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Quote1 I supply sophisticated weaponry to an elite clientele of underworld entrepreneurs and Machine Man is the most resourceful, the most efficient, multi-functional combat unit I've ever seen! Quote2
Madame Menace[src]

History

Baintronics[]

Nothing is known about the origins of the woman who baptized herself as Sunset Bain.[4] Being born and raised in San Diego, California,[5] she was inspired as a child by robotic genius Dr. Abel Stack and his brilliance. As she grew up, Bain became corrupted and vicious,[6] turning into an unscrupulous woman who used her personal connections to achieve her plans. At some point, she met and seduced M.I.T. undergraduate Tony Stark. As their relationship developed, Bain implicitly influenced Stark into revealing the security codes for his family's technological empire, Stark Industries. Shortly thereafter, a force of masked mercenaries raided Stark with extreme precision, being able to secure a bunch of prototypes. Within a year, Baintronics was founded, being launched with technology similar to the stolen designs. Having no further use for Tony Stark, Sunset Bain chose to move on.[7] As a renowned executive and head of Baintronics, Sunset Bain maintained a spotless reputation among the corporative upper class. Under the radar, she assumed the sadistic persona of Madame Menace and distributed high-tech weaponry to criminals through an underground seasonal catalogue of armaments.[2]

Machine Man[]

In order to acquire wealth and power, Bain planned to mass-produce robots, but lacked the technology for it. In a turn of luck, a thief offered her a robotic arm with advanced components. Madame Menace obtained the item for a low price by threatening the seller Krager with flesh-eating cockroaches.[2] The arm belonged to Abel Stack's prime creation, the shining super hero Machine Man, who lost it in a confrontation Baron Brimstone and the Satan Squad.[8] Madame Menace decided to lure Machine Man into her lair, in order to capture him and reverse engineer his body. After trapping him with electromagnets, she had to interrupt her schemes to meet up with a client of hers in a yacht. Machine Man managed to escape Bain's men and followed Bain. In desperation, she betrayed her client to evade Machine Man, but did not count with the yacht self-detonating. Machine Man was able to escape with his arm and presumed Bain to have perished in the explosion.[2]

In fact, Madame Menace had survived. She used her influence as a socialite to forge an alliance with Senator Miles Brickman, a public opponent of Machine Man. As Machine Man dismantled Baintronics' illegal bases, Bain meticulously observed him, ultimately testing his vulnerability against a sonic disruptor device when he finally struck. Although she was successful, she did not count with the intervention of Alpha Flight, who also attempted to apprehend Machine Man for the Department H as a result of Brickman's machinations. By detaching his head, Machine Man prevailed and thwarted his hunters. After failing, Bain set aside her evil schemes against Machine Man for a while.[9]

Parallel to her corporative affairs, Madame Menace maintained her connections to the criminal underworld. She was the main provider for the technology employed in Orb's[10] and John Maxwell's operations.[11] Her criminal activities turned her into a target for Silver Sable. When making a deal with Doctor Octopus, she was attacked by Sable's henchman Sandman, who at the time teamed up with the Avenger Hawkeye, but managed to escape unscathed.[12] Her secret connections made her become a member of the inner circle of the New Enforcers in their plot to take over the fallen Kingpin's crime cartel. Ostensibly, Bain provided super-villains with new technology to act in criminal activities without showing her face in the open.[13]

Sunset Intrigues[]

Bain approached Tony Stark to discuss a partnership between Baintronics and Stark Enterprises, when she exposed her plans of distancing her models from androids that resembled human beings. Their meeting at Baintronics Inc. was interrupted when a damaged Machine Man raided the facility wielding the deactivated head of Jocasta, after losing a battle to a spawn of Terminus. This prompted Stark to step into his secret identity of Iron Man to deal with the situation. Meanwhile, Bain took advantage of the situation to seize the bodies of the two malfunctioning androids. As Madame Menace, she decided to create a duplicate of her nemesis. However, Terminus' creature raided her secret headquarters, forcing her to deploy her mercenaries and call Iron Man for help. Unaware that Sunset Bain and Madame Menace were the same woman, Iron Man and Machine Man teamed up to protect her.[4]

