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For alternate versions of Howard Stark, see Howard Stark's Character Hub

"I'm limited by the technology of my time, but one day you'll figure this out. And when you do, you will change the world. What is, and always will be my greatest creation... is you."
―Howard Stark[src]

Howard Anthony Stark was an inventor, scientist, engineer, businessman and movie director. The founder of Stark Industries, Stark worked on various government projects during World War II, including the Manhattan Project and Project Rebirth, the latter of which resulted in using the Super Soldier Serum to create Captain America. Presenting Rogers with his vibranium shield, Stark aided him, as well as the U.S. Army and the Strategic Scientific Reserve, in the fight against HYDRA.

Following the end of World War II, Stark was framed for distributing weapons to enemies of the United States. He put his friend Peggy Carter in charge of the effort of finding proof of his innocence. Eventually, his name was cleared when it was proved that Johann Fennhoff was framing Stark in an attempt to gain revenge for the Battle of Finow. He later founded Stark Pictures while assisting Carter research Zero Matter, and following the dissolution of the Strategic Scientific Reserve, co-founded S.H.I.E.L.D. along with Carter to be its successor.

Later in life, Stark married a woman named Maria and had a son, Tony. He co-developed the Arc Reactor with Anton Vanko and worked alongside Hank Pym during the Cold War. Stark neglected Tony, choosing to focus on his work, although he did care for him and had hopes that he would change the world. After managing to recreate the Super Soldier Serum, Stark and his wife were targeted by HYDRA and assassinated by a brainwashed Winter Soldier.


Early Life[]

Poor Upbringing[]

"I grew up on the Lower East Side. My father sold fruit. My mother sewed shirtwaists for a factory. Let me tell you, you don't get to climb the American ladder without picking up some bad habits on the way."
―Howard Stark to Peggy Carter[src]
Boy genius

Howard Stark as a young boy

Howard Stark was born on Wednesday, August 15, 1917 in Richford, New York[1] to his father, Howard Stark, Sr. who sold fruit and his mother who sewed shirtwaists for livings. Whilst growing up in the Lower East Side of New York City, he became good friends with Joseph Manfredi. Growing up, he learned that society puts limits to success based on ones' economic status or gender, so he became good at lying to get what he needed.[3] He became an industrial genius, multi-millionaire, inventor, and businessman, attending multiple international conferences, such as the one where he met Abraham Erskine in Geneva, Switzerland, in May 1934.[4]

World War II[]

Strategic Scientific Reserve[]

Stark Phillips

Stark joins Project Rebirth

"Mr. Stark? If I could have a word."
"Colonel Phillips! What are you doing skulking in the shadows? The show's just getting started."
Chester Phillips and Howard Stark[src]

In 1939, Stark founded Stark Industries. A year later, at Ciro's, Los Angeles, California, Stark began a demonstration which would showcase vibranium, a metal discovered by Stark Industries researchers in Wakanda. Later, Stark met with Chester Phillips after being attacked by HYDRA assassins, and agreed to join Phillips' newly created Strategic Scientific Reserve.

He participated in the rescue operation where Peggy Carter saved Abraham Erskine from a HYDRA castle.[4] When Franklin D. Roosevelt declared that the United States would build fifty thousand planes, following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Stark rose to the challenge and produced a hundred thousand planes for the American war effort.[5]


Stark demonstrates the Hovercar

In 1943, Stark hosted the first Stark Expo in New York City, demonstrating new technology that could allow cars to hover; however, the technology was not yet perfected and the car crashed to the ground. As the military's weapons contractor, Stark was working with the Allies during World War II, performing multiple experiments for them and working as their weapons specialist.[6]

Project Rebirth[]


Stark meets Rogers at Project Rebirth

"Peg, all I've done my whole life is create destruction. Project Rebirth was... He was the one thing I've done... that brought good into this world."
―Howard Stark to Peggy Carter[src]

Stark was instrumental in Project Rebirth orchestrated by the Strategic Scientific Reserve that Steve Rogers underwent in order to become the first super soldier. When Abraham Erskine asked how things were progressing, he confirmed everything was ready although there was a risk they would take much of the power away from New York City when they began.

Howard Stark (SSR Brooklyn Facility)

Stark successfully transforms Steve Rogers

Stark and Erskine began their work as they used the Rebirth Pod Stark had built to douse Rogers with Vita Radiation after receiving the Super Soldier Serum from Doctor Erskine. Once Erskine had given a speech to Chester Phillips and the others attending the experiment, Stark activated the machine. When Rogers screamed in pain, Stark was ordered by Peggy Carter to shut down the machine only for Rogers to insist on continuing.

Howard Stark - Project Rebirth Success

Stark being surprised on the success

Despite his reluctance due to the risk of killing Rogers, Stark continued to raise the levels to one hundred percent. As Stark raises the levels of Vita Radiation, he kept on counting up to tens, causing even more pain for Rogers until the process was done. Once the procedure was finished, Rogers was successfully transformed into super-soldier, much to Stark's surprise. Stark and Erskine helped Rogers get on his feet and was congratulated by all of the scientists.

213 (8)

Stark examines HYDRA technology

However, immediately after the experiment concluded, Erskine was assassinated by Heinz Kruger. Rogers managed to catch Kruger, who killed himself with a Cyanide Pill before he could be arrested and then interrogated. Rogers did, however, capture the HYDRA submarine that the assassin had attempted to escape in and Stark was tasked with understanding its technology, which he said was years ahead of the Allied technology.[6] With the death of Erskine, the only formula of the serum was lost forever as well. Rogers' blood samples were taken to try to recreate the serum; from the twelve taken, one was given to Howard Stark.[3]

Working with Captain America[]


Stark flies Steve Rogers to a HYDRA base

"Vibranium. It's stronger than steel and a third of the weight. It's completely vibration absorbent."
"How come it's not a standard issue?"
"That's the rarest metal on Earth. What you're holding there, that's all we got."
―Howard Stark and Steve Rogers[src]

Instead of being used as the soldier he was intended to be, Steve Rogers was used as a propaganda tool and traveled to help spread encouragement and hope. Shortly before one of his performances in Italy, many soldiers were captured by the enemy. Peggy Carter convinced Stark to fly Rogers to the HYDRA factory in Austria. Stark asked Carter if she wanted to join him after the mission for a late night fondue; Rogers thought they were already in a relationship. Rogers leaped from the plane and he completed his mission, helping all the allied soldiers escape.[6]


