Summary

  • After 9 years, Justin Hammer is returning to the MCU in an episode of “What If…?” to get revenge on Tony Stark.
  • Hammer will appear in an alternate reality where Happy Hogan tries to save Avengers Tower during Christmas.
  • There is speculation that Hammer could also return in live-action in the upcoming series “Armor Wars.”


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The MCU is bringing back a massively wasted character from Phase 1 thanks to Marvel’s What If…? season 2. With his last appearance nearly a whole decade ago, Iron Man 2’s Justin Hammer is finally coming back to the MCU to get his revenge on Tony Stark (at least an alternate version is). Played by Sam Rockwell, Justin Hammer was one of the best parts of Iron Man 2 despite the villain being massively underutilized in the aftermath.

As revealed by the latest trailer for Marvel’s What If…? season 2, Justin Hammer will star in an episode entitled “What If…Happy Hogan Saved Christmas?“, featuring a reality where Happy Hogan is attempting to save Avengers Tower during the holidays, presumably from Hammer himself. With his last appearance being nine years ago in 2014’s All Hail The King one-shot set in the aftermath of Iron Man 3, the return of Rockwell’s Justin Hammer to the MCU has been a long time coming:

Although this is inevitably another one-shot appearance, it should be very exciting to see Hammer getting his hands on some of Iron Man’s tech he’d been so desperate for in Iron Man 2.

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What If…? Season 2 Is Set To Feature Iron Man 2 Villain Justin Hammer

Hammer’s Finally Back For Revenge Against Tony Stark

Justin Hammer wearing Hulkbuster armor in What If...? Season 2

The last time audiences had seen Justin Hammer in the MCU, he was still incarcerated following his arrest in Iron Man 2. Having broken Ivan Vanko’s Whiplash out of prison in a bid to humiliate Tony Stark with arc reactor-powered suits that could surpass his Iron Man technology, Hammer was ultimately arrested by the end of the 2010 film. To that end, 2014’s All Hail The King saw Trevor Slattery’s fake Mandarin being interviewed in prison, having been incarcerated in the same facility as Hammer who briefly cameoed at the very end of the one-shot.

Now, this new reality in the multiverse envisions a world in which Hammer is free and is naturally out for revenge. With a plot intentionally mirroring Die Hard, it seems as though Avengers Tower will be under siege by Hammer during the Christmas season, requiring Tony Stark’s head of security Happy Hogan to save the day alongside Darcy Lewis. However, that might be easier said than done, seeing as how the trailer features Hammer wearing Iron Man’s Hulkbuster armor.

Justin Hammer Might Still Return To The MCU In Live Action

Armor Wars?

War Machine and Potential Armor Wars Villains (Justin Hammer and Armored War Machine)

Beyond this new animated appearance in Marvel’s What If…?, it’s long been speculated that Hammer could return in live-action in War Machine’s upcoming MCU project Armor Wars, a story that will see Col. James “Rhodey” Rhodes doing all he can to protect Tony Stark’s legacy and technology from falling into the wrong hands. Naturally, the best wrong hands would certainly be Hammer’s. At any rate, it should be very exciting to see Sam Rockwell’s return as Hammer when Marvel’s What If…? begins streaming December 22nd on Disney+.

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