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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.
- 10-Minute Retirement: A couple times, most notably, Tony secretly retired and passed the mantle to Rhodey without actually telling most of his fellow Avengers that they weren't the same person under the armor.
- A God Am I: After his personality was changed due to the magic inversion of Axis.Superior Iron Man: "I'm the most intelligent, capable person on the planet. I'm not playing God. All this time...I've been playing human."
- 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.
- Arm Cannon: Several suits have allowed Stark to access varying arm cannons. Most notable, the Bleeding Edge Armor had specialized ports for attachments, including several types of massive blasters and cannons for the arms.
- The Atoner: For Tony, Iron Man is a chance to redeem himself for a lifetime of selfish cruelty and a lack of accountability in the creation of weapons that slaughtered countless lives.
- Badass Beard: Sometimes drawn with this, not always.
- Badass Bookworm: One of the most dangerous bookworms in the whole Marvel Universe.
- Badass Mustache: His beard may come and go with the artist, but his mustache is eternal.
- Bash Brothers: With Captain America and War Machine.
- Big Brother Instinct: has this towards Arno.
- Bigger Stick: The Iron Man armour is the most sophisticated Powered Armour in existence, and Stark works very hard to keep it at the cutting edge, maintaining a vital technological lead over any and all of his business rivals and supervillainous competitors.
- 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.
- Chest Blaster: The iconic Unibeam, his chest-mounted super Repulsor. He traditionally only uses it as a finishing move or as a desperate attempt to damage something out of his league, because it drains so much of his power to utilize compared to the weaker, but faster gauntlet Repulsors.
- Chivalrous Pervert: Famously the biggest womanizer in the Marvel Universe, yet he's incredibly polite to the women he's chatting up, cares deeply about most of his exes (the Marvel Now relaunch's opening story arc essentially boils down to him wanting to protect the legacy of one of his exes after her life's work is stolen and abused), is VERY protective of his on-again/off-again love interest Pepper, honestly loved (and still loves) Madame Masque, and is always completely supportive of his female teammates, no matter how they dress and pose.
- Crazy-Prepared: Tony has a suit for any and every situation. Sometimes several suits for each situation, just in case he loses one. This has caused friction between team members before, who have been less than thrilled to discover that Tony's built a suit designed to take them down in case he ever needs to.
- Create Your Own Villain: A recurring theme for Tony. Crimson Dynamo, Titanium Man, Iron Monger, Firepower, The Hammer Twins and Detroit Steel are all his fault to some extent.
- Dating Catwoman: Unsurprisingly, Tony's lecherous habits don't stop at civilians and allies. He still has a history with villain Madame Masque.
- 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.
- Disability Superpower: For the longest time, Stark's early Iron Man suits were basically glorified pacemakers to keep the shrapnel in his chest from reaching his heart.
- Fiction500: One of the richest men on the planet. Even when he's not an active member of the Avengers, they're usually bankrolled by Stark Industries.
- Flying Brick: Thanks to his armor.
- Flying Firepower: His armour enables both flight and the ability to level buildings.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Initially, his selfishness, arrogance and poor communication skills rubbed a lot of his teammates the wrong way, but they worked together long enough to earn each other's genuine trust and respect. After Civil War, he's pretty consistently tolerated at best, even by most other pro-registration heroes, and every time he almost salvages his reputation, he does something else to ruin it with the team again.
- 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.
- Fusion Dance: Part of Tony's resurrection after The Crossing was Franklin Richards recreating the heroes closer to what he remembered and in Tony's case, resurrecting him and fusing him with Teen Tony.
- The Gadfly: Most modern depictions of Stark depict him as trolling for reactions a lot of the time.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Stark is one of the premiere tech constructors in the Marvel Universe.
- Good Is Not Nice: Tony Stark is going to save the world. Even if that means racking up a body count, being a dick to everyone he meets, and even destroying other universes to protect his own as a member of the Illuminati.
- Guile Hero: Even with his modern Iron Man suits putting his power level among his more powerful peers, Tony still relies on his guile as his first and most useful weapon.
- Heart Light: The power source of the suit is the same as the magnet keeping the shrapnel out of his heart. In the film version, and most animated versions that came after the first film, the "arc reactor" in Tony Stark's chest always generates a light that can be seen through his shirt.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: After Civil War and Secret Invasion, he became known as the man who's leadership lead to the death of Captain America and allowed the Skrull Empire to nearly conquer the Earth.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Pepper Potts, Black Widow and Bethany Cable.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Rhodey, until Time Runs Out, and Captain America, until Civil War.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: He may not always be willing to admit it, but he does care about his teammates and making the world a better place.
- Honest Corporate Executive: After becoming Iron Man, he turned his company around and became very concerned with morality and making the world a better place, even in his civilian life. He's turned away numerous projects and dangerous employees on moral grounds, at great expense to both his wallet and his well being.
- Insufferable Genius: Despite being one of the smartest members of the Avengers, most of its members find him rather insufferable to be around.
- It's All About Me: He's gotten better about it, though.
- 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. Tony marinates daily in cynicism and sarcasm before setting forth to bring world peace, protect the innocent, and mock the stupid.
- The Lancer: In a "traditional" Avengers team line-up, he plays this role to Captain America's leadership.
- Light Is Not Good: His "Endo- Sym" Mark 51 Armor is white and chrome, but he only builds it once he's been Inverted.
- Like a Son to Me: This was his relationship with Peter Parker, when he brought him under his tutelage right before the Superhuman Civil War, and using this relationship was how he convinced Peter to unmask as Spider-Man. When he betrayed Stark to join Captain America, it hurt Tony arguably just as deeply as fighting Steve did.
- Lonely Rich Kid: His background.
- Merger of Souls: While nothing was done with it, the aforementioned Fusion Dance did give Tony his teen counterpart's memories.
- Mr. Vice Guy: Alcoholism, arrogance, and womanizing tend to be his favorite vices.
- Not Good with People: He just doesn't relate to other people very easily, and it leads to huge communication problems that only widens the gap between himself and his teammates.
- Not So Different: Stark is often just one step removed from the people he's fighting.
- 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.
- He fell off due to the stress of dealing with Incursions in secret from his Avenger teammates, and proudly embraced it when his personality was inverted and he became the Superior Iron Man after Axis.
- The Pornomancer: He provides the page image and quote for a reason.
- Powered Armor: The Iron Man suits are among the most famous, if not the prime example, in comic books.
- 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: Less so than most other Science Hero Avengers; he's less of a scientist and more of builder, and is generally referred to, not as a scientist, but as an engineer specifically.
- 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.
- Some of My Best Friends Are X: Invoked in The Secret Origin of Tony Stark when Death's Head accuses him of being prejudiced against robots.Death's Head: You’re not one of those guys who has a code against killing 'except for robots'? I hate those krypto-fascists.Iron Man: No! Absolutely not! Some of my best friends are robots an— That sounds kind of robot racist, right?Death's Head: Yes.
- The Team Benefactor: Even when he's not an active member, he's usually funding the Avengers.
- 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. Again when he became the Superior Iron Man following Axis.
- 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.
- Beautiful All Along: When Pepper Potts first appeared, she had freckles and looked like a teenager. Several issues later, she "got a makeover" and became the more better-known version of the character (in terms of looks).
- 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" Hogan
A 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. For more info, he has his own page on which tropes about him can go.
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 cybernetics researcher from Stark Industries Far East division 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. After parting ways with Stark, Suzi was eventually imbued with the Power Cosmic as the Seeker.
- The Bus Came Back: Civil War.
- Clothes Make the Superman: Her armor was the source of most of her abilities. She did eventually gain genuine superpowers during her time as the Seeker.
- Distaff Counterpart: Becomes one to the Silver Surfer after she parts ways with Stark.
