Parents' Guide to

Iron Man (1994)

By Scout Davidson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

"Classic" 'toon isn't nearly as good as 2008 film.

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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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