|This article is written from the Real World perspective|
|Series||Iron Man: Armored Adventures|
|Release Date|| April 19, 2009 (Canada)|
May 1, 2009 (United States)
May 18, 2009 (Australia)
|Writer|| Alexx Van Dyne|
With Gene Khan now the Mandarin he begins to attack rival gang leaders in the Maggia. At the same time Tony Stark seeks Gene's help in researching the Makluan Rings. However, in retaliation the Maggia kidnap Gene, Tony, and Pepper Potts. The only one left to save them is James Rhodes, who must pilot the Iron Man suit to save the day.
Deep below Chinatown in New York City Tong soldiers kneel before the Mandarin. One of the soldiers speaks of the Maggia, their rivals in the criminal underworld, and how they are becoming more aggressive. Mandarin states it is because he is now acting against their leadership. The soldier wonders why since they have never done that before but the Mandarin says he commands it.
Mandarin then asks what progress they have made in researching the Makluan Rings. The soldier states that Howard Stark knew the most and since he was killed in the plane crash they have nothing. Mandarin orders them to leave his presence.
Once they are gone Mandarin walks away from his throne. He wonders why the rings will not work for him even though he is the last remaining Khan. He sees a red flashing light and removes the rings. The Mandarin armor disappears revealing Gene Khan. He puts the rings on a chain and the chain on his neck. He hides the rings inside his shirt.
He rides an elevator up to a shop and comes out from the back to see Tony Stark standing there. Tony asks Gene if his stepfather imports Chinese artifacts and arts, which Gene acknowledges. Tony wants to know about the Makluan Rings his father was researching. He says his father kept a diary that he digitized that mentioned Zhang and they must have talked.
However, Gene states that his stepfather is out of the country on business. He offers to take the diary to give Zhang when he comes back. Tony refuses and instead leaves his cell number but tells him that he's in school during the day. Gene asks which school and Tony says it's the Tomorrow Academy on the East Side. Gene then says that he's enrolling in the same school. Excited at the idea of having a new classmate Tony leaves.
Tony heads to the armory beneath the factory only to see the Iron Man armor running straight at him. The armor leaps and Tony jumps out of the way. The suit then begins flying around the room hitting all the walls. It stops, stands up, and starts shuffling towards him.
As the armor nears it collapses. Elsewhere, James Rhodes is stopping a large gyroscope when he hears Tony calling him. He looks around and sees Tony struggling with the armor on top of him. Rhodey apologizes saying he was practicing with the remote controls on the armor. Tony claims he needs more practice.
As they walk to school Tony tells him about Gene and how Zhang is out of the country. He's getting frustrated because he's getting nothing from his dad's contacts. Rhodey tells him to use a book, but Tony hates researching.
After Pepper Potts explains why she wasn't popular in the eight grade to Rhodey she sees Tony with a large stack of books. He went to the library to do researching. When Pepper asks on what Tony states that it's on jewelry.
Just then the teacher enters and says that they have a new student, Gene Khan. The kids start whispering and Gene sits in the empty seat next to Happy Hogan. Rhodey remembers Gene from Tony's story, and Pepper also remembers her though she can't figure out from what.
Happy Hogan likes the new student and decides to call him The Khan. Though Gene doesn't seem to happy at the nickname.
Between classes Rhodey points out that Gene seems rather smug, like he's above all this, and calls him an arrogant rich kid. Tony sarcastically reminds him that he's a rich kid too. Meanwhile, Pepper struggles to remember where she heard about Gene before. Tony leaves saying that he's going to research during his free period. He passes Gene on his way down the hall.
In a classroom Tony is translating Chinese text. Across the room Gene says that one of his translations is incorrect. Tony thanks him but Gene leaves before he does.
After class Tony and Pepper are wondering why Rhodey stayed behind to debate history with his history professor. They see Gene leave the school and get into a limo. The two run over and Tony thanks him for his help. He then asks for more help.
Suddenly Tony hears something firing and grabs Pepper and Gene throwing them to the ground. A RPG hits the car blowing it up. A black van swerves around the corner and three men get out. One man leaves in a sophisticated suit with a horn on his head.
Another soldier with armor and wings flies above them then lands next to the first armored man. He says the Maggia would like to have a word with Gene regarding his stepfather. Tony and Pepper look at him in utter surprise.