- Future Me Scares Me: Had some unpleasant run-ins with her future self.
- Hot Scientist
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Her attempt to prevent a bank heist resulted in the deaths of three civilians.
- '90s Anti-Hero
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Averted. She betrayed Tony during Civil War.
- You Can't Fight Fate
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 agencA high-ranking SHIELD agent with a temperamental 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.
- "I have it on pretty good authority that I'm more real than the two of you put together and I'm damn well going to outlast you both."
- Benevolent A.I.: She's actually been programmed to not take any crap off of Tony, but helps him in a variety of ways, both small and large; she runs scans, sorts through information, and pays Stark Industries' electric bill.
- Canon Immigrant: Her appearance in the comics follows her replacing JARVIS as Tony's suit AI during Avengers: Age of Ultron. Her role in the comic's narrative also echoes JARVIS's in the first couple of Iron Man films.
- Friday actually debuted in 2002, but was reintroduced after appearing in Age of Ultron.
- Deadpan Snarker: Just to Tony. She's very professional when talking to Rhodey.
- Meaningful Name: She is Tony's Girl Friday.
AKA: 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.
- Canon Immigrant: Sort of. He appeared in several Marvel UK storylines in the '80s. The Iron Metropolitan storyline official brings him into Earth 616 (mainstream Marvel) continuity.
- 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.
Riri Williams / Ironheart
A teenaged genius with a scholarship at MIT, Riri reversed engineered one of Tony's old suits into her own suit of armor. After taking it out for a spin, she ended up using it to stop some inmates from escaping a New Mexico prison. This eventually leads to Tony visiting her and offering her a chance to work as his replacement as Iron Man.
see Ironheart for more
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: Morgan Stark
Tony's cousin, who grew up jealous and resentful of Tony, feeling that he was cheated out of being the heir to the family business. Morgan subsequently developed a gambling problem, and entered the employ of Count Nefaria in an to attempt to pay off his debts. After assisting Nefaria and his daughter, Madam Masque in several plots against Tony Stark, he was eventually assassinated after one failure too many. Presumed dead for some time, Morgan eventually resurfaced as a cyborg, equipped with a neural interface that gave him technopathic abilities. He used this newfound ability to steal a prototype armor set, and began a new campaign of revenge against Iron Man.
- Back from the Dead: Been killed twice, but shares his cousin's refusal to stay dead.
- Badass in a Nice Suit
- Badass Mustache: Then again, he is a Stark.
- Big Bad Wannabe: Frequently.
- Cain and Abel: With Tony.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: More or less dropped from the supporting cast circa 1970, and was also absent during the 80s where Justin Hammer and Obadiah Stane served as Tony's primary corporate rivals. Brought back in 1992, and has sporadically caused trouble since then.
- Color Character: Take a wild guess. Iron Man is the Golden Avenger, brass is noteworthy for it's visual similarity to gold.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive
- Dude, Where's My Respect?
- Evil Cripple: Reduced to a cybernetic monstrosity with limited mobility during the Heroes Reborn era. He eventually gets better, regaining his human form and walking with a brass cane.
- Evil Is Not a Toy: Attempted to turn Ultimo into a new body for himself. Ended up getting assimilated instead.
- Inadequate Inheritor
- Light Is Not Good: Frequently wore lighter colors than Tony, and generally working in colors that evoke brass, such as brown shirts with yellow ties.
- Mini-Mecha: The Brass armor.
- Mission Control: He pilots his armor via remote instead of actually wearing it.
- Mr. Vice Guy: Gambling, as opposed to Tony's alcoholism.
- Never My Fault: Unlike, say, the MCU version of Whiplash (who harbors a similar grudge against Tony's father), Morgan actually grew up with the same advantages that Tony had. It is his lack of restraint and Brilliant, but Lazy tendencies that result in his comparitively miserable existence.
- One-Winged Angel: Merging with Ultimo.
- The Resenter
- The Starscream: To Norman Osborn during War Machine: Dark Reign.
- Strong Family Resemblance: He's older than Tony and not in as good physical shape, but there was enough resemblance for him to impersonate Tony during War Machine: Dark Reign (Rhodey wasn't fooled though).
- This becomes particularly ironic when The Secret Origin of Tony Stark reveals that Tony isn't actually related to him.
- Touched by Vorlons
- Villain Ball / Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Overpowers Iron Man and is about to kill him, but feels he must unmask and humiliate him before dealing the killing blow. This gives Tony a chance to recover and defeat him.
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: His slave discs steal energy; on normal humans this just gives him their collective strength but with superhumans he gains their superpowers.
- 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 Krasnyiy Dinamit (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.
- Captain Patriotic: The Crimson Dynamo is meant to be loyal to the USSR, and subsequently Russia, above all else. Various Dynamos have lived up to or besmirched this reputation.
- 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 characterization.
- 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.
- Evil Knockoff: A one-shot during World War Hulk shows that Crimson Dynamo armors are being semi-mass-produced and sold on the black market on the cheap. One of these knockoffs was bought by a bank robber who was dumb enough to think it made him powerful enough to singlehandedly take on Daredevil and Punisher.
- 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. This becomes a running gag in the first Red Hulk storyline, where Iron Man and She-Hulk encounter the Winter Guard and have no idea whether the Crimson Dynamo they are encountering is a new one or an old one.
- 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.
- Mighty Glacier: His suit was not built for speed. The Unicorn suit (designed by Vanko himself) and later Crimson Dynamo armors were built to be sleeker and faster.
- 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.
- 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.
- Terrible Trio: While in exile in Vietnam, Nevsky was forced into an alliance with Radioactive Man and Titanium Man.
- 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.
- Antivillain: Dimitri was not a supervillain—rather he was superhero who just happened to work for a dictatorial regime.
- 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.
- Badass Beard: Usually pictured with one.
- Badass Moustache: Always pictured with this.
- Bald of Awesome
- Captain Patriotic: The only Dynamo who truly lived up to the ideal, acting as defender of his nation no matter what.
- Colonel Badass: Held this rank in first the Soviet, and then the Russian army.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Since the fall of the USSR, Dmitri has become a friend of Stark's, so much as to give him a Bear Hug during Stark's escape from Norman Osborn in Dark Reign.
- Elective Broken Language: Trolls Norman Osborn by pretending his English is very bad.
- 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). Of course since he wore the Dynamo armour long before she did, you could also see her as his Evil Counterpart.
- Good Versus Good: Even during the Cold War, Bukharin was never an evil man. He just happened to work for a government that ensured his goals were frequently at cross purposes with Iron Man.
- Heel–Face Turn: Toyed with. Bukharin was never a bad man, but he worked for a pretty awful government. When the Soviet Union fell apart, Bukharin signed on with Russia's new democratic government, making his relations with Iron Man and other western heroes far better.
- 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, who broke his arm and knocked him out of commission.
- 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.
- 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.
- Affirmative Action Legacy: The first female Dynamo.
- Breast Plate: On her Powered Armour no less.
- Dangerous Deserter: After fleeing Russia and taking the Crimson Dynamo armour.
- Dark Action Girl: One of the only female rogues among Iron Man's enemies, she's acquitted herself well in their clashes thus far, earning this title.
- Former Regime Personnel: A former Russian pilot turned criminal mercenary.
- 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, given a lack of prior contact between herself and Stark, 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: The thirteenth Dynamo, she abandoned her nation and took her armour with her, becoming a criminal mercenary in the vein of Titanium Man.
- 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 Gilbert
Gary Gilbert was the son of an unscrupulous businessman who came to hate his father's unethical actions, and American capitalism in general. He became convinced that a violent revolution was necessary to overthrow the American government and capitalism, and used his scientific talents to create a suit of flame-throwing Powered Armor. Calling himself Firebrand, Gilbert became a costumed terrorist who repeatedly clashed with Iron Man. 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
- Foil: To Iron Man. While Tony Stark is an industrialist who inherited his company from his father and took it to greater heights, Gilbert was a child of privilege who grew disgusted with the upper class and became a violent 60s-style revolutionary.
