At first, Tony found his new life a torment; his armor’s chest plate had to be worn constantly and required frequent recharging. He kept the armor a secret from everyone, including his fiancée, Joanna Nivena. Turning suicidal and drinking heavily, Tony was supported by Joanna, with whom he shared his secret identity. Joanna encouraged him to use his armor as a super hero, but ultimately called off the engagement knowing Tony would not be the family man she desired. Renaming his corporation Stark International, Tony resolved to abandon munitions production in favor of electronics and computer engineering after witnessing firsthand the impact his company’s weapons had on innocent lives.
The mutant Onslaught manifested, threatening to destroy all of the life on Earth. The young Tony and many of the world's super heroes fought Onslaught in New York City's Central Park where young Iron Man, the Fantastic Four, Thor, the Hulk, and other heroes seemingly lost their lives defending the Earth. However, they were actually brought into a pocket universe created by Reed and Sue Richards' son, Franklin. Events soon forced Franklin to choose a world to survive; he restored the original world. Upon returning, the still-adult Tony found he had the collective memories and experiences of the original Tony Stark merged with those of the Earth-96020 Tony and the person he had been on Counter-Earth.
In opposing Obidiah Stane's attempts at forming a major multinational conglomerate, Tony unwittingly made Stane a driven enemy. Obadiah Stane set up games of psychological warfare against Tony, which included physical attacks by his Chessmen super-operatives, outbidding Stark International for key contracts and having his lackey Indries Moomji romance Tony, all in an attempt to drive Tony to resort to drinking. As Stane’s pressure increased, Tony responded as anticipated, and after Indries rejected Tony, he virtually gave up trying to oppose Stane. When the villain Magma...