This Friday sees the release of <b>Iron Man 3</b>, the first movie in the Marvel cinematic universe's second wave. The film features numerous villains, including the Mandarin, as portrayed by Ben Kingsley in an already critically acclaimed performance. <p>With that in mind, here are 10 of Iron Man's greatest foes, some of whom have already appeared in film, some of whom appear in <b>Iron Man 3</b>, and some of whom who are potent candidates for later outings featuring the armored Avenger.
The enigmatic corporate spy known as Ghost was originally an engineer who developed intangibility — which he turned into a weapon when the corporation he worked for betrayed him and killed his colleague. <p>Over the years, Ghost has menaced both Iron Man and Tony Stark time and time again as both a spy and a saboteur, and even as an attempted assassin while Stark lay in a coma after his nanotech-altered brain rebooted. Most recently, Ghost has reformed, somewhat, as a member of Luke Cage's Thunderbolts.
Though he looks like a dragon, towering Fin Fang Foom is actually a shape-shifting Makluan alien, the same race that created the Mandarin's ten power rings. Leading a crew of invading Makluans, Foom lead several attempts to conquer and subvert the Earth. <p>The threat of Fin Fang Foom and his fellow Makluans is so great that it has even led to Iron Man teaming up with the Mandarin. Though the original Fin Fang Foom has seemingly reformed after converting to Buddhism, several duplicates and impostors have resurfaced over the years, using Foom's legacy of villainy.
Basil Sandhurst, the Controller, was a sickly child who used his childhood ailments as inspiration into his research of the potential of the human mind. After discovering a way to turn psychic potential into physical strength, he also developed a method of using unsuspecting victims as mental batteries for his power. <p>Over the years, Controller has battled Iron Man countless times using a variety of mind control techniques beyond simply sapping the strength of his victims. He's also used his victims as armies of mindless slaves, and has even teamed with Thanos to upgrade his powers using technology derived from Stark's own inventions.
The mad science collective known as Advanced Idea Mechanics have menaced multiple heroes throughout the Marvel Universe, but few so personally or as often as Iron Man. Bound by an obsession with power and super-science, A.I.M. have often tried (and occasionally succeeded) in stealing and copying Stark's dangerous technology. <p>A.I.M.'s most dastardly schemes have included creating the terrifying being known as M.O.D.O.K. (pictured), constructing the reality-altering Cosmic Cube, and capturing Iron Man to analyze and replicate his armor. Of course, they failed, but with their new status as a sovereign nation and the diplomatic immunity that comes with it, A.I.M. are a bigger threat than ever.
The initial Titanium Man was a gigantic suit of armor built by Soviet scientists working from the original Crimson Dynamo designs. Piloted by a Russian soldier named Boris Bullski, Titanium Man issued a challenge to Iron Man designed to shame the United States with Iron Man's defeat. <p>However, Iron Man won the duel, and Bullski himself was shamed. Over the years, he has resurfaced time and time again, often with new, more powerful weapons both in the employ of his government, and as a mercenary.
Many villains have tried and occasionally succeeded in stealing or repurposing Tony Stark's technology, but few with such devastating effect as Zeke Stane, the son of Stark's longtime rival Obadiah Stane. <p>Using stolen repulsor technology, Zeke Stane was able to turn people into living bombs, causing numerous terrorist attacks throughout the world before eventually turning his own body into a living weapon, and decimating Stark's headquarters, nearly costing Pepper Potts her life.
Numerous men have inhabited the various versions of the Crimson Dynamo armor, and some of them have even gone on to switch sides and join forces with Tony Stark. But as a concept, the Crimson Dynamo is one of Iron Man's most frequently recurring and difficult foes. <p>Originally conceived as a Soviet counter to Iron Man's armor, the first Crimson Dynamo armor was based around magnetic field technology designed to counteract Stark's repulsor tech. Over the years, the Dynamo armor has evolved numerous weapons, and is more like a platform for various technologies and armaments.
If Tony Stark is Marvel's debonair man of intrigue, Madame Masque is his femme fatale. The daughter of Maggia crime lord and supervillain Count Nefaria, Madame Maque has often skirted the line between hero and villain, and has frequently found herself entangled in a web of mystery and espionage with Tony Stark. <p>Though she started out simply as Whitney Frost, Stark's love interest, her family's role as international criminals soon brought them into conflict when she attempted to steal Stark's technology for her father. In her escape, her face was damaged, leading her to don her trademark golden mask and forever cementing her role as one of Iron Man's most tragic foes.
Though there have been a few Iron Mongers over the years, the first and most effective was Obadiah Stane, an enemy of Tony Stark as well as Iron Man. Stane ran Stane International, a corporate rival to Stark International, and used his analytical mind to manipulate Tony, eventually seizing control over Stark International and absorbing it into his own brand. <p>Now in control of Stark's company and technology, Stane built the Iron Monger armor and attempted to use it as a tool for world domination until Stark, in a newly built Iron Man armor, confronted and defeated him. Refusing to be beaten, Stane committed suicide with the Iron Monger armor's on-board weaponry.
The Mandarin is unquestionably Iron Man's greatest foe. Armed with 10 rings powered by alien technology and capable of 10 different incredible powers (including disintegration and matter-rearrangement), Mandarin is the embodiment of everything Tony Stark opposes; power for its own sake, the strong feeding on the weak, and the subjugation and domination of the world. <p>The times that Mandarin has menaced Iron Man are numerous, and each time is devastating, but Mandarin most recently appeared as a central figure in Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca's celebrated run on <b>Invincible Iron Man</b>, manipulating numerous villains and even Stark himself in a plan to destroy the world — before being seemingly killed by Zeke Stane during his final conflict with Iron Man.