- "I have a responsibility to keep my inventions from evil hands; but I have a greater responsibility to oppose that evil any way I can. Alex Burke may have done his bit out there, but only Iron Man can do what has to be done."
- — Iron Man
Alex Burke took up the mantle of Iron Man after the death of Ethan Drake. Since then he has not only become an Avenger but also one of the greatest heroes alive. When others fail they look to Iron Man to continue the fight and deliver them from evil.
Rise of a Hero
- "You may wear the armor, Alex Burke. But I AM the armor. You stand little chance of defeating me."
- — Mainframe
Alexander Nicholas Burke was born in New York, New York to William and Emily Burke. His childhood was relatively normal. Despite his well mannered and cultured parents, however, Alex grew up to be cocky and somewhat arrogant. Though a good person deep down, most people have a hard time getting past his character flaws. Despite being an adrenaline junkie and a master mechanic, he gave into his parents wishes and went to college to major in technological engineering. He managed to land an internship at Stark Industries and even managed to impress the CEO, Carter Jones, during a project. Carter invited the younger Burke to lunch on a weekly basis. Despite Alex's cockiness, Carter found him to be entertaining. When the sentient program known as Mainframe took over the most advanced Iron Man armor to date and managed to defeat Arsenal, Alex began snooping around. It had been rumored that the last Iron Man had been the previous CEO of the company, Ethan Drake. In order to aid Arsenal, who Alex believed to be Carter Jones, he needed help. He found the secret Iron Man room in Stark Tower and donned the identity to become the newest incarnation of Iron Man.
- "You are a man of metal and wires. You are nothing compared to my genetic superiority. I am a god among men!"
"No. You're a crazy nut job that's about to get your ass handed to you. Courtesy of the Avengers."
- — Darksyde & Iron Man
Alex rose to honor the legacy of the armor when the artificial intelligence known as Mainframe and the omega level mutant Darksyde challenged the Avengers. Arsenal was rebuilding the team at the time. He and Wolverine were just finishing up recruiting the last of the members, in which he was one. Darksyde made an attempt to take over New York and half of the new team, including American Dream and Ghost Rider, were dispatched to take care of the mutant. Iron Man and Wolverine went looking for Arsenal who had been taken prisoner by Mainframe, though no one was aware of it at the time. The three were able to defeat Mainframe just as the rest of the team took down Darksyde. However, both villains escaped and found each other. They brought a combined attack to Avengers Tower and the team was forced to battle the two again. At the end of the conflict it was believed that Mainframe had been destroyed and Darksyde was taken into custody. It was shortly after this that both American Dream and Arsenal left the team for different reasons, though both remain reserve members. Carter passed both the leadership of the Avengers and the ownership of Stark Industries to Alex before he relocated to Blüdhaven. It was shortly after this that Stark Industries became the largest provider of defensive weaponry and technology to the new U.S. homeland security organization; Vanguard. During their dealings Alex met Samantha Walker, aka Marvel Queen, a Vanguard Agent and member of the Thunderbolts. The pair began a heated, and long lasting affair.
Enemy from the Deep
- "I am Costin, the Sub-Mariner! I am lord of the seas and King of Atlantis! Let no man challenge me!"
