|Real Name||Howard Anthony Walter Stark|
|Alias(es)||America's mustachioed Casanova|
|Date of Birth||August 15, 1917|
|Date of Death||December 17, 1991|
|Title(s)|| CEO of Stark Industries|
Founder of S.H.I.E.L.D.
|Affiliation|| Strategic Scientific Reserve|
|Movie|| Iron Man (photograph)|
Iron Man 2 (video footage)
Captain America: The First Avenger
The Avengers (mentioned)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (mentioned & photograph)
Avengers: Age of Ultron (mentioned)
|TV series|| Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (mentioned)|
Agent Carter (3 episodes)
|Web series||WHiH Newsfront (mentioned)|
|Game|| Iron Man (mentioned)|
Captain America: Super Soldier
|Comic|| Captain America: First Vengeance|
Captain America: The First Avenger Adaptation
Iron Man: I Am Iron Man! (mentioned)
Iron Man 2: Public Identity
|Portrayed by|| Dominic Cooper|
|Voiced by||Liam O'Brien|
- "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
Howard Anthony Walter Stark was an inventor, engineer, businessman and founder of Stark Industries. During World War II he worked on various government projects, including the Manhattan Project and Project Rebirth. Stark also helped the Strategic Scientific Reserve fight against HYDRA. He constructed the second shield of Captain America, and after the war he discovered the Tesseract.
A year after the end of the war, Howard was framed for distributing weapons to enemies of the United States. He put his friend Peggy Carter in charge of the effort of finding proof of his innocence. Eventually his name was cleared.
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 was also one of the founding members of S.H.I.E.L.D. Eventually, Howard would push Tony away, but did care for his son and had high hopes that Tony would change the world.
- "I grew up on the lower east side. My father sold fruit. My mother sewed shirtwaists for a factory. Let me tell you, you don't get to climb the American ladder without picking up some bad habits on the way."
- ―Howard Stark to Peggy Carter
Howard Stark was born on Wednesday, August 15, 1917 in Richford, New York to a father who sold fruit and a mother who sewed shirtwaists for livings. Growing up, he learned that there were limits based on ones' economical status or gender, so he became good at lying to get what he needed.
World War II
Strategic Scientific Reserve
In 1939, Howard Stark launched Stark Industries. A year later, at Ciro's, Los Angeles, California, Howard began a demonstration which would showcase Vibranium, a metal discovered by Stark Industries researchers in Africa.
Under Stark's guidance, his company began producing planes for the American war effort following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. His innovations later earned him a spot working on the Manhattan Project.
In 1943, Howard Stark was at the Modern Marvels of Tomorrow exhibition, demonstrating new technology that could allow cars to hover; however, the technology was not yet perfected and the car crashed to the ground. Secretly, 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.
Stark was instrumental in "Project Rebirth", the project of the SSR that Steve Rogers undergoes in order to become the U.S. Army's first super soldier. Stark built a machine that used up half of the power in Brooklyn to douse Rogers with Vita Radiation after receiving the Super Soldier Serum from Dr. Abraham Erskine. The process successfully transformed scrawny Steve Rogers into the muscular Captain America. However immediately after the experiment, Erskine was assassinated. Rogers managed to catch the assassin, who killed himself before he could be arrested. Rogers did capture the HYDRA submarine that the assassin tried to escape in and Stark was tasked with understanding its technology, which he said was years ahead of the Allies technology. 
With the death of Erskine, the formula of the Super Soldier Serum was lost as well. Blood samples of Steve Rogers were taken to try to recreate the serum; from the twelve taken, one was given to Howard Stark.
Steve Rogers was then used as propaganda and traveled to help spread encouragement and hope. Shortly before one of his performances in Italy, many soldiers were captured by the enemy. Peggy Carter convinced Stark to fly Rogers to the HYDRA factory in Austria. Stark asked Carter if she wanted to join him after the mission for a late night fondue date; Rogers thought they were already in a relationship. Rogers leapt out of the plane and he completed his mission, helping all the soldiers escape.
After the mission Stark was stationed at a secret SSR base and met with Steve Rogers again, who gave him a piece of HYDRA tech which Rogers claimed was the most powerful explosive known to man; Stark was doubtful but took the device for testing anyway. He explained to Rogers what he meant by the earlier fondue reference and they had a brief talk about women. Stark then showed Rogers a collection of new shields he had designed for him, as Rogers had grown attached to the one he had taken on the mission. Rogers choose a prototype Vibranium shield; while trying it on for size, Peggy Carter fired four gunshots at him to test its strength. Rogers then told Stark that he had his own ideas for his costume.
