Episode Number: 7
Season Episode Number: 7
Production Number: 107
Airdate: May 22, 2009
Writer: Eugene Son
Director: Stéphane Juffé and Philippe Guyenne
Voices: Adrian Petriw (Iron Man), Daniel Bacon (Jim "Rhodey" Rhodes), Anna Cummer (Pepper Potts), Vincent Tong (Gene Khan), Unknown (Drama Teacher Daniels), Catherine Haggquist (Roberta Rhodes), Fred Henderson (Howard Stark), Louis Chirillo (Living Laser), Lisa Ann Beley (Iron Man Onboard Computer).
Plot: Tony Stark is on the verge of quitting school to take up the full-time job as Iron Man when he finds out that the future of Stark Enterprises is dependent on Tony's high school graduation. Plus, there is a new villain in town calling himself the Living Laser and he's got the death of Iron Man on his mind!
Review (Warning! Spoilers!): Meltdown feels like the beginning of a new storyarc. The first six episodes introduced us to the characters and the environment of Armored Adventures, and told the story of Tony and he tried to integrate himself in the normal world after the death of his father while trying to juggle being Iron Man.
This new storyarc gives Tony a new vision. He has discovered that he must complete high school in order to take control of Stark Enterprises away from Obadiah Stane, plus he realizes that many of the armoured villains that he has recently met have been using classified prototype experiments of his father's and should be locked away deep inside Stark Enterprises. This could only mean one thing, Stane is supplying the villains their gear.
Despite all of this villain talk, this episode is very character driven and doesn't really have much to do with the villain-of-the-week, the Living Laser. It has more to do with the relationship between the trio and how they need to work together as a team.
The main story is centered around Tony's drama class whom are preparing for a recital which happens to make up a third of their final grade. The play they are reciting is Hamlet, which the writer Eugene Son uses as an allegory for the life of Tony Stark.
This isn't the first time we see a superhero show use Shakespeare to relate to the characters. Spectacular Spider-Man uses this technique in the episode Subtext.
This show is definitely growing on me. The writing is getting stronger and the characters are more interesting as they get more and more developed. Pepper Potts is the character that has surprised me the most with her development. Her ultra-hyper talking has been played down and the little hints of her feelings for Tony are nicely subtle. I'm looking forward to how things will shape up.