- Legacy Character: The designs for the Firebrand armor would later be stolen by a man named Russell Broxtel, who used the costume as a more conventional supervillain. When he died fighting Spider-Man, the costume ended up in the hands of a nameless criminal who was killed by Deadpool.
- Playing with Fire: His suit could project and manipulate flames.
- Powered Armour: His mechanical suit, which was equipped with flamethrowers and jets.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: His original goal and motivation.
- Villain Decay: While Tony upgraded his technology, Gilbert did not. He was eventually defeated by Rhodey in a Curb-Stomp Battle while Rhodey was piloting the upgraded Iron Man armor, and his successor has been defeated by the likes of Spider-Man, among others. Gilbert also abandoned his efforts at revolution, instead becoming a "talent agent" for fellow supervillains.
AKA: Rick Dennison
A radical environmentalist terrorist, Rick Dennison was exposed to an experimental plasma that mutated his body, turning it into living flames. The terrorist group Flaming Sword, eager to have a supervillain on their team, rescued him and placed him in an armored containment suit. He battled Iron Man on several occasions.
- Animal Wrongs Group: Originally, until he eventually joined RAID, an AIM offshoot.
- Playing with Fire: Was made out of flames, and could control them at will.
- Western Terrorists
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity
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.
- Affirmative Action Legacy: The first female Firebrand.
- Cyborg: After Ezekiel Stane's modifications.
- Dark Action Girl: She certainly tries, though her record against Iron Man is not that good to date.
- Evil Redhead: Has flaming redhair.
- Fiery Redhead: Unsurprisingly.
- Hired Guns: Has worked for Mandarin, Columbian drug lords, and Spymaster II over the course of her career.
- Legacy Character: The fourth supervillain to go by Firebrand.
- Only One Name: Her last name is unknown
- Playing with Fire: She emits superheated plasma blasts.
- Pyromaniac: She hasn't gotten a lot of characterization, but she definitely seems to get a kick out of burning people and property.
- Villain Team-Up: Amanda's a joiner. She first appeared as part of Mandarin and Ezekiel Stane's supervillain collective. She later allied herself with Living Laser and Vibro to do mercenary work in Columbia, before joining up with Spymaster II's plan to assault Stark Tower.
- Villainous Friendship: With Blizzard II, to the point where he stayed behind to fight Iron Man and allow her to escape.
AKA: Jack Taggert
When Tony Stark tried to destroy all of the armor based off his stolen Iron Man designs during the first Armor Wars, he had to destroy the Guardsman and Mandroid suits of armor used by government employees. The U.S. government was not amused, and contracted Cord Industries to develop a suit of armor to lure Iron Man into a fight and destroy him. The resulting Firepower armor was piloted by Jack Taggert, who later used the armor to go after Stark Enterprises installations on behalf of his boss Edwin Cord, who had a grudge against Stark.He was later recruited by Mandarin who upgraded his already immense armour into a flying juggernaut.
- Bald of Evil: His head is shaved.
- The Dragon: To Edwin Cord initially, later to the Mandarin.
- Final Boss: Of Armor Wars I.
- Hero Killer: He thinks he is. He destroyed the Silver Centurion armor, giving Stark an opportunity to fake his death. When Iron Man confronted him in the Neo-Classic armor, Taggart believed a new hero had assumed the mantle.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Although Taggart was never really concerned about collateral damage, he truly crosses the line when he tries to nuke civilians, hoping Iron Man will die trying to save them.
- Kick the Dog: Defeating Iron Man in battle isn't enough for Edwin Cord, he has to get Taggert to destroy "the rest of Stark's life" for good measure.
- Mini-Mecha: The Firepower armour stands over ten feet tall, and is operated by a pilot seated in the torso.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Tony had considered retiring as Iron Man after faking his death, but Taggart's continued assault on his company prompted him to suit up to take him down.
- Punch Clock Villain: Taggert himself has no grudge against Stark, and is simply employed as Firepower's pilot. He only destroys Iron Man and threatens Stark Enterprises because his boss Edwin Cord orders him to.
- Walking Armoury: Even by the standards of the Iron Man comics, the Firepower mecha is ridiculously heavily armed.
- Would Not Shoot a Civilian: Subverted. Although the Firepower armor was supposedly created as part of a Muggle Power project to give ordinary soldiers a chance against Iron Man, it was actually used as a weapon to use against civilians in case of extreme civil disorder. Cord threatens to reveal this fact to the public as a way of blackmailing the army into letting him use Firepower to harass Stark Enterprises.
AKA: "John Morley"
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.He originated as one of Iron Man's foes, and appeared as a member of the Thunderbolts during the "Dark Reign" and "Heroic Age" eras.
- 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 enables him to become intangible. He is also able to make other objects invisible and intangible.
- Light Is Not Good: Dressed in all white.
- No Social Skills: When not wearing at least his mask, Ghost is a very socially awkward individual, unable to even speak to others.
- 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: Aside from John Morley. 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.
- Affably Evil: He's quite polite and charming in person, to the extent of sending Tony flowers when the latter was shot by Kathy Dare.
- 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 Armor 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.
- Magnificent Bastard: Hammer is a master manipulator who's almost impossible to nail for his crimes.
- 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!: Part of the reason he never really faces justice for his crimes.
- Self-Made Man: Of the crooked variety.
- 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.
- Color Character: Even after she traded in the costume for business attire, she continued to primarily wear red.
- 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.
- Tron Lines: After she turns into a cyborg, though they are only visible when she is nude.
- Unholy Matrimony: With Ezekial.
- Western Terrorists
- Whip It Good: Deploys laser whips from her fingertips.
- Yandere: For Zeke
Imam Mouad Khouri
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.
- 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.
- Darth Vader Clone: In addition to the black armor, he also has a similar level of disfigurement.
- 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.
- There's No Kill Like Overkill: Iron Man kills him by dropping a SHIELD helicarrier on him.
- 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.
- Smug Snake: Stane was certainly intelligent, but not quite as much as he thought he was. When he bombed Tony's new Circuits Maximus startup and killed Tony's friend Morley Erwin, Stane expected that Tony would suffer a Despair Event Horizon and fall off the wagon. Instead, it prompted Tony to make his new Silver Centurion armor and teach Stane the hard way that He's Back.
- 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.
- Worthy Opponent: When Tony finally bests him, Stane commends Tony as this.
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 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.
- Evil Knockoff: To the point of it being his Fatal Flaw. Zeke can modify Iron Man's tech like nobody's business, but he can't make his own. The Iron Monger II costume is a direct knockoff of both Stark and Obadiah's designs because Zeke can't come up with anything better.
- 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.Tony: Zeke Stane doesn't just want to beat you. He wants to gloat and explain. The guys don't do that much anymore, but Zeke's a throwback, a classic of the genre. He has to be properly cited. He never gets that while he's waiting to be celebrated, you're actually calculating eight ways to kick his ass.
- Foil: 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. For all his genius, however, Zeke is unable to come up with original ideas of his own, and relies on the work of others, where Iron Man is an innovator of the first order.
- 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, and to Wakandan rebels in Black Panther.
- 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. Forms another one with the Fenris twins when he needs to Summon Bigger Fish to fight Black Panther.
AKA: Arthur Parks
Research scientist Arthur Parks went crazy after his girlfriend dumped him for a wealthy banker's son. Deciding that power was the way to get women, Parks created a pair of wrist-mounted laser blasters and became the costumed supervillain the Living Laser. After an accident converted him into living energy, he became 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.
