June 1988 Volume 1 USA DIRECT EDITION 511 Collected
Iron Man #231B
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June 1988
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Crossovers / Story Arcs
Stories may contain spoilers
Stark Wars, Chapter 7: Reborn Again

At Tony Stark’s home, a wall of television screens plays a number of different TV shows at once. It's mostly news, but also included are: Wheel of Fortune, Gilligan’s Island, The Brady Bunch, Jem and the Holograms and Speed Racer. All of the news shows are discussing Iron Man’s recent fall from favor and apparent death. Jim Rhodes asks Tony if he should rotate the satellite dish to get more channels, but Stark is satisfied that the world does indeed consider Iron Man dead.

Unfortunately, Tony is far from healed... He has three cracked ribs, a sprained arm, an injured knee and numerous injuries on his face. He has also received a blood transfusion. Rhodes helps him to his bedroom, telling him that he should count himself lucky. His recovery (from what the doctors think was him being thrown out of his seat in a helicopter) has been nothing short of miraculous.

Stark begins to reminisce about the events of the past few issues: first, Justin Hammer had Spymaster steal his secret technology, and then distributed it, forcing Iron Man to fight those Hammer had supplied the secrets to. Along the way, he has crossed many lines and, in the eyes of the public, caused much harm.

As a result, the government sent Firepower after him. When Firepower, “beat the living crap” out of Iron Man, he took refuge in an observation helicopter with Rhodes. The military was ready to blow the helicopter out of the sky, so he and Rhodes filled the Iron Man suit with their stores of whole blood and sent it out on its own, controlling it with transmissions from the chopper’s radio gear. Thus, Firepower only destroyed Iron Man’s empty suit.

Rhodes tells Tony that, with the pressure on Stark Enterprises beginning to ease with the news of Iron Man’s death, he has a great excuse to build a new suit of armor. Stark, though, replies that he fears dangerous technology might be stolen from him again. He intends to let Iron Man stay dead.

Later, in a desert arroyo, two soldiers fire rockets at the armored Firepower, as Edwin Cord observes. The structural integrity of Firepower’s armor is intact, as the fight with Iron Man did little damage. Senator Boynton and General Meade show up, wanting to take custody of the armor, but Cord refuses to give it to them. He dares them to try and take it, and threatens to reveal to the tabloids how the armor was conceived... as a riot control device. He then instructs Taggart to blow up a flatbed truck which was intended to carry away the armor. Boynton and Meade are cowed, although Meade is clearly very unhappy.

North of Los Angeles, a company helicopter takes Stark to the administration building of Stark Enterprises. His employees welcome him warmly, and he tells them the dark days are over. His head of public relations advises Tony to hire Bill Cosby as the new corporate spokesperson.

Over the next few days, Edwin Cord and Firepower seem determined to sabotage Stark Enterprises: they intimidate a manufacturing group into not accepting a Stark contract bid and blow up a shipment for Accutech Research and Development (a subsidiary of Stark Enterprises). Eventually, after days upon days of more destruction and harassment, Stark Enterprises is driven to the point where, as Tony says, it “can’t afford to lose another account.” He tells Rhodey he filed a protest in Washington, but was blocked. So much pressure is being applied that he can’t even get the police involved. Firepower suddenly arrives, injuring Bill Segrist, who is in charge of the Stark railyard. Firepower gives Stark a message from Cord: having destroyed Iron Man, he now plans to destroy the rest of Stark’s life.

Stark goes home, leaving Rhodes confused at his apparent lack of action. In his basement lab, Tony spends the next several weeks making a new suit, despite his earlier reluctance. He includes new features, such as a beta particle power supply, a new experimental weapon and defense modes. He also adds a self-destruct feature, set to initiate if circuit duplication is attempted without access to secret codes which only Stark knows. He completes the armor, and then resolves to destroy it as soon as Firepower is dealt with.

A few days later, north of San Francisco, Iron Man shows up to stop Firepower from harassing a celebration of a new Stark Enterprises facility in Marin County. They fight, and Iron Man wins easily. However, Firepower’s backpack nuke almost goes off, forcing Stark to use an EMP pulse and sophisticated sensor scan to stop it. Firepower, unaware that this new Iron Man is actually the same as the old one, warns him that there’ll be others, and eventually, someone will kill him.

Iron Man returns to his coastal mansion and realizes Firepower was right: there will always be others, and someone must protect the world against them. He decides to continue on as Iron Man, and retires to bed for a good night’s sleep... - Pending Approval


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