Rhodey is walking along the sidewalk calling Tony. He wants to know where they went to. Just then he notices that other people are standing still on the street staring straight ahead. He looks up and sees the three being loaded into the Maggia van. He runs up to it but it speeds off. He turns towards the factory and runs off.
The Maggia takes the three to a warehouse by the water where the thugs force them to sit on crates. Pepper says that her father is an FBI agent, but the other two tell her to stop antagonizing the armed thugs. Gene look around and begins to reach for the rings around his neck.
Tony pulls out a device and begins to play with it. But one of the guards snatches it away. Tony claims that it is only an MP3 player. Killer Shrike flies down near Tony. He threatens Tony but Pepper corrects his threats, then wonders why he's named Killer Shrike.
Tony ask why they are interested in Gene. Shrike says that the Maggia is at war with the Tong, and Gene's stepfather Zhang is head of the Tong. Since the Tong have been hitting the Maggia leadership, they are returning the favor. Pepper them remembers that the FBI looked into Zhang's relationship with the Chinese underworld.
But Gene insists that his father is only an importer, working with museums not criminals. He says that he's been kidnapped seven times before for this same reason. He claims that Zhang will not pay the ransom but will instead sue the group.
Tony wonders where Rhodey is and looks to the guard who is now playing with his "MP3 player".
Meanwhile, Rhodey runs into the armory. He controls a console and the gyroscope lowers. He enters the seat and orders the computer to lock onto Tony's pod (MP3 player) signal. The computer begins searching.
At the warehouse Pepper thinks that they should escape. Since Gene's father is a criminal she suggests that he take the lead. However, Gene once again reminds them that Zhang is not his real father and that he's not a criminal. Tony then tells him that his pod has a tracking device built into it. He reassures them that the police, army, marines, or someone will soon be there to help them.
They look over to the guard playing with the pod. Gene wonders why he has a tracking device, and Tony states that Gene isn't the only one who's been kidnapped. The guard, frustrated with the pod, asks Tony if he can get games on it. Tony says he can get anything. He walks over and begins to tell the guard how the pod can access his home computer from anywhere to get movies, television, and music. He opens the device, pulls out an earpiece, and puts it on.
In the armor, Rhodey now sees Tony's signal. Rhodey starts up the suit and remotely flies it out of the escape tunnel and towards the city. He tries flying in the city but begins to lose control again.
Tony begins to show the guard how the pod can get cable when it is blasted out of their hands. Tony runs over to it but Unicorn, the other armored man, grabs him and throws him across the room back to the others. Tony looks at his broken pod.
Meanwhile, the suit has lost the signal. The suit hovers above the city while Rhodey continues to scan the area.
Tony gets an idea and runs over to Killer Shrike and Unicorn followed by Pepper. He says that he needs to go to the bathroom but the two say no claiming there is no bathroom. Pepper insists that he needs to go a lot and points out that she can see one. Shrike orders Unicorn to take him and then Pepper insists that she needs to go too. Unicorn reluctantly takes them.
Seeing this, Gene once again moves his hands to the rings. Just then Shrike answers a call from Count Nefaria. Nefaria says that Zhang is not responding to their threats and orders Shrike to kill Gene's friends.
While Unicorn takes the two to the bathroom they continue to bug him. Tony asks if the helmet gives him headaches while Pepper says that he will probably go to jail if the Tong don't get him first. As they reach the bathroom door Unicorn gets a call from Shrike. At the same time, Tony reactivates his pod.
Rhodey reacquires the signal and leads the armor to Tony.
Pepper says that this is not how imagined they would be hanging out, but thinks its better. Shrike tells Unicorn that Nefaria ordered them to kill the two, making him very happy.
Elsewhere, Gene says that killing them will gain the group nothing. Shrike flies into Gene's face and threatens to kill him next. Gene is about to put on the Makluan Rings when Iron Man flies into the building. However, he crashes into a pile of crates. The sound distracts Unicorn enough for Tony to jump onto a crate and kick Unicorn into a beam. Unicorn is knocked down but Tony still feels the pain. Pepper grabs him and the two run away before Unicorn gets up.
