Captain America is walking around the city when he suddenly notices some costumed assassins. He starts fighting them, and the fight is overheard by a police officer, who comes rushing over. Captain America tells the policeman that between the two of them, they should be able to stop the assassins, but the policeman asks him what he means by the assassins. As Cap persists in telling the officer what's happening, the officer insists that Captain America is the only person around in any sort of costume, and the civilians around them agree with the officer. The assassins by now have radioed their bosses, and told them of their success in their mission. The two men then go to tell their leader: the Red Skull!
The Red Skull is pleased that Captain America's doom is imminent, but thinks to himself about all the traps he's escaped from in the past. He then thinks back to the closing days of World War II, and how he and Captain America had been fighting in a hidden bunker, before a bomb caused the collapse of the bunker. Although it seemed as though he was killed, the Red Skull was saved by some support pillars which had crisscrossed above him, and an experimental gas placed him in suspended animation until he was found by Them, the scientific organisation mentioned last issue. Meanwhile, Captain America is visiting a psychiatrist, asking him whether he's going crazy or not. The psychiatrist starts questioning Captain America, but another of the assassins from before enters the room, and tries to kill Captain America. Captain America chases him off, but the psychiatrist insists that no one was there.
The next day, Captain America is walking around on the street, when he is approached by a man who asks for his autograph. Captain America readily agrees to, whilst an assassin watches from nearby, thinking about how he'll set his helmet to hypnotise Captain America as well as everyone on the street, so that no one sees him. He'll then kill someone, and everyone will think that Cap did it. However, as he approaches, Captain America attacks him, and the assassin complains about how the Red Skull claimed his plan couldn't fail. Cap then examines the man's helmet, and says about how he was able to jam the signals from it with a hidden circuit on his mask installed by SHIELD.
In the previous issue, Happy Hogan was kidnapped by the Mandarin and interrogated, since the Mandarin thought that he was Iron Man. However, just as Happy was about to be killed, the real Iron Man stepped into the room, ready to confront the Mandarin and save his friend. The Mandarin orders his guards to take Happy away, whilst he himself attacks Iron Man. Fortunately, Iron Man upgraded his armour in the previous issue, and so the karate chops that would normally have damaged his older armour aren't as effective. The Mandarin then manages to use one of his rings to coat Iron Man with a layer of ice, but Iron Man easily defrosts this.
Seeing this, the Mandarin runs off, tapping a section of the wall as he does. As Iron Man follows, a trap is activated, forcing two walls to crush him. Luckily, his strength is great enough that he stops the walls, and then goes to confront the Mandarin once more. Iron Man removes his iron gauntlets when he confronts Mandarin, as he plans to beat Mandarin man-to-man, with no super strength to help him. Iron Man succeeds in this, and then heads to the dungeons, where Happy has been taken. Whilst looking for Happy, Iron Man hears some of the guards mentioning a missile which the Mandarin has given to the Chinese army, which is secretly set to attack an American base, thereby leading to a war between the East and West.
Iron Man manages to take out the guards and save Happy, then programs Happy's armour to take him back to America, whilst he takes care of the missiles. Iron Man uses his radio signal to alter the course of the missile that's been fired, making it head for Mandarin's castle, seemingly killing the Mandarin as it hits.