Even since childhood Obadiah Stane was a methodical and ruthless man. Once, during a chess match, as a child he killed the dog of an opponent whose skill was equal to his own so that his opponent's mind would not be focused on the game, and Stane won. Obadiah's father had been a gambler who shot himself playing Russian Roulette while on a winning streak: namely with his own son. This experience would lead Stane into a lifelong obsession with "winning" in everything he invested in.
Obadiah Stane was created by Dennis O'Neil and Luke McDonnell. Stane first appearance in Iron Man #163, He later appeared as the Iron Monger in Iron Man #200.
Obadiah would later grow into a wealthy businessman who attempted to take over Tony Stark's ( Iron Man) company, Stark International. Obadiah used his agents, the Chessmen, to attack James Rhodes ( War Machine). He also placed the Chessmen's Queen Indries Moomji to become Stark's lover. Stark later became aware of Stane's involvement in his friend's attack but was unable to do anything because of a serious alcoholic relapse, brought across by serious stress. He later bought Stark International thanks to S.H.I.E.L.D. (changing the name of the company to Stane International) and began manufacturing weapons for the agency and other organisations with which he established military contracts, as well as covertly establishing business connections with multiple corrupt business men and crimelords, in particular supplying them with Mandroid suits for their own devices. Stark gave his armor to Rhodey and became a homeless vagrant. Despite this, Tony maintained plans for a new Iron Man Armor. With help from a team of scientists, Stane created the Iron Monger armor which was more powerful than even Stark's own, as well as far larger. Using the Iron Monger as a corporate mascot, Stane planned to sell the armor to the highest bidder, or produce an entire army of armors which could be used to conquer whole countries. It was also during this time that Stane formed an alliance with Madame Masque, another adversary to Iron Man of the Maggia crime family.
Major Story Arcs
The Death of Stane
After vowing to protect the child of a homeless woman who died while giving birth, Stark came to his senses. He once again recovered from alcoholism, built the Silver Centurion armor, and started a new company called Circuits Maximus. Once Stane discovered Tony's comeback, he attacked his rival but this time Stark fought back. He defeated the Chessmen and fought Stane whose Iron Monger was more powerful than his previous armor but not more powerful than the new Centurion suit, which was able to outmanoeuvre the far more clunky suit. Stane attacked Stark while holding his friends and family in death-traps. Among the prisoners were the child of the homeless woman who Tony vowed to protect, his friend and chauffeur Happy Hogan, Happy's wife and Tony's executive assistant Pepper Potts, Tony's personal assistant Mrs. Bambi Arbogast, and Morley Erwin of his new company, Circuits Maximus. After killing Erwin, Stane demanded that Stark remove his helmet or he would kill the child next. Stark became aware that Stane could not control his power armor by himself and needed help from a nearby computer. Iron Man destroyed the nearby building holding Stane's external computer and saved the child from Stane. Obadiah Stane then removed his helmet and killed himself with his own repulsor tech via a blast to the head (eerily similar to the fate of his own father) when Stark told him it was all over. With Stane dead, Tony Stark was able to reacquire his family's company, reverting the name back to Stark International.
The Future of the Iron Monger
After Stane's demise, the original Iron Monger armor was obtained by the United States government. General Lewis Haywerth had one of the Guardsmen use it to test the combat readiness of the U.S. Agent. Another Iron Monger armor was built by industrialist Simon Steele. A third Iron Monger was subsequently built by Tony Stark's former college classmate, Joey Cosmatos, and worn by a criminal operative working for the underworld boss, Mr. Desmond. Ezekiel Stane (son of the former business mogul) acquired Iron Man tech and some of his fathers business holdings, through he didn't follow in his father's footsteps, rather focusing on bio-mechanical implants than a full on armor suit.
