Sunday, April 29, 2012

Iron Man: Stark Naked

As the day draws nearer, we only have two more Ultimates left, Iron Man and Captain America. Today: Iron Man.

Prefacing this with a note. In the Ultimate universe, Tony Stark has two biographies, though one was later retconned.

In the retconned version, Antonio "Tony" Stark is a genetic accident. While his mom, Maria Cerrera, was pregnant with him, there was an accident that changed the genetic structure of both her and the unborn Tony. While the accident led to Maria's death, it made Tony's whole body into one giant brain by creating brain tissue throughout his body. The unfortunate side-effect of this is that Tony's skin is incredibly sensitive. So much so that even air on his skin gives him the sensation of burning. Luckily, Stark's father created a liquid armor to protect him.

Zebediah Stane, wanting to find the secret behind this liquid armor, kidnaps Tony and washes the armor off (this armor can stop bullets and take a severe beating, but fails to some soap and water). Naturally this is torture to Tony as the lack of armor causes him to be in pain when the air hits his skin. Later on in life, Stark is enrolled in a school for super geniuses. The kind of school that makes MENSA kids look like bumbling idiots. There he witnesses Obadiah Stane murder two students and works harder at his plans of improving his armor. Once Tony takes control of Stark Enterprises, he uses it to create the prototypes of the Iron Man suit we've all come to know and love.

Because of the genetic accident, Tony is naturally incredibly intelligent, but also has incredible regenerative abilities. At one point his entire lower body was destroyed, but regrew itself almost immediately. Later on, when confronting Obadiah's mother, she shoots him in the head and he regenerates.

In the now canon version, Tony is almost identical to the movie version, except instead of shrapnel spreading from his chest, he has a brain tumor that will kill him within the next few years. Once he hears about Nick Fury putting together a team of superstar super heroes, he immediately volunteers his services.

As for the mainstream comic version, Tony Stark is identical to the movie version. He was kidnapped to develop weapons for Wong-Chu. During the kidnapping, a trap severely injured him and sent shrapnel into his chest that is moving towards his heart. Ho Yinsen creates a magnetic chest plate that keeps the shrapnel from getting to Stark's heart. Using the workshop and all the materials given to them to create weapons, Stark and Yinsen to construct a suit of powered armor. During the escape, Yinsen sacrifices himself to give Tony time to get out of there. Because the shrapnel can't be removed without killing Tony, he must continue to wear the chest plate.

There is one common theme among all of the different versions of Tony Start. He is a multi-billionaire, egocentric at best, down right cocky at worst. Of course he's a playboy, and in the Ultimates, he even hits on Laura Bush. Stark is also an alcoholic and often drinks absurd amounts when stressed.

As far as the suit goes, it is made of a super strong material that can withstand most normal attacks. The jets and repulsors in his gloves allow for controlled flight. Stark can also use the glove repulsors or his chest mounted uni-beam as weapons.

Later on this week (but before the movie), we'll be finding out more about the last Ultimate and the First Avenger, Captain America