|Appeared in|| Iron Man|
Iron Man 2
Captain America: The First Avenger
Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter
|Actor|| Gerard Sanders|
- "Tony, you are too young to understand this right now so I thought I would put it on film for you. I built this for you, and some day you'll realize that it represents a whole lot more than just people's inventions. It represents my life's work. This is the key to the future. I'm limited by the technology of my time, but one day you'll figure this out. And when you do, you will change the world. What is, and always will be, my greatest creation... is you."
- ―Howard Stark's message to his son[src]
Howard Stark was a brilliant inventor and businessman and the father of Tony Stark/Iron Man. He founded Stark Industries. During WWII he worked on various government projects, including the Manhattan Project and "Project: Rebirth". Howard also helped the Strategic Scientific Reserve fight against HYDRA. He constructed Captain America's shield. And after the war he discovered the Tesseract. Later in life, Howard married a woman named Maria and had a son, Tony. He also co-developed the Arc Reactor with defected Soviet scientist Anton Vanko. Howard founded S.H.I.E.L.D. along with Peggy Carter and Colonel Chester Phillips. Eventually, Howard would push Tony away, but did care for his son, having high hopes that Tony would change the world. Howard and Maria were killed by HYDRA, who made it look like a car accident.
Howard's father sold fruit and his mother sewed shirtwaists for livings. Growing up. Hpward become an industrial genius, inventor, and businessman, attending multiple international conferences, such as the one where he met Doctor Abraham Erskine.
Howard began a demonstration which would showcase Vibranium, a metal discovered by Stark Industries researchers in Africa. Later, Howard met with Colonel Phillips, soon after they was attacked by HYDRA assassins. Howard agreed to join Col. Phillip's newly created Strategic Scientific Reserve. Later, he welcomed Abraham Erskine as he too was recruited into the S.S.R.
- "I focus on work, which right now is about making sure you and your men don't get killed."
- ―Howard Stark to Steve Rogers[src]
During the second World War, Howard was the top weapons specialist for the Strategic Scientific Reserve. At the World Exposition of Tomorrow, he proudly showed off multiple world-changing inventions including a flying car and a prototype android. Secretly, Howard was working with the S.S.R. in order to help win World War II. Howard was present during the process that Steve Rogers under went in order become America's first super soldier after receiving the Super Soldier Serum from Dr. Abraham Erskine. When Steve was going on a solo mission to save his friend Bucky and the POWs that were captured at a HYDRA base, Howard personally flew him behind enemy lines, and afterwards he was responsible for construction and formation of the circular shield made from Vibranium. Stark also made Steve an upgraded military suit to use as Captain America. After the disappearance of Rogers, Stark located the Cosmic Cube in the ocean.
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After the war, Stark invited Peggy Carter to join him as one of the charter members of S.H.I.E.L.D. Another charter member was Timothy Dugan, with whom Stark seemed to develop a friendship, as the former visited the latter's estate. During one of these visits, Stark explained the bikini style of swimsuit to an enamoured Dugan.
Howard is on trial for apparently selling weapons to US enemies. He asks Peggy Carter to help him clear his name. He explains that a month ago someone broke into his vault where he kept his "bad babies," the inventions too dangerous to sell. Howard offers the services of his butler, Edwin Jarvis to help her on missions.
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"The Blitzkrieg Button" Howard smuggles himself back into the US through a smuggler named Otto Mink. Peggy and Jarvis are transporting Howard to one of his safehouses, Peggy has Jarvis pull over, spotting SSR agents watching the perimeter; the SSR is now more determined to catch Howard, believing him responsible for Ray Krzeminski's death. They than want to the Griffith, Peggy's boarding house. Peggy sneaks Howard in through the basement and up the dumb waiter.
Up on Peggy's floor, Peggy is relieved Howard isn't inside. Peggy finds him canoodling in one of her neighbor's rooms. Back in her room, Howard is planning to leave for Rio in three days. He wants to know which of his inventions the SSR has so he can determine which are still on the black market. He gives Peggy a camera pen to take in to work. Peggy and Stark develop her pen film in her room. Howard tells her all of his inventions are at SSR, but he needs her to steal one back. All of his inventions can cause large scale destruction but none are active, except one, "the Blitzkrieg button". A single push of a button on a small orb will shutdown the entire electrical grid for years. He gives her a mock-up to swap out. Peggy sneaks into the SSR and swaps out the Blitzkrieg button from the lab. But her curiosity gets the better of her. She flips the switch. The lights stay on and the orb pops open, revealing a vial of Steve Rogers' blood. She takes the Blitzkrieg button back to her apartment, Peggy is furious with Howard for lying to her. When she leaves, Jarvis sits next to Howard at shoe shine stand and blames him for taking Peggy for granted, saying the whole thing stinks. An old man asks to borrow Stark's sports section.