The Maggia grunts fire their guns at Iron Man but do no damage. Iron Man walks forward and scans each of the men and Gene. Rhodey wonders where Tony is. Just then Tony and Pepper walk out from behind some crates and into the suit's eye line. As the suit walks towards Tony one of the grunts fires at Iron Man and knocks him back into some crates.
Behind the destroyed crates Shrike lands and prepares to attack. Behind him, Gene looks at his Makluan Ring in his hand. When he hears Tony's voice he puts it away. Tony and Pepper run up and he orders Gene to take Pepper out of there. Pepper asks why he is staying behind.
Before he answers the Iron Man suit flies out of the crates towards Shrike. Shrike flies up but the suit tackles Tony into a pile of crates. The grunts and Shrike look at the wreckage. Unicorn runs up behind Gene and Pepper asking Shrike if that was Iron Man.
Just then a crate goes flying across the room narrowly missing Unicorn. Iron Man does a flip out of the wreckage threatening the Maggia. The grunts look at each other then begin firing at the hero.
Rhodey relaxes now that Tony is back in control.
Iron Man uses his repulsor beams to knock the crates out from underneath the grunts. Shrike flies by and fires at the hero. Iron Man dodges and takes off after him. Shrike leads him through the warehouse's rafters. On the ground Unicorn begins firing at the hero. Shrike turns around and fires at Iron Man but the hero dodges it and continues chasing.
Pepper falls while crawling between some crates to hide next to Gene. She turns around to stare at the action. Gene sees that a grunt has abandoned guarding the door and runs over to it, without Pepper. He turns around and spots a grunt sneaking up behind Pepper. When the guard towers over the girl Gene hits the grunt with a bar and leads Pepper out of there.
Shrike lands on a rafter and fires at Iron Man, but the hero lands nearby. Before he can advance on the villain Unicorn grabs his leg and slams him into a crate. He picks up the hero and fires point black from helmet to helmet. Iron Man flies across the room and lands on a crate.
Rhodey radios in asking if Tony's alright. Tony responds that it's not like fighting robots. Just then Unicorn fires his laser blasting Iron Man against a wall. Unicorn then keeps Iron Man against the while by continually firing as he walks closer. He stop firing when he gets close then grabs Iron Man's head.
Unicorn threatens to turn Iron Man into a doorstop. The hero then decides to use his unibeam to knock the villain back across the warehouse. The villain lands against a support beam and slips into unconsciousness.
However, Shrike is still active and begins firing from above. Iron Man flies up and towards him. Shrike continues to shoot but the hero evades and eventually tackles the villain. The two fly out through the roof and into the night air. Shrike pounds on Iron Man's back then kicks him in the stomach. Iron Man lets go and the two stare off at each other.
Shrike flies down near a water tower but begins bouncing off the beams. Iron Man chases and when he catches up he grabs Shrike. Shrike turns around and fires his energy blasters directly into Iron Man's armor. Iron Man's armor begins to overload.
Iron Man eventually gains control of the situation and fires his repulsors at Shrike's hands. The blasters fail and he crashes down below. Iron Man realizes that his blasters helped him fly, a serious design flaw.
Rhodey chimes in saying that the police will be there soon. Iron Man says he's got to get down before Pepper and Gene suspect he's Iron Man. Rhodey promises to pilot the suit back, if Tony admits he's a hero.
The police arrive and begin arresting the Maggia grunts. One officer sees the post that Unicorn crashed into but does not see the villain himself.
Outside the police are talking to Gene and Pepper. Pepper is stressed because Unicorn and Killer Shrike got away but they haven't found Tony. She thinks they may have taken him, but Gene assures her Tony will be fine. Just then Tony walks up saying he wishes Iron Man was softer.
Pepper runs up and gives him a big hug. She tells him about how Gene saved her. Tony thanks him and says that they rich kids have to stick together. Gene apologizes for bringing them into the situation.
At the Rhodes' Home Tony talks on his cell phone with Gene. He understands that Gene will be busy helping out with his stepfather's company while he's away. He says the research on the Makluan Rings can wait. They hang up agreeing to see each other the next day.
In his lair Gene puts his phone away and puts on the Makluan Rings becoming the Mandarin. He walks into a room where he has Unicorn and Killer Shrike hanging above him all tied up. He wonders where he left off and begins to torture the two Maggia enforcers.
