Howard Stark

howardstarkfilmAt the end of Agent Carter, a very important man calls the Strategic Scientific Research to order Peggy Carter‘s promotion to the newborn Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistic Divisioin (aka S.H.I.E.L.D.), another old acquaintance: it’s Howard Stark, portrayed by Dominic Cooper. The character first appeared in the Iron Man movie series: in the first one, portrayed by Gerard Sanders, as an absent father for Tony Stark, whose death in a car accident left his son a forever-immature man with some Oedipus complex. In Iron Man 2 Howard was portrayed by John Slattery, and, through registrations, he finally made his son acknowledge his love for him, and he also left a legacy for Tony to bring on (the creation of a new element, native of Asgard). Finally, he appeared in his youth in Captain America: The First Avenger, where he became a friend and ally for Steve Rogers. He’s set to return in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and, since it’s Cooper portraying him once again, he’ll certainly appear only in flashbacks. Let’s see together who Tony Stark’s father is in the comics.

Howard Stark (Jr.) was the son of billionaire Howard Stark, Sr., and lived in RichfordNew York. Since he was very little, he developed a passion for mechanical engineering, a trait he had inherited from his father. Growing up, he became a famous and respected inventor, and he ran Stark Industries with his father until his old man’s death. When he was young, he met Maria Collins Carbonell, a brilliant woman he fell in love with; the two married just before World War II started, signing the beginning of howardstarkcomics1Howard’s governative period. Because of his intellect and skills, in fact, US Government decided to deploy Stark’s inventions during the war. During the 40s, Stark actively participated to the Super Soldier Project, the same one that later gave birth to Captain America, and to Manhattan Project, becoming one of the scientists who created the Atomic Bomb. Fully understanding the danger a man like Howard Stark represented for the Third Reich, the Nazi mastermind Red Skull had him and his wife kidnapped. Howard and Maria were tortured for days by the Skull, who wanted to learn something about the Manhattan Project, but the Starks proved to be loyal and strong, and they resisted torture until they were freed by Captain America, Bucky and Nick Fury‘s Howling Commandos. When the War ended, Stark built yet another thing for the Government: with Cold War starting, he created an army of robots he called Arsenal, and he hid them under his own mansion; the robots were programmed to activate in case of a Russian invasion, but, many years later, the Avengers accidentally activated them, and had to destroy them in order to stop their destructive spree.

During the Cold War, Howard Stark was contacted by a secret organization, which called itself Brotherhood of the Shield: a sect of men and women who excelled in their own field who vowed to protect Earth from any menace. He was also contacted by the Hellfire Club, but he refused their offer to join their ranks, preferring to enter the Brotherhood. In here, he became friends with another genius man, Nathaniel Richards (future father of Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four), and he worked with him for the brotherhood. Together, they found and enlisted Leonid, a mysterious man with great powers, and they introduced him to the High Council located in the Immortal City, an underground base in RomeItaly. It was the time in which the Brotherhood had split in two opposite factions, one with Leonardo Da Vinci as a leader, the other led by Isaac Newton (both the geniuses were time-travelers). In order to prevent the Brotherhood’s howardstarkcomics2destruction, Stark and Richards, aided by the mysterious Night Machine (actually, a resurrected Nikola Tesla in disguise), appointed Leonid as an arbiter to the conflict: with Leonardo as a new leader, the Brotherhood lived on, slowly evolving into S.H.I.E.L.D. Meanwhile, Howard had a son from Maria, Anthony Edwards, who grew up to be a genius just like his father was. Maria’s gestation had had some problems, and Howard asked for some alien help to save his unborn child: with the help of Rigellian Recorder 451 and Kree technology, Howard had saved his child, and also “programmed” him to be a better inventor than he ever was, allowing humanity to reach unthinkable technological goals in no time. That’s why Howard always pushed his son to his limits, never praising his successes, but always asking more from him. This behavior, however, alienated Tony from his father, and the two became strangers one to another. Tony developed a real rivalry with Howard, starting a conflict that was never solved, since Howard died, still relatively young, in a car accident that took the life of Maria as well. Some say that the accident was orchestrated by the V-Battalion, a heroic team Stark maybe joined during the war, that had been turned by Baron Zemo into a private organization for his evil plans.

Howard Stark is one of Earth’s most intelligent men: intuitive, brilliant, capable of seeing things in a way nobody else can, he’s one of the reasons USA won World War II. Unfortunately, his brain cannot make him also the good man he always wanted to be, and his relation with his son Tony has been ruined by both his expectations towards his genetically-enhanced heir and his growing alcoholism problem.

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16 Comments

  1. […] known as Leviathan, but even this time she ends up in big troubles, as the technology stolen to Howard Stark is guarded by a hulkling enforcer, a former circus strongman hired by Leet Brannis and going by […]

  2. […] portrayed by Ray Wise, tries to point the suspects to his “once friend” and now rival Howard Stark, but can’t do anything to prevent the SSR to examine his employees (and find the mole, Miles […]

  3. […] consequences, and he’s one of the first people Peggy Carter hunts down to retrieve Howard Stark‘s experimental explosive. In the comics, he’s quite an obscure character who only […]

  4. […] End, Peggy is introduced by Edwin Jarvis to a “gentleman” who could help her reading Howard Stark‘s formula, a Russian scientist named Anton Vanko, portrayed by Costa Ronin. We already know […]

  5. […] The Winter Soldier, they find the portraits of the three founders of the intelligence agency: Howard Stark, Peggy Carter and Chester Phillips, the latter portrayed by Tommy Lee Jones. In The First […]

  6. […] by the allies. It’s revealed that in the ’60s, Zola was called back to America by Howard Stark, who was founding S.H.I.E.L.D. and needed all the intellect he could dispose of. Unfortunately, […]

  7. […] Sea. From his new houseboat (more properly a housecastle), Hammer entered in competition with Howard Stark and his Stark Industries, another colossus in weapons dealing. When Howard died and his son Tony […]

  8. […] boxer. In 1945, war ended, and Jarvis came back to America. In here, he was hired by millionaire Howard Stark as his butler, and he served him, his wife Maria and their son Anthony for years. When Howard […]

  9. […] of all, Anthony Edward Stark was born the son of billionaire genius Howard Stark and his wife Maria. It seems that scientific genius is a genetic trait in Stark’s family, […]

  10. […] Ross rose to the rank of Lieutenant (during this period, he participated to a secret mission with Howard Stark to repel an alien invasion) and soon of Major. Back home, he received a desk job as an unwanted […]

  11. […] readers, and a completely unexpected one. In Better Angels, when Peggy Carter seeks the help of Howard Stark, she finds him busy with his new work of movie director…and he’s directing a movie […]

  12. […] We know from Captain America: The Winter Soldier that the car accident that killed Maria and Howard had been orchestrated by Hydra, but now we know that the executioner was none other than the […]

  13. […] to world domination. Shaw was initiated along with Warren Worthington Jr., John Braddock and Howard Stark, but he was the only one to stay (much to Lourdes’ regret, since she didn’t trust […]

  14. […] the mid-credit scene of Agent Carter, Howard Stark is enjoying his swimming pool and a cocktail with an old friend, who’s admiring one of the […]

  15. […] of some of the greatest scientists in history…even Marvel history, as we can clearly see Howard Stark, and even Abraham Erskine. The latter was portrayed by Stanley Tucci in Captain America: The […]

  16. […] villain from the first Iron Man movie. Portrayed in the film by Jeff Bridges, Obadiah Stane is Howard Stark‘s best friend and associate, and he takes control of Stark Industries after Howard’s […]


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