Howard Stark is a Marvel Comics character who is Tony Stark's father as well as the founder of Stark Industries. He has been an influential figure in the Marvel Universe's history. Howard Stark was created by Archie Goodwin and Don Heck.
Marvel Cinematic Universe
Before Tony is awarded for his work, some pictures of Howard can be seen such as: Howard working with his business partner Obadiah Stane and a newspaper clipping reporting his death and his wife. Obadiah Stane also mentions that Howard helped in the creation of the atomic bomb.
Iron Man 2
While Nick Fury and Tony talked at Randy's Donuts, Fury reveals to Tony that Howard was one of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s founders. Fury gives Tony a trunk that belonged to Howard. Inside the trunk, Tony finds several items, including a notebook with data about the Tesseract and two Captain America comic books.
Later, Tony sees a video of his father talking about the discovery of a new element that he hadn't been able to synthesize. At the end of the video, Howard says that Tony is and always will be his greatest creation.
Captain America: The First Avenger
Howard was present when Steve Rogers was injected with the Super Soldier Serum. Stark was responsible for the construction of Captain America's shield made of vibranium. After the disappearance of Rogers, Stark finds the Tesseract in the ocean.
After escaping from the Strike team, Natasha and Steve arrive at Camp Lehigh. There they discover that S.H.I.E.L.D. originated in that place. In that, it is revealed that Arnim Zola even still alive thanks to technology.
Steve asks him how he came to USA and Zola reveals that thanks to an initiative of Howard Stark, which consisted in recruiting repentant Nazi scientists. Arnim Zola reveals to Rogers that HYDRA was involved in the death of Howard Stark and his wife, Maria.
Months after the war ended, Howard is called by Congress to testify because the government believed he was selling weapons to enemies. One night he contacts Peggy asking her to help him recover his stolen inventions and clear his name. After their meeting, Howard went to Europe to reclaim some of his inventions that were already available on the black market.
Stark returned to the United States with the help of smugglers. As he had nowhere to stay, Peggy hides him in the Griffith Hotel. Here Stark has many romances with tenants. Later, he gives Carter a new mission: recover the Blitzkrieg Button from the SSR. When Carter learns that is not a weapon but a container of Steve Rogers's blood, Peggy hits Stark for lying to her. The next morning, Jarvis scolded Stark for having lied to Peggy since this could have cost him his friendship with her.
Days later, decides to surrender after learning that someone had used Item 17. He reveals to SSR agents that General McGinnis had stolen Midnight Oil with the purpose to use it in Russian soldiers. As they did not find Ivchenko, Stark proposes to be used as bait to make the doctor appear. Thompson with Stark gave a press conference to announce that all charges against him had been dropped. Stark annoyed Thompson by making him say a lot of flattering things about him. During the speech, Underwood attempted to kill Stark. However, everything was orchestrated by Ivchenko and Underwood to make Stark moved away from the agents of the SSR. A police offers to take him; Stark accepts but the police had been brainwashed by Fennhoff.
At the warehouse, Stark asks Fennhoff to kill him but that was not part of the Doctor's plan. Fennhoff decided to use Stark to deploy Midnight Oil over Times Square and watched as the city was destroyed. Fennhoff hypnotized Stark into believing that he went to rescue Captain America. He regains consciousness before deploying Midnight Oil over Times Square. As reward, Stark give Carter one of his houses to stay in. He also began a legal battle with the United States Government to recover and destroy his inventions.
Howard Stark with Peggy Carter and Mitchell Carson were in a meeting at the Triskelion when Hank Pym broke into the room and demanded an explanation of why S.H.I.E.L.D. tried to replicate its formula. Stark said that his invention was a good for humanity and should not be hidden. Pym then submitted his resignation which he did not formally accepted. He saw how Carson insulted Pym which caused the scientist hit Carson against the desk. Carson wanted Pym to be arrested but Stark advised not to fight against him. He knew that Hank was not a threat to S.H.I.E.L.D., unless they make him one.
When Stark, Cap, and Barnes arrive to Siberia, Zemo shows footage of Howard and his wife being murdered by Bucky Barnes under the control of HYDRA. Towards the beginning of the film, Tony shows an ultra framing (B.A.R.F) of how he wished he had actually said goodbye to Howard before he died.
When Tony Stark and Steve Rogers travel back in time to Camp Lehigh in 1970, Howard encounters his future son and engages him in a conversation. The two men discussed fatherhood, Maria currently being pregnant, and Tony's daughter Morgan Stark. Tony was finally able to reconcile with his father and gave him a hug before leaving, prompting a confused Howard to ask Edwin Jarvis if he had ever met Tony before. When they meet, Tony introduces himself as Howard Potts and Howard asks Tony if he was scared when Morgan came along.
- Howard Stark, like many other characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, was played by different actors in different movies. The others are Thanos, Fandral, Bruce Banner, James Rhodes, and Tina Minoru.
- Howard Stark's appearance and personality in Iron Man 2 were based on Walt Disney.
- Howard and Tony never had a good relationship as Tony said in Iron Man 2 that Howard was calculating and never told his son he loved him but he always saw him as his "greatest creation".
- In the comics, Howard and Maria Stark adopted Tony but in the MCU, they were his biological parents.