Name: Obadiah Stane
Occupation: Business entrepreneur, president
and chairman of the board of Stane International
Legal Status: Citizen of the United States with no criminal record
Other Aliases: The Iron Monger
Place of Birth: Unrevealed
Place of Death: Stane International headquarters, Long Island, New York
Marital Status: Presumed single
Known Relatives: Zebediah
Group Affiliation: President and chairman of the
board of Stane International, head of an organization of various European and
Oriental corporations, ally of Madame Masque
Base of Operations: Various
bases around the world, later principally Stane International headquarters, Long
Island, New York
First Appearance: (hand and voice only) IRON MAN
#163, (fully shown) IRON MAN #166
Final Appearance: IRON MAN #200
History: Obadiah Stane was the son of Zebediah Stane,
a drunkard who was a failure in making a career for himself.
One night, when Obadiah was only a child, his father returned
to the hotel room where they were staying, having just won
a great deal of money gambling. Apparently overjoyed, the
elder Stane told Obadiah that his luck had changed, and
to prove it, Zebediah played Russian roulette with himself,
loading a single bullet into a gun, spinning the chamber,
and then firing the gun at his head. The elder Stane thus
killed himself with his first shot, traumatizing young Obadiah.
Later, Obadiah decided that his father had realized that
the world was his opponent against which he could not succeed,
and had therefore intentionally committed suicide. Now orphaned,
Stane was raised in a succession of foster homes.
By his eighth birthday, Obadiah Stane was completely bald
as a result of the shock of witnessing his father's death.
Ridiculed by his classmates for his baldness, Obadiah became
introverted. He became fascinated by games of chance, especially
chess. Obadiah believed that life was itself a game, at
which his father had lost; Obadiah determined that he himself
would never lose at anything.
One of Stane's fellow students at his school, Bernie Devlin,
was a better chess player than he. Devlin bested Stane in
the penultimate match of a school chess tournament. The
winner of the next game would win the tournament. Stane
secretly slit the throat of Devlin's beloved dog, Ruffer,
and hid the dog's corpse in Devlin's school locker. After
finding Ruffer's body on the day of the final game, Devlin
was so distraught that Stane easily won the tournament.
This episode was the first major example of Stane's use
of psychological warfare in order to get what he wished:
Stane would discover his opponent's weakness and then exploit
it. Stane became an international chess champion while in
In his early twenties Stane worked for an industrialist
whom he came to regard as an incompetent. Perceiving that
the industrialist's primary weakness was his love for his
young wife, Stane faked photographs showing the wife apparently
engaged in an affair with the industrialist's best friend.
The industrialists morale was thereby destroyed, and Stane
soon took control of the company himself. This was the beginning
of Stane's accumulation of a massive fortune: he made his
first million dollars by the age of twenty-five.
Stane began selling munitions made by his company to whatever
buyers offered the best prices for them, often to repressive
dictatorships. Eventually, Stane built his company into
a multinational corporation producing munitions that was
based in Salt Lake City, Utah, with offices in various locations
in the United States and abroad.
Stane decided to create a team of special bodyguards for
himself, the Chessmen, whose costumes and identities derived
from Stana's love of chess.
Stane attempted to form an organization of European and
Oriental industrialists, led by himself, that would act
in defiance of antitrust laws, and even attempt to usurp
power from the leaders of certain nations. Anthony Stark,
the president and chairman of the board of Stark International,
a leading American-based electronics and manufacturing corporation,
opposed Stane's efforts to form such an organization. Stane
had been seeking for a worthy opponent against whom to compete
in a new "game" of business maneuvers, and decided
that Stark was the man he sought. Stane also knew Stark's
principal weakness: Stark was a reformed alcoholic. At this
point Stane had not yet realized that Anthony Stark was
secretly the costumed champion Iron Man.
First, Stane employed an agent codenamed Tattoo to bring
about widespread sabotage at Stark International's Long
Island headquarters. Iron Man thwarted Tattoo, but the latter
died, having secretly been poisoned by Stane. Another of
Stane's secret agents, a woman named Indries Moomji, encountered
Stark and encouraged him to fall in love with her over the
During this time, Iron Man battled various members of the
Chessmen. One of the latter, a Rook, held Stark's best friend,
James Rhodes, captured and poisoned by venomous spiders.
