The son of Howard Stark Sr., Howard Stark was born in Richford, New York. An avid and brilliant inventor from a young age, he was heavily involved in Stark Industries. He married Maria Collins Carbonell, and the pair had one son, Tony Stark. An alcoholic, he and his son had a difficult relationship, and he rarely expressed much affection for the boy. He was killed alongside his wife in an apparent accident that may have been orchestrated by V-Battalion or Roxxon. Their deaths inspired their son to take control of the business and eventually become Iron Man.
Howard Stark was created by Archie Goodwin and Don Heck and first appeared in Iron Man #28.
Major Story Arcs
Stark works with the government during both the First and Second World Wars, providing technical and scientific assistance in a variety of projects. This includes the Captain America project, the Arsenal robots, and the Manhattan Project. His involvement in the latter drew the attention of German agents. The Red Skull orchestrates the abductions of both Stark and his wife, and tortures the pair to gain information about the Project. The pair resist the torture, and are rescued by Captain America, Bucky Barnes, and the Howling Commandos. He also developed the Arsenal robot at some point.
Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Following the Second World War, Stark became involved in working with The Shield. The totality of his involvement with S.H.I.E.L.D. remains shrouded in mystery; he was partnered with Nathaniel Richards, with whom he carried out numerous missions. Known missions include escorting new recruit Leonid to S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Rome base, and fighting the Night Machine.
Powers and Abilities
Stark has no known superhuman abilities. He possesses a genius level intellect and is particularly skilled in the areas of science and inventing.
House of M
Stark did not die, but instead passed control of the company to his son when he turns 16. He retires, but continues working on inventions with his son and others, working on the Sentinels with Forge and Hank McCoy, creating a powered suit capable of fighting Sentinels with Tony, and working on the Vision Project. He is involved in resistance to mutant rule, secretly programming the Sentinels and Visions to work for him. He is killed by Magneto.
Believed killed by Nazi agents, Stark is captured and chemically brainwashed by the Nazis. He takes the identity of Baron Zemo and works to create war machines for the Nazis. He is killed in the destruction of Baron von Strucker's airship, which is destroyed by Iron Man.
When his second wife Maria dies giving birth to their son Antonio, Stark creates a bio-armour to save the boy's life. He does his best to protect his son, rescuing him when he is abducted by Zebediah Stane, and transferring him to a different school when school bullies are hired to kill him. He is later framed by Obadiah Stane for the murder of Stane's father, and is arrested. He is almost killed by a hypnotized guard, but manages to escape with his life. After recovering he is again attacked by guards, and escapes custody. He is aided by Tony, who reveals the Loni Stane, Howard's ex-wife, might be responsible for everything. They travel to Utah to find Loni. En route their helicopter is attacked and Howard is captured. Loni explains her machinations and shoots Howard in the chest in order to force Tony to take off his suit. He does and she shoots him but he survives and the pair fight, with Tony defeating her. Stark and his son are rescued by federal agents.
In an alternate reality, Howard made a deal with Mephisto for immortality so that he could see the future he was building materialize. In exchange, instead of selling his soul, he gave up his son, Tony Stark. Sometime later, he was directed to create a suit of armor and work as an enforcer for Mephisto's Council of Red.
Howard Stark appears as a posthumous character depicted in a film reel which he left behind for his son Tony Stark. In this film reel, Howard talks about his vision for the future and what the role of Stark Industries should be. Howard Stark is portrayed in this movie by actor John Slattery.
A young version of Howard Stark appears as a supporting character in this film who is involved in the Super Soldier Program that creates Captain America. He is responsible for creating Captain America's suit and shield. Following Cap's disappearance he throws himself into attempting to locate him, and later uncovers the Tesseract. He is portrayed by actor Dominic Cooper.
Cooper reprises his role in a brief cameo.
In a brief photo montage, Arnim Zola reveals that Howard and Maria Stark were assassinated by HYDRA.
John Slattery reprises his role as the older version of Howard Stark. The character appears as an early head of S.H.I.E.L.D. during the 1970's alongside Peggy Carter and Mitchell Carson. He has a falling out with Hank Pym after it's revealed that S.H.I.E.L.D. has been trying to recreate the Pym Particles, leading to Hank's resignation.
John Slattery reprises his role once again. It is revealed in a flashback that he and Maria were killed by the Winter Soldier in 1991. It's shown that Barnes beat Howard to death and then placed his body inside of a wrecked car, causing the police to think it was an auto accident. Helmut Zemo later uses footage of the murders to turn Tony against Captain America, leading to the dissolution of the Avengers.
Tony Stark and Steve Rogers travel through time and meet Howard Stark (John Slattery) and Edwin Jarvis (James D'Arcy).
Dominic Cooper reprises his role as Howard Stark from the movies. In the show, he and Edwin Jarvis serve as allies of Peggy Carter.
Stark appears in two episodes of this animated series, "Origin of Iron Man: Part 1" and "Not Far From the Tree". He is voiced in the first episode by Neil Ross, and in the second by Pete Renaday.
Stark appears as a regular recurring character in this television series. Originally assumed dead by the other characters, it is discovered he is alive and being held captive by the Mandarin. He is voiced by Fred Henderson.
Stark appears as a minor character in this direct-to-video film, which addresses the difficult relationship between Stark and his son. He is voiced by John McCook
Stark makes a posthumous appearance in the episode "Thanos Rising", where it is revealed that he built the Arsenal to protect Tony many years ago. He is voiced by Stephen Collins.
Captain America: Super Soldier
Stark appears in this video game, based on the Captain America film. He is voiced by Liam O'Brien.