Justin Hammer is the founder and CEO of Hammer Industries, a U.S.-based defense contractor. Both Hammer and his company have a reputation that’s less than stellar, thanks to several incidents that made the media rounds. Justin is often viewed as war monger and vicious capitalist, or even an incompetent fool. The company has been plagued by troubled projects, leaving it’s status as a government contractor on shaky ground.
Intelligent: 4 Strong Willed: 6
Businessman: 7, Inventor: 5, Weapons Expert: 8/4
Well Armed: 6
Advantages: Connected, Deniability, Hammer Industries, Wealth
Flaws: Abrasive, Impatient, Obsessive, Overshadowed, Poor Reputation
Attributes: Intelligent (4)
Justin is smart, well beyond the average population. In school he was always in the top percentile of his classes, and kept high grades. Problem solving comes easy to him, and he's good at perceiving reactions and consequences. As a result he's far better at strategy than engineering or invention, even though he claims otherwise. Business tactics, trade, alliances and manipulation are far more his forte, and the real engineering is handled by the people he hires.
Attributes: Strong Willed (6)
When it comes to something he wants, Justin has an iron will. He's not easily derailed once he gets focused on a task, and his determination to build his company has kept it afloat. It's this strong will that has allowed him to keep going even after the setbacks and failures that he and his company have gone through. Justin refuses to give up or back down, and it can make him dangerous.
Skills: Businessman (7)
Being the CEO of a major corporation, Justin has solid skills in organization, strategy and management of people and resources. Having built the company he owns from the ground up, Justin has proven himself to be a competent leader, if not always the easiest person to work for. He can command a presence and get people on his side, though his methods can range from telling people what they want to hear to flat-out intimidation. He understands the fine balance between using people and keeping them just happy enough to keep working, which keeps his company profitable even during hard times.
Skills: Inventor (5)
Justin has a creative mind and is able to come up with new ideas and basic design concepts. Many of his company's projects were originally his idea, both the successful and unsuccessful. He can take most traditional firearms concepts to prototype, many mechanical designs to prototype, and basic electronics to prototype. For more complicated projects he has to hire more skilled engineers and scientists to finalize and tweak the designs. The vast majority of the company's products are engineered by Hammer Industries' employees.
Skills: Weapons Expert (8/4)
Justin has always been fascinated by weapons, and in owning a weapons manufacturing company he's become an expert in arms. Everything from antique firearms such as muskets to modern, high-tech guided rounds. Justin makes even the most skilled gunsmiths look like hobbyists, and can expertly operate anything his company produces and then some. He's a marksman level shot, definitely at competition level, and has had some combat style training. However he has no real combat experience, which would limit his effectiveness in an actual combat situation.
Tech: Well Armed (6)
Thanks to Justin's wealth, business and connections, he has quite the personal collection of weaponry. Much of what he owns are collectible weapons, though all of them are still functional. Along with the older collector's pieces he also has a rather sizeable stash of more modern firearms, and even a few things that are borderline legal to own. Outside of his personal collection he also has access to Hammer Industries' vast collection of armaments and technologies, both in and out of production. Justin was also able to use his wealth and connections to gain the hard to acquire NYC concealed handgun permit.
Through Hammer Industries Justin has a wide range of contacts. These contacts can potentially pull in additional resources or information, or can be swayed. The offer of a lucrative contract or the threat of pulling one can potentially net Justin resources outside those which his own company specializes in or gain him support from other industrialists. Hammer Industries does business globally and deals with civilian contracts, but the majority of the business comes from government defense contracts. Because of these defense contracts Justin has ties to senators and other government officials that he can often use to his advantage. These contacts are primarily in the Senate Armed Services Committee. Globally Hammer has friends in both high and low places, allowing him to pull strings halfway around the globe.
Sometimes in business you have to make moves that may not reflect well on one's reputation. To help combat that, Justin has set up a system of system of plausible deniability that always keeps him one step beyond the blame. Through a careful chess game of documentation or lack thereof, it's hard to directly pin even the most minor offense on the CEO himself. As a result there can be a turnover issue among some of Hammer Industries' employees.
Advantage: Hammer Industries
Justin is the founder and CEO of Hammer Industries, a large weapons manufacturer and defense contractor with the U.S. government. The company has divisions that work with high-tech weapons, armor, non-lethal deterrents and aerospace as well as several subsidiaries. The company's clientele ranges from civilian law enforcement and U.S.-allied forces to large government contracts. Through the company Justin has a huge range of resources, from weapons to engineers and fabrication facilities to legal aid. Because of the scope of the defense contracts, the company also has secure areas and access to clandestine communications. Hammer Industries has large-scale offices and facilities located in New York City, Coppell, TX, San Jose, CA, and Boulder, CO, as well as smaller facilities across the nation.
