Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Tony Stark that isn't a Total Arse

The Invincible Iron Man. Yet another Marvel animated DVD has joined the recent Comic to DVD range and it's another good one. Although I find it quite strange this one was even made as we're not that far off from a Hollywood Iron Man with the genius casting of Robert Downey Jr, especially since both versions seem to be dealing with a different telling of his origin.

Not that I'm complaining because I did really enjoy this one, far more than the two Avengers films previously released. This being me and as an extreme continuity nut I noticed that this actually seems to be based in the same timeline as the Ultimate Avenger films, the armour bay Stark has is extremely similar to the one shown in the second Avengers film and both the Ultimate Armour and the War Machine Armour were shown in it. Also establishing this link further, the voice of Tony Stark is exactly the same guy as the other films.

Onto the actual film and I've always preferred Iron Man in cartoons than in comics. I'm not sure why but Tony just never works quite as well for me in the books as he does when in motion and after months of evil Stark, proud sponsor of the Super Human Registration Act over in Civil War I thought it'd be nice to get a nice friendly version. We didn't quite get that, instead we get a typical heartless business man who places himself first and everything else second. He lied to his best friend and kept him out of the biggest project ever undertaken, even when Tony and Rhodey are building a makeshift armour Tony totally underplays the fact he wasn't exactly creating this stuff from scratch. As the film progresses Tony becomes more human and all round nice bloke but at the start he is a bit of a bastard.

Of course dealing with Iron Man we have to put up with his greatest enemy, the bottle. I mean the Mandarin, though a drunk Iron Man could make for some interesting viewing. This version of the Mandarin is ten times better than any other and instead of being some mental Chinese bloke, he’s a spirit of an ancient Chinese ruler. His appearance is brief and it is far better for it.

The other characters were quite a surprise, James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes was different to any version I’ve experienced before but then I’m used to him either being War Machine or having fallen out with Stark for some reason or another. Pepper, Tony’s secretary, was a lot older and there was no sexual tension there as there would be normally. Most bizarrely, we have a version of Tony Stark who stands alongside his father in running Stark Enterprises. Also, considering this is an origin story the armour was handled very surprisingly. It was explained well but it does catch you by surprise.

To date this is easily the best Marvel Animated film, let’s hope they continue this upward curve with Doctor Strange and beyond.
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