit in order to prevent Rhodes from doing harm and subdued him. Stark then made the necessary calibrations and the pair used their respective suits as Iron Men. Soon after his latest incarnation of Iron Man armor, Stane became alarmed and bombed Stark’s new company so he donned the untested new armor and sought Stane out and battled him as Iron Monger, eventually defeating him so Stane committed suicide. Stark then resumed his career as Iron Man and joined the West Coast Avengers and also managed to reclaim control of his fortune where he shortly learned the Spymaster had stolen plans for many secrets found in the Iron Man armor during the Armor Wars. Spymaster then turned the plans over to Justin Hammer who made them available to criminals who incorporated the plans into their own suits so Stark was determined to recover the knowledge by planting a computer virus in Hammer’s computer system which wiped out all traces of his technology.
Stark then sought out and captured all that wore suits utilizing his technology and implanted Negator Packs on them to fuse the circuits, but accidentally killed the second Titanium Man in the course of the War. The government branded Iron Man as an outlaw so Stark publicly claimed he fired Iron Man who was supposedly destroyed in combat with government forces. Stark then created a more sophisticated armor and continued his action as Iron Man, claiming the previous Iron Man was dead. Later, Stark was shot which severely injured his spine which supposedly cripples him, but he’s still able to operate the Iron Man armor until a microchip was implanted in his spine with enabled him to walk once again. Eventually, the chip proved to be problematic when degenerative nerve damage occurred due to an attack on his nervous system by Kearson DeWitt, but he was temporarily placed in cry-stasis until he eventually recovered with extensive rehabilitation. Stark was then forced to restructure Stark Enterprises which caused a number of heroes to confront Iron Man and also quarreled with Rhodes over bad decisions he made, but eventually resumed their friendship. While under the influence of Immortus, Stark committed a series of acts and was temporarily replaced by a younger version of him until Franklin Richards brought him and the others who sacrificed themselves against Onslaught back.
Later during a battle with Blacklash, Stark’s armor becomes sentient due to the Ultron Imperative but ultimately sacrificed itself to repair the damage to Tony’s heart. When the military attempted to claim the older Iron Man armors due to the Armor Wars, Stark vied for the position of the Secretary of Defense and halted a disaster involving Iron Man technology. Later, Stark threatened a Latverian ambassador at a UN meeting due to being manipulated by Scarlet Witch and Clarence Ward used stolen armor nearly kill Stark Industries board members so Tony resigned as Secretary. He then returned to work where a former classmate asked for help when Extremis was given to a small terrorist group so Iron Man battled Mallen and took Extremis and discovered he was able to directly interface with technology. Stark found he was becoming more aggressive while battling Crimson Dynamo and also began building a group of drones when Iron Man was supposedly spotted attacking several officials so he agreed to go under watch, but escaped. He then discovered an outside force was controlling him and tracked down Yinsen’s son, learning a control chip was implanted within him during his imprisonment which operated on using electromagnetic signals to control his body.
Afterward, Iron Man arrived at the Raft to aid Captain America, Luke Cage, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Matt Murdock and Sentry in keeping prisoners contained and helped inform the New Avengers during Breakout. The team then went to find Karl Lykos in the Savage Land and discovered S.H.I.E.L.D. had been enslaving Mutates to dig in Vibranium mines. The New Avengers then set off to Japan to face HYDRA and the Hand and later, Stark tried helping Cap shut the Young Avengers down only to aid them in fending off an invasion by the Kree and Skrulls over Hulkling. After learning of plans to instigate a Superhuman Registration Act which forces costumed, super-powered individuals to reveal their identities, Iron Man first sought to defeat the proposal, but eventually changed his opinion, seeing it as a means to achieve his goal sought in the Illuminati. Tony attempted to convince other members to support the new act, but all but Reed rejected the idea. After the incident in Stamford, the Act was fast-tracked into a law which split the hero community in two with Stark becoming the representative on the pro-registration side and again unmasked himself.
Stark also utilized the Thunderbolts and other super-villains as a task force, even using the Green Goblin as a weapon but was unaware Norman Osborn was no longer under Stark’s control and seeking his own agenda. Tony then went to the moon to see Sentry while he was visiting the Inhumans and asked Sentry to join his team so the duo returned to Earth where Maria Hill mentioned Stark may become the acting head of S.H.I.E.L.D. Eventually, Captain America surrendered and agreed to go on trial for his actions during Civil War, but while in custody, Steve Rogers was assassinated which devastated Stark so he helped Bucky Barnes become the new Cap at Steve’s last request in a letter. After the Illuminati exiled the Hulk from Earth, he returns to seek revenge, but Stark sees it as a possibility and prepares to engage the Green Goliath with a new Hulk-Buster armor which destroys most of New York City, but the Hulk ultimately defeats Stark and takes him captive with the rest of the Illuminati. Eventually Stark manages to render Hulk unconscious with an orbiting military satellite laser he installed as appointing Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and then helped restore most of New York.
