Iron Man: Armored Adventures is a 3D CGI cartoon series based on the Marvel Comics superhero Iron Man. It debuted in the USA on the Nicktoons Network on April 24, 2009, and has already begun airing on Canadian network Teletoon.
The series is story edited by showrunner Christopher Yost, who also worked on Wolverine and the X-Men, and numerous other Marvel Animation projects. The television show is not related to 2007 animated film The Invincible Iron Man, and has a different voice cast, but some story parallels and uses the same musical score during some instances. It is the first Iron Man television series since Iron Man from 1994-1996 and airs after the success of the live action Iron Man (film).
The series follows the adventures of teenage child prodigy Tony Stark and his alter ego of Iron Man. As Iron Man, he uses his technological inventions to stop villains. His friends, Jim 'Rhodey' Rhodes and Pepper Potts help him on his courageous, and dangerous adventures.
When his industrialist father Howard Stark who disappears in a plane crash after refusing to weaponize the Earth Mover at Obadiah Stane's behest, 16-year-old genius Tony uses a high-tech suit of armor he has constructed and investigates a charge that Stane may have been involved in his father's death. As Iron Man, Tony spends his time stopping Stane's plans and saving the world from other villains such as Mandarin, Mr. Fix, Whiplash, A.I.M., Living Laser, the Maggia, Controller, Crimson Dynamo, Blizzard, Killer Shrike, Unicorn, M.O.D.O.K., Ghost, Black Knight, and Technovore. He is assisted in his crime fighting efforts with help from James Rhodes and Pepper Potts. Tony's activities as Iron Man usually result in his needing to make up excuses as to why he is constantly late or missing from school and other activities. Dependent on his phenomenal technology for survival, Tony must balance the pressures of teenage life with the duties of being a super hero.
The first season of Iron Man: Armored Adventures has a total of 26 episodes. Tony Stark, James "Rhodey" Rhodes, Pepper Potts, Gene Khan, Happy Hogan, Whitney Stane, Black Panther, The Hulk, and S.H.I.E.L.D. all appear in this season.
The first season focuses on the Makluan Rings saga as Tony, Pepper, Rhodey, and Gene Khan work together to get the 5 rings. Upon overthrowing his stepfather Xin Zhang, Gene secretly works undercover to steal the rings from his friends, and ends up betraying them (which upsets Pepper). The season also features the Madame Masque Saga, which comes to a conclusion in the episode "Best Served Cold". Tony's feud with Obadiah Stane comes to a partial conclusion in that episode as well. The season ends with two primary cliffhangers in the episode "Tales of Suspense". The now-friendless Gene discovers that the original Mandarin had 5 other rings besides the original 5. Tony finds out that his father, Howard, survived the plane crash and is being held prisoner, while the armory is destroyed during Xin Zhang's attack limiting Tony's resources to find and rescue his father.
This season featured Makluan Guardian versions of Dreadknight, Ultimo, Firebrand, and Fin Fang Foom who guard the rings the Mandarin hasn't obtained yet.
Black Panther, Hulk, Rick Jones, Nick Fury, and S.H.I.E.L.D. make guest appearances.
The second season of Iron Man: Armored Adventures has a total of 26 episodes, just like the first season. Black Widow / Natalie Romanoff, Hawkeye, Doctor Doom, Magneto and Justin Hammer appear in this season. General Nick Fury, Black Panther, Mr. Fix, Whiplash and Obadiah Stane return.
The second season covers the Armor Wars saga and Stane International storylines. The first half of Season Two reflecting the Armor Wars has Tony and Rhodey as his definite partner War Machine fighting many people who have stolen Stark's armor tech and seek to exploit the stolen Iron Man specs for their own purposes. The enemies young Stark fights during this version of the Armor Wars include the Ghost who steals Iron Man specs and knows that Tony Stark is Iron Man. Ghost sells the specs to both Justin Hammer and Obadiah Stane but says he will not reveal Iron Man's true identity until Tony turns 18. Justin Hammer makes an armor with the Iron Man specs with the armor being called Titanium Man. Doctor Doom joins forces with Stane to attain the Iron Man armor operating system. Stane builds the Iron Monger armor which is revealed actually to be a direct upgrade from Crimson Dynamo armor (version 3) and is much larger than in the comic book and live action movie realities. The Armor Wars conclude as Obadiah Stane discovers the identity of Iron Man. Stane steals Iron Monger and is intent on destroying Tony once and for all.
While Tony is fighting the Armor Wars, Howard Stark is shown to be alive and forced by Gene to find the other 5 Makluan Rings. Gene continues to find and secured the sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth rings for himself during this time. This part of the season also included Makluan Guardian versions of Melter, Sunturion, Grim Reaper, and Grey Gargoyle who guard the remaining Makluan Rings.
