Created by Advanced Idea Mechanics (AIM) to destroy Captain America in Tales of Suspense #84, the Adaptoid didn't make his Iron Man debut until #49.
This tall, demonic organism was made of synthetic tissue composed of bio-chemical artificial cells. The Adaptoid has the ability to adapt and morph to fight his foes—even mimicking them by absorbing their powers and features. (He was also programmed with the human feeling of pride, which made him quite cocky.) And having absorbed the powers of four of Iron Man’s fellow Avengers, the Adaptoid was quite formidable. He had a shield like Cap, bow and arrows like Hawkeye, the flying power of Wasp, and the strength of Goliath.
The Adaptoid later had all kinds of run-ins throughout the Marvel U., facing the Fantastic Four, Thunderbolts, the Hulk, and many others. In the pages of Iron Man, the Adaptoid ended up being transformed into the Cyborg Sinister.
Weapons: See above.
Quote: "Tin Man, the name is--The Adaptoid!"
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Tony Stark’s hard-working legal eagle debuted in #238, as SE’s corporate lawyer helping to steer Tony through the trying times following his near-fatal shooting. He was also successful in getting Stark’s would-be assassin, Kathy Dare, institutionalized.
Later on, Alvarez kept Tony’s affairs in order while the inventor was a Popsicle. He was rewarded with a choice promotion (to VP in Charge of Operations) in #293.
Weapons: Yellow legal pads and a Bic.
Quote: “Bottom line, gentlemen: Stark Enterprises fulfilled its part of the contract.”
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This radiation-powered super villain made his debut in Iron Man #287, taking over a Stane International plant to protest its environmental record. He thought by causing a nuclear disaster, he could avoid many others (in the future). And although he only made one appearance, Atom Smasher was carrying on the tradition of a long line of Iron Man villains, coming from the same anti-business/activist mold of Firebrand, Ghost, and others.
An environmental crusader with a flair for the dramatic, Atom Smasher was intent on ending the abuses of the nuclear industry. Before becoming a toxic avenger, he worked at a Stane plant. Of course, he had no idea that the place was a major polluter—letting toxic, radioactive industrial by-products pile up for fifty years. When he discovered that the toxic sludge was leaking into the ground water, causing cancer in the community, he complained to management. Rather than cleanup, they decided to kill him. After shooting him, they placed his body in a drum, and a dumped it into the ocean. But, as these things tend to happen in the Marvel Universe, he survived.
He became a mutated activist, dedicated to exposing corporate wrong-doing. While his motives were good, his actions were wrong. And even though he considered himself a rep of the people, fighting for the little guy, his arrogant actions made him dangerous.
Atom Smasher was very powerful. He kicked Firepower (II)’s butt. His energy blasts were devastating, even to IM in his War Machine Armor. But after a short tussle, he agreed to a truce when Iron Man promised to get Stark Enterprises, which now owned all the Stane holdings, out of the nuclear business.
His current whereabouts and/or status is unknown.
Hobbies:Racing irradiated barrels over Niagara Falls
Weapons: Radiation blasts, strength.
Quote:" I should’ve known they’d send America’s best-known corporate leg-breaker."
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Pregnant, on welfare, a generous alcoholic this skid row party girl, was living in the bowery when she befriended Tony in Iron Man #178. She got angry with Tony when he couldn't provide a place for her to have her child and went out into a terrible snow storm. While Tony eventually found her, she died in childbirth in issue #182.
Weapons: The bottle.
Hobbies: Drinking, pregnancy.
Quote: "Pour the sauce, Tones. Let's get hammered."
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Bambina Teresa Bliss Arbogast debuted in issue #118 as Tony Stark's no-nonsense secretary/executive assistant, a trusty battle axe, and just about the only one who could handle being Tony Stark's personal assistant. More motherly than Pepper, this feisty matron kept Stark, Rhodey, and SE in line through all kinds of insanity.
As told in a back-up story in Iron Man Annual #11, Mrs. Arbogast got the job as Tony's personal assistant because while she waited for Stark to come in to interview her, Iron Man and Whirlwind busted in fighting. Despite the battle, Mrs. A. kept her cool and kept Stark's important papers, even his goldfish safe. Staying cool, she even answered the phone. Finally, she helped Iron Man knockout Whirlwind. She got the job because of Iron Man's reccomendation.
Arbogast kept Stark's business and romantic affairs running on all cylinders, although she usually disapproved of Tony's bimbos. With all of Tony's cavorting and super-heroing, she had her hands full, but she managed. She kept the operations humming along, until Tony's drinking ruined the company. Soon after, she left (when Obidiah Stane took over Stark International). She was later kidnapped by Stane (taken from her Bay Ridge, NJ, neighborhood) for his ultimate revenge on Stark. In #222, she returned from a long trip throughout Africa to reign in Tony's new company as his Office Manager. (Later she would also serve a stint as the executive assistant to Heroes for Hire.)
Mrs. Arbogast didn't take flak from anybody--not Tony, not Rhodes, not Iron Man, not even the super-powered villains that occasionally busted in with or without appointments. In fact, she never seemed to have learned that Tony was Iron Man (while working for him anyway), and often found Iron Man to be rude and brusk. Although she eventually left Stark's employ, she remains a valued friend.
Mrs. A. is married. She also has a niece named Alison, who once filled-in for her at Stark's side.
Weapons: She's one tough broad.
Hobbies:Martial arts. (Mrs. A. and her husband held the amateur championship in team kendo, three years running.)
Quote: "If the pay wasn't so good here, I'd quit tomorrow."
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Debuted around Iron Man #119 as head of Stark's Paris Branch. In #146 she was brought to the United States and promoted to SI's vice-president. After Tony slid into alcoholism, she ran the company until Stane took it over. She then led the employees in resigning en masse.
Quote: "If Stark doesn't show in the next hour...It's bye-bye company."
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Real name: Abner Jenkins. Job: Hired goon. First Iron Man appearance: #223, as the third part of a Justin Hammer hit squad.
Working with Blacklash and Blizzard (II), the purple and green Beetle was first seen (in I.M.) breaking into a police station to kill Clay Wilson a.k.a. Force. Able to fly via the wings built into his back and armed with his Electro-bite and suction grippers so strong he could rip holes in cement walls, he was one tough bug. But Beetle never got beyond second-tier villain status. Brash, egotistical, a bit gimmicky, and rarely used, Beetle pestered Shellhead a few times until his Stark-inspired armor was negated during the Armor Wars (IM #227 to be exact).
Weapons: Exoskeleton costume with Electro-bite
Quote: "My Electro-bite should shatter any hopes they have of stopping us."
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Debuted as Stark’s tough-as-nails physical therapist in Iron Man #292. More drill sergeant than doctor, she was just what Tony needed to get him up and walking again.
Married young (she was just 19), Veronica and her husband, Craig, were in a terrible car accident when their brakes went out. He was killed, and she spent weeks in the hospital being put back together, and months after that learning to walk again. The experience taught her two things: (1) she wanted to become a physical therapist, and (2) she never wanted to be close to anyone again. Still, she fell for Tony shortly after becoming his PT, becoming his girlfriend in #300.
Sadly, Veronica and Tony’s relationship ended abruptly when VOR/TEX (inhabiting Tony’s body) tried to rape her.
Quote:"Tell me—do you want to walk again?"
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The Black Knight
A dark knight to combat a golden hero, The Black Knight made his
one-on-one Iron Man debut in Tales of Suspense #59. (His criminal deeds
had previously been played out in THE AVENGERS.)
Professor Nathan Garrett, a brilliant genetics engineer, mutated a
horse to give it giant bat-like wings for flight. He then adopted the
persona of his ancestor and became The Black Knight, a mercenary that
bothered both Iron Man and The Avengers in their early days. He fell to
his death during an aerial struggle with Iron Man.
Weapons: Power Lance fires Lasers, Red Hot Spinning Discs and
Energy Siphoning "Donuts"--small electronic power drainers that can
cling to IM's armor and drain his power. The lance also contains
add-ons like an automatic lasso that can be inserted into the accessory
chamber. A Saddle Bag houses a Disolvo-Ray, Small Rockets, and Wrappers
(flexible steel coils like Doc Oc's). His winged stallion is also an
Quote:"Up, my proud stallion! They can never recapture me
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The Black Widow
The mysterious and deadly Black Widow, Soviet spy par excellence, made her first appearance in Tales of Suspense #52 as Madame Natasha—the Black Widow. A manipulator of men, the sexy seductress is also crafty, cunning, and ruthless. And before that first mission in America, she had already made a name for herself behind the Iron Curtain.
The Black Widow, a.k.a. Natasha Romanov, a.k.a. Natasha Romanoff, was apparently born Natalia Alianova Romanova. She grew up in postwar Russia, becoming a fine ballerina at a young age. (She studied under Oksana Bolishinko, a famous Bolshoi instructor.) Soon, she fell in love with Alexi Shostakov, a test pilot. When Shostakov was killed, she decided that she would give her life to the Party, to Mother Russia, just as he had, so she became an agent for the KGB. (In actuality, Alexi was alive, and serving covertly as the Red Guardian, but that’s a whole other story . . . )
After attending the Red Room Academy, the KGB’s dastardly spy school, and graduating with honors, she was given the “Black Widow” code name. At first, Natasha dressed more like a merry widow (black dress, veil, etc.), but the writers soon realized this was ridiculous and clad her in the de rigueur sleek bodysuit (still worn by real-life spies today).
Around this time (as told in IM #314), she met a young Boris Bullski, long before he became the first Titanium Man. He was a brash young man, an idealistic Marxist, who only wanted to serve his country. Bullski was trained in combat by the NKVD, the Soviet secret police responsible for political repression, assassinations, and intelligence gathering, not to mention the Gulags. Natasha was partnered with Bullski, and she fell in love with him. But the nature of their work transformed Bullski. He became bitter, cruel, and ruthless. In short, they made him the monster that would one day become Titanium Man. Seeing him change like this, and perhaps seeing the same traits developing in herself, Romanov lost her faith in their leaders. And although she would continue to serve “the People” for many years, this was her first step towards defection.
