During a business trip to Afghanistan to demonstrate Stark Industries’ new weapon, Tony Stark is kidnapped by the terrorist group Ten Rings, who orders him to build a missile for them. Instead, he and fellow captive Yinsen secretly build the Mark I power armor in the months following his capture. During this time, Yinsen also acted as Stark’s mentor, showing him humility and telling him of the horrors his company has caused, making Stark reconsider his life. Stark impressed himself after finishing the armor, calling it “the future”. Armed with a flamethrower, Stark uses the armor to defeat several terrorists and destroy their weapons stockpile, but Yinsen is killed during the escape. Stark then escapes from the Ten Rings caves, but his suit is destroyed when he crashlands in the desert. Upon being picked up by the Air Force and returning to the United States, Stark declares that his company will no longer manufacture weapons, a move disapproved by his business partner Obadiah Stane.
With the help of his personal A.I. J.A.R.V.I.S., Stark develops an updated and more powerful version of his armor, adding Stark Industries new repulsor technology and flight capability. While testing his new suit at Stark Industries, Tony is informed by his assistant Pepper Potts that armed men are attacking the facilities. Stark then decides to use his suit to deal with the attackers, and notices that they are Maggia soldiers. After the attack, Stark discovers that Maggia is providing weapons for the Ten Rings, and he returns to Afghanistan to battle them. Using his new Mark III “Iron Man” armor, Stark destroys Maggia’s weapons stockpiles and an armored vehicle called the Dreadnaught. On the way back home he is confronted by the United States Air Force. A pair of F-22 Raptors are sent after Stark—one is damaged during the chase, but Stark manages to save the pilot. He then establishes contact with his friend Lieutenant Colonel James Rhodes, who learns of Stark’s identity and cancels the jet attack.