"Iron Man 2" heated up the theaters this summer, and soon you can bring the blockbuster movie home with you as it hits Blu-ray and DVD on September 28! As we countdown to the big day, Marvel.com will bring you a look at some of the stories, characters and relationships that influenced the film, as well as a peek or two behind the curtain of the "Iron Man 2" Blu-ray itself!
By Jim Beard
Among those mighty Marvel characters fortunate enough to make their way into other media beyond comic books, Iron Man ranks pretty high on that lofty list. Oh sure, you know all about his blockbuster feature films, but what about all of his amazing animated adventures? There're more than just a few,
Sit back and enjoy a brief fly-by of some of the Golden Avenger's greatest toon tales and animated action!
"The Marvel Superheroes" (1966)
This show clocks in as perhaps the most faithful adaptation of Marvel comics ever. Why? Because most of its slightly-animated art came directly from actual Marvel books! Iron Man received his very own show in the series, his first, and sounded off thanks to the voice talents of actor John Vernon--later known as Dean Wormer in "Animal House." The toon featured such villains as the Mandarin, Ultimo, the Crimson Dynamo...and Hawkeye!
Though he made a few cameos in 1981's "Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends" show, Iron Man didn't receive another toon of his own until 1994. But what a toon! Voiced by Robert Hays of "Airplane" fame, the Armored Avenger enjoyed adventures involving several of his comic book foes, all led by the Mandarin. Interestingly, Tony Stark's well-known heart problems became spine problems in the show. "Iron Man" also aired as part of the "Marvel Action Hour," rotating with "Fantastic Four," and Robert Hays would reprise his voice role as Stark in cameos on animated Marvel shows to come such as the 90's "Spider-Man" and "The Incredible Hulk."
Other than the aforementioned cameos, Iron Man bided his time until another starring role came along. It finally appeared in the form of this animated direct-to-DVD adaptation of Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch's ULTIMATES. Iron Man, voiced by actor Marc Worden, took his place alongside his fellow Ultimates, yet in many ways resembled his Marvel Universe counterpart more than his Ultimate Universe incarnation. Here, Tony Stark suffered from an ailing heart, as opposed to a brain tumor, and he kept his identity a secret from the public. That same year, a sequel, "Ultimate Avengers 2," allowed this Iron Man more screen time to fly high.
Despite a meaty role in the "Ultimate
"Iron Man: Armored Adventures" (2009)
The popular Avenger gained perhaps his greatest animated role ever in this groundbreaking show. Voiced by actor Adrian Petriw, this particular Tony Stark appeared as a teenager, and a particularly advanced one at that. All the elements of classic Iron Man are present in the series yet in a new, fresh way. Young Tony worked alongside his father on inventions only to lose him in a plane accident. Damaged himself and now relying on a device to remain alive, Tony finished the Iron Man armor and became a hero in and around the Tomorrow Academy. He even formed a Team Iron Man and enjoys the company of his friends Rhodey and Pepper Potts. While the show's first season has aired in its entirety, stay tuned for the brand-new season two airing on NickToons starting in Spring 2011!
Based on the popular toy line, this show featured--who else?--Iron Man in a lead role. Here, Iron Man's a real smartie whose scientific mind won't allow him to accept things like magic but does make him a great peacekeeper within the Squad. Voiced by popular voice actor Tom Kenny, lil' Iron Man will continue to fight alongside other Squad members such as Captain America, the Hulk and the Falcon when the show returns for its second season on Cartoon Network this Fall.
Beginning this Fall, Iron Man will join forces with Captain America, Thor, the Hulk, Ant-Man and the Wasp in "Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes," one of the biggest Marvel animated shows yet! The team will face off against many classic Marvel villains and surely please both fans old and new when it debuts on Disney XD. Trust us, Marvelites, you won't want to miss this one!
Japanese animation studio Mad House offers up a radical new interpretation of the Armored Avenger in "Iron Man." Done in an anime style and debuting in 2011 on G4, fans will get to see an Iron Man unlike any before. Tony Stark travels to Japan in order to build a new arc reactor that will deliver free energy to all the Japanese people, but runs afoul of the villainous Zodiac consortium which he must combat.
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