ANTHONY "TONY" STARK had always believed in the power of technology to improve people's quality of life. The millionaire's son enrolled in an electrical engineering program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at the age of 15 and graduated at the top of his class. He inherited Stark Industries when he was only 21 and began designing and manufacturing high-tech weaponry for the government. Profits rose sharply under Tony's leadership and Stark Industries soon became one of the nation's leading industrial manufacturing complexes.
Tony Stark enjoyed the good life. He was rich and handsome. His address book contained the private numbers of movie stars and supermodels. He knew how to make money and was even better at spending it. However, Tony also took his work seriously. He was constantly inventing new technologies or improving old ones.
While performing a weapons test overseas, Tony Stark was struck in the chest by a piece of shrapnel and kidnapped, forced to build a devastating weapon - only then would he receive the operation to save his life. Instead, using his intellect and ingenuity, Tony built a high-tech suit of armor along with fellow prisoner Ho Yinsen, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist. Yinsen designed the armor's breastplate to sustain the industrialist's wounded heart. Stark donned the suit to escape captivity and upon returning to America, Tony refined the armor, promising to protect the world as the Invincible Iron Man. Inventing the cover story that Iron Man was his body guard, he embarked on a double life as an industrialist and costumed adventurer.
The charming, free-wheeling genius must now reconcile a wealthy life of luxury with the duties of a super hero. He is the former head of Stark International, has set up a now aero-space company on the West Coast, and has long-running contacts with S.H.I.E.L.D. through its director. Iron Man is a founding member of the Avengers, and Stark set up a trust fund in his late mother's name for the organization to cover expenses and provide technical support and weaponry, including the Quinjets. He also donated the mansion that became the team's headquarters.
The Armored Avenger gets his fantastic powers from his suit of micro-mesh armor. It gives him superhuman strength, the ability to fly via his jet boots, and a variety of built-in weapons, foremost among these being his devastating repulsor rays! Though additional tinkering is always being done. He stores nearly a hundred fully functioning suits, but is still building more. Stark personally builds every iteration of the Iron Man armor, trusting no one but himself with the powerful technology he harnesses.
Iron Man is dedicated to defeating those forces that would threaten the security of the nation and the entire world, but he had to overcome an even more implacable personal demon, invulnerable to technology or wealth, the demon in the bottle. Once a frail and failing man within the unstoppable armor he wore, Tony Stark at one time hid his faults behind the intimidating facade of the Iron Man armor. Following a period when Stark slid deeply into his alcoholism, he temporarily passed his armor onto James "Rhodey" Rhodes, a Marine who became his pilot and confidant. Executive assistant to Tony Stark, Virginia "Pepper" Potts has also become an indispensible part of Tony's life over the years and is always there to put out the fires that Tony leaves in his path.
As his strength of will increased and his body recovered from the injuries it had sustained, he turned into one of the most certain and steadfast heroes in the world. Iron Man is a modern-day knight in shining armor, fighting injustice wherever it rears its ugly head!
Avengers: The Ultimate Guide. DK CHILDREN, 2006. ISBN: 1405310235 AVENGERS ASSEMBLE! As soon as this spellbinding cry rings out, the world's mightiest hero team gather together, ready to confront and defeat any super-menace threatening the planet. Though the Avengers' roster is constantly changing, the founding members consisted of the mighty Thor, the invincible Iron Man, the astonishing Ant-Man, the wondrous Wasp, and the incredible Hulk. Other heroic luminaries have included Black Panther, Vision, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Yellow Jacket, She-Hulk, and Quicksilver. The team's current leader is none other than Captain America, one of the most famous heroes of them all.
Iron Man: Demon in a Bottle. Michelinie, David, et al. Marvel Premiere Classic, Hardcover, 2008. ISBN: 0785130950
Iron Man: The Legend. Sanderson, Peter. Marvel, 1996. ASIN: B0018GDSHW
Marvel Encyclopedia Vol. 1. New York: Marvel, 2002. ISBN: 0785109846 At last, the long awaited, complete and up-to-date listing of more than 100 top Marvel heroes and villians, from A to Z. This fully illustrated, comprehensive hardcover includes biographies, statistics, essential reading and quizzes on all the Mighty Marvel's most popular characters. How did they get their powers? What were their greatest adventures? Who are the deadliest adversaries? All is revealed in the Marvel Encyclopedia.
The Smartest Superheroes, Tony Stark, Iron Man. Pisani, Joseph. BusinessWeek, 2006. Being a superhero takes more than muscles. It also takes brains. Find out which ones are the smartest comic-book heroes ever.