- — Costin
After Alex worked extremely hard Stark Industries eventually gained government contracts to help build new defensive weaponry for the U.S. Navy. He opened the new naval production plant in Paragon City, Florida, and began work immediately. It was soon after production began that one of the plant's store houses was destroyed by means of explosives. The authorities investigated but no perpetrators were discovered. The government offered military guards to protect the plant and Alex accepted. However, he also publicly asked fellow Avenger Patriot to come down and help protect the new naval yard. Brian, as Patriot, accepted. He had just gotten back from Blüdhaven where he was seen fighting crime as Moon Knight while Carter Jones simultaneously appeared in public. No one believed Jones to be the new protector of Blüdhaven. There were no more incidents at the naval yard while the military and Patriot were there, not for awhile anyway. On the day that Stark Industries was unveiling its new battleship, the USS Iron Avenger, for the Navy, tragedy struck. As soon as the ship was away from the dock numerous blue skinned warriors with white tattoos appeared out of the water and began scaling the side of the vessel. Once on board the began slaughtering the crew and tearing the ship apart. Alex wasn't present at the christening which means neither was Iron Man. However, Patriot attempted to make it to the vessel but was cut off by the group's apparent leader. He looked fairly human except for his pointed ears and winged feet. He shot up from the depths and engaged Patriot in combat. Though Patriot fought well and valiantly he couldn't get passed the Sub-Mariner in time to help the crew of the Iron Avenger. Everyone aboard was murdered and the ship was taken down to the depths. John Carlton, the Chairman of the Board for Stark Industries had been the company's representative at the engagement. He immediately informed Alex after the incident. By the time Iron Man arrived on scene the vessel was gone and the naval yard had been razed to the ground. Patriot was there to greet his friend. Though the star spangled hero couldn't defeat the army he was able to take two members hostage. Alex and Brian interrogated them both and learned that the leader of the mysterious aqua army was named Costin and he claimed to be the rightful heir to an undersea nation called Atlantis. Apparently, Paragon City held some importance to Costin and he didn't want anyone building warships anywhere near it. Though Patriot and Iron Man originally would have liked to negotiate with the man before any hostilities broke out it was too late for that. Costin and his men had murdered innocent men and women. As a ploy Alex had Stark Industries start rebuilding the naval yard. It wasn't long until the Sub-Mariner attacked again. This time his army came onto dry land to do battle. However, what they weren't expecting was a large group of well trained Vanguard soldiers, Patriot, and Iron Man. The Atlanteans took severe casualties and Patriot and Iron Man together managed to deliver a powerful beating to Costin, himself. Those still capable of retreating did, including the Sub-Mariner. Stark Industries rebuilt the plant and Vanguard, with authorization from the President, offered to provide protection, which Alex willingly accepted.
- "Do you think Tony Stark would have been happy with you taking over his entire legacy, Mr. Burke?"
"I don't see why not. I figure out of the six billion inhabitants of Earth I couldn't possibly be his last choice. At least I hope not."
- — Anonymous Reporter & Alex Burke
Somehow, the terrorist group known as the League of Mutants discovered Iron Man's true identity. Or perhaps, they simply guessed based on the fact that Tony Stark had been both Iron Man and CEO of Stark Industries. Either way, they knew exactly where to hit him in order to hurt the hero. Several planned attacks against the multi-billion dollar company were carried out. Factories were demolished and many employees were hurt. With the help of some allies the League was defeated. Iron Man himself took down Titan using the new Hulkbuster armor. However, following these events the media continued to hound Burke about why the mutant terrorists had attacked his company. They also ferociously questioned why Iron Man was always around to defend Stark property and personnel. After several weeks Alex held a press conference in which he openly stated that he was indeed Iron Man. The news spread like wild fire across the globe. Iron Man was one of the few super heroes to give up his secret identity, much like the Fantastic Five. Most of the population respected Burke for this move. However, a few would use it against him.
Iron & Blood
- "Let the world watch as the great Alex Burke falls before my power. Let them all see that the Iron Man is not truly invincible after all!"
- — Warpath
A growing issue began plaguing Alex Burke; Iron Lad. The young hero wore armor very similar to Burke's and he knew it was only a matter of time until the boy was injured or worse. The backlash from such an event would surely hit Burke. This was something his new Public Relations Assistant, Katherine Howard, understood. After convincing Alex to seek the identity of Iron Lad, as well as the rest of the Young Avengers, Burke placed the task in Howard's capable hands. He was unaware at the time that her real name was Katarina Volkov, also known as the Black Widow. The Iron Lad issue quickly took a back seat to a new threat who managed to hack Alex's Iron Man communication systems during a demonstration and deliver a warning of death. The man, calling himself Warpath, soon made a bold move to get Alex's undivided attention when he attacked the Stark Naval Facility in Paragon City. The attack, however, was a diversion. As Iron Man and Vanguard agents fought Warpath and his small army of automated drones another group of men secretly planted bombs throughout the Stark Energy Development Plant in the Nevada desert. Just as Alex believed that they had won the day and drove Warpath off he received the call from Sam Freeman that the other facility had been completely destroyed and everyone inside had been killed. This would not be the end of Warpath's vendetta against Burke. Still reeling from the death of so many of his employees he was taken off guard when DATA, his automated servant, detected Warpath's energy signature near Burke's parents' home in New York. Dawning the Centurion Armor he took to the skies in a rush in order to protect his family. Unfortunately, he arrived too late. Warpath had executed William and Emily Burke. In a furious rage Iron Man engaged Warpath in combat and systematically ended the other man's life, or so everyone believed, using his Uni-Beam. Burke was immediately taken into custody by Vanguard and ordered to never wear the Iron Man armor again by the new director of the organization, Brian Grace. However, it was also decided that the world needed an Iron Man, or someone like Iron Man. Therefore, Sam Freeman was given a suit of armor by Grace and Burke. He became the newest incarnation of War Machine and joined the Thunderbolts, with Caliber as his partner. While War Machine and Caliber were off on a training mission the previously thought dead villain, Warpath, attacked Stark Industries. He had survived Iron Man's assault, barely, and had been kept alive and rebuilt as a state of the art cyborg. Using his new abilities he ripped the Centurion Armor apart and damaged Burke's heart. Before he could finish the job Vanguard agents intercepted and drove the man off. Burke and Natalia, who had bore witness to the assault, were rushed to the hospital. DATA hacked the Fantastic Five's headquarters and delivered Paul Matthews a message from Burke. Alex needed Mr. Fantastic to perform vital surgery to save his unconscious life. While Matthews and his fiance, Emma Stevens, saved Iron Man's life the Thunderbolts hunted down and engaged Warpath in combat. At the end of the entire ordeal Dr. Matthews had installed the world's most advanced Arc Reactor in Alex Burke and Warpath had been blasted in two by Havok of the Thunderbolts.
