|“||Every time I hook up with you, I get shot!||”|
–Izzy Buttons on previous exploits with Rick O'Connell., The Mummy Returns
Izzy Buttons originally was a pilot that flew aeroplanes before he turned to commandeering dirigibles instead, taking up base at the former Royal Air Corps base, which he had later re-named as the "Magic Carpet Airways".
Before 1923, Izzy Buttons and Rick O'Connell were outlaws that operated with aeroplanes, robbing establishments such as banks; one such bank robbery being in Marrakesh, where Izzy flew down low in his plane to pick up money, and O'Connell signalled Izzy with a mirror for the pick up. Izzy lowered the plane and was subsequently shot by the Marrakesh police, resulting in Izzy's spleen being brought out as O'Connell nonchalantly "waltzed up" on the scene with a belly dancer girl. Izzy's injuries also included incidents in which he was shot in the rear, his injuries reaching such a point that the rear end of his trousers seemed somewhat flat from his shooting.
Other events that O'Connell and Izzy had carried out took on more of a jocular nature, one instance being that Izzy had shaven his head, waxed his legs and been used as a surfboard while in Tripoli, while others still took on a considerably less harmonious tone: Izzy had once done "unspeakable things" to a camel in the Cairo Opera House on New Year's Eve of 1923.
At some point prior to the summer of 1933, Izzy lost his aeroplane in a poker game, resorting to the use of a makeshift dirigible instead.
One day at the Magic Carpet Airways, Izzy stepped outside of the runway grounds to see Rick O'Connell, a former associate of his at the door. Fearing the worst, Izzy ran back behind his door, securing as many locks on his end as he could. The locks were all shot off with one squeeze of O'Connell's trigger, and O'Connell let himself into the airways to look for Izzy. Izzy stated that whatever O'Connell was expecting to do would leave Izzy out of it, due to his resentment of previous exploits pulled off with O'Connell as his accomplice. O'Connell stated that whatever had happened before would not happen again and that Izzy would be paid, drawing out a fat bundle of money for Izzy to see, but Izzy responded that money meant nothing when he had nothing to spend it on out in the middle of a desert. O'Connell then got to his point: his son had been kidnapped by a group of cultists bound for Karnak and O'Connell mean to do whatever he could to get him back, a notion which he expressed as he brandished a golden sceptre. The golden sceptre caught Izzy's eye, and Izzy promised to do whatever O'Connell asked in exchange for the sceptre. O'Connell then noticed that Izzy was wearing an eye-patch, which Izzy revealed was only for dramatic effect: his other eye worked just fine.
As Izzy led O'Connell, his wife Evelyn, and her brother Jonathan forward, he was caught by surprise as he saw thirteen Arab warriors in black robes, their leader, a warrior named Ardeth Bay, introduced them as the twelve commanders of the Medjai, who would be alerted when the Army of Anubis arose; Ardeth then summoned up a falcon named Horus, which was his pet and most trusted friend, announcing that Horus would be the means in which the Medjai would communicate.
Izzy went on to lead the group to a large aircraft, which Izzy revealed was a dirigible: as his plane had been lost in a poker game some time back, Izzy had built his dirigible to replace it. O'Connell derided the dirigible and pointed his gun in displeasure at Izzy, but Izzy stated that the dirigible was a better choice than an airplane, as it was faster than it appeared, and operated quiet, allowing its passengers a better chance to "sneak up on people".
Journey to Ahm Shere
The dirigible then took off, piloted by Izzy, and passed through Giza and through much of the Sahara. As they travelled on, Jonathan managed to pilfer the golden sceptre that had been given to Izzy, but Izzy took the stick back, warning Jonathan not to try it again. As they travelled on, Evelyn began to become entranced by visions caused by the lead kidnapper of the O'Connells' son, the mummy Imhotep, and as she was caught in her trance, she slipped out of the dirigible and almost fell to her death before O'Connell and Jonathan could help her back up. Once Evelyn was back aboard, she explained that the visions were memories from her past life as an ancient Egyptian princess.
