Characters: Iron Man
This page lists characters who appear in the Iron Man comics.For characters appearing in the live-action film franchise, see the Iron Man film character sheet.
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Heroes and Allies
Tony Stark / Iron Man
Anthony "Tony" Stark/Iron Man
The son of billionaire industrialist Howard Stark, Tony is a brilliant inventor in his own right. Following an incident that left him with a piece of shrapnel in his chest, Tony designed an electromagnetic harness to keep himself alive, and eventually, a suit of armour that could be powered by it. He is a major name in the Marvelverse, and a founding member of the Avengers.
- The Alcoholic: Has struggled with drinking ever since the infamous "Demon in a Bottle" storyline. He fell back off the wagon during Fear Itself, sacrificing his sobriety as a way to convince Odin to help. He's since worked to get back on.
- The Atoner: Sees his career as Iron Man as a way of making up for his earlier career as an arms dealer.
- Badass Beard: Sometimes drawn with this, not always.
- Badass Bookworm: One of the most dangerous bookworms in the whole Marvel Universe.
- Badass Moustache: Always drawn with this.
- Big Brother Instinct: has this towards Arno.
- Brought Down to Badass: Any time he loses the armour, he typically manages to still acquit himself well.
- The Casanova: The guy loves women. Lots of them.
- Chivalrous Pervert: Not above sleeping with most girls, but he has some standards.
- Deadpan Snarker: Has had a sarcastic streak since early in his career. It has become more pronounced following the films.
- Depending on the Writer: How strong his sense of morality is, and how close he is to falling off the wagon.
- The Determinator: First became Iron Man by surviving shrapnel to his chest and building a powered suit of armor under his captors' noses to escape. Been fighting the good fight ever since.
- Flying Firepower: His armour enables both flight and the ability to level buildings.
- Functional Addict: Under some writers more than others. Just how close Stark is to diving head first into a bottle is a pretty major part of his modern characterisation.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Not that he needs gadgets all the time.
- Good Is Not Nice: He'll save the day while being a dick.
- Guile Hero: Frequently, he'll manipulate other people to save the day.
- Honest Corporate Executive: Most of the time, Tony's morally upstanding in his business.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Rude and abrasive, but he genuinely does good.
- Knight in Sour Armour: Most modern portrayals of Stark will portray him this way. Matt Fraction's run in particular took this route.
- Light Is Not Good: His "Endo- Sym" Mark 51 Armor is white and chrome, but he only builds it once he's been Inverted.
- Mr. Vice Guy: Alcoholism, arrogance, and womanizing tend to be his favorite vices.
- Off the Wagon: He's fallen off a few times, most infamously during the Iron Monger saga, when Obadiah Stane drove him into a mental breakdown.
- After his inversion, he gleefully leaps off the wagon again.
- Powered Armour: The most famous example in comics.
- Power Palms: The repulsor rays in his hands are perhaps his most iconic weapons.
- Primary-Color Champion: Wears yellow and red.
- Really Gets Around: Has slept with or tried to sleep with most major female characters in the Marvelverse (excepting those that are taken by his friends).
- Rich Idiot with No Day Job: Tony used to play up his image as an extravagant playboy to deflect suspicions about being the man in the Iron Man suit. As with most super heroes, his secret identity got leaked to the public eventually in most continuities.
- Rocket Boots: Part of his armour.
- Science Hero: Quite possibly one of the best examples in the Marvel Universe.
- Secret Identity: In the early days, Tony claimed that Iron Man was his bodyguard. These days, the secret is out in the open, as Tony Stark revealed it in the July 2002 edition; in this case, it actually got him in trouble as the Iron Man armour was legally now the US Government's to replicate.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Early on, he used military grade weapons to battle street level crime. This philosophy still plays a large role in how Tony goes into battle.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Fluctuates a lot, depending on writer and story arc. The worst example would be Civil War, in which he becomes a total tool and behaves almost as bad as the villains he fights, treating former friends as if they've committed unspeakable atrocities.
- Transhuman: Is described as being transhuman following his Extremis and Bleeding Edge upgrades, which turn him into a cyborg. He lost the ability to use the former thanks to a Skrull computer virus and purged the latter from his body during one of his Ten Minute Retirements.
Virginia "Pepper" Potts / Rescue
Virginia "Pepper" Potts / Rescue
Tony's secretary, assistant, and longtime friend. She eventually gains a suit of armour (and a heart implant) of her own as the heroine Rescue.
- Action Girl: After becoming Rescue.
- Alliterative Name: Alliterative nickname anyway.
- Battle Butler: After her Rescue upgrades.
- Breast Plate: On the Rescue armour, though how bad an example it was depended on the issue and artist.
- Deadpan Snarker: She's as bad as Iron Man in this regard."I asked the man whose car you wrecked if I could throw it at you. He said okay."
- Flight: When Tony installed an electromagnet in her chest she gained the ability to fly, independently of the Rescue suit.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Tony's primary love interest.
- Honest Corporate Executive: Has acted as the CEO of Stark's various corporations, and always tries to keep things aboveboard and transparent.
- Love Triangle: With Tony and Happy Hogan. Until Hogan died.
- Meaningful Name: Her codename of "Rescue" signifies her unwillingness to be used as a weapon—she'll save people, but she won't hurt anyone.
- Powered Armour: Eventually gained her own set as Rescue.
- Really Gets Around: Not as much as Iron Man, but she goes through a lot of disposable boyfriends, in addition to Tony and Happy.
- Selective Magnetism: The Rescue armour uses this. Pepper can also manipulate magnetism outside of the Rescue armour, so long as she has the implant in her chest. This allowed her to beat down Sandman and Electro during one arc in Invincible Iron Man.
- Sexy Secretary: There's a reason that Tony likes her. Granted, the man Really Gets Around
- Stone Wall: The Rescue armour is tough, but lacks any offensive capabilities. If Pepper wants to hurt somebody, she'll have to use her magnetism. Or throw something at them.
- Subordinate Excuse: Regularly comes up vis-a-vis her and Tony.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Takes this far more seriously than Tony or Rhodey do, objecting strongly to the notion of being used as a weapon and/or taking life.
- Took a Level in Badass: Took a massive level in badass since the sixties, which culminated in her gaining a suit of power armour during Matt Fraction's run.
- UST: With Tony since the sixties. Half the time they're together, the other half they're pretending they weren't.
- Your Cheating Heart: Cheated on Happy with an ex-boyfriend from college, blowing up their marriage.
Harold "Happy" Hogan
Harold "Happy" HoganA retired boxer, hired by Tony to serve as his chauffeur and personal assistant.
- Alliterative Name: His full name is Harold "Happy" Hogan.
- Badass Normal: Happy could take care of himself, and saved Stark's hind end on a number of occasions.
- Battle Butler: Tony's, though he doesn't necessarily need to be this, given how Tony is Iron Man.
- The Berserker: When he was mutated into the Freak. He got better.
- Face of a Thug: Especially in the sixties. He got better looking as the comics went on.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Died taking a bullet for Stark.
- Killed Off for Real: After he and Spymaster had a clash during the Civil War period, Tony chose to grant him a Mercy Kill as he was comatose and unlikely to ever recover.
- Love Triangle: With Pepper and Tony.
- Taking the Bullet: Did this several times. It eventually killed him.
James "Rhodey" Rhodes / War Machine
James "Rhodey" Rhodes / War MachineTony's closest friend in some continuities, and pilot of the War Machine armor. He has his own page on which tropes about him can go.
- Badass Normal: Like Tony, he's got no powers but manages to hold his footing with those who do
- Badass Beard: Depending on the artist, he's drawn with one or clean-shaven.
- Black Best Friend: To Tony.
- Gatling Good: One of the trademarks of his armour is the massive Gatling gun on its shoulder.
- Military Superhero: still a serving soldier.
- Powered Armor: The "Variable Threat Response Battlesuit", a.k.a. the War Machine armor. Previously, Rhodey had worn Tony's red-and-gold Iron Man suit when Tony was unable to do so himself.
One of Tony Stark's more prominent girlfriends, Bethany Cabe is a security consultant, specializing in corporate espionage and bodyguard work. She has, at various points, been retained by Stark to guard him and/or ferret out moles within the company. She and Stark share an on-again/off-again romance, to the annoyance of Pepper Potts, who distrusts Cabe.
- Action Girl: From her first appearance, when she was trying to draw out and capture the original Spymaster. Bethany's a capable fighter and a crack shot.
- Archenemy: Madame Masque views her this way, and the two have a longstanding enmity.
- The Atoner: Her first husband suffered from a drug addiction and died in a car crash after she left him. She feels that if she had tried to stage an intervention, she might have saved his life. This is what prompts her to try and save Stark from his alcoholism.
- Badass Normal—>Empowered Badass Normal: No powers, but can fight the likes of Spymaster and Whiplash. Briefly graduated to Empowered Badass Normal when she wore an Iron Man armour.