After Steve Rogers' successful mission to the HYDRA factory, Stark was given a piece of HYDRA tech that had been captured by Steve Rogers and seemingly was powered by the Tesseract. Stark and his team of scientists were tasked with testing the power source, trying to learn its potential and its origin; however when the device was touched, it exploded, shattering the glass and throwing Stark backwards. Stunned by the amount of force, Stark could only jokingly say "write that down".
- "My lab was raided. They took my samples, my research, all on the orders of General McGinnis. The next day, they dropped it on the Russians to help them take Finow. I flew there afterward to see with my own eyes. What those men did to each other, you can't imagine."
- ―Howard Stark to Peggy Carter
In 1944, Stark was ordered by General John McGinnis of the US Army to design a gas that would keep soldiers awake for days. However, his experiments failed. The final product, which he named the Midnight Oil, caused symptoms similar to sleep deprivation, anger, hallucinations, and psychosis. Stark decided not to hand it over to the Army. However, General McGinnis had other plans, stealing the gas which his soldiers dropped on the Soviet troops near the German town of Finow, hoping to help them crush the German defenses. The gas turned the soldiers into bloodthirsty savages, and hundreds of them killed each other. A day later, Stark arrived at Finow and saw the carnage. He returned from there distressed and began construction of his vault in his mansion.
Losing Captain America
- "Just keep looking."
- ―Howard Stark
A month later, Peggy Carter led a team including Dum Dum Dugan and Jim Morita to the HYDRA Research Facility Number 4, where Werner Reinhardt and his soldiers were arrested. The objects confiscated there, including the Obelisk, were sent to Stark to be studied. While there, Carter felt that an organization would be needed during peace time to safe guard people against dangerous technology and to monitor people like Howard Stark.
According to Peggy Carter, in May 1945, when Nazi Germany surrendered, Stark tried to kiss her to celebrate the victory, and she knocked him into the Thames river. Since he didn't know how to swim, a group of frogmen had to fish him out and save him from drowning. However, it's possible this story is just Carter's fabrication.
Shortly after the V-E Day, while searching for Captain America in the Atlantic, Stark's expedition discovered the Tesseract, lying on the floor of the ocean after falling out of the Valkyrie during the crash. Stark attempted to figure out how the Tesseract worked, but had less than helpful results.
The Last Task
- "My father helped defeat Nazis. He worked on the Manhattan Project."
- ―Tony Stark about Howard Stark
After the disappearance of Captain America, Howard Stark joined the Manhattan Project and helped the Allied scientists build the first atomic bomb. The new weapon was used against the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which forced the Japanese militarist government to surrender, effectively ending World War II.
- "Did you knowingly sell military grade technology to enemies of the United States?"
"Did you do it unknowingly?"
"Well, by definition, that would be impossible to answer."
- ―Senator Webster and Howard Stark
Later that year, some of his inventions, including a document with the formula of the explosive Molecular Nitramene, were stolen. He had discovered that someone had cut a hole into the vault in his mansion when he returned from a pleasurable trip to Monaco. Congressional hearings led by Senator Webster were held to determine if Stark was a traitor when some inventions were found overseas in enemy hands.
He decided to travel overseas to avoid being arrested and to recover his property. Howard Stark met with Peggy Carter and commissioned Carter to recover the document before it was sold on the black market. He left his butler Edwin Jarvis to assist his friend on her mission. However, his absence of the hearings caused him to be labelled a fugitive, which put him on the opposite side of the Strategic Scientific Reserve.
Stark returned from overseas and was rescued from subordinates of Otto Mink by Peggy Carter and Edwin Jarvis. However, they soon discovered that the SSR was staking out Stark's intended safehouse; the SSR was more determined to apprehend Stark, believing him responsible for Ray Krzeminski's death. Stark went to the Griffith Hotel, much to Carter's dismay because she had to hide his presence from Miriam Fry, which Stark did not make easy with his flings with Lorraine and other tenants.
Stark asked Carter to obtain from the New York Bell Company the Blitzkrieg Button, a container holding Steve Rogers' blood. Stark figured that Rogers' blood had extraordinary abilities, including the cure for the common cold. However Stark did not want Carter to know what the device held, so he instead told her that it was a device which would cause a city wide black out if handled incorrectly.
When Carter returned with the Blitzkrieg Button, she had already opened it and learnt of Stark's lie; she did not give Stark the sample. Furious at his lies, Carter punched and berated Stark for attempting to use something of their friend's for personal gain. Stark tried to defend himself claiming that because of his family history he lies to protect himself and others from the truth. He apologised but Carter did not accept.