The Infinity Gauntlet
- "Kneel before your new Lord. Kneel before Doom!"
- — Doom
Lord of the Iron Empire
- "If you think your world has any hope; that this story has a happy ending, then you haven't been paying attention."
- — Iron Lord
His current suit, the Black Sabbath Armor, grants him a host of abilities.
- Neural Interface: Alex no longer has to speak any commands at all. The armor itself reacts to his thoughts just as his own body would making his reaction time instantaneous instead of a small lag period.
- Super Strength: The armor magnifies Alex's strength to superhuman levels, enabling him to lift 75 tons. If sufficiently powered by an outside source, the armor can achieve higher levels.
- Flight: The Ebony Armor can reach speeds above Mach 6.
- Super Speed: Even when not traveling for extended distances, the armor enables the wearer to move and react at high speeds.
- Self-Contained Life-Support System & Environmental Protection: The suit can be completely sealed for operations in vacuum or underwater, providing its own life support, and is shielded against radiation.
- Pulse Bolts: Concussive force blasts that pick up kinetic energy along the way, so that they hit harder the farther they have to travel.
- Laser Projector: A one-time-use hand-mounted laser weapon, powerful enough to cut though several enemy drones cleanly in half. One mounted on each arm.
- Repulsors: Concussive force bolts that are fired from the palms of his gauntlets.
- Pulse Beams: Electromagnetic beams that affect technology and machines.
- Rocket Launchers: The armor contains eight anti-tank rockets that can be fired at a moments notice.
- Tasers: The armor contains non-lethal tasers that are effective in taking down normal thugs with ease.
- Personal Shield: Iron Man's personal shield is an incredible feat of engineering. Ethan Drake designed it specially for the Iron Man Mark IX Armor. It is capable of withstanding direct impact from missiles and heavy ordnance. Alex Burke applied this same shield to several newer versions of the armor.
- Particle Beam: A weapon capable of firing streams of particle energy at enemies.
- Uni-Beam: Projects an extremely powerful stream of energy from his chest. This weapon is capable of destroying tanks and sinking aircraft carriers.
- Explosives Launcher: A wrist mounted explosives launcher can hold a variety of different types of bombs and grenades that can be fired at a moments notice.
- Power Cells: The armor is powered by a combination of solar converters, electrical batteries and an on-board generator that uses beta particle absorption as a fuel source.
- Energy Conversion Power Recharge: The suit is also able to convert nearby energy sources, such as heat or kinetic energy into electricity, or even drain electrical energy directly into the batteries for recharge. It is much more efficient and faster at this process then any other armor.
- EMP Invulnerability: The Black Sabbath Armor is completely resistant to electromagnetic pulses.
- Telepathic Immunity: The helmet's design prevents all telepathic intrusion while Alex has it on.
- Compact Design/Rapid Assembly: The Black Sabbath Armor builds itself around Alex Burke by sensing small nano-nodes that Burke has implanted in himself. He simply summons the armor and it electronically locates him and forms.
This armor is both an improvement in base Iron Man technology and has a modular purpose that allows Alex to quickly add supporting tech modules designed for specific situations.
