Armor Wars ends with the “death” of Iron Man, and then the birth of a “new” Iron Man. The military has a contract for a super armor from a Stark competitor, Ted Cord, and they hire Tony to use Iron Man to test the power of the military’s potential purchase, which is creatively titled, “Firepower.”
Tony is feeling guilty about fighting his friend Steve Rogers and killing (in self defense) Titanium Man and wants to end his Iron Man career entirely, but the military strongarms him into taking the deal.
Firepower ends up being tougher than Iron Man. Firepower beats the crap out of Tony and he has to flee to Rhodey for rest…
Then, he seems to return to the battle and gets destroyed. That’s the end of issue #230, and the image at the top of this post, which Bob Layton wanted to use for the cover…
Instead, Marvel went with this:
Personally, I prefer Layton’s image. There’s a post on the full story here.
Anyway, he can’t abide the military having the use of Firepower–especially since he just spent a whole bunch of time collecting all the other armor out there.
So, he builds a new suit.
And blows up Firepower.
Pretty easily. (Thereby proving what I’ve said all along: The Silver Centurian version of his armor was laaaaaaaame.)
This causes him to rejuvenate his image and get back into being Tony Stark again. So, his publicist has a good suggestion…
See, that’s the danger of using popular references in books!
Finally, this is the official end of Armor Wars–but it wasn’t called that at the time. Instead, it was known as…
Get it? STARk WARS?