It was only a matter of time before Tony Stark would get a second shot at headlining his own animated series after how successful the Iron Man movie was. The first Iron Man animated series aired back in the mid-1990s, appropriately titled “Iron Man,” and only lasted for two seasons. And may just be me but the only thing that I remember from the first animated series was the theme song. Hopefully this second series that is airing on Nicktoons Network will prove to be more successful.
Episode Title – “Iron, Forged From Fire Part 1 & 2”
After testing out his newest invention, called “The Earth Mover,” with his father a 16 year old Tony Stark and his father Howard Stark are on board a Stark International airplane when their plane crashes. The crash kills Howard but Tony miraculously survives in small part due to his Iron-Exoskeleton he created though he still suffered damage to his heart and chest. In his father’s dying words Tony is told to stay with James Rhodes and his mother and attend high school like a regular teenager.
Once Tony returns to Stark International he is told by Obidiah Stane that he will be running Tony’s father’s company until Tony is old enough to run the company and promptly has the young Stark removed from the building. In his frustration Tony decides to use his Iron-Exoskeleton out for a spin and use it to find out that really caused the plane crash that killed his father. But before Tony is able to find out the truth he had to stop a subway from crashing into the building and killing hundreds of people. After saving all those people’s lives the media starts to call him Iron Man.
In an unknown location the Mandarin is plotting how to get one of the Ten Rings, one of which is in Obidiah’s possession. The Mandarin tells his son Gene Khan that he will get collect all the rings for himself and that he has other plans to get the rings.
Back in New York Tony in his second attempt to try and stop Obidiah from turning his father’s company into a weapon manufacturer he tries to stop the “Earth Movers” from being used as weapons by the military. In order to stop Iron Man from inteferring in his plans as well as trying to get a hold a of the armor Tony is wearing to turn into a weapon to sell. After a long battle in which Tony takes on three “Earth Movers” he is finally able to defeat them. But his victory is short lived as he is attacked by the Mandarin, who has already taken the ring in Obidiah’s position. Before the Mandarin can finish of Iron Man his armor comes back online in time to stun Mandarin and make him run.
Back at the Mandarin’s base it is revealed that he is really Gene Khan and that Gene has put his father in prison. Gene makes plans is shown to have two of the ten rings in his possession and makes plans to take the rest. End of Episode.
After the Iron Man film and all the things that have happened from Civil War up until were he is now in the comics Tony has become a first-tier superhero right up their with Batman, Spider-Man, Superman, and Wolverine. But instead of building of the momentum of the movie and the comics this new animated basically throws out 99% of what makes Tony cool with his fans and the general public and instead places him in a 90210 setting. The only thing the creative team keeps for Tony is that he is a genius.
Other than there names every character from Tony all the way to his villain Mandarin are transformed into teenagers and the only thing that is recognizable about these characters are there names. While Tony and Mandarin are both case were there characters are thrown out and are replaced with new ones using there names I would say the one character that got the bad end of the stick for this show is Pepper. While in the first episode she wasn’t seen for more than one scene when the second episode came around her character became quite annoying with how much she would not stop talking. And it seems that this along with the damsel in distress are probably the role she is going to play in the show.
As I said before the only thing this show keeps is that Tony is a genius with everything else thrown out. Everything that made Tony the 007 of sorts for comics is gone. And it is hard to tell why they did this as I understand that for a kids show you don’t want to have their characters to be drinking alcohol but I think that you could have keep that along with that ladies man vibe Tony has always had and keep it in a way that isn’t to extreme. I think the creative team should have have gone the route with how Tony was portrayed in the movies were he was seen with a few drinks in his hands but it was never noticeable were the audience not familiar with the character would say he was a drunk and just another playboy billionaire. But instead we get a PC version of the character that may put off fans of the character from the comic and the movie.
Also I felt that it was very lazy for the creative team open the first episode with Tony not only having built the Iron Man suit but that it already is ready be used. I actually think it would have been cool to see Tony use the first version of the Iron Man suit in action for is the first few episodes and gradually as the season goes by and Mandarin shows himself to be a greater threat that Tony’s suit can handle that Tony develops the Iron Man suit he currently wears in the comics and movie to combat Mandarin in the final episodes. But instead we are suppose to believe that Tony is able to build such a complex suit just because he was bored and had nothing better to do instead of creating it because of some sort of need.
And if it was not enough that Tony and his supporting cast were transformed into teenagers but also the Mandarin gets the 90210 treatment as he is also transformed into a teenager. Though I guess the one thing I can say is his armor looks pretty cool but to bad it didn’t translate to making the villain cool.
Also while I enjoy all the CGI movies that have come out whenever a TV series is CGI based the characters don’t turn out to look as well as they do in the movies due to the budget of a TV show. And even though all the different technology of this show look good some of the characters look a little to stiff which is common with a CGI cartoon.
Overall while I can see this appealing to kids I don’t see long time Iron Man fans being attracted to watching a teenage version of their favorite characters outside of loyalty to the character. But I guess I’ll give this show one more episode to convince me to continue to watch as I usually try and give a show three episodes to convince me if it deserves a spot in my DVR so I’ll see what this show can do in the third episode.
Episode Rating – 3.6/10