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Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges in Iron Man) (Marvel Movies)

Obadiah Stane the Iron Monger

(Movie version)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Iron Man was a 2008 movie from Marvel Studios. It worked remarkably well, and played a critical role in establishing the Marvel Cinematic Universe has both good entertainment and a huge commercial success.

The main antagonist was a version of Obadiah Stane played by Jeff Bridges, though there were ample differences from the Stane seen in the old Iron Man comics.

The armor used by Stane is not named in the movie. Stane once refers to weapon manufacturers in general as “iron mongers”, which was also the name of the equivalent armor in the comics. Thus Iron Monger seemed an apt label to differentiate Stane’s armor from Stark’s Iron Man designs.


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Background

  • Real Name: Obadiah Stane.
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed, presumably single.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: Stark Industries.
  • Base Of Operations: Stark Industries’ Southern California Campus.
  • Height: 6’1” Weight: 185 lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Bald with a salt-and-pepper beard.


Powers & Abilities

Obadiah Stane is an experienced business manager and negotiator. He’s able to make connections at all levels of society through a combination of his own persuasive powers and the resources of Stark Industries.

In addition to his above-board resources, Stane has less ethical agents in his employ. Beyond his contacts among the Ten Rings terrorist group, he had a cadre of highly-skilled mercenaries who were willing to abet him in extra-legal activities.

This group was capable to overcome a larger group of armed men holding them at gunpoint so quietly that they gave no warning to their leader inside a tent immediately adjacent. They showed no hesitation in executing these prisoners en masse at Stane’s orders. One can use the special forces operators stats in the Stock Soldiers article if needed.

He also has access to Stark Industries military technology, including rare prototypes, but almost never has interest in or the need to take direct physical action against others.


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Power armor, part 1

The Iron Monger power armor  used by Stane in his final attempt to kill Tony Stark and his associates was meant to be the first of a new line of Stark Industries weapons. It was constructed by Obadiah Stane’s researchers in an attempt to replicate Tony’s Iron Man armor based on his original prototype.

Lacking Stark’s genius, those scientists were not able to build a suit as compact or versatile as Stark’s. Still, its greater size gave it an advantage in strength and durability. Lacking repulsor technology, the suit’s armament included more traditional weaponry including a Gatling gun and two separate missile launcher systems.

The Iron Monger was able leap and even fly using conventional jump jets at the price of slower acceleration and limited maneuverability.

Power armor, part 2

Though Stane was untrained to pilot such a device he was able to do so fairly capable due to computer-assistance programs included in the Iron Monger’s software. Once the armor’s computer systems were disabled he was only able to move the armor very clumsily.

Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges)'s big Iron man armor on a white background

The armor’s loudspeakers can disguise the user’s voice by overlaying it with a metallic timbre. Yet this is not sufficient to completely conceal the user’s identity from those familiar with his voice.

The Iron Monger armor is vulnerable to cold temperatures of approximately -70 degrees F (-57°C) or lower, as Obadiah discovered when he flew after Stark to an altitude over 40,000 feet. Under these conditions a rime of ice will quickly form over the armor and its on-board computers will shut down.

The armor’s systems will reboot fairly quickly once it is no longer exposed to these low temperatures.

Sonic weaponry

Stane also used a sonic paralyzer. This is a small hand-held unit that can temporarily paralyze living being with a high-pitched frequency. Most healthy adult humans will be rendered immobile but conscious for approximately 15 minutes, though strong-willed individuals may be able to overcome the device’s effects more quickly.

Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) takes out Tony Stark with a sonic paralyzer

It has a very limited range, requiring it to be held close to a target’s head. A person paralyzed by this means will show a distinctive pattern of raised arteries near the ear exposed to the paralyzer’s sound, somewhat similar to varicose veins but darker. This will fade as the effects of the paralyzer wear off.

Stane further used sound cancellation earbuds. These earbuds are designed to be used in tandem with the sonic paralyzer, allowing the paralyzer to be used without the risk of rendering its user immobile. The earbuds look like typical small black earpieces with a small blue LED that lights up when they are active.


Video

A deleted scene from Iron Man, with Stane giving a big speech to his research team.


History

Obadiah Stane came to prominence as Howard Stark’s business partner and close friend. Stane stepped in as an interim president to run Stark Industries when Howard and Maria Stark were killed in a car accident. A few years later, when Tony Stark turned 21 and took the reigns of the company as CEO, Stane stayed on as the chairman of the board.

(Obadiah Stane’s precise role at Stark Industries is vague in the movie. But given his apparent role in managing Stark Industries’ day-to-day activities he is likely the Chief Operations Officer (COO).)

Over the next two decades, Obadiah appreciated the new technology Tony’s genius provided for the company. But he came to resent the upstart youth for reaping the benefits and glory of being Stark Industries’ CEO while Stane did the actual day-to-day management of the company

A cave in Afghanistan

When Stark went to Afghanistan to display a new missile system, Stane seized on the opportunity to have him eliminated. He bribed a cell of the Ten Rings terrorist group to attack Stark’s military convoy and kill everyone in it.

