Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Iron, Forged In Fire, Part One

Season: 1
Episode Number: 1
Season Episode Number: 1
Production Number:
Airdate: November 21, 2008

Writer: Romain Van Liemt, Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost
Director: Stephane Juffe, Philippe Guyenne

Voices: Adrian Petriw (Iron Man), Daniel Bacon (Jim "Rhodey" Rhodes), Anna Cummer (Pepper Potts), Mackenzie Gray (Obadiah Stane), Catherine Haggquist (Roberta Rhodes), Fred Henderson (Howard Stark), Lisa Ann Beley (Iron Man Onboard Computer), Rebecca Shoichet (Tricia).

Plot: After a plane crash kills Howard Stark and seriously injures his son, Tony, Obadiah Stane takes control of Stark Enterprises. But Tony believes that his father's death wasn't accidental and uses a suit of armor that he invented to gather information from Stane. In the process, Tony saves an out of control train and becomes a public hero by the name of Iron Man.

Review (Warning! Spoilers!): I can't say that I was eagerly awaiting this show. In fact, I even forgot about it's premiere until a few days later when the forums and blogs started talkback on this two-part pilot.

Iron Man: Armored Adventures is pretty good but not great. Usually I really enjoy seeing new interpretations on characters that everyone has come to know and love, but this one misses the mark.

In this incarnation of Iron Man, Tony Stark is a teen who works alongside his brilliant father, Howard, at Stark Industries. After Tony's dad dies, Tony moves in with his friend Rhodey and starts going to school and other teenager-like stuff.

Basically, this is a new superhero who just happens to have the name Tony Stark and a suit of armor. He had a good relationship with his father, something unheard of in the comics, doesn't have a drinking problem and is not the stuck up, womanizing prick that makes his character so interesting. It reminds me of how much I disliked Nightcrawler's character in X-Men: Evolution. I love it when characters are told from a different perspective but I still expect them to hold onto their basic defining characteristics.

So I have had to get myself past that in order to give this first episode a fair trial without the influence of my Iron Man bias.

Iron, Forged in Fire, Part One serves as the origin story for Iron Man. We learn that Tony was is a plane crash that killed his father, we are introduced to Jim 'Rhodey' Rhodes and Pepper Potts, we see Tony not fitting in at school, we learn about the tension between Howard Stark and Obadiah Stane, and we see Tony save a runaway train using his new suit of armor. That's a lot of information to pack into 22 minutes but the writers seem to do a good job.

I should mention that two of the writers for this series are Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost, who both have tons of experience writing teenage superhero stories. Their comic book work includes Young X-Men, Young Avengers, Runaways and the X-23 mini-series. Their animation work includes X-Men: Evolution, Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes, The Batman, Wolverine and the X-Men and all of the Marvel Animated Features including Next Avengers.

There is a lot more to say, including my thoughts on the animation, voice acting and Lex Luthor Obadiah Stane. But I will include these comments in my review of Iron, Forged in Fire, Part Two.

DVD Releases:
  • Iron Man: Armored Adventures, Volume One

  • Back to Episode Guide

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