- Wrist-mounted Armor Piercing Tasers
- Hacking Units
- UV Laser
- Repulsor Mini-Gun
- Explosive Launcher Unit
- Augmented Back-thrusters Gear
- Anti-electric Counter Measure Shields
- Wrist Mounted Missiles
- M.O.A.B. (Mother Of All Badasses) Exoskeleton
- Expert Mechanic: An expert mechanic since he was very young, Alex was able to totally overhaul a car's transmission by the age of 8. He is an excellent engineer as well, capable of fixing almost, if not all machinery. His design and mechanical acumen went into the creation of many of the Iron Man Armors.
- Genius-level Intellect: Alex Burke is an inventive mechanical engineering prodigy, constantly creating new technology and looking for ways to improve it. He is the world's leading expert on computer science and technology.
- Genius-level Computer Expert: Iron Man is an expert in the field of computer science, demonstrating genius-level aptitude for programming, modifying, and diagnosing almost any computer system; even those of unfamiliar human and extraterrestrial origin. His skill in this department surpasses all others.
- Skilled Combatant: Burke was trained in unarmed combat by Brian Grace, Wolverine, and Carter Jones and has become quite physically formidable on his own when the situation demands it.
- Expert Tactician: He is a brilliant tactician capable of quickly formulating strategies and new plans should the situation change.
- Multi-lingual: He speaks with fluency in English, French, Spanish, Russian, and Japanese. After spending a number of years with Natalia Pera as his right hand, Alex has learned large amounts of Portuguese.
- Expert Businessman: Burke is extremely well-respected in the business world, able to command people's attentions when he speaks on economic matters by virtue of the fact that he is savvy enough to have, over the years, built up several multi-million dollar companies from virtually nothing. He is known for the loyalty he commands from and returns to those who work for him, as well as his impeccable business ethics. He also strives to be environmentally responsible in his businesses. His wealth ranks him in the top part of the Fortune 500 list.
- Expert Pilot: He has not only been able to fly various planes with ease but he has also been seen flying a helicopter and other experimental air craft with no trouble.
- Indomitable Will: As evidenced by his life threatening battles with villains and his ability to make extremely difficult decisions, Burke is possessed of tremendous strength of will, never giving up and often emerging from defeat even stronger. It is arguable that the true Iron Man is not the armor, but Burke himself.
Iron Man Armor Descriptions
The armors are listed in chronological order of their build date.
- Iron Man Mark IX: This armor was worn primarily by Ethan Drake. He designed and built the suit and maintained it. During Drake's run as Iron Man it was the only armor he wore.
- Iron Man Mark X: The Mark X armor was designed and built by Alex Burke. It is superior to all past models and was the first set of armor that Burke designed. It was destroyed by the mutant terrorist Titan.
- Hulkbuster Armor: This armor was designed by Alex Burke and was an improvement to Tony Stark's original Hulkbuster armor. It boasts stronger shields and armor as well as superior strength and agility compared to Stark's version. (Note: This is a specialty armor and not one used regularly)
- Iron Man Mark XI: Alex Burke built this version of the Iron Man armor after the Mark X was damaged in battle against the mutant known as Titan. This suit was retired in good condition after the Centurion Armor was completed.
- Stealth Armor: One of the most expensive versions of the Iron Man armor ever built. It has limited weaponry and defenses. It's entire function is to be completely invisible from all forms of technological tracking. It succeeds in this area with flying colors. (Note: This is a specialty armor and not one used regularly)
- Centurion Armor: Built shortly after the Mark XI armor. Houses newer technology and better weaponry than its predecessor. It was named in honor of the Silver Centurion armor worn by Tony Stark. This armor was ripped apart by Warpath, but rebuilt afterwards.
- Black Sabbath Armor: This armor is both an improvement in base Iron Man technology and has a modular purpose that allows Alex to quickly add supporting tech modules designed for specific situations. It is the current suit worn by Alex Burke.
- M.O.A.B. Exoskeleton: A heavy duty, arsenal packed "Outer Armor" that can attach itself to the Black Sabbath Armor. This exoskeleton is designed for extreme battle scenarios. (Note: This is a specialty armor and not one used regularly)
- Thunderbuster Armor: In Development (Note: This is a specialty armor and not one used regularly)
- Kryptonbuster Armor: In Development (Note: This is a specialty armor and not one used regularly)
Iron Man is susceptible to all human limitations when out of his suit. His suit itself is not invincible and there are a number of ways it can be damaged or drained of power.