Iron Monger is an identity used by several fictional supervillains appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The first character to use the alias is Obadiah Stane, who first appeared in Iron Man #163 (October 1982). Created by Dennis O'Neil and Luke McDonnell, the Iron Monger armor first appeared in Iron Man #200 (November 1985).
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
Fictional character biographyEdit
Obadiah Stane was the first character to use the Iron Monger alias. When Obadiah was a child, his father was a degenerate gambler and Obadiah's mother had already died. One day, his father considered himself on a "lucky streak" and played a game of Russian roulette and shot himself in the head while young Obadiah 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's death in a car accident, Stane turns his sights on acquiring control of Stark International 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. Stane's assaults on Stark's business and friends push Stark to the edge, relapsing into alcoholism. With S.H.I.E.L.D.'s help, Stane buys out Stark International which he renames Stane International. Stark (having fallen off the wagon) relinquishes Iron Man's armor to Rhodes and disappears to be a homeless vagrant while Rhodes as Iron Man ignores Stane's demands to relinquish Iron Man's armor. Rhodes eventually thwarts Stane in his attempt to take over Iron Man's battle-suits.
Looking through Stark Enterprises' records, Stane discovers Stark's notes on Iron Man's armor. The notes are incomplete and highly advanced, but Stane assigns a team of scientists to decipher; they eventually create the Iron Monger armor which is "far superior to Stark's Iron Man armor" according to Stane. 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 who dies in childbirth, promising to protect the child which helps Stark overcome alcoholism to eventually confront Stane. Stark recovers, joining 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 the out-of-control Rhodes, and then to assist the West Coast Avengers against Doctor Demonicus, while using the Avengers' facilities to construct the advanced Silver Centurion armor.[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 which both Rhodes and Stark are able to defeat. Stane further plots against Stark by switching the minds of Madame 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 faces Stane directly; Iron Man collects the newly completed Silver Centurion and flies to Long Island. Iron Man confronts Stane on Stane International's property and defeats Stane's agents, including the Chessmen who had proven a match for Iron Man's previous armor. Stane dons the Iron Monger armor and confronts Iron Man personally. The Iron Monger is more powerful than Iron Man's previous 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 into the armor's own energy supplies. Stane tries to defeat Iron Man by tricking him into entering a room where Stark's friends (Happy, Pepper and Mrs. Arbogast) are being held in suspended animation tanks. The room's walls are covered with photo-electric cells that will send 200,000 volts into their bodies if Iron Man moves. Iron Man uses his armor's sensors to find the power source of Stane's trap, and destroys it with his chest-plate's uni-beam weapon.
With Stark's friends freed, Iron Man 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's infant son whom Stane had abducted from an orphanage. Stane tells Iron Man to remove the helmet or he will crush the baby. Having detected interfering frequencies in the armor systems throughout the battle, Iron Man deduces that Stane isn't experienced enough to pilot the Iron Monger armor without some help via an external computer. Stark uses his armor's pulse bolts to destroy the building containing that computer, causing Stane's Iron Monger armor to seize up. Stane (refusing to be arrested and humiliated) fires his repulsor ray beam into his head, disintegrating his skull.
When Stark would make a fresh start with the new company Stark Enterprises, Justin Hammer would take control of Stane International and continue Stane's unethical business practices. It's only when Stark himself is confronted over those practices that learning of Hammer's ownership stake and forces to sell the company back to Stark.
During the Dark Reign storyline, 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's power was undone, it was Iron Monger who laid the first blow, accompanied by the sound effect 'SHTAAANNE'.
Joey Cosmatos was Tony Stark's former college classmate that builds a third version of Iron Monger suit from Obadiah'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 like the Punisher. 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 who would have a vendetta against Tony Stark in his father's name. Obadiah's son gradually adapts his body to be a cyborg to the extent he regenerates injuries very quickly, no longer needs to breathe, and generates at least as much energy as the Iron Man armor. He constructs a special exoskeleton to help him deal with excess heat (and turn into even more usable energy).
Powers and abilitiesEdit
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 amplifies 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 are more powerful and the armor is also larger than the armor of Iron Man. It is presumably proportionally stronger as well. The Iron Monger (unlike the Iron Man armor) is also externally computer-controlled. Stane attempted 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 plane 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 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 mediaEdit
Obadiah Stane appears in Iron Man: Armored Adventures, voiced by Mackenzie Gray. In this continuity, he was Howard Stark's second in command at Stark Industries. However, upon the plane crash, Obadiah inherited the title of CEO, until Tony Stark was firstly old enough, and secondly gotten good results at school. He is an outspoken critic of Iron Man, and wishes to possess the armor for himself. In addition, he has been supplying criminals with high-powered tech (like Donnie Gill who became the Blizzard), from Howard's vault, the designs of which were based off of the Makluan rings. He has at times showed compassion though, for example, he tipped the FBI off about the hit on Tony, and he deeply cares for his daughter Whitney. Obadiah's downfall came when spy bugs planted in the Stark Industries mainframe by Tony revealed he had hired known criminal The Ghost to steal Iron Man's armor specs, making the Iron Monger armor, a giant robot mech suit built by first piloted by Michael O'Brien to tear down a derelict city block and later by Stane personally. After Stark confided in Stane tat his daughter was the most important thing, Obadiah began to shut his armor down, until his control was hijacked by a bug planted on the mecha by Titanium Man. At the end of the battle, Iron Monger fell to street below, sending Obadiah into a coma from which he has yet to awake.
- Jeff Bridges portrays Obadiah Stane / Iron Monger in the film set in Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- The character first appeared in the 2008 film Iron Man. The film presents Stane as both a friend and business partner to Howard Stark, and a mentor of Tony Stark. Motivated to gain more of a profit from out of the arms market, including by selling weapons to America's enemies, Stane arranged for Stark to be killed by the Ten Rings terrorist group so that he could 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 the deal, Stane obtains Stark's Mark I armor's remains and salvaged designs from the Ten Rings provided as a peace offering, before he eliminates the terrorist faction. From there, Stane secretly engineered his Iron Monger armor, as a prototype, powered with the arc reactor stolen from Stark as his scientists were unable to replicate it. Stane believed that Tony's recent actions, such as discontinuing Stark Industries' manufacturing of weapons, were leading the company to ruin and destroying Howard's legacy, giving him all the more reason to eliminate Stark. With his criminal activities revealed, Stane dons the Iron Monger armor to attack Pepper Potts and several S.H.I.E.L.D. agents before he fights Iron Man and dies when Stark has him electrocuted by the overloaded reactor at Stark Industries causing him to fall into the reactor, 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.
- Obadiah 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 JB Blanc in the English dub. He is seen in a flashback with his son Zeke Stane.
- The Obadiah Stane version of Iron Monger is featured in the Iron Man video game, voiced by Fred Tatasciore. It is revealed that he partnered up with A.I.M. to complete the Iron Monger armor.
- The Iron Man version of Iron Monger appears as a playable character in Lego Marvel's Avengers.
- 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 booksEdit
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)
- Iron Man Vol. 3 #73 (December 2003)
- 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