‘Iron Man’ movie’s Stark Industries is clearly a spoof of Lockheed Martin

I have received enough feedback about my previous Iron Man post relating to the connection I drew (rather effortlessly, let’s admit) between Stark Industries and Lockheed Martin that I wanted to post about it individually.

And speaking of… did anybody besides me notice that Stark Industries was a completely un-subtle spoof of Lockheed Martin Corporation, the United States’ biggest defense contractor? Not only does the Stark Industries logo (complete with bold-italic capitals and elongated angle-point) look strikingly like Lockheed Martin’s, but they even make the same F-22 Raptor fighter jets!?

I checked Google and my blog was the first to make the direct connection between the two (albeit obvious). Since then, it has popped up on a few other blogs and the Stark Industries entry on Wikipedia has been updated to reflect the company logo’s peculiar likeness to Lockheed Martin’s.

I would say “you be the judge”, but is there any doubt?

Lockheed Martin was clearly spoofed as Stark Industries in the movie Iron Man

u comment i follow 64 Comments

  1. Gladiator
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    i cant tell the difrance… both planes look the same.

  2. John3Sobieski
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    you know what? it would be awesome if the advertising poster of Lockheed Martin actually did have Negative99.com on it. Oh, and Gladiator, they are the EXACT SAME PLANES, that’s what WarAxe has been saying. F-22 Raptors, AKA JSF (Joint Strike Fighter) Sweet things, really, the best we got, (that’s declassified).

  3. Posted May 7, 2008 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Wow, I totally thought this when I was watching the movie, and then here you are. Great minds, or something.

  4. mrpink
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    The joint strike fighter is NOT the same as the F-22 Raptor. Completely different planes.

    Raptor > JSF

  5. Posted May 7, 2008 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    @gladiator
    Exactly… they are indeed the same jets.

    @John3Sobieski
    :-) I’ll have to send a letter to my CEO suggesting we include Negative99 logos on all company materials.

    Actually, that’s a popular misconception, but the JSF project came after the F-22 Raptor. The Joint Strike Fighter contract competition between Boeing and Lockheed Martin was won by LM and became the F-35 Lightning II multi-purpose aircraft. The F-35 is going to be the long haul multi-platform workhorse and will be incredibly flexible (land-based, sea-based, vertical takeoff/landing, fighter, bomber).

    The F-22 was designed for air-to-air superiority – plain and simple – and is the only bird that can take down an F-35.

    @alissa
    I like the way you think. ;-) Nice review, BTW.

    @mrpink
    You are quite correct.

  6. John3Sobieski
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    Interesting fact, War-Axe. Although, the F-22 and the F-35 look pretty much the same. I’m going to have to go to Wikipedia or google and compare pictures.

  7. John3Sobieski
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Well, I’m not an aircraft designer, so I’m obviously not the best qualified guy to judge, but the only really difference between the JSF and Raptor that I saw was that the JSF has a fatter belly.

  8. FattyMagee
    Posted May 11, 2008 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    “I checked Google and my blog was the first to make the direct connection between the two”

    … congrats?

  9. CfB
    Posted May 12, 2008 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Love your website… It should be noted that Lockheed Martin gave Jeff Bridges spent a day with LM VPs and a VIP tour of its facilities, so he could get an idea of what its like to work for a DOD contractor!!
    Nice work Lockheed PR!!! Did anyone bother to inquire about the script, next up is a grand tour for Michael Moore.

    Although, overall I think it was a great movie and in many ways put a positive spin on aerospace technolgy.

  10. get ur stuff right
    Posted May 14, 2008 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    the F-22 is clearly a different plane then the F-22. The intakes of the F-22 are much more squared, while there is only one engine on the jsf. Also the f-22′s exhaused are compeletly different. One of the varients of the jsf is STOVL while the other is VTOL, the only varient of the f35 that could come close to the capability of the raptor is the land varient. Now your Military equipment.