The group recognized Stark and took him captive instead. They forced him to work with another captive scientist named Yinsen to build them one of Stark’s new Jericho missile systems.

Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) in a business suit

Recognizing that the terrorists would kill them both once their work was done, Stark and Yinsen contrived to build two devices. The first was a miniaturized arc reactor that would create a magnetic field in order to keep the shrapnel from Tony’s wounds from sinking deeper and entering his heart.

The arc reactor would also power their second device, a primitive powered armor that would effect their escape.

Stark’s alive

Stark’s armor allowed him to escape as hoped, though Yinsen was killed in the break-out. Tony’s armor fell apart afterward and he left it in the desert. He was recovered shortly thereafter by US forces searching the desert for him. Despite his true feelings, Stane faked a warm welcome for Tony.

As frustrated as Obadiah was by Stark’s survival, he became nearly apoplectic when Tony announced that his company would no longer manufacture weapons.

Stane was encouraged to hear that Stark had made a breakthrough in arc reactor technology by building the miniaturized version in his chest, the original arc reactor being the size of a small house. But he was blocked again when Tony refused to give the designs to Stark Industries’ research and development department.

Betrayals

In response, Stane filed an injunction against Tony on behalf of Stark Industries. He argued that Tony’s recent decisions were not in the company’s best economic interests. To maintain his relationship with Tony for the moment, Obadiah told him that the board of directors had filed the injunction despite his best arguments.

Tony then found out that Stark Industries was still selling weapons to the Ten Rings. Obadiah confessed to being the one who filed the injunction and thus locking Tony out of Stark Industries’ decision-making processes. Stane quietly berated Stark for his naïveté and told him that these steps were only being taken to protect Stark from himself.

After Iron Man’s initial intervention in Afghanistan, Stane went there to meet with his Ten Rings collaborators, who promised him the weapon used to escape their captivity. The Ten Rings had collected the remains of Tony’s prototype armor. They offered those to Stane in exchange for being provided with some of the powered armors Stane would be able to create after reverse-engineering the design.

Stane double-crossed them instead, having his bodyguard contingent kill all of the Ten Rings members gathered there and taking the armor back to America in secret.

The clash

Stane had his researchers attempt to build an upgraded version of Tony’s prototype armor, but the lacked the expertise to create the miniaturized arc reactor critical for powering it.

When Obadiah discovered that Pepper Potts had uncovered data tying him to the Ten Rings and Tony’s kidnapping, he took desperate measures to protect himself. Ambushing Tony in his house, Stane used his sonic paralyzer on Stark. He then pulled the arc reactor out of Tony’s chest to power the armor Stane’s technicians had built.

Obadiah Stane flying his armor suit

Stane left Tony for dead, but Stark was able to reach his original arc reactor and place it in his chest. By this time Stane had used his stolen arc reactor to activate his Iron Monger armor and was attempting to kill Pepper Potts and the SHIELD agents she had informed of his crimes.

Tony confronted Stane as Iron Man, and the two fought to a standstill on the roof of the Stark Industries prototype arc reactor.

At Tony’s direction, Pepper Potts overloaded the S.I. arc reactor. The resulting blast tore through the roof and stunned both armored men. While Iron Man was thrown safely aside, the Iron Monger toppled downward. The armor crashed into reactor, vaporizing them both in a tremendous explosion that brought Stane’s ambitions to an abrupt end.


Description

Obadiah is a 60-ish white male with a bald head and a well-trimmed salt-and-pepper beard. His default demeanor is pleasant and inviting, but quickly becomes stone cold when his goals are threatened and he feels the need to put others in their place.

Stane is usually dressed in well-tailored conservative dark blue or gray business suits. Even in informal circumstances, he often wears a dress shirt and slacks.


Personality

While Stane takes pains to present a superficially avuncular persona that can be trusted by others. But he is in fact an extremely ruthless man who will go to great lengths to preserve the power he has and acquire more.

He likes to couch this in terms of the Big Picture, of doing what is needed to keep America safe by keeping it strong. But ultimately his efforts serve to aggrandize himself first and foremost.

He has a taste for the finer things in life, from expensive suits to gourmet pizzas, and sometimes relaxes or takes the edge off of a stressful moment with a good cigar.

Stark contrasts

Stane has built up a great deal of resentment over his dependence on Tony Stark’s genius to keep Stark Industries growing. He has become willing to make illegal deals with terrorist groups including arms smuggling to extend his company’s reach without Tony’s involvement and assassination contracts to eliminate Stark.

This resentment also causes him to underestimate Stark’s genius. While Obadiah admitted some concern that murdering Tony would be killing the Golden Goose, he generally doubted Tony had any more substantial breakthroughs to contribute.

He was at first dismissive of the miniaturized arc reactor and then furious when his researchers could not duplicate it despite having much greater resources available. During their battle, Obadiah insisted his armor was more advanced that Tony’s in every way. That was even after seeing that the Iron Man armor had entire technologies such as repulsor transmitters that the Iron Monger lacked.

