Iron Man: Armored Adventures [2011] Season 2. 26 Episodes

Armor for everybody! (except you, Hulk.)

Iron Man and his Amazing Friends! Co-starring "War-man" and "Pepper-star!"

Iron Man and his Amazing Friends! Co-starring “War-man” and “Pepper-star!”

Seriously. Check out Blizzard's homage to Iceman's classic means of travel.

Seriously. Check out Blizzard’s homage to Iceman’s classic means of travel.

After a three-year hiatus, Iron Man: Armored Adventures returned for a second season. It was not a good time to be a Stark. Neither Howard nor his son Tony had much go right, but in the end they did overcome kidnapping, financial ruin, corporate shenanigans, maniacal mutants, maniacal armor wearing morons, megalomaniacal armor wearing doctors, manic Pepper Potts in armor, and oh, an alien invasion.

Does this kind-hearted soul look megalomaniacal to you?

Does this kind-hearted soul look megalomaniacal to you?

Justin Hammer's Titanium Man used a derivative name, but was rather maniacal.

Justin Hammer’s Titanium Man used a derivative name, but was rather maniacal.

The look was even better than season one. The cel shading style still closely emulated Skyland. The number of quality assets constructed for this season was large, yet the French and Indian animation houses produced fantastic visuals on a television budget.

Madame Masque's 1st season episode was strong. This season's not-so-much. This looks like a bad date...

Madame Masque’s 1st season episode was strong. This season’s not-so-much. (Alternate caption: ‘Your costume party date… is unhinged.’)

Real-iron-man-cosplay-costume

"How do you keep kicking my butt in those heels?"

“How do you keep kicking my butt in those heels?”

Where season two could have been better was in the writing department. Many of the individual episodes were well composed, but the overall flow, the arc of the season lacked focus. The finale involved Gene Khan’s Mandarin, but the set-up was weak. We see across multiple episodes, frustrating cameos of Gene manipulating cruelly a kidnapped Howard Stark. But there is no development of Gene since last season, except that he is less palatable.

Howard Stark says things like, "We can do great good for this world, son." Gene Khan's mom said things like, "You will complete our purpose rule the world."

Howard Stark says things like, “We can do great good for this world, son.” Gene Khan’s mom said things like, “You will complete our purpose and rule the world.”

Iron_Man_literal cosplay

So the Mandarin's ten magic-- er, 'Makluan technology' rings are actually artifacts from these goofy looking aliens?

So the Mandarin’s ten magic– er, ‘Makluan technology’ rings are actually artifacts from these wacky looking aliens?

Let’s cram season two into a sentence: Tony’s father Howard is not actually dead but kidnapped by the Mandarin and forced to help him acquire more power while Iron Man tries to carry on despite his company being stolen, and just about everybody from corporate big wigs to AIs and even nutjob students taking aim at him, though ultimately unsuccessfully thanks to his whiny friend James Rhodes, bi-polar friend Pepper Potts, and an almost completely reassembled cast of the Avengers movie.

Hulk shows up for the finale, and punches a big alien machine... Where have we seen that before?

Hulk shows up for the finale, and punches a big alien machine… Where have we seen that before?

Iron_Man_boy_hulk_cosplay_

Sure,, this season's sudden focus on the Avengers cast was just coincidence...

Sure, this season’s sudden focus on the Avengers cast was just coincidence…

Who dons armor this season? (The shorter list would be who doesn’t.) Yes, Pepper does, to our chagrin, corporate nutjob Justin Hammer, Howard Stark, even Tony’s grandson from the future, plus of course the entire armored rogue’s gallery of the Marvel Universe. Even non-armored characters like Magneto wore armor.

The Ghost is still a cool character not easily beat. Magneto in armor? Hmmm. And the winner of this season's goofiest armor is Iron Man 2099. Are those your glow in the dark pajamas?

The Ghost is still a cool character not easily beat. Magneto in armor? Hmmm. And the winner of this season’s goofiest armor is Iron Man 2099. Are those your glow in the dark pajamas?

Iron_Man_Armored_Adventures_doctor_doom_castle

But the stand out depiction, and the most pleasant surprise of the season was that of Doctor Doom. It was the best depiction we have seen of him since John Byrne’s Fantastic Four run back in the day. A great voice and modulation, and his wacky mix of tech and magic. Okay, they retconned his magic to be “really advanced quantum technology.” It was the only slip up, and unnecessary.

Iron_Man_Armored_Adventures_doctor_doom_victor_beat

"Kneel before doom!"

