The upcoming Captain America: Civil War and the boiling feud between Cap and Iron Man are a good pretext to look back at some of the rivalries surrounding our Marvel heroes. As such, Tony Stark seems to have enough enemies ready to fight him, but there's one we might have slightly overlooked.
Do you remember Justin Hammer from Iron Man 2? Like Tony Stark, he's a multi-billionaire, and like Tony Stark, he produces weapons. Unsurprisingly, he's developed quite a hateful, competitive attitude vis-à-vis Stark, and attempted to replicate the Iron Man suit. After his first prototype disastrously failed, he recruited Ivan Vanko, a.k.a. Whiplash, to build suits, before contributing to the construction of the War Machine Armor. But his betrayal by Vanko got him arrested, which should have ended the risk he represented to Stark and his business.
Could Hammer Be Working For Hydra?
According to Reddit user HipHopAnonymous23, Hammer might be more than a locked up business rival, though. What if Hammer had been recruited by Hydra?
Here goes: the first hint at Hammer being a bigger player than he seems is his connection to Senator Stern. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, we find out that Stern is working for Hydra and not the government, which means that when Stern was trying to confiscate the Iron Man suit, it was to deliver it to Hydra.
It's therefore Stern who could have steered Hydra towards Hammer, in order to have him produce similar suits, as well as improve the MkII suit since he seems to have experience with that kind of technology. But Hammer isn't as skilled as Stark, and he has to rely on the Ten Rings to get Vanko out of jail and use his knowledge.
Vanko ends up betraying Hammer, and the subsequent damage gets the latter sent straight to prison. This leaves us with one question: is Hammer aware that he was working for Hydra? Or was he not looking further than his task of providing weapons to Stern? If he's ignorant of his own involvement, he might not be a threat to Stark, but he could be if Hydra decides to get him back into the game.
Do you think that Hammer could have been providing weapons to Hydra?