Synopsis for “Demon in a Bottle”
This story opens with an un-helmeted Iron Man having a few drinks from a liquor bottle. He muses that his life as Tony Stark had been so chaotic, that he should just give up his civilian identity and just be Iron Man. He dons his mask and flies out for adventure, but forgetting the window was not open, smashes through his window. He soon sees a gas tanker that is derailed and tries to help officers on the scene by removing the tanker, but he drops it releasing the gas, making matters much worse. Tony Stark later is reaching for another drink to be interrupted by Bethany Cabe. She urges him to stop, recounting how she had lost her husband previously to pills. She spends days with Tony Stark keeping him from the bottle. It is a constant struggle. Some time later, a rejuvenated Stark tries to mend fences with Edwin Jarvis. (Jarvis had resigned last issue after being berated by a drunken Tony Stark). Accepting Stark’s apology, he agrees to return to work for Stark and the Avengers. As S.H.I.E.L.D. had been attempting a hostile takeover of Stark International, Stark is particularly interested in Jarvis’ small amount of stock in Stark Industries. Unfortunately, Jarvis has put his stock up as collateral to secure a loan. Contacting his loan officer by phone, Jarvis is told he is unable to get his stock back. Soon, Iron Man pays a visit to the loan officer, Mr. Benchley, accusing him of impropriety and destroying his office in the process. Mr. Benchley insists that he cannot return the stock because he already sold it. A dejected Stark returns to Avengers Mansion and reaches for a bottle of alcohol. Bethany Cabe again urges him not to do it. After several long moments of contemplation, Stark re-caps the bottle. Bethany and Jarvis applaud his decision to stop drinking.