Anthony Stark, son of industrialist Howard Stark, inherited
his father's business, Stark Industries, and within a few years
turned it into a multimillion-dollar industry complex whose chief
contracts were for weaponry and munitions for the U.S. government.
Stark was sent
to Vietnam to supervise a field test for one of his tranistorized
weapons. While he was there Stark trip on a booby trap and a piece
of shrapnel was lodged in his chest. The gravely injured Stark was
taken captive by the Communist leader Wong-Chu, and was informed
that within a week the shrapnel would penetrate his heart and kill
them. Wong-Chu offered Stark at deal: if he built the Communist
a powerful weapon, want to allow Stark to undergo an operation to
save his life. Stark agreed, hoping to gain time and access to tools.
With help Stark
designed and built an electrically powered suit of armor and equipped
with heavy offensive weaponry. The armor also contained a pacemaker
like device which enables Stark's heart to keep beating after the
shrapnel entered it. Donning the suit, Stark connected it to its
power source, an electrical generator. Lying on a table Stark was
helpless until the suit was fully charged. His captor, Wong-Chu,
sensed something was amiss and came to investigate with armed men.
Realizing he was sacrificing his life, Professor Ho Yinsen went
out to confront Wong-Chu, to give Stark the extra time he needed
to charge the armored suit fully. As the Iron Man Stark avenged
Yinsens death and scattered Wong Chu's guerilla troops. Then, still
clad in his armor, which was necessary to keep his heart beating,
stark made his way to the jungle, trying to escape communist territory.
Back in the
United States, Stark redesigned his chest plate, which contained
a pacemaker like device, reducing the chest plates size and wait
so he could wear it under his normal clothing. After redesigning
the entire armored suit to match the letter chest plate, Starks
made the existence of the suit public.
Stark donned one of his battle suits in order to prevent thieves
from stealing parts of the other copies of it. This experience made
him realize that the suit was too dangerous to me made available
to the public.
Iron Man publicly
became a hero, and Stark had a new sense of purpose, having decided
to combat evildoers as Iron Man.