Then I saw it. I saw a mom who would die for her son. A man who would kill for his wife. A boy, angry and alone. Laid out in front of him, the bad path. I saw it. And the path was a circle…round and round. So I changed it.
My memory’s cloudy. It’s a cloud. Because my memories aren’t really
memories. They’re just one possible eventuality now. And they grow
clearer or cloudier as they become more or less likely. But then they
get to the present moment, and they’re instantly clear again. I can
remember what you do after you do it. And it hurts.
Tony Stark has always had an unhappy childhood. In the comics, Tony’s dad Howard was a drunk who would frequently yell at and disparage Tony, causing Tony to have an inferiority complex which he does his best to cloak under surface confidence. Luckily, Tony’s relationship with his mother was better. Tony loved his mother and she tried her best to keep Tony from being abused, though she was too loyal to actually up and leave Howard.
In a comic tie-in to the MCU, we again see an abusive relationship between Howard and Tony, as Tony’s dad shouts at him for playing like a child, when Tony is in fact a child. Tony looked to Edwin Jarvis, the family’s butler, as a father figure. His dad was often cold and cruel to him while Jarvis was kind and happy to see him. Tony named J.A.R.V.I.S.. his home computing system, after his childhood friend and stand-in dad. Jarvis was however not the best father figure, as he tried justifying Howard’s abuse. In both the movies and comics, Tony was sent to boarding at a relatively young age. In the 616 comic storyline he was six when he was sent away.