Justin Hammer

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Justin Hammer
JustinHammerHandbook.png
Justin Hammer.
Art by Ron Lim.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Iron Man #120 (March 1979)
Created by David Michelinie
John Romita Jr.
Bob Layton
In-story information
Full nameJustin Hammer
Place of origin Surrey, England
Team affiliationsHammer Industries
AbilitiesGenius-level intellect
Expert strategist

Justin Hammer is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character is depicted as a villainous entrepreneur and a frequent adversary of the superhero Iron Man. As he explains in his first major appearance, he is the reason why many of Iron Man's supervillain enemies have access to extremely advanced technology and why these foes use their equipment for violent crimes instead of profiting by bringing the designs to market. Hammer reveals that the villains are his underworld mercenaries, secretly armed and contractually obliged to fulfill missions against Hammer's competitors and enemies, such as Tony Stark.

Contents

Sam Rockwell portrayed the character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film Iron Man 2 (2010), [1] and the short film All Hail the King .

Publication history

Justin Hammer first appeared in Iron Man #120 (March 1979), and was created by David Michelinie, John Romita Jr., and Bob Layton. [2] [3] Layton himself recalled in a 2014 interview that he and Michelinie originally created Hammer as the cautionary tale of what kind of person Tony Stark might have become if he stayed on his path as a global war profiteer, as well as a tribute to actor Peter Cushing; in Layton's words, Stark and Hammer are essentially in the same line of work, but with diametrically opposed moral views. [4]

Fictional character biography

Justin Hammer was born in Surrey, England and later became a citizen of Monaco. A rival of industrialist Tony Stark (Iron Man), multi-billionaire businessman Hammer later became a criminal financier using unethical methods. [5] In exchange for fifty percent of the crime profits, he would pay bail for costumed criminals and finance the development and replacement of both their weaponry and equipment. In the event that a mercenary under his employ violated his contract, Hammer would send an enforcement unit (usually led by his most reliable supervillain employee Blacklash) to attack the rogue and confiscate his assigned equipment.

At the start of the Demon in a Bottle storyline, Hammer invented a device called the Hypersonic Scan Transmitter which allowed him to take control of Iron Man's armor. He tested this remote control affecting Iron Man's unibeam, sealing plates, and boot jets. [6] Angered that he had lost a lucrative bid to Stark International, he took control of Iron Man's armor and forced him to kill the Carnelian ambassador, and set an army of superhuman criminals (consisting of Beetle I, Constrictor, Discus, Leap-Frog, Man-Killer, Porcupine I, Stiletto, and Water Wizard) against Iron Man. Ultimately, Tony Stark not only cleared his name and destroyed the control device, but finally learned that a major enemy was behind multiple attacks on his interests for years. [7]

With help from the supervillain Force, Hammer next hijacked yachts to smuggle opium into the United States. They battled Iron Man and were defeated. [8] When Stark lost his company to Obadiah Stane, Hammer left the destitute Stark to his own devices while continuing with his own enterprises. When Stark recovered and re-entered the business world with Stark Enterprises, Hammer sent the Adap-Tor (a robotic attack drone disguised as a helicopter) to attack the new company as a way of "welcoming" Stark back. [9]

For a time, Hammer frequently hired the villain group known as the Death Squad in an attempt to kill both Tony Stark and Iron Man, but fired the group after they constantly failed.[ citation needed ]

When Force later attempted to go straight, Hammer sent Beetle, Blacklash, and Blizzard II to retrieve Force, but they were defeated by Force with help from Iron Man and Jim Rhodes. [10]

During the "Armor Wars" storyline, Hammer had Tony Stark's Iron Man technology stolen by Spymaster and sold it to a number of superhumans who wore powered armor (including Stilt-Man, the Raiders, the Mauler, Beetle, Crimson Dynamo and the Titanium Man). [11] Iron Man set about to disable the Stark-based technology in the suits in question, going so far as to also disable sanctioned technology in the armor of S.H.I.E.L.D.'S Mandroids and the Vault's Guardsmen, leading him into conflict with The Captain and his fellow Avengers.

