We have already seen an alternate storyline with nearly the same plot in What If…? Season 1. In that episode, we saw Kill Monger saving Tony Stark from being held captive by the terrorist organization.
Kill Monger used Tony for his advantage and eventually killed him. As Tony was never hurt during the bomb attack by terrorists, he never got the idea of creating an arc reactor or a metal suit to become Iron Man.
But what we will be talking about here is a different case. There are lots of existing theories on how Tony Stark would have contributed to MCU if he was not Iron Man.
Stark was a billionaire and a genius. It means he had the knowledge to build and execute anything, and also had the money to fund that vision. So, these two abilities themselves make him less vulnerable to anything around the world.
Flashback to 2008, with a twist!!!
Tony Stark heads out to showcase his new missile to the military. He was the arms expert who dealt with sales only to the army of the United States. Only this time, Obadiah accompanied Tony Stark and the army to see the presentation himself.
The plan was to get caught by the terrorists alongside Tony so that no evidence can trace back to him for this plotting. And that is what exactly happened! The terrorists attacked Tony and he was hurt right at heart. Obadiah organized a fake capture for himself, and they were taken to the cave.
While Obadiah rested in the camera room, Tony was under medical supervision by Yinsen. Tony blindly trusted Obadiah, because he is the last man he knows who worked with his father. The first thing he asked when he woke up was,
“Where is Obadiah? I don’t want these terrorists to kill him to extract all the intel about weapons that I have designed. I have to speak to Obadiah. Bring him to me in this cell.”
And then, a group of terrorists comes to see Tony Stark and state their demand. The terrorists are planning on getting a bunch of new missiles that are designed by Tony Stark. Tony Stark was convinced that he won’t make those missiles even if the terrorists rain down fire on him.
But, Tony was unaware of the fact that this was Obadiah who has plotted everything. As part of the plan, Tony was threatened by the death of Obadiah, if he fails to deliver what the terrorists want.
Tony cared about Obadiah because he mentored him on the right ways how to handle the Stark Industries, after his father. So, he didn’t want to let Obadiah die because of his stubbornness to not give up on his father’s whole life’s work. He had a plan and wanted to execute it with Obadiah by my side.
Tony then demanded, “If you want me to do things, then I want Obadiah by my side here. There are some technicalities that he is aware of. Send him in!”
The terrorists said, “You are in no position to make demands here!”
Tony then said,
“Ok then go ahead and kill me and Obadiah altogether. Without me, you can never create or use any of my missiles. The ones you are currently using have free authorization sanctioned by me after I sold those units. I have a mole in my company, and I want to find out who! And this is the reason I want to go out alive. But, if you don’t want to stay sharp on my demands, you can kill me, as then it won’t matter anymore.”
While Obadiah had evil plans to take over Stark Industries completely, Tony was blindly trusting him. He said to Obadiah,
“Obadiah, I am thinking of something strange and impossible as of now. I want to create a miniature version of the arc reactor that is used to power our entire operational building.
Obadiah says, “But, what are you planning with it, Tony?” Obadiah was now curious to know about it. Even though he had a microphone on for the terrorists to listen to all of their conversations, Obadiah gave a hand signal towards the camera to take no action on what Tony said just now.
Tony then said, “I am planning on making a weapon as the terrorists want. But, this will be different and more powerful to help us get out of here, and kick some a**.”
The background music then plays and Tony starts working on his project, alongside Obadiah and Yinsen. The only difference is that he named this project Iron Monger Mark I. Obadiah sees the rough blueprint by Tony and was utterly satisfied to have fooled him to make something that powerful.
Tony is now almost done with his suit and calls in Obadiah for a chat. They talked about the miniature arc reactor that Tony built for protecting his heart from the metal shards that the explosion launched into his body. Surprisingly, this time he didn’t configure the suit to run on the arc reactor connected to its body, but on an entirely different piece of the arc reactor.
The reason was, that he suggested Obadiah wear the suit and guide Tony and Yinsen to escape. Obadiah asks out of curiosity, “It is your suit, your idea. So, why aren’t you the one wearing this suit to get us all out?”
Tony replies, “My dad made thousands of innovations for the army, for good people, but he never wielded any of it to possess the power that he shouldn’t. His only superpower was his knowledge, and I am more than happy to carry forward that legacy.”
And it was time when Obadiah was preparing himself to get into the suit. He was not worried about terrorists barging in and stopping him from executing the plan, because he was the one who was controlling everything around that terrorist prison.
While Tony was setting up the suit for him, he turned on the initiating sequence to load up the suit’s weapon systems and other operations. He had prepared communication devices for all three of them to stay in touch while Obadiah takes the lead towards the exit and clears the path.
While setting up the frequency for the communication device in the suit, he experienced some frequency that stated that there is an existing radio communication frequency in motion. He couldn’t understand what could have gone wrong, but then he turns up to Obadiah and sees him plugging out his earpiece with an evil smile on his face.
Tony just stood still at the moment while Obadiah pulls out a gun at him. The terrorists were called in by him and they circled Tony and Yinsen.
Obadiah then says,
“You have outsmarted yourself, Tony. Look at what you have built! Now all I want is to taste the power of it. You programmed it for me, so it is my right to use it and pass it on to the world of terror and blamed your father’s Stark Industries.”
“I wished to own Stark Industries after your father died. But what I got was just the opportunity to be an Interim CEO, until you grow older to take over the ownership. I envied your father for having so much in life, yet wasting it with just the military. I am bringing in endless earning opportunities for Stark industries. Don’t worry! I will still keep up with the promise that your father made to this country. For which, I will not just sell this Iron Monger to the terrorists, but also the military. I will start a world war! The more weapons we sell, the more profitable we will be.”, Obadiah added to his monologue.
Tony replied, “Dad trusted you! I trusted you! You can’t get away with it. You never will!”
Obadiah replies, “Now that I have your research and have seen you make this wonder in a cave, your hired scientists will help me replicate and multiply it.”
Tony laughs out loud and says, “You took off your mask of being a father figure way too soon Obadiah. At least you should have asked me how to use this machine I made. If you were hearing through that little earpiece you had right from the start, I told your terrorist friends that none of my weapons or innovations can be accessed without my will. Do you think, the prototype I built here for you is free of command? Kill your way!”
Obadiah got furious at Tony and smacked him with a punch on his face. Yinsen was standing next to the computer and had to press just one button to initiate the programming sequence for the suit that was all stacked up to equip. Tony signaled him to initiate the code, and stand by.
Remember when Tony said he is creating a separate power source for the suit, and not using the one fitted to his chest? He changed his plans at the last moment to not let Obadiah wear the suit but make it operate remotely. In this way, if the plan fails and the suit explodes, there shouldn’t be any casualties.
Billionaire and genius, Tony Stark used his smartness to initiate the remote operations for his Iron Monger suit and engaged it with weapons. He programmed the suit to not attack Obadiah, Yinsen, and him. Iron Monger was ruthless and it killed almost everyone in the room and the building, while Tony wanted to school Obadiah about the big mistake he did.
While Tony flew back with Yinsen to live their ordinary lives, Obadiah was arrested by the military later after Tony reported to the world about this incident. Tony never wore the suit and made it for himself. Instead, he created AI suits to guard the world and make it a better place.
He created Avengers and became the mastermind behind all of their actions. He created an army of Iron Mongers to defend this world and made his weapons program unavailable to the public or Government organizations.