Having never seen Rocky and Bullwinkle, the Russians insisted on pairing gals named Natasha with guys named Boris. So, in her first mission to the U.S., she was partnered with Boris Turgenov (the second Crimson Dynamo). The pair was sent against Tony Stark, Iron Man, and the traitor Ivan Vanko (a.k.a. the first Crimson Dynamo).
After failing at this first mission, Black Widow went into hiding, eventually helping to create Hawkeye in TOS #57. In TOS #60, she manipulated the roguish Hawkeye into attacking one of Stark’s plants. After this plot didn’t work out as planned, she was abducted and taken back behind the Iron Curtain only to return in TOS #64 with devices that gave her Spider-Man-like abilities.
Her relationship with Hawkeye—and let’s face it, her crush on Tony Stark—caused Widow to waver back and forth between the global powers of the Cold War, not to mention the law. The Soviets couldn’t control her, despite numerous attempts at brainwashing; yet Natasha couldn’t seem to go straight either. During these years she appeared in a number of books, most notably The Avengers. Black Widow eventually became a good gal and defected. She joined the Avengers in issue #111. She would go on to lead the team in later years.
In Iron Man 276-277, Black Widow sought Shellhead’s help in uncovering “Oktober” and a secret Russian plan that would launch World War III. (Note: This action took place after the collapse of the Soviet Union.) Iron Man helped her break into NORAD to stop the unknown sleeper agent from initiating a nuclear war, only to come to find that Natasha was Oktober. She had been brainwashed for this mission years ago and was unaware of it herself. An awakened sleeper, she turned on Iron Man, and successfully launched a whole bunch of Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles towards the Soviet Bloc—an act that would allow her Russian controllers to retaliate by launching their own compliment of nukes on North America, and thus, “redeem” the once proud Soviet Union. Fortunately, Iron Man was able to stop all of the missiles. Later, he and Black Widow found her spoilsport of a handler, redeeming the Widow in the eyes of her friends and comrades.
Black Widow returned to the pages of Iron Man in #315 acting as Tony’s translator and native Russian guide as he opened a plant in the former Soviet Union. Besides having a brief tryst with Stark (again), she got reacquainted with her comrades Titanium Man and Crimson Dynamo when T-Man decided to reject the capitalist’s generosity. It was a slam-bang good time with lots of explosions and political rants as the Widow, Iron Man, and Crimson Dynamo sent T-Man to the dustbin of history along with his “glorious” October revolution.
Besides Stark, Natasha has been linked romantically with a few other heroes over the years, namely Captain America and Daredevil, having some extended storylines in the man without fear’s book.
Today, the Black Widow works for SHIELD as one of its most effective agents.
Weapons: The “widow’s bite,” bracelets that fire a stinging electric blast, and the “widow’s line,” a thin shooting cable.
Hobbies: Guys named Boris.
Quote: "Do you also recall—the widow’s bite?!"
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Named by Iron Man: The Legend as the lamest of all his foes, Iron Man claimed that this cosmic mystic was in Doctor Strange's power league. An eastern mystic and spiritual nut case, Black Lama was hell-bent on world domination. He first appeared in Iron Man #53.
Black Lama traveled in occult realms, but his main base was in India. There he trained others in his occult ways--but he had a world-wide web of pupils. (At one time his plan was to have them all act at once, at the right time, using their cosmic powers to take over.)
He channeled energy from psychic traumas, cast mystic spells, and could transport people and things to other dimensions. He also existed on a mystic plane separate from our own. As a result, Iron Man's fists and repulsors were useless against his unwordly form.
Black Lama is noteworthy in Shellhead history for two reasons: (1) he tired to kill Iron Man at a comic book convention; and (2) he staged the War of the Super-Villains, which pitted the world's greatest villians against each other.
Weapons: Scimitars, spells and other miscellaneous occult powers.
Hobbies: TM and learning other new meditation techniques.
Quote: "The karma you face is your own!"
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Hungarian-born Gregor Shapanka a.k.a. Jack Frost returned in Iron Man #86 with the chilling moniker Blizzard.
Shapanka spent years in prison planning his revenge on Tony Stark, modifying the cold generator design he used as Jack Frost into a full-fledged, micro-circuited bodysuit. One million times the power of the Jack Frost outfit, it featured many powerful upgrades. First and foremost, the new costume had internal insulation to shield him no matter how low he reduces the temperature around him.
With his new, increased power all Blizzard had to do was point at his victims, the temperature dropping all around them. He could freeze steel to the breaking point and make the air so cold that he could stop bullets (ice weighing them down). He shot ice darts so cold that they could pierce Iron Man's armor.
But the size of his power was truly seen when he generated so much ice/cold that he engulphed the entire Stark International Long Island plant--all two square miles of it--in deep snow. This when he came back to steal the Climatron, a weather machine he developed back when he worked for Stark.
Like a certain mutant, Blizzard was known to travel around on ice ramps. He went on to battle Shellhead several times until he was killed. At which point, his financial backer/employer, Justin Hammer, acquired Shapanka's equipment and outfitted newcomer Donny Gill (see Blizzard II), who became a hired gun under the same name while pallying around with Whiplash and Beetle.
Hobbies:Grand theft, bickering.
Quote: "Recoil before the power of Blizzard!"
See also: Jack Frost
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Blizzard (II) blasted on the scene in Iron Man #223, the alias of Donny Gill, a green member of one of Justin Hammer's tactical teams. Tutored by Blacklash and Beetle, he was a rookie criminal Tony Stark tried to save.
Captured after a botched "jailbreak-in," Gill was soon broken out of jail by the Rhino for Hammer. He went back to his villainous boss, but Tony Stark thought he could be saved from a life of crime. So Tony made a deal for him: Iron Man would take care of the Ghost (who was now targeting Hammer), and Hammer would free Gill. At the end of #240, Iron Man took kill under his wing.
Weapons: Freeze generators (see Blizzard I)
Quote: "Hey, cut me some slack, huh? I'm new at this."
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Bred in galaxies beyond to fight, to kill, to be hit by the worst and recover, and to feed off the blood of their foes, these simian-like symbiotic alien brothers were brought to our world by Thanos. Their first appearance was Iron Man #55.
Linked so tightly, not only do they finish each other’s sentences, but they also draw power from each other. While each brother is extremely powerful individually, together they are almost unstoppable. They are stronger when working side by side, but when separated, their power dwindles.
The menace of the brooding Blood Brothers was so dire, Iron Man often needed the help of others to defeat them; (Marvel Feature #12) and Daredevil (in IM #89–91). Even still, each time ol’ Shellhead just barely squeaked out a victory. The Blood Brothers also battled the Avengers later.
Weapons: Fists of rage.
Quote: "Another costumed one who dares to interfere."
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Supposedly the founder and CEO of Prometheus Gentech, Inc., Tem Borjigin was really the Mandarin back to take another shot at world-wide catastrophe.
As Borjigin, he fooled both Maya Hansen and the U.S. Defense Department into creating Extremis as an airborne bio-weapon. Read the Mandarin's bio for more.
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While in exile in the frozen wilds of Siberia, Commissar Boris Bullski, a.k.a. Bullski the Merciless, a vicious Soviet officer, created the Titanium Man armor to defeat the American hero Iron Man. Ruthless and brutal, Bullski was the original T-Man, a worthy nemesis for Shellhead for decades.
Read about the original Titanium Man here.
Weapons: The Titanium Man armor.
Hobbies: Losing to Iron Man.
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Senator Harrington Byrd
The senator’s first appearance occurred in Tales of Suspense #46. Best known for hounding Tony Stark about his miraculous Iron Man armor, he went so far as to shut Stark Industries down to make Tony testify before Congress. He was a great thorn in Stark’s side in the early days.
One of his biggest storylines featured Byrd on a quest to get the Iron Man armor for our military. During the arc Stark collapsed of a heart attack while testifying before Congress, revealing to the world that Tony Stark was a weak man who wore an odd chest device for his damaged heart. Later, Byrd was furious that Stark/Iron Man even hesitated to meet the dreaded commie challenger Titanium Man in TOS #69. He traveled to Alberia to watch the big Iron Man/Titanium Man bout.
Concerned with winning the Cold War, Sen. Byrd rode Stark hard, often times questioning the inventor/industrialist’s patriotism. In the end, although he detested Stark’s playboy ways, Byrd thought him a talented scientist and a true American.
Trivia: Sen. Byrd is sometimes referred to as Sen. Boyd in some issues—even in the same storyline.
Quote: "If Iron Man chickens out, I’ll make Stark regret it!"
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Beauty in the bodyguard biz, introduced in #117, Bethany Cabe was introduced as a stunning redhead in an evening gown, but it was soon obvious that she was very capable of taking care of herself and her charge. At first she first appeared to be a socialite, but in #123 Tony learned that she was a bodyguard. A partner in Cabe and McPherson Security Specialists, a firm that specializes in high-profile clients who need high security done in a low-profile manner—diplomats, royalty, and corporate CEOs—Cabe was more than a perfect match for Stark. Tough, clever, and sexy, Cabe remains the ideal love interest for the billionaire hero.
Early on she developed a frosty, antagonistic relationship with Iron Man, even as her relationship with Tony was heating up. Things got especially tense when the Carnelian ambassador, whom Beth was protecting, was killed by Iron Man (only later was it revealed that Justin Hammer’s sabotage caused the death). In #121, Cabe began to suspect that Tony was behind the iron mask when Iron Man, who had yet to meet the redhead, called her “Beth” in the heat of battle. Some time later, in #139, we discovered that she had indeed figured out that Tony was Iron Man. Before that time though, the two became linked romantically.
Beth was the kind of strong woman Tony needed. Beth’s strength was key to helping Tony get off of booze in #128. But their romance was doomed by the return of something from the crimson-trussed beauty’s past: a tragic secret. A husband Beth had long thought dead returned.
