Iron Monger
Obadiah Stane in the Iron Monger armor,
artist Mark Bright
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearance(Stane)
Iron Man #163
(October 1982)
(Iron Monger)
Iron Man #200
(November 1985)
Created byDennis O'Neil (writer)
Luke McDonnell (artist)
In-story information
Alter egoObadiah Stane
Team affiliationsThe Chessmen
Stane International
Stark Industries
AbilitiesGenius-level intellect
  • Abilities derived from armored suit: Superhuman strength, stamina, speed, flight, and energy blasts

The Iron Monger is an identity used by several fictional supervillains published by Marvel Comics. The first and most notable person to take up the identity is Obadiah Stane. He first appeared in Iron Man #200 (November 1985), and was created by Dennis O'Neil and Luke McDonnell.

Actor Jeff Bridges portrayed Obadiah Stane in the 2008 Iron Man film.

Publication history

Obadiah Stane, who would become the first Iron Monger, debuted in Iron Man #163 (October 1982). He dons the Iron Monger armor in issue #200 (November 1985), and commits suicide in the same issue.

Fictional character biography

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (October 2011)

Obadiah Stane

As a child, Obadiah's father Zebediah Stane was a degenerate gambler and Obadiah's mother died of unknown reasons. One day, his father, who considered himself on a "lucky streak"; played a game of Russian roulette and shot himself in the head. This trauma caused Obadiah to lose all of his blond hair and go bald and shaped him for years to come. From there on, Obadiah Stane was a ruthless manipulator who studied his adversaries to find weaknesses to exploit. Stane enjoys chess, and lives his life with the same kind of methodical logic that he uses in the game. In addition, he is a strong believer in using psychological manipulation to his advantage. For instance, in a childhood chess match against another boy whose skill at least equaled his own, he killed the boy's dog so that the other would be distracted from the game.

In adulthood, as a wealthy financier, Obadiah Stane becomes the president and CEO of his own company (Stane International) as a munitions dealer. He also goes into business with Howard Stark. After Stark and his wife died in a car accident, Stane turns his sights on acquiring control of Stark International, the industrial corporation he had worked with, now owned by Tony Stark (the son of Howard Stark). Stane has his agents, the Chessmen, attack Stark Industries and assault James Rhodes, a confidant of Tony.[1] He also confronts Tony Stark in person.[2] Stane also sets up Indries Moomji as Stark's lover without Stark knowing that Moomji is actually the Chessmen's Queen. Meanwhile, Stane and his associates conspire to lock Stark International out of various business deals. Stark eventually learns that Stane is the mastermind behind these attacks, but is unable to confront him. The assaults on Stark, his business, and his friend push Stark to the edge, and he catastrophically relapsed into alcoholism.[3] With the help of S.H.I.E.L.D., Stane buys out Stark International, which he then renames Stane International. Stark, having fallen off the wagon, relinquishes his armor to Jim Rhodes and disappears to be a homeless vagrant. Rhodes becomes the new Iron Man while ignoring Stane's demands to relinquish the armor. Rhodes, as the new Iron Man, eventually thwarts Stane in his attempt to take over the Iron Man battle-suits.[4]

Stane proceeds in manufacturing and supplying munitions and weapons to S.H.I.E.L.D. and others who could pay for them. When Tony Stark left, he left behind notes and information on the Iron Man armor. These notes are incomplete and hard to analyze, but Stane assigns a team of scientists to decipher them; they eventually create the Iron Monger armor which, according to Stane, is "far superior to Stark's Iron Man armor". He even considers selling them to the highest bidder or creating an army of Iron Mongers, using them to "take over any country he wanted".

