by Ryan Rigley
It’s been over four years now since the original “Iron Man” film first hit theaters and still people just can’t get enough of that genius, playboy, billionaire, philanthropist known only as Tony Stark. With a third “Iron Man” film currently in production, audiences all across the country eagerly await what is shaping up to be one of the biggest and best iron-clad adventures yet. Good thing the “Iron Man 3” trailer now has a release date: October 23.
But as brilliant as he may be, Tony Stark isn’t the only part of the original “Iron Man” movie worth mentioning. After all, what good is a superhero movie without an equally super villain? There’s no question that Jeff Bridges’ role as Obadiah Stane played the perfect yin to Robert Downey Jr.’s yang, but how does he match up against his comic book counterpart? Click past the jump to find out!
What Worked: Psychological warfare and manipulation plays a crucial part in Jeff Bridges’ take on Obadiah Stane. He constantly tries to trick Tony Stark, saying things like Tony’s decision to stop manufacturing weapons will ruin Stark Industries and his father’s legacy when in fact all he wants is control of the company. In the comic books, Obadiah Stane is equally, if not more, devious than in the film, going so far as to kill someone’s dog just to win a game of chess.
What Needed Work: When Obadiah buys out Stark International in the comics, he is actually aided by the shadowy organization known as S.H.I.E.L.D. who he, in turn, develops weapons for. In the movie, Obadiah acts completely of his own accord with both Stark and S.H.I.E.L.D. against him. Somehow, Obadiah manages to steal Stark’s entire company out from under him with only the help of a few bumbling scientists (whom he pays to create the Iron Monger armor) and his own two hands. If S.H.I.E.L.D. had actually backed his decision, like in the comics, it would have made the stakes way higher for Tony Stark and it would have given him a good reason not to trust Nick Fury or his so-called “Avengers Initiative.”
What Was New & Interesting: Making it so that Obadiah Stane is Tony’s friend, mentor, and the company’s manager is quite an interesting new development. In the comic books, Obadiah is merely a business rival of the Starks who’s dead-set on acquiring everything that belongs to Tony for his own personal gain. However, in the grand scheme of the “Iron Man” film, it makes a whole lot of sense to link the two characters on a personal level. It also makes Obadiah’s decision to steal Stark’s blueprints and arc reactor all the more devastating and selfish.
The Rogue Report looks at comic book movie villains past, present and future to see how they handled the transition from the paneled page to the big screen. Suggest a villain for our next column in the comments or on Twitter!