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Tony Stark was born into the fast-paced world of Howard and Maria Stark.  Howard was the founder of Stark Industries and was America’s leading munitions maker during the cold war.  He had always wanted a son to carry on the family name and business.  Finally, after years of trying, Tony Stark was born.  He would be the Stark’s only child.  Early on Tony did not have a good relationship with his father.  His father was an alcoholic and tended to take his frustrations out on Tony.  He was angry because his son was a bookworm and not an athlete.  Tony found solace in building things with a simple Erector set, he discovered he had a talent for creating wondrous things.  Finding his bookwork son and embarrassment, Howard sent him off to boarding school at the age of seven.  Tony had made a few friends at the boys’ school, but he spent much of his time reading.  The young prodigy eventually returned home for awhile, but was shipped off to Europe after falling in love with the daughter of one of Howard Stark’s business rivals.  Tony eventual graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a double major in physics and engineering.  This all happened while he was still a teenager.  After his graduation, Tony gained access to his trust fund.  He meant to push his new-found freedom to the limits.  Dangerous adventures became a new hobby of his as he searched for excitement and something to do with his life.  For the most part though, he was wasting his life and his great potential in his pursuit of thrills.  He needed a direction for his life.  Then tragedy struck and changed Tony Stark’s life forever.  The brakes failed in his parents’ car and they perished in an automobile accident.  Tony found himself owner and C.E.O. of Stark Industries.  He now had a purpose.  With his inventions, the young man turned the company into the world’s leading innovator in electronics.  He had to grow up quickly and was becoming much more mature than he had been.  Still feeling like something was missing from his life, Stark arranged a visit to Southeast Asia to visit his plant there on a whim.  Or maybe it was fate.  While he was there, Stark stepped on a land mine.  The explosion resulted in shrapnel tearing into his body.  The shrapnel that was lodged in his body began moving towards his heart.  Wong Chu, the communist warlord responsible for the land mine captured Stark and demanded that he create a mighty weapon for him before he died.  With the help of his fellow captive Professor Ho Yinsen, Stark created an iron battlesuit that not only amplified his strength, but the chestplate of it also kept his heart beating.  Tony then fought his way to safety as an invincible Iron Man.  Tony Stark finally found his calling.  He painted the armor a golden color and began his crimefighting career in New York as the Invincible Iron Man.  He went on to become a founding member of the Avengers.