The Grey Gargoyle has succeeded where so many have failed - he has DEFEATED IRON MAN! Who can possibly save Tony Stark now? And to make matters worse, Steve Rogers is considering the unthinkable…retiring as Captain America!?
Iron Man Story- "If a Man Be Stone!"
At the start of this issue, Tony Stark returns to his factory to find that it's been broken into whilst he was in Vietnam the past few issues. He and his guards search the factory to find out that the culprit is a young SHIELD agent named Jasper Sitwell. Sitwell explains that Nick Fury has assigned him to guard Stark's factory, as it makes many of SHIELD's devices, and both Tony Stark and Iron Man have gone missing for long periods of time in the past. Whilst Jasper and Tony talk about the arrangement, the Grey Gargoyle manages to break out of prison, before reading about a new super-weapon which Stark Industries is developing. He decides that if he possesses it, he'll be able to stop Thor once and for all and gain his hammer.
The Grey Gargoyle then breaks into Stark Industries, turning guards to stone as he goes along. Jasper and Tony both hear the alarms, so Jasper goes off to fight him (as it's one of his duties) whilst Tony takes the opportunity to change to Iron Man. Jasper's attacks are futile, despite his SHIELD weaponry, and so he runs off to contact SHIELD whilst Iron Man tries to stop the Grey Gargoyle. However, despite Iron Man's best efforts, the Grey Gargoyle turns various bits of his armour to stone, before turning the whole thing to stone. Deciding that Iron Man is too dangerous to leave, he takes the immobile statue to the top of Stark Industries, and throws him off.
Captain America Story- "A Time to Die... A Time to Live!"
Captain America is searching for a fugitive gang leader, and is successful in finding his hideout. He takes out several of the thugs, before heading to the room where the leader is hiding. As he does, he thinks about how this is going to be his last mission. There's then a flashback, which shows Steve Rogers getting a call from SHIELD Agent 13, whom he has a soft spot for. The two then head out for a date, and during it Steve proposes to Agent 13. However, she tells Steve that although she does love him, she has a duty to SHIELD, and can't get involved with him at the moment. After the date, Steve thinks about how it was devotion to duty which caused the death of Bucky, and so decides that he's sacrificed too much as Captain America in the name of duty, and so won't be Captain America any more.
Back in the present, Captain America bursts into the room, and takes out the gang leader. He says that the gang leader is finished, as is he- Captain America is going to die, so that Steve Rogers can begin to live. The next day, the news goes all over the nation that Captain America has retired, leading to various reactions amongst the public. Tony Stark visits Steve, and asks him whether he's sure that he's doing the right thing. Steve thanks Stark for everything he did for the Avengers, before leaving. However, he wonders how he can walk away from a past like his.