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Maria Carbonell was a born and raised in Southampton, New York. She was born into wealth and became a socialite and Philanthropist.[3] During her youth, Maria dated industrialist Obadiah Stane, although she wasn't happy with their relationship. While staying in Monaco during a flight scale, she slip past her bodyguards into a casino, and deliberately lost large sums of money at baccarat. The owner of the casino, Howard Stark, noticed Maria being forcefully escorted by her bodyguards and tried to stop her. He tracked her down and visited her at their hotel room. Stark charmed her and together they beat up her bodyguards, driving off and formally introducing themselves to each other.[4]

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.

Maria Carbonell (Earth-616) from Iron Man Vol 5 17 001

Howard assembled the Stark Seven and successfully carried out the heist that freed the Recorder 451 from its captors.[5] 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.[6]

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.[7] Once the baby, named Arno, was born, 451 left the Earth.[8] 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 the Earth.[7]

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.[9]

Tony grew up completely unaware of Arno's existence or that he was adopted.[7] While Howard acted stiff towards his adopted son, Maria loved Tony unconditionally,[10] and protected him from Howard's violent mood swings caused by his ever-increasing drinking habits.[11] Howard's addiction also caused his relationship with Maria to suffer from strain.[12]

On the Ides of March, Maria and Howard 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,[13] Roxxon[14] and Hydra.[citation needed] Tony ran his father's company, started a charity in his mother's name, and later became Iron Man.[15]


Power Grid[18]
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  • Wore a necklace-mounted pendant capable of holographic communication with a watch worn by Tony. It also contained a GPS.[16]

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