This TV animated series follows the adventures of Mr. Fantastic, The Invisible Woman, The Human Torch and The Thing, otherwise known as Marvel's most famous family, the Fantastic Four. ... See full summary »
Not a perfect adaptation, but there's lots to like
My first reaction upon seeing that this was a non-canonical Iron Man story where Tony was a high school genius was: "Ugh!". But I was won over by the feel of the story and the high quality of the production.
This is a CGI series, with the "cel-shading" that first took over everything around the time of Sega's "Jet Set Radio". It feels unique compared to the mass produced animated cartoons that proceeded it and the Pixar style animation that followed. The "human" characters are a problematic sometimes - the faces can be a bit blank and stiff, and the arms and legs can resemble pipe-cleaners. Also, from an older point of view, some of the high school dramatics seem somewhat airless and underdeveloped.
But once the armor goes on, things rev up nicely. The costume and armor designs of all the good guys AND villains are convincingly sleek and high tech, the action is kinetic and bone-crunching, and you really do get a sense of the teamwork and resilience that allow a 16 year old prodigy to survive and overcome a seemingly endless wave of mechanized mayhem. As a previous reviewer perceptively commented, even the sound design for the armored combat and flight are amazingly well thought out and implemented.
Although it apparently had several seasons more that the one I caught on cable, it never seemed to catch on, but I really enjoyed what I got to see and will be tracking the remaining episodes down.
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