  11. John3Sobieski
    Posted May 15, 2008 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Whoever you are, I’ve already established planes and fighter jets as not being my area of expertise. As War-Axe said, “that’s a popular misconception,” that I fell into. I do know my military equipment and historical facts much better than most people much older than me, as a result of my being a history buff. History and military stuff is a hobby of mine, and i’d be willing to lay down money that I know my stuff better than most others (save for the vets themselves).

  12. Posted May 15, 2008 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    @ FattyMagee
    Thanks? :-)

    @CfB
    Thanks for letting me know that about Jeff Bridges. That was a win-win for all of them. I like to see things like that.

    @get ur stuff right
    Umm… were you drunk when you left that comment?

    …the F-22 is clearly a different plane then the F-22 [...] the f-22’s exhaused are compeletly different [...] Now your Military equipment…

    I find your intellectual posture highly dubious.

    @John3Sobieski
    I think it was too much Tequila.

  13. John3Sobieski
    Posted May 15, 2008 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    That would do it.

  14. C-Dub
    Posted May 16, 2008 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Very nice guys, I was wondering about that myself. Take it a step further though.

    Do you thing Tony Stark has anything to do with Howard Hughs?

    And… What kind of plane was his private jet? The inside cabin (with stripper poles) was most likely a stage, but the outside shots looked pretty real.

  15. Posted May 17, 2008 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    @C-Dub
    I can just imagine if Lockheed Martin stockholders got wind of Bob Stevens’ jet having a steady supply of dancing strippers.

  16. jojo
    Posted May 19, 2008 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    The thing that clinched it for me was the animation of the symbol for Stark – it was very similar to the way Lockheed’s logo is animated. It’s just missing the rest of the star.

    One question though. I never heard any claims in the movie that Stark made the Raptor. Did I miss that part? Sweet plane nonetheless.

  17. Posted May 19, 2008 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    The Raptor appeared in statue form in front of the Stark Industries headquarters building.

  18. espionage
    Posted May 20, 2008 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    I do see the likeness to the Lockheed Martin logo in the portion of the star but in the lettering you’ve lost me a little. Although it is close, the spacing is quite different leading me to believe that they are ripping off the lettering of Northrop Grumman…another defense contractor. Possibly a combination of the two was used to create the Stark Industries logo.

  19. Malaika
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    I thought that as I was watching the movie too. A friend of mine and I laughed when we saw it, but the people around us didn’t get the joke. Unfortunately, only people who know about Lockheed Martin will catch the reference. I’m not sure if it was intentional or just a coincidence…probably intentional!!!!

  20. Posted May 22, 2008 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    @espionage
    You are correct, in that the lettering is VERY close to Northrup Grumman. But the bold, italics, “helvetica-ish” is pretty similar to LM, too (larger, no added kerning, and some font-merging). The logo is really what ties it all together.

    @Malaika
    I’m sure it was intentional, although probably no harm meant.. if anything it’s a hat tip to LM for being #1 among defense technology companies.

    Time to buy more stock! :-)

  21. Bob
    Posted May 26, 2008 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    “The Raptor appeared in statue form in front of the Stark Industries headquarters building.”

    Actually, the model number on the tail stated as “YF-23″, ie Northrop/McDonnell Douglas.

  22. Posted May 26, 2008 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    @Bob
    Yeah, I noticed that. Not sure exactly why they decided to do that… except maybe for trademark/copyright reasons.(?)

  23. Posted June 10, 2008 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Besides the logo been a paradoy of Lockheed Martin which I doubt they appreciate, there is already a company named “Stark Industries” in Texas, the real Stark Industries that makes air compressors. I will bet Marvel has not asked for permission to use the name “Stark Industries” in their movie and it is possible they are infringing on their trademark. An interestin turn of events for Marvel who is notoriously famous for their legal mishaps. Will the real ‘Stark Industries” sue Marvel for millions of dollars and ask them to remove the name from the movie? Will see.
    http://starkindustries.com/

  24. Posted June 10, 2008 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    @ “J Stark”
    Actually, it’s common business law that two companies/businesses can share a name if they don’t share the same products/services or the same market reach. So Joe’s Grill restaurant and Joe’s Grill outdoor cooking supplies can be right next to each other. And the next town over can also have a Joe’s Grill restaurant.