Stane assigns the Termite to sabotage another business rival.[5] He also forms an alliance with Madame Masque.[6]

While living on the streets, Stark befriends a pregnant homeless woman, Gertl Anders. She dies in childbirth, whereupon Stark promises to protect the child. This vow helps Stark overcome his alcoholism.[7] When Stark recovers, he joins Rhodes, along with twins Morley and Clytemnestra Erwin, in starting a new company in Silicon Valley[8], which is eventually dubbed Circuits Maximus.[9] Stark builds a new prototype armor, resembling his original gray suit, in order to test new designs; Stark ends up using the armor to stop an out-of-control Rhodes[10], and then to assist the West Coast Avengers against Doctor Demonicus, while using the Avengers' facilities to construct an advanced armor, the Silver Centurion.[volume & issue needed]

Realizing that Stark is once again a potential threat, Stane orders the abduction of Bethany Cabe, and plans an attack to take out Iron Man, whom Stane has deduced is currently either Rhodes or one of the Erwins. He sends an attack drone, the Circuits Breaker, to destroy Iron Man, but both Rhodes and Stark are able to defeat it. Stane further plots against Stark by switching the minds of Masque and Cabe, and by abducting Stark's old friends Happy Hogan, Pepper Potts, and Bambi Arbogast. He also has a bomb planted inside the Circuits Maximus dome, killing Morley Erwin and wounding Rhodes and Clytemnestra.[11]

When Cly confronts Stark at the hospital, Tony realizes he has to face Stane directly; he collects his newly-completed Silver Centurion armor from the Avengers compound, and flies to Long Island. Stark confronts Stane on the property of Stane International and defeats Stane's agents, including the Chessmen, who had proven a match for his previous armor. Stane dons the Iron Monger armor and confronts Stark personally. The Iron Monger is more powerful than the previous Iron Man armor, but not the Silver Centurion model, which includes such features as the ability to absorb the heat from the Iron Monger's thermal rays and channel it into the armor's own energy supplies. Stane tries to defeat Stark by tricking him into entering a room where Happy, Pepper, and Mrs. Arbogast are being held in suspended animation tanks that could sustain them for months; the walls of the room were covered with photo-electric cells that would trigger a circuit sending 200,000 volts into their bodies if Stark moved, leaving him with no choice but to stand in the room and starve to death to keep them alive. Refusing to give up, Stark calmly uses his armor's sensors to discover that the trap's power source is located within the firing arc of his chest-plate's uni-beam weapons, allowing him to destroy it.[volume & issue needed]

Having freed his friends, Stark then confronts Stane and the villain learns that even in his armor, he is no match for Stark's genius and practiced skill with his own tools. Finally, Stane uses his last card: Gertl Anders' infant son, whom Stane had abducted from an orphanage. Stane tells Stark to remove his helmet or he would crush the baby between his palms. Stark, having detected interfering frequencies in his armor's systems throughout the battle, deduces that Stane isn't experienced enough to pilot the armor without some help in the form of an external computer. He uses his armor's pulse bolts to destroy the nearby building containing that computer, causing Stane's Iron Monger armor to seize up and fall to the ground as Stark swoops in to catch the baby; since Stane based the armor on Stark's old designs, Stark knew that the armor would freeze if it lost the control of an outside source. Stane then removes his helmet and confronts Stark. Stane says defiantly that he has one thing left; the ability to deprive Stark of the enjoyment he'd receive in his enemy's humiliation and defeat. Refusing to be arrested and humiliated, he then raises his hand to the side of his head and, using the repulsor ray beam, disintegrates his skull.[12] Stark later obtains complete control over his own company, which he renames Stark Enterprises.[volume & issue needed]

During the Dark Reign storyline, Obadiah Stane in his Iron Monger armor was chosen as a member of Pluto's jury of the damned to decide the fate of Zeus.[13] When the lord of Hades power was undone, it was Iron Monger who laid the first blow upon him, accompanied by the sound effect 'SHTAAANNE'.[14]

During the Chaos War storyline, Obadiah Stane is among the dead characters in the Underworld that Pluto released in order to defend the Underworld from Amatsu-Mikaboshi[15]

Simon Steele

Industrialist Simon Steele constructs another Iron Monger suit, and has an employee wear it in battle against Dominic Fortune.[16]


After Stane's death, the original Iron Monger armor was obtained by the United States government. General Lewis Haywerth has one of the Guardsmen use it to test the combat skills of a U.S. Agent.[17]

