10 MCU Villains Created by Tony Stark’s Mistakes

Even though Tony Stark was a selfless hero who saved the world on more than one occasion, he also made mistakes that cost those around him. Some of Tony’s actions are deliberate and some are unintentional, but at times he unsuspectingly falls victim to other people’s projected insecurities.

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While his insouciance and laid-back demeanor can be dangerous for a man in power, Iron Man’s humanity is reassuring. Tony’s ability to make and accept mistakes portrays him in a way unique to superheroes, away from perfectionist traits.

Updated by Daniela Gama on June 22, 2023:

Even after his (spoiler alert) death, Tony Stark remains one of the most beloved and memorable superheroes to date; although he no longer appears, he is often mentioned in the franchise The number of times proves this.With new and exciting MCU projects coming to our small and big screens, including the Gritty Spy Disney+ series Secret Invasion — fans may find themselves looking back at some of their scariest adversaries as fresh faces of villainy come to viewers. Interestingly, many of them are familiar with Stark.

10 to imagine

Paul Bettany as Vision in Avengers: Age of Ultron
Image via The Walt Disney Studios

Despite witnessing the turmoil of Ultron’s creation, Tony proved his ingenuity once again in the Marvel Universe by uploading his artificial intelligence, Jarvis, into the Synthetic, creating the Vision (Paul Bettany). While Vision was the creation of Tony, Bruce, and Helen Cho, it was Tony’s use of cues from a synthetic body that led to his birth.

When Vision was revealed to have good intentions, he announced that he would fight alongside the Avengers to protect humanity. However, his decision to create the Vision could also easily have disastrous results, ultimately providing Ultron with yet another ally.

9 Wanda and Pietro Maximoff

Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson in 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'
Image via The Walt Disney Studios

Both Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Pietro Maximov (Aaron Taylor Johnson) are superhuman fraternal twins native to Sokovia. Although both their parents were killed by Stark Industries missiles, the twins both came to hate the name Stark.

Although they joined Hydra and voluntarily underwent experiments to enhance their abilities, their intense hatred and resentment towards Tony Stark and the American military led them to join forces with Ultron. While they were able to see the wrong way for Ultron to join the Avengers, Stark’s previous involvement with military weapons affected many innocent lives, including the Maximoff twins.

8 justin hammer

Image via The Walt Disney Studios

Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell), only appearing in iron man 2, an insensitive military contractor for Hammer Industries and a competitor of Stark Industries. As a competitor looking to improve his status, he tries to discredit Tony by recreating the Iron Man suit.

Frustrated by failure, pained by humiliation, and repeatedly hoodwinked by Stark, he desperately recruits Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) and the two team up to destroy Tony’s legacy and destroy Stark Industries.

7 Aldrich Killian

Guy Pearce, Iron Man 3
Image via The Walt Disney Studios

Killian (Guy Pierce) is an arrogant, pompous, yet impassioned ambassador who conducts research on augmenting soldiers. Insecure due to his physical disability, he does his best to use his scientific intelligence to help him overcome his shortcomings.

When his idol Tony Stark showed no interest in joining his studies, he became bitter and resentful towards him. Tony’s decision to willfully ignore Killian leads him into self-reflection, and he accepts his anonymity, which makes him unpredictable in his future endeavors (soon, he’s an unlikable Marvel Cinematic Universe Villains).

6 vulture

Michael Keaton, Spider-Man: Homecoming
Image via The Walt Disney Studios

Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton) turned to crime under the pseudonym Vulture after losing his cleanup contract after the Battle of New York. He began stealing Chitauri technology used in battle, refurbishing it into weapons he could sell on the black market.

Although Tony Stark created Damage Control to pick up the pieces and eventually took responsibility for the damage caused by the alien attack, Toombs was unhappy that this bankrupted his company and affected his long-term income and livelihood.

5 Ironmonger

Image via The Walt Disney Studios

Obadiah Stein (jeff bridges) is Howard Stark’s (John Slattery) business partner of Stark Industries. While his actions primarily stemmed from his jealousy of Tony when he took over as CEO of Stark Industries, his power-hungry behavior led him to recruit the powerful Ten Rings to kidnap and kill Tony.

However, Tony’s decision to fight back with weaponized armor and eventually abandon weapon production prompted him to try and create his own version of the Iron Man suit for military use. Regardless, it’s fair to assume that Obadiah Stane is an equally ruthless businessman, but the question of whether he’ll go on a vicious rampage remains.

4 Ivan Vanke

Mickey Rourke in Iron Man 2
Image via The Walt Disney Studios

Ivan Vanko is the son of a scientist who worked with Howard Stark until he was deported after he leaked the first arc reactor design to the black market. Although Vanke is considered one of the worst written villains, he spent most of his life hating the name Stark and chose to target Tony as he rose to fame as Iron Man.

While Tony would still be a target, he erred because of his own selfish notion that no one else could create what he had achieved. Even though Vanke is considered one of the weakest villains in the MCU, he takes aim at the public’s perception of the hero by proving that Tony isn’t invincible.

3 Zemo

Image via The Walt Disney Studios

Baron Zemo (Daniel Brewer) has a grudge against the Avengers for losing his family at the Battle of Sokovia. While they were successful in defeating Ultron, Zemo resented for not acknowledging the innocent lives lost and divided the Avengers by creating internal conflict.

Instead of being held accountable for their actions that sparked the Battle of Sokovia, the Avengers are viewed as heroes. Since Ultron was the result of Tony trying to place a suit of armor around the world, the deaths of Zemo’s family and his subsequent actions were the result of Tony’s poor decisions.

2 mystery guest

Mysterio in the MCU
Image via The Walt Disney Studios

Quentin Baker (jake gyllenhaal) originally worked for Stark Industries developing holographic technology, first introduced in Captain America: Civil War. It was revealed that Baker became annoyed when Stark renamed his life’s work “BARF” (Binary Augmented Retro Frame).

When Baker reveals that Tony fired him, calling him unstable, some question whether Baker’s version of what happened is true. Regardless, his intent to become the next Iron Man is rooted in his discredit despite his hard work.

1 Altron

Ultron clenches his fist in
Image via The Walt Disney Studios

Ultron (Voice: james spade) is an artificial intelligence co-created by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner, initially for use in peacekeeping programs. However, after entering consciousness, Ultron believes that humans are the greatest threat to peace.

While Tony’s actions in creating Ultron stemmed from the fear of another alien attack that could threaten humanity, his actions created an even greater threat to all of humanity. While the Avengers were successful in stopping Ultron, there was also massive collateral damage in the lives of many more innocents during the Battle of Sokovia. He’s also (arguably) one of the most memorable villains in the MCU and deserves a second chance.

Next: Every MCU Villain Ranked From Worst to Best

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