  25. Posted June 29, 2008 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    I like your Iron Man Blog! Thanks! What could anyone say is the the Private Executive Jet of Stark Industries? Its Byond the G650 or X7. Great rear induction profile on the BisJet design!

  26. Posted July 6, 2008 at 1:18 am | Permalink

    Dear Stark Industries,

    Stark Industries has been manufacturing fictional weapons since 1963, whilst you have been manufacturing air compressors since 69, it seems.

    Will Stark Industries sue Stark Industries for millions of dollars?

    Well… yeah.

    Or my name isn’t Anthony Stark.

    And it is.

    Oh and the Lockheed thing?

    Never noticed it.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go drive.

    With the top down.

  27. Michael
    Posted July 17, 2008 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Stark Industries didn’t make the Raptors, they were just sent by the United States Army to bring Iron Man down.

  28. BoeingBob
    Posted July 23, 2008 at 4:22 am | Permalink

    As I work for Boeing and build the aft section of the F-22, I just want to add a little legitimacy to the months-old discussion. The F-22 Raptor is basically the replacement for the F-15 Eagle. Just like it’s predecessor, the F-22 is primarily an air superiority aircraft, but the F/A-22 variant is capable of strike weapons delivery. The F-22 is a dual engine stealth fighter (more stealthy than the F117 Nighthawk) that features vertically variable exhaust. Basically, the exhaust nozzles can tilt up or down, allowing the aircraft to snap in and out of climbs and dives practically instantaneously.

    I watched a pair take off recently, and they went from horizontal flight about 50 feet above the runway to 90 degrees straight up in NO TIME flat. Once pointed upwards, they rocketed up into the sky and disappeared. Most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. Check out the many YouTube videos showcasing the aircraft and you will see, as one of our engineers observed, that it looks like someone forgot to tell the pilot what an aircraft isn’t supposed to be able to do. ;)

    I don’t know much about the F-35, only that what has been said is correct. It’s going to be used heavily by the Navy as a supplement to the F/A-18 and a replacement for the Harrier. It’ll be able to dogfight, deep strike, Wild Weasel, and just about anything else a multirole fighter of its type will do. It’s also considered a stealth fighter, and like the F-22, is more stealthy than the F-117.

    Hope that clears up some confusion.

  29. Posted July 24, 2008 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    You know what else? Lockheed Martin’s CEO is a super hero.

    I believe going to the “Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania” counts as being a hero, right?

  30. David
    Posted August 16, 2008 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    F-22 Raptor and the JSF are 2 Different Aircraft the JSF was desgined for the US Navy and USMC and the F-22 was desgined and built for the USAF. The F-22 Raptor is a twin engine fighter the JSF is a single engine Fighter the JSF also comes with the ability to land vertical and take off vertical unlike the F-22.

  31. David
    Posted August 16, 2008 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    Bob YF-23 is Northrop Gurmman not northrop/MD. get your facts right.

  32. Justwannahelp
    Posted August 19, 2008 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Hey guys, just wanted to clear the air from the JSF side of things. The F-35 is in fact a very different jet than the F-22. It is a “generation” after the F-22 and, as was indicated, only has one (very large) engine where as the F-22 has two.

    The F-35 will be built in three different variants:

    F-35A (CTOL) – Built to replace F-16 for the Air Force.
    F-35B (STOVL) – Capability of short take offs and vertical landings. Built to replace AV-8B Harriers for the US marines and Royal Navy (UK).
    F-35C (CV) – Carrier variant that will have larger wings control surfaces. Built for the US Navy to replace F-18 hornets.

    Hope this helps.

  33. Posted August 26, 2008 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    I’m a biologist so it went over my head but my engineer (and airplane/military nut) boyfriend started nudging me and whispering about it immediately.

