He is a genius, playboy, billionaire, and philanthropist. He is the most admired and recognized face in the entire MCU, someone who carried the universe on his own shoulders with others dropped into this world that is dependent on him both in terms of saving the world and setting cash registers ringing.
In the comic book universe, there are a couple of superheroes who can actually match the versatility of Iron Man. Also dubbed as Tony Stark, the persona of the character employs an exceptional disposition of several powers. He’s got super speed, strength, firepower and a strongly built super personality. Stark has tangled with the most dangerous villains for years. So let’s get a quick rundown of his history and the top villains he faced off with.
1) Fin Fang Foom
Altogether, Marvel is known for bringing impressive villain characters in the comic book world, and Fin Fang Foom is one of them to be considered. Came to earth centuries ago, Foom has the ability to transforms its shape. Mandarin, who is the archenemy of Iron Man used Foom against the armored hero. His ability of healing and massive strength are added advantages which make him a formidable villain.
Ultra is a strategist and roboticist made up from an artificial intelligence construct covered in an advanced suit made from adamantium. Ant-Man created the monstrous being Ultron, which was later revived by the Tony Stark. In the second Avengers movie, Bruce Banner and Tony Stark accidentally gave him life. Irrespective of who has made the beast, Ultron is one of the powerful villains in Marvel Universe. He has the desire to eliminate anybody who comes his way including Stark.
But in the movie, the only good thing about Ultron was James Spader’s voiceover, rest is just lost the opportunity. The makers of Avengers: Age of Ultron totally forgot the source material and made him more a conventional villain who apparently need allies (Scarlett Witch and Quick Silver) and not the merciless killing machine that he is in the comics.
3) Count Nefaria
Count Nefaria has fought several Marvel superheroes and Iron Man is one of them. The wealthy aristocrat once stole super strength and other projection powers of other villains. He turned into a supervillain. Moreover, he attained a pure ionic energy making him virtually unbeatable. However, Iron Man has always ways to temporarily defend him.
M.O.D.O.K is a superman with the psionic power and is pretty good in calculating the future probabilities. He was originally a human called George Tarleton. The A.I.M scientists used a machine to test with an ordinary man to transform it into superhuman abilities. Because of his psionic powers, Iron Man had a bad time battling with him.
He is an elite corporate spy who was an engineer and developed intangibility which he turned into a weapon when the corporation he worked for betrayed him. From time to time, he has messed up the life of Tony Stark and even attempted to kill him which threw him into a coma.
6. The Controller
He was a sickly child who used his high IQ and mental ailments to understand the potential of the human mind. He discovered a way to convert psychic abilities into physical strength. He has battled against Iron Man many times and sapped him off his strength through control techniques. He has kept his victims as slaves, teamed up with Thanos and upgraded his powers using Stark technology.
Its full form is Advanced Idea Mechanics, a menacing collective which has troubled the lives of many Marvel superheroes, some more personally so like Iron Man. He has an obsession with super-science, stole Stark’s dangerous technology. In fact, he is the creator of MODOK.
8. Titanium Man
The Soviet scientists created a powerful armor using crimson dynamo designs. A soldier named Boris Bullski challenged Iron Man as he wanted to shame US government with Iron Man’s defeat. He did make it difficult for Iron Man to win the duel but in the end, he lost.
9. Zeke Stane
He is the son of Iron Man’s enemy Obadiah Stane. He stole Stark’s repulsor technology and turned people into living bombs, causing terrorist attacks across the major cities of the world. He attacked Iron Man headquarters that almost cost Pepper Potts her life.
10. Norman Osborn
Sometimes fans confuse the fact that Tony Stark is not the only billionaire business tycoon in the whole Marvel universe, there are others too like Norman Osborn who does not really need his suit to inflict damage onto others. Post secret invasion, he got Stark’s job and became S.H.I.E.L.D’s head who held Tony responsible for Skrulls invasion. In order to prevent important info falling into the hands of Osborn, Tony wiped his own mind clean and incapacitated himself, but he could not stop Osborn’s goons to attack Stark personnel to extract information.
11. The Living Laser
He was originally introduced as big Avengers villain but then he only ended up as Iron Man’s villain. He had massive amounts of energy that allowed him to become a living weapon, he attacked Stark viciously which overwhelmed him as the intensity was too much. At one point, even docs declared Iron Man as deceased due to major injuries inflicted upon him.
Yes…this Spiderman villain turned his attention on Iron Man as he believed that he is a threat to working class due to his corrupt corporate practices, so he took it upon himself as he always considered himself to be the savior of regular people. Tony was already hurt and Venom attacked his house, ripped it to shreds and Star was basically just sitting duck for him.
13. Black Widow
Well, she did not always start as an Avenger, instead, she was a Russian intelligence operative goes by the name Natasha Romanoff. She was tied to an organization called “The Liberators” in Ultimates universe which was never outed. She framed Thor and Captain America for being anti-nationals, revealed Hulk’s identity and this resulted in the erosion of public trust in the superhero community. She then accepted Stark’s marriage proposal and got tech which would allow her to remote control armor, she later killed Jarvis and kidnapped Tony to extract his fortune.
14. Madame Masque
If Tony is James Bond, she is Pussy Galore. She is not like Cat Woman leading a group of lesbian criminals, instead, she is a leader of a mafia group that controls a chunk of all crime in the East coast. Her mission was to infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D but while doing that she hurt herself badly, her face got scarred forcing her to wear a mask. She disguised as Tony’s executive secretary Krissy Longfellow who was very special to Tony and she broke his heart in pieces.
15. Iron Monger
There have been few Iron Mongers over the years, one of them was Obadiah Stane who was a direct competitor of Stark International, manipulated Tony’s mind and absorbed Stark Industries into his own brand. In MCU, he was the villain in the first Iron Man movie released in 2008 that set up the entire cinematic universe. He was by all accounts not menacing enough, in fact, Marvel President Kevin Feige revealed that Stane was supposed to be a secondary villain akin to Christopher Walken in Batman Returns. Here is what he said:
“As you may recall, when he was hired, he was a secondary villain to the Mandarin. And as we were prepping the movie we realized we didn’t want to do the Mandarin in that movie. And when we took him out and made Obadiah the lead villain, Iron Man became what Iron Man became. But what was required is that Iron Monger (Obadiah Stane) had to go down into that arc reactor.”
The original plan was to introduce Mandarin in the first movie and then move up the ladder from there in terms of levels of danger, instead, Mandarin was in Iron Man 3 and portrayed horribly beyond comprehension. There was one easter egg in the movie that pointed to Mandarin’s existence when Iron Man was captured by terrorists, there is a 10 rings flag behind him which is a symbol for the organization Mandarin heads in comics.
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