Stark discusses the power of the Tesseract

Once Rogers had returned from the mission, Stark was stationed at a secret SSR base and met with Rogers again, who gave him a piece of HYDRA tech which Rogers claimed was the most powerful explosive known to man; Stark was doubtful but took the device for testing anyway. Stark questioned that Roger should be giving a speech now, but Roger claimed he had ended his show tour. They were then greeted by Chester Phillips who congratulated Rogers on humiliating Brandt by not showing up.[7]

Howard steve

Stark gives Captain America his new shield

Stark later explained to Rogers what he meant by the earlier fondue reference and they had a brief talk about the minds of women, as Rogers had upset Carter by making some misguided and foolish comments and being caught kissing Lorraine. Stark noted that rather than think too much about the mindset of women, he preferred to focus his efforts on his work, which currently involved keeping Rogers alive during his next mission against Red Skull. Stark then showed Rogers a collection of new shields he had designed for him, as Rogers had now grown attached to the one he had taken on the mission, which had since been damaged by Red Skull.


Stark and Rogers watch Peggy Carter leave

Rogers chose a prototype vibranium shield; while trying it on for size, Stark explained that it was made from the rarest metal on Earth, which could only be found in Wakanda and therefore, they could not make more than one version. Finding the pair admiring the shield, Carter arrived and fired four gunshots at him to test its strength, noting that it did indeed work. Rogers then told Stark that he had his own design ideas for his new uniform.[6]

Testing the Tesseract's Energy[]

Howard energy

Stark experiments with HYDRA technology

"Admission signature is unusual, alpha beta ray neutral, but I doubt Rogers picked up on that. Seems harmless enough, hard to see what all the fuss is about."
―Howard Stark[src]

Stark and his team of scientists were tasked with testing the Tesseract-powered HYDRA weapon that Steve Rogers retrieved from HYDRA Base Camp C3, trying to learn its potential as well as its possible origin. As the experiments took place and Stark's team made notes about the device's energy signatures, Stark felt the device was not as impressive as he was told it was and commented on Rogers' lack of scientific understanding of the device power while Stark continued his own experiments.


Stark discovers the Tesseract's true power

Believing that the Tesseract energy was, in fact, harmless and Rogers had misunderstood and overexaggerated its power, Stark prepared to pull it apart with his machinery. However, when the device was touched, it exploded unexpectedly, shattering the glass and throwing Stark backward. Stunned by the amount of force, Stark could only jokingly say "write that down". Stark began working on ways to understand and counter HYDRA's deadly new power.[6]

Battle of Finow[]

"My lab was raided. They took my samples, my research, all on the orders of General McGinnis. The next day, they dropped it on the Russians to help them take Finow. I flew there afterward to see with my own eyes. What those men did to each other, you can't imagine."
―Howard Stark to Peggy Carter[src]

In 1944, Stark was ordered by John McGinnis to design a gas that would keep United States Army soldiers awake for days. However, his experiments failed. The final product, which he named the Midnight Oil, caused symptoms similar to sleep deprivation, anger, hallucinations, and psychosis. Stark decided not to hand it over to the military in fear of the damage that it could cause to allied or enemy soldiers.

However, McGinnis had other plans, stealing the gas which his soldiers dropped on the Soviet Armed Forces troops near Finow, hoping to help them crush the German defenses. The gas turned the soldiers into bloodthirsty savages, and hundreds of them killed each other. A day later, Stark arrived at Finow and saw the carnage.[8] He returned from there distressed and began construction of his vault in his mansion.[9]

Attack on HYDRA Headquarters[]


Stark briefs the Howling Commandos

"Schmidt's working with powers beyond our capabilities. He gets across the Atlantic, he will wipe out the entire eastern seaboard in an hour."
―Howard Stark[src]

When Captain America successfully captured Arnim Zola, at the loss of Bucky Barnes, the Allies were able to learn of Red Skull's plan to attack the United States. Stark joined Rogers and the Howling Commandos as Chester Phillips discussed their mission plan, noting what was at risk if Schmidt succeeded in his plan. A plan was devised by Rogers to attack the HYDRA Headquarters alone then be joined by the rest of the United States Army.[6]

Losing Captain America[]


Stark searches for Captain America

"Just keep looking."
―Howard Stark[src]

In February 1945, Captain America crashed the Valkyrie in the ocean with the Tesseract. Stark refused to abandon Rogers and charted multiple expeditions out the ocean to search for him.[6] A month later, Peggy Carter led a team including Dum Dum Dugan and Jim Morita to the HYDRA Research Facility Number 4, where Werner Reinhardt and his soldiers were arrested. The objects confiscated there, including the Obelisk, were sent to Stark to be studied.[10]

On V-E Day, Stark tried to kiss Carter, but she pushed him into the water. Due to his fear of water, they had to fish him out.[11] Shortly after the V-E Day, while searching for Rogers in the Atlantic, Stark's expedition discovered the Tesseract, lying on the floor of the ocean after falling out of the Valkyrie during the crash.[6]

The Last Task[]

"My father helped defeat Nazis. He worked on the Manhattan Project. A lot of people, including your professors at Brown, would call that being a hero."
"And a lot of people would also call that war-profiteering."
Tony Stark and Christine Everhart[src]

After the disappearance of Captain America, Stark joined the Manhattan Project and helped the Allied scientists build the first Atomic Bomb. The new weapon was used against Hiroshima, which forced the Japanese militarist government to surrender, effectively ending World War II.[12]

Post-War Life[]

Playboy Lifestyle[]


Stark enjoys the playboy lifestyle

"Did you knowingly sell military-grade technology to enemies of the United States?"
"Not knowingly."
"Did you do it unknowingly?"
"Well, by definition, that would be impossible to answer."
Webster and Howard Stark[src]

With the war over, Stark began enjoying the playboy lifestyle, parting with many high-class celebrity women and sleeping with many others, always having Edwin Jarvis give them a Stark Special Bracelet as a parting gift to remember their time together. He continued to invent new weapons to be used in day to day situations, although many found new purposes such as the Constrictor.