"Your majesty, the Maggia's territories have increased. They have long fought the Tong for control of the city's underworld. But this new aggression..."
"Is not unexpected."
- Tong Soldier and Mandarin
"Tell me, my servant, of what progress you've made in researching the Makluan Rings."
"I...Mandarin, no one knew more information about the rings than Howard Stark. And ever since the plane crash we have nothing."
"Leave in shame. And be grateful for your lives!"
- -Mandarin and Tong Soldier
"I'm the last Khan! The heir to the Mandarin rings. So why won't you WORK!"
"Uh, hi. My name's Tony Stark."
- -Gene Khan and Tony Stark
"So you guys import Chinese antiquities and art into the US. Like statues, and relics, and stuff?"
"Yes. Stuff is our specialty. Now what did you want to talk to my stepfather about?"
"Right, sorry. I'm looking for information on one of my dad's projects. These ancient Chinese artifacts called the Makluan Rings."
"Yeah, I've been going through all my dad's notes on the and Mr. Zhang's name came up in his diary. I guess they talked a while back."
"Your dad keeps a diary?"
"Yeah, he was kinda old school. I, uh, digitized it. It has everything he learned about the rings. But he wrote that he wanted to follow up with your stepdad and ask him about Chinese history and similar artifacts."
- -Tony Stark and Gene Khan, first conversation
"Rhodey! RHODEY! If you're mad at me about something we can just talk it out!"
- -Tony Stark
"So this Gene guy said that Zhang was out of the country. All the contacts in my dad's notes are turning up a big zero."
"So you don't know what the rings are or who the Mandarin is? Good start."
"I was never great at research. I always just invented anything I needed."
"I hear scientists invented these great things that tell you about ancient history. They're called books."
"I hate research."
- -Tony Stark and James Rhodes
"And that's why I wasn't very popular in the eighth grade. But no charges were filed so everything turned out okay."
- -Pepper Potts
"Uh, what's with all the books? I thought you didn't do the whole book thing."
"Yeah, I went to this crazy place called a...called a..."
"That's the one. I'm doing research. Fun."
"Ooh! On what?"
"Uh, on jewelry."
- -Pepper Potts, Tony Stark, and James Rhodes
"HEY! New guy! I'm just gonna call you The Khan. Is that cool? The Khan. KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!"
- -Happy Hogan quoting Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
"He seems like...like he's above all this. All smug and superior. He's got that arrogant rich kid vibe going on."
"Yeah, arrogant rich kids are the worse."
"You know what I mean, jerk."
- -James Rhodes and Tony Stark
"You're last translation is incorrect."
"The word you want is 'dread'"
"Right. You're totally right."
- -Gene Khan and Tony Stark
"Hey, there's Gene. Ooh, he's got a limo. And you don't. Unless, ooh, you should come to school in two limos tomorrow."
- -Pepper Potts to Tony Stark
"Gene Khan. The Maggia would like to have a word with you about your stepfather."
- -Killer Shrike, first line
"You guys are in big trouble."
"My dad's an FBI agent. You guys don't know who you're messing with."
[Tony and Gene together] "PEPPER!"
"Let's not antagonize the armed thugs, okay?"
- -Pepper Potts, Tony Stark, and Gene Khan
"Kid, you better shut up and cooperate if you want to get out of this without suffering too much."
"You're suppose to say 'Get out of this alive,' nimrod. Get it right. And what kind of a name is Killer Shrike anyways?"
- -Killer Shrike to Tony Stark and Pepper Potts
"Who are you people? What do you want with Gene?"
"Your buddy's dad is the head of the Tong. The Maggia's at war with the Tong. They're hitting our leaders. So we're hitting back."
"That's where I knew you from. The FBI suspected that Shin Zhang was connected to the Chinese criminal underworld."
"That's awesome. So how long's your father been a crime lord?"
"What!? My stepfather is a businessman. He's an importer. That's all! He works for museums, not criminals."
- -Tony Stark, Killer Shrike, Pepper Potts, and Gene Khan
"We should try to escape. Gene, you take the lead since your father's a violent criminal and all."
"My stepfather is not a CRIMINAL!"
"Gene, relax. No one thinks your dad is a criminal."
"Except these criminals. Oh, and the FBI."