Iron Man defeated the various Chessmen and rescued Rhodes,
but Rhodes had to be hospitalized. Iron Man learned that
Stane was behind these various actions against him and his
company, and confronted Stane, but with no success. By now
Stane's alliance of foreign corporations had succeeded in
outbidding Stark International for certain major foreign
contracts. Then men working for Stane attempted to abduct
or kill Rhodes from his hospital bed; Rhodes escaped, but
Stark did not know what had happened to him. Stark met with
Stane, who arrogantly defied him. Terribly depressed and
near despair, Stark met with Indries Moomji, who coldly
and cruelly rejected him and his love for her, just as she
and Stane had intended. For Stark this was the final blow:
he began drinking alcohol heavily again, and quickly began
his downward slide psychologically as a result.
Due to various recent financial setbacks, Stark International
had a number of large debts. Stane bought up all the company's
debts and also initiated a number of civil suits of an unrevealed
nature against the company. Stark himself no longer even
tried to fight against Stane's obvious takeover attempt
and instead sought solace in drunkenness. As a result, Stane
succeeded in taking control of Stark International and becoming
its new president and chairman of the board, displacing
Stark in both roles. Stane renamed the corporation Stane
International and banned Stark from the premises.
A number of Stark International employees who were loyal
to Stark and opposed Stane's takeover soon resigned, including
Rhodes, Yvette Avril, and executive secretary Bambi Arbogast.
Rhodes had already taken over the role of Iron Man from
the now continually drunken Stark, and saw to it that Stark's
other Iron Man armored suits were destroyed so that neither
Stane nor the international law enforcement agency S.H.I.E.L.D.
could make use of them. Stark had previously manufactured
munitions for S.H.I.E.L.D., but had finally ended munitions production
altogether. Stane had quickly resumed weapons contracts
with S.H.I.E.L.D. upon his takeover, and it has been speculated
that Stane had had S.H.I.E.L.D.'s support all along in his effort
to seize control of Stark International.
Stane arranged for a court order freezing Stark's financial
assets, effectively rendering him penniless. Eventually,
Stane formed an alliance with Stark's enemy and former lover
Madame Masque, who had reassumed control of her "family"
in the criminal Maggia.
After spending many months as a drunken derelict, Anthony
Stark finally resolved to stop drinking after he delivered
the baby of his friend, a fellow derelict named Gretl Anders
during a snowstorm. Gretl died in giving birth, and in trying
to keep the infant live amidst the bitter cold, Stark was
reawakened to the importance of life. Stark and the baby
were both taken to a hospital. Rhodes went there as Iron
Man to see Stark, who told him of his desire to rebuild
his life. Shortly afterwards, Stark, once again having overcome
his alcoholism, joined Rhodes and the siblings Morley and
Clytemnestra Erwin in founding Circuits Maximus, a new California-based
electronics firm. Soon afterwards Stark brought about the
defeat of the Termite, a superhuman criminal who had been
hired by Stane to sabotage Fetison Electronics.
Stane was still convinced that Stark was a hopeless drunkard
and was unaware of Stark's return to constructive activity,
or even of his defeat of the Termite. Then, however, Stane
learned that Stark was being sought by the latter's former
lover Bethany Cabe. Intrigued as to why she was looking
for him, Stane had Cabe captured.
By now Stane and Madame Masque were on the verge of becoming
lovers. Moreover, Stane had correctly guessed by now that
Anthony Stark had been the original Iron Man. Stane speculated
that the Iron Man who had been active since Stark had become
a derelict was either Rhodes or one of the Erwin siblings.
Stane was not aware that recently Stark had reluctantly
gone into action as Iron Man on a few occasions himself.
Madame Masque warned Stane that her informants had told
her that Stark had given up drinking and was active again.