Once he climbed into the Iron Monger armor, Obadiah became reckless from the rush of raw physical power it provided. He no longer cared about preserving his secrets or his position, lost in the visceral thrill of literally crushing his enemies.


Quotes

“We’re iron mongers, we make weapons.”

Raza: (Pointing to his burn scars) “Compliments of Tony Stark.”
Stane: “Well, if you’d killed him when you were supposed to, you’d still have a face.”

Stane: “William, here is the technology. I’ve asked you to simply make it smaller.”
William Riva: “Okay, sir, and that’s what we’re trying to do, but honestly, it’s impossible.”
Obadiah Stane: “Tony Stark was able to build this in a cave ! With a bunch of scraps !”

“Do you really think that just because you have an idea, it belongs to you ?”

“For 30 years, I’ve been holding you up ! I built this company up from nothing ! Nothing is going to stand in my way. Least of all… you !”

(While in the Iron Monger armor) “I LOVE THIS SUIT !”


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Obadiah Stane

Dex: 02 Str: 02 Bod: 02 Motivation: Power Lust
Int: 04 Wil: 05 Min: 04 Occupation: COO of Stark Industries
Inf: 05 Aur: 03 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 012
Init: 009 HP: 030

Skills:
Artist (Piano): 02, Charisma (Persuasion): 05, Vehicles (Land)*: 02

Advantages
Connoisseur, Languages (Urdu, probably others), Omni-Connection, Rich Friend (Stark Industries — Stane can divert some of the company’s funds to his personal projects when needed), Scholar (Business, Arms Dealing).

Connections:
The Business World (High), Stark Industries (High), Tony Stark (High, until Stark discovered his betrayal), Ten Rings (Low).

Note:
The Omni-Connection and Business World Connections aren’t directly demonstrated but are reasonable inferences given Stane’s position at the top of a major international company for more than three decades.

Drawbacks:
Age (Old), Dark Secret (Ties to the Ten Rings), SIA (Eliminating Tony Stark).

Equipment:

  • Segway PT [BODY 02, Running: 03]. Stane employed this two-wheeled device to travel around the Stark Industries southern California campus.
  • Sonic Paralyzer [BODY 01, Paralysis: 12, Limitations: Paralysis only has a Range of one to two feet (-2FC), Paralysis is sonic-based and thus must be placed near a target’s ears and will be mitigated or cancelled out by any abilities that diminish sound-based attacks such as Sound Nullify].
  • Sound-Cancellation Earbuds [BODY 01, Sound Nullify: 12, Limitation: Sound Nullify is likely only calibrated to cancel out the specific frequencies used by the Sonic Paraylzer and may only provide limited protection against other sound-based attacks, perhaps 04 APs worth, Sound Nullify only protects against hearing-related sound attacks and will not protect wearers from brute force sound attacks such as Sonic Beam].
  • IRON MONGER ARMOR [/STR/ 10 /BODY/(Hardened) 11, Artist (Actor): 03, Bomb (shoulder-mounted missiles, Ammo: 02): 11, Flight: 08, Growth: 04, Jumping: 02, Projectile Weapons (Right-Arm Gatling Gun, Area Effect 0 APs, Ammo: 10): 08, Projectile Weapons (Left-Arm Rotary Missile Launcher, Ammo: 07): 09, Radar Sense: 10, Radio Communications: 17, Sealed Sytems: 06, Sharpness (Projectiles Weapons (Missiles)): 02, Skin Armor: 03, Vehicles (Power Armor): 04). Drawbacks — Power Loss Vulnerability — all of the armor’s Attributes, Powers and Skills except for BODY and Skin Armor fall to 0 APs in extreme cold (-70 degrees F or -57 degrees C). The suit’s systems will recover within 4 phases once it is no longer exposed to the cold. Bonuses & Limitations:
    • Artist (Actor) is Only Usable to disguise the user’s voice with a metallic timbre (-2FC).
    • Flight starts off at 04 APs of speed and accelerates at 1 AP per phase (-1FC).
    • Flight has limited maneuverability – the Iron Monger suffers +1 CS to the OV of any DEX-related Checks while in Flight and cannot substitute the APs of Flight for OV (-2FC).
    • Growth is Always On and Already Factored In (-1FC).
    • Note that the APs of Growth give the armor +1 AP of ground speed — when using the armor’s Vehicles (Power Armor) Skill it effectively has Running: 05 (+0FC).
    • Pilots can use the higher of their own Vehicles (Power Armor) or the suit’s Skill for DEX — if the suit’s computer-assisted piloting system is disabled and the pilot has no Vehicles (Power Armor) Skill of their own the suit will effectively have the same DEX as the pilot with an additional Unskilled Penalty to all DEX-related actions.]

By Roy Cowan.

Source of Character: Iron Man (2008 movie), character played by Jeff Bridges.

Helper(s): Chris Cottingham, Mike Davis, Adam Fuqua, Peter Piispanen, Pufnstuff, Mike Winkler.

Writeup completed on the 16th of May, 2013.

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