Saturday Morning Cartoon Reviews for 4/27 – 5/1

Iron Man: Armored Adventures Ep. 3

“Secrets and Lies”

Three episodes and the premise of having Tony, Rhodey, Pepper, and The Mandarin as teenagers. The big problem with having Tony and his cast of supporting and villain characters as teenagers is that it has taken the characters to the most PC version you can get. Whenever a creative team wants to take comic book characters and make them teens it will work for characters like Superman, Spider-Man, and the X-Men since their are plenty of stories with those characters as teens that can be explored since that is when they started their superhero careers. But when it comes to characters like Batman, Iron Man, and Wolverine turning into teenagers because of their origins and key character traits. Sure the creative teams can have a few episodes flashbacking to their time as a teenagers but to base a whole show on it does not work.

As shown by this show by taking Tony and his cast of characters into teenagers it has effectively taken everything that makes them interesting to fans of their comic book version and the only thing they share that is similar is the character names. It also does not make things better that Iron Man: Armored Adventures takes almost every lame story angle of teen shows and puts them into this series. The main character is the calm and cool character (Tony) who has a best friend that spazzes out (Rhodes) and an annoying girl pal (Pepper) as well as once the main character starts high school he becomes friends with someone who is actually the main villain (The Mandarin). Effectively that was what this episode was about as Tony becomes friends with Gene who is really The Mandarin and Pepper showed just how annoying she is.

Also it does not help that the CGI for this show makes this a dull looking animated series. I still don’t know why they did not make this an animated series instead of a CGI series. This series felt like I am watching Salvador Larroca’s art, the current artist for The Invincible Iron Man, as all the characters outside of the armor look really dull with very little energy around a lot of the scenes. And in this episode the fight between Iron Man(teen) with Killer Shriek and Unicorn wasn’t as good as the action from the last episode.

As an fan of Iron Man I will probably continue to watch this series but for non-Iron Man fans who are above the age of 6 this is not a series you will find very interesting.

Episode Rating – 3.2/10

The Spectacular Spider-Man Ep. 6

“The Invisible Hand”

While The Spectacular Spider-Man has done a great job balance Peter’s high school life with his life of Spider-Man this was the first episode were I found everything outside the Spider-Man stuff, except the ending, to be a bit dull. And the reason for this is the choice of villain for this episode being the Rhino, who I find to be the least interesting of all of Spider-Man’s Rogue Gallery. There really isn’t much to Rhino other than being all brawn and no brains. It seems that the creative team knew this about the character as Rhino acted more of a catalyst to further The Big Man plotline going on in this series as we finally see who is actually The Big Man.

While I understand that Kingpin could not be used in this series, due to the character being tied-in with Daredevil who is owned by 20th Century Fox, I was upset that he wasn’t The Big Man. Still Tombstone turning out to be The Big Man was a nice surprise and use of the character. With Tombstone being a respected businessman and philanthropist he poses an interesting challenge to our hero since he is more than just a physical threat.

What I loved about this episode was Peter’s search for a date to the Fall Formal in this episode. In the previous two episodes Peter was shown to be focused on taking Betty to the dance, even if she is older than him. It was hilarious to see how Aunt May manipulative she was by making Betty, who was about to agree to be Peter’s date, to back out and basically ruin all of Peter’s plan. And it was cool to see the final image of this episode being an excellent homage of the famous introduction of MJ down to her famous line “Face it Tiger…you just hit the jackpot.” With MJ finally introduced it should be interesting to see how Gwen react to Peter actually going to the dance and the reaction on Flash’s face on who Peter’s date is.

Episode Rating – 8/10