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The Hands Of The Mandarin, Part Two
Review and Media by Amazing Spidey

Episode #25 - The Hands Of The Mandarin, Part Two
Original Airdate February 24, 1996

The Mandarin finally returns and creates an anti-technology field which renders Iron Man's armour useless! Forceworks must reunite to stop Iron Man's greatest enemy from declaring himself ruler!

Screenplay By: Adam Gilad
Directed By: Dan Thompson
Music By: Keith Emmerson
Animation By: Koko Enterprises
Guest Starring: Robert Hayes as Iron Man/Tony Stark, Dorian Harewood as War Machine/Jim Rhodes, Jim Cummings as MODOK, Jennifer Hale as Spider-Woman, John Reilly as Hawkeye and Tony Ito as The Mandarin

Review: Ah Iron Man, we hardly knew ye. Alas, all good things must come to an end, and this show went out on a bang rather than a whimper. Even better, everything was wrapped up in a little bow. No cliffhanger here folks!

The story basically continues on from the last part, with Iron Man beaten and Forceworks coming in to rescue him. The lackeys are back, but are made quickly dealt with. The story doesnít suffer from some of the corny elements of part one, and does a very good job in making sure the main characters get their final chance to shine, whilst giving an appropriate end to the story.

One of my favourite scenes is Tony running from the mountain bandits, and simply collapsing from exhaustion. It was a great way to show how weak his heart actually is, and some great boarding and an outstanding performance from Robert Hayes helped it out a great deal. Iíve said this before and no doubt Iíll say it again, Robert Hayes is Iron Man. Out of all the actors who have ever voiced anyone in a Marvel cartoon, I think Hayes captured his character the best. Heís not done too much voice work outside this and his guest starring role as Luminous on DCís Superman: The Animated Series, which is a great shame, because heís tremendously talented at it. Iíd love to see him continue on as the character in The Ultimate Avengers because for my money, no one is better suited for the role.

On a slightly different note, I wasnít too fond of the anti-technology armour. Whilst I can make the incredibly difficult stretch to believe an armour can be made without using the technology (sure, an armour which could defeat the fog wouldíve been more, well, less full of BS) but the design for it lacked any spark, especially the mask. It just looked odd. The rest of the suit isnít bad, but the face makes him look funny. I usually liked the armours he morphed into throughout the series, but they all had that stupid mouthpiece, which usually just made him look dumbfounded. For my money, the normal armour used in the second season is still the best looking to ever grace olí Shellhead. Whilst watching this again, I couldnít find any niggling questions that the episode didnít answer. He got the girl, his enemy was basically killed off and he lived to fight another day, and was finally reunited with his team.

Overall, the only disappointment with this is a rather simple one. It all ended too soon. Itís a shame the show was syndicated, because had it ran on FOX along with Spider-Man and X-Men and ran longer than 26 episodes, it may have very well been Marvelís greatest show This second season certainly proves that that it deserved to be treated better than it actually was. Credit to the crew, they turned a pile of complete and utter crap into one of the best cartoons of the decade.

Hopefully, with the Iron Man soon on his way to theatres, the show will give the full release DVD it deserves and people will actually be able to see the show for themselves. Then kick themselves for not watching it years earlier.