Joey Cosmatos

Stark's former college classmate Joey Cosmatos builds a third Iron Monger suit, working from Stane's plans. This suit is worn by the criminal Slagmire, an operative of underworld boss Mr. Desmond.[18]

Red Skull's agent

The Red Skull later has one of his own agents use a suit of Iron Monger armor in an assassination attempt against the Viper, but the suit's wearer is apparently killed by the Viper's men.[19]

The Cabal

A group of renegade New York City Police Department officers calling themselves 'the Cabal' commissions Stane International to design a suit of combat armor that they would use to hunt down and kill criminals as their own personal Punisher agent. Various members of the Cabal wear the resulting Savage Steel armor at different times, coming into conflict with Iron Man and Darkhawk.

Ezekiel Stane

Main article: Zeke Stane

Obadiah has a son named Ezekiel "Zeke" Stane who is introduced in The Order #8, as the brains and financial backing of a secret conspiracy to destroy the titular group, which has close ties to Stark. He would return in The Invincible Iron Man #1 to continue his vendetta against Stark in his father's name.[20] He gradually adapts his body to become a complete cyborg to the extent he, for instance, regenerates injuries very quickly, no longer needs to breathe, and generates at least as much energy as Iron Man. He constructs a special exoskeleton to help him deal with excess heat (and turn it into even more usable energy).

Powers and abilities

Obadiah Stane

Obadiah Stane was a genius with an M.B.A. He was a master of psychological warfare, a cunning business strategist, and a champion chess player. However, he had a classic narcissistic complex; his ego was his greatest vulnerability.

As Iron Monger, Stane also used the Circuits Breaker, a flying robotic weapon that fires air-to-surface missiles. He also used a device created by Dr. Theron Atlanta for exchanging the consciousness of two human subjects.

The Iron Monger armor, manufactured by Stane International and code-named I-M Mark One, is an armored battle-suit of "omnium steel" (a fictional alloy), containing various offensive weaponry including a powered exoskeleton that amplified the user's strength, repulsor rays fired from the gauntlets, and an intense laser beam housed in the battle-suit's chest unit. The suit provides the user with the ability of subsonic flight, thanks to magnetically powered turbine boot jets. Since the Iron Monger armor was based on a modified version of Tony Stark's Iron Man design, the armor's abilities are very similar to the original red and gold armor, but with increased power. The repulsors were more powerful and the armor was also larger than the armor of Iron Man. It was presumably proportionally stronger as well. The Iron Monger (unlike the Iron Man armor) was also externally computer-controlled, Stane attempting to use the remote control to compensate for his lack of experience in using the armor, a vulnerability Stark exploited to disable the suit.

Other versions

Ultimate Marvel

Ultimate Marvel first shows a young Obadiah Stane in Ultimate Iron Man with Loni Stane (his mother) and visiting Zebediah Stane (his father) in jail (for kidnapped young Tony Stark, whose covered in the blue skin-armor that the elder Stane wanted to manufacture). During the visit, Loni tells Zebadiah that she'll divorce him and get half while Obadiah (their son) gets the other half after Zebadiah's death. The story then fast forwards to Obadiah being enrolled in a special school at his mother's personal request. Shortly after their arrival, Obadiah murders a pair of students (Link and Dodge) and make it look like an accident. This incident hardens Tony's resolve to improve his armor and punish Obadiah. At this point, he has already begun to build a suit that closely resembles a traditional Iron Man suit.[volume & issue needed]

Later, Obadiah visits Howard Stark (who apparently murdered Zebadiah) and has the guards attempt murder Stark, but they failed. Obadiah reveals that he's working with Dolores, who is responsible for the earlier terrorist attack on the Stark building, and Dolores convinces Obadiah to try and murder Howard. Obadiah drugs a prison guard with a "hypnotizing" bio-drug, and the guard tries to kill Howard. He fails, but Howard gets shot in the process and is in ICU and Tony sends one of his "robots" to protect his father in the hospital.[volume & issue needed]

