In this series, Tony Stark is the head of a company that is under continual threat from evil forces such as the Mandarin and Justin Hammer. Against this, Stark fights back by leading his own team of heroes as Iron Man wearing armour that not only has the standard features of his regular armour, but can instantly change into his specialized variants for stealth, space, underwater etc. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <email@example.com>
The only piece of Hulk transformation footage not used from the Fantastic Four Hulk episode 2.09 "Nightmare in Green" was the scene at the end when the Hulk changes back into Bruce Banner (episode 2.11 "Hulk Buster"). See more »
Heh heh heh heh. Where's your security? Don't'cha know anybody can fly in and steal this thing?
Sorry Beetle, but you're in for a hard day's night!
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Following the success of 1992's "X-men" animated series, Marvel returned to daytime TV entertainment with "Iron Man The Animated series" as part of the "Marvel Action hour". Any discerning viewer would be able to pin point the exact purpose of this animated series, and that is to sell toys to children. As a result, whatever complexities about the character that were inherent in the comics, including his womanizing nature and his alcohol addiction, were discarded in favor of a more child friendly premise. And what could be more child-friendly than "heroic good guy team versus dastardly bad guy team".
Much of the show's first season was a dismal disappointment. It was easily a cut and paste rehash of G I Joe or the cheesy 1980s He-Man cartoon with Iron Man leading his "Force Works" team against the evil Mandarin and his cronies. Every episode was largely the same as the last: The Mandarin attempts another goofy world domination plot or to steal a new Stark invention, there is some dissension caused within Iron Man's team, evil plot seems to succeed but Iron Man's team settle their differences in time to save the day.
Formulaic, bland and actually boring at times, season 1 also featured some horrendous animation. It was not just bad in terms of 1990s standards, but bad even when compared to animated series of the 1980s or late 1970s. Artwork would constantly go "off model" and character movements were strictly twelve frames per second. Furthermore in order to save costs, the animation company would use a lot of stock footage from past episodes in subsequent ones with no effort made to cover the cost cutting measure.
A year later, Marvel re-vamped the Iron Man series by hiring a new creative team and animation company. The results were a drastic improvement. The show took a darker turn in season 2 where the Force works team is disbanded after Tony Stark betrays their trust. Now working alone with occasional help from James Rhodes Aka War Machine, Stark must fend off his competitor Justin Hammer while dealing with new threats despite the disappearance of the Mandarin.
Season 2 largely discards the formulaic style, choosing to directly adapt popular story-lines from the Iron Man comics while having more character centered episodes that deal with common themes that anyone can relate to such as phobias, trust, the price of beauty and obsession. There is also a greater sense of continuity as the affects of events in one episode carry over into the next. Koko Enterprises, known for their work on the award winning Batman The Animated series give the animation in Iron Man's second season a much needed bump in the right direction. Character movements are smoother, art detail is better and the color scheme loses that bright cheery look of season one, replacing it with heavier blacks and more angular designs.
After twenty six episodes, Iron Man the animated series remains a very mixed bag. Blame for this shows disappointing quality can be attributed to constrictions placed upon the writers to feature as many Iron Man suits as possible in each episode as free publicity for the toys. On the bright side, it got better, allowing the audience at least 13 episodes of decent animated entertainment.
2/10 for season 1 7/10 for season 2.
Average to 4.5/10 round up to 5/10
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