- Dead Person Impersonation: Took on the form of the second Titanium Man during Armor Wars II in order to trick Iron Man into revealing that he was the same one who fought the Laser in the past, and not a replacement for the one that, as far as the public knew, died at the hands of Firepower in the first Armor Wars.
- Dumb Muscle: Subverted. Parks is a brilliant scientist, but his obsessions and neuroses severely hamper him. At one point, James Rhodes defeated Parks by luring him into a containment device on the pretense that he could resume his scientific work.
- Enemy Mine: Sided with Iron Man and Iron Monger II when The Mandarin's collective fell apart.
- Energy Beings: Converted into living light.
- Even Evil Has Standards: During Armor Wars II, when Iron Man is getting Mind Raped by Overlord, Parks, rather than finish off his weakened opponent, postpones their battle until Stark can regain enough strength to engage him in a fair fight.
- 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 obsessions and lack of imagination or ambition prevents him from being anything more than a small-timer.
- Not Good with Rejection: Contrary to the perceptions of him as Dumb Muscle, Parks is actually a brilliant scientist. His problem is not a lack of intelligence, but rather his extreme neuroses and hang-ups around women and rejection. The whole reason he became a supervillain in the first place was because of the Freak Out he suffered after his girlfriend dumped him.
- Not So Harmless: He was such a joke, everyone (even other villains) called him "the Living Loser". Eventually, however, his abilities were amplified by Count Nafaria, and even though this was temporary, it eventually turned him into a being of photons, making him far more dangerous and a true threat.
- The site Bring On The Bad Guys: The Villains of Marvel Comics indicates what he was like from the start. He went on a destructive crime spree, kidnapped the Wasp and tried to charm her into marrying him, and nearly took over a small Central American country, all while, as the site put it, "he was essentially just a nut with two zap-guns strapped to his wrists!"
- Powered Armour: Wears a suit of armour to contain his energies. Said armour also holds a number of weapons.
- Secondary Color Nemesis: Is purple. When he was still human, his costume was green and orange, with a yellow zig-zag across his chest; he mimicked this form for some time after becoming pure energy.
- 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.
- Was Once a Man: For a while after becoming pure energy, Laser manifested himself in the appearance of his human form for a while, before discarding the guise altogether in favor of a more vaguely humanoid body of light.
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.
- Recently she became possesed by demonic forces from an amulet she stole. It took both Doctor Strange and Doctor Doom to exorcise her.
- 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.
- Destructive Romance: She demands to know if Iron Man ever truly loved her in "Stark: Disassembled." He tells her that it was a disaster and they were killing each other but that yes, he had cared about her.
- 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.
- Most Common Superpower: Whitney is usually portrayed as pretty stacked.
- 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.
A one time Iron Man enemy, Mallen only appearance as an antagonist was during the critically acclaimed Extremis Storyline.When Mallen parents were killed in a shootout of the FBI over weapons violation, he grew up to search for revenge against the FBI and the Government itself eventually joining a group of domestic terrorists.Then Dr. Maya Hansen give them the Extremis virus to enhance Mallen... they succeed.After this Mallen started his Roaring Rampage of Revenge by attacking Houston's FBI branch, his method: toasting everyone inside the building with his new fire-breathing powers.This caused Iron Man to confront him... It didn't go well for Tony.His next step was to eliminate the US leaders at Washington D.C. However Iron Man was waiting for him outside, this time having taken Extremis himself, the battle ended different this time...
- Axe Crazy: A secondary effect of the Extremis virus is increased aggressiveness, the fact that he was already a pretty ill-minded person didn't help at all.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Gives one to Iron Man in their first encounter, it changes dramatically at the second round.
- Hate Sink: Rooting for Iron Man to defeat him in the story is pretty damn EASY!
- Healing Factor
- Killed Off for Real
- Nightmare Fuel: His death, After Iron Man trashes him, he desperately tries to chocke him, forcing Stark in blowing a hole in his chest in self defense... then it still keeps going, Iron Man reacts blowing his head off with the Repulsors and then... THE HEADLESS BODY TRIES TO STAND UP AND KEEP FIGHTING, it takes a couple of angered kicks (as Stark is furious for having to break his Thou Shalt Not Kill politic) for Mallen to finally stay down.
- Off with His Head!: How Tony finally puts him down for good.
- Playing with Fire: In Breath Weapon fashion.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Is a White Supremacist and has no problem saying that the Ku Klux Klan is doing a "good" job.
- Shock and Awe: Directly from his hands.
- Super Speed: The military clocked his running speed at 300mph, this probably wasn't even his top speed...
- Super Strength: Enough to break Iron Man's bones through the armor, rip said armor like tin foil, blow a protestant's head with one punch and use the "razor" of a bulldozer as a baseball bat.
- Super Toughness: Iron Man's Repulsors were powered enough to cut metal, the result?... minor wounds, the Unibeam?... minor discomfort.
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.
- Depending on the Artist: His age varies enormously depending on who is drawing him.
- 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.
- Interchangeable Asian Cultures: Early stories had the Mandarin (who is Chinese) go on about "Karate" (which is from Okinawa/Japan).
- 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 and withstand blasts from Stark's weapons.
- 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.
- Paid Harem: Has maintained one on various occasions.
- Ring of Power: Ten of them, each with a different power.
- An Ice Person: Zero, worn on the little finger of his left hand, emits waves of cold.
- Casting a Shadow: Nightbringer, worn on the little finger of his right hand can create zones of absolute darkness. Likely a form of dark force.
- Disintegrator Ray: Spectral, worn on the ring finger of his right hand. Needs a twenty-minute charge-up time.
- Gravity Master: Daimonic, worn on the thumb on his left hand.
- Make Me Wanna Shout/Selective Magnetism: Influence, worn on the right hand index finger. It can emit sonic blasts and magnetic pulses.
- Master of Illusion: Liar, worn on the ring finger of his left hand, generates illusions.
- Mind over Matter: Spin, worn on the middle finger of his right hand.
- Playing with Fire: Incandescence, worn on the index finger of his left hand, emits flames and infrared radiation.
- Reality Warper: Remaker, worn on right hand thumb, though with a very limited area effect.
- Shock and Awe: Lightning, worn on the middle finger of his left hand, fires electric blasts. Also an example of Psycho Electro.
- Rogues-Gallery Transplant: During the 1960s and early 70s, he made more of an effort to be a general supervillain rather than just be limited to Iron Man. He was the primary villain of the very first Avengers annual (with other Avengers-related villains, including the Enchantress and Executioner, the original Power Man, and the Living Laser serving as his minions), tried to use the Hulk as a pawn in his plans, only for Nick Fury to interfere, then briefly teamed up with the Sandman against the Hulk, abducted a famed peacekeeper in the Vietnam War who was then rescued by Captain America, and briefly tussled with Black Bolt and the Inhumans. He also did this during the Acts of Vengeance storyline, briefly brainwashing Psylocke into becoming his personal assassin, and fought the X-Men. After that, he's since stuck with being Shellhead's nemesis.
- 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 II, Living Laser, Melter III, Crimson Dynamo XIII, Titanium Man I, Whirlwind, Firebrand IV, Vibro, Chemistro, Mauler II, Firepower, Spymaster III, 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.
- Visionary Villain: Mandarin always has big plans. As Iron Man comments during Matt Fraction's run, he knew Zeke Stane was involved in the plot when he saw their tech, and that Mandarin was involved when he saw the sheer scope of it.
- 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: Mandarin One
After the Mandarin was killed by the second Iron Monger, his ten Makulan rings were granted sentience by a transmission from Rigellian Recorder 451. The Remaker ring was found by an unnamed Chinese warlord who had set up a criminal base in Mandarin City, but was driven out when Tony Stark decided to turn Mandarin City into Troy, a city of the future. The bearer of the Remaker ring dubbed himself Lord Remaker, leader of the Ten Rings, beginning a campaign of terror to reclaim the city he felt was rightfully his, while attempting to rally the other ringbearers under his banner to carry on the Mandarin's legacy.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: It's Green, the favorite color of his predecessor. And with his matter manipulation properties, he can turn it into a suit of Powered Armor.