Powers and Abilities
Power Armor Suit
The capabilities of Obadiah Stane's Iron Monger armor are very similar to that of the Iron Man armor, since Stane based his design on Stark's own and used his designs when creating the suit Obadiah himself had no super powers, but gained remarkable strength, invulnerability, and offensive weaponry while operating the Iron Monger suit. All of the suit's functions were similar yet stronger than Iron Man's original armor. The suit also had boot jets for flight, repulsion cannons, almost impenetrable body armor, and a chest-mounted laser cannon. Stane was not nearly as experienced in the manual use of his battle suit as Stark was, and was forced to use an external computer to control his armor's functions. When the computer was destroyed, Stane lost control of the Iron Monger.
Even without the Iron Monger, Stane was a formidable adversary. He had a genius-level intellect and unparalleled business acumen. He was also well known, and feared, for his ruthlessness, using his under-handed tactics to strike at Tony Stark both emotionally and financially at one of his lowest points, and successfully taking over Stark's business. Through Stane was a genius, he was considerably less intelligent in comparison to Stark when it came to inventing and other scientific practises, as shown when he required a whole team of scientists to build his Iron Monger armor, despite already having Stark's designs.
Earth-55921: Ultimate Universe Cartoon
In this reality, Obadiah is younger and is the rival of Tony Stark. When Howard Stark was taking his son's friends in a tour in the Baxter Building, Obadiah killed two of Tony's friends and placed evidence that Howard killed them. Obadiah also attempted to kill Howard Stark himself by using a bio-drug to control the mind of a security guard and convince him to attempt the attack. Howard is shot, but not killed.
(through this was originally the Ultimate incarnation of Obadiah, this was retconned in later runs by Mark Miller to being a fictitious cartoon based very loosely on Stark himself)
(May contain some spoilers)
Obadiah Stane appears as the main antagonist of the 2008 film Iron Man, portrayed by Jeff Bridges. Jeff had read the comics as a kid and enjoyed the new modern approach to Iron Man in the film. His character starts out with a little history of his time before the movie where he was the second-in-command of Stark Industries during the time of Howard Stark. Eventually, at the passing of Howard he took over the company until Tony reached the age of twenty-one where Obadiah once again became the second man, but he lusted for the return of the power he had possessed.
Originally, he is believed to be a friend of Stark when Tony is missing for three months after he is captured in Afghanistan. Yet over time the true Stane is revealed when Tony returns and announces that Stark Industries will no longer manufacture weapons after he learns that terrorists use them to kill the Americans that they were made to protect. When the board of directors begin to believe Anthony is suffering from post-traumatic stress and want to remove him from his position as CEO, Stane advises him to stay out of the public eye. The two get to talking and Tony suggests that Stark Industries begin working on harnessing the power within arc reactors instead of weapon manufacturing but Obadiah initially seems to be opposed to the idea. It is when Tony spontaneously decides to make a public appearance that he finds out Obadiah was the one making the "under the table" dealings with the terrorists. We then see Obadiah in Afghanistan discussing the giving of weapons with the military leader that had captured Tony earlier in the movie and tried to make him create a Jericho missile for the Ten Rings organisation.
It is then that Obadiah is shown the prototype armor and plans Tony used to escape and is asked to make an army of them for Ten Rings to use in their domination of Asia. Yet, Obadiah proves who's really in charge when he uses a sonic device to temporarily paralyse the man. He steals the armor and plans, having all the Afghans killed as he walks away. But trouble arise back in America when his scientists reveal they cannot make an arc reactor to power the suit but that is only the first of Obadiah's problems. Tony has Pepper hack into the Stark Industries mainframe and download all its files for him. When she does this, however, she learns that Obadiah is creating a super armor based off the prototype and that he paid the Afghans to kill Tony (though they demanded higher payment when they realised who he was).
