In superhero comics, the hero is only as good as his roster of villains. No matter how cool a hero is or how flashy their costume or powers, they have to have memorable villains to generate memorable stories and adventures. Week after week we see new and familiar villains pop up in the pages of comics but not all are on the same scale.
Villains have to be a persistent lot as they are usually defeated time and time again. If a villain is defeated too often, they run the risk of being forgotten or thought of as a joke. Some villains have fallen into that bad category but have the potential to be something more.
In the mid 80s, Iron Man 2020 made his first appearance. He might not have started out as a pure villain and has gone back and forth. With his background and the technology at his disposal, he should have become a more notorious villain.== TEASER ==
Iron Man 2020 was the alter ego of Arno Stark, a future descendant of Tony Stark (his first cousin), the current and original Iron Man. Because of the sliding timeline in comics, Arno was meant to be from approximately 40 years in the future. Today, 2020 isn't too far off.
Arno Stark was the son of Morgan Stark, Tony's shady cousin. When Arno inherited Stark Industries, he came into possession of the Iron Man armor. Instead of being a hero, he decided the use the armor for his own means. He became a mercenary and used his armor to fight and cripple his industrial competitors.
We've seen many stories, such as Armor Wars, where Iron Man has had to fight villains using stolen tech. With Arno Stark, it's a little different. Having inherited Stark Industries, he would likely have access to the suit's schematics and designs. Depending on how smart he was or who he could hire to work with him, Arno could get a complete understanding of what his suit is capable of.
Having access to an experimental time machine also gives him a huge edge. Seeing how Iron Man can take on threats, an Iron Man from the future should be even more prepared to deal with any situation. Part of being Iron Man does fall on ingenuity and experience but having future tech could make up for any weak areas in his training. Tony Stark is constantly upgrading his armor. It makes sense that thirty or forty years in the future would result in a huge advancement in the suit. If Arno Stark wanted to be a successful villain, he should have more than enough at his disposal to be a threat in his era or in the past.
Eventually it appeared that Arno had a change of heart. There is some conflicting depictions over this as despite being a possible Avenger in AVENGERS FOREVER, he was also seen imprisoned by the Time Variance Authority where other "dangerous time-travel offenders" were kept.
Iron Man 2020 makes a better villain. We've already seen how heroic an individual can be in the Iron Man armor and the idea of a future descendant of Tony Stark being the opposite is intriguing. With the advanced technology and access to time travel, Iron Man 2020 could accomplish a great deal in the name of villainy. Far too often we've seen decent villains try to turn over a new leaf and end up being watered down versions of who they were meant to be. Because time travel was involved, now is the time for Iron Man 2020 to make his return and to give Tony Stark a hard time.
As great of a hero Iron Man is, it's always great to see him face a worthy opponent.