- Bald of Evil
- Big Bad Wannabe: Starts out strong, and actually is The Heavy of the Iron Metropolitan arc, but another Ringbearer steals his thunder.
- Eviler Than Thou: Malekith the Accursed, who decapitates him and steals his ring.
- Killed Off for Real
- Off with His Head!: Iron Man seems to lose a lot of villains this way.
- Reality Warper: Via the Remaker ring.
- Triads and Tongs: Commanded several of them.
- You Are Number 6: His Ten Rings designation is Mandarin One. Unlike the other ringbearers, his real name is never revealed.
AKA: Abigail Burns
Abigail Burns was a British counterculture journalist seeking to save the world from capitalism, corporate hegemony and the "impotence of democracy". The Mandarin's Incandescence ring, newly sentient and seeking to avenge the death of its master, selected Abigail as a host, and she used the newfound powers it granted her to attack Tony Stark and his allies.
- Anti-Hero: Even during her time as an antagonist.
- An Arm and a Leg: Malekith the Accursed cuts off her hands when he attempts to steal Incandescence for himself.
- Bomb Throwing Anarchist: Once she gains Incandescence.
- Fiery Redhead: Her hair ignites when she uses her flame powers.
- Heel–Face Turn: Malekith's decimation of the Ten Rings, her disgust at the brutality of her fellow Ringbearers, and Team Iron Man saving her life ultimately lead her to pulling one of these.
- Playing with Fire: Incandescence gave her fire based powers. And her armor had incendiary weapons.
- Powered Armor: Gets one after Malekith maims her and steals Incandescence.
- Punny Name: Last name is Burns. She has fire based powers.
- Soapbox Sadie: Eventually leading to a Shut Up, Hannibal! from Stark.
- Vigilante Woman: Becomes one when she renounces terrorism and gets her powers back.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: So well-intentioned that she actually tries to avoid collateral damage.
- Western Terrorists: Starts out as one, but she gets better.
- You Are Number 6: Her Ten Rings designation is Mandarin Seven.
- Zettai Ryouiki: Her civilian clothes frequently incorporate this.
AKA: Victor Kohl
After being exposed to the Terrigen Mists, Victor Kohl watched his family undergo the Terragenesis metamorphosis while he remained a normal human. The Mandarin's Nightbringer Ring, newly sentient and seeking to avenge its deceased master, sensed his bitterness and resentment and found him to be a suitable host. He immediately used the ring's newfound power to attack an Inhuman Nativity Center, attracting the attention of Iron Man, who injured him and forced him to retreat. It was then that Victor finally underwent his own Inhuman metamorphosis, at roughly the same time the Inhumans informed him that he would never be welcome among them for killing his own kind. Driven mad by this turn of events, Victor takes the name Exile and joins the Ten Rings.
- Ax-Crazy: His sanity gets curbstomped by Nightbringer's corrupting influence.
- Boomerang Bigot: Harbors Fantastic Racism toward Inhumans, despite being one himself.
- Casting a Shadow: His primary power, thanks to Nightbringer.
- Dark Is Evil: Emerges from his Inhuman chrysalis with a wraith like body and devil horns.
- Drunk with Power: A more literal example than most, he was under the influence of alcohol during his first super-powered rampage.
- The Dragon: To Remaker. Under Mole Man he's closer to The Brute.
- From Nobody to Nightmare
- I Just Want to Be Special: Nightbringer exploits this to control him.
- Jumped at the Call: Takes an immediate liking to "The Exile". He's also one of the few ringbearers to have a supervillain name, as most of other ones simply use their ring's name.
- Missing Mom: His mother ran out on the rest of this family. It could have been a Freudian Excuse if he wasn't such a Jerkass.
- Never My Fault: His first scene has his brother calling him out for having this attitude. Nightbringer manipulates this to trick him into believing Iron Man is responsible for all his problems.
- One-Winged Angel: Creates a gigantic, beastly dark energy construct to fight the Iron Metropolitan.
- Then Let Me Be Evil: Being rejected by the Inhumans was the final straw.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds
- You Are Number 6: His Ten Rings designation is Mandarin Five.
AKA: Marcus Kumar
Marcus Kumar was a freelance public relations expert who met Pepper in Las Vegas while Iron Man was having an adventure in space. They began dating, and by the time Tony returned to Earth, they were engaged to be married. But Marc believed that Pepper still harbored feelings for Tony, and that he needed to "save her from herself." This seething hostility drew the attention of the newly sentient Liar ring, who chose Marc as its host.
- Crazy Jealous Guy
- Face–Heel Turn: Was a fairly decent guy before his jealousy of Stark got the better of him.
- First Girl Wins: Marc's fear of this happening between Tony and Pepper ultimately drove him to supervillainy.
- Light Is Not Good: Uses a shimmering golden energy form as his supervillain avatar.
- Love Makes You Evil
- Master of Illusion
- Only Sane Man: Generally tries to be a voice of reason in the Ten Rings, as he opposes the war of attrition against Malekith, and tries to discourage infighting amongst the individual ringbearers.
- You Are Number 6: His Ten Rings designation is Mandarin Eight.
AKA: Brendan Doyle
Edwin Cord was head of the Cord Conglomerate, a rival of Stark Enterprises. Hired by SHIELD to develop a suit of Powered Armor for them, Cord developed the M.A.U.L.E.R. (Mobile Armored Utility Laser-Guided E-Beam, Revised) armor, but it was stolen by an embittered employee named Aaron Soames, who tried to use it to kill Edwin Cord. While Soames was defeated by Daredevil, the security breach led to a major black eye for the Cord Congolmerate. When the Cord Conglomerate was later bought out by Stark Enterprises, Cord hired mercentary Brendan Doyle to steal the Mauler armor. Doyle succeeded, but then kept the suit for himself and used it to become a freelance mercenary.
- Arm Cannon: Features a laser cannon on his left arm.
- Cyber Cyclops: Invoked by his one-eyed helmet.
- Evil Former Friend: Of Rhodey's.
- Fun with Acronyms: See above.
- Glowing Mechanical Eyes: His single eye glows very brightly.
- Hired Guns: He was a mercenary criminal even before getting his hands on the Mauler armour.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Never trust a man named "Mauler".
- 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.
- Pragmatic Villainy: During the Armor Wars saga, Iron Man barges in on Brendan in his hotel room and demands the Mauler armor:Doyle: What, this little thing? Faith, it's yours!Iron Man: No fight?Doyle: I get paid ta fight, bucko.
- Psycho Electro: Has an electro-shock generator on his right arm.
- Psycho for Hire: Enjoys his work a little too much. That said, the for hire part of his villainy is also emphasized. He won't fight if there's no money in it, as noted above.
- Rogues-Gallery Transplant: The Mauler armour was originally used against Daredevil, before Doyle swiped it and ran afoul of Iron Man.
- Villain Team-Up: Joined The Mandarin's collective during Matt Fraction's run.
- Violent Glaswegian: Scottish and a criminal thug.
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: Two other villains have taken on The Melter's identity since Horgan's death, the second Melter is a mutant who was employed by the Mandarin and Ezekiel Stane, the third is a Spider-Man villain who bought Horgan's equipment from the Hobgoblin.
- 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.
