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Comicguy1


Member Since: Tue Apr 04, 2017
Posts: 1,466


We really don't know much (If anything.) about him, do we? Obadiah Stane we DID get an origin for, and we did understand what made him tick. I personally think that he was better than Hammer (And ruined Tony's life more.) because when you really think about it, Hammer was just kind of there and more of a plot device (The whole bankrolling villains thing.). I remember his daughter Justine (Doesn't he have another daughter?) getting an origin story in The Thunderbolts. I forgot, who was the mother again? Actually, when was the last time that we saw Justine? Has she been seen since Secret Wars? Thanks.


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The Mandarin


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 6,264


It's actually kind of amazing that they've managed to go over fifty, indeed almost sixty, years without giving his villains the sort of depth that most Batman villains, and even most Flash villains, have. You'd think they'd give some villains some depth by sheer accident in all that time. Somehow the bat-books manage to flesh out Batman's relationship with Alfred and the Robins while also making the villains fleshed out characters who can carry their own mini-series. Penguin: Pain and Prejudice is still one of my favorite stories, and that starred the friggin' Penguin. Meanwhile Iron Man has done so much pointless meandering and had so many restarts that ignored the meandering before that restart that it's somehow managed to go nearly sixty years without much of anything happening.




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Iron Matt


Member Since: Wed Apr 17, 2013
Posts: 489




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The Mandarin


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 6,264


Roman Sionis and the Penguin are both greedy and unscrupulous businessmen, and got excellent backstories. Netflix's version of Kingpin is primarily an unscrupulous CEO with a gentrification plan and he got an interesting backstory. It really does help the story if the villain has, well, a story.




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Reverend Meteor


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 11,689



I think Justin Hammer is one of those villains who is bland enough to not warrant a backstory. If he was in any way interesting I would want an origin.

They did give him a daughter though.





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Reverend Meteor


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 11,689




    Quote:
    We really don't know much (If anything.) about him, do we? Obadiah Stane we DID get an origin for, and we did understand what made him tick. I personally think that he was better than Hammer (And ruined Tony's life more.) because when you really think about it, Hammer was just kind of there and more of a plot device (The whole bankrolling villains thing.). I remember his daughter Justine (Doesn't he have another daughter?) getting an origin story in The Thunderbolts. I forgot, who was the mother again? Actually, when was the last time that we saw Justine? Has she been seen since Secret Wars? Thanks.


Justin has a granddaughter (Sasha) via Justine his only child to date. Justine's baby daddy is the Mandarin. So Sasha would be Temugin's half sister I guess.







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Iron Man Unit 007


Member Since: Thu Oct 20, 2011
Posts: 4,437



Crimson Dynamo
Titanium Man
Mandarin


mandarin keeps getting rebooted and modernized in the comics but in the end he was essentially a stereotypical "Fu-Manchu"

They can keep changing who wears the armors of Titanium and the Dynamo

Black Widow: she left Russia and defected to become an Avenger

Justin Hammer: unscrupulous businessman who targeted Iron Man at first in part to discredit him and also to kill the ambassador. He later returned in the first D&B run with that submarine home of his, then disappeared after D&B left. He returns in the second run by sending an attack robot to Tony's new company and later contacts him telling him it was a semi-friendly warning to not get in his way again. Later comes the Armor Wars and how Hammer had stolen Iron Man tech to give to villains. D&B apparently felt there was no need to backstory Hammer and to me he was a corporate version of Rha's Al Ghul. Showing up on occasion, dodging the law and jail for some time and returning again to plague Tony until their final encounter in the Bad Blood mini where he ends up frozen in space.

Denny O'Neil: instead of using Hammer, he created Obadiah Stane. Another corrupt businessman who sets his sites on Stark and strategically took him apart, drove him to the bottle which rendered him incapable of being Iron Man, took his fortune, took his business and sent Tony literally to the gutter. We later get Stane's story as the overall arc was reaching its conclusion in IM 200. Knowing Stane's backstory was good for the overall plot as I suspected before it happened that Stane wouldn't be returning.


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Grey Gargoyle


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 14,996


He is the banker, money launderer & weapons provider of street-level villains. He is the opposite of Tony Stark because is the player on the other side :
Tony Stark funds the Avengers and provides weapons to SHIELD.
Justin Hammer funds supervillains & provides weapons to anybody who can buy them.

He is the ultimate white collar criminal and, thus, the ultimate pragmatist, an amoral international businessman residing in a tax haven, financing supervillains and providing weapons to whoever pays him. He has to kill Tony Stark because business is business and competition has to be destroyed. In my opinion, Justin Hammer is the equivalent of Goldfinger in the Iron-Verse. Much more than anybody else in the Marvel Universe (except, perhaps, the forgotten Mordecai Midas), he is Greed incarnate.

I think that Justin Hammer & Taskmaster were both created by David Michelinie to explain how the supervillain underworld works. One funds them and provides weapons. The other trains them and provides minions. Together they were supposed to be the back-office of the supervillain community.

David Michelinie often creates supervillains who are based on a simple concept and who have very simple backstories (Taskmaster, Ghost, Chance, Styx & Stone, Carnage, Life Foundation, etc). It is only when Ghost became one of the protagonists of the Thunderbolts that his backstory was told (to some extent : Ghost himself said that he may have lied about his own past).

