Art by Ron Lim.
|First appearance||Iron Man #120 (March 1979)|
|Created by||David Michelinie|
John Romita Jr.
|Full name||Justin Hammer|
|Place of origin||Surrey, England|
|Team affiliations||Hammer Industries|
Justin Hammer is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. As a frequent adversary of the superhero Iron Man, Hammer exists in Marvel's main shared universe, known as the Marvel Universe.
As he explains in his first major appearance, Hammer is the reason why many of Iron Man's supervillain enemies have access to extremely advanced technology and why these foes use their equipment for violent crimes instead of profiting by bringing the designs to market. Hammer reveals that the villains are his underworld mercenaries, secretly armed and contractually obliged to fulfill missions against Hammer's competitors and enemies, such as Tony Stark.
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Justin Hammer first appeared in Iron Man #120 (March 1979), and was created by David Michelinie, John Romita Jr., and Bob Layton. Layton himself recalled in a 2014 interview that he and Michelinie originally created Hammer as the cautionary tale of what kind of person Tony Stark might have become if he stayed on his path as a global war profiteer, as well as a tribute to actor Peter Cushing; in Layton's words, Stark and Hammer are essentially in the same line of work, but with diametrically opposed moral views.
Fictional character biography
Justin Hammer was born in Surrey, England and later became a citizen of Monaco. A rival of industrialist Tony Stark (Iron Man), multi-billionaire businessman Hammer later became a criminal financier using unethical methods. In exchange for fifty percent of the crime profits, he would pay bail for costumed criminals and finance the development and replacement of both their weaponry and equipment. In the event that a mercenary under his employ violated his contract, Hammer would send an enforcement unit (usually led by his most reliable supervillain employee Blacklash) to attack the rogue and confiscate his assigned equipment.
At the start of the Demon in a Bottle storyline, Hammer invented a device called the Hypersonic Scan Transmitter which allowed him to take control of Iron Man's armor. He tested this remote control affecting Iron Man's unibeam, sealing plates, and boot jets. Angered that he had lost a lucrative bid to Stark International, he took control of Iron Man's armor and forced him to kill the Carnelian ambassador, and set an army of superhuman criminals (consisting of Beetle I, Constrictor, Discus, Leap-Frog, Man-Killer, Porcupine I, Stiletto, and Water Wizard) against Iron Man. Ultimately, Tony Stark not only cleared his name and destroyed the control device, but finally learned that a major enemy was behind multiple attacks on his interests for years.
With help from the supervillain Force, Hammer next hijacked yachts to smuggle opium into the United States. They battled Iron Man and were defeated. When Stark lost his company to Obadiah Stane, Hammer left the destitute Stark to his own devices while continuing with his own enterprises. When Stark recovered and re-entered the business world with Stark Enterprises, Hammer sent the Adap-Tor (a robotic attack drone disguised as a helicopter) to attack the new company as a way of "welcoming" Stark back.
During the "Armor Wars" storyline, Hammer had Tony Stark's Iron Man technology stolen by Spymaster and sold it to a number of superhumans who wore powered armor (including Stilt-Man, the Raiders, the Mauler, Beetle, Crimson Dynamo and the Titanium Man). Iron Man set about to disable the Stark-based technology in the suits in question, going so far as to also disable sanctioned technology in the armor of S.H.I.E.L.D.'S Mandroids and the Vault's Guardsmen, leading him into conflict with The Captain and his fellow Avengers.
Hammer later sent the Rhino (who Hammer once provided a removable version of his armor to) to break Blizzard out of prison. He sent his "B-Team" (Blacklash, Blizzard, and Boomerang) to battle Ghost and Iron Man.
Hammer redesigned Scorpion's tail and sent him to abduct General Musgrave. When Scorpion refused to complete his mission, Hammer sent Blacklash and the Rhino to retrieve the tail. Hammer later learned that Tony Stark had been shot, and ordered a batch of orchids to be sent to him with a card expressing condolences should he live. He sent Boomerang to raid a Stark Enterprises security office and hired Taskmaster to train the second Spymaster.
Later, Hammer agreed to design a new costume for Rhino. He sent Rhino and Boomerang to battle Cardiac. With the Life Foundation, Roxxon Oil, Stane International, and the Brand Corporation, he abducted a number of superhuman beings to analyze their abilities. He also helped the first Sphinx to reclaim the Ka-Stone.
