|“||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's video message to Tony.|
|“||Everything is achievable through technology – better living, robust health and for the first time in human history, the possibility of world peace. I'm Howard Stark, and everything you'll need in the future can be found right here.||„|
|~ Howard's video message about the Stark Expo.|
Howard Anthony Walter Stark is a supporting character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He was a brilliant inventor and businessman and the father of Tony Stark/Iron Man. He founded Stark Industries, and co-founded S.H.I.E.L.D. with Peggy Carter and Chester Phillips.
He was portrayed by Gerard Sanders In Iron Man, John Slattery in Iron Man 2 onward, and Dominic Cooper in The First Avenger and Agent Carter. In Captain America: Super Soldier, he was voiced by Liam O'Brien.
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 during World War II. He constructed Captain America's shield from Vibranium, which would become the heroes greatest weapon. And after the war he discovered the Tesseract when him and researchers continued to look for Captain America. Later in life, Howard married a woman named Maria and had a son, Tony in 1970.
He also co-developed the Arc Reactor with defected Soviet scientist Anton Vanko, who later attempted to get reach from it. 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 in 1991, who made it look like a car accident by having the Winter Solider assassinate them.
He would be posthumous grandfather of Tony's daughter, Morgan Stark, and is the father-in-law to Tony's wife and Morgan's mother, Virginia "Pepper" Potts.
Howard Anthony Walter Stark was born on August 15, 1917 in Richford, New York to unnamed parents who lived on lower the east side. Howard had a tough childhood, as his father sold fruit and his mother sewed shirtwaist for living, and Howard learned that society put limits to success based on one's economic status and gender. As a result of learning this, Howard stated that became good at lying to get what he needed.
During his youth, Howard became an wealthy genius and businessman, attending international conferences, where he met Dr. Abraham Erskine in 1934. In 1939, Howard founded Stark Industries, and would have his researchers go around the world looking for material to experiment with. Notably, Stark found Vibranium in Africa, which he would later demonstrate with at showcases. Later, Stark met with Chester Phillips, and agreed to join the Strategic Scientific Reserve.
Stark would help the SSR by helping Peggy rescue Dr. Erskine from HYDRA's castle, and helped the United States by producing planes after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Stark continued helping the Allies by performing experiments for them, working as a weapon specialist, and being a contributor in Project Rebirth. Also, Howard became close friends with his butler, Edwin Jarvis, and Peggy Carter herself, whom he relied on greatly after the war.
Captain America: The First Avenger
|“||Just keep looking.||„|
|~ Howard on looking for Captain America.|
Post World War II
|“||You know who was the expert? Your dad. Howard Stark. Really a father to us all, and to the military-industrial age. Let's just be clear, he was no flower child. He was a lion.||„|
|~ Justin Hammer to Tony about his father.|
After collecting the Tesseract when looking for Captain America, Howard became a contributor to the S.H.I.E.L.D. project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. alongside NASA, who wanted to harness the energy from the Tesseract. The project would also be contributed by Dr. Wendy Lawson and Air Force pilot Carol Danvers.
In the 1960s, Howard and Anton Vanko developed the Arc Reactor, which was based off of the Tesseract's energy. Stark saw the reactor as the stepping stone to creating a stable element that would render nuclear power obsolete, but Vanko saw it as a way to get rich. When Stark learned of Vanko's treachery, he had him deported, which would cause Anton to become embittered. Anton's anger at Stark would be passed onto his son, Ivan Vanko years later. Around this time, Stark took Obadiah Stane as a partner, and the two had a close partnership.
In 1970, Maria gave birth to their child, Anthony "Tony" Stark, whom took Howard's first middle name. Despite caring for his son and being secretly proud of him, Howard was cold and distant towards Tony. In addition, Howard also told his son stories about his idol and friend Captain America, causing Tony to develop a sense of jealousy for the hero.
|“||The Pym Particle is a miracle. Please, don't let your past determine the future.||„|
|~ Howard to Hank Pym.|
As a result of feeling betrayed and losing his wife during a mission, Pym had a negative view of Howard Stark and his former colleagues. Pym would pass his dislike of the Starks to his successor, Scott Lang, to never trust a Stark.
Death and Legacy
|“||Help my wife... Please... Help... Sergeant Barnes?||„|
|~ Howard's last words before his death.|
After his death, Tony inherited Stark Industries at twenty one years old, and became the youngest CEO of a company. Howard was memorialized across America, having a mural in Midtown School of Science and Technology, a highway and parkway named after him, and was remembered in bibliographies and by WHiH World News in 2015. During the years as Tony was CEO, Obadiah Stane mentored him, but wanted to head the company himself, and attempted to have Tony killed by having the Ten Rings kidnap him. However, Tony was able to escape by crafting a suit of armor with the help of Ho Yinsen, and later defeated Stane.
Iron Man 2
When Tony was dying from the Arc Reactor poisoning his blood, he discovered in Howard's video message a model that took him to a new element. The element was strong enough to clean his blood, and allow him to create new armors, and Tony noted that his father was still teaching him. With the new element, Tony crafted his new armor to aid his best friend, James Rhodes in stopping Justin Hammer and Ivan Vanko.
Captain America: Civil War
|“||That shield doesn't belong to you. You don't deserve it! My father made that shield!||„|
|~ Iron Man to Captain America after the fight.|
|“||Let's just say that the greater good has rarely outweighed my own self-interests.||„|
|~ Howard to Tony\"Howard Potts".|
- Was based on Walt Disney and Howard Hughes.
- Is one of the few characters to have been portrayed by different actors in different films, the others are War Machine, The Hulk, Thanos, Fandral and Red Skull.
- In an unused draft of Iron Man, he was still alive and would be a ruthless businessman and villain named "War Machine".