Toni is the daughter of Ho Yinsen, the scientist who was trapped with Tony Stark and helped create the first Iron Man armor. Toni’s mother moved from China to Seattle in the ‘70s and fell in love with Yinsen in the ‘80s. They had Toni, but they couldn’t make their marriage work. After the divorce, Yinsen went back to his home country, where he was eventually kidnapped and died. Toni regrets not having a stronger relationship with him.
As she got older, she studied programming and engineering. Toni attended CalTech on a scholarship and earned herself 3 PhDs. This eventually led to her being recruited by AIM.
Toni Ho’s first appearance was technically in Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders #1 by Al Ewing and Alan Davis, an alternate reality occurring as part of Battleworld. There, Tony Stark gave his life so that Yinsen Ho could escape from their captors. After the end of the Secret Wars event and the rebirth of the Marvel universe, Toni Ho would make her 616 debut in New Avengers #1, by Al Ewing and Gerardo Sandoval.
Despite Tony Stark being her namesake in Battleworld, she was born and named prior to Yinsen's interaction with Tony as part of her 616 biography.
Major Story Arcs
Avengers Idea Mechanics
Toni was the head of AIM’s engineering division under Sunspot. Part of her responsibilities was running diagnostics on the Pod (Planetary Orbital Defense) system, a techno-organic intelligent armor that bonded with a random Norwegian woman, Aikku Jokinen. In addition to monitoring the armor, she monitored Aikku’s general condition while stuck inside the armor, eventually leading to romantic feelings.
After a few missions, Sunspot’s New Avengers field team had to deal with their first big controversy, whether or not to help Rick Jones while he was SHIELD's most wanted. It was put to a vote, with Toni voting in the affirmative, thus getting the antagonistic attention of the United States, who sent the American Kaiju to take them out. This gave Toni the opportunity to use her newest project, Avengers Five, a large kaiju battlebot that requires five brains linked though Pod to be piloted. Toni along with Sunspot, Power Man, White Tiger, and Max Brashear volunteer to take on American Kaiju, which they defeated.
After the mind link with Pod, Toni believed she understood Pod and Aikku better than ever, however, they were attacked by The Maker and his New Revengers. They destroyed Pod, and then went after Toni. To protect herself and the remains of Pod, she put on the Rescue armor. After chasing Maker away, Aikku, who was saved by Pod, emerged from the armor and embraced Toni.
When Sunspot made a deal with Col Maverick to work together and take out all of the AIM splinter cells, Toni redesigned her Rescue armor into a new Iron Patriot armor, but with the trademark non-lethal artillery. This got her occasionally out of the lab and into the field, but she was still very preoccupied with constantly upgrading her armor, much to Aikku’s chagrin.
When Hydra’s Captain America starts prepping for a takeover of America, the Hydra spies within Sunspot’s organization are activated, one of which promises Maverick a by-pass to his Hulk timer. Maverick gets injected with nanites that allows him to Hulk out right away but also gives Hydra full control over his body. They force him to attack Toni and take her prisoner.
She is locked up with Sunspot, dying from a head wound, mirroring her father’s imprisonment with Tony Stark. Piecing together the scraps she is able to get her hands on, she creates headgear that allows him to restabilize his powers. With his solar energy back, he is able to burnout Maverick’s nanites and get the team back together to take over the Hydra prison.
When the dust settles, Sunspot quits A.I.M., and Toni is voted as the new Supreme Leader.
When Earth is stolen to be used as a game board by The Challenger (using the Black Order) and The Grandmaster (using the Lethal Legion), the most prominent Avengers are frozen in stasis so as not to interfere. All available Avengers are activated, including Toni. Without satellites, it is up to Toni to work around fiber optics and TV towers to rebuild a communication network for the remaining Avengers to stay in contact with. She also repurposed it for a global alert system to scan for the alien artifacts that the two Elders’ competitors are trying to collect.
Toni was doing her best trying to keep the separated teams in the loop, sending reinforcements where and when they were needed, while also trying to free the frozen Avengers from stasis. The Challenger pulled out his wild card, a resurrected Hulk, and aimed him at Toni’s auxiliary headquarters. She gives pieces of her Iron Patriot armor to Maverick to try and give him an edge against Hulk. Unfortunately, it wasn’t much.
Thankfully, the other Avengers are able to reach Hulk and convince not to play the game. He destroys the last artifact, forcing the Challenger to come to Earth himself. Meanwhile, Living Lightning goes to Grandmaster and challenges him to a side bet, and Quicksilver tracks down the device that is keeping the other Avengers in stasis. With both off the game board, Challenger must contend with the full force of the Avengers.
As the dust settles, Sunspot shuts down the U.S. Avengers, and Toni decides to rebrand her version of A.I.M. as R.E.S.C.U.E., since they will never get out from under the criminal organization’s reputation.
The Search for Tony Stark
Toni Ho accepted an invitation to a M.I.T. think tank with Ironheart, Arno Stark, and Madison Jeffries. Upon hearing about Tony Stark’s disappearance, they turned their attention to finding him with the help of Friday, Stark’s A.I. assistant. Friday outfitted them all with new makeshift armor, with Toni’s vaguely resembling her Iron Patriot armor. After tracking one dead end lead, Stark hacks into Friday and warns them not to keep looking for him.
Riri is determined to keep searching, when she and Toni’s armors are taken over by their mysterious benefactor Leonardo Da Vinci. He is working on creating a replacement for SHIELD, which he had a part in originally founding. With Da Vinci’s new crew, they come to Tony Stark’s side just in time to stop Hydra.
Daughter of Liberty
Toni was recruited to the Daughters of Liberty by a resurrected Peggy Carter as tech support. The Daughters of Liberty is a storied secret society of women that steward civilization in the use of new ideas and make sure the power those ideas had was always used wisely. They were brought together to look after Captain America after he was framed for the murder of Thunderbolt Ross. Together, they broke him out of prison and continued supporting him as he returned to Captain America duties as a fugitive, eventually finding Thunderbolt Ross alive and stopping Red Skull's newest plan.
- Eye Color: Brown
- Hair Color: Black, dyed pink
- Citizenship: American
- Place of Birth: Seattle, Washington
- Marital Status: Single, exclusively dating Aikku Jokinen
- Occupation: Engineer, Supreme Leader of R.E.S.C.U.E.
- Education: Three doctorates from CalTech
- Known Relatives: Yinsen Ho (father, deceased)
- Distinguishing Features: Regularly dyes her hair pink, requires corrective lenses
Powers and Abilities
Toni Ho has a genius level intellect. She earned 3 PhDs from CalTech before she was 20.
She built and designed her own Iron Patriot armor inspired by Tony Stark. It was armed with less lethal artillery and designed specifically for rescue purposes. This included (among others):
- Force field
- Concussive blast
- Gas pellets
In Yinsen City on Battleworld, Ho Yinsen was armored as Rescue and having visions of a life where he was in a cave with Tony Stark. His daughter, Antonia, was active on the Mighty Defenders as Kid Rescue, his protégé.