Case Number 18160: Small Claims Court


Vivendi Visual Entertainment // 2008 // 138 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // January 25th, 2010

The Charge

Power up to excitement.

The Case

Tony Stark suits up as Iron Man, in this new Nickelodeon series that tells the tale of the resilient metal superhero in his teenaged days. I suppose it would be more like Iron Smarmy Adolescent.

What do you get with a younger, hipper Iron Man? For one, you don't have to worry about Tony's alcoholism or assorted other self-destructive vices. Here, he's pretty much your run-of-the-mill cool teenager, with an alter ego made of metal who can shoot lasers out of his face. Less the flawed super-genius and more the brilliant, edgy kid with the nice backpack. He's still smart, but also a nifty dresser. Accompanying him on his adventures are Rhodey and Pepper (sound familiar), two equally cool and hip young adults. They both have messenger bags, by the way.

So the general thrust is that Tony has to ace school, in order to inherit his dad's company. Standing in the way is Obadiah Stane, the bald menace currently running the company and unwilling to part with his power trip because of a snot-nosed kid. Sounds a lot like the plot to Billy Madison huh?

Volume 2 of Iron Man: Armored Adventures features the following six episodes:

* "Meltdown"
* "Field Trip"
* "Ancient History 101"
* "Ready, A.I.M., Fire"
* "Masquerade"
* "Seeing Red"

Overall, this is an okay cartoon. Full disclosure, my familiarity with Iron Man pretty much ends with the excellent feature film. But, if the Tony Stark portrayed there is characteristic of Tony in the books -- and I have it on fanboy authority it is -- then I can see why followers of the character my not be cuckoo-for-Cocoa-Puffs for the this cartoon. Stark simply isn't as interesting, because he's not as flawed. Storylines are standard-issue fluff, with villains-of-the-week and long science words in the script, because, you know, Iron Man is all about the science.

The animation is simplistic, but attractive, the stand-out rendering showing up when Iron Man springs into action. The style reminded me a lot of Sega's Jet Set Radio video game series, if that means anything to you.

The DVD: full frame video, 5.1 audio, and a bonus episode from Marvel's new micro-show The Super Hero Squad.

The Verdict

Die-hard young fans might get a kick, but I don't see Armored Adventures penetrating the serious Iron Man fan's consciousness. Probation for you.

Review content copyright © 2010 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2016 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 70

Perp Profile
Studio: Vivendi Visual Entertainment
Video Formats:
* Full Frame

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)

* None

Running Time: 138 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* Bonus Episode

* IMDb

* Official Site