Iron Man 2020

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Iron Man 2020
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Machine Man Vol. #2 (Nov. 1984)
Created by Tom DeFalco
Herb Trimpe
In-story information
Alter ego Arno Stark
Abilities Armor grants:
Superhuman strength and physical resistance
Energy blasts

Iron Man 2020 (real name Arno Stark) is a fictional character in Marvel Comics. He is a superhero appearing as the counterpart of the superhero Iron Man in the future year of 2020 in the multiverse.

Publication history[edit]

Iron Man 2020 first appeared in the second issue of the Machine Man limited series (1984) and was created by Tom DeFalco and Herb Trimpe.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Arno Stark is the future first cousin once removed of Tony Stark. His father is Stark's unscrupulous cousin Morgan Stark. Arno inherited Tony Stark's company Stark Industries and rather than use the armor for heroic deeds, prefers to act as a hired mercenary or commit acts of corporate espionage to cripple his competitors for industrialist gain.[1]

In his original appearance, the Iron Man of 2020 was employed by Sunset Bain (then an old woman) to destroy Machine Man, who had been accidentally discovered and subsequently reactivated by the Midnight Wreckers, rebellious youths who scavenged discarded technology. Despite ostensibly superior power, Iron Man was defeated by the furious Machine Man, who went on to claim "I'm a better man than you." [2]

In another story, Arno Stark's factory is infiltrated by a heavily-scarred man named Robert Saunders, who starts a countdown on a powerful bomb of Stark's design, threatening Stark's wife and son (trapped in the factory) and the surrounding city. The only way to deactivate the device is with a retinal scan of Saunders, but he is killed and his body destroyed while trying to escape. To get the scan data, Stark travels back in time to the "present" (i.e. 1986, when the story was published[3]) to find Saunders as a child. He is soon mistaken for the "current" Iron Man (Tony Stark) and attacked by one of Tony Stark's enemies Blizzard (Gregor Shapanka). Arno, knowing his time in the 20th century is limited, kills Blizzard and continues his search for the young Saunders. This draws the attention of Spider-Man, who also mistakes Arno for Tony and further mistakes Arno's attempts to get a retinal scan from Saunders as an attack on the boy. While protecting Saunders, Spider-Man evades various attempts by Arno to get hold of the boy, while Arno becomes increasingly desperate as his time in the 20th century nears its end. One of Arno's attacks seriously injures Saunders (inflicting the scars that would eventually lead his vengeance-minded future self to sabotage Arno's factory, thus Arno unwittingly creates the situation he traveled back in time to resolve) and Spider-Man is sufficiently angered to directly attack the much more powerful Arno. Surprised by the assault and overwhelmed by Spider-Man's far greater speed, Arno's armor is significantly damaged. When he is pulled back to his own time, he finds himself standing in the center of a huge crater, having returned too late to prevent the bomb's detonation and the destruction of his family, factory and city.

In a later appearance, Iron Man 2020 fought the time-traveling cyborg Death's Head.[4]

Iron Man 2020 also had his own one-shot in June 1994, in which he faces off against an industrial rival who seeks to use him to destroy all his competitors all at once, sacrificing his own daughter in the process. At the end of the story, Arno Stark and the girl, Melodi, get together, suggesting an evolution towards a more heroic role again. Meanwhile, the background character Howard is revealed (if only to the reader) to be an aged Tony Stark himself who intends to guide his young cousin.[5]

He (or an alternate version of him) has been seen imprisoned in the time cells of the Time Variance Authority, the holding facilities for the most "dangerous time-travel offenders".[6]

In 2023, Arno Stark makes helicarrier technology available for public use, to start with in the form of a helicruiser called the "Spirit of free enterprise". At the same time, he has supplied S.H.I.E.L.D. with a far more advanced replacement Hypercarrier. Unfortunately, his launching the airborne cruise ship has raised the ire of the aged sky pirate, Commodore Q. Arno has married Melodi at this point and "Howard" remains his retainer. He also employs a squad of fetal Extremis enhanciles' who act as his personal armored combat squad.[7]

A version of Arno's armor left in the present is stolen by the Sinister Six as part of Doctor Octopus's plans against the Avengers, using technology from the armor to devise a means of defeating the Iron Man of the present.[8]