Unfortunately for Pepper, as she downloads the incriminating evidence Obadiah enters the office and begins talking about Tony with her. She manages to get the monitor on screen saver and finish downloading while they talk. Eventually she manages to take the flash drive with her as she speedily leaves the office, trying to escape the man. Obadiah then turns off the screen saver to see what it was she was doing, the moment it dawns on him he decides Pepper must die. Deciding he will get to Pepper later, Obadiah goes to Tony's mansion where he disables his former ally with the same device he had used on the terrorists' leader, a device Stark created. He reveals his involvement with Stark's abduction as well as his sinister intentions, including the murder of Pepper Potts. But before he leaves, he explains to Tony that the armor will be his legacy, just before he takes out Tony's arc reactor "heart" leaving his partner to die. Back at Stark Industries, in Sector 16, Obadiah places the arc reactor into the armor, activating its dormant power. Eventually Pepper and some S.H.I.E.L.D. agents arrive to arrest Obadiah and find the prototype armor, Pepper whispers that she thought it would be bigger.
As they search the place out, a giant armored man emerges from the shadows, Obadiah aka the Iron Monger. He chases after Pepper, intending to kill her, undaunted at the murder of all the government agents that are thrown aside with ease. Chasing her to the outside of the building, Obadiah says that he laments the fact that he has to kill her as he would have preferred her alive. He then raises his arm, a gun ejecting from it, ready to fire, until Iron Man comes to save the day. The two get into a long and strenuous fight, in which Tony fights with his weakened armor and Obadiah with an upgraded version of the prototype. It seems Tony has won when he brings Obadiah into the upper atmosphere and watches as the frozen leviathan plummets down to Malibu far below. Yet it is not over and despite civilian casualties they continue their confrontation on the roof of Stark Industries. Obadiah gains the upper hand and though Tony damages the armor it seems his victory is inevitable. That is until Pepper succeeds at performing Tony's request and releases the power of the giant arc reactor on display inside the building. The force destroys the building in a blast of energy and explosion, consuming Obadiah within it.
- Obadiah Stane appears as a recurring villain in Iron Man: Armored Adventures, voiced by Mackenzie Gray. This version of the character is also the father of Whitney Stane, who eventually becomes Madame Masque.
- Iron Monger appears in episode 47 in Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers, voiced by Keiji Hirai. He is described as Tony Stark's former business partner who built the Iron Monger suit by using stolen Stark technology. He works with Bi-Beast to attack the Avengers, but is quickly defeated by Captain America and the Wasp.
- Obadiah Stane is mentioned in episode 6 of Marvel Future Avengers, where his son Ezekiel seeks revenge on Iron Man and the Avengers for Obadiah's defeat.
- Obadiah Stane appears in the What If...? episode "What If... Killmonger Rescued Tony Stark?" voiced by Kiff VandenHeuvel. In this timeline, Erik Killmonger exposes Stane's involvement in Tony Stark's kidnapping, resulting in his arrest.
- Obadiah Stane appears as the main antagonist and final boss of the 2008 Iron Man video game, voiced by Fred Tatasciore. In this version of the film's events, Stane works with Advanced Idea Mechanics to complete the Iron Monger armor.
- The movie version of Iron Monger appears as a playable character in Marvel Super Hero Squad Online. When interacting with Iron Man, parts of their final battle from the movie can be reenacted, such as when Tony tears a piece of the Iron Monger suit's targeting system out.
- The movie version of Iron Monger appears as a playable character in Lego Marvel's Avengers.
- Hasbro released several Iron Monger figures for the Iron Man live-action movie.
- Hasbro released an Iron Monger Build-a-Figure wave for the Marvel Legends line, which could be assembled by buying each of the corresponding figures in the wave.
- Hot Toys released an ultra-detailed Iron Monger figure.
- Iron Monger was featured in the Marvel Mashers line from Hasbro.
- Iron Monger also appeared in Hot Toys' Cosbaby line.
- King Arts released a die-cast Iron Monger figure.
- Both the movie and comic versions of Iron Monger were featured in Hasbro's Super Hero Squad line.
- The comic version of Iron Monger was featured in Hasbro's Iron Man 2 line.
- Beast Kingdom produced merchandise featuring Iron Monger.
- Stane was featured in the "Iron Man: Iron Monger Mayhem" Lego kit as part of The Infinity Saga.
- The movie versions of Obadiah Stane and the Iron Monger armor were featured in Hasbro's Marvel Legends line as part of a two-pack in the Infinity Saga sub-line.