Ultimate Iron Man (character)
from Ultimate Comics: Armor Wars #1(September 2009) by Steve Kurth
|Publisher||Ultimate Marvel (Marvel Comics)|
|First appearance||Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #4 (July 2001)|
|Created by||Brian Michael Bendis
(based upon the original character by Lee, Lieber, Heck & Kirby)
|Alter ego||Antonio "Tony" Stark|
|Team affiliations||Stark Industries
Ultimate Iron Man (Antonio "Tony" Stark), is the Ultimate Marvel version of the fictional superhero Iron Man that first appeared in the fourth issue of Ultimate Marvel Team-Up, written by Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by Mike Allred. He later appeared in the Ultimates and often appears in the same titles they do. In the Ultimate Universe, the character is a wealthy business tycoon and inventor who created the Iron Man power armor. Like his mainstream counterpart, he has a drinking problem and life-threatening affliction; in this case an inoperable brain tumor. With a life expectancy anywhere between six months and five years, he chose to become a philanthropist and superhero.
While the character hasn't yet been featured in his own ongoing series, Stark's early life and origins were initially explored in the Ultimate Iron Man miniseries written by science fiction author Orson Scott Card. However, this origin story is no longer considered canon in the Ultimate Marvel Universe and was retconned as only being a fictional Japanese anime version. On the other hand, the character's adult years have been covered mainly by Mark Millar (in his Ultimates work) and Warren Ellis.
Fictional character biography
In the limited series The Ultimates, when Tony Stark first hears that Nick Fury is assembling a team of superheroes, he volunteers his services. After helping defeat the Hulk, Stark develops a friendship with Thor and Steve Rogers. Though he has many great accomplishments, during the first volume of the Ultimates, he remains unsure of himself, clearly shown when he's heavily beat down and throws up in his own helmet. He acts arrogant, but also constantly doubts his own abilities. In the last issue he seems to decide that he can't continue fighting until a soldier asks, "If you don't do it, who will?". Later, he fights against the X-Men in Ultimate War, captures the Rhino in Ultimate Spider-Man, and fights along with Spider-Man himself in Ultimate Six.
Stark also appears in Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk, where he supports Wolverine being sent to kill Bruce Banner. Stark also criticizes the law being used to stop the Hulk, during which he mockingly suggests creating a Superhero Registration Law referencing the mainstream Stark's support of the Superhero Registration Act. The Ultimate Galactus trilogy also shows the first signs of an early friendship between Stark and Reed Richards (despite the age difference), in addition to him successfully sneaking aboard a Kree spacecraft in Ultimate Secret, and decapitated a Silver Surfer clone in Ultimate Extinction.
The Ultimates 2
In The Ultimates 2, Tony Stark quickly falls in love and proposes to Natasha Romanova in Ultimates 2. Just prior to proposing, Stark gives her a black suit of armor, almost identical to his own. The flight test of the suit includes flying over her homeland, where Stark had paid the three million inhabitants of her hometown to stand in a field, spelling out his proposal, which she immediately accepts. When the Liberators invade America, Natasha shoots Edwin Jarvis and then tries to get Stark, at gunpoint, to transfer much of his fortune to her. However, Stark has ultimate control of the nanites in her bloodstream that allows her to interface with her armor. Using these nanites, Stark incapacitates Romanova and retrieves the enemy plans from her mind with the intention of fighting back against the Liberators. He takes "Iron Man 6", a massive helicarrier-sized ship armed with dozens of laser cannons and machine guns, and wipes out the air force of the Liberators in Washington, D.C. (as well as his opposite Liberator number Crimson Dynamo). He then heads to New York to aid the heroes there. After the battle Stark agrees to finance the now independent Ultimates, and seemingly very quickly gets over Natasha's betrayal with the help of a pretty blonde.
Ultimates 3 and Ultimate Human
Ultimate Power marks the first appearance of the independent Ultimates, fighting against an alternate universe Squadron Supreme. This soon follows with the start of Ultimates 3 which sees Stark becoming a full-blown alcoholic. A sex tape that he made with Natasha during their time together also makes it into the public, causing a PR nightmare for the rest of the Ultimates. In Ultimate Human, which was published around the same time, the focus is on Bruce Banner as he pleads with Stark to cure him of his Hulk affliction just before Ultimatum, which dealt with Magneto's attempt at complete destruction.
New Ultimates and Ultimate Armor Wars
After Ultimatum, the Ultimate Comics: Armor Wars mini-series featured Iron Man racing across the world to find his stolen armor in order to save the remains of his enterprise. In Ultimate Comics: New Ultimates, he began a relationship with Carol Danvers and fought against the returning Loki. In the pages of Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man, he was also involved with Captain America and Thor in training Spider-Man to become a better hero. During this time, his brother Gregory Stark became the new financial manager for the new Avengers team in Ultimate Comics: Avengers, which also featured Rhodey (Tony's former best friend) and a new Black Widow.
Ultimate Comics: The Ultimates
In Ultimate Comics: The Ultimates, Tony Stark is among the central characters and a leading member of the Ultimates. In "The Republic is Burning", he saves a now mortal Thor from the destruction of Asgard. With his Asgardian brethren exterminated by the Children of Tomorrow and Yggdrasil drained of the Odinforce, Thor is no longer a God and Stark takes it upon himself to help Thor resume his role as a God of Thunder. He reveals that he has been keeping Thor's harness and hammer (pieces of EUSS technology that gave him his powers in The Ultimates and The Ultimates 2) and gives it back to the mortal Thor, with some modifications. Stark joins Nick Fury's latest Ultimates roster alongside Thor, Spider-Woman, Hawkeye, Black Widow and Falcon.
Following the reunification of the United States, Tony Stark builds a new red-white-and-blue version of his Iron Man armor and goes by the name "Iron Patriot". The armor is badly damaged in a confrontation with the Dead Hand Hydra terrorist group, and is later cut in half during repairs by the Black Knight.
Ultimate Comics: X-Men
Following the establishment of the mutant nation of Utopia, Tony Stark is appointed as a liaison between Utopia and the United States by President Steve Rogers. Within Utopia, Stark assumes the role of business affairs and military consultant for the fledgling nation. With Kitty's help, he fakes an explosion in one of Utopia's greenhouses that seemingly destroys the 'super seed' developed by the mutants. Later he promises Kitty that once the attention has shifted away from Utopia, he will start releasing the seeds through back channels and have them freely distributed in accordance to Kitty's wishes.
In other media
- In Ultimate Avengers and Ultimate Avengers 2, Iron Man's identity is a composite character of both his original and Ultimate incarnations.
- In The Invincible Iron Man, one of Tony Stark's multiple Iron Man armors resembles Ultimate Iron Man's original suit.
- Ultimate Iron Man's character served as a big inspiration for Iron Man's concept in Iron Man and Iron Man 2. Also, both Iron Man's Mark VII armor in The Avengers and Mark XVII "Heartbreaker" armor in Iron Man 3 resemble Ultimate Iron Man's original armor.
- Ultimate Iron Man's original armor is one of Iron Man's alternate costumes in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, Iron Man, Iron Man 2 and Iron Man 3.
- Ultimate Avengers VS New Ultimates issue 2