For many of today's Marvel fans, the movies are what first attracted them to the decades-old company. Those movies belong to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it all started with 2008's smash hit, Iron Man. Today I'll be discussing 10 things many Marvel movie-goers may not know about everyone's favorite Armored Avenger and genius billionaire playboy philanthropist, Tony Stark.
1. There are Fifty-Three Iron Man armors!
In Earth-616 Marvel Comics continuity, Tony Stark has created 53 different Iron Man armors! However, this number only includes armors that are meant exclusively for Tony Stark's Iron Man. In total, there are 68 suits of armor! This number includes the War Machine armors as well as Pepper Pott's suit dubbed 'Rescue', Spiderman's Iron Spider suit, and the armors of several of Iron Man's adversaries. (for those who don't know, Earth-616 is the main Marvel Comics continuity line). Iron Man armor in alternate universes often serve the same purposes as their Earth-616 counterparts, and usually have the same name as well.
2. Tony Stark owns Area-51
In Avengers Issue 4 Volume 10, it is revealed that Stark had bought Area 51 from the government, even while he was 'broke'. To quote Stark: "My 'broke' is not the same as your 'broke'". Stark was hiding the Space Gem, which is one of the Infinity Gems, here for a time.
3. Tony Stark was trained in hand-to-hand combat by Captain America
In order to be able to defend himself should his Iron Man armor ever malfunction or should Tony be without the armor, he sought training from super-soldier and fellow Avenger Steve Rogers. Undoubtedly this training gave Tony an advantage in all future fights, but would assist him most in the many skirmishes he would have with Rogers in Civil War and beyond. Other combat trainers were Happy Hogan and James Rhodes (a.k.a. War Machine).
4. Stark built a Transformer-Buster
In the alternate universe Marvel-Transformers crossover in 2006, The Avengers and Doctor Doom teamed up with the Autobots to defeat Megatron and his Decepticons, who had stolen one of Doctor Doom's devices that causes heightened aggression. Iron Man is able to effectively combat Megatron one-on-one in his unofficially named Transformerbuster armor while the Autobots, Avengers, and Doom save a captured Spiderman and destroy Doom's stolen device. Just before the Autobots and Avengers arrive, Megatron succeeds in overloading the Transformerbuster armor, but the Autobot-Avenger team still saves the day, in no small part thanks to Stark's genius and pure awesomeness!
5. Stark Industries wasn't always Stark Industries
Tony Stark has been the owner and CEO of many companies, but despite all of them having the same function and purpose, none of them have had the same name. The company names are as follows:
- Stark Industries
- Stark Solutions
- Stark Enterprises
- Circuits Maximus
- Stark International
Stark inherited Stark Enterprises from his parents at the age of 21 when they were murdered in a car accident orchestrated by a rival company which also happened to be the evil ROXXON company. He also founded the Maria Stark Foundation, a nonprofit charity organization named after his mother Maria Stark.
6. There are numerous evil Iron Man doppelgangers
Like any superhero, Iron Man has an extensive rogues gallery. Unlike most other superheroes, however, a large portion of Iron Man's enemies are basically rip-offs of him. Here are a few of the many false Iron Men who have failed to keep our hero out of the fight:
In addition to the above villains, there are some more vague, lesser known baddies who copied the design of the Iron Man armor. Also, some of these villains have had multiple evil versions of themselves (I'm looking at you, Crimson Dynamo), and if I included all of those, well, we may be here awhile!
7. His Marvel/DC Amalgamation is the Iron Lantern
During the Marvel and DC Identity Crisis event, Tony Stark/Iron Man merged with Hal Jordan/Green Lantern to become Hal Stark, the Iron Lantern. The Iron Man armor takes the place of the Power Ring, but still retains the abilities of both heroes. Hal Stark is the founder and CEO of Stark Aircraft.
8. He's adopted, and has a super-genius adoptive brother brother
Early in their marriage, Howard and Maria Stark had trouble conceiving a child, and when they finally succeeded, Howard discovered the child would likely die in the womb. Unable to accept this, Howard went on a search to find a way to ensure his child would be born. On his journey, he discovered Rigellion Recorder 451, a member of the alien race the Greys, and rescued him. In return, 451 promised Stark his child would be born alive. However 451 had an extra motivation for helping the Starks. 451 revealed to Howard that the intergalactic empires sought to destroy Earth as soon as humanity had reached a high enough technological power level, and that he was on a mission to give Earth a means to escape this fate by inserting a savior of sorts into humanity. The unborn Stark child was the perfect candidate. The unborn child was then genetically modified to be a super-genius, beyond any level of genius Earth had seen or would see. the child was born, and they named him Arno. shortly afterwards, Howard realized Arno would die upon maturation due to the changes 451 had made. Fortunately, Howard found a cure, but Arno had to be kept on constant life support with an artificial lung in addition. Arno was kept hidden from the rest of the world, but to ensure 451 would not notice anything had happened, Howard and Maria adopted Tony Stark. Years later when Iron Man made contact with 451, 451 instructed him to pilot a machine that could only be piloted by the genetically modified child 451 had given the Starks. realizing he was unable to pilot the machine, Tony went on a search for his long lost brother, and eventually found him hidden away inside the Maria Stark Foundation. After the brothers finally met, they worked together to enhance the world's technological state, with Arno creating an exoskeleton to keep him alive and enable him to join Iron Man in his adventures.
9. Stark is one of the wealthiest and most intelligent fictional characters ever
According to Forbes.com, tony Stark is the fourth richest fictional character ever, with a net worth of $12.4 billion. Here is the top five:
1. Scrooge McDuck: $65.4 billion
2. Smaug: $54.1 billion
3. Carlisle Cullen: $46.0 billion
4. Tony Stark: $12.4 billion
5. Jay Gatsby: $11.2 billion
Similarly, stark was listed as the third most intelligent character in American comic books. Here is the top five for that list:
1. Reed Richards (Mister Fantastic)
2. Bruce Wayne (Batman)
3. Tony Stark (Iron Man)
4. Hank Pym (Ant Man)
5. Hank McCoy (Beast)
10. Iron Man is currently a villain
During a fight against the Red Skull, who was using Professor Xavier's brain, Doctor Doom and Scarlet Witch cast an inversion spell, hoping it would put Xavier in charge of Skull's actions. While the inversion spell only made the Red Skull go unconscious, several heroes and villains were caught in its effects. For the heroes, the spell served to bring out their worst. In Stark's case, his worst was a return of his raging alcoholism, a super-inflated ego, and a hunger for money and power. Tony Stark created Extremis 3.0, and made it an app available to the public. This app could grant beauty, health, or immortality. After everyone was hooked on the app, Stark began charging $99.99 a day for its use, leading a large portion of citizens to resort to crime to keep the precious app and the effects it had. Stark also created a new all white armor named Model 51, also known as the Endo-sym suit. This armor was partially based off of symbiote technology, the same stuff Vemon is made of. This suit is Stark's most powerful suit of Iron Man armor, and can be summoned with thought. Stark often refers to it as a living creature.