Monday, August 13, 2012

Rein-Toon-ation: Iron Man: Armored Adventures (2009)

The success of the "Iron Man" movies, starring Robert Downey, Jr. & Gwyneth Paltrow, led Marvel to try another animated series featuring the Golden Avenger. However, in doing so, they took fans back to a period in Iron Man's career they'd rather forget.

You see, Nicktoons' Iron Man: Armored Adventures presents Tony Stark, James Rhodes, & Pepper Potts as teenagers. This harkens back to a period in the 90's in the original Iron Man comics when Stark was de-aged to a teenager. It didn't last very long (thankfully), but Marvel & Nickelodeon, for whatever reason, decided to use the juvenile model for this series, and complemented it by de-aging Pepper & Rhodey as well, though their armored alter-egos are also in play.

For some reason, it took them two years between seasons 1 & 2, and reports are that season 3 may be ready in time for "Iron Man 3" next year. Storylines adapt classic tales from the comics, but it just doesn't look the same with the protagonist reduced to a teenage prodigy. I think the underlying idea is to sell toys (what a shock), but the premise of the show, in this writer's opinion, devaluates the original comics, even if they're not yet 20 years old.

In this sample scene, Tony & Pepper go over some evidence the latter has uncovered, but while there are hints of a relationship, which we've seen in the movies with the grown up versions of the characters, well.......!

I like the animation, but I don't like the idea of Tony, Pepper, & Rhodey as teens. It's just too bad DisneyXD or the Hub didn't take this show off Nick's hands, as Hub did with The Marvel Super Hero Squad Show, obtaining that from Cartoon Network a few months back. Nicktoons can do better.

Rating: C.


magicdog said...

The problem is when toon writers run out of ideas, they figure rebooting the characters as kids/teens is the solution.

Sometimes it works, other times it fails miserably. I'm willing to cut this version a bit of slack as I just see it as just another [Marvel] cartoon universe.

But I can't stand Pepper in this version. She's nothing like her movie or comic counterpart.

hobbyfan said...

Because she comes across as a prototypical teenage girl? It's part of the problem, but Marvel's not willing to own up to that mistake any time soon.