AKA: Christopher Colchiss
A mutant with powers similar to what the original Melter needed technology to accomplish, Chris Colchiss had originally wanted to use his powers to be a superhero, and was placed in charge of the Young Masters, an Anti-Hero Substitute for the Young Avengers. Chris made mistakes with his powers that got people killed, and he began to doubt the conviction of his teammates, whose bloodthirsty tendencies drove the group toward Punisher style vigilantism. Shunned by the superhero community, he joined forces with the Mandarin and Ezekiel Stane, who upgraded his powers and equipment.
- Alliterative Name: Chris Colchiss.
- Ascended Fanboy: Of Spider-Man, frequently wearing Spider-Man T-shirts as part of his civilian wear.
- Evil Wears Black: Stane gave him a sleek black battlesuit.
- Hero with an F in Good: Wants to be a hero, but is unsure just what he needs to do in order to be one.
- Life Imitates Art: An in-universe example. The Young Masters actually started out as an art project deconstructing superheroism, before they decided to be a real team.
- '90s Anti-Hero: Arguably closer to this than an actual villain.
- One Of These Is Not Like The Others: Of the three villains to use the Melter identity, Chris is the only one with genuine superpowers.
- Only Sane Man: Was chosen to lead the Young Masters because he asked the important questions like "what gives us the right to do what we do?"
- Power Incontinence: Has the power to liquify anything solid with his mind (this includes turning living things into a disgusting goo). Doesn't have the mental discipline to pull his punches.
- Self-Made Orphan: Killed his parents as a child, though not intentionally.
- Vigilante Man
AKA: Kearson DeWitt
The son of an poor inventor who died before his inventions could see the light of day, Kearson DeWitt believed that Tony Stark stole his father's designs and sought revenge. While Stark was undergoing surgery after being shot by a Psycho Ex-Girlfriend, DeWitt had him infected with a techno-organic parasite that enabled him to hijack Stark's central nervous system. When Stark donned an Iron Man suit that negated the parasite's influence, DeWitt donned an experimental warsuit to take the fight to Iron Man personally.
- Badass Beard / Beard of Evil: A slick black beard, and is a pretty mean guy.
- Big Bad: Of Armor Wars II.
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: The industrial espionage potential of Grand Theft Stark is very appealing to DeWitt's boss Desmond Marrs, but DeWitt doesn't care, he's too obsessed with revenge.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Put Tony through hell for perceived plagiarism (which Tony was actually innocent of).
- Evil Cripple: Survived a building falling on him, but it left him in a wheelchair. Was still able to control his warsuit through a neural link.
- Kick the Dog: The more control he has over Tony, the more mean spirited he gets, culminating in him trying to get him to kill Rhodey.
- Let's You and Him Fight: While he's hijacked Tony's body, he tries to get him and Rhodey to fight to the death.
- Mind Rape: Via neural implant.
- Mini-Mecha: The Overlord warsuit. The pilot is seated in the chest, with the cockpit's canopy in place of a head.
- Secondary Color Nemesis: Wears purple armor.
- Villainous Breakdown: Throws a tantrum when he loses control of Iron 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.
- Affably Evil: Is pretty much invariably friendly and polite, no matter the circumstances.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: His creator says this to Tony (in the most prosaic way possible).
- Alien Non-Interference Clause: He breaks it.
- Almost Dead Guy: Even when he's inert, he's still able to transmit signals that cause the Mandarin's Rings to become sentient.
- 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.
- Let's You and Him Fight: Pits Iron Man against Death's Head.
- 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 B.S.O.D.: 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: Lancaster Sneed
Lancaster Sneed was the nephew of renowned British spymaster Sir Denis Nayland-Smith. Originally a contortionist and circus performer, Sneed followed in his famous uncle's footsteps and joined MI6. After being severely injured on a mission in Africa, Sneed used metal plates to rebuild himself. MI6 deemed him mentally unfit to continue his duties, he was cast out of the agency. Seeking revenge on his uncle, who he blamed for his dismissal, Sneed built an armored exoskeleton for himself and became the mercenary Shockwave. His attempts to kill Nayland-Smith and his allies brought him into conflict with Shang-Chi and Union Jack. As his nemeses gained allies in the superhero community, he came into conflict with Avengers, cultivating new rivalries within their ranks. Shockwave has worked for A.I.M., the Masters of Evil, and more recently, The Hood.
- Actually a Doombot: The design of his armor means that it's pretty easy to create an android decoy of him. One such decoy was actually controlled by Doctor Doom himself.
- Antagonistic Offspring: Antagonistic nephew, in his case.
- Ax-Crazy: Results in him getting sacked by MI6.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: His contortion skills create a unique fighting style.
- Evil Brit
- Mean Brit
- Powered Armor: It triples his strength and enables him to fire electrical projectiles.
- Rogues-Gallery Transplant: When Marvel lost the rights to Sax Rohmer's work, Sneed's vendetta against his uncle was dropped, and he became more of an Avengers villain.
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, something he seemed to realize shortly before his death.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: Has a blade that can deploy from the wrist of his costume.
- The Chessmaster
- Clothes Make the Superman: The Spymaster costume is bulletproof, contains numerous concealed weapons, and is designed so that Abbot can attach various masks to it.
- Cool Mask: Not only does Spymaster's mask conceal his own face, but it serves as the base to which lifelike, fleshy mask disguises can be attached.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive
- Depraved Bisexual: Manipulated men and women alike with sex.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Genuinely fell in love with his mark when he infiltrated Stark Resilient, and did the best he could to spare him during his subsequent rampage.
- Genre Savvy: Isn't dumb enough to trust Ghost after he freed Living Laser from captivity.
- Immune to Bullets: The Spymaster uniform is kevlar lined, and will resist the impact of most firearms.
- Klingon Promotion: You become Spymaster by killing the previous one.
- Knife Nut: Favours knives in close combat.
- Legacy Character: Abbot's the third man to use the Spymaster identity.
- Master of Disguise: With masks that attach over top of his costume.
- The Mole: Infiltrated Stark Resilient on The Mandarin's behalf.
- Smug Snake
- The Spymaster: Invoked by the name.
- Suicide by Cop: Forces the police to kill him.
- Villain with Good Publicity: By day, he's a generous philanthropist.
AKA: Arthur Dearborn
Arthur Dearborn was the primary energy researcher for Roxxon Energy. In a noble attempt to reduce mankind's dependence on dwindling fossil fuels, Dr. Dearborn created the Star Well, an orbital solar collector that could potentially power the entire planet. To make this project cost efficient, he turned himself into an energy being that could singlehandedly run the station without the need for nourishment or life-support. When the Star Well began adversely affecting Earth, Iron Man investigated, and Dearborn, obsessed with defending his creation, assumed the mantle of the armored Sunturion to battle him.
- Anti-Villain: Not a supervillain, more like a corporate sponsored superhero. Most conflict comes from him working for one of Stark's business competitors.
- Badass Moustache: Had one while he was still human.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive
- The Dragon: To Jonas Hale, Roxxon's Director of Research.
- Energy Beings: Being comprised of "pure microwave energy", he can alter his appearance at will.
- Heroic Sacrifice: To stop Stratosfire, an unstable Distaff Counterpart. He gets better, though.
- Legacy Character: A set of armor identical to Dearborn's was used by a one-off Daredevil villain. Also, Roxxon attempted to clone him, until numerous acts of sabotage (by Ghost and Dearborn himself) eventually made it more practical to keep the original alive.
- Powered Armor: Subverted, he's a shapeshifter. Played straight with the aforementioned Evil Knockoff.
- Playing with Fire
- Well-Intentioned Extremist
A Japanese Inhuman who gained technopathic abilities when she was exposed to the Terrigen Mists, Tomoe sets up a criminal base in Osaka, with her followers comprised mostly of outcasts rejected by mainstream society. She gains the attention of Iron Man when she sends her assassins after him and Madame Masque, after the latter stole something from her.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Powerful enough to No Sell War Machine, Iron Man, and Spider-Man.
