|For other uses, see Iron Man 2 (disambiguation)|
Iron Man 2: Public Identity is a comic book published by Marvel Digital Comics. It is set before the events of Iron Man 2.
Everybody wants to get their hands on the Iron Man technology. Tony knows the damage his armor could wreak in irresponsible hands. But a reckless military leader has his own plans that don't involve waiting for Stark to just hand over the suit!
Part 1: 'No Reason'
Tony Stark makes his famous "I am Iron Man" statement, revealing his identity to the world.
A few decades prior, Howard Stark is discussing the Arc Reactor technology with Anton Vanko over a business lunch with their respective wives. Although Vanko is worried of the financial and political implications of the project, Howard is resolute that the Arc Reactor will work perfectly and steer the world towards a new future.
In the present day, Tony Stark is using the Iron Man armor to have some fun with a group of women on a yacht. Stark has been basking in the spotlight thanks to his deeds as Iron Man while continuing his playboy socialite lifestyle. One night after a fundraiser, Stark enters his limousine to spend the night with a woman, a mysterious group in a van follows him.
During a Navy air show for the Blue Angels, Iron Man saves one of the planes when it experiences engine trouble. That night while attending a party, Stark discusses his suit with a couple Armed Forces colonels, declining to let them use it. He meets with Pepper Potts, who tells him that James Rhodes is waiting for him at home.
Meeting up with Rhodes, who is now a lieutenant colonel, they discuss Stark's new life as Iron Man, with him recently going against protocol in Pavlodar to fight the Ten Rings. Rhodes says that Stark has been getting people nervous with his reckless attitude and presses the need of Iron Man working with the military, since Stark always gets to emergencies before the Army officially deploys him. Rhodes reveals he has been assigned to write a report on Iron Man. In that moment, Stark and Rhodes receive news of a situation in Al-Kut. The Army wants Iron Man to do some reconnaissance but Stark decides to fully enter the emergency as he suits up.
Iron Man intercepts a group of insurgents attacking United Nations peacekeeping troops. They fire at him, but Iron Man survives their weapons before deploying his own missiles, killing his attackers. Iron Man defeats them and meets a news crew who recorded the battle. The reporter assures Stark everyone is okay and Iron Man says that it was through them that he found out what was going on. He then flies off, but not before telling the crew not to call him "Stark" in their news report, as he is trying to build a brand for Iron Man.
Watching the events on the news, Senator Stern discusses Iron Man's unpredictable nature with Rhodes. Rhodes defends Stark, but Stern introduces him to General Thaddeus Ross. Ross states that they want him as a "superhuman watchdog" and the Army can't afford to wait for Stark to smarten up, so he has begun a project with Justin Hammer that will send a message to all enemies of freedom: they don't need Tony Stark.
Ross then shows Rhodes and Stern the construction of a top-secret single-pilot attack vehicle.
Iron Man faces off against Somali Pirates in the Gulf of Aden before getting official authorization from the International Maritime Bureau.
Decades prior, Howard confronts Vanko over his attempted espionage with the Arc Reactor. Vanko replies that it was for the money as he is taken away to be deported, along with his family. Obadiah Stane comforts Howard, advising him to go back to doing what he does best.
Years later, Howard is working in his home office when a toy car runs into his foot. Angry, Howard berates Tony for wasting his time during his weekends at home. Tony runs away, and Howard feels bad for being so strict with his son. Tony sits alone crying on the balcony where he is found by Edwin Jarvis, the family's butler. Jarvis comforts Tony, telling him that a father-son relationship is difficult for both sides, but time will heal all wounds.
In the present day, Tony Stark is in his childhood home and remembers what Jarvis told him. Tony stands alone in Howard's office, where he reflects to the J.A.R.V.I.S. AI about his relationships with his father and family butler. J.A.R.V.I.S. intercepts a call from the Army and directs it to Stark his handheld. Reading it, Stark says that he cannot stand it and prepares for another trip to the desert.
Later, Rhodes meets Hammer, who was commissioned by General Ross to build a single-pilot vehicle, the Aerodynamic Marvel, to replace Iron Man. Rhodes and Hammer meet with the commander chosen as the pilot and General Ross. Rhodes warns the commander that Ross is not looking for glory hounds, since he will be dropped in the hot zone. However, the commander simply states that he wants to serve his country. Hammer, amused by this, says that an unused weapon is a weapon not worth using.
Meanwhile, Potts talks with the Stark Industries board of directors, promising that Stark will meet them. Stark then contacts Potts to inform her that he will be unable to make it, as he is in the Afghani desert investigating recent Ten Rings ordnance activity. Iron Man then deploys his latest invention, the Magna-Drone, which retrieves and deactivates all land mines in the area. Nick Fury monitors the event from satellites.