Stark is seduced by Ida Emke

In December 1945, Stark dated Ida Emke and tried to impress her by inviting her to his mansion and one of his warehouses to see many of his inventions, including a self-flying plane and his vault full of weapons. The pair enjoyed each other's company for the weekend before Stark had Jarvis give her a Bracelet as the traditional parting gift.[8] In January 1946, Stark attempted to buy the Roxxon Corporation from Hugh Jones; however, the friendship and deal ended when Stark had an affair with Jones' wife, turning the pair into bitter rivals.[13]


Howard Stark BW

Stark at Congressional hearings

"You know darn well I didn't do this, which means the SSR is looking for the wrong guy. I want to find the right guy. But I'm gonna need someone on the inside, someone I can trust. And, Peg, there's no one I trust more than you."
―Howard Stark to Peggy Carter[src]

On return from holiday, however, some of his inventions, including a document with the formula of the explosive Nitramene as well as many other weapons were stolen. Stark had discovered that someone had cut a hole into the vault in his mansion when he returned from a pleasurable trip to Monaco. Congressional hearings led by Webster were held to determine if Stark was a traitor when some of his inventions were found overseas in Soviet hands. Although Stark defended himself, much of America believed he had sold the weapons to the Russian army.


Stark goes into hiding

Believing that he would never be able to convince the public or government of his innocence, Stark decided to travel overseas to avoid being arrested and to recover his property. Stark met with Peggy Carter and commissioned Carter to recover his weapons and the Nitramene document before it was sold on the black market. He left Edwin Jarvis to assist Carter on her mission, despite her protests, before getting on a boat and leaving the United States. However, his absence at the hearings caused him to be labeled a fugitive, which put him on the top of the Strategic Scientific Reserve's most wanted list.[11]

Return to America[]


Stark returns to the United States

"You certainly know how to pick your partners."
"Mr. Mink is a greedy black-market smuggler, sure, but he got me back into the country and he's predictable in his greed. I like predictable, and I like greedy."
Peggy Carter and Howard Stark[src]

Stark paid smuggler Otto Mink a considerable sum to return from overseas and was collected by Peggy Carter and Edwin Jarvis. Mink's men attempted to get more money from Jarvis; however, they were soon knocked out by Carter and Stark. As they were driving back to Stark's mansion, they soon discovered that several SSR agents were staking out Stark's intended safehouse; the SSR was more determined than ever to apprehend Stark, believing him responsible for Ray Krzeminski's murder.


Stark hides out in the Griffith Hotel

With nowhere else to turn, Carter was forced to take Stark to the Griffith Hotel where she was now living and where Stark had previously had affairs, much to Carter's dismay because she had to hide his presence from Miriam Fry. Once they arrived, Carter hid Stark in the dumbwaiter as she distracted Fry. Although they managed to get to Carter's floor, Stark did not make hiding easy with his flings with Lorraine and other tenants. The frustrated Carter pushed Stark into her room and claimed he was her cousin.


Stark gives Peggy Carter another mission

Stark promised that he would only be staying at the Griffith for three days before he flew to Rio de Janeiro, but first he asked Carter to go into the New York Bell Company and explore their lab to discover which of his inventions they currently held so he knew which ones were still being sold on the black market. When Carter asked why he was the one asking her to do this and not Jarvis, he explained that Jarvis did not have a Camera Pen, which he proudly revealed to her. Stark explained how it could be used so she could bring images of the inventions back to him.[3]

Lies Uncovered[]


Stark and Carter examine the pictures

"Steve Rogers might not still be with us, but he can still save millions of people."
"And how many millions of dollars are you set to make?!"
―Howard Stark and Peggy Carter[src]

Once Peggy Carter returned, they looked through the images together, including some earlier pictures Stark had taken of a previous lover. Stark informed her that he needed her to steal the Blitzkrieg Button, a container holding Steve Rogers' blood. Stark figured that Rogers' blood had extraordinary abilities, including the cure for the common cold, which he did not want to lose to the Strategic Scientific Reserve. However, Stark did not want Carter to know what the device held, so he instead told her that it was a device which would cause a blackout throughout New York City if handled incorrectly.


Stark defends all of his lies to Peggy Carter

When Carter returned with the Blitzkrieg Button, she had already opened it and discovered Stark's lie; she did not give Stark the sample. Furious at his lies, Carter punched and berated Stark for attempting to use something of their friend's for personal gain. Stark tried to defend himself, claiming that because of his family history he lied to protect himself and others from the truth, insisting that Rogers' blood could be used for so much good, keeping his legacy alive. Accepting that he should not have lied to his friend, Stark apologized, but Carter did not accept and ordered him to leave.


Stark secretly meeting up with Edwin Jarvis

Feeling guilty about his actions in lying to her, Stark later had Edwin Jarvis try to speak to Carter and reason with her, but the furious Carter ignored him as well. Stark waited at a shoeshine vendor for Jarvis, who claimed that, despite all the many times he had apologized for Stark over the years for various reasons, he also was disgusted by Stark's behavior with how he had treated Agent Carter. Shortly after Jarvis had left, the man sitting next to Stark asked to borrow the sports section of the newspaper Stark was using to hide his face from police; tired and frustrated, Stark handed the entire newspaper to the man.[3]

Surrender to the SSR[]


Stark and Edwin Jarvis surrender to SSR

"That's everything there is to know about the battle of Finow."
"I really don't care about some old war story."
"Well you should, 'cause all those deaths are on me too."
―Howard Stark and Jack Thompson[src]

Howard Stark and Edwin Jarvis entered the New York Bell Company Office and found it in ruins after a massive explosion just outside the window. They were greeted with guns drawn as Daniel Sousa ordered him to surrender; Stark explained that since he was not hired to build the security systems, he could easily bypass them, despite them being used in the White House. When Peggy Carter rolled her eyes, Stark joked that she had been missing him.


Stark discusses the Battle of Finow

Stark was questioned by Jack Thompson who took offense at his laid-back attitude, reminding him of the deaths of Roger Dooley and Ray Krzeminski among those killed in the Massacre at the Cinema Theater. Stark explained that Johann Fennhoff was using a device called Midnight Oil which had been used by John McGinnis in the Battle of Finow. He told the agents how he had invented the gas to give the Allied soldiers more energy, but accidentally made a poison gas which McGinnis had used without his permission and Fennhoff wanted revenge for the massacre of Russian soldiers.