- Dragon Lady: A Cyber Punk variation.
- Everythings Better With Ninjas: Commands an army of Cyber Ninja.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Describes herself this way, saying that nobody cares who she was before she got her powers.
- Greater Scope Villain: Is mainly operating behind the scenes, as part of the setup for Civil War II. And her ninja were introduced a full story arc before she was.
- Highly Visible Ninja: Averted. Her ninjas actually stick to the shadows, and they stalk Tony for a long time before he takes notice.
- Humongous Mecha: The Techno Golem suit. It's actually one of War Machine's armors, bulked up with junk lying around her hideout.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: The Techno Golem armor has glowing red eyes.
- She's Got Legs: Which she shows off in a Minidress of Power.
The Titanium Man I
AKA: Boris Bullski, "Boris the Merciless"
"Dos vedania Iron Man. Your grave awaits."
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 became a genuine enemy of Stark's, blaming the Armoured Avenger for his humiliation and loss of favour within the Communist Party. Since the fall of the USSR, Bullski has become a supervillainous mercenary, selling the Titanium Man's considerable firepower to whoever will pay the most—though he has never let go of his dreams of reviving the Communist state and avenging himself on Iron Man.
- 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 Boast"I am real, puny fools. I am power unparalleled. I am...the Titanium Man. If you cannot accept the uselessness of your weapons then feel the overwhelming onslaught I direct at any who delay me in the task I must perform, and BELIEVE!""Fool! Even a god is no match for the power of the Titanium Man!"
- Bigger Is Better: Averted. The reason the original Titanium Man armour is so large is because Bullski lacked the components needed for miniaturisation.
- Bio-Augmentation: Bullski's body was surgically altered so that he could fit into the Titanium Man armour. His size, strength and stamina were vastly increased, but at the cost of requiring that he be wired into the armour to stay alive.
- Body Horror: The surgical modifications that enable Bullski to pilot the Titanium Man also make it impossible for him to fully remove it. Beneath the armour his body is a mess.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Bullski's huge, loud, and fond of bragging.
- Captain Patriotic: With the caveat that the country he is obsessed with defending is dead. Created as a representative of the Soviet dictatorship, Titanium Man continues to act as its agent long after the country's dissolution.
- Dangerous Deserter: When Bullski went into exile in Vietnam he rapidly moved to the top of the KGB's hit list. Given he was in possession of a gigantic war machine at the time, this is not surprising.
- David Vs Goliath: Toyed with. While Bullski's armour is far larger than Iron Man's, giving him the appearance of the Goliath in their confrontations, Iron Man's better tech can make him the Goliath in everything outside close-quarters combat.
- Depending on the Artist: The Titanium Man always towers over Iron Man, but it's a question of by how much. Sometimes he's only a head taller. Other times—most notably in "Last Tango with the Titanium Man" he's pictured as standing at least ten or eleven feet in height.
- Dirty Commies: What he was at first. He still feels that Russia was better in the days of the USSR.
- Empowered Badass Normal: Bullski was a talented KGB operative, considered worthy of working alongside the likes of the Black Widow, long before he underwent his superstrength granting surgeries, or created the Titanium Man armour.
- Enemy Mine: While in exile in Vietnam, Bullski aligned himself with the third Crimson Dynamo, Alex Nevsky, whose girlfriend he had previously killed while trying to recapture him for the Soviet government.
- Evil Is Bigger: His immense armour, and following his surgeries, Bullski himself.
- Evil Is Hammy: Bullski can always be counted on to serve up classic, over the top supervillain dialogue.
- Evil Knockoff: The Titanium Man armour was built specifically to ape Iron Man's.
- Eviler Than Thou: Bullski has frequently battled the Crimson Dynamos, clashing with Alex Nevsky (III), Dmitri Bukharin (V), and Valentin Shatalov (VI). In almost every case, he's been by far the less sympathetic of the two Soviet supervillains.
- The Exile: Was thrown out of the Soviet Union after a series of defeats by Iron Man. He later came back into favour and was able to return home.
- Former Regime Personnel: After the fall of the USSR Bullski became a hired agent, selling his talents on the criminal market.
- 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.
- Green and Mean: Bullski's armour is typically dark green with lighter green highlights.
- 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.
- Made Of Titanium: His armour is an unusually literal case of this trope, being forged from green-painted titanium.
- Make the Bear Angry Again: Was part of Valentin Shatalov's plot to do this.
- Man in the Machine: Bullski cannot fully remove the Titanium Man armour, as his body will shut down without its life support functions.
- Mighty Glacier: When compared to the Iron Man armour, Bullski's Titanium Man outfit is slow moving and crude, but grants him immense strength and durability.
- 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: A gargantuan Soviet spy in a suit of titanium armour.
- Powered Armour: With the following abilities:
- Eye Beams: The giant yellow eyes in the original Titanium Man armour could fire force blasts.
- Flying Firepower: Like the Iron Man and Crimson Dynamo suits, the Titanium Man armour is flight-capable and packs a hell of a punch.
- Immune to Bullets: Nothing short of a large caliber anti-armour shell is going to pierce the Titanium Man's hide.
- Power Palms: Emits beams of energy from the palms of his suit.
- Rocket Boots: A literal example. Unlike the Iron Man armour with its repulsors, the Titanium Man armour has jets built into its feet.
- Super Speed: The Titanium Man armour can exceed the speed of sound at least.
- Super Strength: Even without the armour, Bullski can lift one and a half tonnes courtesy of his physicality-enhancing surgeries. With the armour on, he can heft over seventy-five.
- Tractor Beam: Perhaps the Titanium Man's most iconic weapon, the suit emits a tractor beam from its helmet capable of paralyzing foes in their tracks, and pulling them towards the armour.
- 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.
- Terrible Trio: While in exile in Vietnam, Bullski formed and led the Titanic Three, a trio of Communist villains including himself, Crimson Dynamo III, and Radioactive Man.
- Tin-Can Robot: The original armour invoked this, resembling little more than a massive titanium can with arms, legs, and a computer monitor head bolted on. Later versions have been somewhat more refined, but even the most advanced versions have never been what you'd call sleek.
- Villain Team-Up: Has worked with (and against) the various Crimson Dynamos, the Radioactive Man, Justin Hammer, and The Mandarin.
- Your Size May Vary: Happens a lot. While all artists can agree that Bullski is an enormous man and that the Titanium Man armour is even larger, few can agree on just how big he is, even within a single issue. In "Last Tango With The Titanium Man" he is simultaneously larger than a city bus, and able to fit into an armchair (to be fair the scene with the armchair is in Bullski's private hideout; perhaps he had it built to special order).
The Titanium Man II
AKA: Kondrati Topolov, the Gremlin
Originally a foe of the Hulk, Topolov built his own Titanium Man suit when Commissar 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: Gremlin's a bastard, but his death is so ugly that it makes you pity him.
- Captain Patriotic: Worked for the Soviet government, and was meant to take Boris Bullski's place as Titanium Man.
- Chest Insignia: Wore the hammer and sickle of the USSR on the chest of his jumpsuit.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Burned to death inside his Titanium Man armour, while Iron Man watched in horror.
- Depraved Dwarf: A twisted midget with a mind to match.
- Dirty Commies: Like Bullski before him, Gremlin was a Soviet operative.
- Evil Genius: Gremlin inherited his father's superhuman intellect.
- Evil Knockoff: Twice over. Gremlin's armour ripped off both Tony Stark and Boris Bullski. He later upgraded it with stolen Stark technology during "Armour Wars".
- Expy: Is modeled on his father, Yuri Topolov, who is himself modeled on longstanding Hulk adversary The Leader.
- Green and Mean: His Titanium Man armour was the same green as Bullski's.
- Irony: Boris Bullski was a giant who stood over seven feet tall. Gremlin, who tried to usurp his identity, was a midget.
