In Agent Carter,

Howard Stark regrets his work making weapons, so much so that Fenhoff is able to use his pain over the Midnight Oil to hypnotize him.

However, in Ant-Man,

we learn that Howard is working in SHIELD, trying to convince Hank Pym to share his Pym particles with them,

and not five minutes into the first Iron Man,

we see Tony showcasing a powerful missile with all of the showmanship that one would expect from Robert Downey Jr.

Basically, my question is, why didn't Howard remember the lesson from Agent Carter? Or, if he did, how did the other two events I listed happen?

  • 2
    i assumed that when Howard dies, the villain from the first iron man starts selling weapons again.
    – Himarm
    Aug 18 '15 at 13:11
  • Without Tony's approval? Tony has enough power within the company to make it formally leave the weapons business in the first Iron Man...
    – user24601
    Aug 18 '15 at 13:13
  • 4
    yes but he doesnt care about the weapons, until the events in first iron man. he is living like a playboy making billions, until he gets captured what does he care. aka the whole POINT of the first iron man movie.
    – Himarm
    Aug 18 '15 at 14:09

Howard continues making weapons for the SSR and eventually SHIELD off and on over the years. However his weapons, though top of the line, are only incremental improvements over his competitors. He no longer goes "all out" as he did before the events in Agent Carter. We see this in Iron Man 2, even though Howard had the capability of creating an Arc reactor, to do so would require too many "leaps and bounds" in technology.

It is a balanced approach between his WW2 enthusiasm and his postwar (post Leviathan) disillusion. It nudges forward development of arms technology, keeps Stark Industries on top, but does not give clear advantage as his "bad babies" would.

  • What sources are you basing this answer on?
    – phantom42
    Aug 26 '15 at 22:55
  • 3
    Mostly implications from Iron Man 1&2, including the film of Howard where he explicitly lays out the "safe" arc reactor and that it is too soon. And that Stark Industries start's improving in "leaps and bounds" again when Tony takes over (as seen on magazine covers). Until Tony gets the same realization that his father did about his "bad babies". Aug 26 '15 at 22:58
  • So this is mostly informed speculation over anything concrete from the movies/shows/comics?
    – phantom42
    Aug 26 '15 at 23:03
  • 1
    Also Howards involvement in creating Shield, plus the mentioning of Howard developing SHIELD tech in Agents of Shield. So no, it is not explicitly stated but it is implied through dialogue, set dressing, and the plot of Iron Man 2. Aug 26 '15 at 23:17

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