The husband, Alexander Van Tilberg, West Germany’s Junior Ambassador to the United States, had a pill addiction. After struggling to get him clean (showing the same strength she used to cleanup Tony), Beth saw no hope, so she left him. A short time later, he drove of a bridge and was killed—or so everyone thought. In truth, Van Tilberg had been kidnapped by the East German intelligence services. Later, when Cabe found out that he was alive, she asked Tony’s help in rescuing him from a secret fortress. Loyal and true, Beth returned to her husband. The reunited couple went to live in Europe, leaving Tony behind.
In the late #190’s, Bethany Cabe returned to Tony’s life, embroiled with Tony and Madame Masque—Cabe’s psyche was transferred into MM’s body and vice-versa, enabling Masque to get up close and personal with Tony, close enough to try and kill him. Then, in #211, Bethany’s husband was murdered by German street punks (who intentionally OD’d him). Although the pair were now free to pursue a relationship, things didn’t work out for Tony and Beth.
Like many characters, Bethany would be in and out of Tony’s life over the years. After a long absence, she returned for Stark’s "funeral." After Tony got thawed out, she pulled a stint in the Iron Legion, helping to put down Ultimo. She then stayed on as Chief of Security at SE. Although the pair was still close, romance was not in the cards this time around. She remains Tony’s good friend and confidant.
Notes: Cabe is a former intelligence agent, she retains some special security clearances (J-792) to this day. Special skills include small arms; hand-to-hand combat/martial arts; can pilot a chopper.
Weapons: Prefers a Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum, but can use anything she can get her hands on.
Quote: "Tell me, Iron Man, who’s protecting Tony tonight—Mrs. Arbogast?"
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Iron Man #251 introduced Calvin Carr a.k.a. Chemistro (II), a super-powered assassin out to kill Iron Man.
The brother of the original Chemistro, Curtis Carr (who now happened to work for Stark), Calvin took his brother’s criminal moniker and went to work for the Wizard (and indirectly, Wilson Fisk a.k.a. The Kingpin). The Wizard harnessed Curtis’s alchemy powers, turning the former’s gun into wrist-blasters for Calvin. The gun fired a burst of radiation that transmuted one substance into another—however, the new compound was unstable and soon crumbled to dust after an hour or so. Still, the blasters could turn wood to stone, air to acid, glass to mace, and metal to glass or even applesauce. It could also turn Iron Man’s armor to lead.
Calvin resented his brother’s success, and resented being a third-rate crook. A vicious dude, he later blew off his brother’s other foot.
Quote: "I’m here to kill Iron Man!"
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He first appeared in Iron Man #260, a withered old shopkeeper in San Francisco’s Chinatown, who was later revealed to be a great and powerful magician—but he was much more. A mysterious old soul, he led the Mandarin to discover his true power—and the true power and secret of the ten rings.
Dressed like a golf caddy, and floating in mid-air, the wise master led the Mandarin back to China, to the Valley of the Sleeping Dragon. There he taught the Mandarin to accept his destiny, to embrace a more mystical path. He also introduced Mandy to Fin Fang Foom, a mighty dragon he had subdued long ago—a dragon who could now be used to conquer China.
In reality, the inscrutable teacher was a dragon himself, a voyager from the planet Kakaranathara. Chen Hsu was the captain of a band of violent adventurers whose spaceship crashed on Earth. These dragons soon took on human form, and then patiently waited 3,000 years to rule the planet. Their plan was foiled by Iron Man and the Mandarin, and the dragons disappeared in a massive blast.
In 2006, Chen Hsu returned in Marvel Team-Up #7 to craft a power ring from the shard of a cosmic cube.
Hobbies: Shape-shifting, magic.
Quote: "And once more student you miss the point."
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The pawns of Chess Master Obidiah Stane: The Knight, the Bishop, and the Rook.
Knight: Bold, swift, and deadly, he wields a power lance atop a jet horse.
Bishop: Sanctimonious and arrogant, this creepy agent has a power staff and a mind-manipulation device in his big hat.
Rook: A little man with big plans, he is a master trap builder.
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The limitless might of the mind was unleashed in Iron Man #12, introducing us to one of Shellhead's greatest--though often over-looked--foes: The Controller.
After being barred from working practically everywhere because of his unorthodox practices, scientist Basil Sandhurst was given a job on Drexel Cord's R & D staff thanks to his brother, Cord's lawyer, Vincent Sandhurst. The egomaniacal Basil believed that he had been sentenced to squander his talents on projects far beneath him, for fools too dense to grasp his "soaring genius." What he wanted to do is test his theories of harnessing the most potent force in the world--the power of the human mind. When he finally snapped and trashed his lab, Vincent came in to calm him and they struggled. (Vincent was in the process of trying to steal the business away from Cord and needed his brother's genius.) In their struggle, Basil fell into combustible chemicals and his brother left him unconscious in a fire--to die. But Basil Sandhurst survived...
The accident left Basil a wizened shell, incapable of activity, physical movement. Out of guilt, Vincent took care of him by embezzling from Cord and selling off his stocks. Vincent spent all of his money to take care of Basil, automating a house for him.
The loss of control and the feelings of helplessness was very difficult for Basil to deal with. As a child, he was sickly. A bought with meningitis left him in bed for months, powerless, subject to the whims of others. The accident and its aftermath had brought him full circle in way, returning him to a dark chapter of his childhood, one he could not live with. Losing control in such a profound way again only cracked his psyche more. This paralysis fueled his psychosis, his need for control, to control others. Soon he found a way.
With the mechanical aids, Basil constructed a massive, mechanized exo-skeleton powered by the Mental-Wave Absorbatron, a device that absorbs the entire force of an individual's mind and beams it to mental recievers in the suit. Enhanced by the suit, he could now walk and move, but he had to stay within the range of the machine until he devised a way to expand the range.
He created Slave Discs that bind the wearer to the Absorbatron by remote, allowing the device to beam the force of others' minds into the suit. Each new connection to these "human batteries" not only increases his might, but also the Absorbatron's beaming range. People subjected to the slave discs became catonic zombies. And any attempt to remove the disc or break connection with the Absorbatron will result in brain damage. When Vincent didn't go for Basil's mad plans, he became the first to wear a slave disc.
Growing his pool of mind-slaves, the Controller soon took over a nearby New England town. With the combined power of this massive mind pool, his power grew. Soon the power of levitation was added to his immense strength and his eyes were on enslaving the entire U.S., by way of New York City.
Just about then, Tony Stark and Janice Cord stumbled into his web. And the Controller was more than eager to take on Iron Man--the supreme achievement of Tony Stark, a man Basil Sandhurst regarded as an inventive pygmy.
Iron Man turned out to be more than a match for the might of the Controller and his Molecular Negatizer (a beam that cuts through anything by making molecules break apart). In an exciting battle atop a speeding train, Iron Man defeated the Controller by seperating him from his source of power--the Absorbatron--preventing him from turning the population of the Big Apple into his suffering brain slaves.
In prison, the Controller discovered that the use of the Absorbatron had left him with residual telepathic ability. He returned in Iron Man #28 with just enough mental power to control weak-willed individuals without the use of external devices.
He manipulated his prison doctor, Dr. Eric Thorne, to transfer him to Pinewood Sanitarium under the guise that his health was failing. Once there, he manipulated the staff and patients, constructing a new Absorbatron in the process. This time, though, he designed a special helmet that would keep him from being separated from his power source. But he needed Tony Stark's mastery of micro-circuits to make his design a reality. So he lured the inventor extraordinairre to the sanitarium.
After ensnaring Stark to build the helmet, he battled Iron Man. With his new helmet, the Controller could project Mental-force bolts so powerful they could melt Shellhead's armor. But alas, Tony Stark had managed to double-cross the Controller. Despite being watched closely, Stark was able to make faulty connections in the cybernetic intake circuits. Under the strain of battle, they burned out, rendering the Controller impotent.
He came back for revenge in Iron Man issues 90 and 91. After being left by Thanos under a pile of rubble in NYC, the Controller was aided by The Scrounger, a scraggly street-person, who was part servant, part stalker. The Controller's mental powers had increased. He was now able to read minds, a pleasant side-effect of his Mental-Wave Absorbatron. In addition, his telepathic power allowed him to control/communicate with others over several miles. But even the help of the Blood Brothers wasn't enough to help him beat Iron Man. He was left defeated and helpless once again, left to suffer under the care of his servant the Scrounger (think: the movie "Misery").
Some time later, Sandhurst set himself up as a New Age guru, complete with his own "church." Of course the abandoned temple was just a front for his mind-control activities. Luring in unsuspecting yuppies, he surreptitiously attached his control discs to them, and slowly built an army of slaves. But during the Armor Wars, the Controller—now sporting a spiffy exo-suit full of Stark technology--found himself in Iron Man's sights in issue #225. Attacking him, Iron Man burned-out the suit, destroying the life support systems. Sandhurst barely survived, and his body degenerated further--he now needed an entire room of equipment to stay alive.
Seeking the miracle cure Stark had used to heal his ravaged body for himself, the Controller returned in IM #292. Now using microscopic control chips that were injected into the base of the brain, he had vastly improved his mind-control tech. Inhabiting the body of his Berserker mind slaves and even Tony Stark's trusted employees, the Controller kidnapped Stark. Lodging a chip in Tony's brain, he tried to take control of Tony's mind. The pair battled in cyberspace, but eventually artificial central nervous system rejected the chip and freed Tony. Stark then saw the Controller, and the wizened shell he had become.
After the Los Angeles district attorney declined to prosecute the Controller, he was released. In ANNUAL #15, he returned again with even better technology. Having overhauled his control systems, he could now control dozens of people across the country at once. Not just control them, but actually interface with them, experience what they experience--essentially becoming them.
The completely new method used no cybernetic implants nor did it require any surgical modifications. Instead, the Controller had integrated a latent psionic ( a person with major psychic power), a woman named Sarah Jessup, into his machines, making his previous control tech obsolete. Now no mind could be hidden from him. And he once again turned his attention to Stark.
During their inevitable battle, Stark and the Controller unleashed Mindstorm, a mind demon born from the recesses of Jessup's mind. The demon tore into their minds, ripping their consciousnesses from their heads and forcing them into the mind of the other--Stark into Sandhurst, Sandhurst into Stark; all that they had ever known or been was now known to the other. Finally, Stark destroyed the machinery, and the Controller was left paralyzed but conscious, in what appeared to the outside world as a persistent vegetative state. Hooked up to machines, we left him with doctors wanting to pull the plug.
