Thursday, May 14, 2009

Whiplash




Season: 1
Episode Number: 5
Season Episode Number: 5
Production Number: 105
Airdate: May 3, 2009

Writer: Paul Glacoppe
Director: Stéphane Juffé and Philippe Guyenne

Voices: Adrian Petriw (Iron Man), Daniel Bacon (Jim "Rhodey" Rhodes), Anna Cummer (Pepper Potts), (Happy Hogan), Ron Halder (Professor Abraham Klein), Donny Lucas (Mr. Fix), Peter Kelamis (Whiplash), Unknown (Pepper Potts' Father), Lisa Ann Beley (Iron Man Onboard Computer).

Plot: Pepper's FBI father is attacked one night and Pepper searches for the assailant. But the assailant turns out to be Mr. Fix who doesn't like the idea of his identity known, so he sends Whiplash to take care of her.

Review (Warning! Spoilers!): Whiplash is a well-written story that focuses on Pepper Potts. Pepper hasn't had a whole lot of character development, so to see her take centre stage is a real treat. The flipside is that we get a whole episode of contrived speed speaking, which it seems like a guise that she hides behind because she's not too close with Tony or Rhodey yet. I'm sure the speed-speaking will slow down as time progresses.

This episode is the first to indicate major continuity for the series. First, Tony and Rhodey have a conversation about Blizzard, Unicorn and Killer Shrike, the villains they've encountered in the past two episodes, and Pepper learns Tony's secret identity which will obviously dictate continuity.

Plus, the Mr. Fix storyline isn't wrapped up and there was that reference to Count Nefaria in the last episode. These will be two overarching storylines that will be played out through the season.

Iron Man dons his first of (probably) dozens of alternate suits of armour that he will wear throughout the course of the show. In this episode, he creates the Silver Centurion armour that longtime Iron Man fans will recognize from Iron Man #200, 1985. Iron Man wears this armour to better battle Whiplash and his electrically charged whips.

Whiplash gets a dramatic overhaul for Iron Man: Armored Adventures. He looks nothing like he does in the comics, and his raspy voice and creepy mask really turn the somewhat laughable character into a deadly assassin.

Mr. Fix, better known as Fixer in the comics, bares a similar design to the Paul Norbert Ebersol Fixer as well as a behind-the-scenes-major-player type role that seems to be popular these days in superhero cartoons (Slade from Teen Titans, Magneto from X-Men: Evolution, The Big Man and Master Planner from Spectacular Spider-Man).

As I said at the beginning of this review, this episode was well-written. However, the acting leaves something to be desired. There are some great dramatic moments throughout the episode but the computer animation just doesn't push the facial emotions to the point where it coincides with the dialogue and mood of the scene. I felt the same way with MTV's Spider-Man and ReBoot and many other CGI TV shows. I guess this will have to be something to get used to.

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

  • Back to Episode Guide

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