Justin Hammer is a simple villain but not every major villain has to have a convoluted past or a complex motivation. When you think about it, the Joker himself is based on a very simple concept. It is only his popularity which allowed multiple writers to imagine very different stories about him.


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Reverend Meteor


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 11,689





Good point. Why don't Iron Man villains connect with the audience like Batman or Flash's rogues tend to do.





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The Mandarin


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 6,264



    Quote:



    Quote:

    Good point. Why don't Iron Man villains connect with the audience like Batman or Flash's rogues tend to do.


How often have writers even tried? Roman Sionis/Black Mask is a batvillain who shares a very similar origin to The Mandarin, but Roman gets an entire in depth story devoted to his life from childhood to supervillain that is very humanizing. https://smile.amazon.com/Batman-Arkham-Unhinged-Derek-Fridolfs-ebook/dp/B00A8P8734/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1524507861&sr=8-1&keywords=arkham+unhinged+35 No one has done that for The Mandarin since Stan Lee's five page origin almost sixty years ago.

Hell, even Gorilla Grodd, a character who shares major themes with The Mandarin, has real efforts made to at least focus on what makes him cool. The Mandarin just gets flanderized to ever more being about his rings, which are the least interesting thing about him.




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Grey Gargoyle


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 14,996



    Quote:
    Good point. Why don't Iron Man villains connect with the audience like Batman or Flash's rogues tend to do.


They tried with Obadiah Stane but they killed him just after that, lol \:\-D
Hmmm, now that I am thinking about it. They also tried with Mallen but he was also killed just after that. They tried with Firebrand but he was killed by Scourge. They tried with Scarlotti but he was killed by Iron Man's sentient armor. There seems to be a pattern ... (^_^)

Kidding apart, it could be possible to empathize with some of the Iron Man foes :
- Living Laser, stuck in a coherent light-based form,
- Blizzard, an upstart villain who hesitates to become as bad as the others
- Madame Masque, the former love interest who becomes a mob boss to respect the family values
- Dreadknight, a former Latverian resistant turned into a freak by Dr.Doom
- Vibro, mentally unstable and suffering acute facial disfigurement and scalp damage due to the traumatic accident that gave him his powers
- Killer Shrike, an amnesiac former soldier who works as a mercenary for the evil Roxxon corporation
- Sunturion & Stratosfire, corporate "heroes" reluctantly working for the evil Roxxon corporation
- Mordecai Midas, a former street urchin who became obese when he became rich and then was turned into gold
Etc.

Actually, many of these villains could have become Batman or Flash's rogues if they had appeared in the DC Universe instead of the Marvel Universe.

So, maybe, it is more a matter of style than substance ? Perhaps, Batman writers know more how to make the villains connect with the audience than the Marvel writers ?
(About Flash's Rogues, I'd say that it was Geoff Johns who modernized the Rogues Gallery and made them cool)


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Reverend Meteor


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 11,689




    Quote:

      Quote:
      Good point. Why don't Iron Man villains connect with the audience like Batman or Flash's rogues tend to do.



    Quote:
    They tried with Obadiah Stane but they killed him just after that, lol \:\-D
    Hmmm, now that I am thinking about it. They also tried with Mallen but he was also killed just after that. They tried with Firebrand but he was killed by Scourge. They tried with Scarlotti but he was killed by Iron Man's sentient armor. There seems to be a pattern ... (^_^)



    Quote:
    Kidding apart, it could be possible to empathize with some of the Iron Man foes :
    - Blizzard, an upstart villain who hesitates to become as bad as the others
    Etc.


It took Blizzard being in Thunderbolts for me to like him.


    Quote:
    Actually, many of these villains could have become Batman or Flash's rogues if they had appeared in the DC Universe instead of the Marvel Universe.



    Quote:
    So, maybe, it is more a matter of style than substance ? Perhaps, Batman writers know more how to make the villains connect with the audience than the Marvel writers ?
    (About Flash's Rogues, I'd say that it was Geoff Johns who modernized the Rogues Gallery and made them cool)


Well I think Spider-Man's villains while usually not as good as Batman's villains still can connect with an audience. So I wouldn't say it's Marvel writers just can't write compelling villains.

Iron Man villains just always seem so dreary. You've got guys in armors, hackneyed communists or rent a thug villains.

We need a rouge gallery make over.





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MysteryMan


Member Since: Fri Apr 28, 2017
Posts: 3,226


He does sound like he plans to re-write an old MCU Corporation leader with depth and background and espionage and secret hidden societies....maybe someone like Roxxon or AIM?

Could be good...the better the villain the better the hero.


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Grey Gargoyle


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 14,996





Hmmm, fans are not going to freak out if it is Alchemax (Liz Allan + Tiberius Stone), Midas (Mordecai or Oubliette), Kilgore, Edwin Cord, Cross Technological Enterprises, Imus Champion, Sunset Bain or Phoebe Marrs.

I wonder what he is planning (Regent ? Kingpin ? Sebastian Shaw ? Emma Frost ? Rand Corporation ? Yashida Corporation ? A pastiche of Donald Trump ?).


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MysteryMan


Member Since: Fri Apr 28, 2017
Posts: 3,226


Some of those definitely work.


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