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For alternate versions of Ho Yinsen, see Ho Yinsen's Character Hub

"What you just saw... That is your legacy, Stark. Your life's work in the hands of those murderers. Is that how you want to go out? Is this the last act of defiance of the great Tony Stark? Or are you going to do something about it?"
―Ho Yinsen to Tony Stark[src]

Doctor Ho Yinsen was a renowned scientist and surgeon, hailing from the village of Gulmira, Afghanistan. After his family was killed during a surge in local terrorist activity, Yinsen was abducted and held captive by the Ten Rings in the Afghan mountains. When Tony Stark was also kidnapped, Yinsen was charged with attending to Stark's medical needs after he was brought in injured from an explosive. After several months in captivity, Yinsen helped Stark escape the cave by developing a specialized suit of armor, but willingly sacrificed himself in the process to the terrorists, telling Stark not to waste his life before he died of his injuries.


Early Life

Meeting Tony Stark

"Mr. Stark, Ho Yinsen."
"Ah, I finally met a man called 'Ho'."
―Ho Yinsen and Tony Stark[src]

Ho Yinsen introduces himself to Tony Stark

Ho Yinsen was an Afghan man from the small village of Gulmira. Eventually, he became a scientist after graduating from University of Cambridge and started to work in Europe.[1] Yinsen met Tony Stark on New Year's Eve in 1999 at Bern 2000 in Bern, Switzerland, after Stark delivered a lecture, while very drunk, on integrated circuits. Yinsen tried to introduce him and Maya Hansen to Wu, but Stark drunkenly brushed him off to focus his attention on Hansen, joking that he had finally met a man named Ho. Though somewhat disappointed, Yinsen resigned himself to hopefully meeting Stark properly at another time.[2]

Ten Rings' Hostage

Saving Tony Stark's Life

Yinsen works as translator for the Ten Rings

"What the hell did you do to me?"
"What I did? What I did is to save your life. I removed all the shrapnel I could, but there's a lot left."
Tony Stark and Ho Yinsen[src]

Ten years later, Yinsen was captured by the Ten Rings, a terrorist group in Afghanistan. When the Ten Rings brought in Tony Stark, injured from an missile used in their ambush, they charged Yinsen with keeping him alive. A skilled and resourceful field surgeon, Yinsen removed much of the shrapnel from Stark's body and helped keep him alive long enough to build an electromagnet piece in his chest to keep the remaining shrapnel from entering his heart.[1]

Partners in Captivity

Yinsen building the Mark I with Tony Stark

"What could it generate?"
"If my math is right, and it always is, three gigajoules per second."
"That could run your heart for 50 lifetimes."
"Yeah. Or something big for 15 minutes."
―Ho Yinsen and Tony Stark[src]

Under captivity, Tony Stark and Yinsen were ordered by the Ten Rings to build a Jericho missile, or they would be killed. However, Stark refused and was tortured. Yinsen managed to motivate him and both men acknowledged that they would be murdered either way and instead focused on an escape plan. Stark revealed to Yinsen that he would use the parts that the Ten Rings gave them and build a weaponized suit of armor, which he would use to take out the terrorists and return Yinsen to his family.[1]

Escape and Death

Yinsen fits Tony Stark into the Mark I Armor

"This was always the plan, Stark."
"Come on, you're going to go see your family. Get up."
"My family is dead. I'm going to see them now, Stark. It's okay, I want this."
―Ho Yinsen and Tony Stark[src]

Yinsen helped Tony Stark keep the Mark I Armor he was making a secret from Raza and assisted in its creation. When Stark asked about Yinsen's family, Yinsen merely noted that he would see them when he left the Ten Rings Base. Yinsen also pointed out that Stark's legacy was his weapons being used by the Ten Rings and suggests that he should rectify this.

