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Fictional character biography
|First appearance||Iron Man #230 (May 1988)|
|Created by||David Michelinie, Bob Layton, and Mark Bright|
|Alter ego||Jack Taggert|
Jack Taggert worked on an experimental pilotable suit for Project: Firepower for Edwin Cord (a rival businessman of Tony Stark). The project was ostensibly designated by the U.S. Armed Forces, in conjunction with Senator Boynton, to serve as an ultimate deterrent against opponents of the United States. However, when Iron Man launched his "Armor Wars", attacking armored villains and even government agents without provocation, the Firepower program was modified with the specific goal of stopping Iron Man. While Taggert continued to train for the fight with Iron Man using a simulator rig, Boynton invited Tony Stark out to the first formal demonstration of the Firepower suit, believing that Iron Man would somehow find out from his "ex-employer", and hoping to lure the rogue Avenger into a trap. Stark chose to observe the tests from an SE helicopter, piloted by Jim Rhodes, thus allowing Stark to slip away as Iron Man and attack Firepower without his absence being noticed by Boynton or the military. The tests against tank and jet drones proved so devastating, however, that Rhodey suggested aborting; however, determined to destroy every last bit of Iron Man technology not under his control, Stark joined the fight. Iron Man found that the massive Firepower suit was able to withstand his attacks, and Firepower was even able to ambush Iron Man through a canyon wall. When Iron Man placed a Negator pack (the device he used to disable his armor technology) on Firepower, he was surprised to find out it didn't work - the government had studied the Negator pack that Iron Man had attempted to use on Stingray, and found a way to shield Firepower's circuits from the pack's effects. Badly damaged and wounded, Iron Man retreated to the helicopter, hoping to buy some time. However, Stark and Rhodey quickly realized that the military would consider them "acceptable losses" in stopping Iron Man, so just as Taggert was being ordered to target the chopper, Iron Man flew away. Taggert launched the "Terminax", a low-power nuclear missile, and completely destroyed the Iron Man armor, leaving its bloody bits to fall to the desert floor.
Stark had faked Iron Man's death by sending out the "Silver Centurion" armor on autopilot, filled with the store of spare blood they had kept on board the chopper "just in case", so as to allow the world to believe that Iron Man was dead (Stark's injuries were blamed on the shockwave from the Terminax detonation). Stark was content to leave Iron Man dead, but it was during this time that Edwin Cord took advantage. He blackmailed Boynton and the military into allowing him to keep Firepower, threatening to reveal to the press one of Firepower's "true" purposes - riot control. Cord then used Firepower to threaten the Marsten Manufacturing group to turn down a Stark bid, to attack SE division Acutech, and to personally attack and threaten Tony Stark and his workers. Finally having had enough of Firepower, Stark locked himself inside his private laboratory to build a brand new set of armor, incorporating several improvements and new weapons, as well as the "classic" red-and-gold color scheme. Even as the new armor was completed, Firepower was attacking another Stark Enterprises-owned facility, so Stark quickly faced off against Firepower as the "new" Iron Man. Taggert, convinced that he could dispatch this new Iron Man as quickly as he did the "first", was stunned to find the Firepower armor outclassed by his opponent. Iron Man was able to defeat or neutralize all of Firepower's main weapons. In a desperate, last-ditch attempt to win, Taggert activated the Terminax to launch without a set target, hoping that Iron Man would be vaporized in the attempt to stop or redirect the missile. However, the launcher backpack that housed the missile had been damaged by Iron Man's pulse bolts, trapping the Terminax and threatening everybody in the vicinity. Taggert pleaded with Iron Man to free him from the armor, but Iron Man told him that if the armor was magnetically sealed, there was nothing he could do to free him. Iron Man used an electromagnetic pulse - a trick learned from Force - to disable the Firepower armor (and his own) for six minutes. This bought Iron Man enough time to find a way to shut down the nuke's timer once the armors' systems came back online. Upon reboot, the timer had nine seconds left; Iron Man successfully stopped it in eight. Taggert, now no longer fearing being blown up, told Iron Man that there would be others just like him that would be out to kill Iron Man just as he had and destroy Stark Enterprises, whereupon Iron Man ripped the Firepower armor apart, stunning Taggert into acquiescence. Taggert and Cord were taken into custody, while Stark decided that the world still needed an Iron Man.
