Given the outcome of recent events, Tony Starks should be on top of the world. The Avengers scored a major victory with their inaugural mission. Surprisingly, the head of Starks industries is now racked with anxiety. A new threat to national security has emerged in the form of The Mandarin, a colorful terrorist leader with a flair for the theatrical. He initiates a rash of bombings, the immediate aftermath of which have left little in the way of forensic evidence. As this crisis continues unabated, scientist Aldrich Killian returns from a self-imposed exile. Innovations in viral research have not only given him a new lease on life, but have emboldened him. He now means to take his rightful place on the world stage. In order to know peace, Tony must once again do simultaneous battle with personal demons, powerful villains, and former colleagues.