| Mark I: A crude, basic suit that Tony Stark was forced to build while imprisoned by terrorists.|
Mark II: This prototype was the first suit designed with Tony's resources in America, and was equipped with many advanced technologies not found in the Mark 1. It was used for flight testing. The Mark 2 later saw action and was eventually heavily modified into the War Machine Armor. Another Mark 2 was built for Tony's armor gallery.
Mark III: This suit was constructed with a lighter gold titanium alloy, and given a red paint job. It addressed the icing problems of the Mark 2, and was armed with a variety of weapons. The Mark 3 heavily damaged. This suit was only partially rebuilt, and it was labelled "Battle Damaged" in Tony's armor gallery.
Mark IV: Built after the Mark 3 was severely damaged in the fight against Iron Monger. This suit was used during international conflicts but was eventually in need of maintenance. Marked with stability problems.
Mark V: This red and silver "Suitcase Suit" was only lightly armed and armored. It was designed for easy transportation, and could be folded into a lightweight suitcase. Was heavily damaged, idea was eventually scrapped.
Mark VI: Similar to the Mark 3 and 4, this was the first suit to use a non-palladium power core. It was further streamlined for better flight capabilities and armed with new weapons. It was heavily damaged in the Hellicarier crisis.
Mark VII: This advanced suit could automatically fly to and wrap itself around its user, without any need for external mechanical assistance. The Mark 7 was a bulkier suit that was far more heavily armed than its predecessors. It included additionial repulsor thrusters on its back, chest, and calves. Used in the battle for New York.
Mark XV: "Sneaky" Stealth Armor.
Mark XVI: "Nightclub" Black Stealth Armor.
Mark XVII: "Heartbreaker" Artillery Level RT Armor.
Mark XXII: "Hot Rod" Armor.
Mark XXV: "Striker" Heavy Construction Armor.
Mark XXXIII: "Silver Centurion" Enhanced Energy Armor.
Mark XXXV: "Red Snapper" Disaster Rescue Armor.
Mark XXXVII: "Hammerhead" Deep Sea Armor.
Mark XXXVIII: "Igor" Heavy Lifting Armor.
Mark XXXIX: "Gemini" Sub Orbital Armor.
Mark XL: "Shotgun" Hyper Velocity Armor.
Mark XLI: "Bones" Skeleton Armor.
Mark XLII: Autonomic Prehensile Propulsion Armor.
"It must be a strange world not being a scientist, going through life not knowing - or maybe not caring - about where the air came from, and where the stars at night came from, or how far they are from us. I want to know." --Michio Kaku
Tony Stark, where do we start? Childhood, Tony’s childhood was a confusing circle, he was born brilliant. A genius, as all Starks are, its a characteristic that carries from one generation to the nest, brilliant but terrible men. Tony however didn’t adapt to having an exceptional mind, even as a baby it was apparent he was strange. When he grew old enough to walk and talk it was even more obvious. He began acting oddly, doing strange things and unless his attention was utterly captured he was easily distracted. When he learnt to talk he would often abruptly change subjects or finish his speech mid sentence, disappearing into his own mind for brief periods. These episodes continued into his childhood, he learned at an exceptional rate, absorbing information and being able to recall it immediately. But he was a difficult kid, constantly needing supervision or attention, neither of which he got.
Being ‘raised’ in the Stark Family mansion meant Tony was often left alone in the huge house for hours on end, alone. He developed an intense fear of being alone during this time and with a wild and vivid imagination his brain -without warning or prompt- often invented monsters for him. Often resulting in night terrors and simply Tony hiding around the house in stupid spots in fear of being found by one of the things his mind had invented. He had no way of distinguishing that made by his imagination and that which was real. His parents were estranged from him as his clicks and twitches developed. After demonstrating his intelligence his father decided to ignore his oddities, often telling him to ‘just stop it’ as though it was something he could ingrain in Tony’s character and prevent. Rather then consulting a doctor or the alike he continued to beat and drum -or at least try to- extricate his strangeness from the rest of him. He frightened his mother to a point with his unusualness that caused a rift between them. He would often come out with things that sounded like nonsense, having the poor filter that a child does.