Arno is later rescued from a collapsing timeline by Kang the Conqueror who recruits him as part of a team of multiversal characters tasked with combating the Apocalypse Twins.[9]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Iron Man 2020 wears a suit of highly sophisticated armor, similar in appearance to the classic (circa Model 5) Iron Man, with the exception of the faceplate and shoulders. Beam weapons are fitted in the gauntlets of the suit, as well as the chest beam and shoulder epaulets. The user no longer requires a cybernetic link in the helmet to control the armor; the helmet can also be hidden via cloaking technology, which was presumably developed based on the Chameleon mode of the Silver Centurion armor. Iron Man 2020's systems are built for warfare, not super heroics like the original Iron Man. Iron Man 2020's repulsors (and an arsenal of other weapons) always fire at maximum power for the most lethal effects. Curiously, Iron Man 2020 also has the 1970s-era Iron Man rollerskates (updated to a "roller blade" style[volume & issue needed]) built into the boots of the suit.

Other versions[edit]

Avengers Forever[edit]

A version of Iron Man 2020 appeared as one of the multidimensional "potential" Avengers in Avengers Forever.[10]

Marvel Zombies[edit]

In the pages of Marvel Zombies 5, Arno Stark is a businessman in Earth-483 (a dimension heavily influenced by a "wild west" theme). He attempts to hire the heroic Hurricane to perform daring stunts for his shows. Instead, Arno is slain and transformed by a zombie. He proceeds to rampage through town, causing the deaths of most of the citizens including the Hurricane.[11]

Paradise X[edit]

The Iron Man of 2020 appeared in the Paradise X mini-series alongside numerous Marvel heroes from different time-lines, such as a version of Storm named "Bloodstorm" from the Mutant X reality, Deathlok, Spider-Girl and Wolverine (in his Days of Future Past form).[12]


An alternate version of Arno has since been introduced in the mainstream Earth-616 continuity as the previously unknown brother of Tony Stark. The character was created by Kieron Gillen and Dale Eaglesham.

He is revealed to have been genetically altered by the Recorder known as 451, who intended for the child to grow up to pilot a suit of armor known as the Godkiller. Upon learning this, Howard Stark sabotaged the experiment which rendered Arno crippled and unable to speak without the use of machines.[13]

His existence was purposefully kept a mystery until decades later when he was discovered by Tony at the Maria Stark Foundation.[14]

He and Tony begun transforming the decrepit Mandarin City into a futuristic utopia called Troy.[15] Tony and Arno's plan soon found opposition in the form of the Rings of the Mandarin who started searching for hosts to destroy Tony and Troy.[16] The Mandarin-One named Lord Remaker bombed the Troy Central Control and Arno Stark was seemingly killed.[17] However, Arno Stark had deployed his own suit of armor with which he later helped Tony and the Trojan Guard fight the enemy forces. After realizing the city would never be safe as long as he was attached to it, Tony Stark quits working directly on Troy leaving Arno the position of the city's new custodian.[18]

Arno Stark later began working on a remake of the Extremis virus.[19]

Armor Wars[edit]

On the Technopolis area of Battleworld during the Secret Wars storyline, Arno is the brother of Tony Stark (the region's ruler).[20] He colludes with Wilson Fisk to help undermine his brother's rule and seeks to steal new armor designs from Kiri Oshiro (the niece of Rumiko Fujikawa).[21]


  1. ^ Machine Man #2
  2. ^ Machine Man #3
  3. ^ Amazing Spider-Man Annual #20
  4. ^ Death's Head #10
  5. ^ Iron Man 2020 graphic novel
  6. ^ She-Hulk vol. 2 #3 (Feb. 2006).
  7. ^ "Astonishing Tales (2009) #1-6"
  8. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #683
  9. ^ Uncanny Avengers #14
  10. ^ Avengers Forever #1-12
  11. ^ Marvel Zombies 5 Vol. 5 #1 (2010)
  12. ^ Paradise X: Heralds #2 (2002)
  13. ^ Iron Man vol. 5 #9-12
  14. ^ Iron Man Vol. 5 #17
  15. ^ Iron Man Vol. 5 #19
  16. ^ Iron Man Vol. 5 #20
  17. ^ Iron Man Vol. 5 #21
  18. ^ Iron Man Vol. 5 #22
  19. ^ Iron Man Vol. 5 #26
  20. ^ Armor Wars #1
  21. ^ Armor Wars #2

External links[edit]