Obadiah Stane in the Iron Monger armor,
artist Mark Bright
|First appearance||(Obadiah Stane)
Iron Man #163
Iron Man #200
|Created by||Dennis O'Neil (writer)
Luke McDonnell (artist)
|Alter ego||Obadiah Stane|
|Team affiliations||The Chessmen
|Abilities||Master of psychological warfare
Cunning business strategist
Champion chess player
Use of Circuits Breaker and a consciousness exchanging device
Armored suit grants:
Superhuman strength and durability
The Iron Monger is an identity used by several fictional supervillains appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The identity's first and most notable incarnation, Obadiah Stane, first appeared in Iron Man #163 (October 1982), created by Dennis O'Neil and Luke McDonnell, while the Iron Monger armor first appeared in Iron Man #200 (November 1985).
- 1 Publication history
- 2 Fictional character biography
- 3 Powers and abilities
- 4 Other versions
- 5 In other media
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Fictional character biography
When Obadiah was a child, his father Zebediah Stane was a degenerate gambler and Obadiah's mother died of unknown reasons. One day, his father considered himself on a "lucky streak" and played a game of Russian roulette and shot himself in the head while his young son watched. This trauma caused Obadiah to go bald, and shaped his outlook on life. From then on, Stane was a ruthless manipulator who studied his adversaries to find weaknesses to exploit. Stane enjoys chess, and lives his life with the same kind of methodical logic that he uses in the game. In addition, he is a strong believer in using psychological manipulation to his advantage. For instance, in a childhood chess match against another boy whose skill at least equaled his own, he killed the boy's dog so that the other would be distracted from the game.
In adulthood, Obadiah Stane becomes the President and CEO of his own company (Stane International) as a munitions dealer. He also goes into business with Howard Stark. After the elder Stark died in a car accident, Stane turns his sights on acquiring control of Stark International, the industrial corporation he had worked with, now owned by Tony Stark (Howard's son). Stane has his agents - known as the Chessmen - attack Stark Industries and assault James Rhodes (Tony's confidant). He also confronts the younger Stark in person. Stane also sets up Indries Moomji as Stark's lover without Stark knowing that Moomji is actually the Chessmen's Queen. Meanwhile, Stane and his associates conspire to lock Stark International out of various business deals. Stark eventually learns that Stane is the mastermind behind these attacks, but is unable to confront him. The assaults on Stark, his business, and his friends push Stark to the edge, and he relapses into alcoholism. With S.H.I.E.L.D.'s help, Stane buys out Stark International, which he then renames Stane International. Stark, having fallen off the wagon, relinquishes his armor to Rhodes and disappears to be a homeless vagrant. Rhodes becomes the new Iron Man while ignoring Stane's demands to relinquish the armor. Rhodes eventually thwarts Stane in his attempt to take over the Iron Man battle-suits.
Looking through Stark Enterprises' records, Stane discovers Stark's notes on the Iron Man armor. The notes are incomplete and highly advanced, but Stane assigns a team of scientists to decipher them; they eventually create the Iron Monger armor which, according to Stane, is "far superior to Stark's Iron Man armor". He even considers selling the suit to the highest bidder or creating an army of Iron Mongers, using them to "take over any country he wanted".
While living on the streets, Stark befriends pregnant homeless woman Gertl Anders. After she dies in childbirth, Stark promises to protect the child. This vow helps Stark overcome his alcoholism. When Stark recovers, he joins Rhodes and the Erwin twins (Morley and Clytemnestra) in starting a new company in Silicon Valley, which is then dubbed Circuits Maximus. Stark builds a new prototype armor, resembling his original gray suit, in order to test new designs; Stark ends up using the armor to stop an out-of-control Rhodes, and then to assist the West Coast Avengers against Doctor Demonicus, while using the Avengers' facilities to construct an advanced armor, the Silver Centurion.[volume & issue needed]
Realizing that Stark is once again a potential threat, Stane orders Bethany Cabe's abduction, and plans an attack to take out Iron Man, whom Stane believes is currently either Rhodes or one of the Erwins. He sends an attack drone known as the Circuits Breaker to destroy Iron Man, but both Rhodes and Stark are able to defeat it. Stane further plots against Stark by switching the minds of Masque and Cabe, and by abducting Stark's old friends Happy Hogan, Pepper Potts and Bambi Arbogast. Stane eventually detonates a bomb planted inside the Circuits Maximus dome, killing Morley while wounding Rhodes and Clytemnestra.
