Shellhead attends a summit with the heads of Hydra and A.I.M. in the frozen wastes of the North Pole.
The former associates have agreed a ceasefire in the wake of increased attrition from the Maggia. They make the mistake of thinking they can hire Iron Man like some common mercenary to do their dirty work; capture Madame Masque. Surprisingly, the Golden Avenger declines the offer of ancillary employment.
Back in Los Angeles, out of his armor, Tony Stark is still finding it hard coming to terms with his paralysis after his shooting. He tenders his resignation as head of Stark Enterprises.
Cue the entrance of a major player without moral scruples who's happy to do business with both Hydra and A.I.M. The gentleman's name is Hulk. Or is it Mr. Fixit, now?
The gray-skinned Goliath promptly delivers Madame Masque to his new hooded and helmeted paymasters. But the Maggia has a tracking device on her and soon arrive mob-handed with trucks-full of Dreadnoughts.