Obadiah Stane is a male comic supervillain that features in Marvel Comics.
Twenty years ago, he lived with his father who was a single parent with the two living in a small apartment. His father was noted as a gambler with him and his son living a poor life as he was not financially successful. On one day, he played a game of Russian roulette with himself and shot himself with his own gun in front of Obadiah forever traumatising his young son. The trauma had caused his blonde hair to fall off with him being bald by his 8th birthday with him having to be seen by a school psychologist. Obadiah being bald led to him being ridiculed by the other children and forcing him to isolation where he began to read and learn. He developed a fascination with games of skill and chess being a favourite game for him to play. At school though, he encountered a chess player that was better than him named Bernie Devlin who used the Nimzo-Indian defense against him in the chess tournament. Prior to the last game, Stane became determined to win as he could not stand being a failure like his father. As a result, he determined that his opponent Devlin had a dog named Ruffer that he loved very much with Obadiah killing the pet in secret and leaving the body in Bernie's locker. On the day of the game, Devlin found his pet's body and was so distraught that he could not focus on the game leading to his loss at the hands of Obadiah who had planned for this event to achieve his easy victory. Afterwards, as a young adult, he went into employment where he took work that was beneath him. He began to work for an employer that he deemed was an incompetent but one that ran a company. As such, he sought a weakness in his employer and determined that he had a wife 20 years his junior with Obadiah faking pictures of her having an affair with his best friend. He showed these to his boss with the intention of using the opportunity to take over the company. This was the start of his rise to fortune with him now owning a company and using it to sell munitions to whoever offered the best price with stern rulers using it to maintain their rule. (Iron Man v1 #198)
Upon getting the company from Stark, he re-named it as Stane International and had it deal in the selling of arms which was a practice that Tony Stark had stopped doing when he owned it. In this time, he had formed an alliance with Madam Masque where he revealed his past to her. He had also unveiled his new Circuits Breaker automated weapon that was dispatched to destroy Stark's start-up company named Circuits Maximus but it was destroyed by two individuals wearing Iron Man Armor. Stane then knocked out Madam Masque and had Bethany Cabe brainwashed as part of his plot against Iron Man. (Iron Man v1 #198)
Stane's soul later came to reside in Tartarus where he was damned by the command of Zeus and was one of many villains under the control of Pluto. When Zeus died, his soul fell into the underworld where Pluto attempted to have him damned for his past crimes. To accomplish this, he gathered the aid of numerous villains including Stane in his Iron Monger armor who were all promised that they would gain their freedom if they supported him. Ultimately, Zeus accepted his past crimes and willingly drank from the River Lethe that took his memories from him and he passed the crown to Pluto who was freed from his old position as lord of the underworld. It was then that Stane and the others demanded their freedom with Pluto stating that he would still treat them as his slaves but with Zeus gone so too was his command over them. Thus, they no longer had to follow the commands of Pluto and decided to take their revenge on him for all the punishments he had made on them. (Incredible Hercules v1 #131) During the Chaos War, Pluto released a number of souls from the Underworld in order to defend against Amatsu-Mikabosh with Obadiah Stane among them. (Chaos War v1 #2)
Personality and attributes
From childhood, he became fascinated with games of mental skill with chess being a favourite hobby for him. Such was his focus on gaming that he approached life as it was were a game to win. (Iron Man v1 #198)
He considered his father a loser and used him as an example of avoiding his life's actions with Obadiah striving to never lose. Obadiah did whatever was necessary in order to achieve a victory. Stane believed when fighting a foe that death was simply a ploy and should be used in order to win the game but was not an end in itself. In fights against enemies, he sought their weakness that he ruthlessly exploited to achieve his goal to defeat them. (Iron Man v1 #198)
Obadiah appeared as a cold man with him stating that such appearances were deceptive though he believed uncontrolled passions were dangerous. (Iron Man v1 #198)
Powers and abilities
Stane combined his fortune with his love of game in order to create a group of minions that he named the Chessmen that were styled after chess pieces. These living chess themed operatives served as Obadiah's personal bodyguards and he dispatched them on assignments. (Iron Man v1 #198)
- Obadiah Stane was created by Dennis O'Neil and Luke McDonnell where he made his first appearance in Iron Man v1 #163 (October 1982) but debuted as Iron Monger in Iron Man v1 #200 (November, 1985).
In other media
- In Iron Man: Armored Adventures, Obadiah Stane served as an antagonist in the animated series where he was voiced by actor Mackenzie Gray.
- In Marvel Future Avengers, Obadiah Stane was referenced in the animated television series. He was said to be an old foe of Tony Stark who became the Iron Monger until his defeat whereupon he was imprisoned in the Raft with no chance of release. Obadiah had a son in Ezekiel Stane who wanted Tony Stark to pay for his past acts as a weapons trader.
- In Iron Man, Obadiah Stane was introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe where he was portrayed by actor Jeff Bridges. He was shown as being a friend and business partner to Howard Stark where he worked as Stark Industries. Obadiah later became a mentor to Tony Stark after the death of Howard Stark though Stane was motivated with making profit from the arms market where he sold it to terrorist groups and enemies of the United States. Stane had arranged for Tony Stark to be kidnapped by the Ten Rings during his visit to Afghanistan and wanted them to kill him so that he could gain full control of Stark Industries. The Ten Rings had, however, had reneged on their deal with Stane after learning that their target was Tony Stark. Stark managed to survive and returned to America after creating the Iron Man Armor where he had his company stop selling munitions. Obadiah was interested in exploiting the Iron Man Armor for his own purposes and met with the Ten Rings that had the prototype Iron Man Armor made by Stark that he used to escape. They gave the armor to Stane as a peace offering but he proceeded with eliminating the terrorist group.
- In Iron Man: Rise of the Technovore, Obadiah Stane made a brief appearance in the animated film where he was voiced by actor Takaya Hashi in the Japanese version and by actor J.B. Blanc in the English dub. He was shown in a flashback involving his son Zeke Stane.
- In Iron Man, Obadiah Stane appeared as an antagonist in the video game tie-in to the live-action film where he was voiced by actor Fred Tatasciore.
- In Marvel: War of Heroes, Iron Monger appeared as multiple playable cards in the mobile video game.
- Iron Man v1:
- Incredible Hercules v1:
- Chaos War v1: