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Archrivals: Iron Man vs the Stanes

When it comes to destroying Tony Stark, Obadiah and Ezekial Stane make it their family business

By Jim Beard Like father, like son-Ezekiel Stane seeks to avenge his father and surpass him, and that means utterly destroying Tony Stark, aka Iron Man. The younger Stane and Stark come head-to-head in INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #5, out September 3, and it's a fight that's years in the making. The late Obadiah Stane, Iron Monger, inaugurated it and his son Zeke means to finish it-permanently. To say there's a history between the two factions would be an understatement. Let's take a look at a few ugly reminders of some dirty, dirty business.

IRON MAN #163 v1 (1982) Obadiah Stane calculated his first chess move against Tony Stark by hitting the millionaire at his weak spot: women. While the beautiful Indries Moomji dazzled and distracted Tony, the premiere Chessman, Stane's Knight, attacked Iron Man with a deadly opening gambit.

IRON MAN v1 #167 (1983) As Tony grew weaker, his adversary confronted him with a prophecy: Stane would destroy Stark. Business attacks, physical assaults, and finally the horrible revelation of Indries Moomji as Stane's "Queen" drove Iron Man to a new low and Tony's anguished alcoholism reared its ugly head once again.

IRON MAN v1 #200 (1985) Beaten, homeless, his business empire usurped by Obadiah Stane, Tony ultimately arrived at the crossroads-the bottle or the battle. With a newfound confidence and his new "Silver Centurion" armor, Stark confronted Stane head-on. Iron Man handily defeated the Chessmen but Iron Monger presented a pricklier challenge. An armored Stane violently clashed with his long-time foe and when defeat loomed imminently, took his own life to rob Tony of final victory.

THE ORDER #9 (2008) Ezekiel Stane, son of the late Obadiah Stane, brought his own brand of head games to the task of destroying Tony Stark by calmly and coldly dissecting the Order, his Los Angeles-based Initiative team. Manipulated every which way but loose by Stane, the team found themselves as nothing more than pawns in Stane's vendetta against Stark, and in the end the young, dark businessman walked away and onto his next stage of revenge.

INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #1 (2008) The new Stane upped his ante by not seeking to simply obliterate Iron Man, but to make him utterly obsolete. While he addressed a meeting of tobacco executives, the evil tycoon informed the men of his duplicity; rather than upgrading their product's addictiveness Stane used their resources and upgraded himself. The powers of Iron Man now resided in Stane's own body and he dealt death to the businessmen from his own fingertips. For more Iron Man, head to Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited!
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