- Bodyguard Crush
- Fiery Redhead
- "Freaky Friday" Flip: Obadiah Stane put her and Madame Masque through one.
- Heroes Want Redheads: One of Stark's most prominent girlfriends, she, like Pepper, is red haired.
- Loves My Alter Ego: Initially liked Stark, but disliked Iron Man, who she thought was endangering Stark by not guarding him twenty-four/seven.
- Powered Armour: Alongside Rhodey, and a number of others friends and allies of Iron Man's, she donned a spare Iron Man suit to battle Ultimo.
- UST: With Stark whenever they aren't together.
Suzi Endo / Cybermancer
A former engineer of Tony's who later joined his Force Works team during The Dark Age of Comic Books. She later became the leader of a new Force Works team of her own during The Initiative.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Averted. She betrayed Tony during Civil War.
A high-ranking SHIELD agent with a tempermental relationship with Tony Stark and the rest of the superhero community, Maria Hill served as Stark's Number Two during his term as Director of the intelligence agency. She stayed with Stark during Norman Osborn's tenure, and has since returned to active duty.
- Action Girl: One of SHIELD's top field agents before getting assigned to command and control.
- Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: She has dark hair and is usually serious.
- Badass Normal: Par for the course with SHIELD agents.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Stark. It finally culminated in them sleeping together during the "World's Most Wanted" story arc.
- Boyish Short Hair: Maria's a definite tomboy, and has the haircut to match.
- By-the-Book Cop: Lampshaded by Dum Dum Dugan.
- Commander Contrarian: Automatically plays this role towards whoever is in charge of her.
- Jet Pack: Used one to escape a helicarrier explosion.
- Just Following Orders: Earned a lot of hatred from the superhero community for enforcing the Registration Act. She justifies herself by saying she's just following the instructions of Congress and the President.
- Number Two: Has played the role to Nick Fury, Tony Stark, and Steve Rogers.
- Spy Catsuit: The basic uniform for agents of SHIELD.
- Undying Loyalty: She and Stark might not be able to stand each other most of the time, but there is no doubting Maria's loyalty to him, and to SHIELD as a whole.
- With Friends Like These...: Tony frequently accused her of this during his tenure as SHIELD Director.
a.k.a. Iron Metropolitan
a.k.a. Iron Metropolitan
Tony's adoptive brother (Tony was the adopted one), his existence, backstory and the reason for the secrecy about him was revealed in The Secret Origin of Tony Stark. What can be said is that he's been confined to an iron lung for most of his life and is as smart as Tony, if not considerably smarter. He and Tony get on very well and work together on the Troy project.
- Badass Bookworm: Intended to be the ultimate example of this trope by 451.
- Crazy-Prepared: Hardened his iron lung against EMP's decades ago.
- Disability as an Excuse for Jerkassery: Averts this, oddly enough. Despite spending his life in an iron lung and doubtless being very lonely, he's a total Nice Guy.
- Disabled Snarker: Occasionally. He is a Stark, after all.
- Disabled Means Helpless: This is very much not the case.
- Genre Savvy: One of the reasons he's more than happy to let Tony be the public face of Troy is that, as he points out, the public tends to think that visionaries that look like him are supervillains.
- Living Weapon: Was intended to be this by 451 and consequently spent decades afraid of being found by the character in question and used as such.
- Nice Guy: Despite the capacity of his disability to make him bitter, he's honestly a very nice, friendly guy, being charming to Pepper and showing that he's been consistently trying to find Tony's biological parents. Considering that he's spent decades trapped in an iron lung and is only now free to pursue his ideas, the fact that he's devoting time to the latter is really quite sweet.
- Powered Armour: Is quite firm that he doesn't want Tony building one for him. Instead, he builds several of his own - one quite close fitting one that gives him day to day mobility, one large combat suit and kaiju sized one made out of a city.
- Super Intelligence: was genetically engineered with this in mind (making him quite possibly smarter than Tony), building on what he had already as a son of Howard Stark - though it seems that 451's tweaks were mostly focused on ensuring that he focused his intelligence in the right areas.
- Switched at Birth: Is Howard and Maria Stark's biological son, switched with Tony to outmanoeuvre 451.
- Walking Spoiler: It's quite hard to say much about him without spoiling considerable amounts of story.
- Young Conqueror: Again, he was engineered with this in mind, judging by 451's references to Alexander the Great.
AKA: Gregor Shapanka, "Jack Frost"A Hungarian scientist obsessed with obtaining immortality, Gregor Shapanka tried to steal from Stark Industries in order to finance his research into cryonics. He developed a suit with cold-generating powers, and became a member of Iron Man's rogues gallery under the name "Blizzard".
- An Ice Person
- Immortality Immorality: Became a criminal in order to fund his research into immortality.
- Killed Off for Real: In a battle with a future version of Iron Man.
- Powered Armour
AKA: Donald "Donnie" Gill
A life long criminal, Donnie Gill was contracted by Justin Hammer, who gave him a version of Gregor Shapanka's Blizzard armour, and had him join his team of costumed mercenaries. Gill has been a recurring pain in Iron Man's backside since, working for Hammer, The Mandarin, and whoever else will pay the bill.
- Affably Evil: He's actually a pretty nice guy once you get to know him.
- An Ice Person: Via Powered Armor before Terrigenesis
- Boxed Crook: Whenever he's a good guy.
- The Brute: Played this role in Justin Hammer's organisation.
- Face Heel Revolving Door: Spent time with the Thunderbolts before turning back to villainy.
- Friendly Enemy: He has this kind of relationship with She-Hulk; the two bonded with each other over a glass of beer after Jen was briefly disbarred.
- Hired Guns: Is in it for the paycheck.
- Noble Demon: He'll sell his services to whatever crook hires him, but he's pretty amicable when not working and is very loyal to his friends.
- Only in It for the Money
- Powered Armor
- Undying Loyalty: To Hammer, right up until he discovered that Hammer was willing to sell him out.
- Villainous Valor: He's extremely loyal to his friends and allies, once even allowing himself to be captured by Shield so that the rest of the supervillain crew he was working with could escape.
AKA: Basil Sandhurst
A scientist whose unethical experiments with thought control cost him his job, Basil Sandhurst was left crippled by an explosion in his lab. Outfitted by his brother with a mechanical exoskeleton that enabled him to walk again, Sandhurst used his mind control devices to become The Controller, a supervillain who has fought Iron Man, War Machine, and SHIELD.
- And I Must Scream: After one betrayal too many, the Hood attached one of Controller's own slave collars to him, leaving him self aware but unable to do anything without the Hood's orders.
- Evil Cripple: Cannot walk without with his exoskeleton.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: As mentioned above, the Hood ended up using one of his own slave collars on him.
- Genius Bruiser
- Mad Scientist: Fired for unethical experiments, which he continues to perform as the Controller. Maria Hill once found him kidnapping most of a town's population for use in his laboratories.
- Manipulative Bastard
- Mind-Control Device: Invented one, and regularly outfits his exoskeleton with them.
- Power Armor: A mechanical exoskeleton that enables him to walk.
- Power Parasite
- Psychic Powers: His exoskeleton grants him limited telepathy and telekinesis.
- Psycho for Hire: At times he has worked for other villains like Red Skull or Thanos, but he cares more at inflicting pain on others then money.
- The Sociopath: Believes he is the only one entitled to free will and sees other people as pawns.
- The Starscream: He was constantly trying to betray his boss, The Hood. This ended up backfiring on him when he pushed Parker too far, which resulted in Controller getting one of his slave colors slapped onto him.
- Super Strength: Thanks to his exoskeleton.
- Rocket Boots: In the feet of his exoskeleton.
Crimson Dynamo I-XIIIOne of the few Iron Man villains to possess any staying power, the Crimson Dynamo was Soviet Russia's answer to the Iron Man armour. Originally built and worn by scientist Anton Vanko, twelve men and one woman have donned the Crimson Dynamo armour over the course of Iron Man's publication history.
- Archenemy: After The Mandarin, the Crimson Dynamos as a whole have the best claim at this title, opposing Iron Man since the 1960s and refusing to go away.
- Badass: All of them.
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: All the Dynamos have piloted red armours.
- Demoted to Extra: Following the defeat of Valentin Shalatov (Dynamo VI), the more recent Dynamos have made only a few appearances each, and have received little characterisation.
- Dirty Commies: The first six Dynamos were Soviet agents, including Dmitri Bukharin, the most famous Dynamo.
- Evil Counterpart: The first and most famous of them. As power-armoured foes with communist leanings and ties to the USSR, the Dynamos have always served as strong counterpoints to the capitalistic Stark.
- Flying Firepower: Like the Iron Man armour, the Crimson Dynamo armours are capable of both flight and offense.
- Legacy Character: Twelve men and one woman have worn the Crimson Dynamo armour.
- Military Superhero: The first six Dyanmos, and Dynamo XIII are all members of the Soviet or Russian military.