When Cly confronts Stark at the hospital, Tony realizes he has to face Stane directly; he collects his newly completed Silver Centurion and flies to Long Island. Stark confronts Stane on the property of Stane International and defeats Stane's agents, including the Chessmen, who had proven a match for his previous armor. Stane dons the Iron Monger armor and confronts Stark personally. The Iron Monger is more powerful than the previous Iron Man armor, but not the Silver Centurion model, which includes such features as the ability to absorb the heat from the Iron Monger's thermal rays and channel it into the armor's own energy supplies. Stane tries to defeat Stark by tricking him into entering a room where Happy, Pepper, and Mrs. Arbogast are being held in suspended animation tanks. The walls of the room are covered with photo-electric cells that will send 200,000 volts into their bodies if Stark moves. Stark uses his armor's sensors to find the trap's power source, and destroys it with his chest-plate's uni-beam weapon.
Having freed his friends, Stark confronts Stane and the villain learns that even in the Iron Monger armor, he is no match for Stark. Finally, Stane uses his last card: Gertl Anders' infant son, whom Stane had abducted from an orphanage. Stane tells Stark to remove his helmet or he will crush the baby. Stark, having detected interfering frequencies in his armor's systems throughout the battle, deduces that Stane isn't experienced enough to pilot the armor without some help via an external computer. He uses his armor's pulse bolts to destroy the building containing that computer, causing Stane's Iron Monger armor to seize up. Refusing to be arrested and humiliated, Stane fires his repulsor ray beam into his head, disintegrating his skull.
While Stark would make a fresh start with a new company, Stark Enterprises, another rival of his, Justin Hammer, would take control of Stane International and continue Obadiah Stane's unethical business practices. It's only when Stark himself is confronted over those practices that he learns of Hammer's ownership stake and forces him to sell the company back to Stark.
During the Dark Reign storyline, Obadiah in his Iron Monger armor was chosen as a member of Pluto's jury of the damned to decide the fate of Zeus. When the lord of Hades's power was undone, it was Iron Monger who laid the first blow upon him, accompanied by the sound effect 'SHTAAANNE'.
Other Iron Mongers
After Obadiah Stane's death, the original Iron Monger armor was obtained by the United States government. General Lewis Haywerth has one of the Guardsmen use it to test the combat skills of a U.S. Agent.
Joey Cosmatos was Tony Stark's former college classmate that builds a third Iron Monger suit, working from Obadiah Stane's plans. This suit is worn by the criminal Slagmire, an operative of underworld boss Mr. Desmond.
A group of renegade New York City Police Department officers calling themselves 'the Cabal' commissions Stane International to design a suit of combat armor that they would use to hunt down and kill criminals as their own personal Punisher agent. Various members of the Cabal wear the resulting Savage Steel armor at different times, coming into conflict with Iron Man and Darkhawk.
Ezekiel "Zeke" Stane is Obadiah Stane's son introduced in The Order #8 as the brains and financial backing of a secret conspiracy to destroy The Order and would return in The Invincible Iron Man #1 to continue his vendetta against Tony Stark in his father's name. Obadiah's son gradually adapts his body to become a complete cyborg to the extent he regenerates injuries very quickly, no longer needs to breathe, and generates at least as much energy as Stark's Iron Man armor. He constructs a special exoskeleton to help him deal with excess heat (and turn it into even more usable energy).
Powers and abilities
Obadiah Stane was a genius with an M.B.A.. He was a master of psychological warfare, a cunning business strategist, and a champion chess player. However, he had a classic narcissistic complex; his ego was his greatest vulnerability.
As Iron Monger, Stane also used the Circuits Breaker, a flying robotic weapon that fires air-to-surface missiles. He also used a device created by Dr. Theron Atlanta for exchanging the consciousness of two human subjects.
The Iron Monger armor, manufactured by Stane International and code-named I-M Mark One, is an armored battle-suit of "omnium steel" (a fictional alloy), containing various offensive weaponry including a powered exoskeleton that amplified the user's strength, repulsor rays fired from the gauntlets, and an intense laser beam housed in the battle-suit's chest unit. The suit provides the user with the ability of subsonic flight, thanks to magnetically powered turbine boot jets. Since the Iron Monger armor was based on a modified version of Tony Stark's Iron Man design, the armor's abilities are very similar to the original red and gold armor, but with increased power. The repulsors were more powerful and the armor was also larger than the armor of Iron Man. It was presumably proportionally stronger as well. The Iron Monger (unlike the Iron Man armor) was also externally computer-controlled, Stane attempting to use the remote control to compensate for his lack of experience in using the armor, a vulnerability Stark exploited to disable the suit.
