Type: Divergent Earth
Usual means of access: Presumably vibrational attunement
Dominant Life Form: Humans
Significant Inhabitants: A.I.M., Ant-Man (Scott Lang), Bambina Teresa Bliss Arbogast, the Avengers (the Captain, Doctor Pym, Hawkeye, Wonder Man), the Beetle, the Controller, the Crimson Dynamo, Justin Hammer, Iron Man (Tony Stark), Cassie Lang, the Mauler, the Raiders, Jim Rhodes, S.H.I.E.L.D., Simmons, Stilt-Man, Stolz, the Titanium Man
Significant Locations: Avengers Island; Avengers West Coast Compound; Hollywood, California; Stark Enterprises; Transcorp building
First Appearance: What If? II#8 (Mid December, 1989)
History: (What If? II#8) - When Tony Stark discovered that Justin Hammer had been using his technology to supply villains with armored costumes, he sent Ant-Man inside Hammer's computer systems to find a list of criminals that Hammer had funded. While inside, Ant-Man was gassed, but managed to get the list to Tony Stark and Jim Rhodes before passing out. Assuming that Scott Lang had accomplished his mission since the list made it to Stark, both Stark and Rhodes did not even know that Ant-Man had passed out inside the computer. Not long after, Ant-Man was found in the computers by two of Hammer's men, who forced Lang to tell him who he was working for, by using Lang's daughter, Cassie, as a hostage. After Lang squealed to Hammer in exchange for Cassie's safety, Hammer's scientists discovered a way for Justin Hammer to seize control of Iron Man's armor.
When Tony Stark suited up as Iron Man and prepared to stop the criminals using his technology, his mission was cut short when Hammer took control of the Iron Man armor. He then forced Iron Man to fly to Transcorp, Hammer's front company. Once inside the building, Hammer communicated to Iron Man and forced him to sit and jump up into the air. After explaining that he had Ant-Man and Cassie Lang hostage, Hammer forced Iron Man to remove his helmet, revealing his identity of Tony Stark. Once discovering Stark's dual identity, Hammer forced the Iron Man armor to place a collar around Tony's neck that placed him under Hammer's control, even when not wearing the Iron Man suit. After Hammer ordered Tony to explain the defenses and capabilities of the armor, Hammer used the armor to destroy a secret S.H.I.E.L.D. base, as well as the headquarters of the Avengers East and West Coast branches. Shortly after the attack on the Avengers West Coast headquarters, two of Hammer's aides commented to him about how ingenious it was to hide the money that Justin Hammer had gained by selling the information on the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. defenses to their enemies.
The next morning, Justin Hammer ordered Tony Stark to put on the Iron Man armor and destroy his own business of Stark Enterprises. In the resulting explosion, Jim Rhodes was rendered comatose. Following the destruction of Stark Enterprises, Hammer ordered Iron Man to destroy Stark's home and then fly to Los Angeles to reveal his identity to the press. As Hammer gloated to himself about his victory over Iron Man, he and his men were attacked by the Omega Branch of A.I.M., who desired Stark's technology for their own use. When Hammer was attacked, Tony Stark saw an opportunity and flew off to discard his armor and the collar that Hammer was using to control him. Tony then dyed his hair blonde and shaved his mustache, and began contemplating how to stop the horrors being caused by those using his technology. The next day, A.I.M. attacked the band of criminals known as the Raiders, disabling their technology and causing all but one of the Raiders to fall to their deaths. Later in the day, Tony broadcasted a message to all of those using armor based on his designs to meet at the dawn the next day if they valued their lives.
The next day, Tony met with the Controller, the Mauler, Stilt-Man, the Beetle, the Titanium Man, the Crimson Dynamo, and the surviving Raider. Tony then explained to them that they must stop the Omega Branch of A. I. M. or A. I. M. would disable them, just as they did to the Raiders. The Mauler agreed to help Tony, who placed a jamming device on the Mauler's armor to keep A. I. M. from gaining control over it. The Beetle argued that Tony could assume control over their armors using the devices, but eventually also agreed to help, thinking that a few years in prison would be better than getting killed. Once night fell on Los Angeles, Tony and the armored criminals staged an attack on A.I.M.'s base, the former home of Justin Hammer. While the criminals battled A.I.M., Tony crept to the sub-basements of Hammer's estate, where he found a giant suit of armor called Firepower. Minutes later, Tony used the Firepower armor to free Cassie and Scott Lang, leaving Cassie to call an ambulence for the tired and injured Ant-Man. He quickly returned to the Hammer estate, where A.I.M. froze up the criminals' armors using the jammer device that Tony had placed on their suits. Since his armor had no device, Tony used the Firepower armor to destroy A.I.M.'s device, allowing the criminals free movement once again. Driving off A.I.M. from Hammer's estate and capturing the remaining A. I. M. members, Tony explained that if he had to, he would hunt down and reclaim every shred of information that Hammer had sold.
After A.I.M. was rounded, Tony told the criminals that they would have to remove their armors and turn themselves in, or he would have to stop them as well. The criminals teamed up and attacked Tony inside the Firepower armor, but they were stopped by the arrival of Wonder Man, Hawkeye, Doctor Pym, and the Captain. Hawkeye then informed Tony that they would have to take him to jail and angered, Tony began to attack, but instead opted to take his chances in court, as fighting his own friends would mean that Hammer would have won.
Comments: Created by Danny Fingeroth, Greg Capullo, Akin, and Garvey.
This Earth diverges from the events seen in Iron Man I#225-232 (December, 1987-July, 1988).
No known connection to
Justin Hammer was egomaniacal, just like his Earth-616 counterpart. He gained control over Tony Stark's "Silver Centurion" Iron Man armor and eventually Stark himself. After ruining Stark's life, Hammer's life was taken from him by A.I.M., who wanted Stark's technology for themselves.
--What If? II#8 (#8d,
JIM "RHODEY" RHODES
Jim Rhodes was, for the most part, the same as his Earth-616 counterpart, except that he was eventually rendered comatose by Iron Man, who was being controlled by Justin Hammer.
--What If? II#8
Tony Stark was similar for the most part to his Earth-616 counterpart, except that he had dyed his hair blonde and shaved off his mustache to avoid those attempting to get at him through his technology. After defeating A.I.M., Tony decided to turn himself in and take his chances in court for his crimes committed while trying to rid the world of his misused technology.
--What If? II#8
What If? II#8, p5, pan7 (Jim Rhodes)
p7, pan3 (Justin Hammer)
p20, pan1 (armored criminals & Tony in the back)
p21, pan6 (Tony Stark)
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Last Updated: 06/18/05
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