When Stark resurface with Stark Solutions, Sunset Bain saw it as a new opportunity for Baintronics.[14] Having failed to decode the intricacies of Jocasta's A.I.,[7] she slowly reconnected with Stark to explore his genius intellect for her interests. However, Stark was evasive for being already employed otherwise.[15] As a response, Sunset's subordinate Stuart Clarke recruited Parnell Jacobs as a mercenary. Jacobs was in possession of the War Machine Armor and targeted Stark's clients, Astrodyne Systems. Due to his intervention as Iron Man, Stark severely wounded and put out of commission.[16] After his recovery, Iron Man defeated the monstrosity Fin Fang Foom.[17] The opportunistic Baintronics took the contract for transporting the beast's massive bulk as a way to approach Stark again. As Sunset Bain requested him to assist her, he grew suspicious accepted the deal in order to investigate her plans. Foreseeing Iron Man's intervention, Bain ordered her War Machine to assassinate the golden Avenger.[18] By having access to Baintronics' systems, Stark recognized Jocasta's codes and decided to free her. Meanwhile, Bain attempted to distract him using her seduction skills, but, being unaware Stark was Iron Man, her attempts failed as War Machine targeted Iron Man.[7] After a brutal combat, War Machine was persuaded to desert Bain, and Jocasta was able to free herself from Baintronics. In order to avoid criminal charges, Bain admitted defeat and shut down her own systems, losing crucial data to eliminate any incriminating proofs against her. Afterwards, she ended her contract with Stark Solutions.[19]

Baintronics' rivalry with Stark escalated when the latter developed bleeding-edge technology for generations. In addition to this, Bain also knew that the Triads were her main competitors in stealing from Stark. In order to gain advantage, she hired the skillful mercenary Taskmaster to perform a heist. She tasked her right hand Isley to supervise Taskmaster. The operation was a success, but, in lieu of paying him, Bain betrayed Taskmaster to the police.[20] In retaliation, Taskmaster designed an elaborate revenge plan. He infiltrated the Triads to instigate a war against Baintronics.[21] After learning about the ruse, Baintronics and the Triads joined forces to end Taskmaster. However, after being successful, Bain once again showed her traitorous skin. Her proximity to the Triads allowed her to eliminate their main leaderships, effectively destroying their organization.[22] Unexpectedly, Taskmaster proved himself to be hard to kill. He invaded Baintronics, defeated Isley and had Bain at his mercy after shooting her on the shoulder. The situation was interrupted by the police, which saved Bain's life before Taskmaster could finish her. Still, she had to stay cautious of another strike from her new enemy.[23]

Sparking enormous disdain from her employees, Bain witnessed her business starting to erode. In apparent desperation, she turned out to Stuart Clarke once again, despite them having parted ways badly in the past. She claimed to have become a target of a vengeful Parnell Jacobs. However, Clark secretly informed by Jacobs that Bain was, in fact, hunting him down. The confused Clarke decided to meet Jacobs, soon realizing that both parts wanted to reassemble the War Machine Armor, since Jacobs had the headless suit and Bain had the helmet. Ultimately, Clarke sided with Bain as a result of her seducing him and shot Jacobs to collect the rest of the armor. As soon as Bain learned Jacobs had been eliminated, she immediately betrayed Clarke, attacking him to acquire the armor. Seeking revenge, Clarke manipulated his associate, the deadly Punisher, into being on Bain's trail. Standing no chance against the Punishe, she was publicly shot by him.[24]

State 51[]

Sunset Bain (Earth-616) from Marvel Comics Presents Vol 2 11 001

Madame Menace

Having succumbed to an existential crisis, the new version of Machine Man seized control of Nextwave's State 51, a giant flying fortress where he staged environments with androids simulating scenarios for him to remnisce about his past.[25] In conversations to a robotic therapist, Machine Man recollected his tumultuous relationship with Madame Menace. Ironically, Bain was fueled by her obsession with him as well and tracked him down to antagonize her enemy.[26] After having her mercenaries hijack State 51, Bain attempted to make it land on top of Bombay in order to replace it.[25] As Ea the Wise intervened, Machine Man was able to assimilate State 51, turning it into a giant-sized version of his own body to thwart her plans. Machine Man contacted S.H.I.E.L.D. afterwards and to have Bain detained. As she was arrested, she rejoiced on the fact she helped Machine Man mature as a person and step out of his state of confusion and kissed him. She was subsequently taken away, but her transport's pilot appeared to be in league with her.[6]

Iron Man 2020[]

Still obsessed with Stark technology to improve her business, Sunset Bain machinated another plan to attack Iron Man. She established an illegal arms factory in Rustavi, Georgia, and managed to acquire one of Iron Man's suits. Having identified the whereabouts of his stolen armor, Tony Stark asked the spymaster Black Widow for help. She assisted him in forging a false identity as a Russian professor to infiltrate the criminal facility. He seduced Dr. Tessa Nubin during his mission, but she soon revealed to be Sunset Bain in disguise and managed to capture him to uncover his secrets. The Black Widow raided the base to rescue Stark, but was opposed by Sunset Bain, who wielded the power of the Crimson Dynamo. Although Stark was trapped in his armor, he was able to break free with it and piloted it to save the Black Widow from being finished by Bain.[1]