Hammer later sent the Rhino (who Hammer once provided a removable version of his armor to) to break Blizzard out of prison. [12] He sent his "B-Team" (Blacklash, Blizzard, and Boomerang) to battle Ghost and Iron Man. [13]

Hammer redesigned Scorpion's tail and sent him to abduct General Musgrave. When Scorpion refused to complete his mission, Hammer sent Blacklash and the Rhino to retrieve the tail. [14] Hammer later learned that Tony Stark had been shot, and ordered a batch of orchids to be sent to him with a card expressing condolences should he live. [15] He sent Boomerang to raid a Stark Enterprises security office [16] and hired Taskmaster to train the second Spymaster. [17]

Later, Hammer agreed to design a new costume for Rhino. [18] He sent Rhino and Boomerang to battle Cardiac. [19] With the Life Foundation, Roxxon Oil, Stane International, and the Brand Corporation, he abducted a number of superhuman beings to analyze their abilities. He also helped the first Sphinx to reclaim the Ka-Stone. [20]

Years later, it was revealed that Hammer had obtained Stane International after the death of its chairman Obadiah Stane, causing problems for Tony Stark through his old company. With operatives of HYDRA, Roxxon Oil, Moroboshi International, and the Trinational Commission, he tricked the Masters of Silence into attacking Stark Enterprises. Even when forced to sell his stock in Stane International to Stark for the sum of one dollar, [21] Hammer had the last laugh when all the shady dealings and irresponsible, or even criminal actions of Stane International came back to bite Tony later.

Hammer later sent Barrier, Blacklash, and Ringer to recruit Luis Barrett to become the new Thunderbolt. The three villains were foiled by the Pantheon. [22]

Discovering that he had been diagnosed with an incurable cancer-like illness, Hammer resolved to destroy Tony Stark before he died. He infected Stark's bloodstream with mood-altering nanites that made Stark irrational and temperamental. In a final confrontation with Iron Man on Hammer's own space station, Hammer was accidentally frozen in a block of ice when the water he fell into leaked out into space and instantly froze and is currently lost in space. While observing his frozen body drifting in Earth's orbit, Iron Man reflected that his foe would now "live forever". [23]

Justin is later revealed to be the father of Justine Hammer and the grandfather of Sasha Hammer. [24]

Powers and abilities

Justin Hammer is a normal, middle-aged man. He has a degree in commerce and business, and is an extremely efficient administrator with a genius-level intellect. He has access to various forms of advanced technology designed by his technicians.

Other versions

Ultimate Marvel

The Ultimate Universe version is referred to as Justin Hammer, Jr. and is depicted as an industrialist. His late father Justin Hammer Sr. was a head industrialist and now he is the CEO of Hammer Industries and is from the south of the US rather than from Britain. He was rivals with Norman Osborn and was Osborn Industries's main competitor. In an effort to surpass Osborn Industries, Hammer hired Osborn's top scientist Otto Octavius for inside information. [25] Octavius gets caught in a lab accident which grafted with four metal arms, blaming Hammer for this and sought him out for revenge. Doctor Octopus attacked Hammer in his limo, and Hammer subsequently died from a heart attack during Doctor Octopus' fight with Spider-Man. [26]

Justin Hammer Jr. has also been secretly funding superhuman testing directly violating the Superhuman Test Ban Treaty; two of his more significant subjects were Electro and Sandman. [27]

Justin Hammer Jr. is also responsible for the tech changes made on his daughter Justine Hammer. [28]

Earth X

In the Earth X reality where a Terrigen epidemic mutates most of the world population, Hammer is murdered by Norman Osborn on his rise to being President of the United States. [29]

In other media

Television

Film

Video games

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References

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