Episode #7 - Meltdown
Original Airdate - May 29th, 2009
When a new super villain called the Living Laser appears, Tony realizes that he can no longer juggle school and Iron Man. Already brilliant and rich, he decides to give up school. He soon discovers that the entire future of Stark International rests on him graduating from high school, so he must find a way to be both Iron Man and Tony Stark.

Story Editor Christopher Yost
Written By Eugene Son
Directed By Stephane Juffe and Phillipe Guyenne
Review by Arsenal

Don’t let the name of the show fool you. This is an episode of Spider-Man.

It features a teenage hero who struggles to juggle his friends, school and his heroic responsibilities. There’s even a guilt trip involving a deceased patriarch.

This is quintessential Spider-Man territory. Tony Stark even fights the Living Laser, coincidentally an analogue for the Spider-Man villain, Electro.

That’s not a knock on this episode. Spider-Man’s pretty much the template for any solo teen hero. Everyone from Static Shock to Gravity to Invincible needs to pay homage. It’s just awkward because Iron Man has never qualified as a Spider-Man knockoff before.

“Meltdown” touches on one of Iron Man: Armored Adventures’ recurring themes: Tony taking on too much responsibility. He’s spread too thin between his scholastic and heroic duties, so he decides to quit school.

He’s rich and brilliant, after all. Why does he need school?”

Unfortunately, he learns that he must stay in school and maintain a decent GPA or he’ll lose his dad’s company, according to his father’s will.

Oh, and there are some serviceable fights with an electric villain. (I never realized how many generic villains Iron Man has. He’s got a cold guy. He’s got an electricity guy. He has a Russian guy. All he needs is a heat guy to complete the set.)

Overall, this is a decent episode—better than middling, but not what I would call great. However, it seems to be outside of the Iron Man realm. Then again, that’s the type of thing that bothers comic book readers and online critics, not kids watching cartoons on a Thursday afternoon.

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