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!"

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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]