  34. Dano
    Posted October 1, 2008 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    Stark Industries the air compressor company was started in 1969. Stan Lee created ironman, tony stark, and stark industries in 1963.

  35. Butch
    Posted October 8, 2008 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Actually, the logo looks like a cross between the Northrop logo and the Lockheed logo. I’ve worked for both, and I cracked up when I saw the Stark logo.

  36. Smitter
    Posted October 11, 2008 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, the Stark logo is definitely a cross between Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin. I used to work for NG and noticed it right away. If anything, the Stark logo is closer to the NG logo than the LM logo.

  37. Posted October 13, 2008 at 4:31 am | Permalink

    hehe, I saw the movie last night (still fresh in memory). I think the movie makes fun of the whole weapon industry. But I like to see robots fight. Wonder if there will be a sequel ;-)

  38. Ridhya
    Posted October 17, 2008 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Speaking of Stark making the Raptor, when his captors enter his room in the cave he says “Where did they get my weapons” and they’re all holding G36′s, so I guess Tony invented the G36 as well? And I always thought it was some German guy…

  39. cjracer1000
    Posted November 1, 2008 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    look

    all i am saying is
    on the movie they actually called the f-22s f-22s

    but

    they were currently working on a prototype called the yf-22

    but they actually called the planes f-22s

    and they didn’t call those planes starks

  40. Brass Monkey
    Posted November 18, 2008 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    Sure, Lockheed Martin is a lot like Stark Industries, but
    Alliant Techsystems (ATK) is a perfect fit. I agree, the Stark logo was inspired by LM, but LM focuses more on larger scale technologies, like aeronautics, mission control systems, and passive defense systems.
    ATK on the other hand, does more work with bombs, missiles, and ammunition. ATK develops cluster bombs and depleted uranium rounds, just like Stark worked in large part with missiles, artillery, and small arms.

    check it out for yourself
    http://www.atk.com/index.asp

  41. Sgt.V
    Posted November 30, 2008 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    Just a few things. Lockheed didn’t become a major company untill 1996. Although they do trace their roots back to 1909 they were a very small company in 1963, the first appearance of Tony Stark/Iron Man. As for Stark Industries the a/c people as long as the company is not trying to produce a similar product it’s not considered an infringement. Please excuse the spelling i’m typing this on my phone.

  42. Casey
    Posted June 22, 2009 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    Totally about a year late on this discussion, but the biggest difference in the F-22 and F-35?

    Price.

  43. Posted August 13, 2009 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Just to clear some stuff up:

    Everything you’ve wanted to know about the F-22, and some things you didn’t.

    The designator “Y”, when precluding the aircraft number, indicates a prototype. The YF-22 Raptor was the designator for two aircraft built as prototype (or technology demonstrator) aircraft built by Lockheed Martin / Boeing (et al) for the “Advanced Tactical Fighter” programme.

    The YF-22 beat the Nothrop YF-23 in the competition.

    YF-22 #1 “Raptor 1″ and YF-23 #1 “Blackwidow II” were fitted with Pratt & Whitney YF119 Turbofan engines (now designated F-119-100) and YF-22 #2 “Raptor 2″ and YF-23 #2 “Grey Ghost” were equipped with General Electric YF120 engines. Pratt & Whitney won the engine contest.

    The Raptor enteredproduction as the F-22, and was at one point redesignated by General John P. Jumper as the F/A-22 Raptor, to more reflect the attack capability of the aircraft. Air Force brass later re-designated the Raptor back to the F-22, and the current production models are called F-22A The “A” indicates the first version of the aircraft, presumably to be followed up by B and C variants (and so on).

    The FB-22 Strike Raptor is a heavily modified F-22. Most notably, it lacks a tail emapnage, and has a much larger wing. The FB-22 is a contender in the “Interim Bomber Requirement”, competing against the B-1R and YF-23.

    The YF-23 was stealthier and faster than the Raptor, but the Raptor was much more agile, and less expensive. There is speculation that it won partially because it would have been more well suited for the Navy’s NATF programme, which was later abandoned.