The next morning, Izzy took O'Connell and his friends to Karnak, where they found a deserted train left behind by Alex's kidnappers. Though the cultists had been in Karnak, they had not left any indication as to their next stop, but Evelyn had found the next location in the form of a small sand-castle replica left behind by Alex: the temple island of Philae. From Philae, the group found another clue leading to the next location: Abu Simbel, and at that point, the next clue was discovered: a series of canyons leading into the Blue Nile. While the dirigible and its passengers were travelling, however, they were spotted by Imhotep himself.
Once the dirigible had reached the canyon, Imhotep, who knew that he and his cultists were being followed, summoned up a great tidal wave with the waters of the river, which pursued the dirigible. Izzy saw that the tidal wave was coming forward and ignited the engines full throttle to escape the flood. The tidal wave had been averted, but Izzy was still shaken about it, as he remarked to O'Connell that he never mentioned what they had just witnessed. As the aircraft and its passengers continued on through the canyon, Jonathan looked out and saw their destination: the lost Oasis of Ahm Shere. As the group looked on at the Oasis, a rumbling sound rang out and the tidal wave returned. Izzy again hit the engines full blast to escape the waters, but the engines were overheated and the boosters on the dirigible burned out; as the craft remained stationary in the air, Izzy sank into the cockpit meekly and the tidal wave took the craft and its passengers down.
The dirigible had been taken down, though its passengers had survived, but Izzy was left with the task of repairing the craft before O'Connell, who intended to leave with Evelyn, Jonathan and Ardeth Bay, returned with his son. Izzy called out that he could not repair the balloon as it was filled with gas and not hot air. Izzy went on to explain that the balloon could take hot air but much of it would be needed, and so was left with the task of filling up the balloon and repairing the craft. Before O'Connell and his friends left, however, Jonathan pocketed the gold sceptre given to Izzy and left. The mention of a solid gold pyramid within the Oasis caught Izzy's attention once he set to work, being instructed to search for O'Connell and his friends there if they did not return.
The next day, Izzy managed to get the craft fixed and in the air just as O'Connell and his family stood on the golden pyramid, which was sucking every piece of foliage from the Oasis in. Izzy lowered the craft so that O'Connell and his family could climb aboard, but Jonathan fell out before he could make his way onboard. Seeing a giant diamond atop the pyramid, however, Jonathan requested to be lowered so that he might reach it and take it. Jonathan successfully took the diamond just as the pyramid completed its consumption of the surrounding Oasis and, ultimately, itself. Izzy whooped in triumph as he managed to escape the pyramid's force, and called out angrily to O'Connell that he almost got him killed, but eased up once Evelyn kissed him on the cheek in thanks for his help. As the craft flew away from the desert, Izzy looked on admiringly as O'Connell and Evelyn kissed, but snapped back to attention, calling out to Jonathan that the diamond was half his; Jonathan and Izzy then began to argue over the diamond as they all flew into the sunset.
Personality and Traits
Izzy Buttons was a pilot of aircraft that had a skeptical view of certain things and was quick to a hot temper when certain events did not go as he had intended. Despite his short fuse, Izzy had many skills from pilotage of aircraft to engineering knowledge, both of which he employed to create his dirigible.
A small, thin man, Izzy Buttons had gold teeth and wore the garb typical of an aircraft pilot: a light-coloured jacket over an undershirt and trousers with brown shin guards and black shoes; Izzy also wore an aviator's hat and an eye-patch which served only as a costume piece as he felt it made him look "dashing". Because of some mishaps in the past involving shootings, Izzy's posterior was considerably flat.
Behind the Scenes
Izzy Buttons was played by Shaun Parkes.
In the novelisation of the second film, Izzy explains that his rear end was left flat by being shot at; conversely, in the novel, Izzy tells that he once did "unspeakable things to a camel" at the Cairo Opera House.