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Time is running out for humanity. Tony Stark, discredited, humiliated and stripped of his command, struggles to uncover a diabolical plot that could spell the end of mankind. Betrayed by his peers, isolated by his obsessions, Stark finds that his only allies are the demons of his past and, hamstrung by obsolete technology, Iron Man is confronted by his archenemy, The Mandarin. Also included: Iron Man movie Preview, The Many Armors of Iron Man by Bob Layton, a reprint of Iron Man's Origin from April's Iron Man Omnibus, and a preview of Iron Man: Viva Las Vegas by Director Jon Favreau and Adi Granov!.
The Mandarin attempts ton convince Maya to unlock the airborne Extremis PCD, telling her the government demands it and will destroy his company if she refuses. Meanwhile, Samson explains the reason for Stark's hallucinations: Stark's Extremis-enhanced mind, processing more information than he can consciously cope with, is storing excess data in the section of the brain normally used for guilt, and providing him vital information through visions of those whose deaths he blames himself. Stark realizes that Maya's absence from his hallucinations means she isn't dead.
Maya angrily calls Kooning to berate him for demanding the removal of Extremis' PCD safeguard. Realizing what Mandarin is trying to do, he tells her not to unlock her programming. Seconds later Iron Man and Samson break into Kooning's house and interrogate him. He eventually admits contacting Prometheus Gentech to use Extremis in new super-soldier experiments, but is horrified when Tony tells him he has been working with the Mandarin. As Iron Man races across the country he orders Dugan to ready a tactical of Extremis test incubators filled with people, but is caught by the Mandarin? He explains he plans to evolve humanity with Extremis, despite his being among the 97,5% that will die. Seconds later, Iron Man breaks into the facility and attacks him.