Morley Erwin was a former employee of Stark International. He quit when the company was taken over by Obadiah Stane. With Tony Stark having succumbed to alcoholism and unavailable, Morley served as technical support to new Iron Man/James Rhodes. Morley, his sister Clytemnestra and Rhodes eventually moved to California, forming their own company: Circuits Maximus. A recovering Tony Stark soon followed them and joined the company. This turned the attention of Stane back on them. Stane had a bomb placed in the headquarters Circuits Maximus, resulting in the death of Morley.
His death motivated Tony Stark to reclaim the Iron Man identity and face Odadiah Stane in open conflict. His sister Clytemnestra considered Stark responsible for Morley's death and swore vengeance on him.