The Iron Monger Armor is the most common name used to refer to the armor developed and used by Obadiah Stane as a rival version of Tony Stark's newly-created Iron Man armor. Unlike Stark, who viewed the Iron Man armor as a tool that could be used for peace, Stane only viewed the armor for its potential as a powerful, revolutionary new weapon system that would alter the modern day arms race, which is reflected in the Iron Monger suit's heavy-weapons-focused design. The Iron Monger Armor was reverse-engineered from studying Stark's salvaged Mark I design.
- "When I ordered the hit on you, I was worried that I was killing the golden goose. But, you see, it was just fate that you survived it, leaving one last golden egg to give. You really think that just because you have an idea, it belongs to you? Your father, he helped give us the atomic bomb. Now what kind of world would it be today if he was as selfish as you?"
- ―Obadiah Stane to Tony Stark
Angered by Tony Stark's actions to shut down Stark Industries' weapons production after returning from captivity in Afghanistan, Obadiah Stane began to take more direct actions against Stark, going as far as making an attempt to shut him out of his own company. After gaining possession of Stark's Mark I armor from the Ten Rings, Stane, only seeing the armor's potential as a new step in weapons technology, ordered a team of scientists under his supervision to reverse-engineer the armor to make a much larger, militarized version of the suit.
However, because one of Stane's scientists was unable to fully grasp the technology that Stark had originally built into the suit, they were unable to create a power source that could adequately power the larger armor. This forced him to confront Stark, paralyzing him with his sonic taser in order to steal his advanced, miniaturized Arc Reactor, while leaving Stark to die.
Learning of Stane's recent actions against Stark and discovering the designs for the Iron Monger armor, Pepper Potts, Phil Coulson, and several other agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. investigated Stane's private facilities at Stark Industries Headquarters for further evidence. While they found the Mark I Armor, along with several more blueprints and computer readouts detailing the suit and a storage area where the suit was being constructed, they found that the suit itself was missing. As the S.H.I.E.L.D agents fanned out to search the rest of the facility, Potts stumbled upon the completed Iron Monger Armor with Stane piloting it. Since Stane heard their approach, he was able to ambush the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and take them out before turning his attention to Potts.
As Stane made his way out of the facility and prepared to kill Potts, Stark arrived in his own armor to stop him. Stark tackled the Iron Monger armor and the two engaged in a battle that quickly moved into the nearby highway. Stark eventually began using his suit's improved rocket thrusters to evade Stane, but this only led Stane to reveal his own suit's flying capabilities before pursuing Stark hundreds of feet into the air. Stane managed to grab Stark, but the Iron Monger suit eventually froze and shut down as they flew higher into the atmosphere. Stark used this opportunity to scramble out of Stane's grasp and caused Stane to plummet hundreds of feet down to the surface. However, by this point Stark's suit had lost most of its power, and he tumbled back to Earth as well.
Stark landed back at his headquarters near the skylight of the Arc Reactor. Stane soon followed, and they continued battling. Stark was caught in the Iron Monger's grasp once again, but was able to escape and ripped out Stane's optical circuits. Stane removed his helmet and gloated that he has done what Stark could not: create an ultimate weapon. Stark continued confronting Stane while telling Potts to charge up the building's Arc Reactor. While Iron Monger had the upper hand and moved closer to killing Stark, Potts overloaded the Arc Reactor, discharging an intense beam of energy into the night sky, shorting out the Iron Monger armor in the process. Stane was knocked unconscious by the huge blast and he and his suit tumbled into the reactor, causing a massive explosion that killed him and destroyed the armor.
Reverse-engineered from Tony Stark's Mark I Iron Man suit, the Iron Monger armor was a powerful, militarized suit created to be the perfect modern weapon, leading Obadiah Stane to boast that, when adequately powered, his suit was "superior in every way" to the Iron Man armor.
The Iron Monger armor is several times larger than the Iron Man suit from which it was derived, primarily due to the fact that Stane was forced to use standard technology to power it. Instead of being worn like a traditional suit of armor, it is instead piloted from a small cockpit inside of the chest cavity, with at least the arms of the suit being controlled independently from within. The chest opens and the helmet swings back in order to allow its operator to enter and leave. Most of the suit’s motion was assisted by a set of powerful, external drive pistons visible on the suit’s legs, arms, and across its shoulders.
The Iron Monger armor gave Obadiah superhuman strength, enabling him to lift at least 50 tons, making him slightly stronger than Stark's Mark III armor (although Stark was wearing the Mark I Arc Reactor when he fought Obadiah). Omnium, a steel alloy of invincible strength, was developed in Stark Industries' Sector 16, specifically for use in the Iron Monger suit. The suit was rather agile for its size, able to quickly catch up to and physically attack an enemy. However, it still had many of the lumbering motions expected of a suit its size and use of drive system.
Most of the armor's weaponry is exposed, except for the missile launcher in his shoulder, unlike Iron Man's, whose armor retracts or separates to reveal its weapons. The armor is equipped with a belt-fed, 23mm, six-barreled gatling gun mounted to its right arm, a rotary grenade launcher mounted to its left arm, Stark S-category missiles, a laser-guided warhead, a stun device, and flight equipment. The Iron Monger's onboard computer had little navigational focus, as the suit was based on Stark's Mark I, which had no computer system. Obadiah made smart targeting the HUD's primary component.
Like Stark's Iron Man armor, Obadiah upgraded the flight capabilities of the Iron Monger suit, giving it flight jets powerful enough to lift the massive suit. The flight jets can either be used during standard operation in short bursts to allow the suit to jump small distances, or the thrusters can reconfigure into a form of flight mode to allow sustained flight.
While boasted to be superior, the armor has at least two key weaknesses: It cannot function at the freezing temperatures of the upper atmosphere, as it will freeze over and suffer a complete shutdown, and many of its core mechanics and wiring is setup on the suits exterior where it can be relatively easily damaged, something Stark exploits to disable its targeting system. These weaknesses can usually be negated as the armor would hardly be required to fly at such heights, and its vastly intimidating appearance and loadout would prevent conventional combatants to get within close combat range. It would have indeed became a game-changing weapon, if not for Stark's intervention.
- In the comics, Obadiah Stane built the Iron Monger Armor based around some design notes that Tony Stark accidentally left behind, instead of reverse-engineering the Iron Man Armor: Mark I.
- The Iron Monger armor is never actually referred to as such in the film, although Stane uses the name in a conversation with Stark to describe their roles in life.
- When using the armor, Stane's voice is enhanced to have a deep, intimidating tone.
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