Marvel Phase 4 Has Set Up Iron Man 2 Villain’s Return

Marvel Studios has set up the return of Iron Man 2’s villain Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) after announcing the War Machine Armor Wars show.

Marvel Studios has set up the return of Iron Man 2 villain Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) in Phase 4 with the announcement of Armor Wars. The Marvel Cinematic Universe might be moving forward without Tony Stark after his death in Avengers: Endgame, but that doesn’t mean characters tied to his story are done. James Rhodes aka War Machine (Don Cheadle) was recently announced to be the lead in a new Disney+ series, Armor Wars.

Published in Marvel Comics from late 1987 till summer 1988, Armor Wars is a seven-issue storyline within the main Iron Man series written by David Michelinie and Bob Layton. Although Rhodey does play a part in the comic’s version of the story, it actually stars Tony Stark as he fights multiple villains who have suits utilizing stolen designs for his technology. Some of the villains he fights include Crimson Dynamo and Firepower, but Stark also battles with Captain America and SHIELD during this run. But, Justin Hammer also plays a vital role in Armor Wars, which could allow the MCU to bring back the forgotten Iron Man 2 foe.

Hammer’s appearances throughout the Armor Wars run is somewhat limited, as he instead is the mastermind behind the turmoil that Tony Stark goes through. Stark only realized that his designs had been stolen after defeating a former villain known as Force in the issues right before the Armor Wars arc. Stark discovered that Force’s suit was upgraded by Justin Hammer using the stolen Stark designs he paid Spymaster for. While Stark spends most of his time trying to negate any suit that uses his tech, Hammer works on Operation Firepower. With the MCU now adapting Armor Wars, this could finally be the right place to bring Justin Hammer back to the MCU.

If Marvel Studios does bring Justin Hammer back for Armor Wars, it will allow them to further explore a good character backed with a fun Rockwell performance that has largely been forgotten. After his debut in Iron Man 2, there has been no sign of Hammer Industries still being around. Meanwhile, Rockwell last played Hammer in the 2013 Marvel One-Shot All Hail the King, where he was shown in the same prison as Trevor Slattery. A lot of time has passed between then and now, so Hammer could be a free man by the time Armor Wars happens, either legally or by escaping.

Hammer is already established as someone with great interest in Tony Stark’s work too. But, his rivalry isn’t just with the genius inventor, as the end of Iron Man 2 also set up a bit of a feud with Pepper Potts. She’s been running Stark Industries for the last decade and was responsible for putting Hammer behind bars in the first place. Hammer even said “You think you’re making a problem for me? I’m going to make a problem for you. I’m going to be seeing you again real soon” to Pepper as he was dragged away in handcuffs. His revenge might not have happened right away, but perhaps Armor Wars will show Hammer attempting to take down Stark’s legacy, his business, and Pepper all at once.