Years later, it was revealed that Hammer had obtained Stane International after the death of its chairman Obadiah Stane, causing problems for Tony Stark through his old company. With operatives of HYDRA, Roxxon Oil, Moroboshi International, and the Trinational Commission, he tricked the Masters of Silence into attacking Stark Enterprises. Even when forced to sell his stock in Stane International to Stark for the sum of one dollar, Hammer had the last laugh when all the shady dealings and irresponsible, or even criminal actions of Stane International came back to bite Tony later.
Discovering that he had been diagnosed with an incurable cancer-like illness, Hammer resolved to destroy Tony Stark before he died. He infected Stark's bloodstream with mood-altering nanites that made Stark irrational and temperamental. In a final confrontation with Iron Man on Hammer's own space station, Hammer was accidentally frozen in a block of ice when the water he fell into leaked out into space and instantly froze and is currently lost in space. While observing his frozen body drifting in Earth's orbit, Iron Man reflected that his foe would now "live forever".
Powers and abilities
Justin Hammer is a normal, middle-aged man. He has a degree in commerce and business, and is an extremely efficient administrator with a genius-level intellect. He has access to various forms of advanced technology designed by his technicians.
In the Ultimate Universe, Justin Hammer first appeared in Ultimate Spider-Man #16 (2002). His late father, Justin Hammer, Sr. was a head industrialist for his time, and now he, Justin Jr. is CEO of Hammer Industries and is from the south of the US rather than from Britain. He was rivals with Norman Osborn and was Osborn Industries's main competitor. In an effort to surpass Osborn Industries, Hammer hired Osborn's top scientist Otto Octavius and paid him for inside information. When Otto Octavius was caught in a lab accident, he was grafted with four metal arms. He blamed Hammer for this, and sought him out for revenge. He attacked Hammer in his limo, and Hammer subsequently died from a heart attack.
Justin Hammer has also been secretly funding superhuman testing directly violating the Superhuman Test Ban Treaty. Two of his more significant subjects were Electro and Sandman, both petty criminals who were given superhuman powers.
In other media
- Justin Hammer appeared as a villain in the Iron Man animated series, voiced by Tony Steedman (season one) and by Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (season two). This version was an enemy of Iron Man and an ally of the Mandarin. He seeks to make money off of the Mandarin's plans to defeat Iron Man.
- Justin Hammer appears in Iron Man: Armored Adventures, voiced by Michael Adamthwaite in a British accent. Depicted as a 21-year old, this version is one of season two's main antagonists, Hammer Multinational's owner, and the "Titanium Man" armor operator. After inheriting his family's fortune and company, Hammer arrives in New York along with his assistant Sasha, displaying vast amounts of influence such as being the benefactor to cyborg handler Mr. Fix (who Hammer later turns into his Hammer Tower's unwilling A.I.) and eagerness to take down Tony Stark's company after failing to buy it. In the Season 2 finale, "The Hammer Falls" Hammer discovers his growing paranoid behavior of framing his assistant Sasha is caused by Mr. Fix. Exposed for his criminal activity by the A.I. and Fix telling Tony, Hammer dons the new Titanium Man armor made of vibranium, exposing his double identity to War Machine. Hammer intends to set off a zombie gas (which mutated Killer Shrike earlier) above Manhattan, however Tony uses Extremis and pulls Hammer out of his armor, dropping him in a chamber at Hammer Tower. However Mr. Fix exposes Hammer to the gas, which results in Hammer being mindless and Fix destroyed by Stark trying to save Hammer. He is then taken into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody.
