Ezekiel was the son of powerful businessman and Stark Industries affiliate Obadiah Stane and a former young intern named Joan O'neil. Obadiah engaged in an affair with her while already married. Joan eventually contacted him, revealing that she was pregnant. Not wanting to taint the image of either himself or Stark Industries, given the fact that it was an affair and would also be considered a scandal of improper office conduct, Obadiah agreed to pay Joan money under the table to help raise the child and keep her from revealing to others who the true father was.
Ezekiel was born, and his mother struggled to raise him by herself. While not in poverty, she was not well off either. She eventually revealed to him who his true father was, and why he wasn't a part of their life. Ezekiel afterward was desperate to win respect, approval, and acceptance from his father and everyone else. He engaged fiercely in his studies, building a keen scientific mind in the process, even reaching what would be considered genius level.
Eventually though, news got out that Obadiah Stane had disappeared while on his private airplane, and thus Zeke didn't know what he should do with his life. He then turned to engaging in criminal activities to help support them. When Joan found out however, she scolded him harshly, saying that no son of hers could be a criminal. He argued that it was necessary, and during the heat of the debate she makes a remark about how technically he shouldn't even exist. Zeke in his rage, left his home.
He started abroad and continued in criminal activities to make money by helping provide machinery and tech support to other criminals. He developed an arrogant personality: he was a self-absorbed womanizer, and didn't care who he stepped on to succeed.
He was eventually caught however, and while in prison was visited by a man named Tem Borjigin, also known as The Mandarin, an immensely powerful and mysterious figure in the underground community. Zeke had heard of him before, but only believed him to be a myth. Borjigin offered him a path of meaning and purpose. Zeke accepted, and thus Borjigin pays his way out of prison.
Like Zeke, Borjigin was a scientific genius. He took Zeke under his wing, and became both a mentor and a father figure to him. The Mandarin eventually came into possession of a substance called Extremis that was created by Maya Hansen and produced by the organization called A.I.M. The Mandarin was seeking to alter some of its properties while keeping the core effect intact. Zeke became fascinated by Extremis and the whole idea of upgrading the human body with technology.
He was eventually tasked by The Mandarin into becoming a mole within Stark Industries. He entrusted Ezekiel with the knowledge of his ultimate plan to release a modified aerosol form of Extremis on the world in his bid to improve humanity. Though most of the world's population could not survive the bonding process, those who remained would be a new and "better" race of humans. The Mandarin believed it to be a necessity in part because he believes that much of the human race has become weak from society's coddling, but also because he believes it is necessary for them to survive in a universe filled with being of much greater power like the Asgardians and Chitauri, both of which have proved their superior might to the world. However, he still needs some Stark Tech in order to help him complete his plans, and thus puts forth a plan in order to give him complete access to it.
Ezekiel goes to Stark Industries, revealing his true parentage. He says that he wanted to know this part of his family history. And also said that he was looking for a purpose in his life, and thought maybe he could find it in helping mankind through working for Stark Industries. The board of directors was leery of this, knowing the truth concerning his father, and were thus afraid. Tony however, wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt especially after he proves his intellect to them, saying that he felt the son could not be held accountable for the sins of the father. Tony was in an emotional rut at the time, given his part in the creation of Ultron. He saw much of himself in Ezekiel, particularly his younger self. Deep down, he sought redemption by helping Zeke, and thus won in getting him into Stark Industries, taking him under his wing as a protegee and offered his support whenever needed.
All his life Zeke never had a real father, and he suddenly found himself pulled in two directions by men he could identify with and saw as mentors and father figures. They saw the potential and greatness in him, and treated him with respect, however, they were conflicting paths. He became deeply conflicted, and for a while didn't know what choice to make. He proceeded in helping with the Mandarin's plans however, and from the inside managed to help manipulate things so that Hammer Industries could take over the company. This went on while Stark was sent on a wild goose chase after the Mandarin, whom he believes is Aldrich Killian. Hammer Industries's CEO Justine Hammer was an ally, and lover, of Mandarin, allowing him direct access to Stark Tech. Justine was not aware of the Mandarin's ultimate goals like Ezekiel was however, and to help keep appearances up he had her place him in charge of running Stark Industries.
As the Mandarin continued his affairs, Zeke was given time to experiment and eventually created a suit in combination with Extremis that was literally a part of his body. He believed that after the world became infected, he could give further upgrades such as this to the survivors. It was during this time that Zeke was informed of his mother's death, who had apparently been ailing for years. While he was troubled by it, he refused to show it.
When Jim Rhodes discovered the truth about the connection between the Ten Rings and Hammer Industries, he went in and stole the War Machine armor from the Stark Industries building that was now collecting them after the take over. As he escaped, he was confronted by Ezekiel, who had finally completed his armor and tried to stop him, leading to a fierce fight. Ezekiel managed to gain the upper hand, with Jim barely managing to escape.
