Iron Man: The Complete 1994 Animated Series (1994)

Genre(s): Adventure / Animation / Science Fiction
Buena Vista || NR - 572 minutes - $29.99 || May 4, 2010
Reviewer: Kushmeer Farakhan || Posted On: 2010-05-23


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: NA
Writer(s): NA
Cast: NA


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
    None


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Full Frame (1.33)
  • English (Dolby Digital 2.0), French (Dolby Digital 2.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

The 90’s were an interesting time for comic books. The early 90's saw various comic book titles hit all time high sales and merchandising for Marvel comics in particular was bigger than it had ever been. There were t-shirts, caps, and action figures everywhere. Marvel also saw several highly rated animated series premiere during this time. Their first big one of the decade was “X-Men”. It was a huge hit and its success enabled more shows to launch 2 years later. First there was the mega successful “Spider-Man” and it was followed by the syndicated Marvel Action Hour – a 60 minute block that consisted of half an hour of “Fantastic Four” and another half hour of “Iron Man”. “Fantastic Four” series’ 26 episodes hit DVD in 2005 when the first film hit screens. Here we have the “Iron Man” 2-season run just in time for its live action sequel.

Unlike “Spidey” and the “X-Men”, “Iron Man” wasn't quite as big a success. Oh it did well but it didn't have the acclaim of its predecessors. As a result, the first and second seasons of the show are radically different.

The first season of is more or less “G.I. Joe” in the 90's. It's an odd comparison but an apt one as it's show runner Ron Friedman is the same mind behind some 20 some odd episodes of “G.I. Joe” as well as the animated G.I. Joe and Transformers films. Each episode consisted of Tony Stark/Iron Man and his wisecracking team of co-superheroes(Force Works aka the then West Coast Avengers team consisting of War Machine, Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, Spider-woman and Century) trying to stop a nefarious plan by Iron Man's archenemy the Mandarin, an mystical tyrant with power rings who was aided by MODOK..a giant head. Yep, a giant head. It's funny. When I was a kid, I thought the show boring but now it's hilarious! My favorite scene is during an episode called Iron Man to the 2nd power and Dreadknight and Blacklash (2 of Mandarin's henchman) begin fighting over a female henchwoman named Hypnotia and the dialogue is so inane that you just can't believe what you're hearing. Ron Friedman isn't a bad writer but he's a person who loves to write "silly aciton cartoons" and every episode is like that. Like I said, it's “G.I. Joe” in the 90's for 13 episodes straight.

Sensing the show needed a slightly more serious direction to stay afloat, season 2 ousted Friedman as show runner and hired newbie Greg Johnson (who went onto write several episodes of “Wolverine” and the “X-Men” as well as “X-Men: Evolution”). They didn't just hire a new show runner though. The show got a new look, new theme song and new actors as well (with only Iron Man, Modok, and War Machine retaining the actors from season 1). Gone were the constant battles with Mandarin and in their place were far more "industrial espionage" type problems. Iron Man now faced hostile takeovers (like in the 2 part "Armor Wars") and other Marvel heroes like The Hulk. It was a much more serious show and Iron Man's team rarely appeared (save for War Machine who still appeared on occasion). But it wasn't necessarily a better show. The story ideas were better but the execution was sloppy and unexciting. For all its goofiness, Friedman's season 1 was a much more consistent bag.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

There are no features on this set.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

I noticed a little bit of artifacing throughout both seasons of the show but it was a blink and you'll miss it type of thing. They look as good as a 16 year old TV show can look.

“Iron Man” is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo while the originals airings were I think in Mono something or another. This sounds a lot better. I love hearing season 2's theme song now. It has a lot more base then I remember it.



.::OVERALL::.

“Iron Man” isn't Marvel's best toon, or even their best effort in the 90's but it is entertaining. The quality varies from episode to episode and season to season but overall it's a batch worth checking out for any fan of the ol' shellhead.