Ellen Brandt was a United States Armed Forces veteran and amputee, who was consulted by Aldrich Killian to participate in A.I.M.'s Extremis experiments. Soon after, Brandt became one of Killian's agents, assigned to cover up a conspiracy connecting Chad Davis' death to an explosion in Rose Hill and the Mandarin terrorist attacks. Brandt worked with Eric Savin to capture Tony Stark after he survived the destruction of his home, but was killed by him in the process.
Losing an Arm
Working for A.I.M.
Brandt was approached by Aldrich Killian to act as one of the test subjects for the experimental Extremis virus. She accepted and joined A.I.M.. Brandt endured the pain of the infusion long enough for her body to accept the compound, and watched it regrow her missing limb. A fellow trial subject was not so lucky, and exploded in her vicinity, yet Brandt was able to recover and subsequently entered into the service of Killian.
One of Brandt's assignments was to recover a set of documents from a Rose Hill bar, documents that detailed the death of another Extremis subject, Chad Davis, in that area. On her way to retrieve them from Chad Davis's mother, she encountered Tony Stark, who observed the burns on her face, and her hair concealing them. Brandt lightheartedly acknowledged Stark's limited edition Hello Kitty watch he was wearing, before the two parted ways.
Unbeknownst to her, Stark was in Rose Hill in a search for the documents himself, and had already collected the documents from Davis. Brandt, posing as a Homeland Security agent, handcuffed Stark in front of the town Sheriff, claiming she was making an arrest. When the Sheriff got suspicious, Brandt resorted to using her Extremis abilities to heating up her badge and burn the Sheriff's face, seizing his sidearm and using it to kill the Sheriff and another patron, before pursuing Stark.
When Stark threw himself through the window of a diner to avoid being shot at by Eric Savin, Brandt seized a shotgun from another bar patron after incapacitating him and opened fire on Stark herself, although missing. Brandt snuck up on Stark in the diner, and the two fought. Stark used her exothermal powers to his advantage, putting Brandt in a stranglehold with the handcuffs long enough for them to burn off her neck when her healing abilities took effect.
While Brandt was stunned, Stark started a fire using the heated metal from the broken handcuffs and a jerry can of kerosene, and trapped her inside. Brandt walked through the fire, burning her although her Extremis abilities allowed her to survive. Stark made a one-liner assuming she wouldn't walk out alive, only to be shocked when Brandt emerged and began recovering from her sustained burns and injuries.
Brandt mocked Stark for his cheap attempt to kill her and his one-liner, to which Stark sarcastically replied that Brandt's remark could be the name of his autobiography before running away. Brandt realized that Stark had engineered a trap by placing the metal dog tags from Chad Davis' file in a microwave, and rigging it to an exposed gas line. Just as Brandt realized she was set up, the trap ignited and created a powerful explosion, killing her.
Powers and Abilities
Thanks to Extremis, Brandt temporarily displayed various superhuman abilities, such as strength, agility, an enhanced healing factor, and the ability to generate intense heat.
- Superhuman Strength: Extremis enhanced Brandt's muscles to the point of being able to toss Tony Stark around with ease.
- Superhuman Agility: Extremis enhanced Brandt's speed and agility to the point where she was able to quickly disarm a man.
- Regenerative Healing Factor: Due to the effects of Extremis, Brandt managed to regrow her missing limb and withstand many other injuries that would have killed an ordinary human being.
- Exothermic Manipulation: Hosts of the Extremis virus are able to consciously raise the temperature of their body parts. The effect can be controlled to the extent that it might only scorch skin, or increased to the point where it can cause steel to turn into a molten state. Brandt used it to super heat a metal law enforcement badge and used it to burn the face of a sheriff that got in her way of taking Stark.
- Combatant: Due to being a former member of the United States Armed Forces, Brandt is quite skilled hand to hand combat.
- Kimber Custom: The side-arm used by the Rose Hill Sheriff and his deputies. Brandt took it from one of them in Rose Hill and shoot to the Sheriff and the deputy.
- Remington 870: Brandt took this shotgun from one of Rose Hill's citizens before he could attack her with it, and used it to shoot at Tony Stark while he tried to hide inside a diner.
- In the comics, Ellen Brandt is the ex-wife of Man-Thing and the scar on her left cheek is a reference to the scar Man-Thing created by his acid.
Behind the Scenes
- Ellen was originally conceived as Aldrich Killian's main henchman and was intended to return at the end of the Battle on the Norco only to be killed by Pepper Potts. However, it was decided to reassign the henchman role to Eric Savin and replace Brandt for Killian at the climax to give the latter a chance to reveal that he was the "Mandarin."
- Tara Macken was a stunt double for Stephanie Szostak in the role of Ellen Brandt.