- Powered Armour: Good enough to keep up with the Iron Man armour.
- Power Palms
- Red Scare: Created when fear of the Soviet Union was at its height, and most of Iron Man's enemies were Communists.
- The Rival: The Crimson Dynamo armour is the rival to the Iron Man armour.
- Rival Turned Evil: Depending entirely on who is wearing the suit, but frequently yes.
- Rocket Boots
- Soviet Superscience: The reason their armour is as good as it is.
- Super Soldier
- Villain Team-Up: Often teams with other Russian villains.
Crimson Dynamo I
AKA: Anton Vanko
A Soviet scientist specializing in electricity, Anton Vanko built a red suit of armour that could produce and discharge vast quantities of electricity. Forced into battling Iron Man on behalf of the KGB, Vanko eventually turned on his masters, becoming an ally of Stark's.
- Antivillain: Vanko had no desire to hurt anybody, and only did what he did because the KGB forced him to.
- Badass Bookworm: He's the one who designed and built the Dynamo armour in the first place.
- Chronic Villainy: A noteworthy aversion, considering how frequent this trope is in comic books. Vanko's Heel-Face Turn sticked to his death (with no resurrection), with the writers chosing to instead bring back a villainous Crimson Dynamo through the use of Legacy Character.
- Defector from Decadence: Was only too glad to leave the USSR after Stark convinced him that his bosses wanted to have him killed.
- Evil Counterpart: Of all the Dynamos, he is the one who is the most obvious counterpart to Stark, as a genius inventor working for the Soviet Union.
- Evil Genius: Though with more emphasis on the "genius" than the "evil".
- Heel-Face Turn: He defected from the USSR and began working for Stark Industries.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Sacrificed his life to save Iron Man from the Black Widow and the second Crimson Dynamo, Boris Turgenev.
- Psycho Electro: His suit stored and discharged electricity.
- Science Hero: For the USSR.
Crimson Dynamo II
AKA: Boris TurgenevA KGB agent who donned the Crimson Dynamo armour to attack Iron Man and Anton Vanko in partnership with the Black Widow. He was killed by Vanko.
- Blond Guys Are Evil
- Brains and Brawn: The Brawn to Widow's Brain.
- Dumb Muscle: He was impressively strong even without the armor, enough to effortlessly lift an entire desk with his bare hands. Unlike Vanko, however, he wasn't a genius, and essentially served just as a muscle for Black Widow.
- Klingon Promotion: Aimed to truly earn the Dynamo title by killing Vanko.
- Shout-Out: His name is Boris and he's partnered with Natasha Romanov. The joke would be repeated by Boris Bullski and her.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Appeared in only one storyline, where he was killed off at the end.
Crimson Dynamo III
AKA: Alexander Nevsky, "Alex Niven"
A protege of Anton Vanko, Alex Nevsky was run out of the Soviet Union following his mentor's defection. Bitter at both Vanko and Stark, Nevsky became Alex Niven, and joined Cord Industries, planning to help the other company beat out Stark. He also tried to steal Stark's then-girlfriend, Janice Cord.
- Bastard Understudy: To Anton Vanko.
- Becoming the Mask: He originally romanced Janice in an effort to hurt Stark, but ended up developing real feelings for her.
- Dangerous Deserter: From the USSR.
- Enemy Mine: Was forced to partner with the Titanium Man and the Radioactive Man when the three of them were trapped in Vietnam together.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Came to care about Janice Cord.
- Eviler Than Thou: With Boris Bullski, the original Titanium Man.
- Evil Redhead: Depending on the lighting.
- The Exile: Exiled from the USSR due to his connections to Vanko.
- Freudian Excuse: Was thrown out of his country because of the crimes of his mentor.
- Killed Off for Real: Assassinated by the KGB.
- Love Triangle: Was in one with Janice Cord and Tony Stark.
- Never My Fault: When the Titanium Man killed Janice, Nevsky blamed Stark for it, rather than accepting that it was his own actions (donning the Crimson Dynamo armour) that had made her a target in the first place.
- Renegade Russian: A Russian exile who hates the USA and USSR alike.
- Villainous Crush: On Janice Cord. Originally he was just trying to mess with Tony Stark, but eventually it became real for him.
Crimson Dynamo IV
AKA: Yuri PetrovichThe son of Ivan Petrovich, a friend of the Black Widow's, Yuri Petrovich was selected to be the new Crimson Dynamo by the KGB, who brainwashed him into believing his family had been slain by Western agents. Sent to kill the Black Widow, Yuri discovered the truth of what had been done to him, and turned on his masters. He was subdued and sent to a prison camp in Siberia.
- Antagonistic Offspring: To his father, Ivan.
- Brainwashed and Crazy
- Renegade Russian
- Rogues-Gallery Transplant: He's clashed with the Winter Soldier in modern continuity.
Crimson Dynamo V/Airstrike
AKA: Dmitri Bukharin
The most famous Crimson Dynamo, and certainly the longest running, Dmitri Bukharin was a Soviet superhero, rather than a supervillain. He frequently clashed with Tony Stark, as a member of first the Supreme Soviets, then the People's Protectorate, and in the process built up a strong respect for his enemy. Following the collapse of the USSR, Dmitri joined a new Russian team of superheroes (the Winter Guard) as Airstrike, though he continues to use the Crimson Dynamo armour as well.
- Archenemy: The Crimson Dynamo has always been in the running for the title of Iron Man's archnemesis, but it was Dmitri's time in the suit during the eighties that truly cemented this.
- Back-to-Back Badasses: With War Machine during "Secret Invasion".
- Badass: Easily the biggest badass to ever wear the Dynamo armour.
- Badass Beard: Usually pictured with one.
- Badass Moustache: Always pictured with this.
- Bald of Awesome/Bald of Evil
- Defeat Means Friendship: Since the fall of the USSR, Dmitri has become a friend of Stark's.
- Enemy Mine: Was forced to ally with Stark on several occasions.
- Eviler Than Thou: With Boris Bullski, the Titanium Man, who he was sent to capture on behalf of the KGB. They still don't like each other.
- Good Counterpart: Recruited into the Winter Guard to fill the place left by defector Galina Nemirovsky (Dynamo XIII).
- The Leader: He and Red Guardian alternate command of the Winter Guard—Red Guardian is officially in command, but since Bukharin has more experience than the rest of the team combined, he can and does take the lead.
- Military Superhero: As both Dynamo V and Airstrike.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: Stayed loyal to the USSR and Russia to the end, no matter how often they disappointed him.
- Powered Armour: As Crimson Dyanmo V and as Airstrike. The suits' abilities included:
- Super Soldier: Was one as Dynamo V and continues to serve as one as Airstrike.
- Ret Irony: Bukharin was close to retiring from serving as the Dynamo during the Armor Wars storyline, but he was resigned to give his life, if need be, to stop the renegade Iron Man. Subverted when Stark disabled the Dynamo, declaring that "No one dies today!" He'd be proven wrong, but Bukharin did survive.
- Undying Loyalty: To the Russian state.
Crimson Dynamo VI
AKA: Valentin Shatalov
A colonel-general in the KGB, Valentin Shatalov forced Dmitri Bukharin to cede the title of Crimson Dynamo to him. He then redesigned the armour, becoming Crimson Dynamo VI. Following the collapse of the USSR, Shatalov was part of a conspiracy that aimed to return Russia to Stalinism. His superiors took the armour from him after a failed mission to retrieve the Titanium Man.
- Chest Blaster: The only Dynamo whose armour featured a chest mounted weapon.
- Dirty Commies: A far more fervent example than previous Dynamos. While Vanko, Petrovich, and Bukharin loyally served the Soviet state, Shatalov was a dedicated Communist, who sought not only the revival of the Soviet Union, but a return to Stalinist policies.
- Dystopia Justifies the Means: When Stalinism is your end goal, and you are willing to cross most lines to do it, you are definitely operating on this trope.
- Eviler Than Thou: Like Nevsky and Bukharin before him, Shatalov had a bad run-in with Boris Bullski, the Titanium Man.
- Former Regime Personnel: Left without a country by the fall of the Soviet Union, Shatalov wants to restore his home.
- Four-Star Badass: A colonel-general in the KGB.
- "Freaky Friday" Flip: With Stark, courtesy of "Freak Quincy" and Devastator's control satellite. This led to an injured Shalatov asking Stark to don the Dynamo armor to defeat Bullski.
- Make the Bear Angry Again: His goal was to revive the USSR under Stalinist control.
- Moscow Centre: Shatalov was a member of the KGB, and a high-ranking one at that, where previous Dynamos had been mere agents.
- No True Scotsman: Used this argument when describing why he deserved the Crimson Dynamo armour more than any of his predecessors had.
- Renegade Russian: One with dreams of bringing back the USSR.
- Secret Police
- The Spymaster: During his time in the KGB.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Vanished from the scene after losing the Crimson Dynamo armour.
