Episode #32 - Line of Fire
Original Airdate - August 17th, 2011
Investigating the reason behind Black Panther’s attacks on Hammer Multinational, Tony uncovers the dark reality of Stark International’s involvement in an escalating civil war!

Written By Clelia Constantine and Mark Henry
Directed By Stephane Juffe and Phillipe Guyenne
Review by Arsenal


I often bag on Armored Adventure’s animation.

Even when I like an episode, it’s usually despite the animation and almost never because of it. (The only time I can recall complimenting it is in Designed Only for Chaos.)

However, from the opening moments of “Line of Fire,” something different is afoot. The animators choose different and creative angles from which to show the action. Characters move smoothly; faces emote; the camera moves.

And while the shaky camera trick is no longer revolutionary, it’s surprising and satisfying to see Armored Adventures use it well.

Simply put, the animation in “Line of Fire” is good.

Similarly, the humor and even the romantic subplots click better in this episode than any time in the first season.

Even the presence of the Black Panther and Happy Hogan – a joy-suck and unfunny lunkhead, respectively – cannot sink this episode’s frothy fun.

Other good things:

·Whitney and Tony demonstrate actual chemistry for the first time in forever. (Perhaps, it’s because Whitney finally tears into him for standing her up or maybe it’s because they do an extended riff on attending a Dazzler concert. I’m a sucker for a Dazzler joke.)

·Despite butting heads, Panther and Iron Man forgo the cliché of fighting even though they butt heads over a misunderstanding.

One bad thing:

·I’m already sick of the Happy Hogan/Pepper Potts romantic feint and it’s just begun. Seriously, they spent their first date talking about competitive burping.

These characters are both better used when paired with someone more down to earth who can counteract their zaniness.

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