Stark and Peggy Carter discuss the plan

A plan was devised for Stark to make a public announcement where Fennhoff would likely attempt to kill him, allowing the SSR to capture him. As Stark had Jarvis assist him with getting ready, he also spoke to Carter about the plan, with Stark noting that the Bulletproof Vest provided was junk. He took time to examine his inventions and was horrified at how they had been kept before finding his own bulletproof vest. Carter insisted that he reconsider the plan but Stark claimed he needed to redeem himself in her eyes. As they were leaving Stark quietly stole the Blitzkrieg Button.[8]

Fennhoff's Revenge[]


Stark is cleared of all charges

"Look, if you're gonna kill me, go ahead. I probably deserve it, but... leave innocent people out of it."
"I have no intention of killing you, Mr. Stark. I am going to make you suffer."
―Howard Stark and Johann Fennhoff[src]

In their attempt to draw Johann Fennhoff into the open so he could be captured, Stark and the SSR set up a press conference presenting Stark as no longer a fugitive, but a hero, believing that Fennhoff would be forced to come and attempt to kill him. Stark ensured that Jack Thompson gave a long-winded speech where he continued to compliment Stark, much to Thompson's annoyance. Fennhoff was not deceived; setting up a rifle to fire at the hearing.


Stark is kidnapped by Dottie Underwood

When Stark and Edwin Jarvis attempted to escape in the chaos, they discovered that Fennhoff was using Pike of the New York City Police Department as his thrall and he was able to capture Stark while Jarvis was helpless to save him. Pike did not listen to Stark's attempted bribes and delivered him to Fennhoff and Dottie Underwood, who killed the officer. As they drove along, Underwood held Stark at gunpoint and reminded him of their time together a few months earlier, although Stark failed to remember her name of "Ida Emke" and as a result was hit in the face.


Stark is threatened by Johann Fennhoff

Dottie Underwood and Fennhoff took Stark to one of his warehouses that Stark had shown Underwood months earlier; he still did not recognize her as "Ida Emke". Fennhoff explained his hatred for Stark; his brother was killed when Midnight Oil was deployed in Finow and, since Stark was its creator, Stark was ultimately to blame. Stark explained that he did not want the gas deployed; Fennhoff did not care and hypnotized him to fly a plane over the V-E Day anniversary celebration in Times Square, dispensing nine canisters of Midnight Oil, hoping the chaos would destroy New York City.


Stark flies Midnight Oil into New York

Flying the plane, Stark was continually hypnotized by Fennhoff using the radio. Suddenly Peggy Carter interrupted and begged Stark to return to normal. In his trance, he revealed that Captain America was his greatest creation and he wanted to find his true friend so he and Carter could be reunited. Knowing that if Stark reached the city, Jarvis was tasked to shoot him from the sky, Carter cried for Stark to let Rogers rest in peace and let him go. Carter's words finally got through to Stark and he freed himself of Fennhoff's mind control before turning around and returning to the hanger.


Stark is saved by Peggy Carter

With New York City saved, Stark hugged Carter and Jarvis, thanking them for their help before he finally remembered Ida Emke's name. Stark thanked Carter and Angie Martinelli by giving them one of his houses free of charge. In response to the incident, Stark decided that no one could be trusted with his inventions, so he began a legal battle with the United States Government to have them returned and destroyed. Stark was informed by Jarvis that the Blitzkrieg Button was lost when he was captured by Fennhoff, leading him to believe that Captain America's blood was gone forever.[8]

Stark Pictures[]

"Are they ready for a movie based on a comic book? Sounds like a dreadful idea."
"I'll have you know this is a historical drama. Kid Colt was a real person, and if it fails there'll be a substantial write off come tax season."
Peggy Carter and Howard Stark[src]

Moving out to Los Angeles to procure a defense contract, Stark was impressed by the scene and founded Stark Pictures, his own film studio. Bringing Edwin Jarvis and his wife Ana Jarvis with him, Stark focused his efforts on seducing the location scout while also purchasing exotic animals, including a pet flamingo he named Bernard Stark, much to Jarvis' frustration.[14]

During this time, Stark added to a special car that he had for dates. In this leisure car was a button that adjusted the driver seat to a fully horizontal position if necessary, a special compartment with a change of clothes, and windows with adjustable tints for privacy. There was also a beacon inside, which Jarvis called "the sock on the doorknob", which Stark would activate when he wanted Jarvis to retrieve the car if Stark had abandoned it.[15]

Campaign Financier[]

To get the favor of any elected official, Stark gave campaign contributions to all candidates; this garnered him tickets to campaign parties and rallies. Two tickets in his name were given to Edwin Jarvis for the campaign fundraiser Calvin Chadwick was having.[16]

Zero Matter[]


Stark directs the Kid Colt movie

"Unbelievable. That rift knocked out an atomic explosion like a match. You got a blockbuster switch on your hands, Peg. Got any idea what could do that?"
"Zero Matter, or at least that's what Doctor Wilkes thought. I was hoping you'd have some answers."
―Howard Stark and Peggy Carter[src]

Stark started directing his movie based on the Kid Colt, Outlaw comic book. During the filming of a major duel, Peggy Carter and Edwin Jarvis disrupted production by accidentally getting in the shot. The frustrated Stark called for lunch and went to speak to the pair, suggesting that Carter play one of the roles while she claimed a movie based on a comic book was a terrible idea, despite Stark arguing that the movie was actually a historical drama about a real-life cowboy.


Stark studies the Zero Matter footage

Returning to Stark's home in Los Angeles, Carter showed him footage of the creation of Zero Matter. Stark was incredibly impressed by the discovery and listened as Carter explained how Jason Wilkes had worked on it and been framed as a communist after his death as a result. Stark found a pin seemingly belonging to Wilkes which would make him a member of the Arena Club, a group which only allowed white older males as members which Stark had refused to join. Carter revealed that Dottie Underwood had tried to steal one of the pins, but Stark struggled to remember his own past kidnapper.