He later had Edwin Jarvis try and speak to her, but Carter ignored him as well. Stark waited at a shoeshine vendor for Jarvis, who claimed that, despite all the many times he had apologiesed for Stark over the years, he also was disgusted by Stark's behaviour. Just after Jarvis had left, the man sitting next to Stark asked to borrow the sports section of the newspaper Stark was using to hide his face; tired and frustrated, Stark handed the paper to the man.
- "I'm not a bad man."
"Yes. You are."
- ―Howard Stark and Johann Fennhoff
Howard Stark and Edwin Jarvis entered the New York Bell Company Office and were greeted with guns drawn; Stark explained that since he was not hired to build the security systems, he could easily bypass them. Stark knew that Johann Fennhoff wanted revenge on him and killed Roger Dooley and various others in his quest; however, Stark had no idea why.
To draw Fennhoff into the open, Stark and the SSR set up a press conference presenting Stark as no longer a fugitive, but a hero. Fennhoff was not deceived; using Officer Pike of the New York City Police Department as his thrall, he was able to capture the inventor.
Dottie Underwood and Fennhoff took Stark to one of his warehouses that Stark had shown Underwood six months earlier; he did not recognize her as "Ida Emke". Fennhoff explained his hatred for Stark; his brother was killed when Midnight Oil was deployed in Finow, Germany and, since Stark was its creator, Stark was ultimately to blame. Stark explained that he did not want the gas deployed; Fennhoff did not care and hypnotized him to fly a plane over the V-E Day anniversary celebration in Times Square, dispensing nine canisters of Midnight Oil, hoping the chaos would destroy New York City.
Flying the plane, Stark was continually hypnotized by Fennhoff using the radio. Suddenly Peggy Carter interrupted and begged Stark to return to normal. In his trance, he revealed that Captain America was his greatest creation and he wanted to find his true friend so he and Carter could be reunited. Knowing that if Stark reached the city, Jarvis was tasked to shoot him from the sky, Carter cried for Stark to let Rogers rest in peace and let him go. Stark listened and returned to the hangar.
With New York City saved, Stark thanked Carter and Angie Martinelli by giving them one of his houses. He decided that no one could be trusted with his inventions, so he began a legal battle with the United States Government to have them returned and destroyed.
Start of S.H.I.E.L.D.
In 1946, Agent John Flynn disciplined Peggy Carter for her insubordination in the 'Zodiac' case until the phone rang. Stark informed Flynn that the mission was more a notch in Carter’s belt than a feather in her cap and told Flynn that Carter was going to run S.H.I.E.L.D. with him, and that Flynn was to inform Carter and ‘let her know you’re honored to bring her the news’. Afterwards, Stark sat by a swimming pool wearing a robe later worn by his son Tony. Dum Dum Dugan sat with him as they discussed bikinis–Dum Dum asked Howard if he invented them and he said no, bikinis were French.
He continued developing weapons for the United States Armed Forces during the Cold War. He met several American presidents, including Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard Nixon.
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 create a new, stable element that would render nuclear power obsolete. However, Anton saw the arc reactor as a way to get rich and when Howard found out, he had Vanko deported. Some time after that, he took on Obadiah Stane as a partner.
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 in the 1974 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. Howard says that Tony "is and always will be" his greatest creation.
Working with Hank Pym
In 1987, Stark asked Hank Pym for his Pym Particles so that S.H.I.E.L.D. agents can use them to stop radicals in Berlin who were reverse-engineering HYDRA technology. Pym refused and said that he will be the only person to use the particles, accepting the mission for himself. Peggy Carter helped Pym train for the upcoming mission. When Pym returned, he informed Stark and Carter about what had happened during his time in Berlin. Stark tried to forbid Pym from doing any more missions, but Pym reiterated his statement that he would be the only one to use the particles and implied that he was willing to do further missions for the organization.
However, in 1989, Hank Pym announced his resignation from the organization before Stark, Peggy Carter and Mitchell Carson, after he had discovered that S.H.I.E.L.D. was trying to replicate the Pym Particles from the Ant-Man Suit, showing his anger by slamming Carson's head on the desk after he insulted him. Stark tried to convince him to stay, noting that he should not let the death of his beloved wife Janet van Dyne ruin the good work he had done. Pym did not listen and left the Triskelion and went into retirement, vowing to never allow anyone to use his technology.
Death and Legacy
- "I never got to say goodbye to my father. There's questions I would've asked him. I would've asked him how he felt about what his company did, if he was conflicted, if he ever had doubts. Or maybe he was every inch of man we remember from the newsreels."
- ―Tony Stark
Howard and Maria Stark were killed in an automobile "accident" secretly arranged by HYDRA on Long Island in 1991, to remove him as an obstacle in their plans. Tony Stark inherited Stark Industries becoming, at age 21, the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
Twenty-one years after becoming CEO, Tony watched the 1974 message video and examined the Expo model, helping him discover the new element, noting that his father was still teaching him even after being dead for nearly 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 Mark VI armor.
