Anton and Howard together developed the first arc reactor. The increasing discoveries that the two of them made fueled Anton's desire to sell their technology and get rich, which led Howard to turn his back on Anton. Anton was later accused of espionage and deported back to the Soviet Union.
After Anton Vanko couldn't deliver the Soviet government what they desired of him, Anton was banished to Siberia where he raised his son Ivan. Still infuriated by Howard's betrayal, he trained his son Ivan in engineering, and upon seeing Howard's son Tony as the Iron Man, Anton told his son Ivan that it should be him in Tony's place before quietly passing away.