Stark Industries is one of the most famous, and definitely one of the coolest fictional companies of all time. Over the years it has been around, it has undeniably played a massive role in the Marvel Universe. It's been a prominent part of Tony Stark's stories, as well as being a constant in Avengers story lines over the years. And in complete honesty, if there was no Stark Industries then there would almost certainly be no Iron Man. And what would we all do with our lives if there was no Iron Man? The thought is just unbearable.
Stark Industries has done more than just bring us Iron Man though. In the Marvel world it is a hugely successful global corporation, and there have been many stories that have centred largely around the company itself. So much so, in fact, that the comics have provided us with plenty of fascinating trivia about Stark Industries that can only be found by looking closely. Lucky for you, we've done all the searching for you.
So without further ado, here are 15 Things You Didn't Know About Stark Industries.
15 Stark Industries wasn't identified by name until Tales of Suspense #48
Stark industries has had a long and complicated history throughout the Marvel Universe. And it all began with the comic issue Tales of Suspense #43, which was its first comic book appearance. It was featured in the comic when a wind tunnel in the company's test facilities went rogue, and began producing hurricane force winds. However, it wasn't quite the big introduction you might expect for the iconic company.
The mention of it was missing one key detail, however, as the company itself wasn't actually identified by name until a few issues later, in the Tales of Suspense #48, as Stark Industries. And just like that, from those humble beginnings, an empire and legacy of Marvel Comics was born. It's hard to think that something so iconic wasn't even named in its debut comic book appearance and it certainly shows how its place in Marvel has come a long way since then.
14 Stark Enterprises absorbed Stane International from CEO Justin Hammer
Stark Industries hasn't exactly had an easy run in its long history. Being a major part of the Marvel Comics, it's naturally got into some spots of bother over the years and was subjected to a few evil schemes here and there. However, throughout all the drama, Stark Industries has consistently managed to bounce back stronger than ever.
One classic example of this resiliency is when Stark Industries was bought out by Stane Industries, and absorbed into that company. However, it didn't stay that way for too long, and soon enough the tables had turned on Stane Industries and its CEO at the time, Justin Hammer. After Tony Stark managed to get Stark Industries back, he also did one better and absorbed Stane International right back. This story occurred in the comic Iron Man #283 and proved to us, once again, that Stark Industries is in it for the long run.
13 Prodigy and Victor Mancha both auditioned for Head of Security
Head of Security at a big company like Stark Industries is a big responsibility, and not a job that everyone can handle. Especially in a world filled where superheroes and supervillains gets tangled up with the company so frequently. Stark Industries has so much money, so much potentially dangerous technology, and happens to be owned by a superhero who frequently gets on the wrong side of some very nasty bad guys. Some people would say you'd have to be incredibly brave to take on that job. Others would say you were completely insane.
Despite its high stakes, when looking for someone to fill the position Stark Industries found a few willing candidates. Both Prodigy and Victor Mancha auditioned to take on the role. Prodigy had powers of extreme enhanced intelligence that he used to try and get the job. Victor Mancha, who you may also know as Kid Ultron, tried to use his powers as an android to land the role. Unfortunately, they were beaten out by Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man, for the position. Better luck next time, guys!
12 12. Wayne Enterprises makes more money than Stark industries
We all know that DC and Marvel are fierce rivals in the world of superhero comic books. Iron Man and Batman almost act as mascots for these rivalries. They both parallel each other in many ways-- rich business owners who use technology to be superheroes and generally uphold the cinematic world of their respective comic book companies. They also both own two of the most famous fictional companies of all time, and both their companies are also famous for being filthy rich. Which naturally begs the question, who is richer?
Well, according to Forbes' most recent analysis of them, when it comes down to the men themselves, Tony Stark comes out on top with a net worth of $12.4 billion in comparison to Bruce Wayne's very respectable $9.2 billion. However, when it comes to their companies, it is Wayne Enterprises that actually comes out on top, as it has a higher annual revenue than Stark Industries. We'll leave you DC and Marvel fans to argue about which one is really better in the comments, though.
11 They have bases in New York And Los Angeles
The headquarters of a company like Stark Industries is bound to be a pretty cool place. Its headquarters is now famously the Stark Tower in New York City, that oversees New York and lights up the skyline with the Stark name. It's one of the biggest, or dare we say it is the biggest, landmarks of the Marvel Universe. It's the Marvel equivalent of the Empire State, although unfortunately for us we can't visit it in the real world. Well, not yet anyway. We're going to try to remain hopeful that it will become reality someday.
