Iron Man: Armored Adventures [2008] Season 1. 26 Episodes

Some of you may be familiar with the concept of “teenerizing” a show in order to make it more palatable or “relateable” to a younger audience.  Some of you may even be familiar with the “pre-teenerizing” of a show, made famous by Muppet Babies.  That name has practically become synonymous with the concept.

The living Laser although not a teen whined like some teens you might know. "Dude! Why so intense?"

Well, Iron Man: Armored Adventures (IM:AA) is a teenerized version of the Iron Man property.  The series plays fast and loose with the entire setting.  Very loose.  However, there is some effort to keep the spirit of the property intact for which we here at the Fortress are grateful.  We are fans of Iron Man and reasonably knowledgeable of his universe.

Meanwhile, at the Fortress of Solitude: "Kal El my son, I am your father, Jor El..."

Certainly, this adaptation is much better than another recent “tweenerized” superhero flick, The Next Avengers.  So here is the one sentence synopsis:

In a contrived twist, high school “sooper genius” Tony Stark inherits his father’s company but cannot take control until his 18th birthday and in the meantime must fight the evil machinations of current CEO and bad guy Stane and the mysterious Mandarin while in the anonymous guise of his latest invention the Iron Man armor and along the way learn about humility, friendship and the power of teenage crushes er, a bunch of really cool suits of armor.

"Oh, but isn't he dreamy..." - Pepper Potts is the most polarizing of the teen versioned characters. You either dislike her or hate her.

Pepper Potts: Iron Man Armored Adventure version.

To grab those familiar with the property, the show introduces right at the start someone who looks exactly like classic Tony Stark.  But that is NOT Tony Stark, it is his father.  Tony Stark is the whiny kid next to him.

They also introduce someone who looks just like the classic Iron Man arch enemy, the Mandarin.  But that is not the real Mandarin, that is his stepfather.  The real Mandarin is the whiny kid next to him.

And in like manner all the young-versioned characters in the Iron Man mythos are introduced.  Oh, except for Nick Fury who continues to be the old, cantankerous Samuel L. Jackson looking “Ultimate Universe” version also popularized in the Robert Downey film.

The Mandarin armor was well designed. He is all about the rings, although the producers implied the rings were advanced tech rather than magic. "In your FACE Stark!"

Once, Tony Stark thought the key to intimidating enemies was... to add a nose to his armor.

The look is fun and unusual.  It may remind some of you of the excellent Skyland series and indeed was made at the same animation house, LuxAnimation.  It is a fun cel shaded computer generated look.  It works well with the varying armor types Stark dons.  They are the keystone of the property after all.  Space armor, underwater armor, etc., and the infamous War Machine armor.

We are fans of the War Machine armor here in the Fortress. However this show's version was a bit underwhelming. Not enough contrast? Too bulky?

The HULK episode was fun and the "hulkbuster armor" one of the season's best.

Some of the additional armors were a little disappointing in appearance.  A little blah.  But importantly, they got the Uni Beam on Iron Man’s chest right.  It is ROUND.  It has been so for 90% of Iron Man’s history.  It is one of his trademarks.  It is not shield shaped like Superman’s “S”, despite occasional dalliances by various Marvel artists.

No doubt you have seen some coloring book, towel, toy, or cheap piece of cr@p with the lame pentagonal or even triangular unibeam. Bask here in the glory of its roundness.

We compliment the day to day design team more than we do those who envisioned the whole adaptation.  The design of supporting characters like Madame Masque and the various weapons used throughout the season are imaginative and entertaining.

Madame Masque: Hottie by day and weapon festooned destruction machine by night. She battled toe-to-toe with our armored hero. In other words, a typical date.

If you are a fan of the Iron Man rogue’s gallery, you will see reinvented origins of all your old favorites like the Crimson Dynamo, Living Laser, A.I.M and M.O.D.O.K.  Thankfully, the rogues were not as teenerized as the heroes.

M.O.D.O.C. Mental Organism Designed Only for Conquest? Okay not one of Marvel's best acronyms. How about, Maniacal Oversized Dome Obsessed with Crime?

Well voiced and designed with depth, the Ghost was one of the most interesting characters the entire season. (However, someone needs to tell him that camouflage is not working. Dude, we can see your shadow!)

Is it annoying to see Mr. Genius wrestle with puerile high school hijinks when lives are at stake?  Yes.  Is it a little discouraging to see Stark never fully come out on top?  Yeah.  Is it frustrating to see the major bad guys elude getting their comeuppance the entire season?  Oh yeah.

"Ben? Ben Kenobi?"

But the show is fun, interesting and worth watching.

"I'll be watching, but this stupid helmet TV only gets in one channel. Even the picture-in-picture!"

_____________________________

Iron Man Related Takes:

Iron Man (anime) [2011] Season 1

Iron Man: Armored Adventures [2008] Season 1

Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes [2010] Season 1

Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow [2008]

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17 thoughts on “Iron Man: Armored Adventures [2008] Season 1. 26 Episodes

  1. Oh no, another “teenerizing” series. While I can stand and even like or tolerate some that employ this gimmick, there are the fair share of revamped classic series which should not dabble in “teenage drama” (<–imagine said with dramatic emphasis and reverberation for effect). Transformers Animated still irks me. But *shrug* these companies are trying to make another buck on a new generation, so I guess I can't fault them too much.

    Skyland is on my list of series to watch, so when you mentioned the series producers employed the same animation team my interest was piqued. That and I always like to find out what new animation styles are being developed. I'm getting to like this mix of 2D/3D ever so slightly. If it means my beloved 2D gets more time in the spotlight I'll support it. Staring at the animated gifs on your page gives me a nice idea of what to expect. Though it's very hard for me to type and watch…them….at the same…time…*dist…racted*. Ha.

