The experimental Earth-Borer operated by a new method of harnessing atomic energy: it was designed to probe the deepest secrets at the very core of the planet. Anthony Stark successfully tested it just before the whole factory fell through the Earth[1].
This was done by the Mole Man, who wanted the atomic Earth-Digger to dig entrances to the surface, through which his army could make a sneak attack. Iron Man traded it for Pepper Potts' life, but, since the device wasn't perfected, the Mole Man caused it to overload with radiation and explode[2].


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