Thanks to Justin's business, he's a wealthy man. While his wealth isn't as high as some, he's still high on the Forbes Wealthiest People in America list, and places on the world lists as well. Thanks to his wealth he has a lot of conveniences and luxuries, including a private jet, more than one home, and even a Formula 1 racing team. Needless to say if Justin wants something, he'll have it.
Justin isn't always a very pleasant person to be around. He can be abrasive and tactless, snapping or even yelling at employees. He's noted for having a temper, and those who know him often feel like they have to walk on eggshells. Even when he's doing his best to be friendly or suave it seems forced and contrived. His attempts at witty banter generally just come off as insulting or demeaning, and any attempt at a carefully crafted speech is often littered with odd language or bizarre metaphors. His presentations and general presence seem pretentious, which doesn't garner him a large amount of public support.
Even as a kid Justin was impatient, but after amassing his wealth he got used to getting what he wanted, right when he wanted it. Hammer will push deadlines and rush his engineers to get results, which can ultimately impact the quality of the final products. If asked Justin will play it off as being enthusiastic or motivated, but it's generally pretty obvious he's simply impatient.
Justin is determined, he has an exceptional will to keep going. But he's also obsessive in his effort to beat out his biggest rival, Stark Industries. This obsessive drive has caused him to make several poor decisions in the past, some of which have lead to the embarrassing marks on Hammer's record. When combined with his impatient streak, this behavior can be detrimental.
Hammer Industries is a large, profitable and well known company, but it's not the one everyone holds in high regard. Young talent doesn't graduate with high hopes of working in one of HI's labs, or if they do it's the second choice. Justin has made the news and the covers of respected magazines, but inevitably the attention is short lived or more negative than anything. He lives in the shadow of his biggest rival, and that drives him to reckless behavior in order to finally be top dog in the industry. Because of his status as second (or even third) best, he has to work harder to keep business flowing in and his reputation from crashing completely.
Flaw: Poor Reputation
Despite his best efforts, Justin and his company don't have the best reputation. His company has had two recent, glaring failures that have run through the media and lead to a lot of jokes at the corporation's expense. Justin's efforts to emulate his biggest rival's charismatic aire and flair for the dramatic have mostly come off as campy or pretentious. Even though Hammer Industries has had a lot of successes, and Justin has received positive press, the media and the public seem to have latched onto the negative.
Justin Hammer was born into an upper middle class family in New York City. His father was vice president of field operations for an energy conglomerate, and his mother quit her job as a nurse to raise Justin and his sister. His upbringing was normal, and his family always well off. Justin was a smart kid, and always managed to stay ahead in his classes despite his frequent rebellious streaks. After graduating high school he netted a partial scholarship to the University of Colorado Boulder where he was able to double major in business and mechanical engineering. While he had a deep interest in engineering he lacked the natural aptitude for it, doing far better in his business classes. Justin actually considered dropping the engineering major altogether, but was able to pass all the classes with some effort. In what little free time the young man had he indulged a lifelong passion for guns by taking classes at a local gunsmithing school.
After college he found himself stuck in an entry level position at the aerospace firm Lockheed Martin, and worked feverishly on side projects using the company’s machining facilities. Combining his gunsmithing hobby with his engineering skills, Justin created a prototype combat rifle capable of firing multiple calibers by changing only a few settings. The versatile new weapon came to the attention of the U.S. Marine Corps, and became the catalyst that started Hammer Industries. The HI-4MCR rifle proved itself to be reliable combat weapon, and is still in production and use.
After Hammer Industries was officially founded, new designs poured out of the company. Justin could focus his entire attention on new ideas, and it wasn’t long before he branched out into ballistic armor, sighting and guidance systems, and weapons of mass destruction. The company’s focus remained almost entirely on defense and weapons with little development on purely civilian projects. What they supplied to the civilian market was mostly to law enforcement and private security.
As a relative newcomer to the market, Hammer Industries often lost bids on government contracts to the more established Stark Industries. This forced Hammer to branch more into more civilian markets and further fueled his competitive nature. Justin was often outspoken about wanting to surpass Stark and even buy the company. As the competition grew tighter projects were often rushed into production and HI’s reputation started to falter. Over budget and past due projects started to become more prevalent, but despite the problems HI grew to the number two defense contractor. When Stark Industries pulled out of the weapon’s market it was a huge opportunity for Justin and his company. Hammer Industries became a primary DOD systems contractor, and the company launched full bore into new projects. Justin, still fueled by his one-sided competition with Stark and troubled by the public’s declining opinion of WMDs, put too much pressure on his engineers.
