Origin and backstory of the Iron Monger:

The ruthless industrialist Obidiah Stane came closer to destroying Iron Man than any super-villain has to date; yet the Iron Monger Armor, built and worn by Stane himself, wasonly the final chess piece in Stane's long endgame . . .

Stane, a multi-millionaire munitions dealer, was a vicious corporate raider that wished to take control of Stark International. He believed that Stark was foolishly ignoring the company's potential by not accepting weapons contracts--a policy Tony Stark implemented years earlier. Obidiah Stane all but ruined Tony Stark by setting into motion a scheme that attacked Stark financially and psychologically.

The beautiful Indries Moomji acted as Stane's secret operative, toying with Stark's emotions, manipulating him, and finally dumping him. Shattered, Stark spiralled down into alcoholism, and ended ended up a penniless drunk living in the streets. Stark International became Stane International, and Jim Rhodes became Iron Man.

Eventually Iron Man Tony Stark returned, but not before Stane manipulated his life some more (most notably when Stane killed Morley Erwin). Iron Man avenged Morley's death with his new red and silver armor--facing the awesome force of the Iron Monger.

The Iron Monger Armor was based on Tony Stark's own plans, plans the alcoholic Stark left behind when he lost his company. Stane found them in one of Stark's notebooks, taking the scribblings about the Iron Man amor and improved the designs suggested at a cost of more than $500 million. The result was a suit of armor that was a very direct threat to the Iron Man Armor.

At one point, Stane had planned to sell copies of the armor en masse to te highest bidder; however, he was also quite fond of the notion that he might just outfit his own Iron Monger army for global domination. Unfortunately for Stane, Iron Man returned to thwart those plans, and Stane was forced to wear the armor himself in a last ditch attempt to finish Iron Man, once and for all.

With the Iron Monger suit Stane made the mistake of assuming that bigger is always better. He added amplified strength and a tougher armor, while upgrading most of Stark's standard features: repulsor rays (more powerful than IM's); chestmounted laser projector; boot jets. Iron Man: The Legend rated the Monger 7 out of 10 on the competitive scale, compared to IM.

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The armor's downfall was the fact that it was remotely controlled by computer. A fact that, while connected, gave the inexperienced Stane an advantage over Stark, but once severed, caused the suit to freeze up, forcing Stane to revert to his cowardly ways. In the end, Stane chose to deny Stark the satisfaction of truly winning. He turned his repulsor on himself, and quit the grand game.

Click here to read more about Stane in the Bio Area.

Iron Monger Armor, Mark II

A modified Monger suit reappeared in Iron Man #212, the product of Steele Industries (the company of Simon Steele a.k.a. Wolfgang Von Lundt, a Nazi spy). Built and tested in a secret sub-basement at their New York location, the Mark II was more effective than the first. Highly sophisticated, after all it was based on Tony Stark's own designs, it was much stronger than before. A barrage of missiles could not stop it. Ion blasts had no affect on it either. In fact, it's improved strength might have exceeded Iron Man's.

Known capabilities: repulsors in gloves, chestbeam laser, flight.

Iron Monger, Mark III

A third suit was seen in #253, built by Tony?s old college friend, an M.I.T. drop-out and current stand-up comic, Joey Cosmatos. (Joey had a real talent for robotics as a younger man. When his comedy career wasn?t going anywhere, he decided to prove his electronics genius. He obtained a pirate set of Iron Monger plans from a techie that had worked for Stane. He then modified them to his own design, which even impressed Tony. After battling this third Monger, Stark said that Joey was a more gifted inventor than he ever imagined.)

Cosmatos was mixed up with an underworld boss named Mr. Desmond. Desmond took the armor and gave it to one of his most trusted operatives, Slagmire (a two-bit goon in knock-off armor). He battled with Iron Man.

The most notable feature/improvement is the refractory coating Cosmatos added to the armor (allowing it to deflect much of the energy of laser blasts, etc.). Other armaments include: heat beams (shot from gloves); and seeker missiles (fired from shoulder ports).

Iron Man defeated Iron Monger (III) when he pulled Slagmire toward him at full force with a tractor beam, slamming him into his energy shield. Presumably, Stark confiscated this suit after the battle.

The Iron Monger armor has had several other lives. An Iron Monger appeared within the pages of Captain America as the armored henchman of the Red Skull. Other suits have shown up as U.S. government agents or weapons-in-development.

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This page is copyright 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2008 Tim Rassbach

Iron Man and all associated characters are the property of Marvel Comics.

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