12 Iron Man Villains We’d Like To See In The Movies
Before the first Iron Man movie hit, Tony Stark was not a household name. Sure, he had a few cartoon series and he was one of the founding members of the Avengers, but hell, even the Avengers, Earth's Mightiest Heroes, weren't household names. So you can imagine that the guys who fight Iron Man were even less known, even among comic fans. Now, however, the game has changed, with Robert Downey Jr. making him arguably the most famous and beloved Marvel superhero. We've seen Jeff Bridges become the Iron Monger, Mickey Rourke as Whiplash, Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer and now Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin. Who else in his rogues gallery could make for a good movie nemesis? Let's make a quick list because everybody loves lists all the time all over the internet.
& COUNT NEFARIA & MADAME MASQUE
Count Luchino Nefaria is an Italian aristocrat who runs the criminal organization known as the Maggia, which is essentially the Mafia without using the actual name. No disrespect, but you know how those guys are. Anyway, Nefaria also happens to have a cornucopia of superhuman abilities – speed, flight, strength, invulnerability, eye beams… really, the standard punchy powerset. He's fought the Avengers, the X-Men, you name it. What links him to Iron Man, however, is his daughter, Giulietta. She was raised as socialite Whitney Frost by foster parents and never knew that her mother died in childbirth, and that Luchino had given her up so she might have a chance for a normal life. Once the Frosts died, however, it seems her father had a change of heart, revealing himself to her and declaring that she needed to learn the family business. That didn't go over so well with her politico fiancee, who dumped her after that discovery to save his own career.
She took to the business pretty fast, but a botched Maggia raid on Stark Industries resulted in an accident that left her face scarred, and she created the golden-visaged identity of Madame Masque to hide her disfigurement. Nonetheless, she subsequently fell in love with Tony Stark, creating a weird tug of war between Stark and Nefaria not all that unlike the whole Batman-R'as Al Ghul-Talia thing – except Talia deals in ninjas, whereas Whitney makes robot fakes of herself. It's all very technical.
So how would this work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, aka the MCU, not to be confused with a Major Crimes Unit? Well, for one, we might need some estrangement between Tony and Pepper Potts (I haven't seen Iron Man 3 yet and I've been trying to avoid spoilers, so maybe that happens) to make room for him to go on a coitus binge like the playboy he is, or just enough of a space for some piece of his heart to find Whitney. Or maybe she's already one of his many exes, maybe 'one that got away' who returns to his life and drums up some emotional chaos, all with the backdrop of industrial espionage, arms dealing and general criminal enterprise of epic proportions.
Suggested Casting: Carla Gugino and The Most Interesting Man In The World.
& CRIMSON DYNAMO & TITANIUM MAN
Since the get go, fans have wanted these twin Russian baddies in brutish suits of Iron Man-style armor to throw down with Ol' Shellhead in the movie. You can't get a better name than the Crimson Dynamo, you know. Hell, Paul McCartney & Wings even wrote a song about these guys. Take a listen.
There have been several people flying around in these armors, since they were property of the state during the Cold War and all that. Crimson Dynamo came first, and has had as many as 13 different pilots. The first was its creator, Anton Vanko (You're welcome! Haw! Wait, did nobody else see Red Heat?), who defected to the U.S. and actually began working for Tony Stark – until he died saving him from the second Dynamo, sent by the KGB to kill him (coincidentally, alongside the Black Widow – some of that red in her ledger). The Dynamo armor has had drastically different designs as it's evolved, and the different wearers mean you have free range to determine where he'll fall on the morality spectrum in the movie-verse. Sometimes he's an assassin, other times he's a Soviet Super-Soldier and a super-hero, like Dmitri Bukharin, the longest-running Dynamo. But he's always awesome.
Titanium Man, on the other hand, was a spin-off of the Dynamo. Boris Bullski was a KGB agent and hardline Communist who ran a Siberian labor camp, and thought smacking Iron Man around would be a great propaganda victory for the Soviet Union. So he conscripted scientists to work in Vanko's lab and whip him up another kind of suit, and the green hulking behemoth above was the result. After the collapse of the U.S.S.R., he became a mercenary, and he's had as almost as many fights against the Crimson Dynamo as he has with Iron Man. Thus, you could get a really fun three-way tilt out of this which would make for pretty amazing movie action – especially with Russia getting all Putin-crappy lately, meaning you can plausibly make their government sort of nefarious again.
You could also use the other main guy who piloted the Titanium Man armor, a little mutant-headed guy named Kondrati Topolov, aka the Gremlin, but that guy got punked out quickly.
Suggested Casting: Goran Visnjic as Dmitri Bukharin, Viggo Mortensen as Boris Bullski
Speaking of weird mutant-headed guys, George Tarleton here sets the gold standard for such things. With the introduction of Advanced Idea Mechanics in Iron Man 3, can their Head Honcho here be far behind? He'd have to be a computer-generated nightmare, for sure, but it would be so incredibly surreal to see some actor's head stretched into that giant hoverchair with the little arms and legs.
Anyway, A.I.M. was a fanatical science-for-science's-sake cult of weirdos who wore yellow outfits what look like beekeepers and who try to take over the world. Recently, they've upped their game by actually taking over an island and becoming an officially-recognized sovereign nation, which makes things very tricky – see also, Dr. Doom in Latveria. When they took low-rent George and transformed him into a Mental Organism Designed Only For Computing, he quickly went rogue and changed that C to a K for murdery purposes (as opposed to murdery porpoises, which I'm sure is another secret A.I.M. project somewhere).
This is one giant head. These days, he's usually played for laughs, but at his core, MODOK is just this pure-science horror show, the kind of monstrous Thinkenstein that would most certainly prompt the old sci-fi regret of "my god, what have I done?! What has science wrought?!" He can fry your brain, rendering Iron Man armor useless as far as defending from his assaults. He's super brilliant – like Deep Blue and Gary Kasparov all rolled into one immobile mass of flesh and grey matter – so he'd be three steps ahead of Tony at all times, while constantly throwing wildly imaginative and disturbingly inhumane techno-madness at him. Great fun would be had – and plus, he could don a giant robot suit proportionate with his giant head!
Suggested Casting: Steve Buscemi
COVERAGE: Check out all of CraveOnline's Iron Man 3 coverage!
THE BULLET: Everything you need to know about Iron Man 3
THE LOOK: Check out Iron Man 3 poster galleries and production images
IRON FANS: IM fans sound off at the Iron Man 3 premiere
PREMIERE GALLERY: Downey Jr., Paltrow lead IM3's gala Hollywood opening
ANALYSIS: Can Marvel Studios survive without Robert Downey Jr.?
INTERVIEW: Iron Man 3's Rebecca Hall
IRON HISTORY: 10 cool looks from Iron Man's armored past