7 May 2003 | gears_chatroom_god
"It's the direct object of the verb."
The first season of "Iron Man" was written for the most part by Ron Friedman, who would be better known to most animation fans as the writer of "Transformers: The Movie." And, quite frankly, the first season of "Iron Man" sucked.
The overlarge cast of characters did not help Friedman's meandering scripts, which were usually needless complex (the first episode, "And The Sea Shall Give Up It's Dead," is a very good example of this) - and not in an intelligent way, more of a lurching, stumbling way. Crammed to the gills with awful pseudo-science which didn't make a lick of sense, bizarre, out-of-left-field dialogue (the title of this review is one such example, which Tony spontaneously recites while briefing his teammates), and ill-fitting humour that, for the most part, just wasn't funny, about the only thing this show had going for it was the animation, and even that was weaker than other shows on TV at the time. "Iron Man" season one was entirely too 80's to stack up against it's fellow Marvel shows, such as "X-Men" and "Spider-Man."
It's bizarre, because Friedman also wrote the first season of "Iron Man"'s sister show on the Marvel Action Hour, "Fantastic Four," and it was much better. The pseudo-science and humour WORKED on that show, sounding just right coming out of Mr. Fantastic and the Thing - Friedman seems to be a better hand at dealing with outer space fantasy than with the business-and-espionage world of Iron Man. Regrettably, FF was hampered by truly, truly appalling animation, which could have stepped right out of the 70's. To me, however, "Iron Man" was just the show I had to sit through before I could watch "Fantastic Four."
The SECOND season of "Iron Man," however, saw Marvel Productions switch animation houses, and the whole series got a makeover. Gone was Friedman - gone were the bad humour, oversized cast and stupid plots. The show started to make *sense.* Some of the changes were a little sudden, yes, and could have done with a little exposition to help them (Iron Man's new armour, the sudden appearance of HOMER), and it'd be lying to say that the shift in voice actors for the bulk of the cast wasn't jarring. Ultimately, though, the performances on the show were better in the second season, the animation was modernised, and there was finally a sense of arced plot, as we watched the Mandarin reclaim his rings.
You can bet your booties that if an "Iron Man" motion picture is produced, then some old episodes of this series will see a DVD/video re-release - hopefully they'll elect to go with the vastly superior second season.