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.
Power Palms: The repulsor rays in his hands are perhaps his most iconic weapons.
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.
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.
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.
Gatling Good: One of the trademarks of his armour is the massive Gatling gun on its shoulder.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
One 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Petrovich
The 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Justine's daughter by The Mandarin, Sasha has a rocky relationship with her mother, and is the lover of Ezekial 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.
A 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.
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.
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.
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.
Zeke as Iron Monger II
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: Sees Bethany Cabe, Iron Man's sometime girlfriend and bodyguard as hers.
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 Chinese/Mongol royalty who feels that he was cheated out of his birthright by the rise of the Communist Party. 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 Chinese/Mongol royalty, and convinced that gives him the right to trample everyone else under foot.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 451
451 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Gremlin
Originally 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.
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.
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 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.
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).
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 Foreman
A 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.