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Iron Man (TV Series)

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This article is written from the Real World perspective Stan Lee
Iron Man
Iron Man Season Two
Season Two Title Shot
Beginning date September 24, 1994
End date February 24, 1996
Number of Episodes 26
Season One
Season Two
Original Channel Syndication
Previous Series X-Men
Next Series Fantastic Four

Iron Man is the animated television series featuring Iron Man in the Marvel Animated Universe. The show debuted alongside the animated Fantastic Four series as part The Marvel Action Hour, comprising the first half. It is the first series to focus on Iron Man, not counting the Iron Man segments of The Marvel Super Heroes, and was followed by Iron Man: Armored Adventures and Marvel Anime: Iron Man.

The series ran for two seasons for a total of twenty-six episodes starting September 24, 1994 and ending February 24, 1996.

BackgroundEdit

Iron Man Season One

Iron Man is notable for being one of the few television shows to be rerecorded in THX; a high-fidelity sound reproduction standard typically found in movie theaters, screening rooms, home theaters, computer speakers, gaming consoles, and car audio systems. This was normal for motion pictures but was a highly unusual practice for television.

Like Fantastic Four, many fans were disappointed with the first season. The first season was primarily a "good versus evil" tale of Iron Man and his allies fighting the Mandarin and his minions. Writing was handled by Ron Friedman, who also worked on Fantastic Four.

For the second season Marvel switched to another animation studio. With the change came new writing, new direction, and new music. Storylines were no longer limited to single or two-parters but spanned multiple episodes. The series also focused on issues of duplicity, consequence, and phobias. Despite the changes ratings remained low and the series was eventually cancelled.

CastEdit

Main CastEdit

Actor Role(s)
Robert Hays Iron Man/Tony Stark
Living Laser
Dorian Harewood War Machine/James Rhodes
Whirlwind
Blacklash
Stilt-Man
Jennifer Hale Spider-Woman/Julia Carpenter
Ghost
Tom Kane H.O.M.E.R.
Century
Stingray
Ghost
Sunturion
John Reilly Hawkeye/Clint Barton
Beetle
James Avery War Machine/James Rhodes
Whirlwind
Blacklash
Jennifer Darling Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff
Hypnotia
Casey Defranco Spider-Woman/Julia Carpenter
Katherine Moffat Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff
Rachel Carpenter
James Warwick Century
Sam Jaggers
General Hirsch
Jim Cummings M.O.D.O.K.
Century
Bill Clinton
War Machine
Whirlwind
Grey Gargoyle
Justin Hammer
Additional Voices
Ed Gilbert Mandarin
Grey Gargoyle
Ultimo
Robert Ito Mandarin

Robert Hays and James Avery reprised their roles for Spider-Man, even though Dorian Harewood had already replaced Avery as the voice of War Machine on this series and played Tombstone on the other. Avery and Harewood have a long history of voicing the same characters on a series.

Recurring CastEdit

Actor Role(s)
Philip Abbott Nick Fury
Neil Dickson Dreadknight
Linda Holdahl Hypnotia
Chuck McCann Blizzard
Neil Ross Fin Fang Foom
Wellington Yinsen
Walter Stark
Blizzard
Tony Steedman Justin Hammer
Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. Justin Hammer
Firepower

Guest CastEdit

Actor Role(s)
Dimitra Aryls Martha Stark
Sarah Douglas Alana Ulanova
Matt Frewer Leader
William Hootkins Crimson Dynamo
Jamie Horton Controller
Ghost
Julia Kato Su-Yin
Todd Louiso Hacker
Gerard Maguire Titanium Man
Neal McDonough Firebrand
Ron Perlman Hulk
Bruce Banner
Peter Renaday Walter Stark
Stu Rosen Crimson Dynamo
Marla Rubinoff Elastika
W. Morgon Sheppard Dum Dum Dugan
Scott Valentine Dark Aegis
David Warner Arthur Dearbon
Lisa Zane Madame Masque

Matt Frewer would go on to voice Leader on The Incredible Hulk. Ron Perlman would voice Hulk and Bruce Banner on Fantastic Four but not on The Incredible Hulk.

Neal McDonough would go on to play Dum Dum Dugan on the film Captain America: The First Avenger.

EpisodesEdit

The series lasted twenty-five episodes.

MerchandiseEdit

Iron Man Action Figure

The show had a toyline through ToyBiz, first announced in July of 1994. It followed in the wake of a successful Spider-Man line. Each action figure was five inches tall. There were four series of figures produced while the show was on the air.

