Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki

We advise caution when dealing with any recently-released media involving multiversal subjects. Please do not make assumptions regarding confusing wording, other sites' speculation, and people's headcanon around the internet. Remember, only this site's policies fully apply in this site.


Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki
Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki

"You should know better than anyone... It's all about money."
―Anton Vanko to Howard Stark[src]

Anton Vanko (Russian: Антон Ванко) was a Soviet scientist and Ivan Vanko's father. Upon moving to the United States of America, Vanko became partners with Howard Stark at Stark Industries where he and Stark created the first Arc Reactor. However, when Vanko sold his designs onto the black market, Stark had him deported, where Vanko spent decades drinking himself to death, leaving his son to vow his own revenge against the Stark family.


Early Life

Meeting Agent Carter

"Dr. Vanko, please tell me that isn't still, um... volatile."
"Oh, volatile. No, no. Active? Oh, yes. The nitramene still emits low levels of vita radiation."
Peggy Carter and Anton Vanko[src]

Vanko helps Peggy Carter and Edwin Jarvis

Anton Vanko was born in the Soviet Union and grew up to become a brilliant scientist, attending the Moscow State University. By 1946, he had relocated to the United States of America and was working for Stark Industries in a New York facility. When Peggy Carter discovered that one of Howard Stark's formulas had been weaponized, she and Edwin Jarvis took a diffused version of that weapon to Vanko. He concluded that Roxxon Corporation could be one of few candidates capable of producing it, adding that Nitramene emitted vita radiation.[1]

Working with Howard Stark

"Anton Vanko was a Soviet physicist who defected to the United States in 1963."
J.A.R.V.I.S. to Tony Stark[src]

In 1963, Vanko officially defected from the Soviet Union to the United States of America, and eventually began working directly with Howard Stark.[2] Together, Vanko and Stark worked on developing the Arc Reactor technology under the title of "The Unity Project". However, they had an ideological disagreement, as Vanko wished to make a profit off the technology whereas Stark wished to use it for the benefit of mankind.[3]

Betraying Howard Stark

Selling Military Secrets

Vanko betrays Howard Stark

"Anton saw it as a way to get rich and when your father found out, he had him deported. When the Russians found out he couldn't deliver, they shipped his ass off to Siberia. He spent the next twenty years in a vodka-fueled rage."
Nick Fury to Tony Stark[src]

In 1967, it was discovered that Vanko was guilty of espionage. Howard Stark took credit for all the Arc Reactor developments and had Vanko deported back to the Soviet Union. Because Vanko couldn't develop the technology on his own for the Soviet Union, he was exiled to Siberia as punishment. He spent twenty years living there in alcoholic rage, whilst raising his son Ivan; until he was able to return to Moscow following Premier Gorbachev's call for democratization in January 1987. Still bitter and full of anger and resentment, Anton would continue to drink alcohol and his son would be on the receiving end of his vodka-fueled anger, but at the same time, Anton mentored Ivan in the arts of science so that one day, his son could get revenge on the Stark family.[2]

Death in Poverty

Ivan Vanko mourning his father's death

"Ты должен быть там.[4]"
"Не слушай эту ерунду.[5]"
"Прости. Все, что я могу оставить тебе — это мои знания.[6]"
―Anton Vanko and Ivan Vanko[src]

Years after his exile, Vanko, at his death-bed, apologized to his son Ivan Vanko for being unable to provide him Tony Stark's position being adored by the media, living a luxurious lifestyle, and told Ivan to use what he had been taught before finally dying. After Anton's death, Ivan began constructing the Whiplash armor and plotting his revenge against Stark.[2]


"Speaking of thieves, where'd you get this design?"
"My father, Anton Vanko."
"Never heard of him."
"My father is the reason you're alive."
Tony Stark and Ivan Vanko[src]

With the Arc Reactor blueprints left by Anton, his son Ivan was successful in creating the Whiplash Armor and nearly killed Stark in Monaco. While imprisoned, Ivan mentions to Tony that if it weren't for his father, Tony wouldn't have survived his kidnapping from the Ten Rings. However, ultimately, Ivan failed to kill Tony despite his best efforts and was incinerated in a self-destruct program he made, marking the end of the Vanko family.[2]


  • Genius-Level Intellect: Vanko was a very intelligent man, even becoming partners with arguably the smartest man in the world, Howard Stark. He helped Stark create the original Arc Reactor and even kept the blueprints of it. He was also a scientist at Stark Industries. He also sneakily sold secrets to the enemy, but was eventually caught and deported back to Soviet Union.
  • Master Engineer: Vanko worked as one of the leading scientists of Stark Industries. Edwin Jarvis and Peggy Carter sought his help to determine the properties of the then recently weaponized Nitramene, and Vanko displayed detailed knowledge of it despite being one of Howard Stark's experimental formulas. Over the years, he worked closely with Stark, co-developing a large-scale Arc Reactor.
  • Bilingualism: Vanko was fluent in his native Russian, as well as English.








Transparent Endgame Logo.png
The Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Anton Vanko.
  1. Agent Carter: 1.01: Now is Not the End
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Iron Man 2
  3. Iron Man 2: Public Identity
  4. Translates from Russian to: That should be you.
  5. Translates from Russian to: Don't listen to that crap.
  6. Translates from Russian to: I'm sorry. All I can give you is my knowledge.

External Links