IRON MAN: ARMORED ADVENTURES
Iron Man: Armored Adventures - The Complete Season One DVD Release
Release Date: May 4th, 2010
Studio: Vivendi Entertainment
Synopsis: Tony Stark is not the typical teenager… he’s a billionaire, brilliant inventor… and Iron Man! Iron Man: Armored Adventures follows Tony Stark, 16-year-old genius and heir to the billion-dollar corporation Stark International, as he battles the enemies of world peace with his revolutionary power armor technology. Growing up, Tony had always lived a life of luxury, but everything went horribly wrong when a tragic plane accident robbed him of his father and nearly cost him his own life. Eager to honor the memory of his dad, Tony now uses his suit of invincible armor and technical know-how to protect those who would also fall prey to tragedy, corruption and conspiracy. With help from his friends Jim Rhodes and Pepper Potts, Tony’s activities as Iron Man usually result in high-speed flight, high-tech battles and high-octane quests for justice. Iron Man: Armored Adventures - The Complete First Season is the perfect adrenaline rush for fans!
-Original Sketches of Characters, Vehicles
Review by James Harvey:
A teenaged Tony Stark? Well, it’s a risk, I’ll give it that. Iron Man: Armored Adventures had a lot going
against it when it was announced. A CGI cartoon with a drastically reworked Tony Stark was, as you could expect,
not received warmly among fans. I can see why. It’s simply not the Tony Stark that fans grew up with. Plus,
no one seems to be a fan of CGI-animated cartoons. However, I’m one of those fans who’s more open-minded to
different interpretations of a character, with each as valid as the next as far as I’m concerned, and
Iron Man: Armored Adventures is no different. And now we have the entire first season available on
DVD to dissect and validate.
To describe the show “Peter Parker as Iron Man” isn’t far off, in all honesty. Stark is a brainy high schooler
by day, butt-kicking crime-fighter by night. While he may not suffer the tumultuous beatings at the hands of
Flash Thompson and his ilk, the comparisons are apt. Thankfully, the creators behind the show seem very
blissfully aware of this, and even run with it. So, what we get is a basic formula which does work for the
most part. While I wouldn’t say this show is extraordinary on the level of the late, great The Spectacular
Spider-Man, but it’s still a totally watchable show that does have its own merits and drawbacks. Though, I
will say, for the traditional Iron Man fans, turn back now. I can’t see those who’ve grown up with the comic
series enjoying this take on the character.
To move on, the episodes featured in this release
include the entire first season of the series, all 26 episodes. Admittedly, the show does start out kind of
rough, but it does improve, by leaps and bounds at times, as it progresses toward the two-part season finale.
Plus we get to see pretty cool appearances by the likes of the Black Panther and the Incredible Hulk. Fans
who caught the series on Nicktoons will know what to expect here, and will likely enjoy getting to watch
the entire first season on a nice DVD collection. Those new to the show, well, it’s not easy to predict
what the outcome will be there. If you’re willing to take this show as a different take on an established
character, then I think viewers will be pleasantly surprised.
Nice yes, but, sadly, not every episode
rises above average. Iron Man: Armored Adventures is a good show, one with plenty of room to grow,
gradually learning and improving with each episode. We get to see an ongoing story-line unravel mostly in
the background, save for the occasional episode where some of those said subplots are thrust to the forefront,
mixed in with fun one-offs. Additionally, I’m glad to see this is a series that actually acknowledges past
episodes. Villains return and we see their respective storylines continued and pushed ahead. It’s a nice
thing to see after so many other animated shows focused mainly on the “done in one” idea for an episode,
where everything starts and ends in the same place. And this all builds to a nice two-part finale which,
well, has me looking forward to the second season. There are some actual surprise twists that threw me
for a bit of a loop, I’ll admit. Again, I won’t spoil anything, but it’s a great way to end the season
but leave us wanting more.
Thankfully, many of the villain redesigns really, really work, some
improving upon the source material. We get to see plenty of Iron Man’s classic foes, but they’re pretty
much all redesigned with a new tech style that works really well for the show. And while they can be
annoying at times, particularly Pepper Potts and the wasted Happy Hogan, the supporting cast does add a
nice balance to the series. Adrian Petriw, voice of Tony Stark, does an excellent job here, effortlessly
skipping between hero, orphaned son, and high school student with ease.
The episodes featured
on this collection include “Iron, Forged in Fire, Part One,” “Iron, Forged in Fire, Part Two,” “Secrets
and Lies,” “Cold War,” “Whiplash,” “Iron Man vs. the Crimson Dynamo,” “Meltdown,” “Field Trip,” “Ancient
History 101,” “Ready, A.I.M., Fire,” “Seeing Red,” “Masquerade,” “Hide and Seek,” “Man and Iron Man,”
“Panther's Prey,” “Fun With Lasers,” “Chasing Ghosts,” “Pepper, Interrupted,” “Technovore,” “World On
Fire,” “Designed Only for Chaos,” “Don't Worry, Be Happy,” “Uncontrollable,” “Best Served Cold,” “Tales
of Suspense, Part One” and “Tales of Suspense, Part Two.”
Overall, it’s a different take on
the Crimson Avenger, but it’s enjoyable for what it is. I can guarantee there will be folks who will
not like this series, and it’s understandable. If you’re insulted by the idea of Tony Stark struggling
through high school, then this show may not be for you. I’d still recommend at least giving the show
a bit of a test drive before dismissing it completely. This is an enjoyable show, one that does
improve as it progresses, albeit perhaps a bit too slowly. It all leads up to a really enjoyable finale
that raises some interesting questions that fans of the series will want to see answered.
Iron Man: Armored Adventures is a new take on the character, it’s one that deserves a spin, and you
can’t go wrong with a full season collection.
Vivendi Entertainment has given Iron Man: Armored Adventures – The Complete Season One a pretty snazzy
release. Hidden beneath a bright and colorful package, red and yellow the primary colors, all four discs
are safely packaged with a digi-pak foldout inside of a slipcase.
Looking inside, audio and
video for this release is pretty impressive. The video transfer is undeniably strong here, looking crisp,
clear, and near perfect. The audio is just as solid, managing to really pack a punch during the action
sequences. A remarkable amount of work has definitely been put into making Iron Man: Armored Adventures
look its absolute best on DVD. It’s a shame this full season may not see a Blu-ray release anytime soon.
this release may be stacked with episode after episode of Iron Man adventures, the bonus materials
are a shade light but an improvement over the single-disc volume releases. Bonus content mostly consists of
a smattering of storyboards and design work for the series. We get to see rough sketches, model sheets and
design work for an assortment of characters and accessories for the show – basically the same images that
Marvel has been releasing to promote the series. The disc is rounded off with some trailers. Somewhat
disappointing, especially since the Wolverine and The X-Men DVD releases can get commentaries on
every episodes, I would have liked to have seen even one or two commentaries, even just on the pilot and
season finale, for example. Given the international background for this series, that might have been an
interesting avenue to explore, too. But, still, we get the entire first season plus some good material, so
fans should be generally pleased here.
For die-hard fans of Iron Man: Armored Adventures,
you have no reason to pass this up. You get the entire first season of the series in one tidy little collection.
Even casual viewers should check this out, especially in light of the big screen Iron Man 2 flick.
The episodes included are enjoyable, and the show gradually improves more and more after a somewhat limp
start, leading up to an absolutely adventurous two-part season finale. For fans of the show, or perhaps
parents looking to add some iron to their kid’s DVD collection, this hefty release should do just fine.