Crimson Dynamo XIII
AKA: Galina Nemirovsky
The thirteenth Crimson Dynamo, Galina Nemirovksy is the first woman to don the red armour. Trained by the Russian military to be a member of the Winter Guard, Galina has since gone rogue, and has clashed with Iron Man on a few occasions.
- Ace Pilot: One of the best pilots in the Federal Dynamo program, which is what initially earned her the right to don the armour.
- Breast Plate: On her Powered Armour no less.
- Dark Action Girl: One of the only female rogues among Iron Man's enemies, she's able to keep up with him pretty well, cementing her status here.
- Humongous Mecha: The Ultra-Dynamo armour that she was originally tasked to fly verges on this. It was several times her size, with the limbs being operated from the cockpit.
- Military Maverick: We know that Galina was fired for insubordination, though the exact details have not been revealed.
- Military Superhero: A Russian army veteran selected specifically to assume the identity of the Crimson Dynamo.
- Mysterious Past: Very little has been revealed about Galina so far, including why she left the Winter Guard and why she chose to ally herself with Ezekiel Stane and The Mandarin.
- Powered Armour: Originally flew the Ultra-Dynamo version of the armour, which is upgraded to the most modern standards. Zeke Stane and The Mandarin granted her an even more high-tech, but more traditional looking (and much more form-fitting) version.
- Renegade Russian: Abandoned the Winter Guard and Russia to become a criminal.
- Super Soldier: Specifically trained by the Russian government to assume the mantle of the Crimson Dynamo, she was granted the Ultra-Dynamo armour, which was far superior to previous Dynamo armours.
- Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Her armour's hair.
- Unlucky Thirteen
- Villain Team-Up: She joined The Mandarin and Ezekiel Stane's collective to try and help take down Tony Stark, receiving a number of upgrades in the process.
Fin Fang Foom
Fin Fang Foom
An alien dragon who landed on Earth in ancient times but was awakened in the 20th century to conquer Earth.
AKA: Gary GilbertA costumed enforcer for Justin Hammer, Gary Gilbert wore a suit that could emit and control flames. He was killed by Scourge, resurrected by the Hood, and then killed again by the Punisher.
- The Alcoholic: Struggled with this for some time.
- Alliterative Name
- Playing with Fire: His suit could project and manipulate flames.
- Powered Armour: His mechanical suit, which was equipped with flamethrowers and jets.
AKA: Rick Dennison
A radical environmentalist terrorist, Rick Dennison was a mutant whose body was made of living flames. He battled Iron Man on several occasions.
- Animal Wrongs Group
- Playing with Fire: Was made out of flames, and could control them at will.
- Western Terrorists
Recruited by The Mandarin and Ezekiel Stane for their supervillain collective, the woman known only as Amanda has become the fourth Firebrand. Since The Mandarin's defeat, she has gone onto act as a costumed mercenary.
An expert thief and saboteur who's often hired to break into Stark Industries. He's just as liable to screw over his employers as he is to help them.
- Anti-Hero: As of late.
- Ax-Crazy: To the point that Spymaster cuts him off from his employment, citing Ghost's instability.
- Bomb Throwing Anarchist: Hates corporate America with a passion.
- Boxed Crook: When he joins the Thunderbolts.
- Dragon with an Agenda: Usually hires himself out to Corrupt Corporate Executives like Norman Osborn and Justin Hammer, seeking to ultimately destroy them as well.
- Heel-Face Revolving Door: Even he's not sure what side he's on nowadays. Even when he's helping the heroes he actively goes out of his way to screw over Iron Man, for the sheer fact that the two hate each other.
- Intangible Man / Invisibility Cloak: His suit gives him both of these powers.
- Light Is Not Good: Dressed in all white
- Noble Demon: He's a mentally unstable crook for hire, but he's got standards and tends to only target people that arguably deserve to get screwed over. He's also willing to help people in need and has worked with the heroes on many occasions.
- No Name Given: His name was never revealed. In his origin, he made sure to delete any and all traces of his past identity from all databases.
- Professional Killer: Most notably in Stark Disassembled.
- Psycho for Hire: His paychecks are more or less secondary to being given an excuse to sabotage corporations.
- The Spook: Very, very little is known about him. Not even his real name is known to anyone. Not even Ghost himself seems entirely certain of what his life was like before he became a supervillain.
- Tele-Frag: Used an intangibility based variation on Spymaster once.
A corporate rival of Tony's, Hammer was also the secret financier behind numerous attempts on Tony and Iron Man's lives. He engineered Stark's first alcoholic breakdown, leaked his designs to most of his enemies, and assembled several collectives of costumed mercenaries to battle the hero, outfitting the likes of Blizzard and Whiplash I/Blacklash I with improved equipment.
- Archenemy: The third major contender for the title, alongside The Mandarin and the Crimson Dynamo. From his involvement in almost every major arc of the eighties and nineties, to his legacy that continues to this day in the form of his daughter and granddaughter, to the simple fact that he and Stark hated each other, Hammer was an archetypal archfoe, not for Iron Man, but for Tony Stark. Even after his death, Hammer Industries remains one of the few viable rivals to Stark's various enterprises.
- The Big Bad: Of the Demon in a Bottle and Armour Wars I story arcs, among others.
- The Chessmaster: Hammer always got the ball rolling in advance, and would try to exploit any situation to his advantage, even buying out Stane International after Iron Monger's death.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: To make a good contrast to Tony. Not only does Hammer use underhanded methods to succeed in business, but he also finances criminal activities in exchange for a cut of the profits.
- Diabolical Mastermind: During his initial appearance in Demon in a Bottle, Hammer stayed in the shadows, operating from a personal ship off the coast of Monaco. He operated entirely through proxies, and even his business concerns were all shell corporations that could not be traced back to him. Though Hammer Industries later became public, this aspect of his character was never entirely dropped.
- Disney Villain Death: Frozen in a block of ice and then dropped into space.
- Driven by Envy: At least a part of Hammer's motivation is his envy of Stark's wealth, his renown, and his connections within the military-industrial complex.
- Evil Brit: Born in England; he later moved to Monaco.
- Evil Counterpart: To Tony Stark, rather than Iron Man. Hammer's crooked business practises, criminal dealings, and war-profiteering contrasted with Stark's above board actions and attempts to get out of the military business. Even Hammer's personal habits and appearance — his choice of suits, his preference for smoking over drinking, his age — all serve to make him the opposite of Stark.
- Evil Genius: Perhaps moreso than any other Iron Man foe, Hammer was forced to rely on his brains, as his advanced age and lack of combat skills meant he could never confront Iron Man directly.
- Evil Old Folks: To contrast to the younger Tony. Hammer's age is never explicitly stated, but he's old enough to have a granddaughter who's in her twenties.
- Flaw Exploitation: He was the first villain to try and exploit Stark's alcoholism during Demon in a Bottle, beating Obadiah Stane to it by years.
- Frame-Up: Framed Iron Man for murder during Demon in a Bottle.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Classic evil smoking, complete with cigarette holder.
- Greed: Hammer was motivated by greed more than anything else. He wanted to get rich, and he was willing to hurt anybody in order to do it. No matter how rich he got, it was never quite enough.
- Harmless Freezing/Kill It with Ice: Hammer was last seen inside a block of ice, drifting into space. Whether he's really dead has never been confirmed.
- Lean and Mean: An emaciated old man.
- The Man Behind the Man: To numerous supervillains during the eighties, supplying them with high-tech weaponry.
- Man of Wealth and Taste: Typically sported the most fashionable suits.
- Mind-Control Device: He and MODOK once used one to turn War Machine against Iron Man.
- Non-Action Big Bad: Hammer was many things, most of them dangerous, but a fighter he wasn't.
- Nouveau Riche
- Rival Turned Evil: Hammer was already evil, but it was his rivalry with Stark that drove him into associating with costumed supervillains.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!
- Self-Made Man: Of the crooked variety.
- Smug Snake: Hammer was never quite as smart as he thought he was, and was arrogant and condescending on top of that.
- Villain Team-Up: With MODOK, among others.
- War for Fun and Profit: A fairly classic war profiteer.
Hammer's daughter, Justine was a former costumed supervillainess known as Crimson Cowl II who took over her father's corporation after his death. She was a lover of The Mandarin, bearing his daughter, Sasha.
- Affirmative Action Legacy: Of two, in fact. In addition to being Hammer's daughter, she once assumed the identity of Crimson Cowl, originally used by the Avengers foe Ultron.
- Avenging the Villain: Inherited Justin Hammer's vendetta against Tony Stark and Iron Man.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: With The Mandarin during Matt Fraction's run, though she's clearly the junior partner.
- Clothes Make the Superman: Justine's cloak could elongate at will, enveloping, cutting, or strangling her opponents. It also allowed her to teleport.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Justine is every bit as corrupt as her father before her, and just as prone to underhanded tactics.