Stark discusses the Arena Club

Stark continued to relax and think with a collection of beautiful women he called his production assistants. Carter and Jarvis returned to discuss the Arena Club further, but Stark continued to dismiss them as nothing more than old rich white men. Carter explained she wished to sneak a recorder into their meeting room to make them incriminate themselves which Stark dismissed as a dull plan. Carter, however, insisted that it would be to his liking and stole his drink to convince him to listen to her further.[17]

Causing Chaos[]


Stark welcomes women into the Arena Club

"You know what, Terry, I think I might have been a little harsh on this place. You're not half bad."
"Mr. Stark, it's time to go."
"Actually, your club's terrible and I'm never coming back."
―Howard Stark and Edwin Jarvis[src]

Following Peggy Carter's plan, Stark and Edwin Jarvis went to the Arena Club claiming they were interested in becoming members. Stark, however, complained about not getting a martini and the lack of anything exciting happening. Stating that the club needed more women, Stark opened the doors and welcomed his production assistants inside, which also allowed Carter to sneak through the club.


Stark insults and leaves the Arena Club

Stark was tasked with ensuring that the members and staff of the club were too distracted by the chaos him and his ladies were causing to notice Carter's investigation, a task he took great pleasure in, giving Jarvis the task of making the martinis while he enjoyed the company of the women and watched the security teams panic. Stark continued to speak to Torrance about how he was now enjoying the club until Jarvis informed him it was time to leave, at which point he claimed the club was terrible and left with the women to go back to his swimming pool.[17]

Working with Jason Wilkes[]


Stark studies Peggy Carter's condition

"If he remains his corporeal self."
"We'll get there, I just need to stay alert. Coffee! Who wants a coffee? Maybe Irish coffee! Jarvis, where's the coffee around here?!"
Jason Wilkes and Howard Stark[src]

Peggy Carter returned to Stark's home in a panic as she had seemingly been infected by Zero Matter. While Stark ran some experiments, Daniel Sousa questioned how and why this was happening. Stark revealed that Carter was colder than everything around her, like Jane Scott, Meltzer and Andrew Henry before they died. Stark, however, believed that Carter was not dying due to the strange gravitational field around her and set about proving his theory.


Stark reveals Jason Wilkes

Stark and Edwin Jarvis went into his lab where he had been working on a chemical mixture for processing film reels, intended to push Stark Pictures ahead of the competition. Spraying the mixture around Carter, he revealed Jason Wilkes, who had been turned invisible in the Zero Matter explosion, although Carter was unable to touch him. Wilkes revealed that when he had tried to steal the Zero Matter, Whitney Frost had stopped him and caused the explosion. Before he could reveal anything more, he began to fade away again before Stark could bring him back.


Stark and Edwin Jarvis discuss the future

Stark and Jarvis stepped outside where he asked for more materials to bring Wilkes back, also requesting cheese and Fondue. Stark commented on how good a team Jarvis and Carter made, noting that she put a spring in his friend's step; Stark made it clear that if Jarvis wished to leave his position to work alongside Carter full time then he would support the decision, but Jarvis assured him he was happy in his current position. Carter joined them and asked if she could help at all but Stark insisted that he would work day and night to figure out the solution in order to help save Wilkes.

BA 05

Stark works alongside Jason Wilkes

Remaining true to his word, Stark stayed up all night drinking coffee until he made Wilkes visible for an extended period of time, becoming so casual around Wilkes that he began walking through his body in the search for more coffee. After a second full night of working, Wilkes impressed Stark enough to be ordered a position in Stark Industries, Stark decided to go to Peru to seek the help of Abner Brody. Stark informed Agent Carter of this decision, while she tried to convince him to get some sleep. While Stark frantically got ready to leave, he put Wilkes in charge and told him that Jarvis would help in any way that he could before storming out to find his passport.[17]

Stopping Whitney Frost[]


Stark and Jarvis run over Whitney Frost

"There was a blackness, a dark beyond dark."
"I gotta say, Doc, it's a big disappointment. Crack opens up in the sky and it's a whole lot of nothing?"
"It was more than nothing, it was Zero Matter, consuming everything."
Jason Wilkes and Howard Stark[src]

Stark sent Peggy Carter a design for a Gamma Cannon to assist her in her mission against Whitney Frost;[18] later, he and Edwin Jarvis were called by Aloysius Samberly to help him rescue Carter, Jason Wilkes, Jack Thompson, and Daniel Sousa from Frost. Stark was driven by Jarvis to the Los Angeles Waste Management Facility where their car struck Frost, much to Stark's horror due to Frost's reputation as a movie starlet but Jarvis reassured him that she would be fine. They then ordered everyone to get in the cars to escape.

Howard Stark - Peggy Problem

Stark and Jason Wilkes discuss Zero Matter

Stark and the rest went to the Strategic Scientific Reserve office to study Wilkes and form a plan to stop Frost. Wilkes described his experience inside the Zero Matter dimension as filled with nothing but darkness, much to Stark's annoyance as he had hoped for something more interesting than nothing. However, Wilkes insisted that Zero Matter was like cancer that if Frost got her hands on, she could use to infect the entire planet. Stark then confirmed that Wilkes was completely clear of Zero Matter, although he was mildly ill before joking about how Carter's life was often being threatened.[19]

Deal with the Devil[]

Howard Stark - Butter Knife

Stark discusses containing the Zero Matter

"How do the most successful scientists achieve greatness?"
"Given your history, drinking copious amounts of alcohol and cavorting with loose women."
"That's a good guess, but it's wrong. Nope, they get smarter people to do the research, then they steal it for themselves."
―Howard Stark and Edwin Jarvis[src]

Stark returned to his mansion, whereas he ate with Peggy Carter and Jason Wilkes, they discussed the number of portraits Stark had of himself around the mansion. Wilkes commented on their plan to build a new Gamma Cannon as it would still cause the Zero Matter to be stuck on Earth; Stark suggested they build a containment unit so he could study it in greater detail at Stark Industries. Carter called it a terrible and clearly highly selfish idea.

Joseph Manfredi & Howard Stark

Stark speaks with Joseph Manfredi

When Stark ran out of mustard, he shouted for Edwin Jarvis to bring more. However, Jarvis was held captive by Joseph Manfredi. Stark soon revealed that they knew each other. Manfredi asked the group to help him save Frost from the Zero Matter. Manfredi told Stark that Frost was planning to open another rift and Carter came up with a plan to beat Frost at her own plan by opening the rift first and taking the Zero Matter from her. Stark suggested they steal Frost's plans, and Carter and Daniel Sousa then left with Manfredi for him to distract Frost while they retrieved her research.