"Okay. One, it's stepfather! He's not my dad. And two, he's no gangster. I know all about the FBI's investigation, and it came up with nothing. They dropped it. Why? Because he's NOT A CRIMINAL!"
- -Pepper Potts, Gene Khan, and Tony Stark
- -Unicorn, first line
"Well, that's a problem."
- -Tony Stark
"Well, that's a problem."
- -James Rhodes
'I have to go to the bathroom. I mean, I really have to go."
"You should trust him on this. He uses the bathroom a lot. Seriously, like all the time."
- -Tony Stark, Killer Shrike, and Pepper Potts
"Unicorn, take the kid to the bathroom."
"You've got to be kidding."
- -Killer Shrike and Unicorn
"Zhang is not responding to our threats. We need to show him we are serious. Eliminate the boy's friends."
"Uh, yes Count Nefaria."
- -Count Nefaria, first line, and Killer Shrike
"Look, just shut up. Okay."
"Sorry. I'm just saying that much energy right by your brain can't be good. Do you get headaches?"
"I've got two right now."
"There's no way you're not going to jail after this. You know that, right? Or worse. Seriously, if the cops don't get you the Tong will."
- -Unicorn, Tony Stark, and Pepper Potts
"All those times I wanted to hang out, this isn't exactly what I meant."
"Let me guess, you think this is better?"
"Yeah. Way better."
- -Pepper Potts and Tony Stark
"Punks, today is my lucky day!"
"Killing the others will gain the Maggia nothing."
"You should be less worried about them and more worried about yourself."
"Hmm. That's funny. I was about to say the same thing to you."
"Shut your mouth kid or you're next!"
- -Gene Khan and Killer Shrike
"Attention criminals. You're toast."
- -Iron Man
"Nice. You really put the fear into them. Oh, and Tony, welcome back."
- -James Rhodes
"Tony! Are you okay?"
"Yeah, it's just a little different from fighting robots."
- -James Rhodes and Iron Man
"I'm going to use your head as a doorstop, Iron Man."
"Now that's just mean."
- -Unicorn and Iron Man
"I don't know why you're here, Iron Man. But I'm going to enjoy taking you down."
- -Killer Shrike
"Wait, you're blasters help you fly too? That's a serious design flaw."
- -Iron Man
"Police should be here any second now. They've been getting close ever since the shooting started."
"I've got to get out of the armor and back down to Pepper and Gene before they suspect anything."
"I'll pilot the armor back. After you say it. Say it!"
"Ugh, thank you for saving us all, Rhodey. You're my hero."
"That's right I am."
- -James Rhodes and Iron Man
"Why haven't they found him! Killer Shrike and Unicorn both got away and they haven't found Tony! What if they..."
"Pepper, he's going to be fine."
"Yeah, but next time I want to be rescued by Cotton Ball Man. Iron hurts."
"Gene saved me, after you got saved. Which was after you saved me before, you know, by the bathroom. But then I sorta saved you."
"Don't worry about it. I'm sorry you two got pulled into all of this."
"Hey, us high profile rich kids have to stick together."
- -Pepper Potts, Gene Khan, and Tony Stark
"Seriously, I know you're busy helping out with your stepfather's company while he's gone. It's okay. Research on the rings can wait."
"All in time. It's the least I can do."
"Awesome. I'll see you tomorrow."
"Count on it."
- -Tony Stark and Gene Khan
"Now...where were we?"
- The Tong must have quite a network if Gene is able to get school supplies and fully enroll in school so soon before his first day.
- To answer Pepper Potts' question, a shrike is a kind of bird that impales its food on its sharp beak. They are also called "butcher birds" for this reason. The name implies he is a killer and a butcher.
- Technically Gene Khan is right. Shin Zhang isn't a crminal, not anymore.
- Tony Stark calls his MP3 player a pod. This is a reference to the iPod, a popular MP3 player. Though the producers probably did not want to spend the money to get the rights to use the name iPod.
- Tony has a smiley face made of squares in his pod.
- Tony's actions during the final battle are very similar to Peter Parker's in "Doctor Octopus: Armed and Dangerous". Both leave the hostage situation, return as the hero, then leave to quickly return to their normal costume to avoid suspicion that they are the costumed fighter.
- Pepper Potts knows the name of Killer Shrike without anyone saying it.
