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Quote1.png Can I just say, this "telling your dad" thing, bad idea. Cause then your dad would tell my mom that I'm War Machine. And then I'll need a serious weapons upgrade to protect myself when she's gonna kick my butt. Quote2.png


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Tony and Howard pay a visit Obadiah Stane at the hospital, but they find his hospital bed empty. Elsewhere in a dark flat, Stane appears to plan his revenge on Tony Stark, saying that he remembers everything. Tony calls Whitney about her father's disappearance, but she seems off the grid. He tries to talk Howard into being careful, but he believes they have nothing to fear from Stane. War Machine keeps an eye out for Howard. The gang discuss whether to reveal their secret identities to Howard. Iron Man goes to check on the facility where the Iron Monger is kept, and confirms it is safe. Howard holds his public announcement of the Starkpod, when an explosion causes debris to fall over the spectators. War Machine quickly comes to the rescue, followed by Iron Man.

Howard gets to safety at Stark Industries, and orders O'Brien to destroy the weapons Stane built. O'Brien turns on him and injects him with a neurotoxin, causing him to pass out. Iron Man finds him, but too late, the neurotoxin may kill him within six hours. Tony goes on the hunt for an antidote. He gets a call from Stane - come alone, or you'll be an orphan again. The friends are frustrated they can't be there to help him (but Pepper acts more frustrated she doesn't have her own armor yet). They find Whitney at school, but she claims to not know her father's whereabouts either. She's angry that they assume he is the poisoner, that everyone always thinks the worst about him. Tony arrives at a dark warehouse, alone. He finds the antidote, but is attacked by DNA-targeted drones set on him. Tony summons his armor, and quickly secures the antidote. At school, Pepper and Rhodey soon have similar drones on their heels. Rhodey makes an electromagnet in the physics lab and disables one. He finds Pepper at the gym, having taken another one out with a baseball bat.

Outside, Iron Man races to defeat the drones and get the antidote to Howard. At the armory, Pepper turns on Rhodey, stunning him. The real Pepper soon arrives, talking, but freezes as she sees Stane standing over Rhodey's body. He traps Pepper and Rhodey, setting a bomb with a one minute timer - leaving Tony in a dilemma. However, Iron Monger appears, and he has no choice but to fight. Rhodey and Pepper free themselves with a blowtorch, and Pepper attempts to defuse the bomb; she has read all about it in S.H.I.E.L.D manuals, after all! Instead, they put the bomb in an empty armor and eject it from the armory, so it detonates at a safe distance. In the streets, Iron Monger grabs Iron Man to squeeze the life out of him. He manages to disable the Monger with Extremis. Stane steps out, and rapidly transforms to his mother, then Howard, then himself and finally Madam Masque - Whitney Stane. She shocks him and takes the antidote, explaining that her father is still in a coma and that it has been her doing all along. She remembers everything that has happened, and blames Iron Man for her father's condition - and if she can't have her dad, then neither can Tony. Iron Man traps her in a force field, but she threatens to break the antidote vial. She tosses it high in the air, and escapes.

Howard finally cured and safe, Tony tracks the mask's energy signature to a rich apartment where he finds Obadiah and Whitney. He tells her the mask's unstable energies are sending her over the edge again. She threatens to tell S.H.I.E.L.D about his secret identity... but they already know. Two agents step in to arrest her, but on the helicarrier she escapes by impersonating Agent Brand.


  • The appearance of Tony's deceased mother, Maria, is given when Madame Masque shape shifts into her.

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