Aldrich Killian was a budding, but crippled, scientist in 1999, heading up a fledgling think tank known as Advanced Idea Mechanics. Always on the lookout for sponsors to gain recognition for his group, he attended a New Year's Eve party in Bern, Switzerland, where he encountered Tony Stark. He approached Stark with a business proposition, but Stark brushed him off, lying that he'd meet Killian on the roof a short while later. Killian waited, but Stark never arrived, and over the next hour, he contemplated jumping from the roof to end his own life. Eventually, he resolved to stand up against the injustice of the situation and prove himself to the world without needing the likes of Tony Stark.
The experience of that night hardened Aldrich Killian to the realities of life, and he quickly came around to the idea of acting as a facilitator, drawing fine scientific minds to himself instead of reaching out to others for support. Among his earliest recruits was Dr. Maya Hansen, a woman who had been spurned by Stark after a one night stand on that same night. Hansen brought her Extremis virus research with her into the folds of A.I.M. and Killian quickly grasped its potential in gaining lucrative military contracts.
Over the years, the Extremis process was refined to the point where Killian had himself infused with it, before having it administered to a number of other human test subjects. The power it granted was extreme, although it was also very dangerous, and Killian became reliant on Dr. Hansen to perfect the process, lest he too suffer the fate of others who failed to regulate the Extremis virus. Some of those others became the hapless victims of their own infusions when they became unstable and exploded. These explosions would leave no trace of the host, but would kill others in the near vicinity, so Killian decided to create a cover story of a terror plot to obscure A.I.M.'s involvement. Having learned of the notorious terrorist group known as the Ten RIngs, he stole the identity of it's leader, the Mandarin, for himself. He allowed his subjects to explode in public under the guise of terrorist acts. While the U.S. government chased phantom terrorists in the Middle East, Killian was left to pursue his shady activities with impunity.
With solutions to his Extremis problems still proving elusive, Killian again approached Stark, this time courting the interest of its president Pepper Potts. His meeting with Potts gained him nothing however, and he withdrew to further his machinations.
Another explosion drew the attention of Tony Stark when Stark's friend and security chief Happy Hogan got caught in the blast. Killian's response of having his fake terrorist, the Mandarin, claim responsibility had Stark promising revenge and so Killian sent armed helicopters to attack Stark at his Malibu home. Stark barely escaped the destruction of the mansion, as did Dr. Hansen who was visiting at the time, and Pepper Potts. Killian then used the opportunity of Dr. Hansen being in the company of Potts to personally intercept and capture Potts himself.
His next target was Colonel Rhodes and the Iron Patriot battlesuit that Rhodes often wore in service to the American government. Rhodes was captured in the Middle East and shipped back to Killian still cocooned within the Iron Patriot.
Killian then ensnared Tony Stark, who had come snooping around Killian's Miami mansion looking for the Mandarin. He attempted to goad Stark into working for him, but without success. Not even a real time transmission of Pepper Potts, now in restraints and suffering the effects of an Extremis infusion, could persuade Stark's cooperation. Dr. Hansen objected to the extremes that Killian was willing to undertake, and threatened to inject herself with a lethal dose of the Extremis virus. Killian responded by rounding on her and shooting her in the chest.
Leaving Stark in the hands of his men, Killian went to Colonel Rhodes who was being held elsewhere in the mansion. He used his Extremis power to heat the Iron Patriot suit and force Rhodes out of it. Having subdued Rhodes, Killian then sent his main enforcer to capture the United States president, and left to rendezvous with the president aboard the Norco, a salvaged Roxxon oil tanker docked in an east coast port.
The Norco had been set to stage a very public display where President Ellis was to be executed while wearing the Iron Patriot armor, and the whole affair would be televised live to the world in a bid to send world leaders to Killian for countermeasures against the Mandarin's terror threat. Killian indulged Pepper Potts, who was being held on the Norco, in various details of his plans, and then assured the president, when he arrived, that his imminent death was nothing personal. He then had the president stuffed back into the Iron Patriot and strung up for the grand finale.
Before President Ellis could be sacrificed in fire, Tony Stark and Colonel Rhodes arrived on the scene and started fighting Killian's Extremis-powered security force. Stark summoned a force of Iron Man battlesuits himself, prompting Killian to enter the fray and confront Stark personally. Neither man could fully conquer the other and eventually Stark managed to temporarily weaken Killian by sealing him into the Mark XLII Iron Man armor and setting it to self destruct. Killian, grievously injured, rose from the wreckage and advanced on Stark, maniacally calling himself the real Mandarin, but was intercepted by Pepper Potts whose Extremis virus had successfully bonded with her. She first bashed Killian away with a metal bar, then followed the surprise attack with a Stark explosive and repulsor ripped from a passing Iron Man armor. Detonated by the repulsor, the explosive munition apparently obliterated all that was of Aldrich Killian.
Extremis virus: The Extremis virus injected into living tissue results in a wide range of effects within the host organism. The intention of Extremis was to enhance, although the compound was flawed. In all hosts it causes intense pain until it either bonds with the host successfully, or destroys the host in a violent explosion. Even in cases where the Extremis virus has successfully bonded, the host organism may be at risk of the compound becoming unstable and detonating with sufficient force to burn nearby bystanders to dust, and crater solid concrete underfoot.
- Enhanced Agility: The Extremis virus enhances musculature to become more powerful in its motion, granting the host marginally enhanced agility.
- Exothermic Reaction: Hosts of the Extremis virus are able to consciously raise the temperature of parts of their bodies. The effect can be controlled to the extent that it might only scorch skin, or increased to the point where it can cause steel to turn into a molten state.
- Superhuman Strength: The Extremis virus enhances the muscular power of the host considerably. The extent appears to vary within marginal limits, but most have demonstrated the ability to hoist the weight of a human male effortlessly in one hand and hurl such a weight across a room.
- Tissue Regeneration: The Extremis virus imparts incredible restorative capabilities upon the host organism. Superficial wounds close over and heal completely in a matter of seconds, and severed limbs can take minutes to regrow.
- Fire-Breathing: He could use the exothermic manipulation to allow himself breath fire.
Master Strategist: Killian also showed himself to be an expert martial artist, as he was able to fight Tony Stark while he was in his armor on even grounds using a combination of martial arts and Extremis abilities.
Has an unstable mind, augmented by the virus.
- Early into the development of Iron Man 3, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau was considered for the role of Killian.
- An early draft of the script for Iron Man 3, Killian would use Extremis-enhanced pheromones to seduce Pepper Potts, film himself having sex with her, and making it public.
- 3 Appearances of Aldrich Killian (Earth-199999)
- Minor Appearances of Aldrich Killian (Earth-199999)
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