"What If... the Avengers Had Never Been?"
With the departure of the Hulk from their ranks, the fledgling Avengers team disintegrates around Iron Man - secretly Anthony Stark, their benefactor.
Thor returns to Asgard, bored with the trifles of mortals. Hank Pym returns to the challenges of science, with his partner, Janet Van Dyne supporting him. Iron Man is left with the burden of tracking and corralling the powerful, but unpredictable Hulk; lest his unlimited might may be misused against the human race.
The obligation is made more immediate, when news of the Hulk's allegiance with Namor, the Sub-Mariner threatens the safety of the surface world.
A challenge is issued to the Avengers by the deadly duo to battle them to the death in Gibraltar. Iron Man bluffs his retort. No-one else knows that the Avengers have disbanded. Stark's brilliant mind conceives to create new Avengers clad in variations of his own armor.... Iron Avengers.
Hank, Janet, along with Rick Jones are summoned back to the Fifth Avenue townhouse mansion that Stark inherited. The three don the new armors, but fail to understand how to use their new capabilities properly. Iron Man snaps, nearly revealing his true identity in the process. Once again the recruits abandon him.
There's nothing left for it now, Stark admits resignedly, but to go it alone. He overcharges his power batteries for one last heroic all-out effort.
Stark streaks towards Gibraltar for his showdown with destiny. A brutal encounter follows, leaving Iron Man battered and near paralyzed from power loss.
To the rescue come the trio of Iron Avengers, after a change of heart. The tide of battle favors the Avengers, but sways towards Namor and the Hulk. A valiant sacrifice by Tony Stark influences the climax.