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"I wanna make Iron Man look like an antique."
―Justin Hammer to Ivan Vanko[src]

Justin Hammer is the former CEO of Hammer Industries who had formed a strong rivalry with Stark Industries. Seeking to improve his own position and attack Tony Stark, Hammer worked alongside Senator Stern and attempted to damage the public's own view of Stark, however this backfired and Hammer's own opinions with the public were highly damaged. Now furious at Stark for this failure, Hammer recruited Ivan Vanko, a convicted terrorist, to attempt to replicate Stark's Arc Reactor technology, but this backfired when Vanko betrayed Hammer, leading into Hammer being incarcerated inside Seagate Prison for his involvement in Vanko's actions.

Biography

Challenging Iron Man

Aerodynamic Marvel

"Besides, I can't help it if Stark won't play ball with the military and I will, speaking of which, hello genius. Beautiful isn't it, an Aerodynamic Marvel. The next step in close quarter combat, full protection and attack capabilities."
―Justin Hammer to James Rhodes[src]

In an attempt to discredit Tony Stark's Iron Man, Thaddeus Ross soon hired Justin Hammer to develop a single pilot close-quarter combat vehicle with full protection and attack capabilities. Soon, both Hammer and Ross presented the vehicle to Senator Stern in Washington, D.C. and James Rhodes. However, despite Hammer's claims that the vehicle was not vulnerable to surface-to-air attacks, the Congolese Army was able to shoot the plane down during its first mission, leaving the pilot alone in hostile territory, leading to Stark being sent in to successfully rescue the pilot.[1]

Recreating the Iron Man Suit

"Right leg up, higher, arm up, right arm. Okay, left, turn to the right. Oh shit!"
―Justin Hammer[src]
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Hammer tries to recreate Iron Man technology

As Iron Man continued to gain in popularity, Justin Hammer again attempted to discredit him by secretly focusing Hammer Industries' resources into building their own version of the Iron Man suit with a new Arc Reactor, which was something many of governments were attempting to do. The prototypes were unsuccessful however and during one test flight the suit malfunctioned, twisting the pilot's body and seriously damaging his spine, although he managed to survive the incident.[2]

Meeting with the Senator

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Hammer testifies against Tony Stark

"We all know why we're here, in the last six months Anthony Stark has created a sword with untold possibilities, and yet he insists it's a shield. He asks that we trust him as we cower behind it. I wish I were comforted Anthony, I really do. I'd love to leave my door unlocked when I leave the house, but this ain't Canada."
―Justin Hammer[src]

Hammer was called as an expert to prove that Tony Stark's ego and his monopoly on his Iron Man armor was now a danger for the United States of America, as part of Senator Stern's attempt to force Stark to give the Iron Man suit technology to the government. Hammer argued that all Stark's efforts as the Iron Man were not good enough to protect the world, noting that due to the creation of Iron Man, there would be threats which Stark would not be able to foresee, claiming Stark keeping the armor was selfish and dangerous.

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Hammer listens to James Rhodes' statement

Hammer then took his seat as James Rhodes was called to the stand and asked to read out sections on his reports on Iron Man, in Stern's attempt to discredit Stark with his own friend's words. As Hammer remained silent and confident, Stern attempted to prove his point as he showed the many attempts by America's enemies to replicate Iron Man's armor, claiming the technology should be in the government's hands, while under Hammer Industries' close supervision.