- Daddy's Little Villain
- Dark Action Girl: As Crimson Cowl II, Justine demonstrated that she was a capable enough combatant, fighting the Thunderbolts on several occasions.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Loved her father, still loves her daughter, and may love The Mandarin.
- Evil Redhead: When she first appeared.
- Evil Matriarch
- In the Hood: As Crimson Cowl II.
- The Leader: Of several incarnations of the Masters of Evil.
- Manipulative Bastard: Her manipulation of Detroit Steel in particular is quite something.
- Most Common Superpower: During her time as the Crimson Cowl. This was toned down when she became head of Hammer Industries during Matt Fraction's run.
- Non-Action Big Bad: During Matt Fraction's run on Invincible Iron Man, where she and The Mandarin jointly ran the scheme against Stark, but she took no part in the physical fighting herself, despite her previously established Dark Action Girl credentials.
- Rogues-Gallery Transplant: Fought the Thunderbolts in her first several appearances, before returning to Iron Man's rogues gallery following the events of Civil War.
- Smug Snake: Not nearly as smart as she thinks she is. Justine is a capable schemer, but when compared to Tony, The Mandarin, or Ezekial Stane, she's not much.
- Teleporters and Transporters: Her cloak enabled this.
- Theme Naming: Named for her father.
- Took a Level in Badass: Since becoming the head of Hammer's company.
- Unholy Matrimony: With The Mandarin.
- Villain Teleportation
Justine's daughter by The Mandarin, Sasha has a rocky relationship with her mother, and is the lover of Ezekiel Stane. She appears to be loyal to her parents, but in truth aims to usurp them as the leaders of both The Mandarin's organisation, and Hammer Industries. Rebuilt by Zeke as a cyborg, Sasha has also piloted both the Detroit Steel mecha, and a personal suit of armour.
- Berserk Button: Tony saying anything negative about Zeke.
- Cool Mask: Her armour features one of these, instead of a full helmet.
- Cyborg: Let Zeke turn her into one.
- Daddy's Little Villain: Subverted. She appears loyal to her mother and father, but is actually plotting with Zeke to launch a coup against both of them.
- Dark Action Girl: Held her own against Iron Man before she got her Humongous Mecha or Powered Armour.
- Humongous Mecha: As the pilot of Detroit Steel, Sasha operates one of these.
- Laser Blade: Laser whip, though the result is the same.
- Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: Given that her mother is only a few years older than Tony, this was a given.
- Powered Armour: Gains a suit of armour late in Matt Fraction's run, using it in place of the Detroit Steel mecha.
- Secondary Color Nemesis: Her suit of armor was very, very purple.
- Self-Made Orphan: Kills her mother at the end of Fraction's run, after Ezekial Stane kills The Mandarin.
- The Starscream: Towards her mother and father, whom she and Zeke aim to depose from the start.
- Terrorists Without a Cause: Does what she does solely out of loyalty to Zeke.
- Unholy Matrimony: With Ezekial.
- Western Terrorists
- Whip It Good: Deploys laser whips from her fingertips.
- Yandere: For Zeke
Imam Mouad KhouriA former classmate of Tony's from college, Mouad Khouri became a fundamentalist preacher after returning to his home country. Orchestrating Tony's kidnapping, Khouri was crippled during Iron Man's escape, and had himself rebuilt into a cyborg using Stark's own designs.
- An Arm and a Leg: Lost his arms and legs when Iron Man blew him up.
- Axe Crazy: Khouri grows more and more steadily crazed as Season One progresses.
- The Big Bad: Of Iron Man: Season One.
- Cyborg: After Iron Man cripples him, much of Khouri's body is replaced by crude cybernetics.
- Defector from Decadence: How he views himself.
- Disproportionate Retribution: He has sworn vengeance on Tony Stark and will stop at nothing to see him dead! Why? Because Tony once threw up all over the feet of two girls he was hitting on.
- Evil Cripple: After Iron Man blows off his arms and legs.
- Evil Knockoff: Had himself rebuilt using Tony's own designs as the model.
- Evil Former Friend: Of Tony's.
- Flying Firepower: Could fly fast enough to catch up with jets, and was heavily armed enough to destroy much of a city block.
- Foil: He's an Islamic fundamentalist cyborg who battles an alcoholic Westerner in a suit of armour.
- The Fundamentalist: A fundamentalist Islamist.
- Powered Armour: Wears a version of the first Iron Man armour in combination with his prosthetics.
- Starter Villain: The first supervillain that Iron Man faced in the current continuity.
- Worthy Opponent: Khouri salutes the SHIELD fighter pilots who continue to try and battle him after he has downed most of their comrades.
- Wound That Will Not Heal: Khouri's body is a mess. It never stops hurting and it never fully scars over.
Iron Monger I
AKA: Obadiah Stane
President and CEO of one of Stark's rivals, Obadiah Stane orchestrated Tony's return to alcoholism, costing him his company and his identity as Iron Man, before buying him out. He subsequently developed his own suit of armour and engaged the returned Iron Man in battle as the Iron Monger.
- Bald of Evil: His hair fell out when he saw his father commit suicide.
- Better to Die Than Be Killed: Refuses to lose to Iron Man, committing suicide rather than accepting death or capture at his hands.
- The Big Bad: Of much of Denny O'Neil's run, culminating in the Iron Monger arc.
- The Chessmaster: In both the metaphorical and literal sense.
- Chess Motifs: His robotic henchmen were designed to resemble chess pieces.
- Control Freak: Obsessively so.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: There are no rules Stane will not break to win.
- Driven to Suicide: Blew his own head off rather than let Iron Man arrest him.
- Evil Knockoff: The Iron Monger armour is specifically based on Stark's designs.
- Expy: Started out as a younger Justin Hammer. Divergent Character Evolution, however, saw Stane eventually become the obsessive Sore Loser that fans remember so well, which helped distinguish the two. By the time Stane's arc was over, and he climbed into the Iron Monger suit, the similarities were gone.
- Flaw Exploitation: Used Iron Man's alcoholism against him. Iron Man later used Stane's reliance on remote control technology to run the Iron Monger suit against him.
- Flying Firepower: The Iron Monger could fly at subsonic speeds, and was very heavily armed.
- It Only Works Once: Very much averted. Stane upgraded his Chessmen to improve on their flaws, and perfected his mind control headphones for multiple uses.
- The Man Behind the Man: To the Chessmen.
- Manipulative Bastard: Whether, it was using Indries Moomji to break Stark's heart or mind controlling Bethany Cabe, Stane's favorite tactic was emotional manipulation.
- Mecha-Mooks: His Chessmen.
- Parental Abandonment: His mother left him and his father committed suicide while playing Russian Roulette.
- Powered Armour: As the Iron Monger.
- Secondary Color Nemesis: Favoured orange and purple suits in civilian life.
- Sore Loser: To a pathological degree. Obadiah was nearly phobic of defeat, and would go to ridiculous lengths to put it off.
- Unbuilt Trope: Obadiah Stane was a fairly early example of the Corrupt Corporate Executive in superhero comics, and as such has some oddities for the trope - such as the purple and orange costume he wears in his first appearances.
Iron Monger II
AKA: Ezekiel "Zeke" Stane.
Obadiah's son, Zeke Stane is an international anarchocapitalist libertarian terrorist, with no particular agenda, a burning hatred for Tony Stark, and a penchant for improving on others designs and internalizing machinery. He is responsible for the collapse of Stark Industries early in Invincible Iron Man, and subsequently allies with his father-in-law, The Mandarin, to wreak further havoc.
- Avenging the Villain: Blames Tony for Obadiah's suicide.
- Bald of Evil: His modifications to his body result in the loss of his hair.
- Big Bad: Of The Order and the Five Nightmares arc.
- Cyborg: Courtesy of numerous modifications made to himself.
- Daddy Issues: Torn between the desire to avenge his father and show him up.
- Demoted to Dragon: When he teams with The Mandarin.
- Enemy Mine: Is forced into one with Iron Man after he realizes that The Mandarin has no intentions of letting him live.
- Even Evil Has Standards: He tells group of Big Tobacco executives that even as the guy that gives weapons to murderers and freaks he considers them to be evil.
- Evil Counterpart: Zeke's creator has described him as a second Tony Stark, younger, sharper, and ever more obsessed with the future, and playing open source anarchist to Stark's closed source capitalist.
- Evil Genius: Of a lesser variety than Tony. Tony compares him to a guy who invented the sandwich by piecing together existing foods rather than inventing entirely new foods.
- Fatal Flaw: Zeke is imitative rather than innovative, and relies on other people's technology. He also has no hand-to-hand combat experience. When Iron Man disabled all Stark technologies, Zeke was easily defeated by an unarmoured Stark.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Massive ones along one side of his face, courtesy of his fight against Iron Man.
- Healing Factor: Engineered one into his own genetic code.
- Mad Scientist
- The Man Behind the Man: To The Order in his first appearance.
