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Quote1 What is, and always will be, my greatest creation... is you. Quote2
Howard Stark[src]


World War II[]

Howard Stark was an eccentric industrial genius, inventor, and businessman. He founded Stark Industries and was the top engineer for the Strategic Scientific Reserve.

Stark proudly showed off multiple world-changing inventions at his World Exposition of Tomorrow in 1943, including a flying car and a prototype android. Secretly, however, Stark was working with the allies in order to help in World War II, performing multiple experiments for them and working as their weapons specialist.[2]

Steven Rogers (Earth-199999) and Howard Stark (Earth-199999) from Captain America The First Avenger 0001

Howard Stark with Captain Steve Rogers during WWII

Around the same time, Howard was instrumental in "Project Rebirth", a SSR project that Steve Rogers underwent to become the U.S. Army's first super soldier. Howard built a machine that used up half of the power in Brooklyn to douse Rogers with vita-rays after receiving the super-soldier serum from Dr. Abraham Erskine. The process successfully transformed the scrawny Rogers into the muscular Captain America.[2]

When Cap was going on a solo mission to save his friend Bucky and the other prisoners of war held captive at a Hydra base, Stark personally flew him where he needed to go, and afterwards provided Rogers with a shield made from pure vibranium and an upgraded military uniform to use as Captain America.[2]

When Captain America crashed in the ocean with the Red Skull and the Tesseract, Howard refused to abandon his friend, and charted multiple expeditions to search the ocean for him. Though they failed in their search, they did discover the Tesseract, laying on the ocean floor after falling out of the Red Skull's craft during the crash.[2]


Howard Stark (Earth-199999) from Captain America The First Avenger promo 001

Young Stark

Along with government associates, Howard became a founding member of S.H.I.E.L.D. After hearing of Peggy Carter's successful, albeit unauthorized, mission against Zodiac, Howard telephoned her superior, Agent Flynn, to tell her that Carter would be co-leading S.H.I.E.L.D. with him.[3] Stark eventually shared Stark Industries with Obadiah Stane, and together they were responsible for the development of many weapons for the U.S. military.[4]

In 1954, Howard created the Stark Expo, a world wide technology fair where the world's new technology would be presented to show a bright future for mankind.[5] He attempted to figure out how the Tesseract worked, considering the object a potential key to unlimited sustainable energy, but achieved less than helpful results.[6]

He also co-developed the arc reactor with defected Soviet scientist Anton Vanko. Though the power of the arc reactor was immense, Howard saw it as the stepping stone to creating a new, stable element that would render nuclear power obsolete. However, Howard realized that Vanko only saw the arc reactor as a way to get rich, so he had Anton deported back to Siberia in 1967. At that time, he met a woman called Maria, with whom he had a son, Tony. Howard never showed his son any love, which Tony despised him for. However, deep down, he cared about his son, and considered him his greatest creation.[5] Howard also apparently spoke highly and often of Rogers to Tony.[6]

Howard was limited by the technology of his time and could not finish the new element, so he embedded the atomic structure of the new element as part of the major design of the 1974 the Stark Expo model, and a message to Tony in one of his old home movies, stating that he had high hopes that Tony could figure it out with the current technology and change the world. Before the film ends, Howard said that Tony was and always would be his greatest creation.[5]

In 1989, Howard, Peggy Carter, and SHIELD defense official Mitchell Carson had a confrontation with long-time SHIELD affiliate Hank Pym at the Triskelion when Pym discovered that SHIELD had been attempting to replicate his Pym particles. Howard tried and failed to convince Pym to allow SHIELD access to his scientific discoveries, and Pym ended his relationship with SHIELD, though Howard refused to formally accept his resignation. Despite Pym's refusal to cooperate and SHIELD's inability to reproduce his accomplishments without his help, Howard doubted that Pym would ever become a threat and denied Carson's recommendation that they prevent his departure through force.[7]

Death and Legacy[]

On December 16, 1991, Howard Stark was transporting five packages of an unidentified substance by car[1] on Long Island. He was accompanied by his wife, Maria,[4] but was otherwise alone when the Hydra operative known as the Winter Soldier caused his car to crash. Though injured, Howard survived the initial crash and recognized the Winter Soldier as Bucky Barnes before the Soldier beat him to death. The Winter Soldier then delivered the substance the Starks had been carrying to Hydra, who would use it in the creation of five other Winter Soldiers.[1] Though several allegations of foul play were made, the Starks' deaths were believed to be accidental by the public.[8] Howard Stark would be remembered as a symbol of American strength and a leading force behind the modernization of the American military.[4]

At the age of 21, Howard's son Tony Stark inherited Stark Industries, becoming the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company.[4] Despite his feelings about Howard's general attitude towards him, Tony always regretted not having the chance to say goodbye to his father.[1] After watching the 1974 message video and examining the Expo model, Tony discovered the new element, noting that his father was still teaching him even after being dead for over two decades. The new element was the key to a safer and more powerful arc reactor, which Tony needed to power the electromagnet protecting his heart without poisoning his blood. Creating a miniature particle accelerator in his basement lab, Tony was able to synthesize the new element, upgrade the design of the arc reactor to clean his blood, and create the powerful new Mark VI armor.[5]

During a later confrontation between Tony Stark and Steve Rogers over the Sokovia Accords, Helmut Zemo revealed to Tony that it was Rogers's friend Bucky Barnes who killed his parents. Rogers admitted that he had known about it for some time, but withheld the information from him.[1]



Genius-level intellect. Also, has exceptional skill in aviation, engineering, communications and knowledge in Latin, Spanish, French, Japanese, and Korean.



See Also

Links and References