|The Men's Journal
Stark's Rebirth with Stark Enterprises
The world has seen many changes, but just like the hotdogs and expensive beer belongs at baseball games, Stark belongs to the United States. Stark Industries was founded in the 19th century, and has been a large industrial contributor to the U.S. economy. In Howard Stark’s generation, it became the leader in military weaponry and transportation. When Tony Stark took over at the age of 21, it became a multi-national corporation.
After a few years as CEO, while touring Afghanistan, he was hurt by a Stark Tech mine which later resulted in his heart attack and heart replacement. It was one of the big reasons he has for moving his company away from military contracts and turning it into Stark International, making his imprint on the global market. When he lost control of the company to rival Obadiah Stane and left for California, and the company became Stane International and reentered military contracts.
Stark then lost another company in California, Circuits Maximus, due to a bombing later discovered to have been directed by Stane. He then founded Stark Enterprises which took off and became a global success. He has since repurchased Stane International and absorbed it into Stark Enterprises, removing the military contracts once more.
Interviewer: "You have been on a long road Stark, and it’s been a long time since we have spoken. You have lost companies, rebuilt companies from scratch, had a heart replacement, was almost crippled, and you look healthier than ever! What is your secret?"
Tony Stark: "My secret? Just insanely good luck, and the ability to develop and find inspiring new technology which has saved and improved my life. Also, lifestyle changes, lots of them."
Interviewer: "What do you mean by lifestyle changes?"
TS: < Chuckles > "I don't party as much, that’s for sure. I don't skip out of work as often either. Back then, I partied so hard, I couldn't even get up and work the next morning. I don't know how Pepper put up with me back then." < One may say Stark almost looks sheepish at the memory. > "Lots of vitamins too, regular exercise, that sort of thing. I eat more regularly too now."
Interviewer:: "Are you a health nut?"
TS: "No way! I live healthy, I don’t obsess over it."
Interviewer: "You have been single for a while, that’s rare. Is there anyone special on the horizons for you?"
TS: "Ah, not really. Certain women still give me back tinges when they give me 'the look'."
Interviewer: "The look?"
TS: "Yes, the ‘I want to own you’ look."
Interviewer: "So you aren’t looking to be tied down anytime soon?"
TS: "No, more like I want to be respected as a human being and have a relationship built with…trust I guess. It is an alien concept for me, but you get the point."
Interviewer: "I think I do. Where are you planning to take Stark Enterprises now?"
TS: "I plan to expand the medical research department, and I’m even looking for a new Director of the department. I have someone in mind, but who knows if they will accept."
Interviewer: "Why would they decline?"
TS: "Their paycheck size isn't their greatest concern. I have big plans! I want someone dedicated to the research and to be able to look after the department while holding the moral guidelines in performance. I am holding the company up to new and higher ethical standards than ever before."
Interviewer: "That's fantastic. Though what about your own ethics?" < I am teasing here. > "And where is the famous Pepper Potts?"
TS: < Laughter > "I am trying. I haven’t lewdly flirted with an employee this week, /yet/. As for Pepper, well, I'm stilling working on that one." < Stark actually looks distant at the talk of Pepper. >
Interviewer:: < Laughter > "Your poor employees. And dare I ask why you are still working on it? Who can tell you no?"
TS: "A smart woman and Pepper is very smart. I’ve been debating how to beg, but each idea I get is just too pitiful for me to pull off."
Interviewer: < Chuckles > "Get on your knees?"
TS: "Think she would listen?"
Interviewer: "What woman wouldn't?"
TS: "I don’t have a chance in hell at that rate." < Laughter >
I had the honor of interviewing Stark a number of years ago for this very magazine. He offered me liquor, showed off Iron Man, and had a grand sense of humor. You can still see the humor there, but it is certainly more subdued than before. You can see the age of experience that he didn’t seem to have before.
Stark appeared much more work driven, more cemented in his 'big plans' for the future and less last minute spontaneous. His lifestyle has truly changed; he was not stretching the truth there. He remained sober the entire visit, and has a history of decreased partying. Though he was scene in California with former Excalibur member Nocturne before he met the disastrous Kathy Dare, he was never much for the party scene there and has yet to be caught attending a party in New York since his return.
I personally am looking forward to what the 'New' Stark and Stark Enterprises has to offer the world, and just much higher he will build it. This reborn man has my best wishes, and it sounds like he is going to need them with Ms. Pepper Potts.