The second half of season two showcase the printed page storyline of loosely based on the "Stane International" story arc. Justin Hammer (instead of Obadiah Stane) successfully buys control of Stark International. Stark, Rhodey and Potts all agree to fight against Hammer and his weaponization of Stark International's projects. Unlike the printed page version, Stark and Rhodes reject the title of Circuits Maximus for the new start-up and settle on "Stark Solutions" (opposite to Stark Enterprises of the printed page).
By the end of the second season, Pepper has assumed the armored identity of Rescue.
- Anna Cummer as Patricia "Pepper" Potts:
- Vincent Tong as Temugin "Gene" Khan / Mandarin:
- Catherine Haggquist as Roberta Rhodes:
Months before the show's television debut, Marvel had a screening of the first episode of the series at the San Diego Comic-Con. There was also a room where the public could meet, and talk with the Co-Producer Josh Fine and Head Writer Chris Yost among others involved in the production of the show. The trailer of the show was also released on Marvel's official website as well as numerous behind-the-scene and teaser trailers on the website in the weeks before the US television debut.
Popular rock band Rooney recorded the theme song to the series. US residents can listen to it on the Nick Toons website here, while international residents can listen to it here. The song could be downloaded from the Teletoon website, provided one supplied the 'secret code' (Tony) that came onscreen during the Canadian broadcast. The music video for the theme song features clips of Rooney singing, along with clips of Iron Man from the show. This includes him fighting Unicorn among other villains.
The series is made primarily using Computer Generated Imagery, in a similar style to MTV's Spider-Man: The New Animated Series and Nicktoons Network's original series Skyland. The technique is similar to cel-shading (a common animation and videogame technique) however the detail and resolution are lower.
Comparison to previous Iron Man incarnationsEdit
See also: Iron Man#OriginsIn Iron Man: Armored Adventures, Tony Stark becomes Iron Man as a teenager, and Pepper Potts and Jim Rhodes are also teenagers. In mainstream Iron Man, Tony Stark becomes Iron Man later on in his life as an adult, and is a long time friend with Pepper, whereas in this series, Pepper and Tony have just met. Traditionally, Tony's parents were accidentally killed in a car crash, whereas in this series, Tony's father, Howard Stark, disappears in the first episode in a plane crash suggesting Howard's death. Howard uses the advanced technology of one of the alien Makluan rings that he discovers for the basis of his many creations that he later locks away in his vault such as the light armor of the Living Laser. In the mainstream incarnation, Howard never met the Mandarin nor had any of his ten rings. Tony also injures his heart in this crash, as opposed to being injured by an explosion in war. Tony invents the Iron Man armor at home. In previous incarnations, Tony invented a beta version of the suit to escape after being captured due to the trap explosion leaving him defenseless. Tony also invented his magnetic chest plate, whereas Ho Yinsen created it in previous versions.
Due to Tony Stark never going to war and hence being captured and saved by Ho Yinsen, it thus makes the character Ho Yinsen redundant.
Iron Man's armorEdit
Iron Man's original armor in the seriesSee also: Iron Man's Armor, the original armor in the series is very similar to Iron Man's armor in the recent live action film. The differences are, most notably, the helmet design, his being armor less complex with less yellow. Apart from that, the armor is very similar in color. The armor appears to be convertible from its ability to spread over Tony from various parts he puts on. This armor generates a force field around Iron Man from his repulsors. There are also numerous alternate armors that Stark uses in special occasions, including the Silver Centurion Armor, the Stealth Armor and the Dynamo Buster Armor, an incarnation of the Hulkbuster armor.
Volume 1 of the series was released on DVD in the United States on October 20, 2009. This volume contained the first six episodes of the series. The Blu-ray edition of Volume 1 was released exclusively through the Best Buy chain of stores on the same date. The Blu-Ray edition is now available in other store outlets.. In the UK, Volume One contains the first 13 episodes (the one-hour pilot being split into two separate episodes) on two discs.
Volume 2 of the series was released in the United States on January 5, 2010. This volume contains the next 6 episodes of the series after volume 1.
Volume 3 of the series was released in the United States on March 9, 2010. This volume concludes the first season's episodes.
Iron Man: Armored Adventures Complete Season 1 will be available in the United States on May 4, 2010.
The first six episodes are currently available on Netflix instant viewing.
The hour-long premiere of Iron Man: Armored Adventures broke Nicktoons Network's record of highest-rated original series by premiering with over 125,000 viewers.
Reviews of the pilot episode have been mixed. Some praise the series for its detailed and layered writing, strong continuity, and character designs. Entertainment Weekly gave the series debut a B+ grade, saying, "What could've been a clunky retrograde reboot works surprisingly well, thanks to some smart writing and stellar CG butt-kickery." Others, do not like the "teen Tony" approach to the character's origin, which is drastically different from the original origin story. Some speculate, this is due to comparisons between the series, and Jon Favreau's 2008 live action film, which was a more adult take on the character as well as this new origin having parallels to the origins of Spider-Man.
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