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Hammer is utterly humiliated by Tony Stark

However, Hammer was then humiliated by Stark, who proceeded to use J.A.R.V.I.S. to hack the screens and showed Hammer attempting to also recreate the Arc Reactor and armor technology, but ending up injuring the pilot's spine. Hammer tried to save face by confirming the pilot's survival but Stark won the case and confidently walked out of Washington, D.C.. After his public humiliation, Hammer's weapons contract with the United States Armed Forces was suspended.[2]

Duel of Monaco

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Hammer meets with Tony Stark in Monaco

"She's actually doing a big spread on me for Vanity Fair. I thought I'd throw her a bone, you know. Right?"
"Right. Well, she did quite a spread on Tony last year."
"And she wrote a story as well."
―Justin Hammer, Pepper Potts and Tony Stark[src]

Later, Justin Hammer met with Tony Stark and Pepper Potts again as they were both in Monaco, where both of them were supporting one of the cars involved in the upcoming race. Hammer had come to the race with Christine Everhart, a journalist who was flirting with him for having some scoops about the new current status of his own company, Hammer Industries and an interview for her magazine, Vanity Fair, however before the interview started she was told by Stark that Hammer lost his own contract with the United States Armed Forces, forcing Hammer to then defend his companies' future.

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Hammer is interviewed by Christine Everhart

As Hammer's interview with Everhart went underway, he attempted to claim that Stark's comments were merely playful banter between the pair and that Hammer Industries and Stark Industries were still continuing a close relationship. they noticed on the television that Stark had taken control of his own car and decided to race it himself. This led to Everhart quickly making excuses and leaving the interview to follow up this story instead, much to Hammer's annoyance.

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Hammer watches Whiplash fighting Iron Man

Having been left alone, Hammer then watched the race unfold and witnessed the terrorist, Ivan Vanko, step onto the track with his own weaponized armor complete with electrified whips and attempt to assassinate Stark by cutting his car in half and causing it to crash. While most people around him watched in horror as Stark battled against Whiplash, Hammer studied the terrorist's technology closely to try and understand how it had been made by Vanko.

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Hammer decides to recruit Ivan Vanko

Stark survived the attack when Happy Hogan had successfully driven onto the track and given him his Mark V Armor and Vanko was then arrested, but Hammer saw an opportunity in finding someone who had successfully made a new Arc Reactor powered suit, considering how to build his own Hammer Armors. While Vanko was being taken away into custody, Hammer immediately began making calls in order to arrange his escape from prison so they could meet.[2]

Working with Ivan Vanko

Organising a Prison Break

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Hammer introduces himself to Ivan Vanko

"What I saw you did to Tony Stark on that track, how you stepped up to him in front of God and everybody, that was... Wow!"
―Justin Hammer to Ivan Vanko[src]

Hammer had Ivan Vanko freed from prison and his death to be faked before he took him to his personal secret storage facility where they could talk in private. Once Vanko was taken out of the van he had been taken in, Hammer greeted him with a table filled with dinner and smiled upon his arrival, telling the guards to remove his handcuffs as a sign of friendship before inviting Vanko to sit down with him and eat dinner.

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Hammer explains how to destroy Tony Stark

While Vanko remained confused as to why he had now been brought there, while Hammer explained that Hammer Industries would like to do business with him. While Vanko tried to understand why Hammer had brought him there Hammer explained that upon seeing all that Vanko had done to Tony Stark during the recent Duel of Monaco, he had become impressed and wanted to take advantage of Vanko's talents at outdoing Stark's own Arc Reactor technology.

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Hammer makes his new deal with Ivan Vanko

Vanko showed he was interested as Hammer explained to Vanko that he had to build for him many armors so advanced that Iron Man's would become old news. Vanko agreed, although there was a brief moment when Hammer believed that Vanko only spoke Russian which he then explained he did not. Vanko agreed to do all this for Hammer as long as Hammer arranged to have his pet bird flown in from Russia, which Hammer then agreed to do for him.[2]

Recruiting Ivan Vanko

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Hammer gives Ivan Vanko a warehouse tour

"I want to go to that Stark Expo and take a dump in Tony's front yard, you know what I'm talking about?"
"I can do that, no problem."
"Hey, fabulous! I love it, hey this is our guy! Didn't I tell you!"
―Justin Hammer and Ivan Vanko[src]

As they toured the Hammer Industries Headquarters, Hammer then proudly showed off all of his Hammer Armors to Ivan Vanko. Vanko examined all the prototype suits, pulling the head off one to examine the inside, much to Hammer's horror when he considered the cost of that prototype. Vanko then hacked into the facilities' own security systems with little effort and even called all of it shit.