Weapons: Great strength; mental telepathy, including devastating Mind-Force Bolts and the ability to read minds
Hobbies: Mind games.
Quote: "Fool, your armor can't save you from The Controller!"
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Head of the Cord Conglomerate, Edwin Cord is a well-connected, if frustrated, businessman. From his palatial estate on the East Coast, he plotted to bring down Stark and his companies on a regular basis.
In issue #145, he hired The Raiders to take on Iron Man. He returned in #226 with his Raiders in an attempt to destroy the newly formed SE. Later, Cord used Project Firepower to go after Tony, ruin his business, and kill Iron Man. Then, in #253, Cord reached out from prison to get revenge. With the help of a man on the inside, Cord sent a hit team to kill people at SE. As in prior instances, he was defeated.
While his relationship to Janice and Drexel Cord is unknown (he is definitely it not brother/son), some have speculated that Edwin is Janice’s cousin, Drexel’s nephew.
Hobbies: Unfulfilled dreams.
Quote: "My prognosis, Senator, is that in a matter of days Iron Man will be nothing but a memory!"
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Daughter of industrialist and Stark rival Drexell Cord, Janice first appeared in Iron Man #2, when her father tried to destroy Tony Stark.
Tony and Janice were star-crossed lovers that never quite hooked up-- Probably because they were constantly under fire. Janice withstood her father's death (in a battle with Iron Man), Gladiator's Maggia attack, The Night Phantom, and even The Controller. Sadly, she was soon killed by the Titanium Man (in IM #22).
Hobbies: Damsel in distress par excellance.
Quote: "It's almost as if my father in his delusions was right about Tony Stark."
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Crimson Dynamo (I)
Iron Man's first armored foe has had many identities, the first was also the creator of the armor: Professor Ivan Vanko. A Soviet scientist, Vanko was the world's foremost expert on electricity. He built a suit that was wired up to perform electric miracles, making him a human dynamo.
The Crimson Dynamo battlesuit, which debuted in Tales of Suspense #46, allowed him to control electricity in all of its forms, allowing him to fire devastating bolts of electricity. It also allowed him to fly.
Vanko was a vain and cocky man, but he redeemed himself in the end. After being tricked by Iron Man (who made him believe that his Soviet handlers were going to kill him), Vanko defected and went to work for Tony Stark as one of his chief scientists. The two men became friends.
Soon the Soviets came to kill him for real. They sent their top agent, the Black Widow, and her one-time partner, Boris Turgenev--who stole the armor and became the second Crimson Dynamo. Vanko died in TOS #52, saving Iron Man by firing an unstable experimental laser light pistol at Boris, killing him as well.
Weapons: Laser bolts; Great strength; Flight.
Quote: "You'll be ... uh ... SHOCKED at my powers."
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Crimson Dynamo (II)
Not much more than a footnote, Boris Turgenev a.k.a. Boris Turgenov a.k.a. Crimson Dynamo (II), had a very short career in the super villain game.
In Tales of Suspense #52, Turgenev came to the United States with his partner, the Black Widow, to kill Ivan Vanko, Tony Stark, and Iron Man. Stealing the suit, he almost carried out his mission, virtually defeating Iron Man. But he was killed by Vanko, who, sacrificing his own life for the cause of freedom, fired an experimental and unstable new laser pistol, killing himself and Boris.
Weapons: The electricity-powered powers of the Crimson Dynamo battlesuit.
Hobbies: Bungling assasinations.
Quote: "Boris does not walk around obstacles--it is easier to hurl them aside."
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Crimson Dynamo (III)
Although often mistakenly referred to as Crimson Dynamo (II), Alex Nevsky a.k.a. Alex Niven was actually the third man to go by the Crimson Dynamo name. Introduced in Iron Man #21 as the American Alex Niven, he was Cord Industries hot, new scientist--but he was scheming from the start, aiming to take down Tony Stark.
But his story actually began behind the Iron Curtain. The protege of Professor Ivan Vanko, he admired and respected the brilliant Vanko; the creator of the Crimson Dynamo battlesuit. After Vanko defected to the West, all who knew the traitorous genius were tainted under suspicion of disloyalty. Nevsky's promising career was ruined and he fled.
In exhile, Nevsky learned to hate the government that he had once loved, the government that turned on him so quickly, without proof. He also sought vengance against the one who toppled his mentor: Iron Man. He also wanted to destroy Stark, because the capitalist had exploited Vanko.
His plan was fairly simple: As Alex Niven he would go to work for Cord Industries, using his brilliance to help the struggling company beat out Stark Industries in the marketplace. He would then go after Iron Man, besting him with a new and improved Crimson Dynamo armor. (He actually fought two different men inside the IM armor: Eddie March and Tony Stark.) He also worked against Stark by romancing Janice Cord, who he later fell in love with for real.
After he donned the Crimson Dynamo armor in public, his old Soviet masters sent the Titanium Man to kill him. When T-Man killed Janice, Niven blamed Iron Man for the tragedy and swore to avenge her.
Although he held Titanium Man just as responsible for Janice's death, Niven was forced by circumstance to partner with T-Man and Radioactive Man in Vietnam, where all three red fugitives formed the Titanic Three. Nesky made an unsuccessful attempt to kill Shellhead in IM #73. Fleeing the battle, Nevsky disapeared soon thereafter. It is rumored that he was assisinated by the KGB, who confiscated his armor for their own purposes. All the men to wear the armor since have been KGB operatives.
Weapons: Flight; Great Strength; Electric bolts; Black Smoke Projector; Infrared Scanner.
Quote: "My costume may be new to you but my name is not."
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Crimson Dynamo (IV)
After Nevsky was assassinated by the KGB, the armor passed to Yuri Petrovitch. Although he never made an appearance in the pages of Iron Man, Petrovitch was the fourth man to wear the Crimson Dynamo armor. He had a short career, leading for a time a mysterious group that included Darkstar, Griffin, Rampage, and the Titanium Man. After being defeated by the Champions, he returned to Russian in shame. Stripped of the armor, he was sent to a work camp in Siberia.
Weapons: The mighty Crimson Dynamo battle armor.
Hobbies: Slave labor.
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Crimson Dynamo (V)
The Crimson Dynamo armor, the pride of Soviet technology, belongs to the State, to be worn only by those deemed worthy. Dimitri Bukharin was the fifth reliable red to be entrusted with the armor. He made his first Iron Man appearance in #109, on the moon with his commie allies, Vanguard and Darkstar.
In #229, Iron Man sought him out because his armor had been upgraded with Stark’s own unique technology. Although just one week from retiring--a retirement guaranteed to be rich and lavish--the patriotic Bukharin went out to fight Iron Man because it was his duty. This armor was fused that day with Stark’s negator pack, and Bukharin was “retired” early--a failure.
Weapons: The powerful Crimson Dynamo battlesuit.
Quote: "Perhaps . . . the word 'hero' is separate from one's nationality."
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Crimson Dynamo (VI)
Iron Man #255 introduced us to the next Crimson Dynamo, Colonel-General Valentin Shatalov, wearing and improved suit—but one still not as advanced as the armor had been with Stark's upgrades. With this armor, Shatalov wore the armor matrix, a small, belt-like device that when activated launched the armor with a quick shazzak!
As with his predecessors, Shatalov was a KGB operative who lived very well in Russia. He showed a rather ruthless streak, going homicidal during a mere test battle (and later blew Freak Quincy's arms off without caring a bit).
In a freak accident, Shatalov was transported into Stark's body and vice versa. Shatalov used the oppourtuntiy to raid SE for all of Stark's inventions—whatever he couldn't steal, he vowed to destroy. Stark was left in Russia trying to make the switch back, after taking a few minutes to bed Lt. Col. Yelena Brement (Shatalov's girlfriend).
Col. General Shatalov was arrested for Stark’s actions, but he remained the Crimson Dynamo after everything was sorted out. And even after the debacle, he never revealed Tony’s secret i.d. because he respected Tony’s courage, if not his politics.
Weapons: Gatling gun on right arm; missiles deploy from shoulders; assorted forced-energy weapons.
Years later, Shatalov returned in #316 in a brand-new, all-modern armor to handle the rogue Titanium Man, despite his own reluctance to embrace the democratic Russia. (Along with T-Man, Shatalov had formed a renegade group named Remont 4, which aligned with the anti-reform/anti-democracy forces, but he accepted its abolition when Boris Yeltsin took power.) Of course, he only fought T-Man because he was ordered to—and it made him sick.
Shatalov was a patriot loyal to Mother Russia, whatever the politics and policies his commanders followed, but he was also a firm believer in communism. And in the post-communist Russia, he felt he had sacrificed everything—even his beliefs—to remain Crimson Dynamo, to remain the master of “this demon of blood-red chrome.”
He went into battle against his old friend T-Man, aligning himself with their old adversaries Iron Man and Black Widow against him. But Shatalov quickly broke his leg in the fight. Unable to continue, he convinced Stark to wear the C.D. armor so that Iron Man wouldn’t shame Russia by rescuing her from her own super soldier. Stark slipped on the armor, while Shatalov controlled the tactical systems via a spare cybernetic interface. Shatalov knew that his old friend would never surrender, so without letting Tony know, he went for a kill shot, taking Titanium Man out with a massive blast of his Fusioncaster beam.
In the end, after giving up everything, his beliefs and his friends to remain the Dynamo, Valentin Shatalov had the Crimson Dynamo armor taken away from him by his superiors.
Update: A Crimson Dynamo showed up pulling a mere bank job in Iron Man #7 (Vol. IV). In the battle that ensued,Tony stopped his heart but resuscitated him. The identity of this CD is not yet known.
Weapons: The new armor was a totally redesigned seventh-generation suit, calibrated to Valentin’s brainwaves and run by a Heads-Up Display. This suit was probably the first Crimson Dynamo armor ready to go toe-to-toe with Iron Man. Known offensive capabilities: Unibeam-like Fusioncaster; laser blasters; produces massive electric discharges thanks to the latest series of Vanko Generators. Suit also has boot jets for flight and a full communications unit.
