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Archrivals: Iron Man vs Justin Hammer

The invincible Armored Avenger squares off against his most persistent corporate thorn

We're celebrating the May 7 (April 28 internationally) release of "Iron Man 2" with Iron Man Month 2010! Get ready for a monthlong mega mix of all things Shellhead right here on Marvel.com!
By Jim Beard

Did Tony Stark believe he'd put Justin Hammer behind him forever? You'd have to ask the billionaire industrialist, but it's a safe bet Iron Man has never truly forgotten one of his most diabolical foes ever.

More than simply a business rival, Hammer toiled for years to destroy Stark from the inside out, challenging him every step of the way and making the Golden Avenger look over his shoulder more than once. Some would say it amounted to "just business" but Justin Hammer saw it as survival of the fittest, to be played as dirty, mean and nasty as possible. His legacy survives through the Hammer Girls in May 19's INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #26 and a new version rises in the feature film "Iron Man 2."

Its hammer time once again, Iron Man-better review your history!


While trying to enjoy a sultry evening in Las Vegas with new girlfriend Bethany Cabe, Stark ran afoul of Justin Hammer's hired goons, Blizzard, Boomerang and Blacklash. Iron Man won that round and cashed in his winnings, but when he returned to his job found Hammer's eye still upon him. Asked to bodyguard a foreign dignitary he stood helpless as his foe took remote control of his armor and killed the man he swore to protect.

IRON MAN #225  

The Armor Wars begin! After stolen Iron Man tech surfaces, Stark discovered that Hammer had sold the designs to a cadre of criminals, none of them with good intentions. With the first shot of the Wars, Iron Man found himself in brutal battle with The Mauler, The Controller and Stilt-Man, three baddies he struggled to defeat even with the timely aid of Ant-Man Scott Lang. Meanwhile, Hammer enjoyed his new gambit.


Turnaround time: Justin Hammer, his front company threatened by the strange attentions of The Ghost, sought out none other than Iron Man himself to protect his precious assets. As a show of strength, the bad guy businessman sent his B-Team-Blizzard, Boomerang and Blacklash-to aid Stark but along with an order or two to watch for an opportunity to switch sides.

IRON MAN #283  

Tony Stark-War Machine? Yes, and alongside the mysterious Masters of Silence he spearheaded a thrust into Hammer's stronghold in a last-ditch attempt to end his rival's reign. In a chokehold, Hammer surrendered his Stane International stock to Stark for one dollar, but Tony ended up with a raw deal when he also received the company's legacy of illegalities at the hands of Hammer.


The fall of the Hammer? Sick and dying, Justin Hammer resolved to obliterate Tony Stark once and for all, and after infesting his foe with nanites he prepared to receive him onboard his orbiting space station. Iron Man, decked out in new space armor, met the challenge yet in the end lost his prey to the cold, unfeeling depths of airless space. Justin Hammer: space Popsicle.

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Visit the official "Iron Man 2" movie site now and the Marvel.com "Iron Man 2" movie hub! Also, be sure to check out StarkExpo2010.com, the official site of Stark Expo!

Find out when the movie opens in YOUR country with the official "Iron Man 2" international release schedule!

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Required Reading: check out key Iron Man collections available now in bookstores everywhere!

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they're archrivals of the century