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Quote1 In my experience, "Stark boy saves the world" has a good ring to it. It could suit you too, Arno. Quote2
-- Tony Stark src
 

Origins

Maria Stark suffered from severe problems during the conception of her child with Howard Stark. After being informed that the boy wouldn't survive birth, Howard traveled across the world desperately seeking for a way to cure his unborn child. He found himself rescuing the Rigellian Recorder 451 from the alien race known as the Greys, in exchange for means to ensure their child's survival.[2]

Arno Stark (Earth-616) from Iron Man Vol 5 17 001

Arno inside an iron lung

451 had seen potential in the Earth, but feared that the various cosmic empires would endanger the planet before humanity could even defend itself. In order to ensure humans could reach their peak, 451 intended to insert someone in society who could accelerate the technological growth of humanity and help defend it. 451 revealed its plan to the Starks, and told them that their unborn child was the perfect candidate. After considering their options, Howard and Maria agreed to comply with 451's terms.[3]

In the course of the five-month procedure during which 451 genetically modified the baby in the womb, Howard found a hidden genetic tweak, a kill switch that would endanger the life of his son after he reached maturity. Fearing that if confronted about it, 451 would simply better cover its tracks, Stark developed in secret a biococktail that would neuter it, and injected it into Maria.[4]

Some time later, baby Arno Stark was born healthy. 451 helped deliver him, and then left the planet.[5] The Starks were relieved with the final results, but their comfort was short-lived. Barely a few hours after Arno was born, his health quickly degenerated. When the Starks consulted with a doctor, it was determined the boy would never be able to live without medical assistance. Fearing the consequences if 451 ever discovered Howard's meddling, the Starks decided to keep Arno hidden in the Maria Stark Foundation Hospice and adopt a healthy son as a decoy. The adopted son became known as Tony Stark, whom the Starks would try to love like a real son.

Arno Stark (Earth-616) from Iron Man Vol 5 22 001 (cut)

Armored

Arno spent the following decades trapped in an iron lung, observing the world from his confinement and harboring resentment towards Tony.[6] When Tony was 21 years old, Maria and Howard died in a car crash. Tony inherited Howard's company Stark Industries, and years later became the armored super hero known as Iron Man. During a space voyage, 451 orchestrated an encounter with Tony, unaware that he wasn't Howard's true son. 451 told him about his supposed secret origin, and forced him to pilot the Godkiller, a giant suit of armor that only Howard's child could command due to the genetic modifications. Tony eventually returned to the Earth after finding himself unable to pilot the Godkiller, and decided to investigate why wasn't he able to do so. His inquiry led him to an old forgotten recording directed towards him, in which Howard explained to Tony the true events that transpired decades ago, and revealed the existence of Arno. Tony visited Arno at the Maria Stark Foundation Hospice, and the two brothers finally met. 451 had died during its final encounter with Tony, giving Arno the chance to stop come out of hiding. With a new lease on life, Arno set out to work together with Tony in helping change the world.[4]

Arno and Tony began transforming the decrepit Mandarin City into a futuristic utopia called Troy.[7] But their plan soon found opposition in the form of the Rings of the Mandarin, who started searching for hosts to destroy Tony and Troy.[8] One of the Mandarins, Lord Remaker bombed the Troy Central Control and Arno was seemingly killed.[9] However, Arno had deployed his own suit of armor with which he later helped Tony and the Trojan Guard fight the enemy forces. After realizing the city would never be safe as long as he was attached to it, Tony quit working directly on Troy, leaving Arno the position of the city's new custodian.[10]

Arno Stark (Earth-616) from Iron Man Vol 5 23.NOW

Arno with his exoskeleton

Arno developed a refined version of the Extremis virus,[11] which allowed him to overcome his illness. Arno further "hacked" his biological systems to discard the necessity to sleep. As a member of the Maria Stark Foundation, Arno travelled around the world using his intellect and advanced procedures for charity work, though he only intervened in situations that caught his attention and not out of the goodness of his heart.[6]

Powers

Super-Genius Class Intelligence: The Rigellian Recorder 451 used Kree technology, among others, to genetically engineer Arno when he was still unborn, in order to create the ultimate genius who would uplift humanity, by modifying his thought process and enhancing his intelligence, in order to make him think differently and more practically compared to other known geniuses like Black Panther, Mr. Fantastic or Dr. Doom.[3] Arno has claimed to be even smarter than his foster brother Tony.[11]

Enhanced Biology: Arno used his own variant of the Extremis to altered his own biology, rewritting his cells so his body could function much more efficiently. The exact extent of these enhancements is unknown, though he has remarked that got rid of his body's necessity to sleep. The alterations healed Arno and now Arno can also function and walk without any life support. Arno could also control his body to reach instant meditation.[6]


Weaknesses

Arno Stark couldn't formerly live without his life support.


Equipment

Arno has worn a large suit of armor equipped with heavy weapons codenamed MMXX that helps him fight his own battles along with his adoptive brother Tony.[10] He also used to wear a special exoskeleton to help walk upright.[12]

  • Arno's suit of armor reads "MMXX," "2020" in Roman numerals.
  • Arno's name is a reference to the Arno Stark from the divergent future Earth-8410, also known as the Iron Man 2020.
    • Unlike the 2020-version of Arno Stark, who was Tony Stark's first cousin once removed,[13] this version is the firstborn son of Howard Stark.

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