Hobbies: Betraying friends; being alone.
Quote:"This should be quite a blast!"
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Created when Jarr, a scientist from the devasted sub-microscopic world of Bast, mutated the Adaptoid, whose artificial flesh evolved into a metal-based structure.
Part Grim Reaper, part Terminator, a steel skeleton with a cape and a skull-like visage, wielding a battle-ax, its creator gave the creature an appearance designed to strike horror in the human heart when he sent him to our world to retrieve energy for Bast.
Weapons: Battle-ax; great strength.
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The actress made her first appearance in IM #244, when she crashed Tony's house-warming party for his new Pacific mansion looking to make some Hollywood connections. She connected with Stark, but then gave him the brush-off when a gunshot left him in a wheelchair.
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Kathleen (a.k.a. Kathy) Dare,
An obsessed psycho heiress, Kathy Dare is the jilted lover that shot Tony Stark, almost killing him. With the exception of Obidiah Stane, no other regular person has come closer to finishing off Tony Stark.
Dare inserted herself into Tony's life in issue #223, introducing herself as an admirer of his. She soon followed Tony to NY, where she "just happened" to run into him. Although they had hooked up, Tony wasn't serious about the young lady. But Kathy Dare was was deadly serious.
Kathy Dare was described by the press as an heiress, but little known. Of East Coast money, she grew up pampered and spoiled. Something readily evident in her behavior and desires. But something--her looks--made her attractive to Tony Stark, a man not normally known for putting up with divas.
Dare kept popping up whereever Tony went. She followed him to a charity event. After seeing Tony with another women, Dare slashed the tires on his limo. (Later, she would turn her rage on that other woman, Rae Locoste, tampering with the brakes on her car.)
With very little encouragement, Dare had become obsessed with the billionaire playboy. She began calling him repeatedly, and later embarrassed Tony at the racetrack. It was soon clear to everyone but Tony that she had a fatal attraction for the playboy.
And even though Tony was barely speaking to her, Kathy Dare soon began telling the press that she was Tony's fiancée. Her stalking continued, but Stark seemed more amused than worried, especially when she followed him to Rome, sneaking into his hotel room. But later, when she snuck onto the SE compound, telling the security forces that Tony had given her permission to go wherever she pleased, Tony took notice--he dumped her. Big mistake.
Dare convinced Tony's housekeeper to let her in to his home, where she waited for him to come home. She then surpirsed him, shooting him with a .38 caliber revolver in #242. As Tony lay there, shot and bleeding out, she kept talking to him as though nothing had happened. (The wound almost killed Stark. As it was, the damage left him paralyzed.)
Bert Hindel, a sleazy former Stark employee recently fired, acted as her lawyer. He used the trial to trash Stark, making up a battered-woman defense. But in the end, Dare's biography and mental history put her away.
She is described as an heiress, but little known. She is rumored to have been involved with other celebrities, most notably a rock star, whose Malibu beach house burned to the ground shortly after they broke up.
When she went on trial we found out about her disturbing childhood. She had a therapist from age 5 to age 18, from the New Jersey Mental Health Unit in Hoboken. Her wealthy parents raised her to get whatever she wanted. She was spoiled to say the least. She became obsessive, had a dark side. When her little brother refused to give her one of his Christmas presents (a stuffed animal), he was later found at the bottom of a cliff. Her doctors recommended permanent institutionalization, lawyers kept her out.
She was committed in #248, placed in the custody of the CA Board of Mental Health until such time as she would be competent to stand trial.
In #285, Dare's therapist got her a release to attend Tony's funeral, to help her "come to terms with her past." In #286, she blew her brains out, broken up about Tony's death. Apparently, she couldn’t live without him.
Weapons: A .38 revolver
Hobbies: Stalking, grooming her dog, Puggins.
Quote: "I've been an admirer of yours for years."
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Countess Stephanie DeLa Spirosa
The Countess DeLa Spirosa, a jet set spoiled heiress and old flame of Tony Stark’s, debuted in Tales of Suspense #69. Having been jilted by Tony in the past, she had never truly forgiven him. Running into him on the heels of the big Iron Man/Titanium Man fight in Alberia, she sensed a way to get her revenge. The Countess stole Tony’s reverser ray, sensing that it would get his attention and get him to chase after her. Tony (as Iron Man) ended up really needing the ray against T-Man, so her plot did not endear her to him.
In TOS #72, she engaged the Thinker to discover Iron Man’s true identity so that she could use it to keep Tony under her thumb (didn’t work).
When she returned in the opening chapters of Volume III (Iron Man #2), the two had apparently buried the hatchet. The Countess’s third husband, Michel Dufours, was heir to one of the most respected and successful families in Europe. When he died in suspicious accident, she inherited the Dufours Precision Manufacturing Corporation, with a nice factory and luxurious chalet in the Alps, near Zermatt, Switzerland. When she noticed some irregularities in the books, she became the first client for Tony’s consulting outfit, Stark Solutions.
It didn’t take Iron Man long to discover that someone was running a huge secret high tech arms business in the caverns below the factory. On top of that, the factory also had a wicked Dreadnaught infestation. Tony linked the factory to the Arms Merchant, a mysterious weapons supplier to bad guys the world over. After Tony beat the Arms Merchant, who just happened to have killed Michel, too, Stephanie decided to stick with the company and run it—because Michel had given his life for it.
Hobbies:Shopping, men with money.
Weapons:Level 8 cat-fighter.
Quote: "You jilted me once, Tony Stark, and I’ve never forgiven you for it! Now that we’ve met again, I’ll make you pay for it somehow . . . I promise you that!"
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First seen in Iron Man #255, Devastator (real name: Gregori Larionov) was another Russian super operative from the Cold War.
Employed by the GRU, the Soviet military intelligence arm, Devastator and his handlers were in competition with the KGB’s Crimson Dynamo project. This turf war led to a literal battle, a battle that ended up giving Iron Man and Crimson Dynamo a Freaky Friday moment.
Devastator wore a combat suit that fired deadly microwave bursts and assorted other charges (such as electro-static pulses). The suit got its power by downloading transmissions from a satellite. When Devastator absorbed full power to beat Crimson Dynamo, he helped to move Stark into Shatalov’s body and vice versa (with the help of Freak Quincy). Devastator was also integral in switching them back.
Weapons: Electro-powered suit.
Quote: "What do you think of my best shot now?"
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Raging one minute, business-like the next, Kearson DeWitt, the unstable, arrogant genius behind a fiendish plot to literally control Tony Stark, was introduced in Iron Man #258.
DeWitt headed up the billion-dollar Bio-Replicant Synapse Override System, a project for the Marrs Corp. Exploiting the computer chip in Stark's spine (inserted after he was paralyzed by Kathy Dare's bullet), the system launched a techno-parasite that attacked Tony's central nervous system, replacing it with an artificial one of DeWitt's construction. DeWitt's team could control 97 percent of Stark's motor functions at the flip of the switch, controlling him like a puppet.
DeWitt might have designed the system, but he had to suffer the arrogant Marrs Twins, who bankrolled the project. And their agenda was a bit different than his. While the Marrs Twins wanted to control the bankroll and businesses of Anthony Stark, DeWitt was in it for revenge. It was personal for him.
DeWitt became fixated on getting Stark, at all costs, murmuring how Stark had wronged him. And when his billion-dollar baby didn't do it, he had one ace up his sleave: the DeWitt Armor. But again, he was no match for Tony Stark. And in the end, this man who was hell-bent on destroying Stark, died unknown--Stark didn't even recognize the man, nor did he know any reason for DeWitt's anger.
Like many of Marvel's characters, DeWitt did not stay dead. He somehow survived a skyscraper falling on top of him and returned wheelchair-bound, paralyzed from the waist down, and missing an arm in Iron Man Annual #13. Teamed with The Raiders, The Seekers, and the Hunters, DeWitt led yet another scheme to trash Tony Stark.
Now Kearson had several of his armors, all of them remote controlled. From his wheelchair, he controlled them much the same way Tony--stricken by DeWitt's virus--had to control his armors: via a neural network array. DeWitt also had the capability of jacking into the entire weapons complex, giving him the ability to control a vast arsenal of weapons. The ultimate plug'n'play system, DeWitt became one with the hardware, he could feel the stainless steel legs of his robots, the pulsing of the fiber optic nerves that slipped through electronic components, and the beating of his twelve-cylinder heart. But the connection was too much for his fragile body. In mortal combat with Iron Man, DeWitt was killed as his entire armored city overloaded in a massive chain reaction.
It was at this time that Stark finally learned the misguided source of DeWitt's animus. DeWitt believed that Tony had stolen the Iron Man designs from DeWitt's father, a man who died penniless, his dreams unrealized.
Kearson discovered that Tony was Iron Man. He later learned that Rhodey was a back-up Iron Man. But, perhaps because he was looking for personal revenge, he kept this information from the Marrs Twins. (Presumably this info died with DeWitt.)
While DeWitt might not have killed Tony, he did eventually succeed in putting him on ice. The parasite, and Tony's attempts to combat it, destroyed his body, which deteriorated over many months, finally all but giving out, and he was finally iced--spending many months in cryogenic suspension.
Read about the DeWitt Armor.
Weapons: Neuro-biological techno viruses; mighty armored weapons systems.
Hobbies: Smoking, revenge.
Quote: "Now is altogether too late for you, Mr. Stark."
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Showed up at the tale end of Iron Man #101, looking and acting an awful lot like the The Black Knight, Nathan Garret, although his origin was more fully told in Iron Man #102.
In Doctor Doom's Latveria, Bram Velsing was a brilliant and handsome engineer. Doom was pleased with his work, but not with his ambitions. After hearing the man calling him a "grotesque mockery," Doom fused a hideous mask to his face. Grafted to his skin, the mask cannot be removed.