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Hammer and Ivan Vanko discuss their plan

As Vanko asked him what exactly he wanted, Hammer explained that he wanted to finally make Tony Stark irrelevant in the modern age of weapons, so Hammer Industries could then take over as the key weapons supplier for all of the United States Armed Forces and take over from Stark Industries. Vanko seemed to agree with Hammer's plans and agreed to do the work to improve his technology so that Stark and his own company could lose their credibility.[2]

Ivan Vanko's Ideas

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Hammer gives Ivan Vanko his new pet bird

"That's not a helmet, it's a head. I need to get a guy in there, I need to put a person in that in that suit. You understand?"
"Drone better."
"What? Drone better? Why is drone better?"
―Justin Hammer and Ivan Vanko[src]

Over the next few days Ivan Vanko worked tirelessly inside Hammer Industries Headquarterson designing the newest suits for Hammer, as a reward Hammer then brought in a bird, claiming it to be Vanko's own from Russia. However after only examining the new bird for just a moment, Vanko noted that this was not his own bird but a new bird, which Hammer was forced to admit was the case.

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Hammer is given the Hammer Drones instead

When Hammer noticed that his armors had now been redesigned, he told Jack to try to wear the suit to demonstrate that it was no longer wearable which did not seem to bother Vanko. Remaining confident, Vanko told Hammer that building the new Hammer Drones was the best choice, and convinced him that drones were better than armors as people made problems. Hammer believed Vanko's claims, but he did not realize Vanko was making them for his purposes.[2]

Upgrading War Machine

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Hammer has a meeting with James Rhodes

"I'll take it."
"Which one?"
"All of it."
James Rhodes and Justin Hammer[src]

Hammer was contacted by Meade, a General of the United States Air Force, who had just recently received Tony Stark's own Mark II Armor as he had been taken into the custody of the United States Air Force by James Rhodes. Seeking to upgrade the armor for the military, Meade had summoned Hammer to Edwards Air Force Base to improve and weaponize the suit, much to the utter delight of Hammer who came straight there to make the deal in order to see the suit.

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Hammer shows weapons to James Rhodes

Taking great delight at the chance to personally design the new War Machine Armor, Hammer then proceeded to demonstrate all of the weapons he would use in order to weaponize the armor with the best of the weapons produced by Hammer Industries. Seeing that Rhodes and Meade were not overly impressed by the machine guns he was showing off, which even included a mini-gun, Hammer eventually showed them the Ex-Wife Missile which he had described as strong enough to destroy even the strongest enemy bunker with a single strike, believing this would be enough to win him the job to work on and redesign one of Iron Man's armors with his technology.

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Hammer agrees to upgrade the War Machine

Having shown off every weapon that Hammer Industries had to offer, Hammer turned to Rhodes and simply asked what he was thinking, noting that he could not get any read of Rhodes' facial expression. However Rhodes noted he would take not just some of the weapons but all of them, leading to Hammer creating Mark I Armor, which he intended to introduce the Hammer Drones at the Stark Expo during his upcoming showcase of all of his newest technology.[2]

Betrayed by Vanko

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Hammer plays some golf with Senator Stern

"Слишком много говоришь"[3]
"I don't know if you know this, but I don't speak Russian! I'm gonna leave now, I'm gonna go to the Expo. Maybe I'll even get laid. See these guys, they're your babysitters, they are not to be trifled with."
Ivan Vanko and Justin Hammer[src]

While playing another round of golf with Senator Stern, Hammer was contacted by Ivan Vanko with an update on the design of the new Hammer Drones, wanting to know what they would be capable of doing at the Stark Expo presentation. Vanko informed him that he he would only be able to make them salute and not fire their weapons, much to Hammer's dismay as he needed something better.