Howard Stark - SSR (2x10)

Stark discusses the name of the machine

Once he had copies of Frost's plans, Stark began studying them with Wilkes and Aloysius Samberly at the Auerbach Theatrical Agency. The three quickly figured out what Frost had planned and progressed to arguing over the naming rights to the machine. Carter broke in and asked if they had made a plan; Wilkes replied that there were many problems to overcome. Carter told the three that they were brilliant and would solve the problem, walking away and naming the machine herself. Stark, Samberly, and Wilkes agreed that her name idea was good and returned to their real work.


Stark smugly flirts with Rose Roberts

While everyone worked together to build the machine, Stark worked closely with Rose Roberts, flirting with her about her hands, much to the annoyance of Samberly who tried and failed to join in with the conversation. Eventually, they were interrupted when Jack Thompson arrived and asked how he could help; Carter asked him to collect the dinner orders, which he agreed to due to his lack of skills as a scientist. Working through the night, they eventually built what Carter had already named as the Rift Generator.[19]

Creating the Final Rift[]

Howard Stark & Edwin Jarvis - Studio Lot

Stark opens the Zero Matter rift

"There is one other option, but it's not good. We could use the manual override."
"Well, then use it."
"The crank is on the device, on the right-hand side of the base."
―Howard Stark and Peggy Carter[src]

The next morning, they set up with Rift Generator designed by Stark Industries and discussed their plan for attracting creating the Rift that would undoubtedly attract Whitney Frost to them. Once Jason Wilkes had discussed the dangers of their experiment, noting that they could not step too close to the rift for fear of being sucked inside, Stark activated the machine and caused the rift to open in front of the group.

Stark plays golf - The Rift

Stark plays golf beside the rift

While they waited for Frost to arrive, Stark amused himself by playing golf and attempting to hit the balls into the rift, although he struggled to get even close. When Peggy Carter asked for an update, Wilkes mocked Stark for the misunderstanding of his priorities. Becoming more and more frustrated by constantly failing to hit the rift, Stark asked Edwin Jarvis what he was doing wrong, Jarvis commented on the fact that they were currently standing in front of what he described as an incomprehensible rip within the fabric of their world, before suggesting he instead use a different club for his swing.

Hollywood Ending 2

Stark shoots Whitney Frost with the Cannon

Eventually, Daniel Sousa warned the group that Frost had finally arrived on the set and was making her way towards the rift. Stark and Jarvis got behind the Gamma Cannon, took aim and fired it at Frost, causing the Zero Matter to be ripped from her body and sucked inside the rift, while she begged them to get it back, Carter, Sousa and Jack Thompson took her into custody. Stark, however, quickly realized that there was an issue with the machine as it was not closing the portal, noting that Cannon was still recharging and the machine could only be shut down by getting close to it. Stark bravely volunteered to shut it down himself as did the rest of the group until they realized that Sousa was already doing it by himself.

Human Chain (Agent Carter 2x10)

Stark attempts to save Daniel Sousa's life

As they watched Sousa attempted to shut down the machine by hand, they discussed other methods, with Jarvis running to try something. Suddenly Sousa's rope broke free and the group was forced to hold on to it to keep him out of the rift. However, Jarvis returned and decided to use Stark's Hovercar to drop the Gamma Cannon inside the rift and detonate it there. The plan worked and when the hovercar exploded, the rift was shut down, with Stark commenting to Jason Wilkes that it did indeed work as Wilkes had previously doubted it, while the exhausted Sousa was left to collapse.[19]

Hiring Jason Wilkes[]

Howard Stark - Cup of Coffee

Stark has coffee with Peggy Carter

"Stark has very graciously offered me a position at his new facility."
"I have all this land in Malibu, it's not doing anything. There's this new project I came up with in Peru, I think it could be big."
Jason Wilkes and Howard Stark[src]

Back at Stark Mansion, Stark and Peggy Carter argued about him being given the Zero Matter to research for the benefit of humanity until Jason Wilkes arrived and teased him about it. Stark then revealed to Carter that he had decided to hire Wilkes into Stark Industries to work on some new and exciting project that he had come up with while working in Peru. Stark then informed the pair that he would be going for a swim, warning them that he intended to do it in the nude.[19]

Start of S.H.I.E.L.D.[]

Howard stark agent carter

Stark orders the promotion of Peggy Carter

"Tell her she'll be running S.H.I.E.L.D. with me."
"Agent Carter?"
"Let her know that you're honored to bring her the news."
―Howard Stark and John Flynn[src]

Stark called to the Strategic Scientific Reserve New York Office and informed John Flynn that the successful mission was more a notch in Peggy Carter's belt than a feather in her cap. He went on to tell Flynn that he had decided that Carter was going to run S.H.I.E.L.D. alongside him.


Stark and Dum Dum Dugan discuss bikinis

Enjoying his discomfort at the concept, Stark then told Flynn that he was to inform Carter that he was honored to bring her the news. Stark later sat by his mansion's swimming pool together with Dum Dum Dugan as they discussed bikinis. Dugan asked Stark if he invented them and he said no, bikinis were invented by the French, with Dugan transfixed by the beautiful women wearing them by the pool.[20]

As he planned, Stark finally founded S.H.I.E.L.D. in 1949, along with Peggy Carter and Chester Phillips.[21] The SSR was reformed as the scientific division of S.H.I.E.L.D.[22] and continued to work on researching the advanced weapons captured from HYDRA as well as the Tesseract.[23]

In 1955, Stark assigned Daniel Sousa to deliver a groundbreaking device, created by Niles Lindmore to Los Angeles, which would ensure the future of S.H.I.E.L.D. Stark's contact successfully collected the device from Sousa at the Hotel Roosevelt, however, Sousa was killed by HYDRA agents afterwards.[24]

Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S.[]

"He was on to something big, something so big that it was gonna make the nuclear reactor look like a triple-A battery."
"Just him, or was Anton Vanko in on this, too?"
"Anton Vanko is the other side of that coin. Anton saw it as a way to get rich. When your father found out, he had him deported."
Nick Fury and Tony Stark[src]