A second Firepower is a government official named David Roberts who was sent to bring down Atom-Smasher, an eco-terrorist who sought to make illegal dumping grounds on a property owned by Stane International (used for government projects) and came to the attention of the media. A new Firepower was sent in by high-ranking government officials that feared a scandal and ordered Atom Smasher eliminated. Sleeker than the original, this Firepower actually has fewer weapons but seems to pack a harder punch with the weapons still on board. Firepower engaged Atom Smasher and was holding his own. Then, War Machine decided to end the fight with an EMP blast that rendered both inoperable until their systems rebooted. Since Firepower's auto reboots after 14 minutes while War Machine's rebooted in 6 minutes, Rhodes carried the suit out to the army detail outside of the Stane Facility and ordered them off the property.
Powers and abilities
Firepower’s armor provides him with a high degree of protection from energy and physical attacks. His strength, reflexes and endurance have all been enhanced by his armor and he can fly at sub-sonic speeds. The suit is also air conditioned to prevent discomfort for the operator. The Firepower armor contains a vast array of sensors and an impressive array of weapons including four back-mounted surface-to-air missiles (and additional missiles mounted on leg hardpoints), chest-mounted heat beam lasers, mini-grenades and arm-mounted concussive cannons. The armor can also fire a small tactical nuclear missile known as Terminax from a back-mounted launch tube. Described as a "two-ton tuxedo" by Jack Taggart, the suit was extremely large and its wearer had to be lifted into it with a special crane.[volume & issue needed]
In Ultimate Comics: Armor Wars, the Ultimate Universe version of Armor Wars, Firepower is the codename for a London Metropolitan Police riot squad in power armor based on Ultimate Iron Man's stolen technology. Iron Man intervenes when the Firepower armor is used against peaceful protesters, and with Justine Hammer's help provides the British Government with proof that the designs the Government purchased were stolen, leading to them being recalled. The Ultimate Firepower armor has a striking resemblance to the Mark VI MJOLNIR armor from the Halo series.
In other media
In the two-part animated "Armor Wars" adaption of Iron Man, Firepower (voiced by Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.) was an automaton built by Justin Hammer to take down Iron Man. Because it was Hammer Industry Property, Iron Man's Negator Pack doesn't work on it. Iron Man faked his death, but returned in a new armor when it started to attack properties of Stark Industry. After preventing its missile from going off, Iron Man used his suit to hack into the remains of Firepower to learn that Justin Hammer was behind the armored villains using his Stark Armor designs.
Firepower appears in the Iron Man: Armored Adventures episode "Armor Wars." At the Stark International Guardsmen Expo, Firepower is introduced as the third Guardsmen who was made from the designs of the Hulkbuster Armor. After Iron Man hacks into the televised screen revealing Force and Shockwave's identities as Maggia enforcers. Firepower, Shockwave, and Force end up attacking Iron Man, but manages to take down Firepower by deactivating the cables in his armor.
Jack Taggert appears as a minor villain in Iron Man 3 (played by Ashley Hamilton). However his name is spelled "Taggart". In the film, Taggart is a soldier recruited by Aldrich Killian to participate in the Extremis program, where he is injected with the Extremis virus. At the Chinese Theatre, Taggert meets up with Eric Savin, Killian's henchman, who gives him a number of injections. Happy Hogan, who had been watching the scenario, attempts to confiscate an injection, however he is defeated when he fights Savin. Upon injecting himself, the virus in Taggert malfunctions, leading him to explode, with Hogan injured, while Savin is able to heal all of his injuries.
Firepower appears in the PSP, Wii, and mobile versions of the Iron Man 2 video game voiced by Cedric Yarbrough. He appears to be working with Advanced Idea Mechanics, joins the attack on Budapest and wears a big blue suit with more strength and weapons than the player (hence the name). He fights War Machine outside a hotel. War Machine already identifies Firepower to be a mercenary.
- Iron Man #230
- Iron Man #231
- Fraction, Matt (w), Larroca, Salvador (a). "Demon Part 4: Control" The Invincible Iron Man 513 (April 2012), Marvel Comics
- Iron Man #288
- Ultimate Comics: Armor Wars #3
- ‘Iron Man 3′ Adds Another Villain; Jon Favreau Returning as Happy Hogan
- Firepower I at Marvel.com