Justin Hammer

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Justin Hammer
JustinHammerHandbook.png
Justin Hammer.
Art by Ron Lim.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Iron Man #120 (Mar 1979)
Created by David Michelinie
John Romita, Jr.
Bob Layton
In-story information
Full name Justin Hammer
Team affiliations Hammer Industries
Abilities Genius-level intellect
Expert strategist

Justin Hammer is a fictional character that has appeared in 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.

Publication history[edit]

Justin Hammer first appeared in Iron Man #120 (March 1979), and was created by David Michelinie, John Romita, Jr., and Bob Layton.[1]

Fictional character biography[edit]

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.[2] 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 he has had a major enemy behind multiple attacks on his interests for years.[3]

With help from the supervillain Force, Hammer next hijacked yachts to smuggle opium into the United States. They battled Iron Man and were defeated.[4] 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.[5]

For a time, Hammer frequently hired the villain group known as the Death Squad in an attempt to kill both Tony Stark and Iron Man, but fired the group after they constantly failed.[citation needed]

When Force later attempted to go straight, Hammer sent Beetle, Blacklash, and Blizzard II to retrieve Force, but they were defeated by Force with help from Iron Man and Jim Rhodes.[6]

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).[7] 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.[8] He sent his "B-Team" (Blacklash, Blizzard, and Boomerang) to battle Ghost and Iron Man.[9]

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.[10] 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.[11] He sent Boomerang to raid a Stark Enterprises security office[12] and hired Taskmaster to train the second Spymaster.[13]

Later, Hammer agreed to design a new costume for Rhino.[14] He sent Rhino and Boomerang to battle Cardiac.[15] 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.[16]

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,[17] 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.

Hammer later sent Barrier, Blacklash, and Ringer to recruit Luis Barrett to become the new Thunderbolt. The three villains were foiled by the Pantheon.[18]

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."[19]

Justin is later revealed to be the father of Justine Hammer and the grandfather of Sasha Hammer.[20]

Powers and abilities[edit]

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.

Other versions[edit]

Ultimate Marvel[edit]

The Ultimate Marvel version of Justin Hammer.

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' main competitor. In an effort to surpass Osborn Industries, Hammer hired Osborn's top scientist Otto Octavius and paid him for inside information.[21] 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.[22]

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.[23]

His daughter Justine Hammer appears in the Ultimate Armor Wars series. She is found in a facility under Stark Industries that is being shut down by Stark after the Ultimatum attack on New York. The changes made to her by her father are degrading and killing her, until she is saved by Stark. She subsequently joins him on an international mission to recover stolen information regarding Iron Man tech.[24]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • A younger version of Justin Hammer appears in the Avengers Assemble episode "Super-Adaptoid", voiced by Jason Spisak. He created the Super-Adaptoid to successfully impress Red Skull and MODOK by testing it on the Avengers. The Avengers managed to find a way to destroy it. Displeased at what happened, Red Skull tells MODOK that Hammer has failed the audition while Super-Adaptoid has passed the audition. In the episode "Savage," Hammer leads a mining operation in the Savage Land to harvest its vibranium so that he can get into the Cabal. He uses mind-controlled velociraptors with lasers on them to capture Captain America, Hawkeye, and Falcon when they stumble onto his operation. Hammer reports their capture to Red Skull who wants Hammer to have Tony Stark captured as well if he wants to gain a position as Red Skull's right-hand man. With the help of a tribe of pacifist Rock People, Stark is able to free his teammates and stop the mining operation. When Red Skull calls Hammer during the attack, Hammer calls this a minor setback. Red Skull tells Hammer that Hammer has failed him and that their next meeting will be an unpleasant one. Hammer then uses his Hammer Buster 3000 laser to attack the Avengers until Stark removes the charger from the laser. In the episode "Exodus," Hammer's lab containing the proto-weapons is raided by MODOK (who is controlling Super-Adaptoid) and A.I.M. as the Avengers face off against Super-Adaptoid. Following the battle, A.I.M. retreats with some of the proto-weapons and Hammer asks the Avengers who will be paying for the damages. In the episode "Crack in the System," Ultron takes control of the Dreadnoughts at a Hammer Industries facility while making an experimental battle armor form around Hammer. After the Dreadnoughts are destroyed, Hammer is removed from the armor as he vows that Tony Stark will be hearing from his Board of Directors while threatening to buy Stark Industries.

Film[edit]

Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer as seen in Iron Man 2.
  • Sam Rockwell portrays Justin Hammer in Iron Man 2.[26] This version of Hammer is closer to Tony Stark in age. He is an American defense contractor and rival to Tony Stark. Hammer is present when Tony is summoned to Congress to discuss selling the Iron Man armors. When Tony hacks the television screen to show everyone present different people's attempts at an Iron Man armor, Hammer's company is among the attempts seen where the company's attempt at the Iron Man armor didn't go well (specifically, 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 Tony Stark, he recruits Ivan Vanko to build him armored suits after having him sprung from prison. Hammer's company later assisted in turning the Iron Man armor that James Rhodes confiscated into the War Machine armor. Hammer is later betrayed by Vanko and soon thereafter arrested by the police during Iron Man and War Machine's fight with Whiplash.
  • Rockwell reprises his role of Justin Hammer in the Marvel One-Shot titled "All Hail the King." Hammer is seen as an inmate at Seagate Prison and is not impressed by Trevor Slattery (who alongside Aldrich Killian had posed as the Mandarin in Iron Man 3).[27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ Iron Man #118, 120, 123
  3. ^ Iron Man #124–127
  4. ^ Iron Man #140–141
  5. ^ Iron Man #217
  6. ^ Iron Man #223–224
  7. ^ Iron Man #225
  8. ^ Iron Man #238
  9. ^ Iron Man #239–240
  10. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #318–319
  11. ^ Iron Man #243
  12. ^ Avengers Spotlight #27
  13. ^ Iron Man #254
  14. ^ Deadly Foes of Spider-Man #4
  15. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #344–345
  16. ^ Amazing Spider-Man Annual #26; Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #12; Web of Spider-Man Annual #8; New Warriors Annual #2
  17. ^ Iron Man #281–283
  18. ^ Incredible Hulk Annual #17
  19. ^ Iron Man: Bad Blood #1-4
  20. ^ Matt Fraction (w), Salvador Larocca (a). "Stark Resilient Part 1" The Invincible Iron Man v5, 25 (August 2011), Marvel Comics
  21. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #16 (February 2002)
  22. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #20 (June 2002)
  23. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #17 (March 2002)
  24. ^ Ultimate Comics Armor Wars #1 (December 2009))
  25. ^ http://marvel.toonzone.net/news.php?action=fullnews&id=676
  26. ^ Rappe, Elisabeth (January 16, 2009). "Sam Rockwell Confirms Himself For 'Iron Man 2'". Cinematical. Retrieved April 20, 2013. 
  27. ^ Costain, Kevin (February 7, 2014). ""Marvel One-Shot: All Hail The King" – Review". Movie Viral. Archived from the original on February 8, 2014. Retrieved February 8, 2014. 

External links[edit]