Eventually, Xin Zhang moved to America with his stepson, claiming the Makluan Rings for his own. However, sixteen year old Temugin, now calling himself "Gene Khan", retook the rings and his destiny. Working with Tony Stark whose father, Howard, had been killed in a plane crash; he managed to recover the remaining four Makluan Rings, Tony passing all but two of the tests that protected the rings. One was in New Jersey, United States; another was in Greenland; another was hidden deep inside a volcano; and the last one was in Machu Picchu, Peru.
Throughout the course of his friendship with Tony, Gene went up against Iron Man many times. Each had no knowledge of the other's identity. At the end of the season, however, they revealed their identities to each other.
In the season finale, Shin Zhang escaped from the prison cell Gene had imprisoned him in and kidnapped Gene, Tony, and Pepper Potts, a hyperactive friend of both Gene and Tony, taking them to Peru. Holding Pepper hostage, Zhang forced Tony and Gene to go inside the Temple of Sacrifice to retrieve the ring. They awakened Fin Fang Foom, the "sleeping dragon" of Chinese Legend, who guarded the ring. Without the Makluan Rings or the Iron Man armor, the boys were powerless to protect themselves. Finally, James Rhodes, Tony's best friend, arrived wearing Tony's newly invented War Machine armor. Together, he and Tony battled the dragon, but the fight was not won until Gene sacrificed himself to save Pepper. Gene survived being swallowed by the dragon and emerged triumpant, wielding the Makulan Rings. After a brief battle with Iron Man, he revealed that Howard Stark, Tony's father, was still alive. He had kidnapped the elder Stark to track down the remaining Makulan Rings. Gene managed to escape, through teleportation, only to reappear back in the temple after the others had gone. He seemed to feel genuine remorse about losing Tony and Pepper as friends. In a fit of anger, he threw his rings scattering them at Fin Fang Foom's head. However, when he did, he inadvertantly revealed the locations to five more rings, raising the total amount of Makulan Rings from five to ten. Gene promised that he would find the remaining rings and become the most powerful being in the world.