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What Do Obadiah Stane and Justin Hammer Have in Common?


Iron Man VIllain #2: The Corporate Super-Villains

~Obadiah Stane plots against Tony Stark, from Iron Man #200 (1985)

If you think about what makes Iron Man more robust than the typical super-hero, it has to be the man within, the true persona guiding the armor, Tony Stark. We already know he's a genius, an extrordinary inventor, and American icon of success. What what often gets overlooked, even though he's a playboy-philanthropist, is his altogether, most-important virture: Businessman.

Stark's 2nd most diabolical enemy, therefore, is not entirely a single person...rather, it's a from a singuler direction: Corporation. The target of their attacks is always Stark Industries, the company not founded by Tony, but his dad, Howard Stark. Two main villains have surfaced in this fast-paced world, representing the most damage to the Stark Holdings: Obadiah Stane and Justin Hammer.

Justin Hammer was the first to appear, from Iron Man #120 (1979). CEO of Hammer Industries, he's been one of the key criminal elements behind Iron Man and Stark Industry attacks for years. Using his vast wealth, Hammer has created much of the tech of criminals such as Blacklash (aka Whiplash), The Beetle, Spymaster, and more. It was Hammer technology that also remotely caused Iron Man to fire upon and kill a Carnelian ambassador. Stark did survive the assualts of Justin Hammer, but it would be years before he even learned the name of his true enemy.

Founder of Stane Industries, Obadiah Stane first appeared in Iron Man #163 (1982). Using ruthless techniques, his secret agency of "Chessmen", and even creating his own version, the "Iron Monger" armor, he took control of Stark Industries from Tony and ousted him as an alcoholic. Tony barely recovered, but somehow started the join LLC "Circuits Maximus" and eventually killed Obie in the Iron Monger/Iron Man battle of Iron Man #200 (1985).

Although neither of these villains bother Stark today, their actions have had historical importance in the Iron Man chronologies. From the days they arrived, fans have realized that Iron Man is only a strong as Stark's business sense; he is a servant of his owner. Furthermore, the person smart enough to takeover Tony's business controls the suit of armor, and the technology, from that point on.

They may be tough, they may be rough, but boy do they hate Armored Superheroes! This is The Top 10 Villains of Iron Man, a Countdown of Stark's Greatest Foes provided by The Superheroes List, in tribute to the Iron Man 3 movie. Want to see who put him on the map? Read The List!

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