When Thor returns and learns of the events of Civil War, he becomes angered that Iron Man waged war on fellow heroes as well as created a clone of the God of Thunder so the two begin fighting and Stark realized he will lose so he instead, sought a compromise by considering Asgard as a foreign embassy and the two parted ways. Tony then came to the remains of the X-Mansion to talk with Cyclops and informed him the government was pushing to get the X-Men registered but Scott told him the team was dissolved. During Secret Invasion, Stark’s armor becomes infected by an alien cyber virus which purges the Extremis virus and Stark discovers Spider-Woman is in fact Veranke, but he’s saved by Ms. Marvel and taken to Black Widow while he fixes his damaged armor. Tony then led the heroes of New York against the Skrulls, but his armor began failing so he returned to Avengers Tower for a replacement, and after the Skrulls’ defeat, the President of the United States removed Stark as Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and disbanded the agency altogether, leaving Norman Osborn in control.
With his Extremis powers failing, Stark then uploaded a virus which destroyed all the records of the Registration Act which prevented Osborn from learning the identities of his fellow heroes and became a fugitive. Stark then managed to obtain a new armor while a bounty was placed on his head by Osborn so he made his way to Afghanistan and shot down by Afghani militants before arriving and his armor is destroyed. Tony is forced to abandon it and proceed on foot and managed to reactivate his original suit which is simple enough for his deteriorating mind to operate. Osborn personally catches up to Stark and savagely beats him while Pepper broadcasts the incident which costs Osborn credibility and gives Stark public sympathy just as he goes into a vegetative state. As he’s in this state, a holographic message inside Pepper’s armor reveals Stark had developed a means of rebooting his mind so Donald Blake and Bucky used it to try and restore him, but initially fail until he awakens during a infiltration by Ghost, but his memory is incomplete which left out all the events from Civil War to the present.
During the Siege of Asgard, Tony returns wearing an older version of his armor and disables Norman’s stolen Iron Patriot armor, which signals the return of the original Avengers trio. After the Siege, Stark builds a new armor and announced his new company called Stark Resilient to rebuild his former wealth and extend his repulsor technology as a civilian energy source. Stark makes Pepper the CEO and informs he wants to use his technology to change the world while Sasha and Justine Hammer fills in the gap left by Stark Industries with Detroit Steel. The Hammer girls also hire Spymaster to kill Stark Resilient as well as buy and sell old Stark Tech and H.A.M.M.E.R. weaponry to fake a terrorist attack in Tokyo so Detroit Steel could make his debut. Meanwhile, Stark has a group of geniuses to build an electric racecar which works on Repulsor technology and also helps Pepper become Rescue once again. After the Superhuman Registration Act is repealed, Steve Rogers becomes head of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Stark is assigned to the Avengers with Bucky as Cap while Steve leads the Secret Avengers. When Tony attempts to publicly display his concept car, he’s attacked by Hammer’s forces along with Detroit Steel, but is victorious and unaware the Hammer girls have formed a partnership with Ezekiel Stane and Mandarin.
After the fight with Detroit Steel, Doctor Octopus challenges Tony and tells him about a bomb that will detonate most of the city if he doesn’t comply to his request so when Iron Man arrives, Doc Ock recalls their early years as classmates and then challenges him to either remedy his current health condition or publicly admit defeat. Meanwhile, Stark Resilient is attacked by Electro and Sandman who were sent by Doc Ock, but Pepper managed to fend them off as Rescue. After Tony was released after discovering there was really no bomb, he flew back to Stark Resilient to check on everyone and afterward, Tony and Pepper are relaxing a bit where they witnessed something falling from the sky. Upon hearing of multiple occurrences happening worldwide, Tony heads to Paris to investigate a fallen hammer where he fights Mokk during the Serpent’s bid to rule the Midgard. After discovering he wouldn’t be able to defeat Mokk with conventional means, Tony asks Odin’s permission to design magically powered weapons in Asgard and also begins drinking again. After Odin appears and talks with Tony, he proposes Stark to create magical weapons at Svartalfheim and he also became sober again.