- Older Hero vs. Younger Villain
- Parental Abandonment: Mom is nowhere in the picture, and dad committed suicide.
- Powered Armour: Dons a suit that protects him and ventilates the heat from his internal weapons.
- The Starscream: To The Mandarin, whom he and Sasha were always intending to depose.
- Terrorists Without a Cause: Zeke's an open source ideological terrorist, with a credo of "change" and not much else. He sells not only his technology, but his designs themselves to anybody who will buy.
- Transhuman: Views himself this way.
- Western Terrorists
- Unholy Matrimony: With Sasha Hammer.
- Villain Team-Up: With The Mandarin, who then proceeds to unite almost every Iron Man villain then active into a Legion of Doom.
AKA: Arthur Parks
Once a costumed criminal and mercenary, Arthur Parks became far more dangerous after an accident converted him into living energy. While not particularly intelligent, the vast amount of power at Parks' disposal makes him one of the most dangerous of Iron Man's enemies.
- And I Must Scream: He cannot feel, smell, or taste. He is also constantly fighting to keep his body's photons from dissipating, which has happened before.
- Containment Field: His armour has one, which prevents him from flying apart.
- Dumb Muscle: Luckily. Parks has the power to be an earth-shattering threat, but his low IQ makes him a far lesser problem.
- Enemy Mine: Sided with Iron Man and Iron Monger II when The Mandarin's collective fell apart.
- Energy Beings: Converted into living light.
- Expy: As a Dumb Muscle thug with unbelievable energy powers and no ability to plan long term, it isn't hard to see Parks as an expy of Spider-Man villain Electro.
- Flying Firepower: One of the upsides of being made out of laser energy is that you can fly and shoot at the same time.
- Hired Guns: At first. These days he's more prone to just killing anything he can get his hands on.
- Humanoid Abomination: A just barely humanoid mass of laser energy, with homicidal urges.
- Intangible Man: Can become intangible while in laser form.
- Light 'em Up: Controls light and all that entails.
- Master of Illusion: Can create false images by manipulating the light spectrum.
- Misapplied Phlebotinum: His fatal flaw; Parks has the potential to be a major-league supervillain who could easily curb-stomp any superhero that comes his way, but his simple-mindedness and lack of imagination or ambition prevents him from being anything more than a small-timer.
- Powered Armour: Wears a suit of armour to contain his energies. Said armour also holds a number of weapons.
- Secondary Color Nemesis: Is purple.
- Super Speed: So fast as to be untouchable.
- Took a Level in Badass: First when he was converted into a real living laser, and then when The Mandarin and Ezekiel Stane upgraded him during Matt Fraction's run.
- Villain Team-Up: Has worked with The Mandarin and Justin Hammer among others.
AKA: Whitney Frost, Giulietta Nefaria
The daughter of Count Nefaria, Giulietta was given to his retainer, Byron Frost to raise as his own daughter, Whitney. Convinced by her father to take over his criminal enterprises later in life, Whitney lost her face during a battle with Iron Man. Later meeting Tony Stark in civilian life, she became attracted to him, but did not take it well when she discovered he was Iron Man. Whitney has since seesawed between wanting to aid Stark and wanting to hurt him as badly as she feels he hurt her.
- Archenemy: She sees two different people as this; Bethany Cabe and Kate Bishop.
- Axe Crazy: When she's at her worst.
- Badass Normal: No powers but still a dangerous threat to Iron Man.
- Broken Bird: To the point where her mind has shattered.
- Cloning Blues: During Kurt Busiek's run on The Avengers, he resolved years of Continuity Snarl regarding Whitney (that she kept dying and coming back and behaving differently each time) by declaring that the real Whitney suffered from deep paranoia, and for years had interacted with the world mostly through clones of herself, each of which had a slightly different personality. The last of these clones is killed at the end of that storyline, leaving only the real Whitney.
- Cool Mask
- Dark Action Girl
- Dating Catwoman: At times she and Iron Man fall into this.
- Expressive Mask: Depending on the Artist.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has a face covered with evil scars.
- Guns Akimbo: Always carries a .475 Wildey Magnum Revolver, as well as another handgun (it changes), and is prone to using both at once.
- The Mentally Ill: Diagnosed as clinically insane, and not without good reason.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: Tried to do this to Pepper during Matt Fraction's run, and to Bethany Cabe on several occasions.
- Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: Played for horror.
- Sore Loser: Masque tends to take her defeats very poorly. Her recent obsession with Kate Bishop arose because Kate once knocked out Masque while on a mission; most other supercrooks would've just shrugged it off and moved on, but Masque went hunting for revenge over this fairly minor confrontation.
- Stalker with a Crush
- Unholy Matrimony: With The Hood, though she's still pining after Stark.
- Villainous Crush: On Stark.
- Yandere: Towards Tony Stark.
The Mandarin & Associates
Tony's most perennial foe and one of the rare Iron Man villains to survive in continuity from the sixties until the present day, The Mandarin is a descendant of British and Mongolian nobility who squandered all of his fiefdom's money on training in science, military tactics, and martial arts. Blaming civilization for his resultant poverty and homelessness rather than his own vanity and shortsightedness, he became an enemy of civilization. A martial arts master, The Mandarin's trademark weapons are his ten rings, crafted from alien technologies that he discovered and salvaged.
- Archenemy: Since the 1960s, when he was one of the few supervillains of note in the Iron Man comics. No supervillain has had a greater, or more lasting impact on Stark's life than The Mandarin has.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Descended from British and Mongolian nobility, and convinced that gives him the right to trample everyone else under foot.
- Artificial Limbs: Sported fake hands during "Haunted".
- Attack Its Weak Point: Done to the Iron Man armour itself on occasion.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Can kung-fu Iron Man's armour to bits by attacking the seams and other weak points. He also tends to psychoanalyse his opponents.
- Back from the Dead/Faking the Dead: Has done both on occasion.
- Badass Beard: A very iconic one.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: In modern continuity he tends to prefer these to his old school Oriental robes.
- Badass Moustache: Initially depicted with a Fu Manchu moustache — the type that is grown from the upper lip to hang down the sides of the mouth. The style has changed several times since, but he is always depicted as moustachioed.
- Beard of Evil: Features a goatee alongside his Fu Manchu.
- The Big Bad: Frequently. If somebody is screwing with Tony's life, chances are it is The Mandarin. He has been the mover and shaker in more major storylines than any other Iron Man villain. He also tends to take on the lead role in alliances between Iron Man's enemies, making him the Big Bad in a Five-Bad Band sense as well.
- Blue Blood: Well, descended from royalty. It doesn't matter to anybody other than him, given how Communism toppled the monarchy a long time ago.
- Born in the Wrong Century: Would have been far happier living as an official in Imperial China.
- Breakout Villain: Audiences loved The Mandarin and so Stan Lee kept on bringing him back.
- Brought to You by the Letter "S": During his early appearances, his costume featured a giant "M" on the chest. That has since been dropped.
- Captain Ersatz: Of Fu Manchu early on. These days he's more of an Asian Doctor Doom, but the links to Fu have never entirely been dropped.
- Also of the East India Company, exploiting the locals to mine a Makluan ship just as the East India Company exploited locals to mine Maluku spices.
- Captain Ethnic: Early on. These days his affinity for Imperial China is much better explored and justified, helping to avert the trope.
- Charles Atlas Superpower: Can keep up with Iron Man despite having no (official) superpowers beyond his mastery of his chi, going so far as to shatter the hero's armour with his bare hands.
- The Chessmaster: Likes to get the ball rolling on his plans months in advance.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: A minor case. During the influential Michilenie/Layton run, the Mandarin was absent because they couldn't figure out how to modernize him or incorporate him into their storylines. John Byrne brought him back in the "Dragon Seed Saga".
- Took another long absence (nearly ten years) during most of the 2000's.
- Despotism Justifies the Means: He must be in charge, regardless of how he ends up in power.
- Diabolical Mastermind: The Mandarin is an archetypal one, running a vast organisation from the shadows.
- Evil Genius: Tony Stark's technological rival in many senses, and a capable planner as well.
- Evil Old Folks: Pictured this way in "Haunted".
- Evil Sorcerer: Whether The Mandarin has magic at his disposal or not is Depending on the Writer; his rings are actually alien technology. He almost always has this vibe though.
- Freudian Excuse: He's the descendant of kings, but grew up in poverty, and was left homeless after his aunt squandered what money they had. This dichotomy has enraged him ever since.
- Good Hair, Evil Hair: The Fu Manchu moustache and goatee are something of a tipoff as to his evil.
- Grandfather Clause: The degree to which The Mandarin is a Fu Manchu style villain varies, but the reason he can get away with it all is because that was an acceptable villain archetype when he was introduced.
- I Have Many Names: Gene Khan, Tem Borjigin, Zhang Tong.
- Mad Scientist: At times he borders on this, with some out and out insane experiments.
