Saturday, March 24, 2012

Marvel Media Mania: Iron Man: Armored Adventures

Iron Man: Armored Adventures is a cartoon that started its run in 2009 on the Nicktoons Network and is still running today in its second season.
Iron Man: Armored Adventures Complete Season 1 Movie Poster
This series reimagines the Tony Stark/Iron Man character. Gone is the origin based in an Asian or Middle Eastern war injuries which happen when Tony's an adult. Instead, Tony gets his chest injury from a plane crash that kills his father when he's still a teen. Even Iron Man's look is different - the suit is lean and sleek, not the beefed up armor we're used to.

Simply put, this series is fantastic. Almost everything about the show just works. The characters are well-defined and interesting. Pepper Potts is a fast talking junior sleuth. Rhodey is Tony's remote backup and covers for Tony's frequent absences. Character designs are great. The series creators obviously took inspiration from the comics but aren't afraid to completely redesign a character when necessary. The series uses some villains that are perennial jokes in the comics series but because they're reimaged they work both visually and dramatically.

While each show tells its own story the overall plotline progresses from episode to episode. Pepper finds out Tony's secret. Gene Khan (a teen Mandarin, one of the series main bad guys) discovers that Tony is after the power rings he also seeks and starts attending Tony's school to get close to him. This gives the series a sense of continuity and purpose. So when Tony runs into the Unicorn and Killer Shrike in an early episode he's still wondering where they got their power armor several episodes later which sets up an ongoing storyline of "Mr. Fix" (The Fixer to longtime Marvel fans).

The action sequences are interesting. The series does a nice job of setting up the action with story so that watching the action actually means something. So, when Iron Man meets the Blizzard who is trying to take down the series main villain, Obadiah Stane, he initially works with the Blizzard before discovering that the Blizzard isn't actually such a good guy either.

The animation is all CGI and it's done very well. It reminds a lot of MTV's Spider-Man: The New Animated Series but with much improved visuals. The only problem I have with how the series looks is the mouths of characters. The lips don't quite synch up to dialogue and you can see way too many teeth. The "suiting up" and launch sequences are reminiscent of the transformation sequences of Thundercats or He-Man which is great. They also borrowed the "digital space" view of Tony inside the armor from the comics which allows us to see Tony's facial reactions as well as things like warning messages that Tony is seeing inside his armor.

Even the theme song is fantastic. It's truly "earworm" worthy.

1LR Review - 19 out of 20 - It's a Solid Hit!


  1. I've been eagerly reading your reviews and was curious to see what you would think of Armored Adventures. My wife and I have been devouring each episode as soon as they are televised. The second season adds in further Marvel Universe content painting an interesting context for Tony (which I won't spoil for those who haven't seen them yet).

    I had found the Mandarin an intriguing villain (back from the mid-240s Uncanny X-men where he guested starred iirc) and will be interested to see what happens when he gets all 10 rings (zoiks!).

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! It's good to know that my efforts aren't in vain. I watch and rewatch every movie I review... I try to watch as much of a TV show as I can and sometimes I get sucked in and watch the entire series!

      Anything else you're looking forward to my review on? I promise I'll get to EVERYTHING!

    2. Scott,

      Further reviews? Good question. How about the Mighty Avengers series (also on the Nick as well I think)?


    3. Trust me - we'll get there! I'm reviewing all "solo avengers" properties before going on to the group ones. So have you found yourself agreeing with most of my reviews? Any you disagree with?

  2. Scott - review-wise, for the ones I have seen, our ratings appear to be in the same ballpark (colored by how long since I saw the movie in question, yada yada :) ).

    1. Very nice... I think, for the most part, my views fall into the realm of general public opinion. The difference between me and your average viewer is that I've seen EVERYTHING Marvel. =)