But as iconic as the Stark Tower is, did you know that it wasn't always the headquarters of the company? Prior to the Stark Tower being built, the company's headquarters were actually just north of Los Angeles in California. The company still has ties there now, with a base of operations currently located in Los Angeles.
10 The company dates back to the 19th century
Stark Industries may be associated with technology that seems futuristic and modern, with inventions way ahead of their time. In our world, we'd expect it to have started around ten years ago with some teenage super-genius who made something cool and then turned it into a billion dollar idea. But Marvel's story behind Stark Industries is much more old school. In fact, the company is actually old enough to be traced all the way back to the 19th century.
The company, which has been in the Stark name for generations, can be traced back to Isaac Stark, Sr. He founded Stark Industries in the mid-1800s when he began developing new electronic and engineering technology. This technology was fairly revolutionary for its time, and was able to redefine innovative security measures for the industrial age.
It seems that even way back in the olden days, the Stark name was still associated with being forward thinking and cutting edge. They've been ruling the technology world for generations, and centuries now, and they definitely aren't going anywhere anytime soon. Long live Stark Industries!
9 The company has had five names over the years
Many things have been fairly consistent in the long reign of Stark Industries. They have constantly provided new inventions for the world, and have remained a big name in the business world. But that big name itself hasn't always been the same. Although the name Stark Industries is very iconic, it's far from the only name the company has gone by.
In fact, over the years, Stark Industries has made its way through over five names across all different timelines and medias. Obviously Stark Industries is the main title, and most of the alternate names are just slight variations on that.
For instance, at times when the business has made its way to all different areas of the globe, it has been known as Stark International. It has also gone by the similar name Stark Enterprises. There have also been some slightly less expected variations, like Stark Fujikawa. It took this name in a storyline where Tony Stark had died and the company was sold off to a Japanese industrialist family. However, it seems that the name Stark Industries keeps coming back, doubtless excause the name is so iconic.
8 Stark Industries handed out business cards at comic con
Stark Industries is known for being innovative, and when promoting Iron Man 2, it seems that Marvel decided it was time to get a bit innovative too. Rather than relying solely on billboards and premieres to build up hype, they decided to think outside the box and use some unconventional methods to promote the film.
The clever method they used was to have Stark Industries recruiters handing out business cards to fans and encouraging them to apply for a job with the company at StarkIndustriesNow.com. And they made sure to choose the best and most effective location possible to do so: at the San Diego Comic Con back in 2009. Obviously, this got fans hugely excited and, while they might not have gotten jobs at Stark Industries, they certainly went to watch the film. Unfortunately, the website is now defunct and so those of us who missed it will never get the chance to apply for a job at Stark Industries. We're very bitter about this.
7 Stark Industries has had over 20 subsidiary companies
Stark Industries is a huge global business and, like all the big corporations, is keen to monopolize as much business as possible. And just like big corporations do, Stark Industries often tries to achieve this by buying or creating subsidiary companies that either branch the business out into new areas or hone in on a specific area and specialize in it. And Stark Industries has seemingly excelled at this, having over the years had a total of over 20 subsidiary companies.
The companies vary hugely in both name and purpose. They include two electronic companies, Barstow electronics and Askew electronics, and companies that specialize in various electronic equipment. They also include the insurance company Stark Insurance, the company Funtime Incorporated, the chemical company Geffen-Meyers Chemicals, and the fundraising organization the Maria Stark Foundation.
It seems that there really isn't anything that Stark Industries can't do. The companies also vary hugely in how much we know about them: some have been major plot points while others, like Pendyne Incorporated, have been scarcely mentioned.
6 They invented jet-powered roller skates
Stark Industries is known for its innovative and frankly awesome inventions. They have created a wide range of weapons and gadgets over the years that always leave fans wishing we could reach into the comics and take them for ourselves-- now there's a technology that Stark Industries should create. But of all their inventions, the one that sounds the coolest to us is definitely their jet-powered roller skates. Yes, you read that right-- Stark Industries has invented roller skates that use jet power.
Imagine being able to skate to class with the speed of something jet-powered, not to mention being able to fly around! It would definitely make the morning commute more fun, plus you wouldn't have to worry about being late anymore. Okay, so there are definitely a whole bunch of way cooler technologies and inventions in Marvel comics. But still, we want our own pair of jet-powered roller skates right now!
