Imagine if it was Tony in that fatal car accident instead of his parents and Howard Stark became Iron Man as a result (a la Flashpoint)
Howard thought that Tony was going to be around for the rest of his life, so there was always tomorrow. Tomorrow he would play catch with his son. Tomorrow he would take Tony to the museum. Tomorrow they would start on their first project together.
But then came the day when there were no more tomorrows. It was an icy night when the car had suddenly veered out of control on their way home from Tony’s violin lessons. Howard always knew that he would possibly live longer than his wife, but he had thought that wasn’t for another fifty years down the road. However, it had never once crossed his mind that he would outlive his own son.
“What…what do you mean my wife and son could have… been murdered?”
“New evidence has revealed a bullet hole in the windshield. Went straight through the chauffeurs brain.” The detective wrung his hat in his hands, looking nervous. “I know this isn’t what you want to hear, but I just thought you should know-”
“It was supposed to be me.” Howard Stark went pale as he swallowed the realization. “I was supposed to go with Maria to pick up Tony, but I was…”
Howard put his hand over his mouth to hold in the sobs, and the detective left with only a small remark about letting him know what else he found out. Howard’s mind raced, quickly transitioning from sorrow to confusion, and finally to anger. If someone was going through the trouble of having him and his family killed, then he had to find out who and why. Even if he had to do it by himself.
Howard looked up at one of Tony’s crayon sketches on the refrigerator, that he had happily shown to him only to be shooed away. Maria must have put it there. It depicted a man in armor with jets coming out of the feet and hands. He stared at it for a long while and smirked.
If he was doing this, then he was going to need a suit…