Marvel Cinematic Universe

Assassination of Howard and Maria Stark

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"I have a mission for you. Sanction and extract. No witnesses."
Vasily Karpov to Winter Soldier[src]

The Assassination of Howard and Maria Stark was a successful assassination attempt by HYDRA to eliminate Howard Stark and gain access to the Super Soldier Serum.


"Accidents will happen."
Arnim Zola[src]

Following the end of World War II, the United States started a program that would bring former German scientists from Nazi Germany to America. Among the recruits was Arnim Zola, who joined S.H.I.E.L.D. and began rebuilding HYDRA.[1]

In 1991, HYDRA learned that Howard Stark had recreated the Super Soldier Serum originally developed by Abraham Erskine. Soon afterwards, Winter Soldier was revived and ordered to retrieve the serum.[2]



Winter Soldier about to attack Howard Stark

"Sergeant Barnes?"
Howard Stark[src]

As Howard Stark and his wife Maria made their way to the Pentagon with the completed Super Soldier SerumWinter Soldier was on the road and shot at their car, watching as the vehicle crashed into a tree.

Stark was able to crawl from the car, and asked Winter Soldier to help his wife, before recognizing him as Sergeant Bucky Barnes. Barnes repeatedly punched Stark's skull with his cybernetic arm and placed him back in the car to make it appear he died in the accident, before strangling Maria to death. Winter Soldier shot at a nearby security camera and then departed with the serum.[2]


Stark Newspaper

A newspaper article reporting on Howard and Maria Stark's passing

"I never got to say goodbye to my father."
Tony Stark[src]

The Starks' passing left their only son Tony an orphan. He was then raised by Edwin Jarvis, who became a father figure to the young Stark.[3]

Since Tony was too young to run Stark Industries, Obadiah Stane was made CEO of the company until Tony turned twenty-one.

The newspapers reported on the passing of the Starks, but their death was attributed to a simple car accident.[4]

HYDRA managed to use the Super Soldier Serum to enhance five individuals with the same capabilities as Winter Soldier, but they proved too dangerous to be used and remained confined in Siberia.

Years later, Helmut Zemo used footage of the event to manipulate Tony Stark into fighting Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes.[2]


In chronological order:


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