These new weapons helped the Avengers defeat the Worth and Skadi while Thor defeated the Serpent, ultimately sacrificing his life and days later, Tony destroyed the weapons at Svartalfheim. During Avengers vs. X-Men, The Avengers fought with the X-Men over the custody of Hope Summers who was believed to be Phoenix’s new host and while the battle raged on, Tony stayed at Avengers Tower to create a Phoenix-killing armor which he later used on the Blue Area of the Moon. When he used the disruptor on this armor, the cosmic entity wasn’t killed, rather divided into five parts which possessed the group labeled the Phoenix Five. The Five then started changing the world into a better place but knowing the Phoenix’s ultimately destructive power, Captain America and the Avengers attempted to get Hope from Utopia in order to use her knowledge while Tony began modifying his Phoenix-Killer armor. The Scarlet Witch entered the fray and helped the Avengers against the X-Men and Cyclops decided to hunt down every Avenger while the Thunderer offered refuge in K’un L’un as well as a place to train Hope to face the Phoenix.
After Tony, Wolverine, Hope and the Thunderer teleport to K’un L’un, Namor attacks Wakanda with his army of Atlanteans, but is defeated and the rest of the Avengers teleport to K’un L’un in order to help Hope. When Cyclops finally locates the Avengers and easily defeats the team, Hope absorbs Shou-Lao, and Wanda’s powers to teleport Scott to the moon. Several X-men then team up with the Avengers after realizing Cyclops and Emma have lost control and they all attack the duo, gaining the upper hand until Cyclops takes the final piece of the Phoenix from Emma and transforms into the Dark Phoenix. The Avengers fight Summers worldwide with the help of the X-Men and Nova while also containing the chaos the entity has produced but ultimately the Scarlet Witch and Hope manage to extract the Phoenix from Scott. Hope then becomes possessed by the entity, but she manages to control it and repairs all the damage Scott caused, finally using the powers of Scarlet Witch to manipulate reality and destroyed the Phoenix Force with a final blast of energy, causing millions of people worldwide to manifest mutant powers.
Cyclops is then incarcerated and Steve accepts the fact the Avengers should’ve done more to help mutants and as a result, he began to plan a new team of Avengers in the hopes to unify mutant and humankind. After the events of AvX, General Bruce Babbage forces Tony to use a special attachment to his armor which he could turn off whenever he wanted so after faking Rhodey’s death, Tony allows Mandarin and Hammer to win at battle in order to start playing by his own rules. In a plan concocted with Cap, Tony retires as Iron man and gives Rhodey new armor to take his place while also separating himself from Stark Resilient after an infiltration by Spymaster which resulted on an attack by many of its employees. Mandarin then managed to control Tony and made him a prisoner in order to build a Titanomech alongside Ezekiel Stane where the two planned a rebellion by convincing other villains to defeat Mandarin. Tony also managed to use the technology in his body to help Stark Resilient find him while Tim Cababa reactivated the Extremis virus inside Tony’s body which he used to destroy Mandarin’s weapons with the Swarn while Mandarin was killed by Stane. Tony then returned to Seattle and decided to accept Star-Lord’s offer to join the Guardians of the Galaxy in order to get away and clear his mind.
Thanks to the Repulsor Tech-node (R.T.) implanted in his chest, Tony is able to interact with different types of energies and forces which act like a sensor and provides Tony with an increased amount of intelligence. The R.T. node also produces beams of energy and creates a force-field which can be modified to destroy bullets or repel people. The reactor also increases the senses of Stark and also allows him a greater strength, but most of Tony’s abilities primarily come from his armored suit which has been upgraded so much over time, the newest model uses intelligent liquid metal to generate itself around Stark. While wearing the armor, Stark is capable of lifting up to 100 tons and can typically reach speeds in excess of Mach 10. While in space, Iron Man has been seen reaching orbital escape velocities and his jet boots provide enough power to lift a load of about 500 tons. The armor is also able to absorb and convert energy sources into electricity or even drain energy directly into the suit for a recharge and can also provide its own life support or generate magnetic fields to pull or push metal objects at will.
The armor also contains an internal onboard computer system that aids Tony in providing strategies, background information on opponents, surroundings, the suit’s status and prevents a lock from other targeting systems. The suit also has defensive capabilities such as enhanced durability, and an energy shield due to the fully crystallized iron/steel hybrid alloy which is enhanced by magnetic fields over layers of hyper alloys like titanium and tungsten alloys, reinforced with carbon nanotubes. The suit’s offensive powers include repulsor rays, a uni-beam, lasers, pulse bolts, energy blade, pulse barrage, smart missiles, tri-beam, multi-beam, penta-beam, omni-beam, hyper-velocity impact and plasma discharge. Apart from the armor, Stark is an inventive mechanical engineering prodigy and is considered one of the three smartest people on Earth, recently growing to super-human levels thanks to the R.T. node. On top of being capable of fixing almost any, if not all machinery, Stark is an extremely well-respected businessman and a brilliant tactician, capable of quickly formulating battle strategies and new plans. Stark is also trained in unarmed combat by Captain America and once managed to defeat five trained Skrull soldiers in single-handed combat.