Two major failures that made headlines brought HI into the public spotlight, and in a very poor light. In 2008 a batch of Hammer Industries incendiary rounds had to be recalled from the front lines due to a manufacturing defect that lead to the rounds igniting while still in the chamber. The defective rounds caused the death of three soldiers over a two month period and forced the Senate Armed Services committee to temporarily suspend HI’s contracts. Hammer insisted that it was only a small batch of the rounds that were affected and it was purely a manufacturing defect. After a lengthy reevaluation period the rounds were put back into production with no further issues.
The second public failure that brought unwanted attention onto Hammer Industries was the failed aerospace drone project known as “Bull Shark” and it’s derivative “Black Arrow”. Project Bull Shark was a semi-autonomous, super-long range stealth drone with supersonic capabilities. It’s original purpose was to carry and deliver guided nuclear devices, but the project changed directions. The nuclear capable version grew from a drone into a highly controllable smart-missile with an intercontinental range. The new project was dubbed “Black Arrow”, and the Bull Shark drones were developed into dog fighting and air superiority fighters. The advantage of the Bull Shark drones over traditional air superiority fighters was it’s remote operation, and it’s semi-autonomous nature. A single pilot could, in theory, operate 3 drones simultaneously, and from a distance of thousands of miles. While the theory was solid and the project had good backing and funding, aerodynamic issues lead to the drones falling behind schedule and going over budget. When demonstration day finally arrived in 2011, a pilot at Schriever AFB in Colorado Springs, CO took control of three drones at Nellis AFB in Nevada. Shortly after take off a glitch in the software that operated the control surfaces of the drones caused two of the drones to collide mid-air, and sent the third crashing into a barracks. 46 people were injured, no deaths, but the project lost its funding. Black Arrow, which had much of the same software, was scrapped.
After the two failed projects, Hammer is finding himself walking a very thin line. While most of what the company produces meets military standards, his contracts are still hanging in the balance. Public opinion of the company is low, and he’s struggling in civilian markets as well.
Justin and Hammer Industries made headlines again in early 2013 when a rogue vigilante took the Hammer Industries’ administration offices hostage. The crisis ended with Justin shooting the perpetrator, who went through the window and fell 20 stories, and disarming several land mines that had been rigged through the office building. The papers hailed Hammer as a hero, though many conspiracy theorists claimed it was nothing more than a publicity stunt.
Hammer made the decision to resurrect the BullShark drone project, making it the focus of his 2013 Stark Expo demonstration. The hope was to make up for the failed 2012 demo in which the HX-173 micromissile project did not properly detonate leading to an embarrassing mark on the company. The demonstration was almost derailed when one of the three drones peeled off during a live-fire test and menaced the gathered crowd. After rebooting the drone’s communications systems control was restored and no one was injured, but Hammer Industries once again came under fire for what could have been a disaster. Despite the technical difficulties of the demonstration, the government continued to back the project and the drones were scheduled to go into production.
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Fern declared Justin her friend when they ran into each other on the Staten Island Ferry, and Justin never denied it. Over the months they have known each other they've grown close, and Justin even managed to convince the waitress to come work for him as his personal assistant. Even though she's now an employee, Justin still sees Fern as a friend
To say that the mutant Stray and Justin don't get along would be an understatement. Stray mugged Justin in front of his home and made off with his wallet, then later attempted a home invasion robbery. Infuriated, Hammer has hired a PI to go after the mutant since the police seem unable and unwilling to pursue the case.
Through Fern and a bit of luck, Justin came to know the god of thunder himself. His status as a 'Hero of Midgard' thanks to the hostage crisis won Hammer points with Thor, and the Asgardian considers him a friend. Justin considers Thor an extremely valuable ally and a wealth of positive publicity.
Justin ran into the Goddess of War by accident, but his connections with Fern and Thor helped them get off on the right foot. And besides, how can a weapons manufacturer not get along with a war goddess?
Keith started out as a friend of Fern, which Fern wanted Justin to meet. He initially wanted nothing to do with the feline given his metahuman status, but after talking with him Justin saw the Cheshire as another prime publicity opportunity. Hammer has been keeping tabs on the upcoming hero, eager to see him reach the big time (and hopefully endorse Hammer).
Justin ran into Jazmin in a Wall Street Starbucks, and then ended up carrying her out of harms way after a Frost Giant attack left her unconscious. Since then the two have become friends, going out for coffee or lunch more than once. Jazmin has taken to calling Justin 'Honey' after he used the term on her.
|Justin Hammer's Wanted List|