The original plans for Marvel’s Civil War event saw antagonist Iron Man on a much darker road than fans would ever believe today.
Genius billionaire, playboy, philanthropist, and superhero Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man may reign as one of Marvel’s most central and beloved characters today, but the founding Avenger took a borderline villainous shift in Marvel’s Civil War comic event back in 2006. Apparently, Iron Man’s Civil War arc was set to take an even greater turn towards villainy during the early development stages of the event series.
In the aftermath of a public calamity involving costumed superheroes and villains, the United States government finally makes the long-awaited decision to officiate a Superhuman Registration Act, requiring superheroes to register as government agents, and reveal their secret identities. Longtime allies and teammates Captain America and Iron Man take opposing stances to the government’s shocking decision, with a defiant Captain America going rogue and founding his own band of vigilante heroes. Iron Man, on the other hand, supports the Superhuman Registration Act. Beginning Tony’s divisive path towards a greater role in both the superhuman community and the world of homeland security at large.
The original planning sheet for Civil War, organized by former Marvel editor-in-chief Tom Brevoort, reveals everything from characters, arcs, and sequences to all new creations involved in the sprawling event and its coinciding tie-in comic titles, prior to publication in 2006. A major development that stands out among these plans was the formation of a prominent new organization known as H.A.M.M.E.R., responsible for tracking down unregistered heroes and having them submit themselves to the government. The approved conclusion of Civil War sees Tony Stark take up the reins as director of S.H.I.E.L.D., not this new group, replacing Nick Fury’s previous advisor Maria Hill. Stark then becomes the leading authority figure in charge of running the new registration-focused world. The concept of H.A.M.M.E.R. would not be scrapped entirely but rather saved for another established Marvel character and Stark’s previous business competitor… Norman Osborn.
Iron Man Was Almost The Leader of His Own H.A.M.M.E.R.
With Earth’s heroes remaining in disarray, the planet found itself under attack from the shape-shifting aliens the Skrulls and their skillful talent of impersonating familiar politicians, world leaders, and superheroes. After Osborn promptly delivers the killing blow to Skrull Queen Veranke, the former Green Goblin is appointed as the head of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s replacement agency H.A.M.M.E.R. Alongside H.A.M.M.E.R., Norman takes his newfound superiority a step further by assembling his own team of “Dark Avengers” consisting of villains/antiheroes Bullseye, Moonstone, Venom, Daken, Ares, Sentry, and Noh-Varr. Osborn and his Dark Avengers ruled the Marvel Universe for a time culminating in their Siege of Asgard, located above the town of Broxton. The failed attack on Asgard ultimately led to the dissolvement of both Osborn’s H.A.M.M.E.R. organization and his ongoing regime as a major world figure.
Though H.A.M.M.E.R. never made the final cut of Civil War, it’s poetic to see the organization make a return and be retrofitted for another purpose in the follow-up Secret Invasion event. The organization may no longer but it cannot be denied that H.A.M.M.E.R. deeply cemented itself as a force capable of challenging the likes of Iron Man and the remaining heroes existing within the Marvel Universe.
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Source: Tom Brevoort