Iron Man fights Ezekiel Stane, son of Obadiah Stane; who sought to avenge the death of his father by destroying Stark Industries. Ezekiel targets Stark by first becoming an international terrorist, using suicide bombers; with technology based upon the Iron Man. In an attempt to deal with the source of the devastation, Stark ventures into an A.I.M. facility and is faced with MODOG (Mental Organism Designed Only for Genocide), though after defeating him with ease and tossing his body into space; Stark realises another individual is responsible. Also targeted by Stane is Triumph Division—a group of seven superheroes originating from The Philippines; who are killed by a suicide bomber.
With his Extremis powers failing, Stark uploads a virus to destroy all records of the Registration Act, thus preventing Norman Osborn from learning the identities of his fellow heroes. The only copy remaining is in Stark's brain, which he is trying to delete bit by bit while on the run in one of his extra armors. As Osborn has him hunted as a fugitive, Stark travels worldwide on his quest to wipe out his mental database, going so far as to inflict brain damage on himself. When Osborn personally catches up to the debilitated Stark and beats him savagely, Pepper Potts broadcasts the beatings worldwide, costing Osborn credibility and giving Stark public sympathy. Stark goes into a vegetative state, having previously granted Donald Blake (alter ego of the Norse-god superhero Thor) power of attorney. During this catatonia, Pepper receives a holographic message from Tony revealing a way to 'reboot' his brain, returning him to normal. While Donald Blake and Captain America resolve to use this method, Tony offers to remain in his near brain-dead state, if it would make things easier for Pepper.
A message is displayed to Pepper by the armor in which Tony reveals there is a way to reboot his mind but offers to remain like that if it makes things easier. He also says Osborn cannot copy his or S.H.I.E.L.D. technology and that it will take Captain America, Thor, and himself to clean the mess Osborn will do once he goes crazy. Donald Blake (Thor) and Captain America (Bucky) decide to use it even though Pepper doubts Tony can come back when so many others cannot. Meanwhile, Madame Masque hires Ghost to kill Tony. In Stark's subconscious, he is trapped in a never ending loop where machines attack when he attempts to dig for something before the scenario resets. In his subconscious, a hallucination of his parents (Howard and Maria) help him find an iron chest which was what he was digging for. He puts it on but nothing happens. In the real world, Tony's recording outline how to reboot him, involving installing Pepper's electromagnet onto his chest, jack the hard drive Maria Hill recovered from Futurpharm into his head and then use Thor's thunder to boot his brain. However, when it happens there is no result so Doctor Strange is called in to help Tony come back while Ghost arrives only to fail. Tony's brain is successfully rebooted; however, the reset point was sometime before the Civil War, leaving Stark with no knowledge of the current status quo.
Justine Hammer unleashes the mechanical hero Detroit Steel on a world not ready for that much metal and chrome, and God help anyone that gets in his way. Tony keeps sifting through the ashes of his old life and tries to rebuild who he is and what he does. War Machine struggled to be a man of war in peacetime. Meanwhile, Pepper Potts is on the road to recovery, but nothing is free from complication in Tony Stark's world and that means the debut of an all new Rescue. The gang at Stark Resilient burns the midnight oil against an impossible deadline, but they're not the only one manufacturing a world-changer. Justine Hammer is building an army of bombers as air support for Detroit Steel. And all of Tony Stark's plans are in danger as the greatest foe he's ever faced is revealed.
The machinations of the Red Skull's daughter, Sin, unleashed the long forgotten Asgardian god known only as the Serpent upon Midgard to fulfill an eons-old prophecy. His Worthy—eight mighty, mystically empowered warriors—spread fear in his name. With the planet seized by panic and chaos erupting worldwide, one of Tony Stark's oldest, most dangerous enemies stands transformed as one of the Worthy, and an unsuspecting Paris will pay the ultimate price. Now, Iron Man must fight a war on two fronts: one against the hammer-wielding Grey Gargoyle, and another against the soul-numbing dependency that has cost him so much.