Velsing fled Latveria, ending up somewhere in Yugoslovia, taken in by the mutants residing in Castle Frankenstein. There he found the Black Knight's old, winged-horse--mutated by further experimentation (presumably by Garret) into the Hellhorse--along with Garret's old toys. And with them, he had a shot at revenge.
Although he had never heard of Garret, he adopted his tactics and arsenal, becoming the Dreadknight. He was last seen unconscious in Frankenstein Castle.
Weapons: His lance fired ionic energy and all sorts of weapons, including: Metallic Energy-Discs (by the dozens) that adhere to Iron Man's armor, overloading it, disrupting circuits; Conductive Cables (steel cables that wrap around IM, packing a major electric bite). The lance also fired Penetro-Shells. He also had a pistol that shot laser blasts and knock-out gas.
Hobbies: Breaking wild hell horses.
Quote: "You either serve me--or die!!"
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These killer robots (once the exclusive toys of the terrorist organization HYDRA) made their first Iron Man appearance in issue 129, on a mission for the mysterious Director (later revealed as the Maggia head, Madame Masque).
Fearsome-looking, extremely strong, and made of a super-hard metallic exterior (anodized for further protection) these robots seem unware of their prior masters, but sport a cocky, superior attitude (bordering on over-confidence).
Iron Man #138 introduced the Silver Dreadnought Variant, now openly used by Madame Masque and the Maggia (who had stolen the plans from HYDRA). The Dreadnoughts returned in Volume III, bigger and badder than ever.
Weapons: Finger Blasters; Finger Missiles; and a nifty toolbox of tricks--they have the ability to shoot liquid fire, which is capable of reaching 3500 degrees Fahrenheit; can fire Frigibreath that is almost as powerful as Blizzard's chill; and can grasp foes in a deadly electric embrace (which can be overloaded, though, when IM adds more electricity to fuse their circuits).
Later models were modified with tank treads, chainsaw appendages, and flying capabilities.
Hobbies: Defragging hard drives, fragging people, and long walks on the beach.
Quote: Who dares mock the Dreadnought?
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Formerly Dr. Maximillian Stone, SE's Project
Director at the Mt. Acheron Geothermal Research Facility in the Mojave
Desert, an unfortunate accident turned him into the molten Earth Mover
in Iron Man #298.
While trying to shut down an underground drill during an earthquake,
Dr. Stone fell into a pool of molten rock. As the magma consumed him,
he somehow merged with an intelligent being of Living Magma that was
also dying at that same moment. The two became, Earth Mover, a creature
of molten rock and great strength, not to mention its ability to turn
into super hot liquid magma and absorb several tons of rock, increasing
its size at will.
At first, Earth Mover was driven by a desire to destroy the surface
world. Encountered by Stark, utilizing his Remote Armor, they initially
fought. Repulsors had no effect as the beams just tore through the
creature, blast holes quickly sealing. After fighting Iron Man to a
standstill, the human side of the monster took over and it then seemed
to retain intelligence and speech. Unfortunately the battle had
awakened Ultimo. Earth Mover rose to match Ultimo's size, actually
defending Iron Man, but appears to have been completely vaporized in a
single shot by Ultimo.
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Dr. Suzi Endo
Described by Stark himself as "one of the best," Suzi Endo runs SE Far East, in Hong Kong, home of Stark's cybernetics division. She debuted in FORCE WORKS #6, making her Iron Man debut a short time later in #312. level-headed, she kept it together when Hong Kong was invaded by the Mandarin's Avatars, and kept her SE branch functioning. She also knows that Tony is Iron Man.
Trivia note: Iron Man: The Legend has a picture of her next to the entry for Su Yin—one of many errors in that book.
Quote: "By the way, thanks for trusting me. With the whole secret identity thing, I mean."
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Dr. Clytemnestra Erwin
The brainier older sister of whiz-kid Morley, Cly made her first appearance in #171. She soon joined Tony in starting Circuits Maximus, and later in the young start-up, Stark Enterprises. And even knew that Tony was Iron Man.
Cly had a kind of psychic sixth sense, which was never fully explored. She also had a crush on Stark. But, ultimately, when her brother Morley was killed by Stane, she held Tony (not Stane) responsible, and later betrayed him to A.I.M. in issue #216. She was killed by her own bomb at the end of the issue.
Quote:"You could have become Iron Man and gone after him and . . . and stopped him!"
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Nerdly and shy, Morley Erwin, a young M.I.T. grad, made his first appearance as "kid" in Iron Man #168.
Morley had turned down several jobs for the chance to work at Stark International, and although it was only for a short time, it turned out to be better than he dreamed. Not only did he get to work at Tony Stark's house of ideas, but in just his second week on the payroll he got to work on Iron Man's armor--not to mention see his face (Jim Rhodes). He soon became the brains behind Rhodey's Iron Man brawn as the real Iron Man, Tony Stark, crawled inside a bottle.
After Obidiah Stane gained control of SI, Morley quit. Soon thereafter he helped Stark get back on his feet by co-founding the early Silicon Valley start-up Circuits Maximus.
Morley, the younger brother of equally brainy Clytemnestra Erwin, was killed by a bomb sent by Stane in #199.
Weapons: A keen mind.
Quote: "Life is more puzzling than circuitry."
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The Face Thief
Called Kao-Goto Suru in Japanese ("The Stealer of Faces"), its true
name is Shinma and while he first appeared in Iron Man Annual #14 it is
a centuries old evil incarnate.
The Face Thief is an ancient demonic creature who walks the earth,
assuming the identities of powerful and influencial humans, leading
their followers on the path to ruin. First identified in feudal Japan
in the fifteenth century, Kao-Goto Suru was inadvertently responsible
for the creation of the Masters of Silence, who have pursued him ever
since, pledged to wipe his evil from the face of the earth.
Decades ago, Shinma was imprisoned in a 16th Century Tsuburaya mask,
however in IM ANNUAL #14, he got out, killing and replacing Creighton
McCall. His actions brought him in combat with the Masters of Silence
and Iron Man.
Shinma's height and weight varies as he assumes other identities, but
in his in-between, or true state, he is a kind of bizzaro tiger--A
surrealistic and amorphous, black and white striped, twisted shaped
Hobbies:Murder, deciet and trickery
Quote: "I am brother to darkness and father to pain--I am Shinma"
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Fin Fang Foom
A mystical green dragon with a love of purple short pants, Fin Fang Foom stormed on the stage of the Marvel Universe in Strange Tales #89. His first Iron Man appearance was in #261—but he really rocked the scene in #263.
Sleeping dormant in a cave in a remote part of China, Fin was the legendary inhabitant of the Valley of the Sleeping Dragon. Awakened, he was introduced to the Mandarin by the wizard Chen Hsu.
“Fin Fang Foom” is his name in English, a crude translation of a long and complex name, which means “He whose limbs shatter mountains, and whose back scrapes the sun.” Older than the stars, he was described by Chen Hsu as “only a child.” Finny was finally subdued by Chen Hsu, and sent into a sleep for many years.
Called “Big Ugly” by Rhodey, FFF is incredibly fast as well as being very strong and powerful. He has massive wings for flight and vomits fire. He speaks in a booming human voice.
As the story unfolded, Finny’s true past was revealed. Like, Hsu, we learned that he was an ancient alien dragon, the navigator on a ship that crashed on Earth 3,000 years ago.
Although he seemed to perish along with his dragon brethren at the end of the “The Dragon Seed Saga” (IM 270-275), ol’ Fin returned in Iron Man, Volume III, issue # . Apparently his spirit was stored in a dragon statue, only to be released when the statue was shoplifted. Fin possessed the young thief’s body and then gathered all the reptiles in the area to him in order to transform back to his immense dragon body. He then, not surprisingly, went on a rampage.
Although Thor recently claimed to have killed Fin Fang Foom, the legendary monster’s spirit continues to reanimate itself.
Weapons:Massive strength, fire blasts.
Quote: "You have seen but the smallest fraction of my power."
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One of Marvel's first forays into the politics of the turbulent Sixties (which were well under way in 1970), Firebrand was billed on the cover of Iron Man #27 as "the most controversial villain in the history of comic-mags." He was certainly one of the most political foes Iron Man ever met.
Firebrand was a rabble rousing terrorist/activist that didn't just want to fight the system, he wanted to destroy it. With his palm-mounted Thermo-Blasts, he delighted in anarchy and mayhem. And true to his name, he had a penchant for fiery oratory.
A flame-throwing outsider in red and yellow, with a raised fist on his shirt, he was a fitting contrast to Iron Man--the red and yellow defender of the status quo. And his power suit was more than a match. According to Shellhead, this flame throwing fanatic's costume has powers and protections nearly equal to his own. Having harnessed incredible thermal energy, his Thermo-Blasts shot fire and even melted Iron Man's boot jets. (They could even blow holes in tanks.) Belt packs jets let him fly as well.
But Firebrand wasn't just some criminal or commie pinko, he was a self-described All-American boy, Gary Gilbert, "a wide-eyed innocent who started out wanting to make America a better place." Gilbert participated in Civil Rights and campus peace demonstrations, but he was chased by dogs and bigots, attacked with tear gas and mace. Eventually he decided that if he couldn't change America, he had to tear it down, even if that meant spilling blood.
He began to use his talents for physics to make revolution. Though his experiments were amazing, his professors had no idea what he'd built. An ingenious criminal he even used the System against itself, enrolling in a Stark Industries training program to hone his skills. At SI he learned the final techniques needed to build his awesome power suit.
In his first outing, fomenting unrest in the Midwestern skyscraper town of Bay City (a rare fake city in the Marvel U.), Firebrand worked up militant blacks in the inner city and came up against Iron Man, but lost bad when cooler heads prevailed.
After being defeated by Iron Man, Firebrand returned to his lab where he slaved and sweated until he created devices that gave him powers that rivalled the Human Torch. His upgraded suit had more power and could now burn and blast things. His new power even allowed him to melt Iron Man's armor.