- "Howard Stark is either an ignoramus or a genius."
- ―Alex Doobin
During his early life, Howard was considered to be quite charismatic and comical. He was well-known for having flings with different women, sometimes attending the Academy Awards to be around actresses. He had a jeweler create the "Stark Special", a bracelet created of the highest quality of gold and diamonds, to be given to each lover after he had Edwin Jarvis dismiss them.
Sometime after his son's birth, his personality drastically changed. Howard's relationship with Tony was seemingly a strained one as Tony, for most of his life, saw Howard as a cold, calculating man and even believed Howard wanted to be rid of Tony, so much so, he believed Howard's happiest day was when he sent Tony off to boarding school.
Howard was shown to be very cautious as he left a film message for Tony in the event he died before Tony was old enough to understand the contents of the message. The contents of the film stated Howard left something very important behind for Tony, which ended up saving his life, and stated he actually loved his son more than anything in the world, even saying Tony is, was, and always has been his greatest creation.
According to Tony, Howard had a habit of talking about Captain America non-stop. He felt that, before the birth of Tony, that Captain America was his greatest creation. He kept an underlying guilt about not finding Steve Rogers when he sought him after his disappearance.
- "The Great Howard Stark, I have heard much of your genius."
- ―Johann Fennhoff
- Genius Level Intellect: Howard is an exceptionally intelligent person, creating weapons and devices that are considered futuristic to most, including other geniuses.
- Master Engineer: Howard Stark has created inventions that make his friends, like Peggy Carter, fear him and wish him monitored.
- Master Scientist: Stark helped in the creation of Captain America, knew that Tony Stark's New Element could not be created in his lifetime, and had inventions, such as molecular Nitramene, that are devastating in the wrong hands.
- Master Businessman: Howard Stark started a company that is viewed as the apex among its competitors.
- Master Pilot: Peggy Carter described Stark as the best civilian pilot she had ever seen, enlisting his help to fly over enemy airspace and transport Captain America to Austria.
- Multilingualism: Stark is fluent in English, Latin, Spanish, French, Japanese and Korean.
Howard Stark's Designs
- Modified Car
- Flying Car
- Vita-Ray Chamber
- Captain America's Shield
- Captain America's Uniform
- Captain America's Motorcycle
- Blitzkrieg Button
- Camera Pen
- Photonic Amplifier
- Midnight Oil
- Stark Heat Vest
- Self-Piloting Airplane
- Tony Stark's New Element
Howard Stark had many one-night stands; he was a well-known womanizer. The following is a list of a few of his lovers:
|Appearances for Howard Stark|
In chronological order:
- Howard Stark kept a garage filled with Cadillacs; Tony Stark kept a garage filled with sports cars.
Behind the Scenes
- Howard Stark was played by actor Gerard Sanders in Iron Man, John Slattery in Iron Man 2 & Ant-Man, and Dominic Cooper in Captain America: The First Avenger, Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and the television series Agent Carter. In the video game Captain America: Super Soldier he was voiced by Liam O'Brien.
- Howard Stark is one of a few characters to be played by a different actor in different films. The others are Bruce Banner, James Rhodes, Thanos and Fandral. Additionally, he is the only character to be played by three different actors.
- Howard Stark's appearance and personality in Iron Man 2 were based on that of Walt Disney, founder of the The Walt Disney Company, the parent company of Marvel Studios and Marvel Entertainment, though they had not yet acquired Marvel at the time Iron Man 2 was filming.
- In the comics, Howard is not Tony's biological father: he and Maria adopted him after their child, Arno, had to be hidden away due to a developmental disorder. The revelation was published after the release of Iron Man 3, and Howard is still Tony's biological father in the films.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 S.H.I.E.L.D. Files
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Agent Carter: 1.04: The Blitzkrieg Button
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Captain America: First Vengeance
- ↑ Captain America: First Vengeance, Volume 5
- ↑ Captain America: First Vengeance, Volume 3
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Iron Man Novelization, pg. 15
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Captain America: The First Avenger
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Agent Carter: 1.08: Valediction
- ↑ Agent Carter: 1.06: A Sin to Err
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.01: Shadows
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Agent Carter: 1.01: Now is Not the End
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 Iron Man
- ↑ Agent Carter: 1.02: Bridge and Tunnel
- ↑ Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 Iron Man 2
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 16.2 Iron Man 2: Public Identity
- ↑ Ant-Man Prelude
- ↑ Ant-Man
- ↑ Captain America: The Winter Soldier
|CEO of Stark Industries|
1939 - 1991