Anthony Edward "Tony" Stark was born to Howard Anthony Stark and Maria Collins Carbonell Stark, owners of the prominent US firm, Stark Industries. As a boy, Tony was fascinated with building and controlling machines. At the age of 15 Tony entered the undergraduate electrical engineering program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and graduated with two masters degrees by age 19. Tony went to work for Stark Industries, but showed more interest in living a reckless playboy lifestyle than using his engineering skills. At the age of 21, Tony inherited Stark Enterprises when his parents were killed in a car accident secretly orchestrated by rival corporation Republic Oil (later ROXXON). Still lacking in business acumen, Tony promoted secretary Virginia "Pepper" Potts to be his executive assistant and left the majority of his workload on her so that he could avoid what he saw as a burden.
Tony personally attended a field test of his military hardware at one of his international plants; however, soon after his arrival Starks party was attacked by a gang of terrorists led by the Sin-Cong revolutionary Wong Chu. During the skirmish, a land mine went off and lodged a piece of shrapnel near Tonys heart. Taken back to Wong-Chus camp, Tony shared a cell with Professor Ho Yinsen, a world-famous physicist. Wong-Chu demanded that the two scientists develop advanced weaponry for his forces. Knowing that he could not live long with the shrapnel so close to his heart, Tony proposed that he and Yinsen devote their gifts to creating one of the battlesuits he had been developing, equipped with a magnetic field generator to prevent the shrapnel from reaching his heart. The armor they created became the first true Iron Man armor and was equipped with crude magnetic weaponry for defense. While the armors battery was being powered, some of Wong-Chus men attempted to break in on the proceedings. Yinsen went to create a diversion and was shot to death by Wong-Chus men. When the battery had finished charging, Tony went into battle as Iron Man and tore Wong-Chus camp apart. He eventually returned to the USA with the aid of US Marine James "Rhodey" Rhodes. Tony offered Rhodey a job with his company should he ever need one.
While traveling through Afghanistan after an on-site demonstration of his company's latest weapons system for the U.S. military, Stark's convoy comes under attack and he is seriously injured. Stark awakes to find himself bandaged and lying in a furnished cave, where a terrorist group is holding him captive. Yinsen, a talented surgeon who had also been captured, had saved his life by implanting an electromagnet in Stark's chest to keep the shrapnel that could not be removed from making its way to his heart and killing him. Though grateful to be alive, Stark had little to celebrate since his captors expected him to provide them with the same weapons system that he had just demonstrated for the military. After some "persuasion", Stark agrees to build their weapons, but instead begins work on his Mark I armor so that he and Yinsen can escape.
After escaping and realizing that the very weapons he helped design were being used by extremist groups to terrorize innocent citizens, Stark decides to begin a one man crusade to save others from the horrors that his company had created. With that, he began work on the Mark II armor and his quest to save the innocent from those whom would do them harm.
Powers and Abilities:
Tony has a genius level intellect that allows him to invent a wide range of sophisticated devices, specializing in advanced weapons and armor. He also possesses a keen business mind. He is one of the top 10 geniuses in the Marvel Universe.