Episode #11 - Masquerade
Original Airdate - July 31st, 2009
Iron Man goes to investigate when Obadiah Stane starts waging war, only to find that Stane isnít Stane. Itís the identity-stealing Madame Masque, and she doesnít want anyone getting in the way of her vendetta. When Iron man gets hunted by the police for crimes committed by masque, he has to clear his name by exposing Masque, but her connection to Stane will shock even Iron Man.

Story Editor Christopher Yost
Written By Brandon Auman
Directed By Stephane Juffe and Phillipe Guyenne
Review by Arsenal

The spoilers are on. If you havenít watched Masquerade and donít want a surprise spoiled, go no further.

I mean it. This is your last warning.

Fine, but donít blame me.

Tony Stark is Iron Man.

Whitney Stane is Madam Masque.

Madam Masque hates Iron Man. Whitney Stane likes Tony Stark. Tony and Whitney share several scenes together. They should crackle with subtext and layers of knowing. And, honestly, they donít.

The characters have little chemistry. Blame the writers, voice actors or animators if you like. The reason is not obvious to me. I canít tell you why these scenes feel flaccid. I only know they do.

And thatís too bad because ďMasqueradeĒ depends primarily upon their chemistry.

Thatís not to say there is nothing good about the episode. The animators, who Iíve picked on a couple of times, concoct a pair of nice action sequences. The pay off for the long-promised roller-skate armor is delicious.

The presence of Whitney also brings the best out of Pepper. I loved her berating Tony because he was pulling punches against a woman.

ďIf you donít beat her up, Iíll come down there and do it,Ē Pepper warns. ďThen, Iíll beat you up.Ē

Unfortunately, these flourishes donít change the fact that this episode is built on an unsteady cornerstone.

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