- Made Of Titanium: Under some writers, The Mandarin can harden his skin like iron, allowing him to destroy Iron Man's armour with his bare hands.
- Manipulative Bastard: One of his talents, and boy is he good at it, having played Stark, Ezekial Stane, and various others when it suits him. His manipulation of Jack Kooning and Maya Hansen during the "Haunted" arc is particularly expert.
- Man of Wealth and Taste: The Mandarin sometimes dresses like a functionary in Imperial China, and sometimes like a modern day businessman. Either way, he is always dressed to the nines.
- Master Swordsman: A master of Chinese-style swordsmanship.
- Meaningful Name: Mandarin, Man de arin, Man of Iron. It's close to being Iron Man inverted.
- Paid Harem: Has maintained one on various occasions.
- Ring of Power: Ten of them, each with a different power.
- An Ice Person: The little finger of his left hand emits waves of cold.
- Casting a Shadow: The little finger of his right hand can create zones of absolute darkness. Likely a form of dark force.
- Disintegrator Ray: Fired from the ring finger of his right hand. Needs a twenty-minute charge-up time.
- Gravity Master: The thumb on his left hand.
- Make Me Wanna Shout/Selective Magnetism: Right hand index finger. It can emit sonic blasts and magnetic pulses.
- Master of Illusion: The ring finger of his left hand generates illusions.
- Mind over Matter: The middle finger of his right hand.
- Playing with Fire: The index finger of his left hand emits flames and infrared radiation.
- Reality Warper: Right hand thumb, though with a very limited area effect.
- Shock and Awe: The middle finger of his left hand fires electric blasts. Also an example of Psycho Electro.
- Secondary Color Nemesis: Wore a green and purple costume in his first appearances. He has long since done away with that, but still favours green for his traditional wear.
- Sinister Scimitar: Favours a similarly curved Chinese sword anyway.
- Take Over the World: Has been his goal since his introduction, though the methods have certainly varied.
- The Triads and the Tongs: Has maintained connections to them, depending upon the writer and time period.
- Unholy Matrimony: With Justine Hammer.
- Villain Team-Up: Often, but most notably during Matt Fraction's run on Invincible Iron Man. The Mandarin unites Ezekial Stane, Blizzard, Living Laser, The Melter, Crimson Dynamo XIII, Titanium Man III, Whirlwind, Firebrand, Vibro, Chemistro, Mauler, Firepower, Justine Hammer, and Sasha Hammer into a massive conspiracy aimed at Tony Stark.
- Villainous Valor: Possesses a Code of Honor that he keeps. When he was defeated by Iron Man in a duel he lives up to his promise to no longer interfere in Stark Enterprises' Hong Kong operations.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: "Haunted" made him an especially brutal one who was convinced that by releasing the Extremis into the atmosphere he was jumpstarting the next stage of human evolution.
- Yellow Peril: A classic Yellow Peril villain. He's long since evolved beyond the worst of it, but the difficulty in removing these elements has made him nearly impossible to modernize.
The Mandarin's son, and a capable supervillain in his own right, Temugin first confronted Iron Man in revenge for his father's (apparent) death. He has since gone on to become an agent of the Atlas Foundation.
- Avenging the Villain: His original goal.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Destroys Iron Man's armour by attacking its weak points.
- Bald of Evil: Has no hair.
- Charles Atlas Superpower: Like his father, Temugin is able to shatter Iron Man's armour with blows from his chi-enhanced fists.
- The Dragon: To Mister Lao of the Atlas Foundation, succeeding Jimmy Woo as the Foundation's nominal leader.
- Meaningful Name: Temugin is the birth name of Genghis Khan.
- Overlord Jr..: Mandarin's son.
- Political Officer: Lao used Temugin to keep an eye on the Atlas Foundation's ostensible leader, Jimmy Woo, because he felt that Woo was too soft (and heroic).
- Take Up My Sword: Briefly possessed his father's rings, which were sent to him after the latter's death, along with a note urging him to take vengeance for The Mandarin.
AKA: Brendan Doyle
The original Mauler was a Daredevil villain named Aaron Soames. Brendan Doyle, a mercenary, and former associate of War Machine, was hired by Soames to steal the armour back, but stole it instead, becoming a superhuman hired gun.
- Evil Former Friend: Of Rhodey's.
- Hired Guns
- Powered Armor: One that enables flight and is equipped with a laser cannon in the left arm. It has since been upgraded by The Mandarin and Zeke Stane.
- Psycho for Hire
- Villain Team-Up: Joined The Mandarin's collective during Matt Fraction's run.
- Violent Glaswegian
The Melter I
AKA: Bruno Horgan
A recurring low-level threat, with the power to melt all forms of iron (and later all forms of metal) into slag. A founding member of The Masters of Evil.
- Arms Dealer: His job.
- Chest Blaster: Had one of these, from which he projected his beam.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: What he was prior to his first incarceration.
- C-List Fodder: Not the most prominent villain, at least after the Silver Age.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Shot in the back by Scourge.
- Dumb Muscle: Not a criminal mastermind.
- Hired Guns: Frequently operated as a mercenary for other, better supervillains, like Zemo and Justin Hammer.
- Legacy Character: Other villains have taken on The Melter's identity since then, including a young man who was employed by The Mandarin and Ezekial Stane.
- Man of Kryptonite: Could easily destroy Iron Man's armour (provided he could hit it) with his special beam.
- Ray Gun: Which he had two of that melted material and burned humans.
- Secondary Color Nemesis: Has worn both purple and green and green and orange.
- Villain Team-Up: A founding member of the Masters of Evil, alongside Heinrich Zemo, the first Black Knight, and the Radioactive Man.
Rigellian Recorder 451
Rigellian Recorder 451451 was a robot initially designed to record knowledge about the universe without interfering. However, a bug causes him to try and prevent disasters rather than record them. He develops a special interest in protecting the Earth and genetically modifies the unborn Tony Stark to accelerate Earth's technological advancement and to pilot the Godkiller mecha as its protector.
- Affably Evil: is pretty much invariably friendly and polite, no matter the circumstances.
- Alien Non-Interference Clause: He breaks it.
- Creepy Uncle: Stark calls him this at one point
- Humongous Mecha: In exchange for healing their unborn child's genetic disease, Howard and Maria Stark allow 451 to genetically modify him so that he can pilot the Godkiller, a five-mile tall mecha originally meant to kill Celestials. He steals the Godkillers' power source from the Voldi, which results in their extermination by the Celestials.
- Pop-Cultured Badass: while he's not much of a fighter, as he admits himself, he is extremely dangerous and, thanks to his nature, has libraries of information, including on pop culture - meaning that he gets Tony's references.
- Switched at Birth: It is revealed that Tony Stark is not Howard and Maria's biological son. The son that 451 modified was Arno Stark, who was kept hidden from 451 while Tony was adopted.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: Believes that Earth should be protected so that it can one day unite the universe under a single, peaceful empire.
- Villainous BSOD: When Tony can't control the Godkiller, which results in it crashing into a planet and destroying it. 451 realizes that all his plans had failed and all the people he killed were for nothing.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: on a cosmic scale. He genuinely believes that he's doing the right thing.
AKA: Sinclair Abbot
Tony Stark's business rival who desires to take over Stark Industries by adding a new meaning to the term "hostile takeover." Abbot adopted the identity of the Spymaster, which had been used by two previous Iron Man foes, both experts in corporate espionage and sabotage. In order to prove himself to the supervillain community, he tackled Iron Man on several occasions; forced to infiltrate Stark Resilient on behalf of The Mandarin, he eventually committed Suicide by Cop.
- Big Bad Wannabe: Believes himself to be just as much of a threat as Mandarin. He has a long way to go before that happens.
- The Chessmaster
- Corrupt Corporate Executive
- Depraved Bisexual
- Genre Savvy: Isn't dumb enough to trust Ghost after he freed Living Laser from captivity.
- Klingon Promotion: You become Spymaster by killing the previous one.
- Legacy Character: Abbot's the third man to use the Spymaster identity.
- Master of Disguise
- The Mole: Infiltrated Stark Resilient on The Mandarin's behalf.
- Powered Armor: That he can attach various disguises to.
- Smug Snake
- The Spymaster: Invoked by the name.
- Suicide by Cop
- Villain with Good Publicity: By day, he's a generous philanthropist.
AKA: Arthur Dearborn
The Titanium Man I
AKA: Boris Bullski, "Boris the Merciless"
A Soviet agent, the original Titanium Man, Boris Bullski, conceived of defeating Iron Man on national television in order to score a propaganda victory against the United States. After his defeat, Bullski (and those who have since donned his armour) became a genuine enemy of Stark's.
- Alliterative Name: Boris Bullski.
- Back from the Dead: Killed in battle with Stark and Valentin Shatalov (Crimson Dynamo VI), Bullski was revived under unknown circumstances.
- Badass: Bullski's one of Iron Man's toughest opponents and has been since his first appearance.
