Fictional Character Biography
Arno Stark is the future first cousin once removed of the present day Iron Man, genius billionaire playboy philanthropist Tony Stark. His father is Stark's unscrupulous cousin, Morgan Stark. Arno inherited his uncle'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.
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."
The future Iron Man traveled to the present day in order to obtain the retinal patterns of a young boy. In the year 2015 (placing this appearance before his original showing), that boy's adult self had set a bomb (of Stark's own invention) to kill Arno Stark's family (as well as anyone else in the city), and his retinal patterns were needed to defuse the bomb. Unfortunately the terrorist was killed while trying to get away, so in a desperate gambit the experimental time machine (also of Stark's design) was employed. While in the past Arno was attacked by one of Tony Stark's villains, The Blizzard, who mistook Arno's armor for Tony's. Having no time to spare, Arno kills Blizzard with a blast from his Repulsors. Iron Man 2015 was not successful in obtaining retinal scans because he dropped the scan device, and was delayed in battle by the superhero Spider-Man, who only witnessed an unconscious and battered young boy named Robert "Bobby" Saunder being presumably kidnapped by a villain. Despite Iron Man's greater strength and power, Spider-Man's fury and determination made him unstoppable. In the process, the retinal scan device was destroyed. Stark's timing mechanism malfunctioned and returned him to the future where he learned that the bomb timing mechanism was also faulty; he found only a radioactive wasteland where his family, factory and city had been.
In a later appearance, Iron Man 2020 fought the time-traveling cyborg Death's Head.
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 nephew.
He (or an alternate version of him) has recently seen imprisoned in the time cells of the Time Variance Authority, the holding facilities for the most "dangerous time-travel offenders".
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.
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.
Read more about this topic: Iron Man 2020
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