The original Ultimate Marvel version of Obadiah Stane is shown as the young son of Loni Stane and Zebediah Stane. During a visit in jail, his mother divorces his father while he gets the other half. The story then fast forwards to Obadiah being enrolled in a special school at his mother's personal request. Shortly after their arrival, Obadiah murders a pair of students (Link and Dodge) and made it look like an accident which hardens Tony Stark's resolve to improve his Iron Man armor and punish Obadiah. Later, Obadiah visits Howard Stark in jail and has the guards attempt to murder him but they failed. Obadiah reveals that he's working with Dolores and Dolores convinced Obadiah to try and murder Howard. Obadiah drugs a prison guard with a "hypnotizing" bio-drug, and the guard tries to kill Howard. He fails, but Howard gets shot in the process and is in the ICU and Tony sends one of his "robots" to protect his father in the hospital. Tony (in his Iron Man armor) goes to Obadiah’s house and confronts him on setting up Howard and sending him to prison for Zebediah's murder. Obadiah says it was all Dolores' idea, and sets up a meeting with Dolores and Tony. Obadiah also figures out that the armor is not a robot, a fact he shares with Dolores before he meets with Tony.
Dolores and Tony make a deal. Dolores will give Tony the information about the terrorists with nukes who plan to bomb the city, and Tony will give Dolores one of his "robots". Tony, knowing that Dolores knows he wears the armor personally decides to trick him and actually bring an Iron Man suit that is remote controlled. Dolores and Tony meet on a place together, holding each other hostage while their friends confirm each other's end of the bargain. Dolores is skeptical because the robot isn't walking smoothly and is clumsy, and Tony is skeptical because the feds found a nuke but no terrorists with it, and the deal for terrorists. Dolores' men plan to kill the Federal agents who delivered them the robot, but Rhodes shows up to save them.
Tony then realizes that Dolores is no longer on the plane, and upon breaking into the cockpit he sees another nuke. He can't disable it, because then a separate bomb will go off, destroying the nuke and plane. War Machine goes to Dolores' mansion, only to find him dead. Someone booby trapped his piano, and it blew up in his face while he was playing. Tony flies the plane low enough to the water that Obadiah can jump off into the water. He then gets his nanobots to disarm the nuke and set off the smaller bomb while he attempts to jump off the plane. They realize that another arms dealer was out to kill everyone (Dolores, Obadiah and Tony).
Meanwhile, Howard is recovered enough to go to prison, but the guards sent to escort him were not sent by the Police Department. Howard fights them off and escapes. Tony meets with him, and says that he thinks it was Loni that is the mastermind behind the scenes trying to kill them. Tony, James Rhodes, Nifara, Howard and Obadiah set off to Utah to find Loni. They arrive and their chopper explodes, injuring Rhodes. Obadiah falls off a cliff, but Iron Man catches him as terrorists arrive on the scene. Iron Man flees, but follows them as they take Obadiah to his mother, Loni, and their hideout. Iron Man breaks into the compound and Loni floods it with poison gas trying to kill him, abandoning Obadiah. After Tony beats Loni and tends to Howard, Obadiah (mad that his mother abandoned him for dead with the poison gas) enters the room and kills her. However, he decides not to attack Tony, stating that he had saved his life several times and that they are now even. They are all picked up by the feds and go home.
In the retconned Ultimate Marvel universe, the mastermind of Ultimate Comics: Armor Wars was Howard Stark Sr., Tony Stark's grandfather that's in a human/machine armor that resembles the Iron Monger armor with some elements of Titanium Man.
In other media
Obadiah Stane appears in the animated series Iron Man: Armored Adventures, voiced by Mackenzie Gray. Unlike his partner, Howard Stark, Stane attempts to drive Stark International into producing weapons for the military, using even criminal means which eventually become his downfall. He is also portrayed as the father of Whitney Stane, the series' version of Madame Masque. The Iron Monger itself is a giant robot mech suit built by Stark International. It was first piloted by O'Brien to tear down a derelict city block, later by Obadiah Stane after O'Brien was fired, and finally by Madame Masque when she was impersonating her father.
