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|First appearance||Iron Man #104 (Nov. 1977)|
|Created by||Bill Mantlo (writer)
George Tuska (artist)
|Alter ego||Maria Collins Carbonell|
Fictional character biography
Maria Stark was born Maria Collins Carbonell. In her adulthood, Maria married Howard Stark, and together they had a son that was not her biological son: Anthony "Tony" Stark. Maria was unsuccessful in preventing Tony from seeing Howard's alcoholism, something Tony would later face on his own. Howard secretly programmed Mistress, the AI that controlled the Arsenal robots, with Maria's brain patterns.
On the Ides of March, Maria and Howard were killed in a 'planned' car accident (possibly arranged by the Roxxon Oil Company). Afterwards, Tony ran his father's company, started a charity in his mother's name (which donated funds to finance various charities and renovation projects as well as the Avengers) and later became Iron Man.
The Ultimate Marvel version of the character is renamed as Maria Cerrera, the second wife of Howard Stark. Maria was a brilliant scientist who suffered a genetic accident while she was pregnant with her and Howard's child. After Maria died during childbirth, Howard uses a newly invented biological armor to save the life of their son: Antonio "Tony" Stark, named after Antonio Cerrera (Maria's brother), who died at a young age. Years later, Loni Stane (Howard's first wife) tells Tony twice that she could have been his mother in a different set of circumstances but Tony says he'd still prefer his own mother instead of Loni.
While the Ultimate version of Maria Stark's life that was depicted has been retconned as an in-universe fictional TV show about Iron Man's life, her character is briefly mentioned by Gregory Stark (Tony's brother within the retconned Ultimate Marvel) when he joking says how he "came out of Mother before [Tony]" but this has since been discounted.
In other media
- Maria Stark appeared in the 1990s Iron Man animated series, voiced by Dimitra Arliss. She is seen in the episode "The Origin of Iron Man" Pt. 1.
- In Iron Man: Armored Adventures, Maria Stark's image was used in the second season episode "Iron Monger Lives" when Madame Masque's mask impersonates Maria in order to mess with Tony Stark's head after Tony de-activated the Iron Monger armor using Extremis.
- Hope Davis portrays Maria Stark in Captain America: Civil War. In the film, it shows her death along with her husband's was carried out by the Winter Soldier for Hydra. Producer Kevin Feige revealed that another actress had been cast to appear as Maria Stark in Iron Man 3 in a flashback sequence that did not make the final cut of the film.
- Avengers Annual # 9 (1979)
- "Iron Man (Anthony Stark)". marvel.com. Retrieved October 13, 2013.
- Iron Man - The Iron Age # 2 (1998)
- Ultimate Iron Man #0-5
- Ultimate Comics: Avengers 3 #3
- Breznican, Anthony (May 8, 2016). "Iron Man's mom: Let's talk about her for Mother's Day". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on May 9, 2016. Retrieved May 9, 2016.