tek's rating: ½

Iron Man: Armored Adventures (CGI), Nicktoons Network
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Well, first of all I want to say that as soon as I saw this, I thought of Skyland, which it turns out, as I suspected, was done by the same French animation studio as this show. Anyway, it's a bit different from any incarnation of Iron Man that I've seen before, in that the main character, Tony Stark, is a teenager, here. His father, Howard, was the head of Stark International, and also a brilliant inventor who designed most of the stuff his company produced. Howard Stark's 16-year-old son, Tony, was also a genius, with many patents of his own, and he often worked with his father. They had created machines called Earth Movers together, which were meant to be used to help people... but a member of Stark's company, Obadiah Stane, wanted to sell the technology to the military. Howard steadfastly refused. Then one day, the plane that Howard and Tony were on exploded.

The story flashes forward six months. Howard died in the explosion, but Tony survived. However, he has some technology in his heart that's keeping him alive, and needs to be regularly recharged. His life had been saved by the armor he had designed, which he was planning on showing his father, but never got the chance. Now, Tony is living with his best friend, James "Rhodey" Rhodes, and his parents, a test pilot named David and a lawyer named Roberta. Also, Tony, who has always been taught by his father, is now attending school for the first time. Of course, he knows far more than the teachers do, so it's pretty much a breeze for him. He meets new kids at school, most notably the very talkative Pepper Potts. Her father is an FBI agent, and she apparently hears lots of stuff from him, including that Stane is being investigated in the death of Howard Stark, since Stane is now in charge of Stark International (though Tony is supposed to take over when he turns 18). Pepper quickly ingratiates herself into Tony and Rhodey's lives, though it's some time before she learns that Tony is Iron Man...

But I hadn't mentioned that yet, had I? Well... Tony uses his armor to become Iron Man, and he'll engage in some super heroics. But first he's interested in investigating Stane. Not just learning the truth about his father, but also stopping Stane from turning his inventions into weapons. Also I need to mention, Howard had this "Makluan" ring, which was actually ancient technology that he wanted to study. But it was now being worn by Stane. However, there's also a villain called the Mandarin, who already had such a ring, and stole the one Stane had, because they give the wearers great power. Apparently the title of "Mandarin" was a mantle that had been passed down for some time. It was currently held by an old guy named Shin Zhang, but the position is soon usurped by his 16-year-old step-son, Gene Khan. So anyway... Iron Man's barely gotten started doing his thing, and already he has two powerful enemies, Stane and the new Mandarin. Oh, and Zhang is the head of the Tong (Chinese criminal organization), which is rivaled by another organization called the Maggia. Meanwhile, Gene enrolls in Tony's school, wanting to learn more about the Makluan rings (an interest Tony shares, though of course at this point he has no idea Gene is the Mandarin).

So anyway. Rhodey helps Tony out, keeping in contact with Tony via computer when Iron Man is on missions, and sometimes controlling the armor by remote. And once she learns Tony's secret, Pepper helps, too. Of course, Iron Man will face various individual enemies, as well as groups such as the Maggia, and A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics). Oh, and another character we eventually meet is Whitney Stane, the daughter of Obadiah, who doesn't get along with her father (who has no time for her). She and Tony are friends, though Rhodey and Pepper don't seem to like her.

And that's all I can say so far, though there are bound to be lots more villains to face, lots of adventures. And it's fairly fun and interesting so far. I look forward to seeing more of it. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see the second season, and I don't even recall if I saw all of the first season. But hopefully I'll catch up on it someday.


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