    It is fun to read your realistic take on bad teenage drama and teenerizing (and fatherizing?) of Iron Man universe characters. That is not Iron Man? He is the whiny boy next to the mature, hero-type man? Ah well, I suppose they have to start out whiny somewhere. Ha ha, okay, just kidding. After all, we know had they teenerized Batman that would have been a complete botchery of his character. (Don't get any ideas DC.)

    I also like how you stuck it to impromptu artists who did not stay with a trademark design–circle beam, not shield! I can practically feel the exasperation flowing from that sentiment. And I have to agree, you can't just change mainstays of a character. Find artists who can revamp without modernizing everything, including the basis of a character's looks or actions.

    And while I'm still here I have to agree that I really like the Ghost character. Though I have no idea who he is, he looks rather cool. Probably due to him NOT being teenerized. (The smoking pistol…nice effect.) ; ) The white armored machine above him looks pretty sweet too. The art design on the over-sized hands is reminiscent of old robot designs I like. And Madame Masque's villain ensemble? Creepy and interesting. It's those type of designs that keep my interest. It reminds me of Slade from Teen Titans. (I suppose the "teenerization" of that show wasn't too bad. However the series' progression on the other hand had its issues…)

    It's always entertaining to read your takes, when the [my] world pauses to let me do so. Glad I could stop by. 🙂

    • Good points.

      You know they DID try to teenerize Batman with the Batman Beyond series. It is one that is very polarizing to this day. Some really dislike it for putting some NEW kid, not even Bruce Wayne in the cowl. We did not care for that adaptation idea here in the Fortress.

      The Ghost was very adult. He acted adult and was cool in most senses of the word. Maybe the most fun recurring character, right up there with the action packed Madame Masque. Her outfit is indeed reminiscent of “Slade” from the Teen Titans. Slade was very adult too. That show needed that factor.

      You know, many of these original properties were launched as comics way back when with adult leads. Iron Man’s Tony Stark was an adult in a prison camp; the Fantastic Four were scientists and test pilots – okay, Johnny was a little young; how old is Thor for goodness sake. What we are trying to say is that there is room for kids to appreciate a character regardless of age.

      Keep coming with the intelligent wordz.

      • “What we are trying to say is that there is room for kids to appreciate a character regardless of age.”

        You hit the nail on the head. Kidz these dayz…they mostly want to imagine themselves, at their age, doing all the stunts and pulling all the moves. But too much do they overlook the great heroes of the “adult” era. Not that there isn’t room for kid heroes, but they shouldn’t be dulled into wanting only the “cool, hip” teen crowd. Adults of all ages are very dynamic (sorry, not always hip) but darn it, they know their stuff.

    • Our last line does say, “But the show is fun, interesting and worth watching.” That is our story and we are sticking to it. Especially if you like the Iron Man property in general and have always wanted to see more Mandarin. (Plus Madame Masque kicks butt and looks good doing it.)

  2. I think “teenerizing” makes people think about what they miss – assuming they aren’t eight-years-old, of course. I like the idea that it brings a new audience to the “grown-up” version. The Jesuits first said “Bring them in when they are seven and they are ours for life” and I think there may be truth in that.

    • Interesting point. Iron Man fans may watch this and be reinvigorated to participate in some other Iron Man media. And yes, there is a benefit to opening up a franchise to a younger audience. They may indeed like it and then participate in other incarnations.

      Our caveat is that the “teenerized” version be true to the core IP. What would be the point to interest new adopters in an IP that is a misrepresentation. That said, IM:AA was mostly true to the spirit of the IP in our opinion, although certainly not the setting.

      BTW, are comic books not a children’s medium? They introduced Tony Stark as an adult way back when. In fact, many of the popular superheros were introduced to children as adults. It is a questionable trend to totally buy into kids only relating to characters their age.

  3. Read your take on the show. I just finished season 1 last night and i’m 28. I loved the show. My wife enjoyed it as well. I didn’t mind the teenage version of stark, pepper is pretty crazy but still fun. And that was the key to me the show is fun, with great animation and solid storytelling. Who cares if they changed some things. I saw the Iron Man animated movie from a few years ago and this series is light years better than that. Changing it up to make it more relatable for a primarily kid audience is a smart move, and they don’t dumb it down (unlike the teen titans show). It’s a great show. I hope more people, old comic fans and kids alike will pick it up. It’s well worth watching, especially if you just want to have some fun!

    • We agree. It is fun and more-or-less well written. It is ahead of most all animated comic adaptations. We can see why your wife likes it too as it is indeed entertaining to both genders.

      We only disagree on the point that in order to be more relatable to kids you need a kid star. That was not the case when all these characters were introduced. A show of this quality did not necessarily need to be “teenerizd”. We do like it despite that, and they did a good job with their revamp not trying to hit you over the head with it.

      We too hope the show is embraced and look forward to another season. We hope they can keep up the quality in writing and execution.

      PS – Glad there are others out there beyond the teen years enjoying this stuff.

  4. “(However, someone needs to tell him that camouflage is not working. Dude, we can see your shadow!)”
    Did you even at all use your eyes and notice that that pic is showing him out of stealth?… ofcourse his shadow is showing.. because he himself is showing..

    • Thanks for weighing in. They did a surprisingly good job on the armors and costumes (Madame Masque, The Ghost, etc.). Their art direction really hit a stride. We are watching season two right now (take coming soon). We were unsure about the depiction of War Machine’s armor, but now it is growing on us.

      Ultimate Iron Man works for us in some pictures, and not so much in others. But it is different, and the unibeam is round, which is a stickler point we care about here in the Fortress.

      Yay for round unibeams.

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