Episode #41 - Hostile Takeover
Original Airdate - March 7th, 2012
When Hammer buys out Stark International, a penniless Tony vows to stop at nothing until the world knows what Hammer really is – a master criminal!

Written Thomas Barichella and Thomas Krajewski
Directed By Stephane Juffe and Phillipe Guyenne
Review by Arsenal


With Obadiah Stane in a coma presumably through the back half of season two, Iron Man: Armored Adventure’s two biggest antagonists are the Mandarin and Justin Hammer.

We re-established the Mandarin’s status in “Mandarin’s Quest” and now it’s time to see what’s new with Hammer in “Hostile Takeover.”

As the title implies, it’s Hammer’s time as he buys out Stark International. And, if that were not enough, he cuts off Tony Stark’s stipend so Iron Man is functionally broke.

But both of these ostensible game changers appear to be slow-burning plot lines. Stark doesn’t win back his company or strike oil in “Hostile Takeover.”

No, the main plot of “Takeover” is that Hammer and a platoon of B- and C-list villains kidnap Iron Man, so War Machine and Pepper Potts must rescue him.

“Takeover” does a better job than “Mandarin’s Quest” of setting us up for the latter half of the season while still giving us an entertaining episode. This is, in part, because Hammer’s at least an amusing villain.

(Yes, he delivers a few groaners here. For example, he actually spouts the words “hostile makeover.” But I chuckled at his desire for a talking desk. His frivolity makes him a nice contrast to the other Iron Man villains who take themselves so seriously.)

Also, “Takeover” gives Rhodey and Potts some opportunities to shine. After being reduced to damsel in distress in “Heavy Mettle,” I’m glad that Potts got to show off a little here.

This was not a perfect episode by any means. The script and animation served their purposes but never dazzled. A few lines still caused me to roll my eyes. (Would Rhodey really think French toast would cheer his friend up after a super villain bought out his father’s company?)

Ultimately, this episode’s biggest strength is it gives us an interesting status quo going forward.

Two final notes: I’ll be interested to see if this “broke” Tony subplot actually changes the status quo. For example, Stark talks about how he can’t afford to repair his armor anymore. Well, at least three armors take a beating in this episode and one blows up. However, I suspect we’ll see them shiny and operational in future episodes without any mention of Tony’s poverty.

And, finally, how many rockets can these guys shoot indoors without scratching a wall?

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