He returned in IM #48, hired by his father, Simon Gilbert, to destablize Stark Industries. (The elder Gilbert was totally unaware that his son was the fiery terrorist he had just engaged to sabotage Tony Stark.) After an unsuccessful attempt to cripple SI, Firebrand watched as his father was killed trying to finish the job. Iron Man prevented Gary from trying to rescue his father, an act that would have been suicide. In a rage, Firebrand poured the full power of his thermal jets onto Shellhead, crisping him like bacon, melting the armor like it was candlewax. In the end, Firebrand was defeated, but swore revenge on IM. Iron Man lamented that Gary Gilbert had so much potential to do good, but had somehow gone wrong.
Firebrand showed up in Detroit to live with his sister, Roxanne, much to her surprise (IM #59). He had escaped from Stark’s "rent-a-cop’s" by using his exo-skeleton-boosted strength. Determined to avenge his father’s death (which he blamed on Iron Man), Gilbert assumed a life of thievery. He used his ill-gotten booty to buy the supplies he needed to repair and improve his costume. When he finally struck out at Iron Man, his costume was shredded, and Roxanne almost died in crossfire.
In Iron Man #74, Gilbert returned again. This time he was a bit more successful. He won the Black Lama’s contest, the much-vaunted War of the Super Villains, beating out the likes of the Mandarin, MODOK, Yellow Claw, and others. His prize: the impressive Globe of Power, oh, and a one-way trip to another dimension . . .
Some time later, Firebrand returned to the pages of IM in #172. He had returned to our dimension a while ago (somehow), but had been inactive for a number of years. He even stated that he’d been carrying around his suit for years, but hadn’t done anything meaningful with it. Anyway, Gary Gilbert decided to lash out at Iron Man and a down and out Stark (again). This time it ended with him going to jail.
Weapons:Can shoot Thermo-Bursts from hands, has tear gas cannisters, and power of flight.
Quote:"Now see how hot things really can get, Iron Man!"
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The first appearance of the head field op and titular head of The Flaming Sword terrorist group came in Iron Man Vol. 3, #4.
Rick Dennison was a member of Terra Tactics, a violent environmental group. When they attacked PowerSource, Inc., he was wounded and left behind. Then an explosion in the Alternative Energy Research Project exposed him to an experimental super-charged plasma. Dennison burned without being consumed, causing him to go insane. The Flaming Sword found him and "rescued" him.
Now quite mad, he was placed in a multifaceted control harness, a kind of large cage that can reconfigure itself to do certain tasks. Capable of flight and massive heat bursts, he is more than a worthy successor of the Firebrand moniker.
Firebrand II disappeared after Iron Man used him to deflect a volcanic blast.
Weapons: Heat Cannon
Hobbies:Roasting marshmellows and armored super heroes.
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Built by businessman Edwin Cord for the U.S. military, “Project Firepower” soon became Cord’s instrument of revenge against Tony Stark.
First seen in Iron Man #230, Firepower was a government program ostensibly for use in the next war. In reality, the government wanted a flying arsenal, a defense against America’s so-called super heroes (should they ever get out of line—Iron Man’s recent vigilante behavior in the Armor Wars being a perfect example).
The suit was worn by Jack Taggert, a kid who grew up in the projects, craving power. It was the relish he took in being Firepower that Cord valued, that ruthlessness he would need for Firepower to become his tool.
Click HERE for the tech specs of the Firepower Armor.
Quote: "You made a mistake, man! Your last!"
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A new Firepower, worn by a new, unknown agent, showed up in Iron Man #288 to take care of the environmental renegade Atom Smasher. In the end, he ended up humiliated by Iron Man, just like his predecessor.
Bigger and more advanced than the original, this Firepower sported a bright orange paint job. It was flight-capable, but it was delivered to the battlefield in a B-52.
Armed with dual laser ports on the chest, a mini rocket launcher on the left shoulder, and a right arm that was a cannon. The new Firepower also had a four-missile pack on the back, and an even bigger Terminax.
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Although he first appeared in SUB-MARINER #68, Force, a.k.a. Clay Wilson, made his Iron Man debut in #140, a hired-gun of one Justin Hammer. Ruthless and strong in his Hammer-financed, microcircuited battlesuit, he was a force to be reckoned with. But his career of murder and piracy ended in a friendship with Tony Stark.
When we first met Force he was committing piracy on the high seas, stealing ships and yatchs for Hammer's drug smuggling operations. Later we learned he was just another kid who got seduced by the dark side of power.
As a teaching assistant at a nice university, Clay Wilson discovered how to control force-fields. Young and impressionable, he wanted power. Justin Hammer was able to suck him into the criminal underworld with promises of lots and lots of power.
Hammer bankrolled his uniform and weaponry--all for the standard fifty percent fee on all his ill-gotten profits--and Force did his bidding, an arrangement Clay was fine with for quite awhile.
Force's chief power is that he can control energy fields--including the polarization fields of Iron Man's armor. Surrounding himself in a protective force-field he can fly or operate underwater, moving at super-human speed. His suit has an early Heads-Up Display that allows for mapping projection, and so on.
Force returned in #223, tired of living a life of crime and being Hammer's lackey, he ran away, turning to Tony Stark for help. But since he was a considerable source of income, Hammer didn't want to let him go. Hammer activated the Safelok circuit, a device meant to prevent his men from leaving. When activated, it not only blocked communications, but also turned their costumes into deadly traps. In Force's case, if the prodigal agent attempted to remove his armor, the circuit would release the power of his weapons internally, electrocuting him. Needless to say, the inventive mind of Tony Stark was the only thing that could free Clay Wilson. And Tony did help him, but only after exacting the promise that Force would turn his armor over to him. Besides the armor, Wilson gave Stark info on Hammer's operations. (Stark would soon learn that the incredible armor and fearsome power of Force came from his own designs, starting the armor wars.)
Stark provided Wilson a new life after Justin Hammer sent Beetle, Blacklash, and Blizzard to kill him. He became, Carl Walker, a tech at Barstow Electronics.
Walker would go on to be a trusted confidant of Mr. Stark. Even donning the Iron Man armor when needed, including a turn in the Iron Legion.
Force returned at the end of Iron Man, VOL. III, issue #79 and then returned more directly in #81. Believing Tony had ratted him out to clandestine governement operation, he once again tried to kill Stark. In truth, while Walker was heading up a design team for a new military contract at Barstow, a rouge Pentagon official found out about his mercenary past and blackmailed him into working on Tony's pirated designs at Edgewood Arsenal--including copies of Tony's armors. In an new armored costume, he was intent on burying Stark in the Iraqi desert, until Tony convinced him that he hadn't betrayed him. Force then helped him defeat Vitriol. (His new armor-plated Force armor had a retractable mask, palm blasters, and a triangular chestbeam; he could fly thanks to boot jets.)
Weapons: Force-fields used offensively and defensively; suit capable of producing EM-pulses.
Quote: You're gonna know why they call me--Deadly Force!"
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Iron Man put together Force Works, a super hero team that would prevent evil, not just avenge it. U.S. Agent, Spider-Woman, Scarlet Witch, and Century (and sometimes Wonder Man), joined him in creating the new team.
For all the facts on the Force Works team: Click Here.
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In Iron Man #327, a city-wide power outage left the Alden Institute, home to a cutting-edge cryogenics program, in the dark, and Dr. Sloane Alden became the only customer to get his money’s worth, reborn as the chilling villain: Frostbite, the first bad guy Iron Boy ever faced.
After a minor accident cost him his life, Dr. Alden, a leading researcher in cryogenic life extension, became his own customer. His team followed his special protocols, freezing his body in a personally tailored program of his own design—one that included a mix of experimental preservatives. When the power went out, the failure activated an untested emergency protocol, which, in turn, charged up the untested chemical combination. Alden’s backup soon sucked up all the emergency power from the other crypts, sparking a whole new life form: Frostbite. After sucking up the ambient power in the room, Alden/Frostbite took his employees’ lives. He then went for his wife, Meredith McCall.
Before getting to McCall, who just happened to be an old flame of Tony Stark’s, Frostbite froze half of New York, including its people. He animates himself by leeching ambient heat energy from his surroundings. A raging force of nature, shooting icy breath, icy missiles, and even hail at will. He can also freeze everything around him.
Frostbite was finally defeated when Iron Man made the entire surrounding area a brisk subzero temperature, removing any ambient heat from within Frostbite’s leeching power. He was then stored in an insulated containment field.
Quote: "Cold corrupts heat, Iron laddie."
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Jack Frost AKA Blizzard (I)
Another Stark employee gone bad, Hungarian born Professor Gregor
became a human snow storm with an icicle for a heart in Tales of Suspense #45
Full of mad visions of immortality, Prof. Shapanka attempted to steal
formulas for Stark's tiny transistors. He believed that he was close to
uncovering the secret to eternal life and wanted to sell the secrets to
his experiments. After Shapanka was caught by Iron Man, he was fired by
Tony Stark--Who let the man go only because of the brilliant work he had
done in the past.
Later, while working on his life extension experiments, Shapanka
developed a special cold suit to keep himself forever young by keeping
body temperature way, way down. Realizing the potential of his
and determined to get Stark's secrets, and revenge, Shapanka became a
costumed villain. He was dubbed "Jack Frost" by the tabloids when he
on his crime spree.
The suit gives him the ability to encase himself in a tough coating
solid ice and to freeze whatever is near him. By shooting cold jets of
O2--that freeze in the air--he can shoot ice "beams" to freeze people or
things. He can turn flying bullets into snow flakes.
Although defeated by Iron Man in his first outing, Shapanka returned in Iron Man #86, with a new sleeker costume and a cooler name. Calling himself Blizzard (I).
Weapons: Ice beams, Electrical Force Field, Ultra-sensitive
Hobbies: Freezing cats.
Quote: "Iron Man! -Gasp!- I was prepared for anything except
See also Blizzard (I) above.
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A wealthy socialite who debuted in Tales of Suspense #98 as the girl who had everything--an indulgent father, an education at the best schools, all the advantages in life. But she also had a dark secret.
Part of the Jet Set, Whitney Frost, daughter of Wall Street financier Byron Frost, was engaged to Roger Vane, the scion of a prominent and wealthy political family. But when the man she knew as her father died, she learned that she was actually the daughter of Count Nefaria, head of the Maggia crime family. Although she tried to run away and deny her heritage, when her friends and fiance turned their backs on her, she was driven back to her true father. After extensive training and her father's arrest, she became Big M--the new head of the Maggia.