    So, to review, the YF-22 is a prototype, the F-22A is the aircraft serving in the USAF, and seen in the Iron Man movie, and the F-22 and F/A-22 are incorrect designations. The FB-22 has yet to fly, and the YF-23 is most likely not going to grace our skies again.

    The F-22 Raptor (ATF) will replace our F-15 Eagle / Strike Eagle and the F-35 Lightning II (JSF) will replace our F-16 Falcon as well as suppliment other aircraft fleets.

    (It is the opinion of this pilot that the F-15 and F-16 will likely not be retired altogether)

  44. major swaggs
    Posted August 27, 2009 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    ok you have to remember that the ironman universe is not ours its marvels and in there stark inds. is just like lm and ng and everyone else. so assuming that stark made the jets and g36 is a good bet. he did after all make everything for shield. sorry im late

  45. William
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    John3Sobieski no one asked for you to be so cocky on here. I highly doubt you know as much as you think you know. You aren’t impressing anyone on here. And don’t ever compare yourself to any vets.

  46. Posted May 23, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    you god

  47. Wayne
    Posted June 22, 2010 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    The Stark industries of Iron Man is modelled off Lockheed Martin. Films have to be modelled off something. For example Cyberdine off Terminator was modelled off Microsoft and IBM

  48. glandon
    Posted August 17, 2010 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    ok ok so i didnt bother to read the whole blog however considering that im an aviation electronics technician i keep a close eye on the companies who have contracts with military aviation. John3Sobieski the main difference between the F-22 and the F-35 is the fact that the F-22 has two engines where as the F-35 only has one. both jets were designed by lockheed martin using similar stealth technology hence the similarities in the design for the airframe. it is sad that funding for the F-22 project has fell through, however it should also be known that during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq the F-22 never dropped a single bomb or missile. to date all four branches of the military are still planning on accepting the F-35.

  49. Dingo8myOprah
    Posted September 16, 2010 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    Does anyone know (highly dubious, due to the nature & content of above comments ;) what the passenger plane is? The one with the modified rear fuselage & stub-wings.
    I have seen footage of it before & I am fairly certain that it is based on a DC10 airframe (although a lot of test-beds carry the ‘MD’ nomenclature)

  50. stark1
    Posted January 8, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    the lockheed martin symbol and the stark industries symbol look alike

  51. stark1
    Posted January 8, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    im bored

  52. stark56
    Posted January 8, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    lockheed martin needs a new symbol

  53. stark56
    Posted January 8, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    stark industries is a spoof of lockheed martin

  54. bsa
    Posted February 4, 2011 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    haha! Same again tonight then? Don’t know how ya can do it. Iron man looks cool

  55. Phil Ben
    Posted April 28, 2011 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    The accommodating smack combatant is NOT the equivalent as the F-22 Raptor. Completely different planes! :) Thanks a lot buddy for your shearing! :)

  56. Posted February 14, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Well, you’re kind of right. I didn’t come over here to start an argument or anything, but while the connection you’ve made between the movie’s representation of Stark Industries to Lockheed is certainly correct, you have to remember that Iron Man is a very, very old comic book (1963). Back then there wasn’t a Lockheed Martin yet, just a Lockheed Corporation, and at that time, there were many companies who were in the business of war profiteering. Stark Industries is really a representation of all of these companies, while Iron Man has always been a comic book (now movie) indictment of war profiteering in general.

    However, I do have to give you props for the logo. In all of my time of both loving Iron Man and condemning war profiteering companies, I don’t think I’d ever even seen the Lockheed Martin logo before. Very similar, and I’m willing to bet that was a Joss Whedon idea.

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3 Trackbacks

  1. [...] it funny that one apparent model for Stark Industries is Lockheed Martin  – a comparison that has been blogged about, with one blog-commenter from the world of LMCO employees claiming that ”Lockheed [...]

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  3. By Akin on April 30, 2014 at 2:45 pm

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