Reviews: Iron Man Armored Adventures

Surpringly Good

I have to admit that when I first heard about an animated serie of Iron Man that would have Tony Stark as a teenager, I initially had doubts; I am a big Iron Man fan, and I have always been more used to his adult incarnation, especially in the movie. Plus I wasn't a fan of CGI. But I was curious, and, besides, too happy to know there would finally be a new animated adaptation of one of my favourite Marvel heroes, so I went for it.

And I must say: I'm VERY impressed.

For a concept that would make you expect crap, this show was actually really good. Despite Tony being younger, they took time into developping the character and making good story arcs; the villains are all reimagined, going through Adaptational Badass and Character Development at the same time. An especially amazing job was made with Iron Man's Arch Enemy, the Mandarin, and one of my favourite minor villains, the Living Laser; a lot of them are turned into Anti Villains with more credible motivations; on the other hand, you also get a share of Complete Monsters, with Justin Hammer being one of the supreme examples.

Another great point is that, while the show starts with a drastically different context than the comic, the more you go into it, the closer it becomes to it; we get introduced to stuff from the comic such as Extremis, Tony gradually comes closer to become head of Stark Industries, and eventually, Pepper gets her Rescue armor (though it happens only in the season 2 finale).

I sincerely advise this show to any Iron Man fan. If you look pass the drastic change, you might actually have a great time.

Invincible First Season

With a well-crafted storyline, an interesting cast of characters, and plenty of creativity, the first season of Iron Man: Armored Adventures stands out from other shows of it's kind.

It all starts when Howard Stark's plane is attacked and he is subsequently murdered, and his son Tony must carry on his father's task of collecting and researching the ancient artifacts known as the Makluan rings. During this journey, he must also come to terms with his father's death, and the legacy he left behind when Tony is set to inherit the family's technology company when he turns eighteen. Along for the ride are Tony's friends, who all contribute something to either the storyline itself or to the development of our hero; who grows over the course of the series. The villains who are introduced feel like actual fleshed out characters, from the unstable and misguided Living Laser to the enigmatic and tragic Madame Masque, rather than obstacles that the hero must fight for the sake of filling time. As the show progresses, Tony begins to realize hidden secrets about his father he didn't know about and things begin to tie back to the late Howard Stark and how everything starts coming together in the end.

The cel-shaded animation is a unique look for the show, and helps it stand out from not only the other CG properties currently airing on television, but also the traditional animated shows as well. The cinematography is creative and dynamic; not only making the fight scenes fun to watch, but everyday tasks look and animated beautifully. While certainly no match for the theatrical works of Pixar and Disney, this show certainly feels like an aesthetic standard that all CG properties on television should strive to achieve.

Overall, the show is a lot more than the sum of it's parts. It borrows a lot from the anime format (both visually and in terms of writing), so fans of that might be interested in checking this show out, as well as anyone looking for an animated show with a good, developed story and a memorable cast characters.