Having discovered the Tesseract in 1945 while searching for Steve Rogers, Stark studied the cube's energy once more in an attempt to harness its power as HYDRA had.[6] Unable to do so, Stark worked with Anton Vanko to create the Arc Reactor, a renewable energy source based on the Tesseract[5] that he had installed in the Stark Industries Headquarters.[12] While working on the reactor, he and Vanko engaged in a conversation over lunch where they discussed the possibilities of arc reactor technology.[25] Stark saw the Arc Reactor as the stepping stone to create a new, stable element that would render nuclear power obsolete while also a step closer to harnessing the Tesseract's power.[5] However, Vanko saw the Arc Reactor as a way to get rich. When Stark found out, he had Vanko and his family deported.[25]

Finding himself unable to move forward with the Arc Reactor, Stark was instrumental in the creation of Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S., a joint venture between S.H.I.E.L.D., NASA and the United States Air Force tasked with studying and harnessing the Tesseract's energy[5][23] and to whom he relinquished custody of the Tesseract.[26]

Later Years[]


Stark with Obadiah Stane

"I'm glad Howard got married. I only knew him when he was young and single."
"Oh, really? You two knew each other? He never mentioned that. Maybe only a thousand times."
Steve Rogers and Tony Stark[src]

Stark eventually fell in love with and married a woman named Maria.[25] He continued developing weapons for the United States Armed Forces and S.H.I.E.L.D. during the Cold War. He met several American presidents, including Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard Nixon. He also took on Obadiah Stane as a partner at Stark Industries, who advised Stark to focus on weapons development.[12]

Edwin Jarvis & Howard Stark

Stark is picked up by Jarvis from work

In 1970, Maria was pregnant with their child. Stark asked Edwin Jarvis to collect him from Camp Lehigh and drive him to his wife. Eventually, they had a son named Anthony Edward "Tony" Stark.[27] Although Stark was secretly proud of Tony, he was very cold and distant with his son.[5] Stark also told Tony stories about his idol and close friend Captain America, causing Tony to develop a sense of hatred and jealousy for the super soldier.[2]

Stark Expo[]

Stark Expo 74

Stark unveils the new Stark Expo

"Everything is achievable through technology – better living, robust health and for the first time in human history, the possibility of world peace. I'm Howard Stark, and everything you'll need in the future can be found right here."
―Howard Stark[src]

In 1974, Stark hosted his last Stark Expo, a fair he had created in 1943 to showcase innovation in technology, intent on ushering a bright future for mankind. By the 1970s, Stark had accepted that he was limited by the technology of his time and could not finish the new element he had discovered following his research of the Tesseract, and entrusted his son Tony to see it through.

Howard Stark (1974)

Stark in his video message to his son

Embedding the atomic structure of the new element in the 1974 Stark Expo model for Tony to decipher, Howard left a message for Tony in one of his film reels, where he proclaimed that Tony was and would always be his greatest creation. Howard also informed Nick Fury at some time that Tony was the only one who would be able to perfect the Arc Reactor technology.[5]

This section requires expansion

Tony's Graduation[]


Howard talks to his son

In 1987, Howard met with Tony getting a tan outside in the pool after his graduation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He pushed Tony to start doing stuff in his life, but his son pushed him away. Stark told him that there is a lot of things in his life that he wished he could tell him, but not yet. Edwin Jarvis then hurried Stark and his wife to leave.[25]

Working with Hank Pym[]

Howard Henry

Stark speaks to Hank Pym

"The Pym Particle is a miracle. Please, don't let your past determine the future."
"As long as I am alive, nobody will ever get that formula."
―Howard Stark and Hank Pym[src]

In 1987, Stark asked Hank Pym for his Ant-Man Suit so that S.H.I.E.L.D. agents could use it to stop the radicals in East Berlin who were reverse-engineering HYDRA technology. Pym refused and said that he will be the only person to use the Pym Particles, accepting the mission for himself. Peggy Carter helped Pym train for the upcoming mission. When Pym returned, he informed Stark and Carter about what had happened during his time in Berlin. Stark tried to forbid Pym from doing any more missions, but Pym reiterated his statement that he would be the only one to use the particles and implied that he was willing to do further missions for S.H.I.E.L.D.[28]

1989 Howard Stark

Stark discusses Hank Pym's retirement

However, in 1989, Pym announced his resignation from the organization before Stark, Carter and Mitchell Carson, after he had discovered that S.H.I.E.L.D. was trying to replicate the Particles from the Ant-Man Suit, showing his anger by slamming Carson's head on the desk after he insulted him. Stark tried to convince him to stay, noting that he should not let the death of his beloved wife Janet van Dyne ruin the good work he had done. Pym did not listen and left the Triskelion and went into retirement, vowing to never allow anyone to get his formula.[29]



Stark says a last goodbye to his son

"Help my wife... Please... Help... Sergeant Barnes?"
―Howard Stark to the Winter Soldier[src]

One Christmas, Stark and his wife prepared to go away for a few days and leave their son alone, although Stark remained highly skeptical about how responsible Tony would be while they were gone, which led to Howard getting into another argument with his son.[25] Eventually, Howard managed to recreate the Super Soldier Serum. Unfortunately for him, HYDRA learned about his success.[2] Howard and Maria were killed in an automobile "accident" secretly arranged by Vasily Karpov on Long Island in 1991.[30]

Assassination of the Starks

Stark is murdered by Winter Soldier

En route to the Pentagon, Winter Soldier attacked his car and made it crash against a tree. Stark managed to get out and call for help for his wife Maria. He recognized Winter Soldier as Bucky Barnes but Winter Soldier attacked Stark by repeatedly punching him in the face with his metal arm and cracked his skull, so Stark would appear to have died by his head crashing into the steering wheel.[2]


Funeral and Tributes[]

"My old man had a philosophy. 'Peace means having a bigger stick than the other guy.'"
"That's a great line coming from a guy selling the sticks."
Tony Stark and Christine Everhart[src]

Directly after Stark's death, his body was escorted in a funeral procession that started with thousands in attendance in Manhattan at St. Anne's Church, where the priest Father Paul gave the homily, and stopped at the White House, nearby his burial ground. Accompanying his casket was a fourteen-man joint service drum corps. At his funeral, Obadiah Stane reflected on his passing, quoting that it was a "truly sad day in history", according to a paper posted by The Washington Times. It was left to speculation as to who would take over as the CEO of Stark Industries, a position that would initially be filled by Stane as interim president, and later procured by Stark's son Tony Stark.[12][5]