As he grew older, he began to understand that if he could keep his strangeness to a minimum, he would get into less trouble with his dad. And so began to attempt to suppress such behaviors as best he could. Almost all attempts failed, and whenever he tried to stand on common ground with Howard in areas such as science or physics and design their communication would only go so far until he began to click his fingers or blink irregularly. Any pleasantry would fall short and his father would begin to try and stop his strange behaviors. No Stark could behave like that, it had to be forced out of him, such silly things. This resulted in many emotionally and physically abusive years. ‘Whats wrong with him?’ ‘Why can’t you just be normal?’ ‘I don’t have time for this rubbish’ ‘What a waste’ ‘You’re a disappointment’ He could have handled being hit once in a while, but the words stung more than any bruise.
He found an escape in putting his brain to use, and found himself working constantly on projects from the age of ten, frustrating himself to tears when he was unsuccessful in making a single one of them work.
When Tony turned fifteen he was accepted -forced- to attend the Michigan Institute of Technology and was shipped off to school their. Having finished all available school units to him. While attending the institute he found acceptance, and his teachers, though amused by his strange behaviors encouraged him to continue his studies, especially in Engineering and Physics. Though he took a number of other subjects while at the college in order to enjoy fully scientific freedom. His ideas were embraced at the college, and he wasn’t shunned for his strangeness. He graduated at eighteen, though with no desire to continue on in his fathers foot steps, nor to continue science. He couldn’t escape it, everywhere he looked there was science, numbers equations calibrations angles colors elements and particles. The push and pull of Binary code and could-be-would-be fractions. And attending the Institute only reinforced the constant unorganized ticking of his brain. So a year before he graduated, he sort to quite his thoughts, turning first to a method he knew could drown anything from first hand experience. Alcohol. This he found turned out rather well and while it didn’t completely still his thoughts it muffled them. It was bliss. His next discovery came in the form of a girl he’d a thing for. And one interesting night that brought him to the reasoning that women had a similar effect.
From a young age Tony was taught how to appear in front of the media, most especially he because his father couldn’t have Tony Embarrass him by clicking his fingers or his tongue or anything else that could mean a possible mental illness. Goodness no, so Tony was taught how to smile, laugh and grin and when to do which. How to speak to certain people, and then carted to social events by his mother and occasionally his dad in order to practice such things. And after learning how to do these things, he determined away to devise an outer shell for himself, to keep him safe; so he would be protected. If he could do this, his dad would leave him alone. His mother would love him, and he’d have friends again. If he could just stop being so strange. So thats just what he did, shielding his emotions and the alike behind his ‘Tony Stark’ facade. He became flawlessly good at it. Able to put it up in a second, taking it down though was much harder. If he could make himself someone people would love, maybe he’d be that person. Maybe he could love himself too. And that worked as well, soon enough he was just as in love with himself as he was in loathing. This involved sarcasm, narcism to the nth degree and a large dollop of ass whole-ish behavior.
Once Tony had finished at MIT, rather then go on and continue trying to live through the constant flow in his mind, he adapted his life style to include the two things he knew brought him peace. Which also just so happened to be highly enjoyable and involved a rather fair amount of attention. Something Tony so desperately craved since his childhood. This was all great, lots of women, booze. Life was good, he was away from the disapproving stare of his father, always on his back, and the saddened smile of his mother. Which nearly initiated the opening of a new bottle as soon as it came to his mind. Well it was all fine and dandy needless to say until Tony 19. His parents died that year in a tragic car crash that brought on the rolling out of ‘End of an Error’ news paper in every country in the southern Hemisphere . He wasn’t sure how to feel, of course he was guilty by the wave of strange relief that washed over him. And was violently sick at some point after finding out, because that meant he would have to take the reigns of Stark Industry. And he didn’t want that, he didn’t want to go back to science. He attended the funeral -along with half of the universe- but didn’t cry. His fathers good ‘friend’ Obediah Stane took charge of it until Tony Turned Twenty one two years later.
