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"Battery charge: 5%". Let's hope that Stark is not taking a nap inside there...
Iron Man was relaunched in 1996 in an Ultimate Universe, the Heroes Reborn project. The comic was managed by Jim Lee and Scott Lobdell.
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Things start during a testing of the "Promotheus" armor, an Iron Man armor prototype, that causes the death of the pilot, Rebel. The company of Tony Stark is sued because of it, but he manages to be acquitted. Still, this causes an uproar among his workers and the common people, who despise Tony Stark because Aristocrats Are Evil. One of them manages to sneak into the place and detonate the Gamma bomb created by Bruce Banner. Banner manages to prevent a destructive explosion, but not the explosion itself, and gets poisoned by gamma radiation. Instead of dying, that turned him into the Hulk. Hulk felled Stark's helicopter; he survived, but loses blood and the shrapnel may kill him if it reaches his heart. So he sneaks into the testing grounds and dons the Prometheus armor.

Marvel intended the Heroes Reborn project to continue, but it was canceled because of creative differences with Jim Lee. The characters were then returned to the Marvel Universe and relaunched.

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This comic series provided examples of...

  • Adaptation Origin Connection: Tony Stark is forced to don his "Promethium" Powered Armor when he's critically wounded investigating a Hydra attack on one of his facilities where Bruce Banner, his browbeaten subordinate and former friend, was creating a gamma bomb. Meanwhile, Bruce's accident happens while he's trying to keep the sabotaged bomb from killing innocents when it explodes. Iron Man and the Hulk literally name each other when they meet at the end of the first issue, and the Hulk is a major subplot in the Iron Man title as Tony tries to help Bruce.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: In the first issues, Tony Stark is a completely unlikeable arrogant bastard, using his money and clout to get things his way, not caring at all about the lesser people. At one, point, he literally compared common people with ants.
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  • Adaptational Villainy: Doc Samson becoming this universe's version of the Abomination is the result of Jasper Sitwell deliberately injecting Samson to force his cooperation.
  • Badass Beard: It was here when Tony's original pencil-thin mustache grew into the Van Dyke beard he now sports most of the time.
  • Canon Foreigner: Rebel is a new character, not based on any preexisting Marvel character.
  • Composite Character: While he'd later make it so his condition was similar to his 616-self, Doc Samson was the Abominaton.
  • Death by Origin Story: Rebel dies in the first act of the first issue.
  • Food Slap: Pepper used this with Tony, as she disliked his arrogance. She was fired.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Rebel jumped to the action, without caring about the energy surges. That got him killed.
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