Tony (in his Iron Man armor) goes to Obadiah’s house and confronts him on setting up Howard and sending him to prison for Zebediah's murder. Obadiah says it was all Dolores' idea, and sets up a meeting with Dolores and Tony. Obadiah also figures out that the armor is not a robot, and that Tony is actually inside, a fact he shares with Dolores before he meets with Tony.[volume & issue needed]

Dolores and Tony make a deal. Dolores will give Tony the information about the terrorists with nukes who plan to bomb the city, and Tony will give Dolores one of his "robots". Tony, knowing that Dolores knows he wears the armor personally decides to trick him and actually bring an Iron Man suit that is remote controlled. Dolores and Tony meet on a place together, holding each other hostage while their friends confirm each others end of the bargain. Dolores is skeptical because the Robot isn't walking smoothly and is clumsy, and Tony is skeptical because the feds found a nuke but no terrorists with it, and the deal for terrorists. Dolores men plan to kill the feds who delivered them the robot, but Rhodes shows up to save them.[volume & issue needed]

Tony then realizes that Dolores is no longer on the plane, and upon breaking into the cockpit he sees another nuke. He can't disable it, because then a separate bomb will go off, destroying the nuke and plane. War Machine goes to Dolores' Mansion, only to find him dead. Someone booby trapped his piano, and it blew up in his face while he was playing. Tony flies the plane low enough to the water that Obadiah can jump off into the water. He then gets his nanobots to disarm the nuke and set off the smaller bomb while he attempts to jump off the plane. They realize that another arms dealer was out to kill everyone (Dolores, Obadiah, and Tony).[volume & issue needed]

Meanwhile, Howard is recovered enough to go to prison, but the guards sent to escort him were not sent by the Police Department. Howard fights them off and escapes. Tony meets with him, and says that he thinks it was Loni that is the mastermind behind the scenes trying to kill them. Tony, Rhodes, Nifara, Howard, and Obadiah set off to Utah to find Loni. They arrive and their chopper explodes, injuring Rhodes. Obadiah falls off a cliff, but Iron Man catches him as terrorists arrive on the scene. Iron Man flees, but follows them as they take Obadiah to his mother, Loni, and their hideout. Iron Man breaks into the compound and Loni floods it with poison gas trying to kill him, abandoning Obadiah. After Tony beats Loni and tends to Howard, Obadiah (mad that his mother abandoned him for dead with the poison gas) enters the room and kills her. However, he decides not to attack Tony, stating that he had save his life several times and that they are now even. They are all picked up by the feds and go home.[21]

In Ultimate Comics: Armor Wars, the mastermind behind the said events was Howard Stark Sr., whose human/machine armor slightly resembles the Iron Monger armor.[22]

In other media

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File:Ironmonger 2008film.jpg
The Iron Monger armor in the Iron Man film.

Video games


Novels and Books


  1. ^ Iron Man #163-165
  2. ^ Iron Man #166
  3. ^ Iron Man #167
  4. ^ Iron Man #173-174
  5. ^ Iron Man #189
  6. ^ Iron Man #190
  7. ^ Iron Man #182
  8. ^ Iron Man #184
  9. ^ Iron Man #188
  10. ^ Iron Man #191-192
  11. ^ Iron Man #195-197-198-199
  12. ^ Iron Man #200
  13. ^ Incredible Hercules #129
  14. ^ Incredible Hercules #131
  15. ^ Chaos War #2
  16. ^ Iron Man #212
  17. ^ Captain America #354
  18. ^ Iron Man #253
  19. ^ Captain America #419
  20. ^ Matt Brady (2008-02-11). "Fraction, Larocca helm new Iron Man series in May". Newsarama. Retrieved 2008-02-11.
  21. ^ Ultimate Iron Man Vol. 2 #4
  22. ^ Ultimate Comics: Armor Wars #3
  23. ^ "New Cast Information On Upcoming "Iron Man: Armored Adventures" Series" James Harvey, Toon Zone, October 01, 2008
  24. ^ This week's cover: 'Iron Man 2' with exclusive photos! | PopWatch Blog |
  25. ^ [1]
  26. ^ Iron Man: Iron Monger- Product Detail
  27. ^