Iron Man's "Armored Adventures" Aren't His Best Outings Review

It's safe to say that Iron Man: Armored Adventures isn't the worst animated series Marvel has ever produced, and for proof you need only look at the animated Iron Man series that preceded this one (and many other Marvel animated series in between). However, that doesn't excuse Iron Man: Armored Adventures from featuring a woefully poor choice in animation style, the unfortunate decision to revert Tony, Rhodey, and Pepper (and many of their rivals) to teenagers, or some generally bad and annoying characterization. Bad ideas abound in this Iron Man run and as it's likely to get a little more attention in the wake of Shane Black's forthcoming Iron Man 3, you can't help but wish that the armored hero had a better TV representation than this, even if it does tackle some decidedly advanced Iron Man storylines.

The fourth volume DVD set of the second season takes the primary story arc of the past two seasons and gives it a nice ending (for now), with Tony's friend Gene Khan finally acquiring the last of the 10 rings necessary to become the fully  powered Mandarin, only to find that it attracts the attention of the alien Makluan race and the evil warlord that rules them. Half of the episodes on the disc are fully devoted to this storyline and it makes sense considering how primary a villain the Mandarin has historically been for Iron Man. The rest of the episodes see the return of the Hulk, Iron Monger, Justin Hammer, and more.

The stories of this series might be terrific, but that doesn't change the fact that the teenage personae of the protagonists are incredibly annoying and that the animation is atrocious whenever it's showing humans not in super suits. The shading of the animation makes everyone's mouths and faces look so strange that it's hard to not be distracted by it. There's more to bemoan than there is to like here, and we can't help but hope Marvel cancels it sometime soon in favor of a more traditionally animated series that restores its characters to adults while keeping the willingness to cover the more advanced stories.

DVD Bonus Features

An artwork gallery shows concept pieces for characters and vehicles that played a big role in the episodes from this set, and that's all you get

"Iron Man: Armored Adventures - Season 2, Volume 4" is on sale April 23, 2013 and is not rated. Action, Adventure, Animation, Children & Family. Directed by Philippe Guyenne, Stephane Juffe. Written by Craig Kyle, Brandon Auman. Starring Adrian Petriw, Anna Cummer, Daniel Bacon.

Lex Walker • Editor

He's a TV junkie with a penchant for watching the same movie six times in one sitting. If you really want to understand him you need to have grown up on Sgt. Bilko, Alien, Jurassic Park and Five Easy Pieces playing in an infinite loop. Recommend something to him - he'll watch it.


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