“Kneel before Doom!”

It was great to see young Iron Man, before he came into the fullness of his power, get his butt swiftly and mercilessly kicked. He was totally outclassed, which was a nice change up since he kicked butt all season long. Doom’s visual effects were different and exciting. He was not dumbed or powered down. We give props to shows when they do not emasculate the powerful veteran to make the newbie star look good (Huntik also handled this well).

Iron_Man_Armored_Adventures_Season_2_doctor_doom_advanced_rendering

"Check out my cool stealth armor and space armor. Huh? You think the red lights give my stealth armor away?"

“Check out my cool stealth armor and space armor. Huh? You think the red lights give my stealth armor away?”

Iron Man: AA offers a fun glimpse into lesser known Marvel universe characters. Their depictions are solid and worthy of them. We can even forgive the shameless latching-on to the phenomenally successful Avengers movie cast. Tony, in slightly unbelievable fashion, cranks out new armor types to please fans of the franchise. (Most of them, thankfully, retain the round uni-beam.) Overall, it is a finely crafted show still worth watching.

PS – This looks like the end of production for Iron Man Armored Adventures. It was a good and entertaining two-season run. We would enjoy seeing more of it.

When in the Hulkbuster armor, Tony needs only say, "Talk to the hand."

When in the Hulkbuster armor, Tony needs only say, “Talk to the hand.”

"This commute is really starting to stink..."

“This commute is really starting to stink…”

Check out another rock anthem theme song. It rawks:

Check out other Iron Man related takes:

Iron Man: Armored Adventures [2008] Season 1

Iron Man (anime) [2011] Season 1

Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes Season 1

Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes Season 2

Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow [2008]

Check out some of our other Marvel takes:

Green Lantern: The Animated Series [2011] Season 1

Hulk Vs Thor [2009]

Thor: Tales of Asgard [2011]

6 thoughts on “Iron Man: Armored Adventures [2011] Season 2. 26 Episodes

  1. fun season, I agree the end is somewhat anticlimactic, the Makulan Ring quest summoning alien threat is a pretty exciting premise on paper and was on screen but the actually quest throughout the two seasons gave me the impression something else would happen. But it’s not too farfetched the Amazing Spiderman comics(Ends of the earth) Justice League Unlimited(Brainiac), Ben 10 Ultimate Alien (Daigon) did something similar so maybe it’s just a comic book thing, like a stage two to a greater plan, pretty open ended finale too.

    Season 1 seemed more free on building the landscape on the world, while two tried to be more economic and focus on the action, choreography.

    I disagree the Madame Masque was fun if a bit predictable

    • Hey, good point about the alien invasion season climaxes. Now that you mention it, we have seen that in a number of our takes:
      Green Lantern Animated
      Huntik Season 2
      and the mentioned,
      Ben 10 Ultimate Alien

      Plus a number of other invasions along the way. Yes, the Makluan invasion was not where we were expecting the ring quest to go.

      We liked the action and choreography of the 1st season Madame Masque episode much more. Where she kicked but with a few grenades and some long arms. It was amazing. The second season episode with her fell more into the “dream sequence” type of show, one of our least favorite templates.

      Good and insightful comment. Glad you stopped by.

      Alien Invasion?
      Alien Invasion?

  2. No problem, I loved the 3 madame masque episodes from season 1, was there a dream sequence in the season 2 appearance??? I remember that it was Masque imitating Obadiah, the dream episode was a completely different episode. Speaking of her, I thought Whitney and Tony made a cute couple, better then the somewhat forced pepper romance

    • We just mean that all the people imitations and weirdness Tony experienced in the return of Madame Masque episode felt a little like a kooky dream sequence.

      We agree with you about the romance angle. Whitney seemed like a more fun match as depicted. Pepper annoys us, and she should have been left as a friend (and kept away from dangerous armor.)

      Pepper in armor. What kind of training do you need for that? (How about mental training…)

  3. I liked that Whitney didn’t get too bad a send-off; Tony still loves her and will always fight for her, and she actually evades capture through her disguise mechanism and gets to be closer to a SHIELD agent than Pepper ever became. What I didn’t like was that the whole thing was a direct ripoff of Harry Osbourne from Spider-Man. Seriously, it’s Harry’s arc, beat for beat. Couldn’t they have been more original?

    • We didn’t know it was a copy of Harry’s arc. There is so much material in the Marvel universe, we don’t think they need to cross-steal from other characters. The Iron Man Armored Adventures version of Pepper is way too flighty for S.H.I.E.L.D., a rather humorless organization.

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