Yinsen gives Tony Stark advice before dying

During the escape the terrorists were alerted to their plan, seeing there was no way they could power up the suit while defending themselves simultaneously, Yinsen sacrificed himself by taking a gun and attacking the terrorists, thereby giving Stark time to power up the suit. He was mortally wounded when he ran around a corner only to be shot by dozens of terrorists. When Stark found Yinsen, bleeding out from his wounds, he reassured Stark that his demise had always been the plan as his family was dead and that he wished to be reunited with them. Stark thanked Yinsen for saving him. With his dying breath, Yinsen asked Stark not to waste the rest of his life. Stark was quietly enraged by Yinsen's death, and dispatched the remaining Ten Rings members with emphatic fury.[1]


Remembered by Tony Stark

"Thank you for saving me."
"Don't waste it. Don't waste your life."
Tony Stark and Ho Yinsen[src]

Thanks to Yinsen's sacrifice, Tony Stark was able to escape and once back in the United States, he discontinued Stark Industries' mass weapon production line despite this causing his company's stock market value to plummet, much to Obadiah Stane's chagrin. After discovering that Stane was the one responsible for his kidnapping and defeating Stane, Stark dedicated himself to becoming a crimefighter, taking on the identity of Iron Man, for which he designed similar armors to the one he and Yinsen designed on Afghanistan.[1]

Despite meeting Yinsen for a short time, Stark never forgot his advice and dedicated the rest of his life to become less egotistical and become more selfless and heroic. As the years passed by, Stark came to start a family of his own just like Yinsen once did. This eventually culminated in Stark sacrificing himself to stop Thanos from destroying the universe in 2023, finally giving up his life like Yinsen did for him in the past.[3]


"Why should I do anything? They're going to kill me, you. Either way I'll probably be dead in a week."
"Well then, this is a very important week for you, isn't it?"
Tony Stark and Ho Yinsen[src]

Ho Yinsen was a humble family man who was in many ways the polar opposite to Tony Stark. Quiet, unassuming and willing to sacrifice himself to save Stark, before passing away, Yinsen acknowledged that he was at peace by knowing that he would see his family again and told Stark to no longer waste his life nor the chance he had been given to redeem himself.


  • Genius-Level Intellect: Yinsen was a very smart and helpful man. When he first met Tony Stark, they were both at a New Year's Party with many other geniuses. He tried to approach Stark, but was shot down. He also graduated from University of Cambridge. He was also a very logical man, he taught Stark the lesson of how his own decisions have consequences on people. He told Stark not to waste his life. This is what ultimately led to Iron Man and his quest until his death.
"That is an electromagnet. Hooked up to a car battery. And it's keeping the shrapnel from entering your heart."
―Ho Yinsen to Tony Stark[src]
  • Master Engineer:

    Yinsen and Tony Stark build an Arc Reactor

    While saving Tony Stark, Yinsen managed to connect wires to a car battery and then make an electromagnet within Stark's chest so that the shrapnel was kept from entering his heart and killing him. His engineering gave Stark the idea to create the first Arc Reactor, which Yinsen helped with. He also helped Stark create the prototype Iron Man Armor.
"Why do you think you're still alive, huh?"
―Ho Yinsen to Tony Stark[src]
  • Master Physician: Yinsen was considered a world-renowned surgeon and was able to keep Tony Stark alive when he had shrapnel from a missile digging into his heart, by improvising an electromagnet with the few resources he had in captivity, and keep the shrapnel of his heart.
  • Expert Scientist: Yinsen was a renowned scientist before being captured by the Ten Rings. He even graduated from University of Cambridge with a degree.
"How many languages do you speak?"
"A lot."
Tony Stark and Ho Yinsen[src]
  • Multilingualism: Yinsen was fluent in his native Dari, as well as English, Russian, Urdu, French, and a little Hungarian.



  • Heckler & Koch G36C: Yinsen grabbed one of these rifles from one of the members of the Ten Rings during their escape attempt and started to shoot wildly in order to divert the attention from Tony Stark while he finished preparing his armor for the escape.

Other Equipment

  • Iron Man Armor: Mark I: In an attempt to escape captivity, Yinsen and Tony Stark worked together to building an armor which Stark could wear by tricking the Ten Rings into thinking they were recreating the Jericho missile. Stark donned the armor and used it to attempt to help Yinsen escape, but Yinsen died in the process.
  • Arc Reactor: To save Stark from getting shrapnel near his heart, Yinsen implanted a device into Stark's chest using a electromagnet and a car battery, a feat that that saved his life. Later, Stark used the model for the Arc Reactor to replace the car battery with a stronger one.




  • Wife †
  • Child †




  • In the comics, Ho Yinsen was a physicist and engineer from Timbetpal, greatly admired by Tony Stark.


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