Obadiah Stane had been selling Stark Industries weapons to the Ten Rings under the table for some time. Wanting to takeover Stark Industries, Stane hired the Ten Rings to kill Stark Industries CEO Tony Stark. Stark had been testing his Jericho missile for the Air Force in Afghanistan. After a successful test, he traveled back to Bagram Air Base in a Humvee convoy.
During the trip, the Humvee in front of them was destroyed by the Ten Rings. The soldiers that were guarding Tony Stark, Jimmy, Pratt, and Ramirez, were killed as they exited the Humvee. Stark attempted to flee but was nearly killed by a missile that his company manufactured. The missile threw several pieces of shrapnel into Stark's chest, only centimeters away from his heart. The terrorists grabbed Stark and fled the area.
Tony Stark was hooked up to an electromagnet powered by a car battery, which kept the shrapnel from reaching his heart. He was put into a cell with Ho Yinsen, who had also been captured by the Ten Rings. They were instructed to make a Jericho missile for the Ten Rings. Instead of making a missile, Stark and Yinsen secretly worked on an armor that would help them escape. They also made a miniature Arc Reactor so Stark could move without carrying around the car battery. Working on the armor for three months, Stark and Yinsen formed a strong bond between one another. When they finally finished the armor, the two prepared to escape.
- "Wow, that doesn't look like a Jericho missile."
"That's because it is a miniaturized Arc Reactor. We got a big one powering my factory at home. It should keep the shrapnel out of my heart."
"But what could it generate?"
"If my math is right, and it always is... three gigajoules per second."
"That could run your heart for 50 lifetimes!"
"Yeah. Or something big for 15 minutes. This is our ticket out of here."
- ―Ho Yinsen and Tony Stark
Ho Yinsen tried to distract the terrorists so Tony Stark could charge the Arc Reactor came across a large group of the terrorists. Stark's suit reached full power and headed out of the cave. Killing several of the terrorists, he came upon Yinsen, who had severe injuries sustained from the large group of terrorists, who told him not to waste his life before dying. After exiting the cave and destroying all of their stolen weapons, Stark flew out of the area, but the suit's flight capabilities malfunctioned, causing him to fall.
After crashing, Tony Stark wandered around in the desert of Afghanistan trying to find civilization. Eventually, he was found by soldiers of the United States Air Force, including Stark's best friend, James Rhodes.
When Stark returned to America, he announced that he would not allow his company, Stark Industries, to continue making weapons. He also made many other armors that were based off the one that Ho Yinsen helped him to invent. In the armors, he used the alias "Iron Man".