He fell in love with science, her constant possibilities and ever changing matter. He found himself drawn in by the beauty of numbers, a language he could speak all too fluently and easily from a young age. And despite shouldering a company in crisis and slowly began to put it back together again, writing up new contracts with the American military and other smaller corporations. But his earlier habits weren’t ones he could drop. The women only came in a more constant stream now he owned Stark Industries and the drinking, well, his dry throat had grown addicted to the bitterness and the burn. His earlier habit of not sleeping developed into a serious insomnia-like sleep pattern, or lack there of. He became drawn in again by his Scientific pursuits, his brain -or at least, the majority of it occupied by numbers and such- didn’t require sleep, in fact it repelled it, not switching off long enough to allow such things as shut eye. So Tony began to work no longer by the body clock, or by the analog clock. But by the one ticking away in his head. This meant the company became adversely successful in everything he invented, but it also meant he was running with very little sleep and the inability to catch it up. But he didn’t care, it seemed his shell had so hardened that if he wasn’t left to sit with himself he was as energetic as a man who slept a solid seven hours a night, eight on week ends. He maintained a near perfect outer appearance.
Unfortunately, he became less interested in keeping up with the business side of things, and more with the Scientific side. This resulted in the hiring of his Personal Assistant, Pepper Potts. Who managed to get Tony to his meetings at least an hour within the time he should have arrived and kept him to stay with his schedule. Sort of. He really liked Pepper, she was his best friend, well other then Rhodey. But even he was a fair weather friend from time to time. Pepper was always there, and he tried really REALLY hard not to love her for that. Oh no, Tony was incapable of love. That was a dangerous thing, it was great for a while, and then it turned people bitter and angry and there was lots of yelling. They might get married, and then he’d ruin her. Just like he ruined his parents, and any of his friends, and all of those girls he could hardly remember anything of. What if they had kids or something?! And he cursed a child to have him as a father, to be a Stark. No, he wouldn’t allow that, he wouldn’t allow for love. It was a bad idea. It killed people inside.
The Iron Man suit. A greater man than himself died for that thing, but it gave Tony purpose, he had something to do with his life, he couldn’t just turn his cheek and look the other way. He had a calling, he could help people and try to make up for every mistake, and boy are there a lot of mistakes. But he wasn’t a hero, heroes were people like Captain America. And where were was he when anyone needed him?! Where was he when Howard was grabbing Tony’s arm too tightly? Where was he when his dad was asking why he couldn’t be a little more like Steve Rogers? Where was he...? He was no where. You can’t rely on heroes. But Iron man, he would make him into someone that could be relied on. No one else could ever be Iron Man. That was his responsibility, his redemption, if he could be redeemed. Iron Man was everything he should have been, and Tony Stark was everything he wished he could be. But Tony was what he was. So how could he not join both Tony Stark and Iron Man together when he got the chance? To shields to hide behind and connect together, he was infallible. And he loved it. Sure it bruised him to hear from a guy he didn’t even know that Iron Man was a perfect candidate for the Avengers but he himself wasn’t. Even though he already knew that, he’d kinda hoped they’d pass over his momentary character lapse.
He was an icon, it was great, the suit was super comfy, what more did he need? Other then a way to figure out why every liquor bottle he picked up molded perfectly to his palm. And that he was so bitterly alone but hated company. An awkward situation for any one who can’t decide if they love or hate themselves so decides to live out both and switch between the two so quickly no one will know the difference. He pretty much decided that he was going to die young, and with the Arc Reactor buried in his chest he had a means. And with that, he’d end the Stark family line, so no kid would ever have to suffer the same glorious yet terrible fate.
It didn’t exactly go to plan.