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Fire And Rain
Review and Media by Amazing Spidey

Episode #15 - Fire And Rain
Original Airdate 30th September 1995

As blackouts begin affect the city, Iron Man faces a new enemy called Firebrand, who's determined to ruin Stark Enterprises to avenge the death of his Father. Will War Machine overcome his fear of water to help Iron Man?

Screenplay By: Len Wein
Directed By: Bob Arkwright
Music By: Keith Emmerson
Animation By: Koko Enterprises
Guest Starring: Robert Hayes as Iron Man/Tony Stark, Dorian Harewood as War Machine/James Rhodes, Tom Kane as HOMER, Jennifer Hale as Spider-Woman, and Neil McDonough as Firebrand

Review: Introducing for the first time on Iron Man… a villain with genuine motivation! Having got rid of Mandarin, his lackeys and the often-useless Forceworks, the series was now free to begin developing the remaining characters.

One of the more enjoyable subplots was War Machine’s fear of water, and after nearly drowning, his fear of wearing his armour again. This came into play several times throughout the season, and more importantly gave both Jim and Iron Man a chance to develop as characters, and finally become 3 dimensional characters, rather than the paper-thin presentations in the show’s first season.

The villain wasn’t anything especially brilliant, but effort was actually made. His voice was great, it was Neil McDonough, the same guy who portrayed Bruce Banner in The Incredible Hulk series. His design was lacking spark, ironic since his main power is fire based, but something just didn’t click with this villain. He wasn’t bad by any means, but he wasn’t especially good.

The revelation as to who he actually was under the mask was genuinely confusing. Stark was looking at a picture of him on the screen, muttered something and suddenly a picture of Firebrand’s old man appears, revealing his identity. One nice touch of this scene though, when the flashback occurs, Tony is in his old, season one armour, complete with stupid mouth piece.

Overall, Fire and Rain was an enjoyable episode, not as good as the opener, but an entertaining outing all the same.