Fictional character biography
Obadiah Stane in the Iron Monger armor,
artist Mark Bright
Iron Man #163
Iron Man #200
|Created by||Dennis O'Neil (writer)
Luke McDonnell (artist)
|Alter ego||Obadiah Stane|
|Team affiliations||The Chessmen
As a child, Obadiah's father Zebediah Stane was a degenerate gambler and Obadiah's mother died of unknown reasons. One day, his father, who considered himself on a "lucky streak"; played a game of Russian roulette and shot himself in the head while the young Stane watched. This trauma caused Obadiah to go bald, and shaped his outlook on life. From then on, Obadiah 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 Stark and his wife 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 (the son of Howard Stark). Stane has his agents, the Chessmen, attack Stark Industries and assault James Rhodes, a confidant of Tony. He also confronts Tony 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 the help of S.H.I.E.L.D., Stane buys out Stark International, which he then renames Stane International. Stark, having fallen off the wagon, relinquishes his armor to Jim 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 Tony 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 a 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, along with twins Morley and Clytemnestra Erwin, in starting a new company in Silicon Valley, which is eventually 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 the abduction of Bethany Cabe, 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, 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 Erwin and 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 in the form of 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. Stark later regains complete control over his own company, which he renames Stark Enterprises.[volume & issue needed]
During the Dark Reign storyline, Obadiah Stane 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 power was undone, it was Iron Monger who laid the first blow upon him, accompanied by the sound effect 'SHTAAANNE'.
Obadiah has a son named Ezekiel "Zeke" Stane who is introduced in The Order #8, as the brains and financial backing of a secret conspiracy to destroy the titular group, which has close ties to Stark. He would return in The Invincible Iron Man #1 to continue his vendetta against Stark in his father's name. He gradually adapts his body to become a complete cyborg to the extent he, for instance, regenerates injuries very quickly, no longer needs to breathe, and generates at least as much energy as Iron Man. He constructs a special exoskeleton to help him deal with excess heat (and turn it into even more usable energy).
Other Iron Mongers
Stark's former college classmate Joey Cosmatos builds a third Iron Monger suit, working from 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.
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.
Ultimate Marvel (a cartoon in that reality} first shows a young Obadiah Stane in Ultimate Iron Man with Loni Stane (his mother) and visiting Zebediah Stane (his father) in jail (for kidnapped young Tony Stark, who is covered in the blue skin-armor that the elder Stane wanted to manufacture). During the visit, Loni tells Zebadiah that she'll divorce him and get half while Obadiah (their son) gets the other half after Zebadiah's death. 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. This incident hardens Tony's resolve to improve his armor and punish Obadiah. At this point, he has already begun to build a suit that closely resembles a traditional Iron Man suit. Later, Obadiah visits Howard Stark (who apparently murdered Zebadiah) and has the guards attempt murder Stark, but they failed. Obadiah reveals that he's working with Dolores, who is responsible for the earlier terrorist attack on the Stark building, and Dolores convinces 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 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, and that Tony is actually inside, 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 others 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 feds 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, 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 save his life several times and that they are now even. They are all picked up by the feds and go home.
In Ultimate Comics: Armor Wars, the mastermind behind the said events was Howard Stark Sr., whose human/machine armor slightly resembles the Iron Monger armor, along with some elements of Titanium Man.
In other media
- Obadiah Stane/Iron Monger appears in the animated series Iron Man: Armored Adventures, voiced by Mackenzie Gray.
- Jeff Bridges plays Obadiah Stane as the main antagonist in the 2008 film Iron Man. This version of Stane is Tony Stark's mentor, an old friend and business partner of his father's. Stane arranges for Stark to be kidnapped and killed by the Ten Rings to regain full control of Stark Industries. After suspecting that Stark is secretly building new arc reactor powered weapons Stane obtains the remains of Stark's Mark I armor from the Ten Rings and uses it as basis for his own armor design. He dons this armor during the film's final act.
- Obadiah Stane appears in the anime film Iron Man: Rise of Technovore He was voiced by JB Blanc. He is seen in a flashback involving his son Ezekiel.
- 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.
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
- Incredible Hercules #129
- Incredible Hercules #131
- Chaos War #2
- Matt Brady (2008-02-11). "Fraction, Larocca helm new Iron Man series in May". Newsarama. Retrieved 2008-02-11.
- Iron Man #212
- Captain America #354
- Iron Man #253
- Captain America #419
- 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