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Hammer prepares to confront Ivan Vanko

Furious about having been lied to and let down by Vanko, Hammer stormed into the Hammer Industries Headquarters and straight into Vanko's room where he found Vanko relaxing with the bird Hammer had given him. Hammer confronted Vanko with two security guards, ordering his men to take Vanko's bird, shoes and pillow away from him to demonstrate how it felt to have his things stolen from you, all while Vanko remained calm and silent as Hammer yelled.

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Hammer yells at Ivan Vanko for betraying him

Having made him suitably uncomfortable, Hammer then told Vanko that he was now heading onto the Stark Expo to demonstrate the Hammer Drones and a new War Machine Armor as well, and when Vanko spoke back to him in Russian, Hammer just yelled again about him not understanding what Vanko was now saying. Hammer then confidently left Vanko with his guards to watch over him, leaving for the Expo Demonstration, hoping to have sex while there.[2]

Battle at Stark Expo

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Hammer gives his speech at the Stark Expo

"Ladies to gentlemen, for far too long this country has had to place it's brave men and women in harms way, but then the Iron Man arrived, and we thought the days of losing lives were behind us. Sadly that technology was kept out of reach, that's not fair."
―Justin Hammer[src]

As Hammer attended the Stark Expo, he stepped onto the stage with a brief and goofy introduction where confidently he danced on stage to music, trying to one-up Tony Stark's own presentation a few months earlier. Hammer told the audience how the Iron Man technology had failed to save all the lives on their soldiers overseas, promising he had the solution for saving thousands of American lives.

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Hammer shows off all of his Hammer Drones

Promising to present the newspapers with an even more impressive story, Hammer proudly showed off all the newest technology from Hammer Industries as all of the Hammer Drones were presented to the audience. Hammer explained how the Drones could be used by all of the branches of the United States Armed Forces in order to replace the soldiers on the ground as well as in the navy, air force and marines. As the audience cheered and clapped for the drones, Hammer became even more confident as he began charging around the stage to present the drones as they rose onto the stage.

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Hammer presents the new War Machine armor

Finally Hammer explained that he would always have a key role for a human at the command of his new army of Hammer Drones and then presented the War Machine Armor, while also introducing Lieutenant Colonel James Rhodes as the pilot of the armor. With his drones and the War Machine on stage, Hammer gave a salute which was greeted by one in return from all of the Drones, as promised, while Hammer vowed that his drones would protect the American people.

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Hammer is furiously confronted by Iron Man

The demonstration was interrupted by Iron Man, who has discovered that Hammer was working with Ivan Vanko. Hammer initially tried to play off the situation and nervously deny all knowledge of Vanko's survival, but Vanko remotely took control of the Hammer Drones and of War Machine's armor, starting a massive attack on the Expo. As the attack started Hammer dived to safety off the stage as his drones fired upon the audience causing a large battle to unfold.[2]

Arrested by the FBI

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Hammer attempts to locate Ivan Vanko

"I'll get my revenge on you, someday!"
―Justin Hammer to Pepper Potts[src]

While Iron Man defended himself from the attack during the Battle at Stark Expo, Hammer sought to right his wrongs and come out better from the attack, so he attempted to have all of his technicians regain control of all the Hammer Drones as well as the War Machine Armor, finding that the pass-codes had now been changed so they were locked out of the system and unable to shut down the drones, so Hammer suggested that they try entering the codes in Russian to find the right answer.

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Hammer is questioned by Natasha Romanoff

Hammer's attempts to resolve the situation were soon halted by the arrival of both Pepper Potts and Natasha Romanoff, whom Hammer demanded leave so his men could continue their work. As Hammer was refusing to help, Romanoff took the matter into her own hands, pinning Hammer down and forced him to reveal Ivan Vanko's location at the Hammer Industries Headquarters by slamming his head onto the table and twisting his arm painfully backwards.

