Art by Ron Lim.
|First appearance||Iron Man #120 (Mar 1979)|
John Romita, Jr.
|Full name||Justin Hammer|
|Team affiliations||Hammer Industries|
Justin Hammer is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. As a frequent adversary of the superhero Iron Man, Hammer exists in Marvel's main shared universe, known as the Marvel Universe.
As he explains in his first major appearance, Hammer 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.
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. 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. 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 he has had a major enemy behind multiple attacks on his interests for years.
With help from the supervillain Force, Hammer next hijacked yachts to smuggle opium into the United States. They battled Iron Man and were defeated. 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.
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.
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). 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. He sent his "B-Team" (Blacklash, Blizzard, and Boomerang) to battle Ghost and Iron Man.
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. 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. He sent Boomerang to raid a Stark Enterprises security office and hired Taskmaster to train the second Spymaster.
Later, Hammer agreed to design a new costume for Rhino. He sent Rhino and Boomerang to battle Cardiac. 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.
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, 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.
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".
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.
In the Ultimate Universe, Justin Hammer first appeared in Ultimate Spider-Man #16 (2002). His late father, Justin Hammer, Sr. was a head industrialist for his time, and now he, Justin Jr. is 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 and paid him for inside information. When Otto Octavius was caught in a lab accident, he was grafted with four metal arms. He blamed Hammer for this, and sought him out for revenge. He attacked Hammer in his limo, and Hammer subsequently died from a heart attack.
Justin Hammer has also been secretly funding superhuman testing directly violating the Superhuman Test Ban Treaty. Two of his more significant subjects were Electro and Sandman, both petty criminals who were given superhuman powers.
He is also responsible for the tech changes made on his daughter Justine Hammer.
In other media
- Justin Hammer appeared as a villain in the Iron Man animated series, voiced by Tony Steedman (in season one) and by Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. (in season two). In this series, he is an enemy of Iron Man and an ally of the Mandarin.
- Justin Hammer appears in Iron Man: Armored Adventures, voiced by Michael Adamthwaite. Depicted as a 21-year old, he is one of season two's main antagonists as well as Hammer Multinational's owner and the Titanium Man armor operator.
- Justin Hammer appears in Avengers Assemble, voiced by Jason Spisak. This version is similar to Sam Rockwell's portrayal from Iron Man 2. In the episode "Super-Adaptoid", he is the creator of the Super-Adaptoid which he unleashes on the Avengers. Hammer (via Super-Adaptoid) managed to find a way to outmatch the Avengers, especially Iron Man, until Captain America bests Hammer's creation. With the Iron Skull displeased at what happened, Hammer failed his audition while Super-Adaptoid managed to successfully impress. In the episode "Savage", Hammer leads a mining operation in the Savage Land to harvest vibranium so that he can get into the Cabal. He uses mind-controlled velociraptors equipped with lasers to capture Captain America, Hawkeye and Falcon when his operation is stumbled upon. With Iron Skull's promise of a right-hand man position, Hammer confronts Tony Stark helped by a tribe of pacifist Rock People. Stark is able to free the others and stop Hammer's mining operation. When Iron Skull during the attack, Hammer calls this a minor setback. After Iron Skull tells Hammer has failed and that their next meeting will be an unpleasant one, Hammer uses his Hammer Buster 3000 laser to attack the Avengers until Stark removes the weapon's charger. In the episode "Exodus", Hammer's proto-weapons lab is raided by MODOK (via Super-Adaptoid) and A.I.M. as the Avengers face off against Super-Adaptoid. When A.I.M. retreats with some of the proto-weapons, Hammer asks the Avengers who will be paying for the damages. In the episode "Crack in the System", Ultron takes control of the Dreadnoughts at Hammer's facility and makes an experimental battle armor form around Hammer. After the Dreadnoughts' destruction, Hammer vows that Iron Man will be hearing from his Board of Directors. In the episode "The Thunderbolts", Hammer sends a bomb, planning to eliminate the Thunderbolts and the Avengers. After the bomb is disarmed, both groups had their members at the different bunkers that Justin is at where the two groups end up fighting his Mandroids. Iron Man and Citizen V found evidence that showed Hammer has connections with the Thunderbolts' publicist Gabby Talbott. Upon the latest bunker being found by the Avengers and the Thunderbolts, Justin attacked both teams in his Mega-Mandroid which has a forcefield ability. Upon the Mega-Mandroid being disabled by Meteorite, Hammer is handed over to the authorities.
- Sam Rockwell portrays Justin Hammer in Iron Man 2. This version is closer to Iron Man (Tony Stark) in age, and is an American defense contractor and rival. Hammer is present when Stark is summoned to Congress to discuss selling Iron Man's armors. When Stark hacks the television screen to show everyone present different people's attempts at an armor, Hammer's company is among the attempts seen where the company's attempt at the armor didn't go well (as the test pilot's suit turned around 180 degrees and severed the pilot's spine). After that footage was shown, Hammer comments that the man in the suit is still alive. In his quest to best Stark, he recruits Whiplash (Ivan Vanko) to build him armored suits after having Vanko sprung from prison. Hammer's company later assisted in turning James Rhodes's confiscated armor into the War Machine armor. Hammer is later betrayed by Vanko and soon thereafter arrested by the police during Iron Man and War Machine's fight with Whiplash.
- Sam Rockwell reprises his role in the Marvel One-Shot titled All Hail the King. He is seen as an inmate at Seagate Prison and is not impressed by Trevor Slattery. Justin Hammer was also shown to have started a same-sex relationship with a younger inmate.
- The Iron Man 2 version of Justin Hammer appears as a playable character in Lego Marvel's Avengers, voiced again by Jason Spisak.
- Sanderson, Peter; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2008). "1970s". Marvel Chronicle A Year by Year History. Dorling Kindersley. p. 189. ISBN 978-0756641238.
Tony Stark's billionaire nemesis Justin Hammer made his first appearance in The Invincible Iron Man #120 by writer David Michelinie and artist John Romita, Jr. and Bob Layton.
- Iron Man #118, 120, 123
- Iron Man #124–127
- Iron Man #140–141
- Iron Man #217
- Iron Man #223–224
- Iron Man #225
- Iron Man #238
- Iron Man #239–240
- Amazing Spider-Man #318–319
- Iron Man #243
- Avengers Spotlight #27
- Iron Man #254
- Deadly Foes of Spider-Man #4
- Amazing Spider-Man #344–345
- Amazing Spider-Man Annual #26; Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #12; Web of Spider-Man Annual #8; New Warriors Annual #2
- Iron Man #281–283
- Incredible Hulk Annual #17
- Iron Man: Bad Blood #1-4
- Matt Fraction (w), Salvador Larocca (a). "Stark Resilient Part 1" The Invincible Iron Man v5, 25 (August 2011), Marvel Comics
- Ultimate Spider-Man #16 (February 2002)
- Ultimate Spider-Man #20 (June 2002)
- Ultimate Spider-Man #17 (March 2002)
- Ultimate Comics Armor Wars #1 (December 2009))
- Rappe, Elisabeth (January 16, 2009). "Sam Rockwell Confirms Himself For 'Iron Man 2'". Cinematical. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
- Costain, Kevin (February 7, 2014). ""Marvel One-Shot: All Hail The King" – Review". Movie Viral. Archived from the original on February 8, 2014. Retrieved February 8, 2014.