- Jeff Bridges portrays Obadiah Stane in Iron Man, the first installment in the live-action Marvel Cinematic Universe film series. The film presents Stane as both a friend and business partner to Howard Stark, having become Tony Stark's mentor after his father's death. Motivated to make a profit in the arms market, selling weapons to America's enemies, Stane arranged for Stark to be kidnapped and killed by the Ten Rings terrorist group to take full control of Stark Industries. But when Stane learns the full story of Stark's escape from the terrorist group who initially reneged on their deal with Stane over learning that it was Stark they were kidnapping, Stane obtains the remains of Stark's Mark I armor from the Ten Rings as a peace offering, before he eliminates the terrorist group. From there, Stane secretly engineered his own armor with the arc reactor he stole from Stark powering it after his scientists are unable to replicate it. Stane believed that Tony's recent actions, such as discontinuing the manufacturing of his weapons, were leading Stark Industries to ruin and destroying his father's legacy, giving Stane all the more reason to eliminate Stark. With his criminal activities revealed, Stane dons the armor to attack Potts and several S.H.I.E.L.D. agents before he fights Iron Man and dies when knocked unconscious and falling into the overloaded reactor at Stark Industries, which explodes. According to S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson, Stane's death is passed off as being a passenger on an airplane with questionable engineering. Stane is briefly seen on Ivan Vanko's magazine cover in Iron Man 2.
- Obadiah Stane appears in the anime film Iron Man: Rise of Technovore, voiced by Takaya Hashi in the Japanese version and by J.B. Blanc in the English dub. He is seen in a flashback involving his son Zeke Stane.
- Three Iron Monger figures are featured in the initial Iron Man film toy line by Hasbro, one of which features an "opening cockpit" that reveals Jeff Bridges' character inside. The second has a smashing fist action, with less movie accurate red lights. The third figure has since been repainted and released to appear more like the comic version's blue armor. A repaint of the Fist Smash Attack Iron Monger mold called Battle Monger in the colors of Iron Man, is an upgraded model according to its bio.
- A figure of Iron Monger, based on his appearance in the film Iron Man, was released in wave 21 of the Marvel Minimates line, and a battle damaged version was released as a retailer exclusive.
- A figure of Iron Monger based on his film appearance was released in the Iron Monger Attacks 4-pack from the Marvel Super Hero Squad line, packaged with 2 figures of Iron Man and one of War Machine, and Titanium Man. The same figure was released in the Crimson Dynamo Attacks 4-pack, packaged with 2 figures of Iron Man and one of War Machine. A second figure, based on his comic book appearance, was released in the Armor Wars: Part I 3-pack, packaged with Iron Man and War Machine.
- 2 figures of Iron Monger were released in Hasbro's 3.75" Iron Man 2 movie tie-in line. A figure based on his appearance in the film Iron Man was released in wave 1, and a figure based on the comic book armor was released in wave 4.
- Hong Kong-based Hot Toys released a 1:6 scale Iron Monger figure in their "Movie Masterpiece" line, featuring LED lights in the chest, arms and head, a retractable shoulder-mounted rocket, and optional flight parts for the legs. The chest opens to reveal the torso and head of Obadiah Stane, featuring an accurate likeness of actor Jeff Bridges.
Novels and books
In the novel Spider-Man: Venom's Wrath, an early scene features Spider-Man confronting a teenager named Daniel in a "cheesy exoskeleton" who calls himself the Iron Monger, and attempts to rob a movie theater (a police officer told Spider-Man that this was the third time he had attempted something like this). Spider-Man explains that "an ironmonger is someone who sells iron, not someone who wears it. Last guy to use the name was an industrialist, so it fit him." Daniel's suit includes a laser weapon he calls a "hydrogel blast", despite Spider-Man realizing that term makes no sense.
- Iron Man #163-165
- Iron Man #166
- Iron Man #167
- Iron Man #173-174
- Iron Man #189
- Iron Man #190
- Iron Man #182
- Iron Man #184
- Iron Man #188
- Iron Man #191-192
- Iron Man #195-197-198-199
- Iron Man #200 (Nov 1985)
- Iron Man #200
- Iron Man #217 (Apr 1987)
- Iron Man #281-283 (Jun-Aug 1992)
- Incredible Hercules #129
- Incredible Hercules #131
- Chaos War #2
- Iron Man #212
- Captain America #354
- Iron Man #253
- Captain America #419
- Matt Brady (2008-02-11). "Fraction, Larocca helm new Iron Man series in May". Newsarama. Retrieved 2008-02-11.
- Ultimate Iron Man #1-4
- Ultimate Iron Man 2 #1
- Ultimate Iron Man 2 #3
- Ultimate Iron Man Vol. 2 #4
- Ultimate Comics: Armor Wars #3
- "New Cast Information On Upcoming "Iron Man: Armored Adventures" Series" James Harvey, Toon Zone, October 01, 2008
- This week's cover: 'Iron Man 2' with exclusive photos! | PopWatch Blog | EW.com
- Iron Man: Iron Monger- Product Detail
- Iron Monger at Marvel.com