Baintronics and Sunset Bain returned to Tony Stark's radar when he discovered her company had used illegally-acquired Stark Unlimited tech to develop an advanced military vehicle called the Manticore she wished to auction. As Iron Man, Stark confronted Bain alongside War Machine, sparking a fight with her chief of security Gauntlet. Having access to his own tech, Stark was able to seize control of Manticore and convince Bain to return it.[27] Baintronics maintained their attacks on Stark. Using the dating app Make-A-Match, Bain designed a hive mind of robots disguised as humans who used personalized data to seduce Stark's employees. This gave her access to his facilities since the robots were invited as guests. Realizing the invasion, Tony Stark overloaded the system by creating a profile of his own, which forced Sunset Bain to shut Make-A-Match down.[28]

Not long afterwards, Bain was contacted by Tony Stark's adoptive brother, Arno Stark. Sharing a rival in Stark, the two forged an alliance to sabotage him.[29] When Tony Stark launched to the public a virtual reality called the eScape, the villain known as the Controller hijacked its environment to enthrall and leech off its users' mental energies. Moreover, the Controller relocated himself to a Baintronics manufacturing center in order to send his mesmerized lackeys real-life weapons all over the world.[30] Feigning no responsibility, Sunset Bain profited from the crisis.[31] As tensions escalated with Iron Man and his allies directly fighting the Controller, Baintronics' security team intervened to take down the Controller. Denying any connection to the Controller, Bain blamed the crisis on Tony Stark.[32] Under the pretense to purge the Controller from eScape, she requested partial access to its network, which was used by Arno Stark to gain full access and steal important data.[33] As the Controller lost his influence, and Tony Stark broke free from the eScape, Bain informed his allies about his whereabouts, not being able to kill him off since Arno Stark refused to tolerate so. Using Baintronics' pieces, Tony Stark returned to the battle and built the Godkiller armor to destroy the Controller, wielding impressive amounts of power. Although Iron Man chose to detonate the dangerous armor, Sunset Bain gained access to its schema from the eScape and was able to expand her influence.[34]

The eScape fiasco damaged Tony Stark's reputation, prompting his former employee Jocasta to seek Baintronics for updates.[35] Moreover, in order to extend her influence, Bain colluded with Senator Brickman, providing him resources to question Tony Stark's status as a real person instead of an artificial intelligence.[36] When the evil automaton Ultron targeted Avengers for his plans of merging humans and robots, he went for Jocasta in Baintronics. During his invasion, Sunset Bain sustained a tiny cut on her face, much to her despair. Iron Man arrived on the scene to combat Ultron, ultimately learning his brother Arno Stark had joined Baintronics.[37] The incident coincided with Arno Stark developing technology to engineer artificial organic bodies in order to bring his late parents back to life. In her futility, Bain asked him to perfect her a new body to remove her recent scar.[38] In secrecy, Arno Stark created an A.I. duplicate of Bain, and placed her real body in stasis.[39] Unaware of her condition, the replica of Sunset Bain acted as if she was the original item.[40]

The culmination of Sunset Bain's plan led to Arno Stark delegitimizing Tony Stark and taking control of Stark Unlimited, which was merged with Baintronics. Moreover, their influence led to a series of legal acts being enacted to help them exert their control over artificial life.[41] A robot rebellion known as the A.I. Army emerged as a response, with Baintronics dealing with opposers using extreme brutality, which included subduing robots to their will, including Jocasta.[42] Arno Stark grew distant as he prepared to use his technology to mentally enslave humanity. This prompted a reaction from Bain, and he ultimately revealed she was in fact an artificial intelligence and a copy of the original Sunset Bain.[39] The revelation caused Bain to descend into madness and fully assume her classic persona of Madame Menace. Not wishing to put up with competition, the duplicate fired at the stasis pod containing the original Sunset Bain with an energy handgun, obliterating her body. Immediately after, the robot rebellion raided Baintronics, and a free Jocasta uploaded the obedience system into the artificial Sunset Bain's mind, enslaving her.[43] Consequently, Bain was forced to join the A.I. Army and publicly expose her schemes to sabotage Stark and return his assets.[44]

Attributes

Power Grid[47]
:Category:Power Grid/Fighting Skills/Some Training:Category:Power Grid/Energy Projection/None:Category:Power Grid/Durability/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Speed/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Strength/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Intelligence/Genius

Abilities

Genius Intelligence: An industrialist and an inventor, Madame Menace possesses a genius-level intellect. She earned her degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[45]

Trivia

  • Bain has claimed that she gave herself the name "Sunset".[7]
  • Sunset is five years older than Tony Stark.[7]

See Also

Links and References

References

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