- Bigger Is Better: Averted. The reason the original Titanium Man armour is so large is because Bullski lacked the components needed for miniaturisation.
- Dirty Commies: What he was at first. He still feels that Russia was better in the days of the USSR.
- Evil Is Bigger: His immense armour.
- Evil Knockoff: The Titanium Man armour was built specifically to ape Iron Man's.
- Eviler Than Thou: Bullski has frequently battled the Crimson Dynamo, clashing with Alex Nevsky (III), Dmitri Bukharin (V), and Valentin Shatalov (VI).
- The Exile: Was thrown out of the Soviet Union after a series of defeats by Iron Man. He later came back into favour.
- Former Regime Personnel: After the fall of the USSR.
- Genius Bruiser: Bullski was an effective manipulator and spy. He was also over seven feet tall, thanks to the medical treatments he required to fit into his gigantic armour.
- Hired Guns: Has become a mercenary since the fall of the USSR. He's worked for a variety of clients, including Tony Stark.
- Husky Russkie: Bullski was big even before he had himself surgically modified. Now he looks like a man with gigantism.
- Legacy Character: There have been three Titanium Men, though Bullski (who is still active) remains the best known.
- Make the Bear Angry Again: Was part of Valentin Shatalov's plot to do this.
- Military Superhero: Bullski's past as an agent of the KGB and the Soviet army is a defining aspect of his character.
- Mother Russia Makes You Strong
- Powered Armour: With the following abilities.
- Red Baron: "Boris the Merciless".
- Red Scare: Particularly in his first appearance, when Bullski's Titanium Man actually represented the USSR in a match with Iron Man, who represented the West; he wasn't so much a character as he was a symbol of Soviet dictatorship.
- Renegade Russian: Went rogue just before the fall of the USSR and stayed that way. In his anger, he actually blames Iron Man for his nation's collapse.
- The Rival: Bullski became Titanium Man solely to rival Iron Man. Since then the conflict has become very personal for him.
- Rival Turned Evil: Bullski was always pretty nasty, but it was only after his first encounter with Iron Man ended in defeat that he became a genuine supervillain.
- Secondary Color Nemesis: His armor has been green since day one.
- Shout-Out: His partership with Natasha Romanov is a shout out to Rocky and Bullwinkle's Boris and Natasha.
- Soviet Superscience: Bullski's armour is far beyond anything the real life Soviet Union could ever have come up with, though in an acknowledgement of that, it is cruder than Iron Man's armour.
- Super Soldier: Bullski was modified into a giant and then granted his armour by the KGB and the Soviet military.
- Super Strength: Even without the armour, Bullski can lift one and a half tonnes. With the armour on, he can heft over seventy-five.
- Villain Team-Up: Has worked with (and against) the various Crimson Dynamos, the Radioactive Man, Justin Hammer, and The Mandarin.
The Titanium Man II
AKA: Kondrati Topolov, the GremlinOriginally a villain of the Hulk, Topolov built his own Titanium Man suit when Bullski went missing, and briefly served with the Soviet Super Soldiers. He was killed during the Armor Wars when Iron Man inadvertently ignited his titanium armor, causing the Gremlin to burn to death.
- Alas, Poor Villain
- Depraved Dwarf
- Evil Genius
- Killed Off for Real
- Legacy Character: A two-fer, for both Bullski (who was presumed dead at the time) and his father the Gargoyle.
- A later version of Bullski's armor incorporated the Gremlin's design aesthetics.
- My Brain Is Big
- Powered Armor: Initially wore a copy of Bullski's armor as a member of the Soviet Super Soldiers, but upgraded it to a unique look (with help from Iron Man technology provided by the Soviet guvernment).
- Xanatos Gambit: By refusing to cooperate with the KGB in stopping Iron Man, the Gremlin played right into their gambit; no matter the outcome, they would benefit in some way.
Whiplash / Blacklash
Whiplash I/Blacklash I
AKA: Mark Scarlotti
A former employee of Stark's, Mark Scarlotti became the costumed criminal mercenary known as Whiplash in an attempt at getting rich quickly. Following a string of defeats, Scarlotti began working for Justin Hammer, who renamed him Blacklash. The Whiplash identity has since been used by several other villains.
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: His titanium whips, which could cut through most substances, and even damage Iron Man's armour.
- Badass: He's a bit of a joke to some, but at the end of the day, Blacklash was a going concern in the Iron Man comics from 1968 until the early 2000s, repeatedly taking on Stark's military grade arsenal with little more than his whip, and regularly fighting him to a standstill.
- Badass Cape
- Badass Normal—>Empowered Badass Normal: Scarlotti originally had no superpowers, no fancy technology, and no enhanced reflexes, taking on Iron Man with only his skills and his whips. After Justin Hammer upgraded his arsenal to include cybernetically controlled whips, he may have edged into Empowered Badass Normal territory, though only just.
- Bullet Proof Vest: Scarlotti goes this one better—his entire costume is woven with high-quality kevlar, making him more or less bulletproof. Not that it'll stop most of the weapons in Iron Man's arsenal.
- Chronic Villainy: Scarlotti repeatedly tries to quit supervillainy, only to be drawn back in.
- Consummate Professional: During his time as Hammer's right-hand, Blacklash had this attitude, putting the mission before everything else.
- Dual Wielding: Carried two whips during his time as Blacklash.
- The Dragon: To Justin Hammer in the 80s.
- High Collar of Doom: On the Blacklash costume.
- Hired Guns: A costumed mercenary, having worked for the Maggia, Hammer, and anyone else who would pay.
- Impossibly Cool Weapon: A milder example than many, but let's face it—mechanical, cybernetically controlled titanium whips are damned cool.
- Killed Off for Real: During a battle with Iron Man, Stark's newly sentient armour kills Scarlotti against Iron Man's wishes.
- Legacy Character: Scarlotti has been succeeded in the Whiplash identity by Leann Foreman, an unnamed woman with a BDSM kink, and Anton Vanko (though only the unnamed one seems to have been directly aping him). The anonymous woman's male partner adopted the Blacklash identity for good measure.
- Mood-Swinger: Diagnosed as manic-depressive (what we would now call bipolar disorder).
- Only in It for the Money: Once he began operating as a mercenary, this became Scarlotti's primary motivation.
- Professional Killer: Often employed by Hammer as an assassin.
- Psycho Electro: Blacklash's gauntlets contain an electrical charge which can be released as his "necro-whip" during emergencies.
- Took a Level in Badass: Every time that Hammer upgraded his whips. During his final battle with Stark, Scarlotti actually fought the Iron Man to a draw, before the armour went berserk and killed him.
- Villainous Underdog: Scarlotti with his whips and kevlar suit was badly outgunned by Stark's high-tech arsenal.
- Villainous Valour: It's been noted that fighting Iron Man with a whip, however special, takes serious testicular fortitude.
- Whip It Good: Wielded a mechanical whip of his own design. Hammer later upgraded his technology to equip him with two cybernetically controlled titanium whips.
AKA: Leeann ForemanA mutant girl with unrevealed powers, Leeann Foreman was a professional criminal who used adamantium whips attached to her gauntlets as weapons. She has clashed with various superheroes, including the X-Men and Spider-Man over the course of her career.
- Affirmative Action Legacy: The second person to use the Whiplash name, and the first girl.
- Amazon Brigade: Was part of an all-female group called the Femme Fatales.
- Dark Action Girl
- Dual Wielding
- Legacy Character
- Mutant: Though the exact nature of her powers is unrevealed.
- Rogues-Gallery Transplant: More associated with the X-Men and Spider-Man than with Iron Man.
- Whip It Good: Used two adamantium whips.
Whiplash III & Blacklash II
AKA: UnknownAn unnamed duo who shared a BDSM kink, Whiplash III and Blacklash II debuted at the start of the Civil War, and were forcibly recruited into the Thunderbolts.
AKA: Anton Vanko
A young Russian who saw his hometown destroyed by an out-of-control Iron Man armour, and vowed revenge, Anton Vanko donned a suit of armour equipped with two laser whips.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: His whips deploy from his wrists.
- Canon Immigrant: Heavily based on Ivan Vanko, the Crimson Dynamo/Whiplash blend from the second Iron Man film.
- Cool Mask: His armour doesn't have a helmet; instead his face is covered by a single plate.
- Doomed Hometown
- Freudian Excuse: Saw his hometown, and his father, wiped off the map by a rogue Iron Man armour.
- Laser Blade: Laser whip, actually.
- Legacy Character
- Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: He's quite a few years younger than Stark.
- Powered Armour: Downplayed. Vanko's armour powers his whips, and gives him a modicum of protection from attacks, but it lacks the power of the Iron Man, Crimson Dynamo, or Titanium Man armours.
- Renegade Russian: Though one with no connections to the old Soviet Union or Communism.
- Whip It Good: Has a pair of laser whips that deploy from his wrists.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Green actually.