While creating S.H.I.E.L.D. along with Peggy Carter and Chester Phillips, Stark started a program involving "repented" Nazi scientists, used as a think tank for the newborn intelligence. Among them was Arnim Zola, who used his cover to recreate HYDRA as a parasitic organization inside S.H.I.E.L.D., without Stark realizing it.
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Howard Stark discussed arc reactor technology with Anton Vanko. Although Anton was worried, Howard was resolute of everything working out perfectly.
Later, he had Anton Vanko arrested and deported back to Russia, Obadiah Stane talked to Howard and told him that perhaps he should take Anton's treason as a some sort of sign.
Years later, while checking some papers, Howard was accidentally hit by Tony's remote controlled car. He gets angry at Tony, thinking Tony was just wasting his time.
Even more years later, he went to talk to Tony and told him that he ploughed through school for a reason. Tony simply replied that he can't conquer the world while he works on his tan. Edwin Jarvis then entered and told Howard that Maria was waiting for him in the car. Howard then leaves. Sometime later, Howard died.
Sometime later, Howard and Obadiah Stane were responsible for the development of many weapons for the U.S. military. Together they participated in the Manhattan Project, the United States operation which developed the atomic bombs which ended the Second World War. Along with government associates, Howard has become a founding member of S.H.I.E.L.D.
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.
He met a woman called Maria with whom he had a son, Tony. Howard never showed his son any love. However, deep down, he cared about his son. Howard and Maria were seemingly killed in a car accident on December 17, 1991 when Tony was 20. In reality, they had become a true menace for Zola's new HYDRA. In response, an allegedly-Soviet assassin, The Winter Soldier (really Howard's old WWII ally, Bucky Barnes) was hired to kill both him and his wife.
Stark, who had co-created the arc reactor technology with Anton Vanko, left Tony a message telling him that he had lacked the technology to create a new element at the time, so he embedded the atomic structure of the new element in the disguised form of the blueprint of the Stark Expo layout and assumed that future technology would be able to synthesize the material. Howard also called Tony his greatest creation. After examining the Expo model, Tony discovered the new element, noting that his father was still taking him to school 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, as the previous arc reactor had been. Creating a miniature 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 construct a new, more powerful armor using the new reactor.
Howard Stark's file was among the ones Rogers studied after his awakening in the present day.
Howard's past association with Captain America was brought up when Tony noted that his father talked about Cap a great deal, although Tony initially expressed doubt towards Rogers' abilities until he saw the super soldier in action.
Arnim Zola revealed to Steve Rogers that it HYDRA, or possibly the Winter Soldier, that caused the deaths of Howard and Maria Stark, although it was made to look like an accident as seemingly no one suspected anyone involved in their deaths.
Howard Stark was a brilliant scientist and inventor, with a genius-level I.Q., but often puts his work above everything, family included, thus gaining his son's disrespect. As a young man, he was extremely similar to what his son would have become: extremely brilliant and intelligent, but also a daredevil.
Although he displays himself as something of a womanizer in public, it's implied that this was an act when he tells Steve that he doesn't bother with women, but rather focuses on his work. ("The moment you think you know what's going on in a woman's head is the moment your goose is well and truly cooked. Me, I focus on work, which right now is about making sure you and your men don't get killed.")
- Abraham Erskine - Partner
- Chester Phillips - Work colleague
- Peggy Carter - Friend and work colleague
- Steve Rogers - Friend and work colleague
- James Barnes - Work Colleague, attendee to Stark's World's Fair presentation. Eventual killer.
- Timothy Dugan - Work Colleague and later guest.
- HYDRA - Enemies
- Howling Commandos - Work Colleagues
- Nick Fury - Work colleague
- Obadiah Stane - Former business partner
- Anton Vanko - Former business partner
- Tony Stark - Son
- Maria Stark - Wife
- Marvel Cinematic Universe (5 films)
- Marvel Cinematic Universe (2 TV series)
- Marvel Cinematic Universe (2 comics)
Behind the scenes
This article doesn't have any behind-the-scenes information about this character. Please add some!
- When the film rights to Iron Man belonged to New Line Cinema, early scripts had Iron Man pitted against Howard, who would become War Machine.
- Howard Stark's scenes in Iron Man 2 were inspired by Walt Disney's promotional videos.