Ultimate Iron Man is the name of two comic book miniseries written by Orson Scott Card and published by Marvel Comics. The stories tell the origins of the Ultimate Marvel version of Iron Man, who appears in The Ultimates.
The first volume, published between 2005 and 2006, was a five-part miniseries depicting the early life and origins of Tony Stark, and was drawn by Andy Kubert.
The second volume is also a five-part miniseries and had its first issue released on December 12, 2007. This volume follows directly on from the first series and depicts the early uses of the Iron Man armour, art byPasqual Ferry and Dave McCaig.
Mark Millar’s Ultimate Avengers vs. New Ultimates retconned the series so it was actually the origin for an anime cartoon in the Ultimate Universe.
Ultimate Iron Man #1 reveals that Tony Stark’s genius is the result of an accident his mother (brilliant scientist Maria Cerrera, who is the second wife of Tony Stark’s father and works for him in research and development before Tony was born) suffered while she was carrying him in her womb. The accident changed the genetic structure of both her and her unborn child, but culminated in her death during childbirth. The child, named Antonio (Tony for short), developed neural tissue normally found only in the brain all throughout his body, causing his entire body to act as one massive brain, giving him tremendous mental capacity. However, one of the side effects of the accident from the minute he was born was an extreme dermal sensitivity, making even the sensation of air on his skin feel like severe burns due to the over stimulation of neural cells in his skin. His father, a master inventor and owner and CEO of his own billion dollar tech company, used a newly invented liquid, biological armour to ease Tony’s agony; a buffer allowing him to interact with the world normally, but one he would have to wear for the rest of his life. Despite the pain, he is endowed with regenerative capabilities due to the same mutation that caused the neural cells to differentiate all over his body allowing him to completely regenerate whole body parts if necessary. The biotechnology armor he wears is constructed out of genetically modified bacteria that are able to group together to dissipate kinetic energy when impacted upon, allowing the wearer to withstand tremendous blows and is able to dissolve any metal that can be oxidized. The two disadvantages of this biotech armor, which made it unmarketable, are that it can be easily neutralized by being washed off with antibacterial soap and water and, more importantly, that it will dissolve a normal human’s skin after a few hours if not thoroughly washed off. This “side effect” worked well with Tony’s regenerative capabilities, seeing as how his skin would regenerate as fast as the armor would eat it making it a perfect fit. Another secondary problem was that, initially, the liquid armor turned his skin a bright blue hue making socialization and the idea of going to a normal school more difficult.