Meanwhile, Ross and Hammer test out the Aerodynamic Marvel in the field, dropping the pilot into Congo. Hammer is confident the military will buy an entire fleet soon but Ross wants to see the results first.
Stark reaches home from celebrating his victory and talks with Rhodes and Potts. Rhodes reveals Hammer's plans to become the Army's new weapons contractor due to Stark's distance from the military. Stark protests that he was on a mission against the Ten Rings, having saved more mine-detecting canines from being killed by their operations. Suddenly, Rhodes receives a call that Hammer's test pilot has crash-landed in enemy territory and is about to be attacked by the Congolese Army. Stark then prepares to help.
The news of the Aerodynamic Marvel's airman being stranded in hostile territory has reached Senator Stern. Furious, he demands to speak with General Ross.
Tony Stark remembers his teenage years, relaxing in a pool after his graduation from MIT. Howard states that Stark is being immature despite his prodigious intelligence but is interrupted by Jarvis, having to meet Maria for a trip. Howard leaves after telling Tony there is much he doesn't yet know about his father's work.
Sometime later, Stark attends his parents' funeral, staying long after the other attendees dispersed.
In the present, Stark learns Hammer's prototype was sent to the North Kivu province for a field test and the airman in trouble. Rhodes points out this was caused by the military's impatience with Stark's behavior. Stark is then contacted by General Turner of the Pentagon, who sends him the coordinates to the vehicle and authorizes him to return fire if faced with hostiles. Potts is concerned that Turner lied to Stark about the real purpose of the mission, but Stark still decides to suit up as Iron Man.
General Ross tries to control the situation by finding the vehicle in the Congo until Iron Man enters the area. Ross declines to have backup arrive, wanting to see him in action. Iron Man takes out the Congolese soldiers, who are also found to be wearing red clothing with the Ten Rings' insignia on them. He saves the airman and receives a call from Ross telling him to deliver the pilot in Cairo.
Three hours later, Iron Man arrives at the Cairo West Air Base and delivers the airman to the medics. Ross angrily reprimands him for not returning fire against the Congolese soldiers but Iron Man surmises that attacking them is what the Army wanted him to do if Hammer failed. Ross states that although Stark distanced himself from his father's legacy of weapons manufacturing, Iron Man is a weapon. However, Iron Man then pulls up Ross's résumé, which includes his involvement in genetic experiments for the military. Iron Man warns that if an innocent is hurt just to advance a military agenda, there will be consequences. He then flies off.
Later, Stark holds a party which Rhodes and Potts attend. Potts privately tells Tony that General Turner and the Joint Chiefs are not happy with his actions. However, Stark says they deserved it; Iron Man is what he does now and there's much more to do.
Meanwhile, at S.H.I.E.L.D., Phil Coulson is reviewing Stark's recent actions and asks Fury for his his opinion. Fury states that the Army is pushing Stark and he is pushing them back. They will continue watching Stark, as he still has a long way to go.
- Tony Stark/Iron Man
- Pepper Potts
- James Rhodes
- Phil Coulson
- Happy Hogan
- Senator Stern
- Thaddeus Ross
- Justin Hammer
- Nick Fury
- General Turner
- Howard Stark
- Anton Vanko
- Maria Stark
- Edwin Jarvis
- Obadiah Stane
- Hugh Hefner
- Ivan Vanko (indirectly mentioned)
- Walter Cronkite (mentioned)
- Sharon (mentioned)
- New York City, New York
- Los Angeles, California
- Malibu, California
- Washington, D.C.
- Al-Kut, Iraq
- Aden, Yemen
- Kabul, Afghanistan
- North Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Cairo, Egypt
- Avalon (mentioned)
- Tokyo, Japan (mentioned)
- Atlanta, Georgia (mentioned)
- Pavlodar, Kazakhstan (mentioned)
- Cambridge, Massachusetts (mentioned)
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (mentioned)
- Pentagon (mentioned)
- Russia (mentioned)
- Somalia (mentioned)
- Soviet Union (mentioned)
- Attack on the Al-Kut Air Base
- Attack on the Somali Pirates' Ship
- Attack on the Aerodynamic Marvel
- Assassination of Howard and Maria Stark (mentioned)
- Iron Man Armor: Mark II
- Iron Man Armor: Mark III
- Iron Man Armor: Mark IV
- Arc Reactor
- Dum-E and U
- S.H.I.E.L.D. Satellite
- Gamma Radiation (mentioned)
- Stark Industries
- United States Armed Forces
- Ten Rings
- Congolese Army
- United Nations
- KNKV News
- WHiH World News
- TVT News
- United States Congress
- The Chronicle
- Somali Pirates
- Wired (mentioned)
- International Maritime Bureau (mentioned)
- Hallmark Cards (mentioned)
- The comic is featured in The Avengers: Road to the Avengers and The Marvel Cinematic Universe: The Marvel Comics Omnibus.