His father, Howard Stark, created Stark Industries (he also helped to create Captain America). Tony inherited Stark Industries when his father died in a car crash in 1991. Tony was captured in 2008 by the Ten Rings Terrorist Group, who wanted him to build a missile which is a speciality of Stark Industries (the Jericho missile). During the kidnapping a bomb blew up in close proximity to him, forcing shrapnel into his heart. He survived by having a car battery linked up to his heart. Instead of building the missile, Tony used the Stark technology to create an Arc Reactor which in turn he used to power a suit (the Mark I Iron Man suit) which enabled him to escape. After this incident, Tony became a supporter of worldwide peace, using the Mark II, III, IV, V and VI Iron Man suits to privatize world peace, although he still retained his arrogant personality. Tony Stark was approached by Nick Fury to be a part of the Avengers Initiative.
He later became a consultant for S.H.I.E.L.D. (the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division), a law-enforcement agency directed by Fury.
After Loki Laufeyson steals the Tesseract from S.H.I.E.L.D.’s remote research facility, agent Phil Coulson visits Stark to have him review Selvig’s research. While Clint Barton steals iridium needed to stabilise the Tesseract's power, Loki causes a distraction in Stuttgart leading to a confrontation with Steve Rogers, Stark, and Black Widow that ends with Loki's surrender. While Loki is being escorted to S.H.I.E.L.D., Thor Odinson arrives and frees him hoping to convince him to abandon his plan and return to Asgard. After a confrontation with Stark and Rogers, they agree to escort him to S.H.I.E.L.D.’s flying aircraft carrier. On the aircraft, Stark and Bruce Banner attempt to locate the Tesseract.
The Avengers become divided, but after the death of Phil Coulson, Stark and Rogers realise that simply defeating them will not be enough for Loki; he needs to overpower them publicly to validate himself as ruler of Earth. Loki uses the Tesseract with the device Selvig built, to open a portal above Stark Tower to the Chitauri fleet in space, launching his invasion.
Stark and the Avengers battle the Chitauri while evacuating the citizens of New York City. Meanwhile, Fury's superiors attempt to end the invasion by launching a nuclear missile at Manhattan. Stark intercepts the missile and takes it through the portal toward the Chitauri fleet. The missile detonates and destroys the Chitauri's mothership and leaving their forces disabled on Earth. Stark's suit runs out of power and he falls back through the portal, but the Hulk saves him from crashing to the ground. Romanoff disables the portal to avoid further invasion.