After using Jasper Sitwell to get into Stark International, she led an unsuccessful raid on the plant and was thought dead after a botched escape. Her face horribly scarred in an accident, she returned in Iron Man #17 as Madame Masque. Later, she masqueraded as Krissy Longfellow, Stark's executive secretary.
Hobbies:Deceit, robbery, crime in general.
Quote: "If only it could have been different...If only I weren't Big M."
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The 27-year-old grand daughter of Kenjiro Fujikawa, CEO and Founder of Fujikawa Industries, now Stark-Fujikawa, she is Tony Stark's current on again, off again girlfriend. 1st appearance, Vol. 3, #4, as a bikini-clad beach babe that caught Tony Stark's eye prior to Firebrand's scorched-earth tactics. Underneath her spoiled, club kid exterior exists a smart, take charge gal.
Wild party girl from a rigid Japanese family, she was brought up
under the thumb of a father obsessed with discipline much like Tony
Stark himself-But Rumiko managed to get over it.
Since her family will not let her work at the firm because she's a
female, she seems to have devoted much of her energy toward driving her
parents nuts. But beyond the spoiled rich girl is the determined spirit
of a bright young woman. One who carries authority well and has a good
sense of high tech equipment. She took charge of a makeshift hospital
during Firebrand's attack of Isla Suerte.
Rumiko and Tony's second "date," in issue 13, wasn't much better as
she followed Stark to the Basil Stress Clinic, run secretly by the
Controller-Although their romance bloomed. Even though the
manipulating Controller used his mind control devices to try to get her
to have Tony fire Iron Man, she uncovered the Controller's plans, and
smashed the Absorbatron, allowing Iron Man to defeat the Controller.
Later, she appeared to have some measure of authority at S-F,
overseeing some measure of the Ultimo Energy Project, giving orders and
taking complete charge of the ground battle when things went bad. She
also appeared to have a stake in Askew Electronics. But for the most part Rumiko traveled the world, living the jet-set life, although she did have a penthouse in New York.
Her relationship with Tony became on-again, off-again, on-again, before she was killed by a rogue Iron Man (actually spurned industrialist Clarence Ward) in Iron Man #87 (Vol. 3).
Hobbies: Windsurfing, motorcycles, and clubbing.
Quote: "Do you (Stark) always talk economics when you're with
girl under a tropical moon." OR....
"Hands off the millionaire playboy, dirtbag!"
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Greatly feared as a legendary electronic boogeyman, who destroyed companies for fun and profit, most dismissed him as an old hacker's tale, but when the Ghost slipped onto the scene in Iron Man #219, the results were all too tangible. Hired by Roxxon Oil as a freelance operative to wreck Accutech in order to make it ripe for a takeover, the Ghost stuck around to haunt Tony Stark.
His power: to become not just invisible but intangible also. The Ghost is not only able to disappear, he can pass right through solid objects like walls, allowing him to go and be anywhere, materializing seemingly out of thin air. While in this intangible/invisible state, he is immune to ultraviolet and infrared detection systems. (Iron Man was only able to track him by honing in on his heartbeat [a flaw the Ghost would soon do away with].) But whatever devices he uses don't allow him to be both transparent and immaterial at the same time. Iron Man eventually discovered another flaw in Ghost's suit: when exposed to major electric energy fields, the costume became visible.
A blurry, hooded ghoul in a white costume with blue tints, the Ghost cuts a very spooky figure. Resembling flowing robes, his costume is actually laced with his incredible intangibility circuits. The Ghost's costume was rounded out by a small cape and a utility belt (that held all kinds of cool stuff). Electroically powered, the suit is cybernetically controlled just like Iron Man's, but his design is less refined than IM's--he has to really concentrate to control his powers, making him vulnerable to sonic wave weapons.
He's a master of electronics. Besides his fantastic costume, some of his know gadgets include a micro-synthesizer to emulate heartbeat decoys, as well as several remotes and detonators. In addition, he even built small, portable modules of his intangibility circuits. This allowed others to become intangible while using the devices. (Spymaster [I] was killed when Ghost took back one such module, mid-floor.)
Ghost utilized the early Internet for hacking and sabotage, but mostly he preferred blowing stuff up. He was reclusive and hard to contact. At one time he used a special phone number that bounced all over the world via ingenius routers--impossible to trace--but rather than a spectacular lair, the Ghost preffered a filthy car junkyard as his HQ.
To this day little is known about his origin or identity. He appears to be a former corporate executive, but no one knows why he now hates corporations so much or why he has a compulsive need to destroy them. Furthermore, he is motivated solely by his mission--not money. While he accepts payment for his work, he has a record of destroying many companies simply for fun it brings him. (The Ghost actually has very little use for money. In fact, he once referred to the stacks of money piled around his workroom as "junk" cluttering up his lab.)
The Ghost appears to be mentally ill, and quite delusional. He is so totally fixated on his mission that anyone or anything that gets in his way gets destroyed. This obsessive drive has almost cost him his life on a number of occasions. After Iron Man stopped the Ghost's Accutech raid, he swore that he would kill Tony Stark. This private vendetta caused Roxxon to fire him. (They then sent the Spymaster [I] to kill him, as mentioned above, Spymaster was the one to die.)
Yet another time, the Ghost was willing to sacrifice even his own life for his cause. He risked death to destroy Tony's Beta Particle Generator. In fact the heat from his own overloading costume was so intense that he melted through the floor--several of them, actually. All Iron Man found was slag: some plastic, shreds of fabric, and some wires. But the Ghost was not down for the count.
The murderous Ghost would return at the tale end of #238 to destroy Justin Hammer's Electronica Fabrizzi (an Italian company). Now able to negate Iron Man's scans, he was even more invisible. Even worse, the Ghost could now externalize his invisibility powers, causing the things he touches to vanish (like the gun in his hand). Ghost made another key tech improvement, a nifty new circuit module that allowed him to make Iron Man's armor intangible. Once affixed to the armor's shell, it couldn?t be removed--neither could the armor, trapping Tony inside, left to starve, to die. Ol' spooky had also learned to manipulate electronics and computers with just a touch. This time around the Ghost was stopped by Justin Hammer, who had developed a synthetic material that the Ghost couldn't pass through.
But the Ghost didn't stay down for long. He even made a Vol. III appearance, returning as a mad bomber behind the "You Da Man" e-mail virus (begining in #45).
Weapons: guns; bombs; Anson grenades (with 15 second audible timers, they also fly);lots of gadgets.
Quote: "You have succeeded where most have failed! For you have uncovered--the Ghost!"
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Introduced in Iron Man #45, as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Stark Industries, Simon Gilbert was also the father of Gary and Roxie Gilbert. Intent on running the giant weapons concern himself, he tried to get the board to remove Tony from being President of his own company.
Gilbert was believed killed in #48, after personally sabotaging one of SI’s munitions plants—after Firebrand failed to. He died before learning that the terrorist he hired to do the deed, Firebrand, was his son, Gary.
Somehow, Simon Gilbert returned in Iron Man #75 (Vol. 3) as the head of GilberTech. He was selling an air defense system pirated from Stark via Sonny Burch (a crooked Pentagon undersecretary pilfering Stark’s designs).
Quote: "Before this day is done Tony Stark will be finished here . . . As will Iron Man."
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A midget with a huge head, the Gremlin was a card carrying mad scientist, if not a loyal communist, who had a (wait for it . . .) short career as the Titanium Man. He made his first and only Iron Man appearance (alive anyway) in Iron Man #229, in possession of his specially customized version of the Titanium Man armor.
Although it was thought destroyed, a base in the frozen wastes of Siberia called Bitterfrost was the operating base and secret lair of the Gremlin. Beneath the ruin on the surface was a fortified bunker, his secret hideaway protected by all kinds of automated defenses. From here he did the bidding of his Soviet overseers, although he distrusted and despised them. The Gremlin was killed when his Titanium Man armor ignited during combat with Iron Man. He was burned alive.
For more on his Titanium Man career, click here.
Hobbies: He was often seen smoking cigarettes in his FDR-esque cigarette holder.
Weapons: Titanium Man armor.
Quote: "Intelligence got me where I am today!"
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The Grey Gargoyle
While the Grey Gargoyle first fought Iron Man in Tales of Suspense #’s 95 and 96, but his origin lies in being the enemy of another Avenger: Thor.
In Journey Into Mystery #107, Pierre Paul Duval (a.k.a. Paul Pierre Duval), a French chemist, accidentally spilled an unknown mix of chemicals on himself. He found that the accident gave him the power to turn anything he touched to stone—including himself. The effect was only temporary, as whatever he had turned would turn back—unharmed—after an hour, but like many others before him, he used his new gift to become a criminal. He became a living, breathing granite rock, taking the fearsome name Grey Gargoyle.
In TOS #95, looking for a way to beat Thor, Grey Gargoyle tries to steal Tony Stark’s new Cobalt Ray. Breaking into Tony’s factory, ol’ GG almost succeeded. He even turned Iron Man’s armor to stone at one point. But by #96, Stark and his boy-toy, Jasper Sitwell, managed to get the upper hand.
In any case, their relationship was so rocky that Grey Gargoyle didn’t grace the pages of Iron Man until issue #235, where he showed up in the guise of Paul St. Pierre, a rich sculptor with a real way with stone and the ladies. Now seeking immortality as an artist, GG was taking beautiful women, touching them with his special hands, and turning them into eerie sculptures. To prevent his victims from turning back, he coated them with a special polymer, sealing them in and sealing their death warrants.
Grey Gargoyle was last seen in The New Avengers, busting out of the high security prison known as the Raft during a massive jailbreak.
Grey Gargoyle has never been too successful. Other known associates include AIM, the Masters of Evil, and Doctor Doom.
Weapons: His touch of stone.
Hobbies: An extensive pet rock collection.
Quote: "Don’t be frightened . . . I merely wish to caress you!"
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