5 An old Stark warehouse was used as a church
As Stark Industries is one of the biggest company names in Marvel, it is frequently used as a go-to for references and Easter eggs. These pop up in both movies and comic books alike, and is most frequently found in location names, product names, and business talk. This means that Stark Industries is spread throughout the Marvel multiverse like crazy, and can be found pretty much anywhere if you look hard enough. After all, we know how much Marvel love throwing in Easter eggs for us to find.
One of the coolest examples is in one of Marvel's post-apocalyptic realities, where the haunting remains of Stark Industries can be found as a cleverly placed Easter egg. In the comic we see a crumbling building that was once upon a time a warehouse belonging to Stark Industries. In the comic book, we see this post-apocalyptic building being used as a church by the character John Proudstar.
4 Stark Industries owned a cola company
Stark Industries has invested in all kinds of things over the years, and owned all kinds of companies. But one of the more surprising companies it's owned is the soft drink cola brand Okle-Cola. While the Okle-Cola company hasn't managed to appear in a wide range of media, it did show up in the comic Invincible Iron Man #4. While little is known about the Okle-Cola company, we do know that it was originally established in Africa. Tony Stark then decided to buy the soft drink company for their vending machines.
We're surprised that Marvel haven't featured this company more regularly. We all know how much Marvel love their merchandise, and it seems they're missing a trick not making Okle-Cola a more regular feature. It would be something they could then sell as a refreshment at Comic-Con and similar events, and would make a good novelty soft drink for Marvel fans. Ahhh, nothing like a cold refreshing glass of Okle-Cola.
3 Peter Parker has hacked into stark industries
Peter Parker is, like Iron Man, one of Marvel's biggest superheroes. And as is common in the Marvel Universe, they've crossed paths many times. Small world, huh? Another thing we know about our little spidey friend is that he's a bit of a whiz when it comes to computers. Well, apart from that one movie scene where he used Bing as his search engine. Seriously, it was the low point of The Amazing Spider-Man.
As it happens, Peter Parker has used this skill to his advantage before when trying to put Tony Stark in his place. Yes that's right, Stark Industries has been hacked by Spider-Man. Now that's a comic book scandal right there; a front page newspaper story for The Daily Bugle if we ever did hear one.
It wasn't like he was trying to pull a Wikileaks type operation or anything, though. In fact, Peter hacked into Stark Industries in order to override Tony Stark's control of his high-tech Iron Man suit. Now there's a modern day superpower: computer hacking.
2 Tony Stark's mom is the CEO
Being the CEO of Stark Industries is a big responsibility. There are thousands of jobs, millions of dollars, and even people's lives at stake. It is definitely not the easiest job to do. So it's no wonder that Tony Stark eventually gave it up. Not only was he probably rich enough to not need to work, but he also works incredibly hard saving everyone's lives on a regular basis. The strain of a highly stressful job is one thing, but he was also having to balance a double life of crime fighting, which comes with all kinds of physical and psychological strains. There's only so much one person can take. Of course, then the question arises of who is worthy enough to take his place.
Well, Stark Industries has had various CEOs over the years. Howard Stark was Tony's father and was the CEO before him, and was hugely successful. In certain Marvel universes Pepper Potts has taken on the big role and shown us exactly why Tony trusts her so much. But the current CEO of Stark Industries is now Tony's mom, Amanda Armstrong. You know what they say: mother knows best.
1 Stark Industries has appeared in at least ten movies
Marvel's Cinematic Universe is somewhat dependent on Tony Stark and his superhero alter ego Iron Man. They kicked off the new cinematic universe back in 2008 with Iron Man, which certainly brought it back with a bang. The success of Iron Man led it to have two sequels, and cemented Tony Stark's position as a central figure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He has also obviously gone on to play a big role in the Avengers franchise, proving his worth even further. But forget Stark himself for a second, because we are here to tell you that the real star of the show is not him, but his company. It's time to give some spotlight to Stark Industries.
Stark Industries has been used as both a massive part of the plot in the Iron Man and Avengers films, but has also served as a good Easter egg or tie-in for other films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It has appeared in at least ten of the movies, ranging from mentions in dialogue to having the logo featured, and of course, stealing the show in the Iron Man trilogy. All hail, Stark Industries!
Do you have anything to add about Iron Man's Stark Industries? Let us know in the comments!