Stark was memorialized in a mural in Midtown School of Science and Technology[31] and he had a highway named in his memory, Howard Stark Memorial Parkway, in Long Beach, California.[12] In 2015, Stark was remembered by WHiH World News as "one of the brilliant minds that helped shape the world".[32] A biography was published about him entitled The Life and Times of Industrialist Howard Stark.[33]

Tony Stark's Struggles[]

"There's questions I would've asked him. I would've asked him how he felt about what his company did, if he was conflicted, if he ever had doubts. Or maybe he was every inch of man we all remember from the newsreels."
Tony Stark[src]

Tony Stark inherited Stark Industries becoming, at age twenty one, the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company.[12] Nearly twenty years after becoming CEO, Stark watched the 1974 message video and examined the Expo model, helping him discover the new element, noting that his father was still teaching him even after being dead for nearly two decades. The new element was the key to a safer and more powerful Arc Reactor, which Stark needed to power the electromagnet protecting his heart without poisoning his blood.

Creating a miniature Particle Accelerator in his basement lab, Stark was able to synthesize the new element, upgrade the design of the Arc Reactor to clean his blood, and create the Mark VI armor.[5] Captain America was happy for his old friend that had a successful life and raised a family, seeing a lot of him in his son. Unfortunately, Rogers would later have to fight Stark after they discovered that Stark's parents were assassinated by Bucky Barnes. After defeating Stark, Rogers gave up his shield when Stark told him that it belongs to Howard as he helped make it, out of sympathy for both Starks.[2]


"He can be thoughtless... inconsiderate, vain, childish, unreliable, arrogant..."
"You flatter him."
"But he is a good man."
Edwin Jarvis and Peggy Carter[src]

During his early life, Howard was considered to be quite charismatic and comical. He was well known for having flings with different women, sometimes attending the Academy Awards to be around actresses. He had a jeweler create the "Stark Special", a bracelet created of the highest quality of gold and diamonds, to be given to each lover after he had Edwin Jarvis dismiss them. This trait eventually landed him in deep trouble when one of his dates ended up stealing weapons he developed. However, he eventually settled with a woman named Maria and had a son, whom they named Tony. In addition, even beforehand, he also made clear to Captain America after an incident where the latter accused Peggy Carter of "fondueing" with Howard during a fight between the two that, while he had his proclivities, he made sure to avoid indulging in them during the events of the war and focus on his work.

Howard was a playboy who had many flings throughout his years. He often tried to make a move on Peggy Carter despite thinking of her as a woman he respects. He was believed by many to put his own wealth and income over the good of people. He even got into an argument with Carter about creating cures out of Rogers' blood. He insisted it was for good and not for money.

When Maria was pregnant, Howard became more humble, believing his selfishness often outweighed any good he has done for his country. He hoped his child would not be like him.

Sometime after his son's birth, his personality drastically changed. Howard's relationship with Tony was a strained one and Tony, for most of his life, saw Howard as a cold, calculating man who wanted to be rid of Tony, so much that he believed Howard's happiest day was when he sent Tony off to boarding school.

Howard was shown to be very cautious as he left a film message for Tony in the event he died before Tony was old enough to understand the contents of the message. The contents of the film stated Howard left something very important behind for Tony, which ended up saving his life. Howard called Tony his "greatest creation" and trusted that he would carry on his legacy.

According to Tony, Howard had a habit of talking about Captain America non-stop. He felt that, before the birth of Tony, that Captain America was his greatest creation largely due to the perception that all he created were weapons of mass destruction. Howard also saw Captain America as a good friend and was deeply loyal to him, having made several attempts to find him after he disappeared in the Ocean. Even though he tried everything in his power, Stark kept underlying guilt about not finding Steve Rogers when he sought him after his disappearance.

Howard is also shown to be quite sarcastic, a trait he carried with him until his death. Mere hours before his death, he sarcastically insulted Tony who just got home from studying abroad by asking who the "homeless person on the couch" was. He also believed sarcasm is correlated to a person's intellectual potential, possibly stemming from his own intellect and sarcasm. As such, he believed Tony would amount to great things with his life, has told his son that during their last conversation.


"The Great Howard Stark. I have heard much of your genius."
Johann Fennhoff[src]
  • Genius-Level Intellect: Stark was an exceptionally intelligent person, creating weapons and devices that were considered futuristic to most, including other geniuses. Indeed, Howard is one of the few modern scientists famous and prominent enough to be pictured in the science lab of Midtown School of Science and Technology. His intelligence was well beyond the technology of his time, as evidence when he was able to design a new element that could be synthesized by his son decades later.
"Speaking modestly, I'm the best mechanical engineer in this country."
―Howard Stark[src]
"You know who was the expert? Your dad. Howard Stark. Really a father to us all, and to the military-industrial age. Let's just be clear, he was no flower child. He was a lion."
Justin Hammer to Tony Stark[src]
  • Master Businessman: Stark, despite his poor upbringing, was able to found the company Stark Industries, which became viewed as the apex among its competitors, and made him a rags-to-riches millionaire. Howard would also later help Peggy Carter and Chester Phillips found the agency S.H.I.E.L.D.. His business expertise gave him the idea of the Stark Expo.
"Stark is the best civilian pilot I've ever seen."
Peggy Carter[src]
  • Master Pilot: Stark, according to Peggy Carter, was the best civilian pilot she had ever seen, with her enlisting his help to fly over enemy airspace during World War II while transporting Captain America to Austria.
  • Multilingualism: Stark was fluent in his native English, as well as Latin, Spanish, French, Japanese, and Korean.[1]



"Howard Stark fished that out of the ocean when he was looking for you. He thought what we think; the Tesseract could be the key to unlimited sustainable energy."
Nick Fury to Steve Rogers[src]








Appearances for Howard Stark

In chronological order:

In narrative order:


Behind the Scenes[]


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The Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Howard Stark.
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The Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki has a collection of quotes related to Howard Stark.
Preceded by:
CEO of Stark Industries
Howard Stark
Succeeded by:
Obadiah Stane

External Links[]