- Killed Off for Real: Has not returned since his death by fire.
- Lamarck Was Right: Inherited his father's gamma irradiated body.
- Legacy Character: A two-fer, for both his father, the Gargoyle, and Boris Bullski who was presumed dead at the time. One of Bullski's later armours would incorporate Gremlin's design aesthetic as well.
- Mad Scientist: His original goal was to capture the Hulk and dissect him so that the USSR could create an army of Hulks.
- Made Of Titanium: His armour, like Bullski's, is forged from a titanium alloy. Unlike Bullski's, it proved vulnerable to fire, igniting during battle with Iron Man.
- Military Superhero: Was initially a member of the KGB, and later served with several Soviet Super-Teams.
- Mini-Mecha: Gremlin's armour was the same size as Bullski's, despite Topolov himself barely reaching Bullski's waist. Accordingly, the arms, legs, and head all had to operated by remote control.
- Mutant: Born deformed and hyperintelligent due to his father's exposure to gamma radiation.
- My Brain Is Big: To the point of distorting his skull.
- Properly Paranoid: The KGB were trying to manipulate him during "Armour Wars" he just didn't realize how.
- Renegade Russian: Abandoned the USSR and refused to cooperate with the KGB in an operation against Iron Man, convincing himself they were only out to reclaim the Titanium Man armour.
- Rogues-Gallery Transplant: Originally menaced the Hulk before clashing with Iron Man.
- Smug Snake: Gremlin had a highly inflated opinion of his own intellect, and his arrogance and paranoia undermined him frequently.
- Super Intelligence: His intellect was heightened by his mutation.
- 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.
AKA: The Doomsday Machine, Devastator
A weaponized liquid metal construct created by an unknown alien race, Ultimo laid waste to numerous worlds until he was eventually defeated and crash landed on Earth (China, to be specific). The Mandarin finds his dormant body and decides to use him as tool against Iron Man. Ultimo has returned to challenge the Golden Avenger several times since, each time sporting an upgrade that makes him more powerful.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Only 25 feet at first, but he has gotten bigger with each upgrade.
- Assimilation Plot: In Dark Reign, after it evolves into a sentient liquid virus that turns anything that comes into contact with it into silicon based monstrosities.
- Back from the Dead: Frequently. Its true form being liquid might have something to do with this.
- Crush. Kill. Destroy!
- Evil Is Not a Toy: Many villains have tried to control him, but only the Mandarin has had any consistent success. Even Norman Osborn learned this the hard way.
- Generic Doomsday Villain
- Humans Are Bastards: After gaining intelligence and reading War Machine's files, he begins to think this. Then Norman Osborn and Morgan Stark come along and make things worse. Cue the aforementioned assimilation plot.
- Humongous Mecha
- Made of Indestructium: Ultimo cannot be truly destroyed. Blow him to bits, and he'll put himself back together again, anyone who has seen Terminator 2: Judgment Day (and probably a few who haven't) can tell you what happens if you melt him down into silver goo. The only way to really contain him is to keep pieces of him in high security SHIELD facilities across the world, and that was before he evolved into that pesky virus.
- Mechanical Monster
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Can easily be mistaken for a mindless killing machine, but his brain actually hosts a rather insidious computer virus.
AKA: Milos Masaryk
A Slovokian born KGB agent, Milos Masaryk was the handler for Professor Anton Vanko (the original Crimson Dynamo). Masaryk helped Professor Vanko build the original Crimson Dynamo armor, and field tested another one of the Professor's inventions, an experimental helmet outfitted with a "power horn" firing a projectile similar to Iron Man's uni-beam. Following Vanko's defeat and defection, Masaryk paired the helmet with a experimental armor that enabled him flight, set out to destroy Iron Man on his own, taking the name Unicorn after the helmet's unique design.
- Alliterative Name: Milos Masaryk.
- Avenging the Villain: The first two Crimson Dynamos.
- Bald of Evil: His radiation treatments made him lose his hair.
- Blessed with Suck: The same process that empowered him also gave him radiation poisoning.
- Deal with the Devil: When his upgrades started making him sick, he would work with any supervillain who offered a cure for his condition.
- Empowered Badass Normal: Originally had no powers without his vest and helmet, but he was eventually given radiation treatments in order to give him superhuman strength.
- Fragile Speedster: Not Masaryk himself, but rather the armor. It was designed to be faster than the first Crimson Dynamo suit, sacrificing durability in favor of speed. So Masaryk was given genetic modifications to make him more durable.
- Genre Savvy: Crashes the wedding of Reed Richards and Susan Storm, because he knows that Stark will be there as a guest.
- Knife Nut: Is highly proficient with blades.
- Legacy Character: Four villains have worn the armor. In universe and out, it can sometimes be difficult to tell which incarnation Stark is encountering.
- Quirky Miniboss Squad: Is usually part of one.
- Sanity Slippage: A side effect of the aforementioned poisoning. Even after the Avengers (possibly) cured the cellular degradation, they could not undo the damage already done to his mind.
- Secondary Color Nemesis: Green and orange.
- Soviet Superscience: His original armor.
- Third Eye: A cybernetic eye in the center of his forehead.
AKA: Alton Vibereaux
A geologist from Baton Rouge, Professor Vibereaux invented a revolutionary energy absorption apparatus that he believed could stop earthquakes. While testing his invention in the San Andreas Fault, a tremor struck, causing Vibereaux to fall into a chasm. Assumed dead, his invention saved his life, but he was left insane and disfigured. Resurfacing as a cyborg with a weaponized version of his apparatus, Vibereaux blamed his employer for his misfortunes and went on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, but was stopped by Iron Man (James Rhodes, as Obadiah Stane had forced Tony into exile at the time). Since then, he has worked as hired muscle for more powerful villains, often as part of a Quirky Miniboss Squad.
- Back from the Dead: Wolverine skewers him through the chest, but the Hand brings him back.
- Bald of Evil: As part of his disfigurement.
- Blow You Away: Generates seismic shockwaves via Telekinesis, which he channels through his hands. He can use in this power in three ways:
- Make Me Wanna Shout: A powerful concussive blast that can level buildings in seconds.
- In a Single Bound: By firing shockwaves into the ground, he can propel himself to into the air to leap great distances and possibly fly.
- Immune to Bullets: Can manipulate the air around him to the point that projectiles aimed at him will veer off target.
- Informed Deformity: His level of disfigurement varies by artist, but he didn't look too bad during Matt Fraction's run.
- Lethal Joke Character: Can be a powerhouse of destruction in the right circumstances, but an easily exploitable weakness has cost him some villain cred.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Vibro's power is actually linked to seismic pressure within the Earth, and if he is more than 50 miles away from a fault zone, he is more or less Brought Down to Normal.
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. Since his death in a battle with a rogue Iron Man armour, the Whiplash and Blacklash identities have 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 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.
- Bulletproof 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).
- Not So Harmless: 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.
- 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.
- Battle Couple: Always seen together.
- Bondage Is Bad: Both their costumes are very bondage themed and both are definitely bad guys.
- C-List Fodder: They don't appear very often.
- Dark Action Girl: Whiplash III
- Legacy Character: They've taken on two of Mark Scarlotti's identities.
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: His town was wiped out as part of his origin.
- Dual Wielding: Has a laser whip attached to each of his wrists.
- 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: The fourth person to take on the Whiplash identity since Scarlotti's death.
- Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: He's quite a few years younger than Stark.
- One Steve Limit: Averted. He shares his name with Anton Vanko, the original Crimson Dynamo. There's no connection.
- 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.
- Revenge: Wants to avenge his town by going after Stark.
- Secondary Color Nemesis: In his purple armour.
- Whip It Good: Has a pair of laser whips that deploy from his wrists.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Green actually.