The Mandarin is impressed with Zeke's work both in the suit, and with the help he provided in modifying Extremis. He orders him to bring him Pepper Potts and Happy Hogan in order to use her as leverage against Jim Rhodes as well as to keep Stark in his place. He confronts her alongside other Ten Rings men including Raza, as she is spending time with Happy Hogan. They try to bring them in, but Happy sacrifices himself to give Pepper a chance to escape, with Zeke killing him in the process. After the murder Zeke doesn't know what to make of it, and struggles with himself over whether or not what he did was wrong.
Later one night he becomes suspicious of a break in, and his instincts were right. Tony Stark, Pepper Potts, and Jimmy Woo were breaking in so that Stark could gain control of his Iron Man suits again, which been appropriated by Hammer Industries after taking over Stark's company. Zeke set a trap by waiting for Stark in the suit vault. He attacked Stark, who just narrowly managed to stay alive. Zeke eventually managed to grab Stark with one hand and prepared to finish him, but hesitated, giving Stark enough time to finish up a plan to disable Zeke's armor long enough to allow him to enter a suit of his own. After Zeke managed to recover, the two engage in a long and heated battle which Stark eventually managed to win.
He is taken captive by Stark and Woo, and is taken to an abandoned warehouse to be interrogated. He is restrained in one of Tony's Iron Man suits that he can have self-destruct if he tries to escape or attack them. They try to find out what the Mandarin's ultimate endgame is, as well as the location of his lair. (They know how close he is to the Mandarin after he gave a speech to Tony during their battle) While he tells them of their plans, he refuses to give them the location of his lair. Tony eventually tells Woo to leave them alone. When he's gone, he has the armor retract off of Zeke before he proceeds to continue the talk. He pleads with Zeke about how many would die. Tony tells him how he began to lose faith in people, but even in his darkest rut, there were people who cared about him even though he shunned them. And even in the darkest places he saw other glimmers of hope. People with love, who helped and cared for each other. Nothing that needed "improving". He eventually brought up Zeke's mother, who he hadn't seen in years, even when she reached out to him after hearing about his getting a job at Stark Industries. The topic enraged him. Tony then allowed him to leave, saying that it would be worthless to keep him there if he wouldn't learn anything from him, and that without him, they don't have a chance.
After being freed, Zeke listens to the message from his mother, who gives him an impassioned talk about how she was so proud of how he turned his life around. She apologized for everything, and acknowledged how she was even jealous of the brilliant man he managed to turn himself into even though he started in a disadvantaged place, (Being the illegitimate son of a woman who struggled to support the two of them) while she claims to have not amounted to much even though she came from a more well off start. She told him about her disease, and how she wanted to see her son at least one more time. She congratulated and talked about of how proud of him she was for getting a job at Stark Industries, and claiming that he'd try and help the world for the better. She said that he helped prove to her that a great good can be made even out of the blackest of situations, and ended by saying that she loved him, and that she always will. Zeke breaks down and goes back to Stark, telling him that he would help him stop the Mandarin.
Tony manages to galvanize the forces he can after the Crimson Dynamo cripples most direct lines of help, and Ezekiel leads them to his lair. During the battle, he and Tony fly in together. However, Tony is attacked by a mind-controlled Jim Rhodes in his War Machine armor. Tony tells him to keep going, not wanting to waste any time in stopping Extremis from being released. After continuing on however, he is confronted by the Mandarin, who scolds him for his betrayal and tries to convince him to come back to his side. Ezekiel refuses and the two engage in a fierce fight. Though he has great power from the enhancements he made on his body, the Mandarin is the far more skilled fighter, and greatly helped by his rings of power. The Mandarin manages to disable Zeke, and he relentlessly attacks him while entering a state of rage, he stops and tries to regain his composure, not wanting to lose control, also unsure if he wanted to kill who he was beginning to see as a friend. In this time ,Tony manages to fly in and get the Mandarin off of him. Tony tells Ezekiel to get the Extremis hub and shut it down. Seeing as he had helped Mandarin create it in the first place.
He eventually gets to the hub. Zeke had found himself cornered by a couple of Crimson Dynamo soldiers, with the countdown for the release of Extremis started and the control panel destroyed during the ensuing fight so it couldn't be stopped. There he manages to send Tony a final message over a com-link they created between their suits, thanking him for everything he's done for him as well as an apology for everything he had done, as well as farewell. Zeke self-destructs himself in order to destroy the Extremis hub, and thus stop it from ever being able to fire, but also killing himself in the process.
Powers and Abilities
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.
Equipment: None known.
Transportation: None known.
Weapons: None known.
Ezekiel is portrayed by Garrett Hedlund.
- No trivia.
- Appearances of Ezekiel Stane (Earth-199999)
- Character Gallery: Ezekiel Stane (Earth-199999)
- Quotations by Ezekiel Stane (Earth-199999)
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