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Hammer is arrested for all of his own crimes

While Romanoff and Happy Hogan went to confront Vanko, Potts in turn called the police and had Hammer arrested for his complicity with Vanko. As he was taken away, Hammer assured her that this was no problem for him and he would be back and vowed revenge against both Tony Stark and Potts. While Hammer was taken into custody, his Hammer Drones were destroyed and Vanko was killed during his final battle against Iron Man and War Machine.[2]

Life in Seagate Prison

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Hammer and his boyfriend in Seagate Prison

"What is so special about him? I mean, I had an army of robots. What's he got? He's got some dumb accent. His name's Trevor. What is that? It's like if Bin Laden and Benny Hill had a baby."
―Justin Hammer talking about Trevor Slattery[src]

Justin Hammer was sent to Seagate Prison after being arrested at the Stark Expo.[4] His stay at Seagate prison was kept a secret from a part of the inmate population, though rumors still persisted of a millionaire residing somewhere within Seagate by the time of Carl Lucas's prison sentence.[5] While being interviewed for a documentary, Hammer, who had apparently developed a relationship with a much younger man, stated that he resented Trevor Slattery and felt that he should be more recognized. During the interview, his partner made a gesture to him which he dismissed. At the same time, he was reading a Forbes magazine with Pepper Potts featured on the cover.[6]

Personality

"So now you like the bird, is that right? Isn't that your bird? I'm confused, you said it wasn't, but now it looks like you're best of pals! You love that bird, don't you? You know what, take the bird. Take his pillows, too. Both of them. And his shoes. Take his shoes. I took your stuff. How's that make you feel? Do you feel bad? Good. 'Cause that's how I feel! We had a contract! I save your life, and you give me suits! That was our deal."
―Justin Hammer[src]

Justin Hammer is a self-centered businessman and rival to Tony Stark. Whilst overconfident, Hammer is also incompetent in terms of the quality of his technology, some of which are faulty altogether and even dangerous to the user, such as an attempt to replicate Stark's Iron Man Armor results in the injury of the pilot, the outdated software at Hammer Industries described as "shit" by Ivan Vanko and the Ex-Wife Missile, despite selling it as a weapon of mass destruction, does not even scratch Vanko's Whiplash Armor Mark II.

Following the repeated media attention being distracted from Hammer Industries to Stark, especially since the reveal of Iron Man's identity and his subsequent humiliation, Hammer began engaging in legally dubious activities to finally gain the upper hand over Stark, even breaking the terrorist Ivan Vanko out of prison and getting him to assist Hammer. Though a self-proclaimed businessman, Justin Hammer seems to be without his own original ideas such as creating a Hammer Expo, a few months after Stark's own Expo, and lining it with drones (but Hammer initially asked for suits instead) and selling the War Machine Suit as his own, despite it being granted to him by Rhodes from Stark Industries. Hammer is also willing to endure repeated insults to himself and his company for a period of time for the greater good of matters, as he does with Vanko. However, when pushed to the edge, Hammer can undergo furious, almost temper-traumatic rants against an individual who wronged him.

Abilities

  • Expert Engineer: Though Hammer is not of the same caliber as Tony Stark, he has created a number of weapons that has impressed the United States government, replacing Stark Industries when it stopped creating them. Among his inventions are the Aerodynamic Marvel, the Battle Tank, and the Ex-Wife Missile.
  • Expert Businessman: Hammer runs an industry that rivals Stark Industries and has government and military contracts. Hammer had hoped to use Ivan Vanko to create Arc Reactors for Hammer Industries when he saw the business opportunities that that technology provided.

Equipment

This section requires expansion
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Hammer shows off his arsenal of weapons

To be added

Justin Hammer Designs

Relationships

Allies

Enemies

Appearances

Appearances for Justin Hammer

In chronological order:

Trivia

  • In the comics, Justin Hammer is much older and more cynical than his movie counterpart, and his hatred of Tony Stark is much more apparent. The reason for this change was to create a more anti-Tony Stark-type character by having him around the same age.
  • In early storyboards, Hammer is killed by War Machine while he was controlled by Whiplash.

References

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe wiki has a collection of images and media related to Justin Hammer.

External Links