As the man behind the mask, Tony Stark's life has hit rock bottom. His plans for the super hero Initiative have hit a tragic snag. His former flame, believed dead, is being manipulated by one of his deadliest enemies. Even to his strongest allies, Stark appears to be descending into a mental breakdown while everything around him swirls out of control. Now, with the lives of millions hanging in the balance, Iron Man must fight his way out of the darkness and prevent the Mandarin from releasing a plague that would change humanity as we know it! Plus: S.H.I.E.L.D. has a problem, and her name is Madame Hydra. The leader of the world's deadliest terror organization is also the lawful ruler of Wolverine's old stomping ground: the island nation of Madripoor. Unable to depose her openly, S.H.I.E.L.D. sends in its best man to secretly take her down. His name? Stark...Tony Stark. But with his Extremis powers blocked and his Iron Man armor hovering in orbit for emergencies only, can the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. survive against enemies like Bloodscream and Roughhouse, who've nearly killed Wolverine himself?
Collecting IRON MAN #21-28 and IRON MAN: DIRECTOR OF S.H.I.E.L.D. ANNUAL #1.