One of the main ideas for the line of toys was interchangeable vac-metallized armor. Armored characters were given removable armor pieces that could be interchanged and placed on other armored figures. Unfortunately, this cost more in retooling and production than a normal figure, and the vac-metallization cost more anyways. This increased cost and lowed the profit margin for ToyBiz than other series.

They also followed a concept set by Batman where they would feature multiple variants of the same character, most notably Iron Man. It helped that Iron Man used several different armors in the show, and made more sense than some variant versions of other characters.

Each figure had a card backing with art featuring the armor with a description of either the character or armor. Additionally, each series featured a different Iron Man armor to differentiate each one. In order of series, the featured armors were Main Armor, Stealth Armor, Arctic Armor, and Samurai Armor.

The line featured several armors not seen in the show. However, they were each created for the line and did not feature iconic armors from the comics that the show did not use.

There were many production problems with the line. Armor pieces did not always fit right and the vac-metallization led to chipping and loss of color. Also hurting the line was that the supporting characters were based on the recently started Force Works line and not yet popular among non-show fans.

The toy line had an immediately cult status among collectors. It became divisive among fans who either loved or hated them. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, the toys never completely sold out and collectors were able to find the toys. Though, nowadays it is difficult finding mint figures with all the armor accessories[1].

The first series consisted of Iron Man, War Machine, Spider-Woman, Mandarin, Blacklash, Grey Gargoyle, and Hydro Armor. They came out in early Fall 1995[2].

The second series followed the first's formula three armored heroes, three villains, and one other member of Force Works. It consisted of Hologram Armor (not seen in the show), Stealth Armor, Space Armor, Hawkeye, MODOK, Blizzard, and Whirlwind. The villains and Hawkeye were difficult to find, likely due to collector interest. ToyBiz had reduced the number of non-armored characters, especially villains, due to slow sales of non-armored characters from the first series. Interestingly, the armored versions of this series sold less[3].

Series three featured U.S. Agent, Century, Tony Stark, Arctic Armor, Hulkbuster Armor, Titanium Man and Dreadknight. However, U.S. Agent was pulled so there was only six figures. There was also a planned civilian Tony Stark toy with Iron Man car that was cancelled. Century, Dreadknight, and Titanium Man were shipped less creating a perceived shortage which drove sales of those figures. However, sales were down overall[4].

The fourth series contained only five figures with a second War Machine, Inferno Armor, Samurai Armor, Subterranean Drill Armor, and Crimson Dynamo. Though the limited figures were an industry-wide trend and not limited to this series. At this point, the toys could only be found at KB Toys, though later at Toys "R" Us. Other retailers dropped the line due to the backlog of previous series. Even then, the toys at the two stores did not sell well. Crimson Dynamo was shipped in limited numbers, but was still easily available due to low sales. Hurting sales, all but Crimson Dynamo were original to the series limiting appeal to comic book fans who did not watch the show. This was the last series released for the show. When the fourth series had just came out the series was cancelled and toyline ended. [5]

A fifth series was already being produced.[6] Rather than completely abandon the line, the figures were revamped into two lines called Spider-Man: Techno Wars and X-Men: Mutant Armor[7]. Dark Aegis became Heavy Metal Beast[8]. Radiation Iron Man became Radioactive Spider Armor[9]. Lava Armor Iron Man became the Vault Guardsman, and using the Radiation armor's Iron Man head[10]. Living Laser, already a repainting of U.S. Agent, used Crimson Dynamo's head and became Astral Armor Professor Xavier and used translucent red plastic[11]. Magnetic Armor Iron Man became Battle Armor Wolverine. Early promotional material showed him in his maroon color scheme but the end product used bright purple[12].

Home ReleaseEdit

On May 4th, 2010 the entire series was released on DVD.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Iron Man Figure Archive at Toymania
  2. SERIES ONE at Toymania
  3. SERIES TWO at Toymania
  4. SERIES THREE at Toymania
  5. SERIES FOUR at Toymania
  6. Comic Book Legends Revealed #542 at Comic Book Resources
  7. SERIES FIVE at Toymania
  8. DARK AEGIS at Toymania
  9. RADIATION ARMOR IRON MAN at Toymania
  10. LAVA ARMOR IRON MAN at Toymania
  11. LIVING LASER at Toymania
  12. MAGNETIC ARMOR IRON MAN at Toymania

External LinksEdit

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