A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Character flaws are addressed and dealt with; negative results of mistakes are clearly shown. The main bad guy, The Mandarin, is an almost-offensive Asian racial caricature.
Violence & Scariness
Cartoon bombs and laser beams are used to solve all manner of disagreements.
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Products & Purchases
Many Iron Man tie-in products are available.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that fans of the big-screen Iron Man are likely to be disappointed by how different this muddled '90s cartoon version is. There's also a fair bit of animated action violence and some iffy stereotypes connected to a bad guy known as The Mandarin. That said, while some of the characters' motivations are more adult-oriented than you might expect of a kids' show, overall the moral decisions they make provide decent examples for kids.
Is It Any Good?
In 1994, Marvel Comics introduced The Marvel Action Hour, an animated program hosted by comics superstar Stan Lee, who would introduce a half-hour Fantastic Four cartoon, followed by an Iron Man story. The stories weren't based on existing comic book plots, but were newly written, cheaply produced adventures. Thanks to the massive success of the 2008 film, the Iron Man segments have been dusted off, stripped of their live-action intros, and re-introduced to a generation of kids who frankly deserve better.
The plots don't make much sense, and there are so many characters flying around that it's hard to tell who's who. Many of the characters from the original comic book are here -- including James "Rhodey" Rhoades, MODOK, and even Fin Fang Foom (aka the villain with the goofiest name in all of Marvel comic-dom). Other characters were culled from a now-obscure '90s comic called Force Works or were simply created specifically for this cartoon. Regardless, so little time is spent developing any of these characters that there's no reason to care about them or their conflicts. Kids and parents who were wowed by the Hollywood blockbuster would be far better served to check out the original comic book Tales of Suspense (issues #39-99) to discover how Iron Man was introduced back in 1963 or the many updated Iron Man comics released over the ensuing decades. There's also a far more entertaining animated series from 1966 that uses the amazing original art of comics legends Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko.
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