Seeking to destroy the new Iron Man, Stane dispatched the
Circuits Breaker, a device with which he intended to kill
Rhodes and the Erwins. Both Stark and Rhodes went into action
against it, both garbed in Iron Man armor, and Rhodes destroyed
the weapon. Stane then realized that one of the two Iron
Men who had attacked the Circuits Breaker must have been
For reasons that remain unclear, Stane had his employee,
Dr. Theron Atlanta, exchange the consciousnesses of Cabe
and Madame Masque. Then, as part of his new plot to destroy
Stark, Stane had Stark's friends Virginia "Pepper"
Potts Hogan and Bambi Arbogast abducted, and even had Gretl's
infant son Timothy Anders kidnaped. Rhodes, as Iron Man,
thwarted the first attempt to abduct another of Stark's
friends, Harold "Happy" Hogan. In retaliation,
Stane tried to destroy Iron Man by sending a bomb to Circuits
Maximus headquarters. It exploded, killing Morley Erwin
and injuring Rhodes, and Stane's men succeeded in their
second attempt to abduct "Happy" Hogan.
Stark blamed himself for not having stopped Stane before
the latter had killed Erwin and had the others kidnaped.
Determined to stop Stane now, Stark decided to return to
his life as Iron Man, wearing a new, improved suit of armor
he had recently designed.
After Stane had taken over Stark International, a notebook
of Stark's had been found there with cryptic notes about
the workings and construction of Iron Man's armor. Stane
set a team of scientists to work to build a battlesuit called
the Iron Monger based on these notes. Stane intended to
mass produce the suits, perhaps to outfit his own army and
take over one or more nations.
On learning that Iron Man had invaded Stane International's
Long Island headquarters, Stane realized this Iron Man was
indeed Stark, and dispatched a Circuits Breaker and a team
of Chessmen against him. After Iron Man easily overcame
these threats, Stane donned the Iron Monger armor and went
into battle against Iron Man himself. As Iron Monger, Stane
failed to defeat Iron Man, so he finally resorted to the
ploy of seizing the Anders infant and threatening to kill
him unless Iron Man surrendered. Realizing that the Iron
Monger armor was controlled by a computer in a nearby building,
Iron Man destroyed the unoccupied building, causing the
Iron Monger suit to become immobile. Stane dropped the baby,
whom Iron Man caught and brought to safety. Stane gained
some control over the armor, but not enough to avoid a crash
Defeated, Stane committed suicide by removing his helmet
and firing a repulsor ray blast from his armor at his own
head. Stark, as Iron Man, was the only person to witness
Stane's death, and Stane's security personnel quickly removed
the body from the scene.
Stark, as Iron Man, had already freed the Hogans and Mrs.
Arbogast before Stane's death. Shortly after Stane's death
Cabe and Madame Masque regained their rightful bodies. Stark
regained control of his per; sonal fortune, and decided
to make no attempt to regain the presidency and chairmanship
of the board of Stane International. Instead, Stark founded
a new firm, Stark Enterprises, based in California. The
Iron Monger armor somehow fell into the possession of industrialist
Simon Steele, who sent an employee of his wearing the armor
to kill the former adventurer Dominic Fortune. Stark, as
Iron Man, defeated the Iron Monger, and the current whereabouts
of the Iron Monger armor have not been revealed.
Stane's death was never reported in the news media. Only
Stark, a few of Stark's associates, Stane's security personnel,
and top-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. officials are aware of it. Stane
International remains S.H.I.E.L.D.'s chief weapons and technology
supplier, but it has not yet been revealed who currently
oversees Stane International's operations.
Height: 6 ft. 5 in.
Weight: 230 lbs.
Strength Level: Without the Iron Monger armor, Obadiah
Stane possessed the normal human strength of a man of his
age, height, and build who engaged in moderate regular exercise.
The Iron Monger armor gave Stane superhuman strength when
he wore it, enabling him to lift (press) at least 50 tons.
Known Superhuman Powers: None
Weapons: The Iron Monger battlesuit worn by Obadiah
Stane was a sophisticated suit of body armor containing
various offensive weaponry The Iron Monger battlesuit basically
resembled the suit of armor worn by James Rhodes as Iron
Man (Iron Man Armored, Flying Suit Mark V), although it
was considerably larger. The Iron Monger armor boosted Stane's
strength to superhuman levels and was highly resistant to
damage. Each boot contained two miniature, magnetically
powered turbines, which compressed ambient air into incandescence
to generate thrust, thereby enabling the Iron Monger to
fly. The Iron Monger armor contained particle beam emission
units ("repulsor rays") that could project tremendous
concussive force. An intense laser beam, capable of vaporizing
metal within seconds, could be projected from a unit mounted
upon the chest of the Iron Monger battlesuit.