Quote1 You literally just destroyed a possible alien intelligence for God's sake! What makes you the hero and me the villain here? Quote2
-- Zeke Stane src

Ezekiel "Zeke" Stane has purposely kept details of his life hidden. His father was a rival of Tony Stark, and paced his son to become a better scientist, punishing him for failure and instilling a hatred towards Stark in his son.[1] Ezekiel's only goal seems to be retaliation for his father's death, and he has been building bioweaponry and manufacturing next generation weapons for terrorists and supervillians since he was nine years old.[citation needed]

Stane combed the black market for Stark technology and designed a number of cybernetic augments for himself. Using himself as the guinea pig for testing, he began various criminal activities including the murder of a board of directors.[citation needed]

Stane and his group then destroyed the Stark Dynamics building in Taiwan. Stane suffered third-degree burns from his own repulsors, but healed and escaped from a nearby hospital. To compensate for the heat, he built a displacement suit.[citation needed]

Stane believes his designs are superior to that of Stark and prepared for a direct confrontation with Iron Man.[citation needed]

Stane was revealed to be the behind-the-scenes manipulator pulling the strings of other villains, including the Black Dahlias, Maul and the M.A.N. from S.H.A.D.O.W. Androids, who had set out to destroy the Order. Because the Order was Tony Stark's showcase Initiative team of California, Ezekiel targeted them as the first part of his revenge on Tony Stark for the death of his father.[2]

Stane meets Tony Stark face-to-face for the first time. Due to Stane's life off the grid, Stark fails to realize who he is, and despite Stark's resources as Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., Stane leaves California and prepares for the next stage in his vendetta against Stark.[citation needed]

Ezekiel Stane is then seen attending a meeting with the Board of Directors of a big tobacco company who had hired him to tweak their tobacco to produce a higher basal metabolic rate in the people that smoked it. Stane says he succeeded in doing it, but reveals he only took the job to use the tobacco company’s money to create bio-upgrades from himself, upgrading his own hypothalamus to utilize energy within the body which Stane swiftly uses to execute the board of directors with energy blasts from his finger tips. Stane, with help from his girlfriend and assistant Sasha Hammer, upgraded African suicide bombers who were the test subjects of Stane's biotechnology.[3]

Later, Stane places similar bombers in a procession for the Filipino superheroes known as the Triumph Division that kills the heroes and countless innocents, something neither Tony Stark nor James Rhodes could've predicted. That night, Stane personally confronts Stark dressed as a waiter and reveals his name before more bombers go off in the building. While Tony manages to slip his armor to save himself, the rest of the crowd is instantly incinerated save for Pepper Potts (who was outside and in critical condition) and Stane himself. The explosion blows off Stane's hair, causing him to look more like his father Obadiah.[citation needed]

He later is able, by continuing terrorist attacks against Stark installations all over the world, to push Tony Stark into seeking a direct confrontation. Armed with a lightweight suit of armor, designed more from protection than from enhancing his internalized powers, he manages to put Tony Stark on the ropes, going so far to blast Tony in the face with his own repulsor ray in a sort of poetic justice for his father's death, who blasted his head off with his own repulsor in shame for his defeat.[citation needed]

However his plan proves to be his undoing, as unbeknownst to him, Tony Stark had resurrected his Argonauts, a group of highly specialized drones commanded by his brainwaves. Claiming that Obadiah's fixation for chess inspired him, he had sent one of his Argonauts to deal with Ezekiel to catch him off-guard, and the others to ward off his suicide bombers. Finally showing in person, Tony shut down every piece of Starktech derived technology, including the one used by Ezekiel, and beat him into submission. Tony managed to shut the young genius up by telling him his father was better than him and harder to defeat, the statement rendering the young Stane speechless.[citation needed]

Stane was freed from prison by Mandarin, who was revealed to be the father of Sasha Hammer, in order to form an alliance and destroy Tony Stark.[4] Together, they revamped and deployed across the world a numerous amount of Iron Man's villains in order to to wreck havoc, and also ruined Stark's reputation as a suitable pilot for the Iron Man Armor after manipulating the press to frame him for using the suit while drunk.[5]

The Mandarin became increasingly discontent when Stane could not build upgraded Dreadnoughts on impossible schedules and nonexistent budgets. When Stane tried to confront the Mandarin, the villain used his Mento-Intensifier Ring to submit Zeke to his will.[6] A failed attempt to build a Titanomech prompted the Mandarin to severely beat up Stane.[7] Zeke managed to remove a bomb implant from his chest and tried once again to face off against the Mandarin.[8] The Mandarin cranked up the ring's effect, making Stane his complete slave, while causing increased brain damage in the process.[9] After the Mandarin succeeded in bringing Tony Stark under his control, Tony and Zeke worked together to produce the Titanomechs.[10]

In addition to building the Titanomechs, Stark helped Stane recover from his brain damage, to the point of conducting surgery to save his life. Once Zeke recovered from the procedure, he and Tony started elaborating a plan to rebel against their "master."[11] Stark convinced three other prisoners to join them, Whirlwind, Blizzard, and the Living Laser.[12]

The night of the uprising, Stane was ordered to take down a drill that the Mandarin had built for an unrevealed purpose. The villain stopped Zeke, and started beating him up, until Iron Man arrived to help him.[13] When the tide of the battle against the Mandarin and the Titanomechs turned in favor of Iron Man and his allies, Stark used a network of microbots known as the Swarm to destroy the Titanomechs. Meanwhile, Stane faced off against the Mandarin in a one-on-one battle and killed him.[14] After returning to the United States, Zeke and Sasha took revenge on the Mandarin's ally, Sasha's mother, Justine Hammer for allowing the Mandarin to abuse Zeke.[15]

Stane was later present at a Hellfire Club meeting where Kade Kilgore presented his Hellfire Academy's Hellions in order to frighten any potential rivals to his rule over the Club.[16]

As CEO of Stane International, Zeke represented the company at the Universal Bank were the richest people in the world met to discuss matters. In one such meeting, the heads of various companies came from across the globe to discuss Dario Agger's and Roxxon's operations in the Ten Realms. The true reason for the meeting was revealed when Shingen attacked Dario and they were about to fight when Oubliette Midas, a.k.a. the Exterminatrix, of the Midas Foundation, arrived and knocked him out, declaring herself as the new member of the group afterwards.[17]


Stane has an unknown number of enhancements to his body. Stane's metabolism is considerably more efficient than a normal human's. The majority of his body's energy is used to power his repulsor rays. He also has a healing factor.


Stane has a Genius-level intellect, which is interesting due to his young age.


Stane must wear a displacement suit to avoid injuring himself from his own repulsor rays. As his body's metabolism is higher than normal humans, he must consume 10 times the amount of calories a person normally would.

Like his father, Zeke is also incredibly arrogant and considers other people to be beneath him.

While intelligent, both Tony and Reed Richards have noted that Zeke's intellect appears to be imitative rather than innovative, as his equipment was mostly re-purposed Stark tech rather than anything he came up with on his own; Reed compared it to the idea that the man who invented the sandwich just put together what already existed rather than coming up with his own idea.


Stane eats a high calorie paste; a single serving is roughly 20000 calories.


Stane has a getaway car with Sasha as the driver.

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