- Tony Stark indicates that he's been kidnapped before. When? It would fit in with his comic book origin where he was kidnapped and forced to make the suit to escape. But the series had him built the suit before and donned it to live after the plane crash. There's no indication that he was ever kidnapped by anyone before.
- When Rhodey pilots the suit out of the armory it is during sunset, when the sun is still visible. However, seconds later it is completely dark.
- Why would the gyroscope spin Rhodey around wildly while controlling the suit? The gyro's movements don't match the movements of the suit anyways.
- After he lost the signal why wouldn't Rhodey go to the last place the signal was shown? Why stop and do nothing?
- What kind of a warehouse has several piles of crates with nothing in them?
- First time the name of the school is heard.
- The armor would actually gain its own sentience in the episode "Man and Iron Man".
- First time Rhodey gets to control a suit. In "Tales of Suspense, Part Two" he would get to control the War Machine Armor without the use of a remote control.
- Gene Khan enrolls in the Tomorrow Academy with everyone else where he meets Pepper Potts and James Rhodes. He would begin a friendship that he will eventually betray in "Tales of Suspense, Part One". In "Tales of Suspense, Part Two" the three heroes would question whether Gene was being genuine in his friendship or not.
- First appearance of the Maggia, Unicorn, Killer Shrike, and Count Nefaria.
- First use of Zhang's full name.
- Rhodey pulling up a map of Manhattan Island is the first direct mention of which city the series takes place.
- First time the suit flies out of the tunnel at any time other than the middle of the day. It flies out at sunset.
- First time that Obadiah Stane is not involved in the episode.
- It would be revealed in "Pepper, Interrupted" that Unicorn and Killer Shrike were still alive, just being tortured by the Mandarin.
In the comics Mandarin is simply a supervillain, not a crime boss. The Tong were invented for the series. Therefore, the rivalry between the Maggia and the Tong is also created for the series.
Unicorn has been associated with the Maggia in the comics, but Killer Shrike has not.
"Arsenal" of Marvel Animation Age knew the problems of taking characters introduced as comics and adapting them as children. While X-Men: Evolution and The Spectacular Spider-Man were able to draw on the comic's original teenage storylines, Iron Man: Armored Adventures had to be original. He felt that some characters were adapted better than others. He felt Rhodey was fine but Pepper was a hyperactive motormouth, though he did find her amusing. He did find the idea of a teenager being the head of a crime syndicate was ridiculous and found some of his lines too silly to be taken seriously. He felt that Tony was stripped of all that made his character fun, though it does make him more relatable to the key demographic. He felt it made Iron Man difficult to identify with since he was nothing like the comic book version. He compared it to Wolverine settling arguments with chess. He thought the plot had little value and wondered at the usage of "D-list criminals" like Killer Shrike. He noted that the weaker plot put a heavier emphasis on characters, but they were not strong enough to carry a weak episode. "'Secrets' lays the groundwork for some interesting relationships—for example, Gene and Tony become friends even though their secret alter egos are enemies—but this episode offers little gratification unto itself."
Dan Phillips of IGN.com gave the episode a rating of 4.8 out of 10. He said the show's biggest weakness was that it didn't know what made Tony Stark so interesting. He said that besides the name and the hero being in armor the showed was nothing like Iron Man, and was more Spider-Man mixed with Smallville. He felt that the series could have given new audiences a taste of the Howard Hughes-type Stark who fights crime to repay the world for past sins, like the Iron Man film. Instead the series opted for a Peter Parker knock off who only uses the suit because he invented it. While he understood that a teenager appeals to kids he said so do talking animals. He felt that show didn't preserve the core character and that audiences would wonder why they weren't watching a Spider-Man series. He called Pepper Potts exceedingly obnoxious and more like a mixture of Mary Jane Watson and Lois Lane as she always seems to conveniently have useful information because of her father. He claimed the show was made less tolerable by the lifeless animation. He felt the show looked like a work in progress and the characters didn't blend well with the background. As far as the episode, he said that it was like a rejected Smallville script and was predictable. "Many shows take a while before they hit their stride and take flight, so I'm willing to give Iron Man: Armored Adventures a chance. However, judging by how awkward these first three episodes have been and how far off course the core concept is, I'm not too optimistic this one will get off the ground anytime soon." 
The episode has a rating of 8.4 Great on TV.com.