- Justin Hammer appears in the Avengers Assemble animated series, voiced by Jason Spisak. This version is similar to Sam Rockwell's portrayal from Iron Man 2. In the episode "Super-Adaptoid", he is the Super-Adaptoid's creator which he unleashes on the Avengers. Hammer (via Adaptoid) manages to outmatch the Avengers until Captain America bests Hammer's creation. With the Iron Skull displeased at what happened, Hammer failed his 'audition' while the Adaptoid managed to successfully impress. In the episode "Savage", Hammer leads a mining operation in the Savage Land to harvest vibranium so that he can get into the Cabal. He uses mind-controlled velociraptors equipped with lasers to capture Captain America, Hawkeye and the Falcon when his operation is stumbled upon. With the Iron Skull's promise of a right-hand man position, Hammer confronts Tony Stark helped by a tribe of pacifist Rock People. Stark is able to free the others and stop Hammer's mining operation. After the Iron Skull tells Hammer has failed and their next meeting will be an unpleasant one, Hammer uses a weapon to attack the Avengers until Stark removes the weapon's charger. In the episode "Exodus", Hammer's proto-weapons lab is raided by MODOK (via Adaptoid) and A.I.M. as the Avengers face off against Super-Adaptoid. In the episode "Crack in the System", Ultron takes control of Hammer's weapons and makes an experimental battle armor form around Hammer. After his weapons' destruction, Hammer vows that Iron Man will be hearing from his Board of Directors. Justin Hammer also appears in Avengers: Ultron Revolution. In the episode "The Thunderbolts", Hammer sends a bomb, planning to eliminate the Thunderbolts and the Avengers. After the bomb is disarmed, both groups had their members at the different bunkers that Justin is at where the two groups end up fighting his Mandroids. Iron Man and Citizen V found evidence that showed Hammer has connections with the Thunderbolts' publicist Gabby Talbott. Upon the latest bunker being found by the Avengers and the Thunderbolts, Justin attacked both teams in his Mega-Mandroid (equipped with a forcefield ability) to attack both teams. Upon his machine being disabled by Meteorite, Hammer is handed over to the authorities.
- Sam Rockwell portrays Justin Hammer in Iron Man 2. This version is closer to Tony Stark in age, and is an American defense contractor and rival, despite being portrayed as highly incompetent in comparison to Stark. Hammer is present when Stark is summoned to Congress to discuss selling Iron Man's armors. When Stark hacks the television screen to show everyone present different people's armor attempts, Hammer's company is among the attempts seen where the company's attempt at the armor didn't go well (as the test pilot's suit turned around 180 degrees and severed the pilot's spine). After that footage was shown, Hammer comments that the man in the suit is still alive. In his quest to best Stark, he recruits Ivan Vanko to build armored suits after having Vanko sprung from prison. Hammer's company later assisted in turning James Rhodes's confiscated armor into the War Machine armor. Hammer is later betrayed by Vanko and soon thereafter arrested by the police while threatening Pepper Potts during Iron Man's and War Machine's fight with Whiplash.
- Sam Rockwell reprises his role in the Marvel One-Shot titled All Hail the King. He is seen as an inmate at Seagate Prison and is not impressed by Trevor Slattery. Hammer was also shown to have a same-sex relationship with a younger inmate. He rants to his lover about Slattery and Pepper, the latter of whom is featured on his issue of Forbes magazine, but still seems to insist that "Tony and [him] are still cool".
- Rappe, Elisabeth (January 16, 2009). "Sam Rockwell Confirms Himself For 'Iron Man 2'". Cinematical. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
- Sanderson, Peter; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2008). "1970s". Marvel Chronicle A Year by Year History. Dorling Kindersley. p. 189. ISBN 978-0756641238.
Tony Stark's billionaire nemesis Justin Hammer made his first appearance in The Invincible Iron Man #120 by writer David Michelinie and artist John Romita, Jr. and Bob Layton.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
- Betancourt, David (February 22, 2016). "Frank Miller on his 'Dark Knight Returns' 30 years later: 'I was rooting for Batman all the way'". The Washington Post. Washington, D.C.
- García, Vicente (April 2014). "Interview with Bob by Dolmen Magazine". Dolmen Magazine.
- Iron Man #118, 120, 123
- Iron Man #124–127
- Iron Man #140–141
- Iron Man #217
- Iron Man #223–224
- Iron Man #225
- Iron Man #238
- Iron Man #239–240
- Amazing Spider-Man #318–319
- Iron Man #243
- Avengers Spotlight #27
- Iron Man #254
- Deadly Foes of Spider-Man #4
- Amazing Spider-Man #344–345
- Amazing Spider-Man Annual #26; Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #12; Web of Spider-Man Annual #8; New Warriors Annual #2
- Iron Man #281–283
- Incredible Hulk Annual #17
- Iron Man: Bad Blood #1-4
- Matt Fraction (w), Salvador Larocca (a). "Stark Resilient Part 1" The Invincible Iron Man v5, 25 (August 2011), Marvel Comics
- Ultimate Spider-Man #16 (February 2002)
- Ultimate Spider-Man #20 (June 2002)
- Ultimate Spider-Man #17 (March 2002)
- Ultimate Comics Armor Wars #1 (December 2009))
- "Supreme-Adaptoid". Avengers Assemble. Season 1. Episode 6. July 28, 2013. Disney XD.
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