Iron Man #225-#232
Iron Man had battled the criminal called Force, and had recruited and helped him. Tony Stark was examining Forces' armor and realized a lot of the technology resembled that of Iron Man's armor technology. It was then revealed that Spymaster had stolen some Iron Man armor secrets and had sold them to Justin Hammer, who then sold them to criminals and heroes alike. Tony Stark then invented "Negator Packs" that could destroy his technology on contact.
Iron Man #225-#229
Tony Stark suited up as Iron Man and printed out a list of people who had his secrets. He went after Stilt Man, and used the first of his negator packs on the criminal. He then confronted the Mauler, who just gave his costume away with no fight. After that, he went after the Controller. In their battle, a boy was killed, and acting blindly out of rage, Iron Man defeated the Controller. Some of his next targets included Stingray, the Mandroids, Crimson Dynamo, Titanium Man (Gremlin), and others.
"The Day the Hero Died"
Iron Man #230
Iron Man had lost his friendship with Steve Rogers, and was no longer an Avenger. He was an international criminal, now, and Tony Stark "fired" Iron Man. The government then sent the agent "Firepower" a man in a huge battle suit/armor, after Iron Man. The battle took place in the desert, and when Iron Man was almost defeated, he retreated to a helicopter, in which James Rhodes was inside. Tony Stark took off the Iron Man armor and filled with blood packs. He and Rhodes then sent it flying out the helicopter. Firepower fired a missile and blew it up. With the blood all over, everyone in the world except Anthony Stark and James Rhodes thought Iron Man was dead.
Iron Man #231
Firepower then began attacking Stark Enterprises all over the world. Meanwhile, Tony Stark adds the finishing touches to the new Iron Man armor he'd started working on just before the fight with Force; He adds a protective circuit that would not let the technology get stolen, and faced Firepower. The new armor actually did some damage to Firepower's armor. Firepower was about to launch a missile but his armor was so banged up it was stuck. With 9 seconds to spare, Iron Man found the cancellation code for the missile. Firepower was then arrested. Tony Stark then decided he was not going to destroy the new armor like he originally planned, because of what Firepower said: "There'll be others who will kill you. Just like I killed the OLD Iron Man."
Iron Man #232
Tony went to bed last issue at the very end. Little did he know, even though the "Armor Wars" were over now, the nightmare had just begun. In his dream he was Iron Man in his old armor fighting a mechanical beast. He confronted James Rhodes in Iron Man armor, tons of corpses, and a living cybernetic world. The beast that he was fighting absorbed his power, so he reversed repulsors, defeating the creature, but tearing his armor apart, causing an explosion. As he screamed in pain, he woke up, and realized that the dream was just a reflection of his own guilt. The Armor Wars were then officially over.
- Armor Wars came to be due to Iron Man co-writer Bob Layton's dissatisfaction over the lack of publicity for his and David Michelinie's return to the series. According to Michelinie, during a brainstorming session, Layton expressed his discontent, and then-editor-in-chief Jim Shooter told him that to get a special type of promotion, they would need an eventful story for them to push. Almost immediately, Shooter came up with the premis of Tony Stark's armor designs being stolen and used by his enemies.
- While throughout its original run in Iron Man this storyline was titled Stark Wars, the name was changed in the collected edition to Armor Wars. According to co-writer Bob Layton, this change came about because they thought "Armor Wars" sounded cooler.
- This story would mark Gremlin's final appearance in the mainstream continuity. During Armor Wars, Iron Man apparently killed the Gremlin in his new Titanium Man armor, when it was set on fire by Iron Man's boot jets. Soon after, during the second Armor Wars, the Living Laser posed as the Gremlin in his Titanium Man armor in order to confuse Stark. A short while after, Boris Bullski, returned and reclaimed the mantle of Titanium Man, taking the deceased Gremlin's place amongst the Soviet Super-Soldiers, and wearing his original armor for several years before upgrading.
- Iron Man's Stealth Armor upgraded during the Armor Wars.
- Armor Wars was first collected in a trade paperback in 1990. The book's popularity resulted in it quickly falling out of print and would not be re-released until 2007, when Marvel released a new printing (with a new cover). The book collects issues #225-#231 as well as the epilogue to the story presented in issue #232. The Prologue story (#215-224) was published in a trade paperback in March, 2010.
- Armor Wars were also adapted into two episodes of the Iron Man TV show in the 1990's.
- Everyone in the world except for Stark and Rhodes assumed the old Iron Man died in the struggle with Firepower, and that he was replaced. Years later, Stark would reveal to the press that he is infact Iron Man and always has been.
- The "Old" Iron Man's armor was called the Silver Centurion Armor.
- What If? (Vol. 2) #8 features an alternate-universe story called "What If Iron Man Lost the Armor Wars?" which features Tony Stark destroying Stark Enterprises and eventually giving up the mantle of Iron Man.
Links and References
|Armor Wars I|
|Part I: Iron Man #225||Part II: Iron Man #226||Part III: Iron Man #227||Part IV: Iron Man #228|
|Part V: Iron Man #229||Part VI: Iron Man #230||Part VII: Iron Man #231||Part VIII: Iron Man #232|