Buddy Pine hates competition. That is a fact.

Even more so, he hates competition from those who are, quite clearly, inferior to him. Given that he created OmniCorp from scratch and turned it into one of the world's biggest multi-billion dollar weapons and technology manufacturers in the world, that pretty much confirmed his superiority where he was concerned. And it was perhaps inevitable that he'd end up with some competition eventually. He'd have to be an idiot to think otherwise.

But this? This just took the piss.

I mean, really, how they compare him to a college dropout software engineer (ignoring that he, too, had dropped out of college, although his was entirely because of schizophrenic reasons), a hipster with a penchant for turtle necks who valued appearance over substance and was really nothing more than a glorified salesman, and a guy with a bigger case of narcissism than even he had.

'The Big Four' Time magazine had called them. He, Buddy Pine, Syndrome, alongside Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Tony Stark. Standing together on the cover of that issue, the founders of the four biggest companies on earth (although, Tony didn't create his company, he inherited it, further proving his inferiority to Buddy) were hailed as the greatest entrepreneurs of the century.

Buddy Pine. Bill Gates. Steve Jobs. Tony Stark.

OmniCorp. Micorsoft. (cr)Apple. Stark Industries.

All three of them inferior to him.

After the photographer had taken their photo, Buddy had found himself stood beside Tony, who had thought to strike up small talk, which had ended rather badly when Buddy had told him quite simply that, despite their companies being neck and neck for the spot of number one weapons manufacturer, Stark Industries wouldn't be able to cope with the progress OmniCorp would soon be making. Pretty soon, Buddy had told Tony, you won't be able to switch on the TV without seeing or hearing my name.

He had been right. Of course. But not in the way he had imagined.

He was all over the TV, but as the bad guy. The lunatic who murdered just under one hundred Supers and tried to set up an attack to make himself be viewed as the hero. Buddy could just bet that Tony Stark loved that.

OmniCorp survived without Buddy. The shares and sales went up in the wake of his failed attempts at heroics, but the company eventually settled to the spot of second best, behind Stark Industries. OmniCorps four biggest buyers, the US, Middle East, Russia and China, were more inclined to buy from a company headed by the Iron Man, than by one whose former CEO now laments in a maximum security prison.

When he tried to be a hero, he was sentenced to life in prison. But when Tony tries to be a hero, he becomes Time's 'Man of the Year.'

Sure, Tony Stark hadn't killed off just under one hundred Supers in a bid to become a hero, but that was just collateral damage. He hadn't meant for them to die, he told the courts. (He hadn't meant for them to live, either, he told himself).

The fact of the matter is: Buddy hates 'Iron Man.' He hates Tony Stark and he hates Stark Industries.

He can't stand inferiority.

His weapons are better. His company should have been bigger. He should be Man of the Year. He was the original Iron Man. He thought of it first.

Even Buddy's girlfriend was hotter than Tony Starks, albeit she did betray him in the end.

At least Tony Stark will never get him hands on zero point energy. Ho ho, no way. Buddy Pine will fight to the death to prevent anyone else getting their hands on his zero point energy.

The Iron Man is inferior to Syndrome. Syndrome is a disease, a sickness, infecting the whole world, forcing them to take notice of him. Iron Man? He was just an overglorified fire engine. There'd never been a more incorrect title.

When he had seen on the news that Tony had been killed when his house was attacked, well, that had just made Buddy's week. He may have failed in his plans, but at least he had survived being sucked into a jet engine. Tony Stark couldn't say that.

'Hey,' Tony had called to him, after the interview for the Time's Big Four feature, 'may the better man win.' Then he offered out his hand.

Buddy, in return, ignored the gesture, smirked and replied, 'I plan to.'

'I plan to.'

He had planned to.

Buddy can't stand competition. And most of all, he can't stand Iron Man.