Allantown was a small town in Iowa, inhabited by some two hundred people plus pets and livestock. In the twentieth century, life had almost remained unchanged there, although the town did have cars, gas stations, TV sets and telephones.
In the 1980s, Roxxon Oil Corporation secretly launched an orbital space station, Star Well I, from which Dr. Arthur Dearborn performed experiments to send solar energy in microwave beams to Roxxon's surface antennae, as a way to fight the problem of oil depletion. One of the experiments went wrong, sending instead an unwarned barrage of microwave radiation that obliterated homogenously all the life in a diameter of 10 miles, including all the people in Allantown. Completely caught by surprise, the Allantowners were having their daily routines and suddenly each and every one of them drop dead. Some Roxxon officials did know what had happened, but they refused to accept responsibility, trying instead to hide the skeleton in the cupboard.
The Allantown situation was quickly discovered by the law-enforcement agency SHIELD, with its public director Colonel Nick Fury managing the situation personally. SHIELD quarantined Allantown using a supposed anthrax epidemic as a excuse, and they refused to allow anyone in - Fury appealed to national security to prevent the situation from becoming public knowledge, and classified it as top secret. SHIELD agents in the Allantown area wore hermetic suits. When SHIELD's initial research proved fruitless, Fury decided to seize Stark International very advanced labs for the research.
Fury succeeded in taking control of Stark's analytical lab complex and started making tests on corpses and items brought from Allantown. When Stark CEO Anthony Stark noticed this the following day, he agreed to help SHIELD. SHIELD's Dr. Wolf discovered that the microwave radiation probably came from space. At the same time, Roxxon's Jonas Hale sent several agents to stop SHIELD's research on Allantown: First Senator Chad Mountebank, claiming to have discovered about the investigation through Capitol Hill, vainly tried to bribe Stark. When this failed, Hill ordered his sleeper agent in Stark International, telecommunication manager Michael Trudeau, to stop the research. Trudeau stole a Jupiter Landing Vehicle and attacked the lab, but he was stopped by Stark International agent Iron Man (secretly Mr. Stark himself).
Stark donned a prototype space armor, #14C, and went to Allantown to research himself. Without speaking with the SHIELD agents there, Stark scanned, found the microwave radiation and followed it until he found the Star Well I. Stark found Dearborn, who agreed to explain the situation to him, and in turn Stark told Dearborn that his experiments had killed hundreds in Allantown. Aghast at discovering this, Dearborn nonetheless tried to justify the tragedy because his research could save millions of lives. Jonas Hale, from Roxxon's Earth-based headquarters, discovered Iron Man in the Star Well and tried to activate the self-destruct mechanism of Star Well, but Stark had disabled it.
However, when Stark threatened to take Dearborn and Roxxon to the justice and to dismantle the Star Well, Dearborn was overprotective and tried to stop Stark by using his own secret identity, Sunturion. The fight damaged the station, which started falling toward Earth, specifically to Sarasota, Florida. Understanding the new danger, Stark and Sunturion cooperated to stop the disaster, and Sunturion apparently sacrificed his own life to power Iron Man's technology and save Sarasota. The Star Well landed harmlessly in the Gulf of Mexico. Stark, wanting to get legal proofs to use against Roxxon, tried to get some pictures of the Star Well with his helmet camera, but Sunturion's microwave energy fogged the film.
Stark returned to Earth and demanded the Senate investigated Roxxon's involvement in the Iowa disaster, which the newspaper still called an anthrax epidemic. Although Stark discovered that he had not the photographs he expected, the investigation nonetheless continued.
Eb (deceased); Mizz Peters (deceased)